WEDNESDAY 1.27

Nice Purse

Turf Club

Nice Purse seem like they should be a cute band. Their sing-along lyrics and hippies-with-clean-hair look seem almost fresh-faced in this sloppy rock 'n' roll town. But if from afar they look like fuzzy kitties eating cotton candy, that makes the shock all the more pleasurable when you notice those kitties are flecked with blood splatter. Aww...kitties. It's Nice Purse's ability to make a sad song sound happy (for instance, in "Heart Medley" they cheer in unison, "If my heart was a movie/You should return it/Because you don't watch it anymore") that makes them better than the average college pop-rock band. Frantic acoustic strumming and lackadaisical vocals owe a debt to Black Lips, but Nice Purse are mentally healthy and coordinated (read: sober) enough to incorporate the occasional finger-picking sesh. And fierce, braying vocals reminiscent of old-school Modest Mouse make these clever darlings even more worth the listen. With Colder in Moscow, Minneapolis 1989, and Adam Israel & the Disgruntled Gentlemen. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Erin Roof

THURSDAY 1.28

MPLS.TV's Winter Jubilee

White Light Riot re-emerge with a new lineup for Glitter Ball 3
Darin Back
White Light Riot re-emerge with a new lineup for Glitter Ball 3

Bedlam Theatre

If you've been paying attention to the Gimme Noise blog lately, you've noticed a few contributions from our friends at the MPLS.TV collective, an ever-expanding and enterprising troupe of young artists, comics, actors, videographers, and producers who put together some of the most professional music videos and ridiculous comedy sketches in town. Proceeds from tonight's show at the Bedlam will help the collective raise money for a new video camera—and those who have caught an episode of their show or watched the recent video they helped us make for the Best New Bands showcase will know that the money raised at this benefit will be put to good use. MPLS.TV has recruited a roster of great local talent to help them celebrate, from minimalist mood-rockers Zoo Animal to one-man blues band Boom Boom Belam to rapper and slam poet Guante. With pop-rock quartet We Became Actors, alt-country crooner Bethany Larson and her Bees Knees, high-octane disco-rockers the Guystorm, synth-pop group the Chelsea Boys, comedy, prizes, and more. All ages. $10. 6 p.m. 1501 Sixth St. S., Minneapolis; 612.341.1038. Andrea Swensson

FRIDAY 1.29

Glitter Ball 3

Music Box Theater

With current charitable focus directed toward stemming the disaster in Haiti, it can be difficult to remember the help needed at home. This is a chance to spread the love right where the Twin Cities needs it most. Glitter Ball 3 celebrates the decadent cheese of the '80s big-hair era, with White Light Riot goofing off to Spinal Tap tunes, Alison Scott lending her impressive alto to AC/DC tributes, and more guilty pleasures by the Melismatics, the Notties, and the Bloodsugars. And while the night is destined to be a blast (rumor is there's free beef jerky), it will also raise awareness of the work by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. With more than 400 local young people waiting to join the program, it needs more help than ever, and Glitter Ball 3 is the perfect opportunity to learn more, get involved, and raise money for the organization. Plus, you can check the "Do something nice for the world" item off your 2010 to-do list. 21+. $15/$20 at the door. 8 p.m. 1407 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612.871.1414. —Erin Roof

Two Harbors

Turf Club

Two Harbors are one of the rare groups that could garner mass appeal without sacrificing creative enticement. The local band mixes snatches of Interpol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Muse, twisting them around a dream-pop sound, and the end product plugs directly into the cerebral cortex. Be on the lookout for future greatest hits, including "Silent Treatment," with its elongated, hypnotic repetition; "You Pulled the Rug Out," featuring Elliot Smith-style guitars warped through an effects pedal; and "Beautiful Fall," a tune that best showcases singer Chris Pavlich's signature disembodied vocals. With These Modern Socks. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof

SATURDAY 1.30

Estaire Godinez

Dakota Jazz Club

When Latin fireball Estaire Godinez lived in the Twin Cities, she made sufficiently solid connections among local musicians that when it was time to record a new album, she returned from California and set up shop at Minneapolis's Brewhouse Studio. So naturally, her first performances celebrating This Time will be right here at the Dakota, backed by a strong contingent of those who played on the album, including Peter Schimke, Stokely Williams, Eric Leeds, Serge Akou, and Mike Scott, plus backup vocals from J.D. Steele and Kathleen Johnson. Godinez is an electrifying vocalist and ace on congas and other percussion devices, whose music embraces the full panoply of Latin styles, from salsa to Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and jazz and pop variations. Her credits include stints with Prince, George Benson, and Larry Graham. Although This Time wasn't available at press time, the title track is a sleek, buoyant nugget that juggles Latin, jazz, and pop around a snaky sax line. Incidentally, Godinez reports that she sang on the score for and will appear in the upcoming feature film Mission Lights, starring Benjamin Bratt, directed by his brother Peter, and due for release in April. $15. 8 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Friday —Rick Mason

Kevin Anthony & the Twin Cities Playboys (CD-release show)

Red Stag Supper Club

Lead Playboy Kevin Anthony was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, and though he's spent the past four years in Minneapolis, his music is decidedly southbound. Rather than adapt country-western music to marry it with more modern genres like alt-country, Anthony takes a classic approach: The tunes on Anthony's solo debut, North Star, amble and swagger with the ease of a well-tread country singer playing tunes at a Cajun cookout on a hot summer day, with even the most downtrodden songs ("I Miss You," "Surveyors Blues") taking on a rosy hue with the help of galloping snare drums and bouncing fiddles. Anthony is donating part of the proceeds from his album to the rebuilding efforts down south after Hurricane Ike, as his hometown of Galveston was severely affected by the storm. Ever the optimist, Anthony has created a solo album that's a testament to his ability to weather the storms that he has faced in life, both literally and figuratively, which he sums up in a line from "Hurricane Ike": "He tried to wash us away but our roots were strong." 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 509 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612.767.7766. —Andrea Swensson

SUNDAY 1.30

Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard

Varsity Theater

It took something extraordinary to get Son Volt's Jay Farrar and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard together, and his name was Jack Kerouac. Icon of the Beat generation and author of the acclaimed stream-of-consciousness novel On the Road, Kerouac had lost his youthful exuberance and was burning out on celebrity, alcoholism, and depression when he sought refuge at Lawrence Ferlinghetti's cabin in the California woods. Although Kerouac was mostly unsuccessful in fighting off his demons, he did write a dark, powerful book about it: Big Sur. When Kerouac's nephew, film producer Jim Sampas, decided to make a documentary about the author's Big Sur period 50 years later, he asked Farrar and Gibbard to work on the soundtrack. Both strongly influenced by Kerouac, the unlikely pair dived into the project, despite having never met before, and eventually produced a full-length album, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur, released last fall as a CD/DVD package with the two-hour-plus documentary. The album's lyrics were all adapted from Kerouac's prose, written as he fought his own dissolution, and most of the music has the spare, haunting, alt-Americana feel of Son Volt. Farrar wrote the bulk of the material, but Gibbard contributed the title track, a folk-rock ballad with glimmers of light in Gibbard's high tenor despite Kerouac pondering the depths of the bottle and eternity. This is the last performance of a limited tour, and likely a unique event. Accompanying Farrar and Gibbard will be bassist Nick Harmer from Death Cab, Son Volt multi-instrumentalist Mark Spencer, and drummer Jon Wurster of Superchunk. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 2.2

Bettye Lavette

Hopkins Center for the Arts

How Bettye LaVette remained hidden from the great majority of the music-obsessed public for some 40 years is one of the great mysteries of the ages. But since she finally broke out in the mid-'00s, she has been widely praised as a singer for those ages, a soul sister who can belt it out with the best of them but also work the nuances to give special meaning to a lyric while easily stretching from soul to jazz, rock, and country. Even President Obama noted that LaVette's prime had been a long time coming when she sang Sam Cooke's apropos "A Change Is Gonna Come" at last January's inaugural celebration. Cooke's classic is also on the digital-only EP LaVette, issued as a bridge between 2007's The Scene of the Crime (recorded in Muscle Shoals with the Drive-By Truckers) and her still pending next album. The EP also shows off her grand range, traversing soul from Cooke and Bill Withers, Jimmy Rushing blues, and jazz classics from Monk, Billie Holiday, and Billy Strayhorn. In cabaret performances last summer, she also reportedly did stunning versions of songs by Springsteen, Neil Young, and the Beatles. Some of those may infiltrate her set list when she's back in town, this time in Hopkins. $33. 6 p.m. 1111 Main St., Hopkins; 952.979.1100. —Rick Mason

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