Turf Club

Despite their geographical separation, Chicago's the Ponys and Minneapolis's France Has the Bomb have more in common than their gleefully frantic noise rock. Not only do both bands proudly wear their garage-rock roots and post-punk influences on their sleeves, but their primary songwriters—Jered Gummere and Srini Radhakrishna—grew up in Bloomington, Illinois, and played together in the Guilty Pleasures. Later on, it was as an opener for the Ponys (then a hot property appearing with the likes of Dinosaur Jr. and Spoon) that Radhakrishna's act got its start at the Entry. Gummere and his band, which includes wife Melissa Elias on bass, took a break from performing the past couple of years, but when they decided to get back together last fall they chose to do so on a bill with none other than FHTB. Tonight, these two old friends will add yet another chapter to their ongoing, if unlikely, history. With Bombay Sweets and the Chambermaids. 21+. 9 p.m. $8. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jeff Gage

Bill Frisell, Rahim AlHaj, and Eyvind Kang

Walker Art Center

Solid Gold (pictured) and Mark Mallman co-headline our Haiti benefit this weekend
Nick Vlcek
Solid Gold (pictured) and Mark Mallman co-headline our Haiti benefit this weekend

Innovative guitarist and music visionary Bill Frisell returns to the Walker, one of his favorite playgrounds, bringing along his insatiable curiosity and two equally unusual musicians to perform the world premiere of the Walker-commissioned Baghdad/Seattle Suite. The Walker describes the composition as an East-meets-West piece combining traditional Iraqi maqams (classical Arabic scales), Americana, and jazz. Indeed, the trio not only spans the globe with each member's interests and trajectory; far-flung genres, ideas, and cultures are bridged, fused, and spun in unique directions by each on a regular basis. On dozens of singular projects, Seattle resident Frisell has found fresh expression by entangling jazz, country, classical, blues, and more exotic threads into dazzling, cutting-edge pastiches. Baghdad-born composer and oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj was forced to leave Iraq in 1991 and eventually made his way to New Mexico, where he's been living for a decade. His music is exquisite and beguiling. Oregon native and Seattle resident Eyvind Kang is a violinist who principally studied with Sun Ra associate Michael White and Indian virtuoso Dr. N. Rajam in Bombay. A longtime Frisell collaborator, Kang has also performed with Robin Holcomb, Laurie Anderson, and Sun City Girls, as well as created original music spanning a vast spectrum from shards of Americana to free improv and minimalism. $29 ($25 for Walker members). 9:30 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 2.8

Rosanne Cash

Guthrie Theater

One of 2009's best albums, Rosanne Cash's The List features striking versions of 12 of the 100 classic country songs her father told her she should know when he was concerned his 18-year-old daughter was skimping on her roots education. You couldn't ask for a better authority on country music than Johnny Cash, and Rosanne used that list of essential songs to great effect in pursuing her own career. Actually the songs have a remarkably wide scope, encompassing gospel, folk, blues, and swing, and ranging from the Carter Family and Merle Haggard to Bob Dylan. Although the album has been greeted with great acclaim, it wasn't eligible for this year's Grammys due to its October release date. But the first single was, a duet with Bruce Springsteen on the Don Gibson vehicle "Sea of Heartbreak," and it was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Rosanne and her husband, guitarist and producer John Leventhal, previewed the album last summer with an intimate performance at the Dakota. Their return, this time at the Guthrie, should be just as engaging. And they may even preview some of the material for the already-planned next volume of nuggets from the Man in Black's list. $45-$65. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 2.9

Rhymesayers Presents: A Benefit for Haiti

First Avenue

There are benefit shows, and then there are benefit shows. One can hardly be called more noble than another, but in the wake of a tragedy like the earthquake that devastated Haiti last month, the best and brightest of our best and brightest are pitching in to curry relief funds for one of the most sorely needed rescue efforts of the new millennium. Rhymesayers Entertainment has a decade-strong reputation for hard work, clean consciences, and social awareness, and tonight's First Avenue show may be the grandest expression yet of its well-earned reputation. Brother Ali, Slug, Sage Francis & B. Dolan, Toki Wright, and many more have risen to the gargantuan challenge of putting their skills where they're needed the most. It's a blindingly bright show for a pitch-black premise, a sound and selfless investment for fans of local hip hop. With Freeway & Jake One, I Self Devine, and Sims. Hosted by Slug. Proceeds benefit Oxfam America, Doctors Without Borders, and Yele Haiti. 18+. $20. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. David Hansen

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