Dre Day, Bassgasm, and more

WEDNESDAY 2.17

Wild Beasts; Still Life Still

7th St. Entry

At the heart of Wild Beasts' minimalist art-pop is Hayden Thorpe's lascivious falsetto. His theatrical hoots and howls raise the Leeds-based quartet's slinking, techno-infused music to a level of unhinged sexual decadence. Thorpe delivers unflinching tales of romantic intrigue, lust, and gang rape with an eerie sophistication that is both alluring and threatening, not least because of the pleasure his characters take in their reckless pursuits. Tom Flemming's deep, menacing vocals add another layer to Wild Beasts' brooding chic, which was refined by the austerity of last year's Two Dancers, an album that established the band among the most prominent members of Britain's re-emergent indie scene. Still Life Still's shambling indie rock may seem to be of another ilk, following as it does in the aesthetic footsteps of fellow Torontonians Broken Social Scene, but one needs look no further than the title of their debut full-length, Girls Come Too, to understand the rationale behind their appearance on this bill. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Jeff Gage

THURSDAY 2.18

Dre Day

Wild Beasts know why the caged band sings
Tom Beard
Wild Beasts know why the caged band sings

Triple Rock Social Club

Though your place of employment may not recognize it (yet), February 18 is a holiday way more important than President's Day, more raucous than New Year's, and responsible for lighting up more trees than Christmas. It's the birthday of Dr. Dre, West Coast beatsmith and rapper extraordinaire, and it's the seventh year in a row that the Triple Rock and Burlesque of North America have hosted festivities commemorating his entrance into the world (no word on whether his mom was a virgin). No, Dre himself probably won't be there, but there's plenty to hold your attention, from rappers to DJs to a photo booth immortalizing the best-dressed partygoers. As evidenced by the West Bank's BOMP! events, the Burlesque guys know how to party, so you can be sure that this year will follow in the grand tradition of Dre Day by providing you with a good time and enough 40s to give you one hell of a Friday hangover. Now, where's that Compton hat? With Trama, Carnage, Felipe, Jimmy2Times, and King Otto. 21+. 8 p.m. $10. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Ian Traas

Killswitch Engage

First Avenue

There's so much middle ground in metal right now that you can mix and match styles, arrange your favorite mixture of heavy sounds, and be pretty sure that there's a band out there that caters to your particular brand of darkness. If you feel that anthems and ferocity shouldn't be mutually exclusive, you can take your pick of bands that dot the expansive landscape of aggressive music, but metalcore staples Killswitch Engage pull off the combo with a gleaming accessibility, giving fans with varied tastes a little something to hold on to. It's thanks in part to Howard Jones's vocals, alternately scorching and soaring, but the stacks of massive riffs and melodic breakdowns also seem calculated for maximum crossover appeal. They're easy to like, and while that may not sit well with those who like their rock pitch-black, the band's popularity signals that they've hit a certain sweet spot, which will ensure that First Ave will be filled with both the curious and the faithful. With the Devil Wears Prada and Dark Tranquility. All ages. $27.50-$30. 5 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

FRIDAY 2.19

Bassgasm

First Avenue

Leave it to local techno stalwart Woody McBride to coordinate something like Bassgasm—a big, gushing love letter to dance music and First Ave, written in smacking kick drums and loads of ribcage-rattling low end. Everything about it promises to be on a giant scale; the Mainroom, Entry, and VIP Room will all have scores of DJs and electronic acts from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., with crossover between rooms encouraged and extra sound packed into every available corner. If you're not impressed with the setup alone, consider that McBride is calling in a little outside help in the forms of drum 'n' bass favorite Dieselboy and house music legend Derrick Carter. Top it all off with some of the best local talent that the Twin Cities have to offer, and you've got an event that will draw dance music fans of every stripe from all over the metro area. It's a whole lot of aural pleasure that's sure to leave you sweaty and spent. With MC Messinian, Attack People, DJ Spree & MC ADB, Soviet Panda, and more. 18+. $14/$20 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

SATURDAY 2.20

Retribution Gospel Choir

Triple Rock Social Club

Duluth's Retribution Gospel Choir aren't really a choir, but a tendency to preach—albeit in cryptic riddles—underlies the trio's rough, ready rock action. Singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk is blessed with the kind of commanding, J. Robbins-reminiscent roar that draws authoritative depth from ringing, titanic guitar chords and tight rhythm-section grit courtesy of drummer Eric Pollard and bassist Steve Garrington. On 2, this particular choir are a one-stop stylistic shop: nitro-charged shred clinics ("'68 Comeback"); trembling-in-place calamity ("Something's Gonna Break"); slow-building, country-electric fury ("Electric Guitar"); and hook-hemorrhaging barnburners ("Hide It Away"). Best of all, Retribution Gospel Choir make the whole second-person testifying, disheveled indie-rock up-and-comers thing look easy—no mean feat. With Andrew Broder. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Ray Cummings

B.B. King and Buddy Guy

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