Sage Francis, the Fleshtones, and more

Fine Line Music Café

There are people of a certain age who still hold tight to the "Manchester Scene": the Smiths, the Fall, Oasis, the list goes on and on. But there would be no Manchester scene, or its later incarnation, the drug-fueled "Madchester," without (curiously, Bristol natives) the Buzzcocks. Like any band from a tertiary city, they caused a bright light to be shone onto it for years afterward, and their musical output, not to mention the fact that a large portion of it has stood the test of time, is nothing short of amazing. The Buzzcocks craft pop songs with a punk mentality (or vice versa, perhaps) and that formula, though incredibly simple, results in a timelessness that really can't be accurately described in words. It's as if they are still making music in 1978 and releasing it in the present, or are making it from some utopian future that we have yet to catch up to. Any way you want to dress it up, the bottom line is this: The Buzzcocks sit on a list somewhere that's stocked with heavy hitters labeled "Most Influential of All Time." With the Dollyrots. 18+. $20. 7 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Pat O'Brien

TUESDAY 5.25

Midlake

The Cedar

Midlake have never been a band in a big hurry to get where they're going, with their hushed, leisurely songs often taking a while to fully sink in before gradually delivering a full reveal. The Denton, Texas, quintet have crafted an exquisite new record, The Courage of Others, whose distinguished songs will surely be showcased throughout their performance at the Cedar, as well as those from their 2006 breakthrough, The Trials of Van Occupanther. Their new songs seem to be a bit divisive to those who don't have the patience for Midlake's slow-burning sound, but for fans of the band's sedate manner, the new record proves to be an assertive continuation of the group's strong songwriting and understated, proficient musicianship. Their evocative lyrics transport listeners to the mystical woodlands that frontman Tim Smith sings fondly of; just allow your restless thoughts to cease and let the tranquil sounds of the band carry you away. Also on the bill is Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy), whose solo shows have proved not only how gifted a songwriter he is, but also how much his former band is truly missed, while former Czars frontman John Grant opens the show with a new set of songs he's been working on with Midlake's assistance. All ages. $13/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Erik Thompson

James Taylor & Carole King

Xcel Energy Center

If you were putting together a soundtrack of the 1970s, you'd have to reserve prominent roles for James Taylor and Carole King. The albums each released at the dawn of that decade—King's Tapestry, Taylor's Sweet Baby James—yielded numerous hits that became virtually ubiquitous yet never wore out their welcome, tributes to both the quality of their songwriting and performances. So it was no coincidence that King and Taylor essentially became prototypes for subsequent generations of singer-songwriters. They first co-headlined L.A.'s Troubadour club in 1970, then again in 1971, while Taylor's "Fire and Rain" and "Sweet Baby James," and King's "It's Too Late" and "I Feel the Earth Move" permeated the airwaves. On the Troubadour's 50th anniversary in 2007, Taylor and King returned with the same musicians who had been on hand all those years earlier: guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar, and drummer Russ Kunkel. That performance has just been released on CD/DVD as Live at the Troubadour, and is the inspiration for their current Troubadour Reunion tour, featuring the same band. Collaborating throughout, King and Taylor play all the essentials (including a few that King and first husband Gerry Goffin wrote as Brill Building stalwarts in the '60s: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" for the Shirelles and "Up on the Roof" for the Drifters). The atmosphere is warm, congenial, and packed wall-to-wall with nuggets, while Taylor and King play these old favorites with a sublime freshness that belies their vintage. $67-$97. 8 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Rick Mason

Screaming Females

7th St. Entry

Screaming Females are an honest-to-goodness grassroots success story: from studiously booking their own tours in punk-house basements across the country summer after summer for years, DIY everything all along the way, to supporting the Dead Weather on their summer tour last year (going from awkwardly passing a hat to a $30 door must be vindicating) and receiving transcontinental hosannas from The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. I was there for what I'm fairly certain was the band's first show in the Cities, a weekday night at Big V's four or five years ago with maybe six people in the bar, and all six would say the same: "I don't know who or what...but something just happened." They were, of course, right. That something is singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster, a diminutive guitar demon who consistently leaves crowds smiling with furrowed brow, re-avowed that rock can't really die; it's too lovely a virus. Let the Screamales prove it. With Tenement. 18+. $7/$8 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775.

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