CRITICS' PICKS

THURSDAY 5.27

Dragons Power Up!

Turf Club

Though at first glance one might think a band named Dragons Power Up! must be a group of Nintendo-loving 8-bit tweakers, they are actually an increasingly tight post-rock band worth taking seriously. With hooky vocals drenched in reverb, jutting electric guitar riffs, and dirty bar-pop melodies, Dragons Power Up! have been earning accolades for their latest album, Brace for the Bloom, which was released earlier this year, and they will play tonight with their Guilt Ridden Pop labelmates and minimalist synth apostles CLAPS. Also on the bill are Giravves—Jeff Ham of E.L.nO.'s harmonic and synth-heavy power-pop band—and grungy hard rockers Omnitrigger. There's nary a weak link in this chain of burgeoning local rock bands, and it should make for a solid Thursday night at the Turf. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Andrea Swensson

FRIDAY 5.28

Mystery Palace/Estate

Shambolic rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre
Sasha Eisenman
Shambolic rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre

Triple Rock Social Club

If it's tough to think about a record producer (bedroom or otherwise) as a rock star, blame the machines. Until recently, it was difficult to bring a whole studio on the road, and besides, a guy hunkered over a mountain of electronics is miles away from the clichéd image of a guitar god. Now, unchained from the lab and packing some indie cred, more producers are forming groups, doing shows, and destroying dance floors—and it's happening right under your nose. The Twin Cities have a deceptively large pool of talent, including former 12 Rods frontman Ryan Olcott (who heads up gauzy, melancholy pop purveyors Mystery Palace) and Estate, a disco duo serving up a brand of smoothness that's forcing bloggers to rush to their keyboards in a race to pile on the praise. The machines got smaller; the bands that love them got bigger. Now it's time to hit the club and support your local rock stars, whether they're slinging a drum machine or a six-string. With These Modern Socks and Fake Places (CD-release). 21+. $7. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

FRIDAY 5.29

Brian Jonestown

Massacre

Cabooze

With one of the few immortal puns in band names and a wonderfully shambolic yet driving live throb, the Brian Jonestown Massacre have always seemed a degree too close to their influences—'60s psych, '80s paisley, '90s shoegazer—to compel too much further listening by non-fans, even after a classic 2004 documentary, DiG!, argued for the genius of bandleader Anton Newcombe. Yet this year's Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? (a reference to both the Beatles and the Sex Pistols) is something else, and might surprise anyone familiar only with the film. With founding guitarist Matt Hollywood back in the fold, the album was recorded in Germany and Iceland with an international cast: "Dekta! Dekta! Dekta!" is gamelan disco Krautrock sung in Russian (by Felix Bondareff, a Berlin musician whose alias, Amazing Electronic Talking Cave, is lifted from a BJM song). "This Is the First of Your Last Warning" reenlists Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir to sing in soulful Icelandic. "Feel It" extends the dance vibe of those tracks with Newcombe himself singing under the densest cloud of fuzz since the band's titled-how-it-sounds 1995 debut, Methodrone. Mostly, though, the old gazey sound is merely spiked and focused amid electronics, world music, and Joy Division homage, with "Let's Go Fucking Mental" unleashing a more anthemic head case in Newcombe. All you need is love. 18+. $16. 8 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Peter S. Scholtes

SATURDAY 5.29

Josh Rouse

Dakota Jazz Club

Among the tamer colloquialisms for the gastrointestinal challenges of indiscreet dining south of the border, El Turista takes on a far more pleasant connotation as the title of Josh Rouse's latest collection of sophisticated, globe-trotting pop songs. In the sure hands of Rouse, a Nebraska native who lived all over the U.S. before moving to Spain five years ago, El Turista's songs aren't merely digestible, they're downright savory, reflecting an eclectic array of influences in a sun-baked, languid context suggesting his new digs on the Mediterranean. On the effervescent "Lemon Tree" (not the Trini Lopez nugget) and "Valencia"—one sung in English, the other in Spanish—Rouse practically swoons at the wonders of his new environs. That "Valencia" is, somewhat nonsensically, far more Brazilian than Spanish doesn't ruin its charm. In fact, Rouse shakes and bakes his influences throughout the album. On "Duerme," a song picked up from vintage Cuban cabaret singer-pianist Bola de Nieve, Rouse sounds like a slightly nasally João Gilberto, and the vibe is pure Ipanema bossa nova. "I Will Live on Islands" could be a Graceland outtake, with Rouse's voice and acoustic guitar uncannily Simonian while the simmering groove is out of Africa via the Caribbean. But perhaps most striking is Rouse's lush, introspective reading of the often jaunty folk tune "Cotton Eyed Joe," suggesting dark undercurrents even when the "livin' is easy." $22. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 6.01

Astronautalis

7th St. Entry

Indie rock just can't keep its hands to itself. After having its way with dance music, indie is lecherously ogling rap, thinking about a world where their babies will be born with both samplers and guitars in their hands...hell, we already live in a world where Jay-Z listens to MGMT and Grizzly Bear. Considering that, it's not so strange that Seattle MC Astronautalis has such close ties to modern rock, partially evidenced by a recent tour opening for Tegan & Sara. Then again, Astro isn't really your run-of-the-mill rapper, switching between reedy singing and a raspy rhyming style that winds its way around skittering, nervous beats like poison ivy. He's had local support from the likes of P.O.S and octet Me & My Arrow, handily bridging whatever gap is left between two thriving Twin Cities scenes and sparking plenty of word-of-mouth buzz in the process. As genre lines disintegrate, artists like Astronautalis are there to make sure that cross-breeding isn't the exception, but the rule. At tonight's show, he will be accompanied by Me & My Arrow. 18+. $8. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

TUESDAY 6.01

Evelyn Evelyn

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