Canterbury Park

For a good 16 years now, the Vans Warped Tour has been an uber-sponsored rite of passage for the wallet-chained, Manic Panic set; think of this top-loaded, country-crossing festival as punk-rock summer camp for misfits and outcasts willing to sell out temporarily for the opportunity to be squeezed for marketing data. It's fun: You bake in the sun, make eyes at each other, stage-dive, fight each other tooth and nail for free corporate gear, stuff your skater shorts full of CD compilations featuring 17th-wave screamo and Cali-punk bands with names that merrily conflate fast-food franchises, celebrities, and polarizing political pariahs (sometimes). If you can get past all that, Warped is a pretty good way to take the pulse of punk, circa now, in its many forms: This year, thrill to Fake Problems' synth-addled hooks, the crazed party-pop of Andrew W.K., and, um, Disco Curtis, among a metric ton of other bands your too-cool older cousin has probably never heard of (the Word Alive, Attack Attack!) and more still that you kinda wish would call it a day (Face to Face, Sum 41). The best advice we can give? Hydrate early and often. With Alkaline Trio, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, We the Kings; food and drink vendors; lifestyle exhibitions; more. All ages. $32/$37 at the gate. 11 a.m. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 952.445.7223. —Ray Cummings



The Cedar

The Dead Weather bring their swampy blues-rock to First Avenue
courtesy of the artist
The Dead Weather bring their swampy blues-rock to First Avenue

Location Info


First Avenue

701 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

For most of Matthew Houck's career under the moniker Phosphorescent, the native Alabaman turned Brooklynite via Athens, Georgia, was on his lonesome, plying a kind of woozy, atmospheric variety of folk. Now he's got plenty of company, having finally made Phosphorescent into a full-fledged sextet, but he often sounds lonely, or sad in any case, beset by heartache, twangy guitars, and weepy pedal steel. Houck fell hard for country, turning in a Willie Nelson tribute (To Willie). Then he upped the ante with this spring's Here's to Taking It Easy, a gorgeous country-rock outing with the vintage flavor of Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds, maybe a touch of George Jones sitting in on Workingman's Dead. Except Houck's songs have a subtle post-modern, alt-country/pop savvy that lurks even in an otherwise straight honky-tonk ballad like "Heaven, Sittin' Down." The rousing, horn-goosed opener, "It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're from Alabama)," is the most upbeat and blatantly pop tune on the disc (and the only one to justify the allusion to that other band that once took it easy). Meanwhile, the questing guitar in the epic closer, "Los Angeles," strongly suggests Neil Young. Singer-songwriter J. Tillman was a late addition as opener for Phosphorescent. Tillman's languid, existential contemplations also have a country streak. His new one, Singing Ax, is due in September. $12/$14 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

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