First Avenue

Though Blonde Redhead enjoyed some commercial success with their 2007 release, 23, the band has always placed its emphasis on well-shaped atmospherics, letting their sound wash over listeners in a mist of diffused guitars and opaque lyrics. At the time, the band's predilection for avant garde waves of noise and feedback made their move toward pop surprising, but with recent release Penny Sparkle, they seem to have embraced the accessibility that took fans by surprise just three years ago. Even so, BR retains a penchant for constructing vistas of sound where the beautiful and the raw coexist, and for their current tour, they've picked up an opening act that suits their level of meticulous sound design. Opener Pantha du Prince (a.k.a Hendrik Weber) is a German producer who shares BR's love of classic shoegaze, but uses techno's thumping structure as a foundation on which to build his haunted house. For once, the tourmates aren't just friends, but artists with complementary visions aiming to provide an immersive experience. 18+. $18. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

MONDAY 10.25

Sleigh Bells

Triple Rock Social Club

The dynamic duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss jingles it up with such revolutionary zest that Sleigh Bells have emerged as one of this year's most impressive buzz bands. And the emphasis is definitely on buzz, since SB's sound is a magnificent, grinding mash of churning guitars, searing synths, thunderous beats, orchestrated distortion, blistering reverb, delicious sludge, and twisted metal riffs. Yet Miller has crafted a melodic core that's such pure pop its sugary nature is the perfect juxtaposition to SB's bitter exterior, all the more so because Krauss's sweet, girl-groupish singing weaves through it all. Even her razor-sharp screams slather icing on Miller's noise-popsical. On Treats, Sleigh Bell's debut album, Krauss variously suggests Debbie Harry, M.I.A., and Ronnie Spector; Funkadelic crops up via a sample; there are intimations of Sonic Youth, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Black Sabbath, and Phil Spector's famed Wall of Sound, the latter so vivid on "Rill Rill" that it threatens to morph into the Ronettes' "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"—the perfect spot for sleigh bells. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Rick Mason

Max Weinberg Big Band

Guthrie Theater

The formal confirmation that bandleader Max Weinberg would indeed not be joining Conan O'Brien on his new TV program (revealed first in City Pages months ago, by the way) somewhat anticlimactically ended that lingering melodrama, finally allowing people without lives to get back to them. But weep not for the mighty Max, who not only still has a pretty good, 36-years-and-counting gig with the E Street Band, but is now also leading a nifty 15-piece big band that will play its second local gig in just over three months. At the Dakota in July, Weinberg, his drum kit out in front of the band, seemed to be having a blast, introducing the tunes with stories and self-deprecating humor that really connected with the appreciative crowd. The band swung nicely with an energetic kick from Weinberg's power drumming. The repertoire was mostly classic big band stuff, with a special emphasis on Weinberg inspiration Buddy Rich, fellow Jerseyites Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, plus vintage TV themes from the '50s and '60s. There was also a cool Beatles medley based on a Basie arrangement, plus a couple of requisite Springsteen covers: "Born To Run," which was OK in a big band context, and "Kitty's Back," which was just about perfect. $37-$42. 7:30 p.m. 818 Second St. S., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 10.26

The Black Angels

Varsity Theater

The Black Angels have always resembled the stoners who other stoners fear, and maybe that's the truth. Their riffs sound like heavy metal being played through an impenetrable waterfall of boiling toxic waste, but on their new Phosphene Dream, the Black Angels have honed what was previously unrelenting sludginess into jagged points. Listening to it is the sonic equivalent of being smacked across the face with a broken whiskey bottle. Simply put, it's a more listenable (if still staggeringly harsh) entry into the psych-rock pantheon than most. There are forays into almost White Stripesian garage rock at turns and the overall sound is a bit cleaner (read: you can pick out the individual instruments fairly easily), but don't be fooled—the crushing, foreboding darkness and general malcontentedness omnipresent in the Black Angels' work is still at the forefront and it's amazing, really, that the Angels are still so pissed off. In the end, though, it's our gain that they refuse to just be OK with it—whatever "it" might be—and continue to howl at the top of their lungs, maybe just to feel something, anything. Bring your earplugs and maybe your antidepressants, this is a live show that is astonishingly loud—in every sense of that phrase. With StrangeLights. 18+. $14. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Pat O'Brien

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