Two Door Cinema Club, the Dandy Warhols, and more

WEDNESDAY 10.27

Stars

First Avenue

Stars have spent most of their time as a band exploring the million ways you can get your heart broken and then pieced back together again. They're experts at crafting emotionally moving character sketches, and if you've ever loved and lost, they have at least one song that will knock you flat with a wave of old feelings and familiar regrets. In the past, the band heightened the melodrama with syrupy orchestral flourishes, but recently they've largely abandoned the strings for chilly synthesizers, balancing their theatrics with danceable pop gems. That Stars can slip between styles so convincingly is due to the strength of its individual members—Amy Millan's voice is both iron-strong and feather-light, while Torquil Campbell remains a consummate storyteller, reveling in the details of failed relationships. Though they're touring behind a new album, the group doesn't lean too heavily on recent material; longtime fans will be happy to know that songs from across their catalogue show up in concert, and that "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" absolutely kills live. 18+. $20. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Ian Traas

The Vaselines

Varsity Theater

Pulled single-handedly from obscurity by Kurt Cobain during the heyday of the grunge era, Glaswegian band the Vaselines became famous roughly eight years after forming and two years after they broke up. They had two EPs (both of which Cobain later mined for cover songs on two of Nirvana's releases), and Dum-Dum was released in 1989. Since then they've had their entire body of work released in compilation form on two separate occasions, and in 2006 mainstays Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee performed together again for the first time in 16 years. That reunion culminated in the release of this year's Sex With An X, which feels like a grown-up version of Dum-Dum; there's more introspection and less wink-wink, nudge-nudge vulgarity in Sex With An X (despite it's title), while it loses not one ounce of the humor that has always been at the core of their songs. While it seems most bands that reform after a long hiatus are simply after the money, it's refreshing to see a band like the Vaselines get back together and still have something relevant to say. 18+. $18. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Pat O'Brien

Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys

Dakota Jazz Club

Just past her 20th birthday, Amanda Shaw is a wily music biz vet who has been a household name in Louisiana for a dozen years. She's a cultural ambassador of sorts, among other things, appearing in films on behalf of the state's beleaguered wetlands, and adorning the cover of the 2010 Official Louisiana Tour Guide wielding her claim to fame: her fiddle. A classically trained child prodigy, Shaw played with the Baton Rouge Symphony when she was eight years old. Shortly after, she discovered the rich heritage of Cajun fiddling while residing in southwest Louisiana and was hooked, following in the revered footsteps of Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot, and appearing regularly at major events like New Orleans's JazzFest. Earlier protests aside (she titled one album I'm Not A Bubblegum Pop Princess), Shaw's fourth album, Good Southern Girl, marks her emergence as an adult artist, and is incidentally the first release on Irvin Mayfield's new Poorman Mayfield label. It is also characteristically eclectic, with convincing forays into country, pop, and rock, as well as a forgettable rap song. The title track could be a contemporary country hit, and she goes on to cover Skynyrd, Norah Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Starship (the latter Papa John Creach's fiddle workout "Git Fiddler"). All are distinguished by Shaw's lively fiddling and arrangements built around prominent Cajun roots, which are also honored with rousing covers of McGee and Clifton Chenier. As a vocalist, Shaw sometimes suggests Dolly Parton, sometimes Edie Brickell with a touch of Loretta Lynn, and she even muscles up a measure of grit on Janis's "One Night Stand." Her Cute Guys are veteran musicians Mike Barras (drums), Ronnie Falgout (bass), and guitarist Tim Robertson. $20. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

THURSDAY 10.28

The Dandy Warhols

Fine Line Music Café

Even if you think you haven't heard of the Dandy Warhols, you have. The rock outfit from Portland, Oregon, have been a staple of movie and TV soundtracks for the last decade and a half; they provided the theme songs to two hip-but-canceled-too-soon TV shows, Undeclared ("Solid") and Veronica Mars ("We Used To Be Friends"), and their most popular tune, "Bohemian Like You," has been featured in Chuck, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Six Feet Under, and Igby Goes Down, among a slew of others. They've even starred in their own film, the stellar 2004 rock documentary Dig!, which charted their rise to fame and testy relationship with contemporaries the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The Dandies come to the Fine Line in support of their recently released greatest hits album, The Capitol Years: 1995-2007, which includes a murderer's row of spectacular, acid-tinged rock songs, including "Godless," "Get Off," and several other tracks from their high water mark, Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia. The disc also includes a new recording, "This Is the Tide," which is, well, pretty fucking dandy. With Blue Giant. 18+. $20. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. Bryan Miller

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