Grinderman, John Mellencamp, the Suburbs, and more

THURSDAY 11.18

KT Tunstall

Epic

"Nature techno" is the way Scotland's KT Tunstall describes the sound on her third studio album, Tiger Suit. As such, she helps characterize the essential dichotomy that has long defined her music: rooted in folk, laced with pop savvy, bristling with a taut rock 'n' roll fever threatening to spike at any moment. The new songs still seem to grow out of her acoustic guitar, while her perceptive lyrics go beyond the travails of love to plumb the fundamental struggles of life. What sets Tiger apart from Tunstall's previous work is its integration of dance rhythms and shadings of electronica, adding shimmering textures to the material's earthy, organic core, while her mastery of cunning hooks and intrepid spirit still turn more than her share into irresistible anthems. "Push That Knot Away," for instance, rides an insistent disco beat most of the way through, but Tunstall's underlying noirish acoustic guitar and a prominent fuzzy bass make the pulse human, pumping urgency into her message of confronting one's fears. Similarly, "Uumannaq Song" ties a Cyndi Lauper-like chorus to sleek funk rhythms amid hints of U2 atmospherics while Tunstall juxtaposes her own raw vocals with girl-group uh-uh-ohs. Even a much more understated ballad like "(Still a) Weirdo" floats on an effervescent synth sea. Throughout, Tunstall is at her sassy, exuberant best, playing with the spirit of a Chrissie Hynde, putting these infectious nuggets with their familiar yet deliciously different elements together on her own terms and having a blast doing so. Opening will be Hurricane Bells, a Steve Shiltz side project that got a big boost from landing a tune ("Monsters") on the soundtrack of the New Moon vampire flick. 18+. $21/$25 at the door. 8 p.m. 110 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3742. —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 11.19

The Suburbs/the Suicide Commandos

Os Mutantes sit down for supper
Nino Andres
Os Mutantes sit down for supper

Location Info

Map

Epic

110 N. 5th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

First Avenue

Ladies and gentlemen, the shoo-in for what to do with your weekend: This two-night gathering of local rock royalty features the recently reunited Suburbs, who have found solace performing together once again after losing guitarist Bruce C. Allen in December of last year, along with punk pioneers and longtime friends the Suicide Commandos. The two bands played a similar show together in the Mainroom last February, and by all reports it was a cathartic celebration of the band's and Allen's legacy, and one that revived the spirit of the Suburbs for a new generation of music fans. This weekend's shows should be similarly joyous and touching experiences. Get there early, get up front, and get ready to dance. 21+. $20. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Also Saturday —Andrea Swensson

SATURDAY 11.20

Os Mutantes

Cedar Cultural Center

When the counterculture was challenging the status quo in much of the world in the late 1960s, musicians and artists in Brazil were formulating Tropicália, a distinctive movement still exerting its influence today. Among the chief instigators were musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who adopted poet Oswald de Andrade's concept of artistic cannibalism and tossed together a provocative blend of traditional Brazilian music, psychedelic and roots rock from around the world, samba, jazz, ambient sounds, electric and folk instruments, all slathered with often surrealistic and irreverent lyrics. And right in the thick of things were Os Mutantes, who sometimes backed Veloso and Gil while representing Tropicália's virulent rock 'n' roll wing. Os Mutantes' original trio issued a series of albums that would resonate for decades as they were repeatedly rediscovered by new generations of rockers. The band eventually morphed into a larger group, then folded in the mid-'70s only to be resurrected three decades later as a septet led by original Mutantes prankster Sérgio Dias. On last year's Haih . . . ou Amortecedor, the band proved nearly as iconoclastic as they were way back when, Dias often collaborating with fellow Tropicália icon Tom Zé on quirky songs about Bagdad, cockroaches, and Fidel Castro. Meanwhile the group maintains the mutant mix-and-match precepts of Tropicália with stylish assurance. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, themselves strongly influenced by Tropicália ideals, will open, trading the eccentric band they opened for in September (Flaming Lips) for another, this time the original article. All ages. $18/$20 at the door. 9:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Every Wall Will Fall

Turf Club

Expect an amazing bill of local musicians uniting at the Turf as part of a nationwide exhibition of artists against Palestinian apartheid. Responding to a call sent out to artists, DIY collectives, political and student organizations, and community groups to come together in support of Palestine—namely in response to the construction of a 486-mile, 20-foot-high concrete barrier being erected to seal off the West Bank from Israel—this evening's event, organized by local musician Mark McGee, will feature not only the pulsating, experimental synth-noise-metal-electronic-dance typical to varying degrees of its five acts, but also a dose of good ol' awareness tempered with some solidarity of the "we're not gonna take it" variety. With Skoal Kodiak, Slapping Purses, Seawhores, Camden, and Food Pyramid, with DJs Makr (Matt St. Germain) and Fruit and Flowers, plus posters for sale by Adam Marx. 21+. $7. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Nikki Miller

MONDAY 11.22

John Mellencamp

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