Like the Goondas' Brenden Green, the best new bands of 2010 are all over the map. They range from wildly theatrical to mesmerizingly melancholic and psychedelic. The Goondas (pictured) are the wildest, most raucous live band the Twin Cities have seen in years, reminiscent of early Iggy or the Stones. Their entertaining shows are rife with unpredictability—varying amounts of breakage, loss of clothing, the occasional missing lead singer—as they perform great, stompin' swamp-blues punk-rock songs. Pink Mink, fronted by punk-rock veterans Christy Hunt and Arzu Gokcen, hit the ground running like an "Earthquake on the Loose" the moment Hunt decided not to hang up her rock 'n' roll shoes. Hastings 3000 is an amazing one-man-band who mixes out-of-this-world guitar skills with blood-boiling heavy stomping rhythms. Phantom Tails are an indescribably fun, weird post-punk amalgam, their catchy songs mixing light and dark vibes in mysterious ways. BNLX duo Ed and Ashley Ackerson (plus a ghost drummer) provide extremely satisfying noise-rock compositions complete with mesmerizing visual elements. BadNraD, a.k.a. the keytar-playing, shredding genre-bender Jake Sullivan, brings the best of the '80s and the future, providing auralgasms via his funky, bad-ass music and live dance shows. And Grant Cutler and the Gorgeous Lords draw listeners in with Cutler's rich vocals and dark, sonorous drone-pop-scapes. Be prepared to dance, and watch out for flying Goondas! 18+.
Wed., Jan. 26, 7 p.m., 2011