Turf Club on Sunday 3.27

The favorite band, no doubt, of phrenologists everywhere, Sweden's the Skull Defekts exist on the experimental frontier of rock, where psychedelia, the roots of metal, punk, minimalism, and drone intersect. Massed guitars à la Sonic Youth create a dense mat that undulates, throbs, and whips about as it's pummeled by blistering percussion while Daniel Higgs's prickly vocals try to pierce its mysteries. Zomes, the alter-ego of guitarist Asa Osborne, similarly probes repetitive, cyclical figures that buck and sway in paroxysms of sonic excess, where drone and distortion is the architecture of fresh expression. Incidentally, Higgs and Osborne were half of the influential, cult-fave band Lungfish. With Danial Higgs, Whitesand/Badlands. 21+. $8. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Rick Mason

British Sea Power

Cedar Cultural Center on Tuesday 3.29

Volcano Choir play a rare gig at the Cedar this Friday
Cameron Wittig
Volcano Choir play a rare gig at the Cedar this Friday

Location Info


The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

BSP return to the states after a three-year absence, behind their fourth album, Valhalla Dancehall, its oxymoronic, Nordic-Jamaican title ample evidence that the Brighton-based quintet's sense of absurdity remains gloriously intact. As do the band's very British eccentricities, which ricochet wildly from vaguely political paranoiac warnings ("Who's in Control?") to thinly veiled fretting about militarism with Monty Python twists ("Stunde Nuell") to Ray Davies-like inebriated basking in the sunset of the British Empire ("Living Is So Easy," complete with a reference to WWII songstress Vera Lynn). VD's music, meanwhile, sprawls luxuriously amid fractured grandeur that rocks hard in fits and starts, fed a steady diet of shattered indie-rock conceits. Opening will be A Classic Education, a Canadian-Italian rock outfit who favor a big, bustling sound and appropriately (given their name) cover Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World." All ages. $12/$14 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Rural Alberta Advantage

First Avenue on Friday 3.25

One obvious advantage of RAA singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter Nils Edenloff's upbringing in the sticks around Fort McMurray is that he learned to write striking, emotive songs about small town life and surviving fractured relationships. RRA's debut, Hometowns, was full of Edenloff's Alberta reflections after moving to Toronto. The trio's new Departing mines similar themes while further honing the compelling sound that has earned RRA a dedicated following: Edenloff's folkie musings furiously driven by Paul Banwatt's percussive fusillade while Amy Cole's piano adds melodic dimension and the voices of Edenloff and Cole flirt and parry with one another expectantly. There'll be two openers. With a naturally high voice verging on falsetto, Ireland's James Vincent McMorrow favors a folk-pop blend that ranges from wispy and slightly haunting to rollicking with epic ambitions. Chicagoan multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall's solo project In Tall Buildings veers towards experimental folk, Hall's inveterate tinkering yielding songs that ingratiate themselves with understated charm and occasionally suggest a Neil Young influence. 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

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