Critics' Picks: Blink 182, Psychedelic Furs, and more


Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday 9.7

There's something mercurial about punk rock: a snapshot of intense, snobbish certainty about one's ideals or predilections or foibles. There's an incendiary moment that ends in a flash. In other words, ideally, punk bands should pull the plug after a string of singles or a handful of albums, leaving fans to wonder what might have been while disparate members go on to coalesce in new and slightly different bands that offer slightly skewed takes on the genre's limited palette. Nth generation brat-punk trio Blink-182 missed this memo and overstayed their welcome, transitioning from dick-joke three-chord pop to the Cure before flaming out in acrimony. Subsequent side projects underwhelmed, but tatted-up drummer Travis Barker got his own reality show and befriended a great many rappers. Now, lacking the courage of their individual convictions, they're back to cash in on your thirst for "What's My Age Again?" specifically, and pre-9/11 nostalgia generally. We hope you know better than they do. All ages. $29-$49. 7 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Ray Cummings

Sleeping in the Aviary (CD-release show)

What's their age again? Blink-182, still going strong
courtesy of the artists
What's their age again? Blink-182, still going strong

Triple Rock Social Club on Thursday 9.8

Sleeping in the Aviary have always had a pop sensibility underlying their jangly indie-rock base. With their fourth record, You and Me, Ghost, they bring that to the forefront. Building off '60s pop and sheen, crisp "la la la" choruses, Elliott Kozel, Phil Mahlstadt, Michael Sienkowski, Celeste Heule, and Kyle Sobczak deliver songs that are both casual, slacker indie rock and tight, boisterous pop at the same time: equal parts loud and energetic and reflective and dense. The fiber that holds it all together is Kozel's lyricism, which ambiguously reflects the wisdoms of life while mixing in enough silliness and abstraction to keep you guessing. With Red Pens, Brute Heart, and Night Moves. 18+. $5. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Loren Green

Psychedelic Furs and Tom Tom Club

First Avenue on Thursday 9.8

It'll be déjà vu all over again when these two hallmark bands of the new-wave era reconvene at First Avenue. The Furs crawled out of England's punk scene, its roiling, tempestuous rock leavened with touches of pop, while Richard Butler's blustery lead vocals practically bled irony. Their "Pretty in Pink" became an enduring standard through its ties to the John Hughes brat pack film it inspired. Although there haven't been any new Furs recordings since a 2001 single, the band has toured increasingly in recent years to positive reviews. The current lineup sports originals Butler and brother Tim on bass, longtime associate Mars Williams on sax, drummer Paul Garisto, keyboardist Amanda Kramer, and guitarist Rich Good. Tom Tom Club started as a side project of the Talking Heads' rhythm section, bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz, whose infectious dance beats and playful genre-hopping tunes filled dance clubs worldwide and eventually inspired widespread sampling. A Weymouth-Frantz-led sextet toured for the first time in a decade last year, coinciding with the release of the two-disc Genius of Live, featuring 2001 live versions of such TTC classics as "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" plus Latin-flavored remixes of "Genius of Love" by the likes of Ozomatli and King Coya. Both bands are considerably more timeless than you might expect. 18+. $23. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Sena Ehrhardt Band (CD-release show)

Shaw's Bar on Grill

This gig celebrates the release by the national blues label Blind Pig of Leave the Light On, the debut album from Rochester's Sena Ehrhardt Band. Sena Ehrhardt is a blond fireball with a powerhouse blues voice infused with copious amounts of grit and sass. She can do sultry too, with a no-nonsense attitude that oozes out of originals like "The Best Thing" (whose lacerating addendum is "he ever did was leave you, darling"). Sena apparently learned a lot about the blues at her family's kitchen table from her guitarist dad, Ed Ehrhardt, who still anchors her band with wickedly accomplished electric work. The father-daughter duo also co-wrote all the solid originals that are among the album's revelations. Live, they're likely to tackle blues and soul standards as well as nuggets like John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery." The SEB will also play Wilebski's on September 16. Free. 6 p.m. 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.781.4405. —Rick Mason

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Turf Club on Saturday 9.10

It's kind of a shame for Black Moth Super Rainbow that "acid" was a genre of music before they came along. Their vocoder-and-synth approach feels anchored in signifiers, conjuring up the psychedelic leftovers of the '70s, where warm colors and spacy analog sounds left the counterculture for Main Street, USA. Of course, BMSR offer a modern twist: Choppy drums and hazy production techniques earmark the band as suitable for hipster consumption. Still, buzz band or not, the almost-ominous vibe they wring out of such blissful reference material is a master lesson in constructing a singular atmosphere—they've captured the exact moment between high and low when you realize the drugs have bled you dry. 21+. $15. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Ian Traas

Vieux Farka Touré

Cedar Cultural Center on Sunday 9.11

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