Turf Club, Saturday 3.31

Mind Spiders may have started as a post-Marked Men solo gig, but quickly grew into a Denton, Texas, all-star group at their live shows. Following the release of their sophomore record, Meltdown, Mark Ryan and crew are hitting the road, rounding out the lineup with members of such Dirtnap faves as Bad Sports, High Tension Wires, and Uptown Bums. Their new release abandons all pretense of the solo gig, with the full band including two drummers to give a complex yet somewhat loose distinction. Mind Spiders, though, are no garage-pop clones. Spacey sci-fi, psychedelic guitars, and hints of shoegaze all subtly find their way into the fun, energetic rock that has a penchant for self-referential almost-theme songs. As serious as the artists involved may be, Mind Spiders keep it fun and loose. With Birthday Suits, the Slow Death, and Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band. 21+, $8, 9 p.m. 1601 W. University Av. St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Loren Green

Skream & Benga

The Brick, Sunday 4.01

Image by Leif Podhajsky/Original band photo by David Belisle

Location Info


Whole Music Club

300 Washington Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: University

If you're looking to pinpoint that pivotal stretch where dubstep went from an offshoot subgenre of U.K. garage to its own force to be reckoned with, the list of essential 12-inch releases has to include 2003's "The Judgement." The collaborative A-side title track between Croydon cohorts Skream and Benga hit at crucial formative moments for the producers and the scene alike, and it still kills—all ghostly wails, growling liquid-rubber basslines, and a two-step backbone that toes the line between tense spaciousness and spine-rattling momentum. Both producers went on to continued success from there, tweaking their styles to fit the broadening parameters of the genre. Skream transitioned smoothly from the rudeboy swagger of his full-length 2006 debut to 2010's pop move-slash-'91 jungle throwback Outside the Box, with a grip of choice singles and fanbase-stoking freebie Skreamizm compilations pointing the way. Benga continued to refine his throttle-open heaviness through 2006's Newstep, then pushed it to the point of tightly wound, borderline-IDM brilliance on '08's Diary of an Afro Warrior. And when they finally got back to teaming up, they brought in cohort Artwork to form Magnetic Man, a certified supergroup whose eponymous 2010 album pulled off the rare dance-music feat of crossover without compromise (and helped break the fantastic Katy B in the process). Now that the idea of dubstep has been blown up into something bigger and more bombastic than anyone in 2003 could've imagined, this would be the ideal show to find out just where it all came from—and where it's all headed, too. 18+, $20, 8:30 p.m. 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612.333.3422. —Nate Patrin

The Ting Tings

First Avenue Mainroom, Tuesday 4.02

Depicted as a pair of zombies on the cover of their sophomore album, Katie White and Jules De Martino almost seem to be expecting that Sounds From Nowheresville (Columbia) would be critically received with all the savage gusto of a genuine visit from the living dead. The follow-up to the Ting Tings' infectious, hook-riddled 2008 debut, We Started Nothing, Nowheresville has been widely trashed as derivative and inept with a vacuous core largely devoid of hooks, melody, and lyrical sense. In other words, it would seem, nowheresville. Cue the conspiracy theorists, who note that the Tings apparently scrapped an essentially finished Nothing sequel because it relied on the same hit-oriented formula, or maybe strayed too far from it. Evidence may be in the lyrics to Nowhereville's "Hang It Up": "This is all about starting out again/Same old, same old/Never stay the same." In fact, the new album borrows from everywhere: new wave, dance pop, reggae, punkish rock, rap. Hooks may be slippery and elusive, but do lurk about, and despite the vitriol, there are decent moments: the undeniable groove of "Give It Back," "Soul Killing" minus the invasive squeak, the moody "Silence." Meanwhile, White still treads a fine line between pouty intrigue and utter annoyance, sometimes in the same song ("Guggenheim"). But the nagging questions persist: whether it's cynically contrived, perversely unlikeable, ironic, self-sabotage, good, bad, or Nothing after all. 18+, $22-$25, 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Rick Mason

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