Walker Art Center, Saturday 6.16

The 10th installment of Rock the Garden, the Walker Art Center and 89.3 the Current's yearly outdoor music festival, has a distinctly local feel. Although the evening's final performance belongs to Brooklyn-based the Hold Steady, these Americana punks should spill plenty of Twin Cities blood on their guitar strings. Expect them to try out some of the new songs they're recording this summer. Filling things out are bluegrass-inflected folk act Trampled by Turtles, hip-hop supergroup Doomtree, and buzzed-about surf-rock act Howler, who all have Minnesota ties wrapped around them, but have all recently gained notoriety for their live prowess around the globe. The one complete out-of-towner is the oh-so-colorful Merrill Garbus, a.k.a. tUnE-yArDs. Last year's w h o k i l l proved to not only be a favorite among critics — it topped the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop poll — but its eclectic mix of pop, hip-hop beats, and worldly textures has revved up area fans whenever Garbus comes through town. Sold out, 3 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Reed Fischer

The Weeknd

First Avenue, Sunday 6.17

Three men and a beardy
courtesy of the artists
Three men and a beardy

Over the course of three brilliant free albums (House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence) released last year, singer Abel Tesfaye pushes the tropes of modern R&B off a cliff into an irresistible oblivion of recreational drugs and callous come-ons. Dark and alluring in ways that this style of music has been hurting for, the Weeknd's world of glass table girls and faded miasma slows tracks to a seductive pace that's both melodically and conceptually engaging. The buzz caught like wildfire, despite a low profile and a shroud of mystery (no one had even seen a picture of the singer or producers initially, and there remains but a handful of shows under their belt) that manages to make the music itself all the more creepy and sexy. The Weeknd's first international tour stops by First Avenue on Sunday for a glimpse into the seedy world as Tesfaye sees it. 18+, $30, 8:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612.332.1775. —Jack Spencer


Triple Rock Social Club, Monday 6.18

English sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow formed 2:54 in London shortly after discovering modern punk music while in their teens. The buzz over their initial demos quickly landed them some notable praise on both sides of the pond, and the girls have capitalized on that early attention, crafting edgy, atmospheric rock songs that make their self-titled debut record a fresh burst of vibrant energy. The duo have added a rhythm section to help flesh out their sound in a live setting, and even landed a coveted opening slot on one of the XX's new tour dates in their native England. Expectations are building around the Twin Cities as local fans wonder if 2:54's live show justifies all of the hype, but with songs as striking as theirs, the Thurlow sisters should have little trouble further convincing fans of their talents while converting the skeptics. With Widowspeak. 18+, 8 p.m., $10, 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erik Thompson

Baby Dee

Bryant-Lake Bowl, Monday 6.18

Baby Dee is a fiftysomething pianist, harpist, songwriter, transsexual, former church organist, and ex-circus attraction from Cleveland, whose résumé also includes New York City street performer and tree surgeon. Dee had to give up the latter line of work when one of the patients fell on a house, but soon after went out on another limb, playing harp for Antony and the Johnsons and launching a recording career that last year yielded a kind of greatest-hits live album (Baby Dee Goes Down to Amsterdam) and Regifted Light, mostly classically inspired instrumentals played on a Steinway concert grand. From alternately sparkling and melodramatic Regifted ditties like "Coughing Up Cat Hair," it's obvious Dee is not your average classically trained, campy medievalist who favors cabaret, flirts with outsider/avant-garde expression, and once reportedly had a gig as an hermaphrodite. Dee also can juxtapose a lovely, elegant ragtime-etched instrumental with a comically nasty ode to incontinence and quite serious tales of domestic abuse. Dee's singing is a curious blend of Antony Hegarty, way-off-off Broadway, Tiny Tim, ancient court jester, and some blues guy turned to light opera, all of which seem to surface on "The Pie Song," a Regifted vocal number on which Dee repeatedly demands a pastry treat. Which you're likely to get, in one form or another, at Dee's performance. $8-$10. 10 p.m. 810 West Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.8949. —Rick Mason

The Men

7th St. Entry, Monday 6.18

New York quartet the Men have made a short career out of boldly blending disparate genres and subverting various musical styles within their raucous, unrestrained material. Over the course of three full-lengths and countless cassettes and singles, the young group seamlessly bounces from black metal to country to psych and surf rock, refusing to be pinned down by any particular classification while audaciously defying expectations. They have had a strict DIY aesthetic from the start, self-releasing much of their music until the buzz started to build, and signing to Sacred Bones Records did little to dampen things. With Buildings and Stereo Confusion. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson


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