Bill Frisell and more

Matthew Ryan to the Silver State: Bring it on
Bob Delevante



Turf Club

Somewhere in all that guitar fuzz there's a good pop tune trapped (probably inside a bong), screaming to be let out. But don't do it, Warlocks. Don't do it. Stifle those blood-curdling cries for freedom, because we need that fuzz. The Warlocks seem a better fit to a time before top-notch stoned-out-of-your-mind garage rock was schlepped to the masses à la Nuggets box sets. In addition to writing songs about as epic as psych rock can get (think "Surgery"), they just may have invented a time machine. That's right. I think they really are from 1967. Why don't we all go to the Turf Club and take a ride in that tricked-out contraption, even if just for a night? Opening for Black Angels. 21+. $12. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof


Big Cats!

Dinkytowner Café

The third Thursday of each month sees the Dinkytowner host Last of the Record Buyers, a rare chance for hip-hop producers to meet and display their wares for those who still actually care about thoughtfully crafted beats, especially of the vinyl-derived sort (at least in spirit). This month's show is a platform for local beatmaster Big Cats!, whose second LP, Sleep Tapes, will be made available. Although true to its title, the new disc is far from groggy, as BC! lays down track after track of atmospheric, persuasive soundscapes that haunt and reveal like a powerful dream. So while it's possible that bringing a pillow might result in the best sleep you've had in years, it's more likely you'll want to stay awake for a possible glimpse at or suggestion of how someone can capture the feeling of a fresh dream on disc. Last night a DJ saved my life, and then I woke up. 18+. $3. 9 p.m. 412 1/2 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612.362.0437. —Jordan Selbo

The Evening Rig

Hexagon Bar

There is no denying that times are tough right now, with the unemployment rate at a 20+ year high, gas prices creeping well above four dollars a gallon—the list could go on and on. This being said, I cannot think of a better show to attend to boost morale or, depending on how some of us might be feeling, allow one to wallow in self-pity. This four-band, quadruple shot of rock, Americana, and/or alt-country is headlined by the Evening Rig, whose brand of rock flirts minimally with the fringes of country, with their romantically raw, noisily stunning rock steeped in obvious Replacements fandom without seeming like copycats. Western Fifth, in slight contrast to the more-spirited Evening Rig, is a bit darker, just that much more alt-countrified—lushly fuzzed-out and sometimes mournful. Straggly-looking Chicagoans Sleeper Car open with their fully realized alt-country, complete with steel guitar, wistful harmonies, and fiddle. Nestled in between all of this are local upstarts Prairie Sons, who have yet to set their music to wax, playing in the hard-living facade of the Hexagon Bar. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. —Jen Paulson

Cotton Jones Basket Ride

7th St. Entry

Over three albums and a clutch of EPs, Cumberland, Maryland's Page France established themselves as earnest-enough purveyors of riddling Christian indie-pop slightly reminiscent of Elephant 6 Collective efforts. Late last year, though, frontman Michael Nau and his longtime bandmates shuttered the project and launched another: the Cotton Jones Basket Ride. Releases, their publicists promise us, are up ahead on the horizon somewhere, but at present the CJBR is represented by leaked tracks such as "Midnight Monday and a Telescope," a ramshackle C&W duet between Nau and bandmate Whitney McGraw. Nocturnal, smoky, and ambling, the song coasts on subtextual held-organ notes and playful pockets of acoustic-chord shimmer, an appetizing hint, perhaps, that CJBR really represents a new facet of what these tour-happy twentysomethings are capable of. With the Botticellis; Seymore Saves the World. 21+. $6. 9 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ray Cummings


Bill Frisell

Cedar Cultural Center

On a totally fascinating and apparently endless quest to map out the misty junctions where dozens of musical styles intertwine, innovative guitarist Bill Frisell seems to be constantly juggling projects and bands. For his latest visit he's recruited frequent collaborators Tony Scherr (bass) and Greg Leisz (virtually anything with strings), as well as Rudy Royston, a jazz drummer who's often played with Frisell pal and cornetist Ron Miles. Nothing specific like last fall's Disfarmer Project is on tap here. But Frisell does have a remarkable new, double-disc album just out: History, Mystery (Nonesuch), mostly recorded live with his octet, including a crucially anchoring chamber string trio. Like much of his work, it's a quietly dazzling pastiche of myriad genres, seamlessly fused into a visionary suite. Frisell wrote nearly all 30 tracks, which encompass country, bop, blues, rock, and soul—just to scratch the surface—but whose overall vibe suggests sophisticated parlor jazz and its antecedents drifting back to Louis Gottschalk. The components are much more modern, including astute covers of Lee Konitz's "Sub-Conscious Lee," Thelonious Monk's "Jackie-ing," Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and Malian guitarist Boubacar Traore's "Baba Drame." But the entire suite has a poignant feel that seems to connect history in defiance of time. $30-$40. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason


Matthew Ryan

Fine Line Music Café

Ryan Webb grew up in the hard, working-class neighborhoods of Chester, Pennsylvania, escaping with dreams of rock 'n' roll. An older brother wasn't so lucky, eventually being sentenced to a lengthy incarceration for unspecified crimes, prompting Ryan to join their first names for his stage identity as a sign of support. Now an accomplished singer-songwriter with 11 albums to his credit, Ryan mines the world of his youth for his disaffected tales riddled with ghosts, disappointments, lost chances, and mistakes. The glimmers of hope are slender, but often radiant, with soaring anthems sometimes reminiscent of U2 riding his raspy voice and intense delivery, earning comparisons to the likes of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. His latest, Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State (00:02:59), concludes with the U2ish "Closing In," which neatly turns a suggested threat into an opportunity: "Maybe we'll never win/But we're closing in." Scattered rootsy resonators, mandolins, and especially fiddles also cast rays of deliverance. Opener Josh Joplin is another smart singer-songwriter, who sounds a bit like Michael Stipe and produces well-crafted songs that finely blend pop, folk, and rock. His last album, 2005's Jaywalker, was an engaging collection of memorably detailed songs, including one featuring Jesus as a Walmart greeter. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 318 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Rick Mason



Turf Club

Champaign, Illinois's finest indie rockers Headlights come to town on the heels of their blissful third album on Polyvinyl, Some Racing, Some Stopping, a seamless, uniformly compelling work that has been shamelessly overlooked by critics this year. Though their mixed-gender melodies often inspire comparisons to other boy/girl outfits like sometimes-tourmates Mates of State and the Essex Green, the group's tendency toward breezy-sounding ballads tinged with despair more precisely recall erstwhile 'Sota pop outfits like the Jayhawks and the Hang-Ups. These touring warriors have not yet received the mainstream adoration they deserve for their CDs (2006's Kill Them with Kindness was another underappreciated gem), but their live shows are known to be high-energy, transcendent affairs. Captained by the lovely, ever-enthusiastic singer/keyboard player Erin Fein—who splits the vocals duty with guitar player Tristan Wraight—a Headlights show is likely to be as sparkling and inspiring as anything else you'll see this summer. With Scout Niblett. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Ben Westhoff

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