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CRITICS' PICKS

Chaotic noise-rockers Shellac

THURSDAY 6.25

Shellac

Varsity Theater

Shellac's Varsity Theater performance will be a welcome-home show for Todd Trainer, drummer for the influential noise-rock trio and a Minneapolis local notable. Trainer is the backbone of Shellac, providing them the footing to smash through conventional musical arrangements. His drumming is an asymmetrical battle cry, feinting and zigzagging around the chaos until attacking, teeth bared. With the pieces joined, Shellac employ an urgent minimalism, taking the visceral, grinding cataclysms of industrial music and paring them down to the most offensive squalls. The result sounds like the art of arson—setting factory machines on fire, then standing back to listen to the chug, chug, explosion. With Bear Claw and Three Second Kiss. 18+. $12. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Erin Roof

FRIDAY 6.26

Rancid

Myth

For Let the Dominoes Fall, Rancid's first album in six years, the band made a decision to approach the record in a way that they had never done before. Vocalist, guitarist, and chief songwriter Tim Armstrong reflected on the album in a recent interview: "We didn't bring any songs, so it was just all of us back together, starting from scratch." The spirit of building something fresh helped to re-solidify the bond within the band that is evidenced by its solidarity, both thematically and musically, throughout Dominoes. Writing the bulk of the album's material in a three-week span at drummer Branden Steineckert's Utah home, the band eventually created 29 songs during the sessions for the record (19 of which made Dominoes), a testament to how charged the artistic chemistry was during that process. In the band's 18-year history, it has created a legend for itself as one of the few punk groups to transcend the genre, reaching mainstream success without limiting itself to a single style or broadening its sound to accommodate a trend. A key ingredient is the band's family-like bond, which will surely be evident throughout their current tour. Rancid will be joined by Rise Against and the Riverboat Gamblers. All ages. $30/$35 at the door. 6:30 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984. —Chris DeLine

Los Lonely Boys

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

Los Hermanos Garza return for what's becoming their annual zoo gig, promising to once again leave both tigers and humans howling with pleasure over the trio's growling blues-rock/Texican hybrid. There's nothing new from Los Lonelys since last year's Steve Jordan-produced Forgiven, but the Boys have done the odd acoustic gig in the meantime, so you never know what surprises may be in store. By the way, Henry, Jojo, and Ringo insist that acoustic stuff makes them even more aggressive—which, considering the explosive nature of their electric material, could be downright scary. Either way, expect lots of guitar heroics from Henry and cool vocal harmonies that hark all the way back to another band with a drummer named Ringo. All ages. $34. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Rick Mason

SATURDAY 6.27

Digitata (EP-release show)

First Amendment Arts

For the first time in a year and a half, local electro group Digitata will re-emerge to play a show and release an EP. The new nine-track album, called Art Work Pays, was recorded this spring at the home of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and will be a treat for fans of Digitata or lead singer Maggie Morrison's other project, Lookbook. Whereas Lookbook's down-tempo electro-pop gave Morrison a chance to develop a more reverb-heavy, sultry voice, Digitata's new release is a return to her previous form. On Art Work Pays, Morrison's voice jumps and yelps over up-tempo, punchy beats, at times sounding downright playful. Whether Digitata's or Lookbook's music is more deserving of praise is only a matter of preference—Morrison's contributions to both groups have established her as one of the most promising and adventurous female vocalists in the Twin Cities. Fans will have a chance to hear the new tracks and purchase copies of the EP at this release show, which is also an opening for an art exhibit called "Sawdust City" that features Eric Lee, David Jensen, and Chance Orth. Free. 7 p.m. 1101 Stinson Blvd. NE, Minneapolis; 612.379.4151. —Andrea Swensson

The Avett Brothers/Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

The word is that North Carolina's Avett Brothers are on the verge of the big time, awaiting only the mid-August release of their Rick Rubin-produced major-league debut, I and Love and You. Comparisons to Wilco have already surfaced. Judge for yourself, as the trio presumably tries out some of the new stuff for the critters in attendance. So far, the Bros have churned out an impressive country-folk sound draped with Southern gothic overtones and punk-pop attitude, while their quirky harmonies dwell on a wide assortment of angst. Shawnee, Oklahoma-based Samantha Crain and her three-piece Midnight Shivers will open; besides having a great name, they play fractured, indie-influenced folk-rock on their full-length debut, Songs in the Night. Crain's plainspoken vocals have an unsettled quality, a creaky, dark portent that nicely matches Stephen Sebastian's ringing electric guitar while (delightfully) threatening to run off into the night on distracted anthems like "Devils in Boston" and "Bullfight (Change Your Mind)." Meanwhile, languid fare like "The Dam Song" glistens with a kind of stately despair. All ages. $25. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Rick Mason

SUNDAY 6.28

Karriem Riggins Experience

Dakota Jazz Club

A drummer and producer, Karriem Riggins splits his time among jazz, hip hop, and the increasingly potent ground in between. His extensive résumé as a jazz drummer includes considerable work with notable pianist Mulgrew Miller (who will be part of Riggins's band here), as well as live and/or studio performances with such luminaries as Betty Carter, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, Diana Krall, and Herbie Hancock. On the hip-hop side, he's worked with the likes of Common, the Roots, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, and Erykah Badu. Riggins's Experience promises to blur the lines among jazz, hip-hop, soul, and fusion, and include material from a forthcoming album also featuring Miller. Riggins's band will also include bassist Joe Sanders and Warren Wolf on vibes, as well as a guest DJ. $25. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 6.30

Nas and Damian Marley

First Avenue

As consolation for Rock the Bells skipping our city, that hip-hop festival's collaborating headliners branch off to play First Avenue, something they've both done before, and well, but never together. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley's bracing street music of international black protest is expansive enough to include Nas rapping over an Ella Fitzgerald sample (singing an Irving Berlin tune) on "Road to Zion," from 2005's endlessly blast-able Welcome to Jamrock. Their beautiful friendship proceeded to a forthcoming album benefiting school construction in the Congo, Distant Cousins, recorded with horns and a live band in Los Angeles. Both the Queensbridge rap legend and the youngest performing son of Bob Marley have reputations to live up to, and not necessarily ones that have much to do with their present-day selves. But recent music from both suggests a mutual career peak, and few rap-reggae fusions have generated so much anticipation. 18+. $36. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

King Sunny Ade and Femi Kuti

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

This terrific bill pairs one Nigerian music giant with another's son—now with a solid rep of his own. Guitarist and singer King Sunny Ade was in the first wave of so-called world music, taking his band to Europe and the U.S. in the 1970s and charming everybody with the sublime, effervescent grooves of his highly infectious juju music. Combining modern and traditional instruments, juju relies on the interchange of Ade's percussive, almost pointillist electric guitar technique with traditional Yoruban talking drums, combined with percolating polyrhythms and lyrics modeled on Yoruban proverbs and songs of praise. Once ascendant in Nigeria, juju reportedly has been greatly overshadowed by other genres in recent years, although Ade's popularity remains undiminished. Femi Kuti's father was the late Afrobeat icon generally known simply as Fela, also a potent political force for writing lyrics defiant of Nigeria's repressive governments. Femi's Afrobeat is a similar blend of African rhythms, jazz, and James Brown-influenced funk riding a muscular horn section. On Day By Day, his first studio album of new material in seven years, Femi—who juggles saxes, trumpet, organ, and vocals—stirs in doses of pop and contemporary R&B, while writing about peace and justice issues. Here he'll be accompanied by his band, Positive Force. $33. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Rick Mason


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