Critics' Picks: Deer Tick, Man Forever, Too $hort, and more

Kid Millions, the man behind Man Forever
Joshua Bright

Man Forever


Brooklyn experimental outfit Man Forever has morphed a bit from an entirely percussion-driven project of Oneida drummer John Colpitts (a.k.a. Kid Millions) into a cacophonous performance piece that encapsulates other sonic flourishes into Colpitts's roiling, rhythmic mix. Kid Millions always seems to have quite a few hot irons in the musical fire, but the fact that he's bringing Man Forever on the road shows just how passionate he is about this unconventional group. No matter who is part of Man Forever's ever-changing cast of characters for this tour, and what instruments the avant-garde ensemble decides to bring along with them, the volume will certainly be loud and the drums will definitely be booming at the Turf Club. With Moonstone Continuum. 21+, $7, 9 p.m., 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erik Thompson

Lazer Sword


Transcontinental electronic duo Lazer Sword garnered considerable attention with their new record, Memory, a slick blend of glossy, '80s-influenced electro-pop and edgier, Detroit-style techno. Antaeus Roy (a.k.a. Lando Kal) and Bryant Rutledge (a.k.a. Low Limit) originally worked together in the burgeoning San Francisco dance scene. Roy now lives in Berlin, and Rutledge moved to L.A., making Lazer Sword live shows more difficult to pull off, but that much more rewarding when they do occur. The buoyant duo should easily turn the Entry into a whirling hotbox with their dynamic, beat-driven material. With Billy Blacklight and Sovietpanda. 18+, $12, 8 p.m., 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Deer Tick


Minnesota's always had a soft spot for scruffy alt-country and its various flannel-favoring permutations, so perhaps it was inevitable that the Cities would eventually fall hard for Deer Tick, who graduate from rapturously received sold-out smaller gigs at spots like the Triple Rock Social Club to First Avenue's mainroom. The Providence-based quintet led by the cigarette-stained croak of John McCauley is the rare Americana act with true punk-rock passion flowing in its veins — it's hard to imagine any other similarly minded act convincingly morphing into a Nirvana cover band. (The group's been known to perform Cobain-copping sets under the cheeky moniker Deervana.) Deer Tick's latest, Divine Providence, strikes just the right balance between the shit-kickin' steel-toed-boot garage-rock of "Let's All Go to the Bar" and sweet campfire sing-alongs like 89.3 the Current staple "Miss K." With Turbo Fruits and Scott Lucas & the Married Men. 18+, $16-$18, 6 p.m., 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rob Van Alstyne

Greg Laswell


Imagine the horror for singer-songwriter Greg Laswell, who retreated to an old church in rural Maine to record his new album — only to find there was no cell phone reception. Forced into a virtual stone-age existence, he actually had to rely on a phone plugged into the wall! So he cleverly dubbed his new disc Landline (Vanguard), which he uses to dial in a new set of melancholy contemplations of persistent angst couched in nagging minor-key melodies — just ripe enough for the TV and movie soundtracks that have largely become his stock in trade. Laswell's moody fretting about missing signals and disappearing lovers may sometimes inspire listeners to scream, "Just get over it!" And he has, sort of. "All of your wallowing is unbecoming/You gotta take it on your own from here/It's getting pathetic," he tells himself while duetting with Sara Bareilles on the opening pop epic "Come Back Down." Laswell is, in fact, less morose on Landline than on his last outing, Take a Bow. But it takes the contrasting textures of his four female collaborators — Bareilles, Sia, Elizabeth Ziman, and Ingrid Michaelson — to shake Laswell of his torpor and ensure he's not totally disconnected. Ziman, of Elizabeth and the Catapult, opens. 18+, $15, 10 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Rick Mason

Royal Headache


The Australian garage-punk quartet Royal Headache bring their high energy live show back to the States on a tour that finds the Sydney-based band rolling into the Triple Rock. The hard-hitting group has landed the coveted opening slot for a few shows on the Black Keys' forthcoming Australian tour this fall, but for now, they look to win over American audiences with these intimate, in-your-face club shows, which should be the perfect showcase for their feisty, forceful self-titled debut album. With the Arrivals, Condominium, Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band, and Cozy. 18+, 9 p.m., $8-$10, 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erik Thompson


400 BAR, SATURDAY 6.09

Easy to enjoy but hard to pin down, Canada's Wintersleep employ both intricate, prog-rock technical prowess and more anthemic moments sounding like a north-of-the-border take on Band of Horses. Frontman Paul Murphy features the rare combination of windpipes and worldview to actually warrant comparisons to R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, and more often than not hits the same cryptic but evocative lyrical sweet spot. The vibe of the band's 2010 outing, New Inheritors, was dark and haunting, but early samplings of the group's forthcoming latest, Hello Hum, find Wintersleep sounding sunnier. First single "Resuscitate" is a pleasing choppy indie-rock jam, and the first track in the band's five-album oeuvre with its eye on the dance floor as much as headphone-land. 18+, $10, 8 p.m., 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.244.5563. —Rob Van Alstyne

Dendê & Band


Brazilian percussionist Dendê is a native of Salvador, Bahia, where African influences are strongest and dozens of intoxicating rhythms seem to sprout from the cobblestones of historic neighborhoods like Pelourinho. When he was 14, Dendê joined Timbalada, the innovative Afro-Brazilian percussion ensemble founded by Carlinhos Brown, but eventually set off on his own, for the last decade splitting time between Bahia and New York while leading several groups. The band that will accompany him here was named Hãhãhães, after an indigenous tribe, when they recorded Bahia de Todos os Santos, a bustling cauldron of axé, samba, and other Brazilian styles seamlessly integrated with funk, jazz, Afrobeat, and reggae. Dendê writes about the orixás of Candomblé, poverty, the displacement of indigenous people in the Amazon, capoeira, love, and more lighthearted fare like eating too much chicken, while sinuous beats slip and slide, a trumpet cuts across a samba-reggae hitch, or a guitar solo floats over a bubbling bossa — all invoking the spirit of Bahia. $18-$20, 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Too $hort


Too $hort's place in hip-hop culture has always been controversial. The Oakland icon's pimp-styled persona and off-color humor are the source of a lot of rap's oldest, rawest tropes — chief among them is the exclamation "bee-yotch!" But after an XXL video interview earlier this year where he tried pushing that persona too far toward the predatory, he was confronted with the question of what place misogyny has in hip-hop culture, and the decades-deep veteran went into a reflective mode. The February release of his 19th album, No Trespassing — vintage $hort as elder statesman, laced with nods to a fanbase that's aged alongside him and guest spots from Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and E-40 — coincided with an interview with Ebony's Dream Hampton where they took stock of his impact, revealing $hort as an artist caught up in his own reputation's expectations. Whether his future holds more positivity is still up in the air, but given the more conscious moments in his massive discography to go along with X-rated anthems like "Freaky Tales" and "Blowjob Betty" — his struggle-minded "The Ghetto" and its aspirational sequel "Money in the Ghetto"; independent-woman appreciation "Sophisticated"; the introspective "Life Is Too $hort" — he's set a strong precedent for it. And at the core is a man who went from car-trunk tape hustler to money-making community investor, so if anything he knows how to keep his head up in a business with little love for artists who can't adapt to change. With Twista. 18+, $20-$30, 10 p.m. 100 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612.968.6636. —Nate Patrin

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