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Critic's Picks: Destroyer and more

Yeasayer: Back from their recent tour of hell
Doron Gild

WEDNESDAY 4.16

Destroyer

400 Bar

Whenever the name of New Pornographer Dan Bejar's band Destroyer is mentioned, it leads me to march around proclaiming, "Destroyer! Raaawr!" But don't let the aggressive name fool you. While melodically low-key, the often-cryptic musical sensibility of this Vancouverite's talents is a slow-burning flame that builds into a veritable campfire of sparse yet ever-building guitars. The exquisite singsong quirkiness of his feigned British accent brings comparisons to Robyn Hitchcock with a smidge of Al Stewart. It's already been a busy year for the singer-songwriter—along with his recent release, Trouble in Dreams, he also managed to release an album in January with girlfriend Sidney Vermont from their group Hello Blue Roses. The show promises to be a passionate and intimate musical experience. The unconventional piano pop of Colossal Yes opens. 18+. $12/$15 day of show. 9:30 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis; 612-332-2903. —Jen Paulson

THURSDAY 4.17

Bret Michaels Rock of Love Tour

Myth

With much of this tour's marketability owing a debt to his new career as VH1's puffiest reality-show Lothario, Bret Michaels, former frontman of Poison, is just the most recent high-kicking, tiger-striped rocker to have his celebrity exhumed from the cartoon graveyard of '80s hair metal. There have been some solo successes along the way for which Michaels can give himself a pat on the back (his single "Go That Far" had the distinguished honor of being an unlockable track on the latest Guitar Hero release), but most of tonight's eager attendees will be divided between the ironically curious and the discomfortingly devoted. Whether the show reminds you of doing blow at the Viper Room or watching reruns of Zoobilee Zoo is a simple matter of age and disposition. With Downtread and Crash Anthem. 18+. $28/$35 day of show. 7 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984. —David Hansen

FRIDAY 4.18

Hot Chip

First Avenue

Hot Chip has Devo's aesthetic down perfectly: managing to be over-the-top nerdy but undeniably hip. The English quintet fasten together the best of new wave with impeccably catchy disco to make their own sleek creature. Their breed of dance-floor dallying packs a wallop and lunges at you from many angles. For example, Made in the Dark's "Shake a Fist" starts off like a slinky electronic two-step, blending Alexis Taylor's gauzy vocals with a lonely drum machine. Then it zaps you with a Casio gone haywire and explodes into a methodical sonic overload that people will still find a way to dance to. And dance they should, because this band definitely isn't "through being cool." With Free Blood. 18+. 8 p.m. $15/$17 at the door. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erin Roof

Yeasayer

Varsity Theater

Many modern bands with CSNY harmonies end up sounding like misplaced cowboys, more prone to hailing cabs than herding cattle. It's evident that Brooklyn's Yeasayer have a strong sense of musical history, but they manage to shake the dust off the boots of roots rock's greatest rather than merely indulging in hero worship. This is because Yeasayer are constantly looking forward, as singer Chris Keating sings in "2080": "I can't sleep when I think about the future I was born into." Likewise, in "Final Path," off the band's Sunrise EP, Yeasayer pull synthesizers worthy of a sci-fi soundtrack into a retro backbone to create a fresh look into the tried and true. It's a must-see glimpse into the future of bohemian chic. With Man Man. 18+. $14. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. NE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Erin Roof

P.M. Dawn

Trocaderos

P.M. Dawn's sultry, New Age melding of hip hop and R&B made perfect sense in the early 1990s, when any and every pop hybrid had an honest shot at serious chart status, no matter how bizarre. But despite the heavy radio rotation the Spandau Ballet-sampling, 1991 single "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" received, brothers Attrell "Prince B" Cordes and Jarrett "DJ Minute Mix" Cordes were destined to follow breakout contemporaries like Arrested Development, Vanilla Ice, Digital Underground, and C.C. Music Factory into trivia-question obscurity. Fickle fans lost interest even as the albums kept coming. So now they're another touring nostalgia act with a completed album in limbo—P.M. Dawn Loves You, which was supposed to come out last year—spreading their beguiling positivity from burg to burg in a country that mostly doesn't love or deserve them, even though they kicked ass on short-lived one-hit wonder TV program Hit Me Baby One More Time. Maybe this is how the P.M. Dawn story ends—or maybe they'll follow Coolio's lead and find runaway success in Europe. $15. 8 p.m. 107 Third Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.465.0440. —Ray Cummings

SATURDAY 4.19

L.A. Guns

G.B. Leighton's Pickle Park

With an image and a sound that evoke Alice Cooper slumming it up in a 3.2 beer joint, '80s rockers L.A. Guns have managed to project their tractor-pull cred and white tank-top enthusiasm upon multiple generations of American rock lovers. Frontman Tracii Guns has shown a remarkable tolerance for the shade of greater monuments as the band derived much of their fame from being a AAA farm team for big-league acts (three of its early members, Axl Rose included, went on to form Guns N' Roses). Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, L.A. Guns have supported big names like AC/DC and Def Leppard over the last two decades, and that has earned them cred among the rock nouveau, who trade obscure metal morsels while congregating around the Grumpy's jukebox. So pay close attention during their performance tonight—your Triple Rock Trivia chances may depend on it. With Decibel. $10. 8 p.m. 7820 University Ave., Fridley; 763.786.1515. —David Hansen

Plastic Constellations

First Avenue

While the local music community was eagerly abuzz in anticipation of the Plastic Constellations' imminent new record, nefarious, tectonic forces deep beneath First Avenue's mantle were astir. Just a few weeks ago, the disconcerting news came down that tonight's Mainroom appearance will be the band's final show before what is ominously being called an "indefinite hiatus." Is this goodnight or goodbye? The vibrant and indispensable rockers are reluctant to commit. Best to play it safe and pack the club, buy up every copy of the Plastic Constellations' appropriately titled We Appreciate You, and take this as a chance to return that appreciation for what may be the last time. With Doomtree in a rare supporting role, the Plastic Constellations are poised to go out on a legendary high note. All the more bittersweet: The new record is a direct hit. 18+. $6. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —David Hansen

MONDAY 4.21

The Mars Volta

Roy Wilkins Auditorium

L.A. band the Mars Volta come to town on the heels of their fourth album, The Bedlam in Goliath, which is stuffed with nine-minute alt-prog epics—the type the band has refined to blood-drawing sharpness over the past seven years. We're not quite sure what singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala is going on about in songs like "Aberinkula" and "Ouroborous." And we have no idea what he means when he proclaims, "I am a deaf con of Angora goats." But we do know that the super-complex time signatures and hectic sonic twists that make up the 75-minute CD leave us totally dizzy. $30. 7 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.989.5151. —Michael Gallucci


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