Critics' Picks: Electric Six, the Horrors, Communist Daughter, and more

Communist Daughter help christen the new Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Communist Daughter help christen the new Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Communist Daughter (EP-release show)

Amsterdam Bar & Hall on Friday 9.23

In addition to being the grand opening of the new downtown St. Paul music venue Amsterdam (which had a very promising, packed-to-the-gills soft opening a few weeks back), this show will also serve as the unveiling of some long-awaited new material by harmonious folk-pop outfit Communist Daughter. Their new EP, Something Wicked This Way Comes, features three new tracks that more prominently feature vocalist Molly Moore, especially on the fiery "Heart Attack," in addition to three covers. Frontman Johnny Solomon has been doing some reckoning in his personal life this year, and a sense of peace runs through the tracks of the new EP, especially on the jaunty, jarringly cutesy cover of the Hold Steady's "Knuckles" and the disturbing, dark, and pretty lover's duet "No Children," originally by the Mountain Goats. Communist Daughter have always adeptly mixed sweetness and sorrow, and Something Wicked This Way Comes is a devastatingly lovely reminder that we have plenty more to look forward to from this talented band. With Fire in the Northern Firs and Speed's the Name. 21+. $8. 8 p.m. 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul; 651.222.3990. —Andrea Swensson

Bomba Estéreo and Joaquín Diaz

Cedar Cultural Center on Wednesday 9.21

With the local steam in precipitous transition from ambient to radiant, the time is especially ripe for a double shot of tropical fire, which should blaze throughout this second day of the Cedar's Global Roots Fest. Bogotá, Colombia's Bomba Estéreo (that's "stereo bomb" for the español-challenged), as advertised, whip up an explosive, dance inducing maelstrom roiling with a potent blend of cumbia, electronica, hip hop, funk, stray Colombian folkloric elements, reggaeton, and dancehall. Sultry singer Li Saumet laces incendiary sparks throughout, her coquettish sass red-hot whether negotiating blistering rhythms or spicing up alluring melodies. A native of San Pedro de Macorís, famed as a breeding ground for major league shortstops, Joaquín Diaz makes his dazzling plays on diatonic accordion, stirring up the infectious fervor of merengue, the Dominican's national sound. Although now based in Canada, Diaz and his crack ensemble summon the island's percolating soul with an irresistible polyrhythmic onslaught skewed to the rural roots of traditional merengue. Diaz's fleet-fingered work on the squeezebox leads the way, along with his impassioned vocals, but the entire band conjure a wonderfully organic charm on Mi Corazón. All ages. Free. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Electric Six

First Avenue on Thursday 9.22

Maybe it's best to start with a short list of things that Electric Six are not: measured, restrained, self-serious. If you're looking for those qualities, you're way better off listening to your Radiohead albums for the thousandth time. Forget highbrow—E6's tempos, lyrics, and riffs are laser-guided directly to that animal part of your brain that only wants to get laid and start fires. The band have a surprising work ethic and release an album almost every year, but their music revels mostly in an adolescent, cartoonish take on sex (try to find the Eric Wareheim-directed video for "Body Shot"). E6 want you to show up at their keg party, but only if you're taking your top off. With Kitten. 18+. $12. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338-8388. —Ian Traas

The Goondas (EP-release show)

7th St. Entry on Friday 9.23

Finally we can take a piece of the Goondas home with us again. Chud is a fitting name for the new vinyl EP being released—whatever it is, it sounds nasty. According to the band, it was a word in a funny story "not fit for print" that they liked "because it sounds gross." Always unpredictable, their outrageous stage shows have featured more punk songs recently, so the Goondas decided to make a vinyl 7-inch to release four new songs that capture their new sound, says guitarist Jackson Atkins. (I think it's because a 7-inch is about the length of a hot dog, such as the dozens thrown at them by "Stevie" in their new "Pet It" video). "Seizure Boy," one of the first songs the Goondas wrote nearly two years ago, is on Chud "because it was too punk rock for the other record," says Atkins, concluding, "Come to the show, buy the record, hopefully it doesn't skip!" If the Goondas are in the same room, it probably will! Friday night's show will be hosted by Shane Shane with supporting acts Pink Mink, BloodnStuff, and brand new band-to-watch the Bad Spots (Joe Werner of StrangeLights, Sarah Rose of Is/Is, and Ben Crunk of the Sex Rays). 18+. $5. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Cyn Collins

Faustin Linyekula/ Studios Kabako

Walker Art Center on Friday 9.23 and Saturday 9.24

This is a surviving component of the Walker's mini-festival Despair Be Damned: New Music and Dance from the Congo. The Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili was forced to cancel its entire tour due to visa problems. But these performances promise a provocative glimpse into the tortured soul of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in a dance and music program called more more more....future, based on the raging poetry of Congolese political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. Choreographer Faustin Linyekula and a troupe of male dancers interpret Muhindo's work and in a larger sense the nation's troubled history and collective, decades-long angst in what is said to be a cathartic combination of anger, hope, despair, and joy. A telling quote from Linyekula: "To be positive is the most subversive." Providing the music will be a five-piece band led by electric guitarist Flamme Kapaya, a star of the Congolese pop style ndombolo, a fired-up variation of soukous with an infusion of funk. Kapaya's effervescent picking suggests the influence of Congolese guitar icon Franco, but he also favors flowing, jazz-like passages reminiscent of George Benson, complete with vocalese singalongs. The music for more is supposed to have a punk-rock influence and one of the singers, Pasnas, is an established rapper in the city of Kisangani. All ages. $25 ($21 for Walker members). 8 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Rick Mason

The Horrors

Triple Rock Social Club on Saturday 9.24

In 2006, the Horrors seemed like the tardiest latecomers to the new garage-rock boom, but their macabre attitude (and buckets of eyeliner) turned enough heads to make them a full-fledged buzz band. It's not a story that screams "longevity." But here they are, five years and a couple of albums later, making good on promises that no one thought they had the chops to keep. Recent album Skying is well removed from the band's debut, favoring extended grooves and sumptuous synths over the mascara-smudged pseudo-punk that made up their first EP. Maturity probably wasn't what most listeners expected of the Horrors. Surprisingly, they're wearing it well. With the Stepkids. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

Toro Y Moi

Triple Rock Social Club on Sunday 9.25

Chillwave is enjoying its time in the sun right now, but Chaz Bundick (a.k.a. Toro Y Moi) seems most at home when he's confined to some dim studio. Given the almost constant rate at which Bundick releases tracks, he must be spending an exorbitant amount of time mixing and mastering his funk-laced output. It's good, then, that he's taking some time to tour, stretch his legs, and enjoy the mesmerizing effect that his music (like the new Freaking Out EP) has on dance floors. You could follow along and lump that music in with the rest of the soft-focus electropop that's everywhere right now—but bet that Bundick will outlast the hype. With Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Ava Luna. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas


First Avenue on Monday 9.26

Very few bands are capable of putting out quality content years into their careers. For many artists, a new release can leave the fan base longing for past glories. "We were acutely aware of that," says Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), the '80s new wave band which he co-founded with Andy McCluskey. "We didn't make a big announcement that we were going back into the studio. We thought we'd test the waters and see how it went." From 1978 to 1989 the duo of Paul and Andy, with longtime support players Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper, had hits across Europe and around the world. They struggled to get notice in America, finally cracking the top ten in 1986 with "If You Leave," and three years later Paul and Andy parted ways. McCluskey soldiered on for three more albums as OMD, while Humphreys, Cooper, and Holmes formed the Listening Pool. In 2005 Paul and Andy accepted a request from German TV to perform on program there. They had such a good time they recruited Cooper and Holmes and reformed the group. At first they toured their hits, but last year they released the very fine History of Modern. "Because we had such a long lay-off from OMD, we came with new energy and a whole huge amount of ideas," says Humphreys. "By default, after playing for 33 years, we've all become really good musicians," explains Humphreys. "The band is in good form, we're playing well." (Read more of our OMD interview at With Washington. 18+. $25/$27 at the door. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —P.F. Wilson


7th St. Entry on Monday 9.26

If the name Japandroids conjures up images of, say, Voltron, you're only slightly off the mark. The Canadian duo doesn't really look like a massive, evil-smiting robot, but their sound casts a huge shadow. That sound is a lumbering, noisy, powerful thing, brimming with discordant nuclear energy. There are no wasted gestures; Brian King's guitar and David Prowse's drums lock naturally with one another, and they manage to make bands twice their size feel small through sheer intensity. After a lengthy 2010 tour, the pair are showing off their extra-strength batteries by heading back out on the road to preview their upcoming album. Japandroids, combine! With Bass Drum of Death. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Ian Traas

Celebration of Lionel Hampton

Dakota Jazz Club on Monday 9.26 and Tuesday 9.27

Singer and producer Jacey Falk has put together a stellar group to celebrate the late jazz icon Lionel Hampton, a pioneer and master of jazz vibraphone and renowned band leader. Doing the honors on vibes will be Jason Marsalis, youngest of the prodigious Marsalis brothers, an accomplished drummer who in recent years increasingly has shown off his considerable skills on the vibes. The impressive cast also will include Diane Schuur, a first-tier jazz vocalist who likes to flirt with pop and (lately) country, as well as a formidable pianist; saxophonist Red Holloway, who's played big band, bop, blues, and R&B in his lengthy career; trombonist Fred Wesley, famed as James Brown's bandleader and for his work with P-Funk; and pianist Sharp Radway. The big band context includes Hampton orchestra alumni. $50 at 7 p.m.; $40 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason