Critics' Picks: Freezepop, Glasvegas, Raphael Saadiq, and more

Classic soul revivalist Raphael Saadiq

Classic soul revivalist Raphael Saadiq

Raphael Saadiq

Cabooze on Saturday 6.4

Yet another contemporary artist doing exemplary work in vintage soul and R&B, former Tony! Toni! Tone! stalwart Raphael Saadiq digs up dozens of classic nuggets for his new album, Stone Rollin', adds a few dashes of 21st-century savvy, and turns them into fresh gold. Canny references to Sly Stone, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Little Walter, Ray Charles, and more are starting points for Saadiq originals that nicely complement some of the genre's finest. Saadiq not only produced the album, he plays most of the instruments, with occasional help from horn and string sections and guests like sacred steel's Robert Randolph and singer Taura Stinson, whose petulant edge adds a delicious touch of melodrama to their cagey vocal dance on "Good Man." With Quadron. 18+. $25. 6:30 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Rick Mason


Fine Line Music Café on Wednesday 6.1

Although Glasvegas frontman James Allen uses his drawn-out Scottish brogue to express sentiments about love and hope, the music surrounding his lyrics sounds uniformly dour, coloring his words with dirty shades of gray. There's nothing particularly bright about the band's feel (well, not counting the glistening guitars), and they portray any sliver of happiness as something to be endured on the way to inescapable heartbreak. But even when they're piling on the pathos, Glasvegas make sure that their pain is writ large. They shoot for the rafters every time, the wonderful pressure between tension and release cranked up for maximum impact. With Magneta Lane. 18+. $18. 7:30 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Ian Traas

Dengue Fever

7th St. Entry on Friday 6.3

The highly infectious music of Dengue Fever is an unlikely incubation of noirish, broad-minded indie rock and 1960s Cambodian pop, itself a curious fusion of traditional Khmer elements and American styles that drifted in during the Vietnam War, including surf and psychedelia. The Cambodian stuff comes from brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman, who independently stumbled across it, as well as Cambodian singer Chhom Nimol, whose mesmerizing Khmer and English undulations suggest a southeast Asian royal court classicist on one hand, Debbie Harry via Bollywood on the other. DF's new Cannibal Courtship is an eclectic feast of sizzling rockers juggling new wave and jazz, exotic emanations from some tortured space and time warp, and alluring experimentations no one else has thought of yet. You can catch an older DF song, "1,000 Tears of a Tarantula," on the soundtrack of The Hangover Part II. With the Eternals, Mike 2600. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Joe Ely Band

Cedar Cultural Center on Sunday 6.5

Lone Star troubadour Joe Ely's journey from the wind-scoured plains around Lubbock to recognition as one of Texas's most talented and iconic songwriters comes full circle on his new solo album (due out this week), Satisfied at Last. Now closing in on his mid-60s, Ely takes stock of his life in this mainly reflective collection, metaphorically returning home ("Not That Much Has Changed"), contemplating mortality, musing about the past, and basking in the present, as well as grappling with spiritual and existential questions via Billy Joe Shaver's "Live Forever" and fellow Flatlander Butch Hancock's "Circumstance." The music, less raucous than Ely's been known to get, still conjures a satisfying whine while negotiating Ely's trademark border radio mix of rootsy rock, honky-tonk, Tex-Mex, and blues. Iron Range troubadour Paul Metsa will open. All Ages. $25-$27. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Sam Roberts Band

7th St. Entry on Monday 6.6

Montreal's Sam Roberts has been prominent on the Canadian music scene for a decade or so, regularly racking up Juno Awards but attracting only grudging notices like "competent" and generally flying under the radar south of the border. But the new Collider has landed on U.S. airwaves thanks to Roberts's always literate, thoughtful lyrics and savvy, hook-conscious song craft, now given a fresh jolt of intensity from producer Brian Deck (of Modest Mouse and Iron and Wine fame) and a slew of intriguing rhythmic textures from guests including Califone's Ben Massarella. The Dylanesque lyrical barrage of "The Last Crusade," for instance, skitters along on a horn-goosed, hard-simmering drive jointly derived from Delta and Malian blues and Nigerian juju. The rest of the album splits the difference between philosophical ballads, often about the nature of fate, and urgent rockers mining those scintillating grooves. With Zeus. 18+. $12. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason


Ground Zero on Tuesday 6.7

Freezepop is an aptly named synth-pop band from Boston—a bit icy, difficult to really sink your teeth into, but ultimately sweet, melty, and satisfying. Bandmates Liz Enthusiasm, Sean T. Drinkwater, Robert John "Bananas" Foster, and Christmas Disco-Marie Sagan (guess which one is a name a mother gave) ply numerous electronic instruments to produce a neo-disco sound that's melodic, a shade darker than mainstream, and utterly addictive—especially on "Less Talk More Rokk," a Europop ditty about basement shows reminiscent of French band Air. The enthusiastic Liz bounces and sways, coolly cantillating in English, French, and Japanese. Drinkwater and Foster bring understated energy (and irony) to the ubiquitous keytars. Those who seek the usual synth-pop soulfulness (i.e. Air or Ladytron), take note: Freezepop's lyrics are witty at best, and at worst, puddle-deep. But this isn't music for thinking, it's music for dancing. And dance, we assure you, you will. With the Echoing Green, Trapezoids, and Ficshe. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 15 Fourth St. NE Minneapolis; 612.378.5115. —Sarah Wash

Young Boys

7th St. Entry on Tuesday 6.7

Many will gladly claim the Jesus and Mary Chain as an influence, but for most, it's lip service, amounting to little more than a prim touch of feedback on an otherwise pristine chorus. NYC's Young Boys, fronted by native Minnesotan David McDaniel, are one of the few to follow the Reid brothers completely down the rabbit hole—engaging Psychocandy's most caustic, foreboding extremes. On their double A-side single "Bring Em Down"/"Runaway May," the quartet favor sheer heft over identifiable song structure, obliterating the melodic foundations and whipping up a nearly impenetrable din. Many will no doubt be put off by the band's radical approach, but give credit to the Young Boys for remembering that, in their day, the Jesus and Mary Chain were as despised as they were celebrated. With A Forest in the Trees, Silicone Cells, and Man Your Horse. 18+. $5. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612.332.1775. —Jonathan Garrett