Critics' Picks: Yelle, Cold Cave, Jackson Browne, and more

SoCal songsmith Jackson Browne comes to town
courtesy of the artist

Jackson Browne

State Theatre on Wednesday 5.4

In 2008 Jackson Browne celebrated his 60th birthday with Time the Conqueror, which in part addressed the passing of the years but also reaffirmed his commitment to political and social activism. This time around, Browne will be performing solo, no doubt peppering his set with a slew of the hits that have helped define SoCal rock and the perceptive singer-songwriter tradition, beginning in 1972 with "Doctor My Eyes" and the Eagles' first hit, "Take It Easy," written with Glenn Frey. Browne does have something new out: Love Is Strange, a two-disc live set recorded during a 2006 Spanish tour notably featuring brilliant, all-strings virtuoso and longtime running partner David Lindley plus a talented array of Spanish musicians who collectively unveil surprising new facets of Browne nuggets. All ages. $54-$104.50. 7:30 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Devin the Dude

Turf Club on Wednesday 5.4

With a vice so central to his catalog that giving it up would nearly empty his set list, Houston's Devin the Dude fools hards into thinking he's anything other than a force for good. Sandwiched between Snoop and Dre on 1999's "Fuck You," he was a relief from their misogyny, speaking to his comically acrobatic lover as an equal, and got size-positive on De La Soul's "Baby Phat." "Fa Sho," off 2002's classic Just Tryin' ta Live, was his sideways endorsement of monogamy, and he's remained as enlightened as he is funny and intricate, with marijuana as his stand-in for zen. A freestyle on last year's Suite 410 even endorses his adult son's non-usage: "I'm glad, I hope it lasts, so he won't be pokin' in my stash." With Coughee Brothaz. 21+. $15. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Peter S. Scholtes

Fake Problems and Pomegranates

Triple Rock Social Club on Wednesday 5.4

At first blush, Fake Problems and tourmates Pomegranates sound like they should be performing at two separate shows. Cincinnati's Pomegranates blend trippy atmospherics with shy indie-pop introspection, while Fake Problems charge headlong into classic-sounding rock songs without much regard for setting a mood. But for all their differences, both bands are offering their own takes on the follies of youth, whether apologizing for sins they can't possibly be old enough to have committed or pining for the first girl that got away. Like siblings, one quiet and one outgoing, the two bands have disparate personalities but tell the same story. With Laura Stevenson & the Cans. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

Cold Cave

First Avenue on Thursday 5.5

For those who first picked up on Wesley Eisold around the release of Cold Cave's Matador-issued breakthrough, Love Comes Close, the fiery industrial grind that opens Cherish the Light Years is sure to come as a shock. While "The Great Pan Is Dead" may mark a new direction for Cold Cave, it's not exactly uncharted territory for Eisold, whose early DIY projects were firmly entrenched in the NYC hardcore scene. Nothing else on Light Years is quite as aggressively jarring as "Pan," but the album as a whole significantly expands on the glassy synth-wave of Love Comes Close, boasting fuller arrangements and bolder flourishes. "Take me to the future, I'm ready," Eisold commands on "Underworld USA." But from the sound of Light Years, he needs no help getting there. Opening for the Kills, with the Entrance Band. 18+. $16. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jonathan Garrett

Dear Landlord

7th St. Entry on Friday 5.6

It's been three years since Dear Landlord put out their one and only full-length, Dream Homes. The record took hold in the punk realm, grabbing listeners with its twentysomething frustration countered by energetic and resilient anthems that are seemingly made for singing along and pogo-ing across a sweaty rock 'n' roll floor. Due to the multitude of projects their members are in (Off With Their Heads, the Gateway District, and the Copyrights being a few), the band's relative inactivity only increases the excitement when they do hit the stage. This time, Dear Landlord return from Europe before immediately departing on a month-long tour through parts of the Midwest, and Canada. They'll start the action by playing with Banner Pilot, reuniting the four members of Rivethead for a night, if only by sharing a stage. Mixtapes open. 18+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Loren Green

Jonathan Richman

Triple Rock Social Club on Friday 5.6

With his Spanish-y guitar, childlike flow, and gawky but gentle rock 'n' roll vibrato, Jonathan Richman is the kind of willful romantic optimist who asks: Is the lullaby the lie? Or is the real lie everything lullabies help you forget? Time and again, he reminds you what's important, as if harmonizing directly with the hum of the earth: "You Must Ask the Heart," "Springtime in New York," "Time Has Been Going By So Fast," and the proto-punk "Road Runner" (to which M.I.A. and Art Brut are only the most recent spiritual debtors). Last year's O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth contains more classics, including one about how bodies were meant for better things than sitting all day. 18+. $18. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Peter S. Scholtes


First Avenue on Saturday 5.7

The world according to Yelle would be flashbulb-bright (even at midnight), dressed entirely in day-glo couture, and irrepressibly upbeat. The impossibly French electro-pop trio don't seem to believe that darkness or menace even exist, let alone allow those things to have a place in their music—which isn't to say that they're innocent, exactly. There's a winking sexuality underneath the songs that's owed to the breathiness of Julie Budet's vocals paired with hip-swinging swaths of bass, and it keeps the proceedings from being overly precious. It's the musical equivalent of a fling in Paris: brisk and alluring, but just for fun. With French Horn Rebellion and Estate. 18+. $13/$15 at the door. 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas


Walker Art Center on Saturday 5.7

The English band Tunng helped inspire the term "folktronica" via their quirky blend of ancient, thoroughly rustic British folk music and modern electronics filtered through an avant-gardish template of fractured textures, rhythms, and tonal patterns. Tunng's current album, And Then We Saw Land, their fourth after a three-year gap, is significant in several ways: Co-founder Sam Genders is gone, Becky Jacobs has emerged to share lead vocals with Mike Lindsay, the erstwhile collective has jelled more as a band, and ascendant pop and rock influences fill out the sound. Old eccentricities still abound, such as the synths' contributions to the haunting folk aesthetic of "October." But "Sashimi" stirs up indie-rock hooks and "Don't Look Down or Back" erupts with searing electric guitar—fresh gnomes in Tunng's English garden of unearthly delights. Opening will be Sam Prekop and Archer Preswitt of the Sea and Cake, whose full-band The Moonlight Butterfly is due out next week. All ages. $17. 8 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Rick Mason

Guilty Simpson

7th St. Entry on Saturday 5.7

There's more to Detroit's Guilty Simpson than a hilarious moniker (modified from the original "Guilt," and using his real last name) or an association with two of rap's great producers, Madlib and the late J Dilla. Guilty's 2006 song "Clap Your Hands" showed what Dilla saw in him: a tough, sonorous voice blunt and clipped enough to rival any beat thrown at him, with an unvarnished poetic streak in lines such as "it's a fact, when you're black, that you don't know how to act when your belly button's touching your back." Last year's O.J. Simpson (the initials referring to Madlib's name, Otis Jackson) was hood rap at its most iconoclastic, while a collaboration with Black Milk and Sean Price is forthcoming. With Muja Messiah & DJ Turtleneck, Mally, and So Gold. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

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Historic State Theatre

805 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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