James Blake, Cake, Fiery Furnaces, and more

Sonic sorcerers the Fiery Furnaces
Lithe Sebesta

Fiery Furnaces

Cedar Cultural Center on Friday 5.13

The thoroughly unpredictable, sometimes inscrutable Friedberger siblings are as usual up to numerous things as they whip off this tour of "special intimate performances" featuring just Eleanor and Matthew without the rest of the FF crew. The Furnaces are still working on the follow-up to 2009's I'm Going Away, which boasted the band's most hooks and relatively conventional song structures since their 2003 debut, Gallowsbird's Bark. Still, the Friedbergers' eccentricities—obtuse tangents, collage-like effects—are there, just lurking a little more surreptitiously amid their distinctly odd crossbreeding of folk, pop, vintage rock, and blues. As for this performance, the duo may offer bits from each of their solo projects, or maybe some of the completely rewritten (except for the lyrics) I'm Going Away tunes that appeared on the digital-only EP Take Me Round Again. All ages. $15. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Real Numbers (7-inch release)

Hexagon Bar on Wednesday 5.11

Wednesday's Hexagon show marks the Real Numbers' fourth record in their four-year history. Tear It in Two, the new single on the label Florida's Dying, brings clashing guitars and bubblegum melodies. While it's hard to pin to a specific genre, the band presents well-rounded rock 'n' roll, pulling from under-produced '60s garage with hints of pyschedelia and surf, keeping the pulse throbbing and the melodies clean. The band features members of Teddy & the Turks, Cozy, Retainers, and Boys Club, and all of those bands can serve as a starting point. Portland's Whines and locals Is/Is and Teenage Stranger fill out the lineup. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. —Loren Green

Bob Seger

Xcel Energy Center on Thursday 5.12

His hits range from the sublime-but-overplayed to the just overplayed, but Bob Seger's last release, 2009's Early Seger Vol. 1, hinted at something more: a career before and outside classic-rock ubiquity that put his gifts—a way with a phrase, that crazy buzz-saw voice—to tougher use. Seger recorded new parts for several previously unreleased tracks (check out the funky "Gets Ya Pumpin'") and kept the length to an LP-sized 10 songs, barely touching his long-out-of-print '60s-and-early-'70s catalogue of Detroit punk-soul. Can rock 'n' roll forgive the impatience of whoever posted last year's amazing online bootleg Never Mind the Bullets: Bob Seger 1966-1974? ("Seven Nation Army," "2+2 = ?" called and wants its riff back.) Either way, he's talking about retiring just when he's catching young ears. All ages. $69. 7:30 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Peter S. Scholtes


State Theater on Thursday 5.12

Cake have always proudly inhabited a strange corner of popular music, garnering a sizable following as a result and bucking the trends of modern rock to create a quirky, laidback California take on classic pop and country. Like shaggy underdogs winning a race against slickly produced radio greyhounds, they've taken odd ideas with unconventional execution (a half-sung, half-spoken cover of disco classic "I Will Survive" comes to mind) and turned them into unlikely smash hits. Newly released album Showroom of Compassion doesn't change their formula much at all, but gives a fan base 20 years in the making even more to celebrate. All ages. $37-$39. 8 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Ian Traas


Epic on Friday 5.13

Taking cues from progressive rock, ambient electronica, and handfuls of LSD, Shpongle's music ranges between sitar-tinged hip shakers and pummeling tribal workouts with undulating synth patterns bubbling just underneath the thundering drums. The production duo of Simon Posford and Raja Ram is notorious for its rather limited number of live concerts, but Posford embarks alone on goodwill DJ tours that span the globe and, for this tour, he's bringing along a custom lights-and-video rig dubbed the Shpongletron Experience. If epilepsy is an issue, steer clear, but if you're in the market to witness a huge flashing tower of psychedelia, this will be a treat. With Random Rab, MasterOfEmotion, and Jeff Hunter. 18+. $15/$20 at the door. 8 p.m.110 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3742. —Ian Traas

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs

7th St. Entry on Saturday 5.14

Hard to imagine a more epochal New Depression song than the title track of Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs' new album, No Help Coming: "Honey, we're all alone," she sings in twangy unison with one-man-band partner Lawyer Dave, over what sounds like cheerful junkyard clatter and smeared rockabilly guitar, as if fatalism were a relief. Known for impeccably cool covers (her now-standard "The Christmas Tree's on Fire") and associations with garage greats Thee Headcoats, the Greenhornes, and the White Stripes, this British pressed flower of Americana sings so crispy-clear, she makes it sound easy, and is probably overlooked as a result. 18+. $12. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

James Blake

7th St. Entry on Monday 5.16

It didn't take much time for James Blake to expand his electronic compositions past the limits of the dubstep scene that embraced him for his first releases, records that combined inventive sample work with jazzy chords and warm-to-the-touch sub-bass. His self-titled album brings the young musician's voice to the forefront of his work, and it's colored his productions with a soulful singer-songwriter vibe that's miles away from dubstep's current incarnation; it's less concerned with blitzes of low-end wobble than it is a quiet storm of murky R&B. Blake's music peeks at you with sad bedroom eyes, pleading for shelter under your covers. With Active Child. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

State Theatre on Tuesday 5.17

If you want a sense of what it was like to attend a classic soul revue back in the '60s at somewhere like Harlem's Apollo Theatre, you couldn't do much better than this double bill promising sweat-soaked pandemonium. Sharon Jones and Joe Lewis both attack vintage R&B, funk, soul, and blues with ferocious energy and the raw, no-holds-barred enthusiasm of true believers, both shouting, growling, and testifying as if their lives depended on it. And both lead terrific, swaggering bands with blazing horns. Augusta-born Jones toiled for decades in the shadows before breaking out with "Something's Changed" from 100 Days, 100 Nights, following up with last year's I Learned The Hard Way. Texas's Lewis is just breaking into the spotlight with his new Scandalous. Don't mistake either for nostalgia acts. Their styles may be tied to the past, but their intensity is all 21st century. All ages. $28. 7:30 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

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The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454



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