Judas Priest, the Roots, and more

Sunset Rubdown prepare to rock the Entry with a soak in the hot tub


The Roots

First Avenue

As far as Jimmy Fallon is concerned, the Roots are the best band in late-night. Though he's a tad biased—they back him up each weeknight on his Late Night show—he's also probably right. Not only that, the Roots are also possibly the best band in hip hop, and equally as refreshing in a live setting. While the group's roots (sorry, that's a sad excuse for a pun) go back over two decades, their first major success came with the 1996 album Illadelph Halflife. Largely motivated by the success of a video that poked fun at rap clichés, the Roots went on to achieve great success by mashing their thoroughly eclectic music with the powerful rhymes of the group's MC, Black Thought. Adding to the list of band's bests, the Roots might also be the best band when it comes to time management, sneaking in a tour between recording their ninth studio album and their Late Night residency (not to mention DJing dates across the country). With such a pedigree, and so many accolades, it wouldn't be out of line to think that the Roots' First Avenue gig will be another best for the group and its fans. 18+. $30. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine

Robert Cray


Robert Cray was the blues laureate of infidelity in the '80s and early '90s, a smooth and innovative classic-soul craftsman who brought synthesizers to blues, gave John Lee Hooker a career-jolting backing band, and crossed over to MTV with 1986's "Smoking Gun" on pure strength of haunting riff, murderous lyric, and tersely expressive guitar solo. Cray may be best known for that and other songs included on the 1999 Mercury retrospective Heavy Picks—The Robert Cray Band Collection, many written by longtime producer Dennis Walker. But he won a Grammy for that same year's post-Mercury, post-Walker Take Your Shoes Off, a straight-up tribute to the Hi Records sound. And the 2006 concert album Live from Across the Pond showcases an increasingly rich '00s career, culminating in Cray's own "Twenty." Drawn from the 2005 album of the same title, this live version belongs on any mix of essential anti-Iraq War tracks, sung from the point of view of a soldier in the desert who signed up after 9/11 ("This ain't the country that I had in mind"). It captures so much of what Cray does beautifully besides convince you he's a cheater: Within a few words and snapping guitar gestures, he makes a world open up out of his blues. 21+. $35. 8 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Peter S. Scholtes

Charles Lloyd Quartet

Dakota Jazz Club

First off, the members of Charles Lloyd's latest, incomparable quartet: pianist Jason Moran, drummer Eric Harland, bassist Reuben Rogers. It's a given that all three are brilliant, and extraordinary that Lloyd has brought them together. Each is among the leading contemporary players on his instrument, and, like Lloyd, each maintains a critical sense of jazz history while moving the music in fresh, innovative directions. Moran, especially, in recent years has emerged as a bandleader and musician of extraordinary vision. Then there's the incomparable Lloyd, a saxophonist and flautist whose long career has helped shape jazz's post-bop landscape, as an experimenter with free jazz, jazz-rock fusion (making him a Fillmore-level star in the psychedelic rock era), and world music. This quartet's first album was last year's Rabo de Nube, recorded live in Switzerland, the title taken from a lovely ballad by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez. The other compositions are all Lloyd's, ranging from the exotic, Eastern-sounding "Ramanujan" (on which Lloyd plays tárogató, a Hungarian woodwind) and soulful tribute to the late jazz trumpeter and Lloyd's childhood friend Booker Little ("Booker's Garden") to the episodically ferocious "Prometheus" and a sizzling new version of the 45-year-old "Sweet Georgia Bright." $50 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason


Judas Priest

Harriet Island

There isn't much new to say about Judas Priest except that they may be even more important to the genre of heavy metal than most people think—and many already think they are one of the most important bands, metal or otherwise. However, it could (and should) be argued that they are ultimately the most important metal band of all time. To wit: Rob Halford provided the genre with a template to use and/or wholly rip off in his leather-and-studs getups and banshee howls. K.K. Downing has the best rock name ever, save for Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister, and Priest's unimaginably loud, shattering riffs are the stuff of legend. The masterstroke, however, was Halford announcing on MTV in 1998 that he was, in fact, gay, without any collateral damage to his legacy or his career—which was (and really still is) astounding given the time and the hyper-masculine genre in which he operates. But it's a testament to what Judas Priest are all about: They never gave in or gave up and have always stayed true to themselves—even in the face of adversity, even if it meant a smaller market share. These are things that other metal bands didn't do, and why hardly any of them are held in such high regard today. With Whitesnake. $10 (includes $10 in food tickets); free with festival entry between noon and 3 p.m. 7 p.m. 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul; 651.266.6400. —Pat O'Brien

Toots and the Maytals


Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

Formed in Kingston in the early '60s, Toots and the Maytals played a seminal role in the evolution of reggae from ska and rock steady, and are even credited with being the first to use the term, in the 1968 hit "Do the Reggay." Other groups made the same transition, but no one has been able to match the wonderful, gospel- and soul-drenched voice of Toots Hibbert, who seemingly uprooted Memphis and transplanted it somewhere in the vicinity of the Blue Mountains. The Maytals' "Pressure Drop" was among the memorable tunes in the landmark reggae film The Harder They Come, and the group issued a series of essential albums through the 1970s, including Funky Kingston and Reggae Got Soul. Hibbert eventually split with original Maytals Jerry Matthias and Raleigh Gordon, working solo for a time, then reconstituting a new version of the Maytals in the '90s, continuing to exercise his glorious voice and put out solid albums like 2007's Light Your Light. With Wain McFarlane. $43. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Rick Mason


Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Harriet Island

In the past year Elvis Costello has collaborated with a number of artists ranging from Fall Out Boy to Jenny Lewis, but in taking some time for himself, the legendary singer-songwriter recently released a collection of new songs, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. The roots-based album sways between folk and country influences, the entire recording sounding perfect for a midsummer's day cookout. Fitting, then, that Costello will be performing at this year's Taste of Minnesota festival with his long-established backing band the Imposters. Now in its 26th year, the Taste is the largest music and food festival in the state, hosting 30-some food vendors and just as many musical acts over the course of four days. Among those performing will be a mixed bag of artists including Staind, Judas Priest, and Bret Michaels—but none is more distinguished than Costello, who has more than 30 studio albums to his credit. $10 (includes $10 in food tickets); free with festival entry between noon and 3 p.m.200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul; 651.266.6400. —Chris DeLine


No Doubt

Xcel Energy Center

Way back before Gwen Stefani was regarded as a trend-setting fashionista, solo pop artist, and fetishist of leashed Japanese women in schoolgirl outfits, she fronted a peppy ska-pop band called No Doubt. Stefani didn't so much sing as launch into flat bleat attacks, but the high-energy songs, tacky accessorizing, and forward-thinking video concepts more than compensated for that failing. No Doubt were fun, you see, in an era when angsty hand-wringing and pathos poses were all the rage—Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Pearl Jam, we're looking at y'all. Then they took a break for the inevitable solo projects and child-sirings and, of course, to give the public a chance to miss 'em. And now—finally, some might say—they're back together to hump the summer touring circuit, get reacquainted, and parlay whatever adoration results into interest for a 2010 studio album. Fingers crossed, over here. With Paramore and Bedouin Soundclash. All ages. $39.50-$80. 7:30 p.m. 175 W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Ray Cummings

Rosanne Cash

Dakota Jazz Club

If you need a primer on country music, you couldn't find a better source than one of the genre's giants, Johnny Cash. In 1973, concerned that his 18-year-old daughter Rosanne had neglected her country music education, the Man in Black gave her a far-ranging list of 100 essential country songs. Rosanne used her consequent knowledge of that material to forge her own formidable career as a superb singer-songwriter, weaving those traditions with elements of rock and adult pop into a distinct and sophisticated sound. The List will also be the basis (and title) of Rosanne's next album (due in October), her follow-up to 2006's riveting Black Cadillac, which reflected on the rapidly successive deaths of her father, mother, and stepmother. The repertoire will range from the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers to Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan, with guest shots from Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy, and Rufus Wainwright. Some of that material will be performed by Cash and her husband, guitarist John Leventhal (who also produced The List), when they appear as a duo at the Dakota. Also expect highlights from Cash's 11 previous albums. $45. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason


Sunset Rubdown


7th St. Entry

There's an unusually rich pool of talented and critically fawned-over bands that have originated in Montreal over the past decade, usually with a single degree of separation between them due to their heavy cross-pollination of band members. Call him the Francophonic Kevin Bacon: At the center of things is multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Spencer Krug. Aside from splitting the leadership role in Wolf Parade with Dan Boeckner (Handsome Furs), Krug's main vessel the past few years has become Sunset Rubdown. In addition to recently releasing the lyrically complex Dragonslayer, the band has also arguably become the most complete outlet for Krug. The band harnesses a musical density that gives its songs an immovable backbone of sound—especially in comparison to other past and present projects of Krug's, including Frog Eyes and the venerable supergroup Swan Lake. Which is apparent on Dragonslayer, a record that has already been heralded as one of the best of the year and awarded a 10/10 by the U.K.'s Drowned in Sound. With Elfin Saddle and Witchies. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine


Fountains of Wayne

Cedar Cultural Center

It would be nice to think that there aren't songs that make music fans never want to hear a band's name again, but sadly, such things happen. And typically, when they do, those bands are branded with the nefarious label of one-hit wonder. But sometimes a band is unjustly clumped in with the pack due to the immense success of a single. Some might argue that Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom" is one such song, and that FoW are one such band. Though originally forming some 14 years ago, the group received only a scattered response to their pop rock until they rose to prominence in the early '00s, primarily with the aforementioned 2003 single. For a period of time the song was ubiquitous. It became the number-one music video in rotation on MTV and VH1, took the number-one spot on iTunes' Most Downloaded Songs list, and was the only single by the band to ever land in the U.S. Hot 100 (peaking at 21). No one-hit wonder, though, the band continued on and in 2007 released Traffic and Weather, arguably their best-received album to date. Now FoW are taking to the road, showcasing songs old and new (they're rumored to be performing material from their forthcoming album, which is still in the works) on a full-band acoustic tour across the East Coast and Midwest. Joining the band will be co-founder of the Posies, Jon Auer, who will also be performing an acoustic set. All ages. $18/$20 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Chris DeLine

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