Music A-List

Mouthful of Bees' Chris Farstad will be in 3D for their Triple Rock show
Nick Vlcek


Gospel Gossip

Triple Rock Social Club

Gospel Gossip seem to have nestled themselves in nicely with a slew of local buzz bands who create music that sounds as vintage and classic as it does irresistible. On par with fellow throwback rockers like '60s psychedelic hippies First Communion Afterparty and post-punk fuzz lovers Mouthful of Bees, Gospel Gossip take it back to the bedrooms of the early '80s, at the cusp of the New Wave movement. Echoing guitar parts build slowly into heart-pounding climaxes, and singer Sarah Neinaber's ethereal voice is folded in as a layer of sound rather than highlighted as a focal point. Luckily, the local scene has already begun to take notice of these burgeoning shoegazers; Wednesday night's show is just a warm-up for Gospel Gossip's set at the Best New Bands showcase later this month at First Avenue. With the Chambermaids, Kill to Kill, and Austin Scarlett. 9:00 p.m. Free. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Andrea Myers

FRIDAY 01.04

Dallas Orbiter CD-release show

Varsity Theater

If music could shimmer, Dallas Orbiter's surely would. They take Aladdin Sane-era Bowie glam and tweak it a little (though they don't wear the skintight bodysuits, for better or worse), and mix in a healthy dose of Detroit garage rock. It's definitely dolled-up, but it doesn't seem like an affectation nor does it seem that the band is putting on airs. They temper their act with enough Queens of the Stone Age-esque swagger that would-be detractors have to dig pretty deep to take issue with much of it. The band is well-served by the workhorse quality present on their latest, Motorcycle Diagrams. Without coming across as too playful or wacky, the disc delivers just the right amount of fun. Openers Ouija Radio have a sound reminiscent of Missing Persons on amphetamines and are just as fun to watch, as their shows often end in hedonistic debauchery. Led by singer/badass Christy Hunt, Ouija Radio should be on everyone's short list for breakout artists in '08.With the Chambermaids and Daughters of the Sun.18+. $5. 9:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Pat O'Brien

Plastic Constellations

Triple Rock Social Club

Most people know that the members of the Plastic Constellations were in a band in high school. The thing about that: It was the Plastic Constellations. They also opened for Low when they only sophomores. What were you doing at 15, besides being socially awkward and yearning for your own set of wheels? So what have they been doing since, you ask? Well, becoming indie media darlings for starters. And to paraphrase former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan, they only know how to write ultra-catchy, anthemic indie-pop nuggets. Last year's Crusades made many local and national best-of lists, and it was no fluke. These guys know how to bring the house down, and their foaming-at-the-mouth following makes their live shows that much more intense. Superhopper will usher them in with their hooky, bombastic, wry brand of vaguely '70s rock. Crunchy guitars, funny, almost accidental-sounding lyrics, and a stellar rhythm section are more than enough to push these guys past "run-of-the-mill" on the meter. Why their last offering, Party Killers, didn't make a bigger splash locally (and elsewhere, really) is a little puzzling—this stuff is readymade for your next beer-soaked get-together—and lead singer Kermit Carter's smart-ass stage banter is without peer. $3. With the Deaf. 9:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Pat O'Brien


Skoal Kodiak/Blind Shake/Vampire Hands/Birthday Suits

Turf Club

With a lineup of four of the most savagely energetic bands the Twin Cities currently offer, this show will not help any lingering four-day hangovers. This is just one reason to reach for your ibuprofen and chasers before hitting the sack on Friday night. A chance to lay mitts on Skoal Kodiak's stellar new vinyl release, for sale tonight at the Turf Club, is another. But chiefly, it's the perfect way to get '08 off to a ruinous, exhausted start. Between Vampire Hands' towering, Gothic bellow, Skoal's uncanny talent for bending circuits and melodies without ever fully shattering them, Blind Shake's tempestuous arsenal of those hostile AmRep chords that we love so well, and Birthday Suits' thwacking, sweaty, downright danceable post-punk, tonight will keep you rocketing between booty-shaking and self-destruction, and should make a great showcase for the narrow but satisfying triumph of order over chaos. 9:00 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —David Hansen

SUNDAY 01.06

Mouthful of Bees

Triple Rock Social Club

Word from this past year's Picked to Click winners bodes well for debunking that contest's supposed curse. The group's inexorable leader, Chris Farstad, has returned from his trip to Russia and the entire Mouthful has begun writing songs for the follow-up to their deservedly ballyhooed debut, The End. Based on the strength of that record, an anthemic amalgam of indie-rock coy and lo-fi clatter, and the casual uncertainty in the way the group members talk about their future, a return to the stage has been eagerly awaited. With any luck, they'll be debuting a few freshly penned numbers at this, their first show in nearly six months. While the band has booked a handful of gigs in January, Farstad is still attending school in Iowa, so fans would be wise to catch 'em while ya can, lest you be left in the cold for another semester-long hiatus. With One for the Team, Ladyslipper, the P. Laquers, and Now, Now Every Children. All ages. 5:00 p.m. $7. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Christopher Matthew Jensen


Streetlight Manifesto

Varsity Theater

These rude boys from Jersey have hit the road to tour behind their latest release, Somewhere in Between. Riding the third wave of ska on a swell of joyful brass and punk-bleated vocals from frontman Tomas Kalonky (of Catch-22), Streetlight Manifesto wrap reflective lyrics in shiny, glossy packaging that gives every song the same optimistic shape. But with tunes this packed with skankalicious, jazzy guitar riffs and frenetic yet nimble bass lines, you'll be too busy dancing to pick a Fishbone. Hey, just because New Year's is over doesn't mean there's no place for party horns. With Grand Buffet and the Stitch Up. All ages. $15. 5:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Sarah Askari

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