Music A-List

Doomtree, disembodied


Mel Gibson and the Pants

Nomad World Pub

Like their namesake, Mel Gibson and the Pants are very much a take-it-or-leave-it flavor, and if you travel in certain circles, there is hardly a more polarizing band in Minneapolis. Their odd-yet-intriguing blend of hip hop and drum 'n' bass is the subject of much disagreement and fodder for many an argument, but, truth be told, that's usually a good sign. It means they're on to something—even if it's not totally clear what that something is. Are they too ahead of their time to be fully appreciated? Are they too derivative of Roni Size to be taken seriously? Will they be drunkenly assaulted by Mad Max himself for appropriating his name? None of these issues can be answered here, but seeing them live just once will allow you to choose a side in an argument that is sure to drag on for quite some time. 9:00 p.m. 501 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.6424. —Pat O'Brien

FRIDAY 12.14

Andrew Bird

Guthrie Theater

The surrealistic musings of Andrew Bird—laced with references to palindromes, mitosis, neural walls, a cosmonaut, bile, and the Scythian empire—are only slightly less esoteric then his resolutely quirky, exquisitely crafted music. Lapping up against his often-languorous voice and pungent, echoey whistling, Bird's fine-grained music is an enigmatic blend of chamber pop (he's a classically trained violinist) and skewed traces of folk, classic jazz, samba, and vintage British pop that has been layered, looped, and lashed. After several jazzier albums under the moniker Bowl of Fire, Bird solidified his virulent cult following with a couple of gems: 2005's The Mysterious Production of Eggs, and this year's Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum), a fantasy-etched, existential meditation on pending apocalypse. The Chicago native also strengthened his local ties, recording most of Armchair in Minneapolis with an extensive array of locals, including now-regular band members Martin Dosh and Jeremy Ylvisaker, co-producer Ben Durrant, engineer Tom Herbers, and singer Haley Bonar. This two-night run at the Guthrie, with solo and band sets, might seem almost like returning to the nest. $29.50. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. Also Saturday —Rick Mason

Doomtree Blowout III

First Avenue

To hell with black Friday—Doomtree's third annual Blowout (blacker Friday?) is the holiday season's real value. For a modest sum, you will get to see one of the illest hip-hop crews in the Midwest do their thing. To give is better than to receive, I guess. But whether you come to see Cecil Otter and his flannel, Dessa and her pipes, or the mighty P.O.S. and his awesomeness, there seems to be something for everyone in the Doomtree collective, which means the people-watching will be choice, too. Plus, the fact that the crew is as close artistically (and personally) as any collective in the biz will make this show alternately relaxed, raucous, and restorative. Well, dang nabbit, for a fan of local music and good hip hop, what else is there to do but make sure you've got a ride to First Ave sewn up for Friday night? 18+. $12. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jordan Selbo


Heroine Sheiks

7th St. Entry

The sinister vaudevillian vision of Shannon Selberg has returned. After spending nearly eight years in New York, the former Cows frontman has come home and started up what is effectively a new band—even if he's brought the name in tow. Backed by what amounts to a Twin Cities rock supergroup, featuring members of Hammerhead, STNNNG, Belles of Skin City, and Ouija Radio, Selberg's ready to unveil his band's latest incarnation. Considering his hyper-intense live persona and penchant for brazen theatrics, opening night oughta be a gas. Onstage, the man is simply a comet. Using surrealistic imagery, dark humor, and dementia, the maniacal Selberg spews out his musical philosophy like a tweaker-wrenched 12-year-old alone in a room flinging fistfuls of paint, tar, nails, and alcohol at the walls. Be prepared to bob and weave and probably wince—but not to blink. With the Deaf and Sarah Johnson. $8/$10 at the door. All ages at 5:00 p.m.; 21+ at 9:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Christopher Matthew Jensen

Dance Band CD-release show

Varsity Theater

More than a year after landing on this little blue marble, the starship troopers from Planet Dance (or is it Planet Band?) are finally ready to present humankind with their most precious gift. No, it's not a cure for cancer—it's their first LP, Dance Band Returns from the Land After Tomorrow. The feeble homosapien brain struggles to imagine how the disc could possibly capture the turbo-sexual boogie meltdown that makes this outfit the cities' best live act, but they are full of surprises. After all, who coulda predicted that their "Pedal Pusher" single would become the unofficial theme song of Critical Mass? Prepare to meet your overlords, lose your underpants, and mack on polyamorous cosmonauts in Lycra bike shorts. 18+. $6/$8 at the door. 8:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Sarah Askari

SUNDAY 12.16

Wu Tang Clan

First Avenue

Forget the absence of any major follow-ups among its members after a slew of debut masterpieces (disregarding Mr. Tony Starks); forget the multiple delays to much-hyped projects from the likes of Raekwon and the Gza; forget Method Man's turn from the charismatic face of the group to a comical parody of himself; forget the recent reported squabbles between staple-beatmaker the Rza and various members over production decisions; forget the fact that the Wu hasn't released an album since 2001, or a classic group effort for damn near a decade; forget that ODB will only be there in spirit; forget that U-God is still kind of wack and that Masta Killa still won't get enough shine; forget all that bullshit. Wu Tang is once again in town. The lights will dim, the music will come through, and for an hour or two, and all will be right with the world. Throw your Ws for some living legends. 18+. $35. 8:00 p.m.701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jordan Selbo

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