N.A.S.A., And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and more

Behold the magnificence of Dent May's uke


Todd Snider

Fitzgerald Theater

With characteristic perversity, Todd Snider waited until the final throes of Dubya's inglorious incumbency to deliver a lacerating rebuke to the Texas twiddler. Peace Queer, released last October, never mentions the former Oval Occupant by name, but it's abundantly clear where the often-surrealistic, going-on-dadaist antiwar drift of the album is aimed. Track one borrows a Bo Diddley beat while ridiculing the infamous grand pronouncement "Mission Accomplished," two others echo befuddled Bush bleatings in front of a microphone ("Is This Thing Working?"), and the heart of the disc is a terrific folk-blues reading of John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son," which managed to nail Dubya's essence 30 years ahead of time. Snider's a satirist from way back. His most famous tune, "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues," was a send-up of the then-prevailing alt-rock nirvana, and he's continued to poke witticisms at whatever strikes his fancy while plying a sound stretched along the Americana continuum from folk to blues to rock 'n' roll. Peace Queer will leave you up to your armpits in delectable metaphoric debris about the erstwhile state of the nation; a little late maybe, but as Dubya's own philosophy would concede, what the hell. All ages. $20-$23. 7:30 p.m. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651.290.1220. —Rick Mason


Anni Rossi

Cedar Cultural Center

Chicago singer and viola player Anni Rossi recorded Rockwell, her full-length debut on 4AD, in a single day with Steve Albini, and at first it appears to have the whimsy and slightness of something that might blow away. Yet her songs, augmented here and there by drums and cello, feel more deeply dreamed on further listening, and autobiographical in the case of "The West Coast," which describes being "on a road trip that turns into going home." Classically trained from a childhood in Scandia, Minnesota, this 2003 graduate of Perpich Arts High School in Golden Valley moved to Los Angeles, then Chicago. She has retained a child's wisdom that stringed instruments are meant to be plucked or slapped, and as a singer she flits octaves with virtuosic exactness, but also a feel for drone and off-key tones. She's a talent to watch closely as her trip continues. With I, Colossus and Best Friends Forever. All ages. $8-$10. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Peter S. Scholtes

Dent May

400 Bar

If Dent May wasn't traipsing around the country strumming his magnificent ukelele, he'd probably be a regular on the standup circuit. There's a literalist tragicomedy to the lounge-pop on the Mississippi native's debut, The Good Feeling Music of Dent May's Magnificent Ukelele, that recalls Adam Green's Gemstones, only without all the jerky gross-outs and look-at-me wordpies. Sad sacks of one variety or another populate tunes that sound like a cross between Hawaiian luau standards, Morrissey drunk at a karaoke bar, and that scraggly dude who's always performing his own songs in the stairway of your apartment building—if that guy were actually talented and self-aware. Good Feeling wouldn't be worthy of its title if May lacked a world-weary sense of humor and the ability to laugh (probably) at himself. He's very likely the "College Town Boy" he serenades and attempts to prod out of inaction: "He's smoking reefer every day, now/His tastes are awfully highbrow/College town boy, get off your ass and do something/College town boy, how does it feel to be nothing?" With AA Bondy and Joe January. 18+. $10. 9 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Ray Cummings

Swingin' Utters

Triple Rock Social Club

Less than a week after joining the Dillinger Four for a bill at St. Paul's Turf Club, Pretty Boy Thorson & the F'n A's once again find themselves playing with another long-standing Fat Wreck Chords group. This time around they'll be opening for San Francisco's Swingin' Utters, as the band kicks off a month-long tour at the Triple Rock. Originally formed in 1987, the Utters' brand of gimmick-less street punk has earned them a loyal following across the country despite their limited recording output this decade. Not much for putting on a front, the band's members continue to live the working-class life that is the theme of many of their songs: Guitarist Darius Koski continues to find work as a truck driver while vocalist Johnny Bonnel maintains a job at a cinderblock warehouse. Rest assured they'll bring their no-nonsense attitude to the club when they return to the Twin Cities. Also playing are Shot Baker and the Framed. All ages. $11. 5 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Chris DeLine



Triple Rock Social Club

"I'm strange enough to change the audience." This weird, gutsy boast comes courtesy of Karen O; its source is the chorus of "Strange Enough," a standout track from The Spirit of Apollo, the debut from production duo N.A.S.A., which finds the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontvixen sharing audio space with the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. If you just threw up in your mouth a little, the going gets wackier, revealing that stray line as something of a mission statement: Talking Heads' David Byrne throwing 'bows with Public Enemy's Chuck D? Kanye West holding hands with Lykke Li? RZA tearing it up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante? These collaborations, and many more besides, pile up among Apollo's stomping, storming beatscapes; crazy thing is, what looks like pre-career suicide on paper works out great on disc. Presumably, performances from folks such as Kool Keith, Nick Zinner, and M.I.A. will be represented by samples live. Hopefully, that won't lessen the sheer, unadulterated what-the-fuck N.A.S.A. principals Sam Spiegel and Ze Gonzales bring to the table. 21+. $15. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ray Cummings


The Gleam

North St. Paul VFW

These reckless local garage-rockers have been on a sort of unofficial hiatus since this time last year, but they are promising to return to the stage with a bang. The Gleam live are a force to be reckoned with, with their amps turned up to ridiculous volume and the two mainstay members, Zachary Johns and Timothy Wreck, spending the majority of the set harassing whatever drummer happens to be backing them at the moment. Their new lineup includes Fort Wilson Riot drummer Ben Smith, and this weekend's comeback show will also serve as a fundraiser for the band's next album. If the fact that it's being held at the North St. Paul VFW isn't enough of a tip-off, fans can rest assured that this will be a night chock-full of blue-collar rock jams, PBR tallboys, and mayhem. With Jim Walsh's Mad Ripple Hootenanny and the Bill Patten Trio. All ages. $8. 7 p.m. 2483 Seventh Ave. E., Maplewood; 651.777.2855. —Andrea Swensson

And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

Triple Rock Social Club

Years before Deerhunter hit the scene, hamming it up with an infamous balance between on-stage brilliance and blunder, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead were going above and beyond: destroying equipment, assaulting each other, and threatening to disband. But somehow they've made it this far with the group's initial lineup remotely intact, and are now touring in support their sixth studio album, The Century of Self. A few years removed from their last lackluster release, Trail of Dead are now seeing some of their highest acclaim since critics lost their minds for 2002's Source Tags & Codes (the hard-to-please Pitchfork Media even went overboard, giving the album a 10/10 rating). Whether or not the recent praise for these stylish noise-rockers signals a return to form, fans can rest assured that they're in for a night of great music...or a train wreck...or a brilliant combination of the two. Funeral Party and Midnight Masses will open. 18+. $15. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Chris DeLine

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