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Psychedelic Furs, Kaskade, and more

Indie supergroup the New Pornographers
Marina Chavez

WEDNESDAY 6.9

Lil' Flip

The Rock

Best known for bubbly-smooth mid-'00s Southern rap hits such as "The Way We Ball" and "Game Over (Flip)" amid the ascendance of other, now more famous "Lil"s, Houston's Lil' Flip writes and flows catchier and poppier than most rap heroes more famous or underground. The Flipper returns to the Rock behind a forthcoming, much-delayed sixth studio album, Ahead of My Time, on the heels of promising mixtapes full of his laconically groovy choruses and natural-as-talk verses about the good side of ’hood life. With Izzy Dunfore, Young FTE, and Absent. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 2029 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood; 651.770.7822. —Peter S. Scholtes

THURSDAY 6.10

Frog Eyes

7th St. Entry

If Tom Waits and Neil Young were in their late 20s or early 30s in 2010, they would without a doubt be doing what Frog Eyes are doing: volatile, nihilistic lo-fi rock that comes from the heart and cuts to the bone. In the field in which Carey Mercer and company play, there is a fine line between inspired and insipid, but Frog Eyes never cross into the latter, at the same time never—even for a fraction of a second—playing it safe. Every inch of their new record, Paul's Tomb: A Triumph, is elegant, punishing chaos, with Mercer's frenetic, almost inconceivably intense vocals at the forefront of the monsoon. Frog Eyes aren't necessarily the most accessible band, but that's also sort of the point: Not everyone wants to watch someone barely survive a jump from an airplane without a parachute, but the people who do are thrilled as much by the triumph as they are by the prospect of it all going awry at the very last second. Frog Eyes dangle at the precipice of gory disaster from the outset, and while they arrive safe (more or less), the adrenaline-sapping trip is one that can't be forgotten. With Pearly Gates Music. 18+. $8. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien

FRIDAY 6.11

New Pornographers

First Avenue

It's been a decade now since the New Pornographers made the North American indie-rock scene. That the band was a side project for almost everyone involved—and that long-gestating debut Mass Romantic would eclipse every member's other gigs—was the insider rock-crit cherry on the ice-cream sundae of its success. Somewhere along the line, though, they lost their way: settling into lame MOR clichés, jettisoning bite for balm, in serious danger of becoming another face in the almost-adult-contemporary crowd. So it's a pleasure to report that on Together, the New Pornographers have their shit, er, back together, cranking out mildly ironic gems of their peculiar brand of power-pop Americana. Are they still stuck in the '60s? Kinda. Are Dan Bejar and Carl Newman's voices reedy and raspy as fuck? Of course. Do they have the sense to put not-so-secret weapon/alt-country force-of-nature Neko Case out front to steal the record out from under everybody else? You betcha—and that's why we can't stop spinning it. With My Gold Mask. 18+. $22/$25 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ray Cummings

FRIDAY 6.11

Kaskade

Epic 

DJ and producer Kaskade, a.k.a. Ryan Raddon, describes his silky blend of pop songsmithing and progressive house as "epic," even titling a recent remix album The Grand (no doubt tongue in cheek). But while the description of his music might be lofty, there's a refreshing lack of bombast to his productions. His wildly appealing mix of the tough and the sunny has led Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake to turn to him for remixes. But it's on original material that Kaskade's songwriting and musicality come to the fore. Dynasty features a passel of great female vocalists—ethereal Haley, quavery Mindy Gledhill, suave Polina, and wistful Becky Jean Williams—over killer grooves ranging from near-tribal to danceable modern iterations on '80s post-punk like the Cure and Cocteau Twins. Collaborations with trance king Tiesto and quirky Canadian electro group Dragonette round out the set. With Shiek and Dayne. 18+. $15/$20 at the door. 10 p.m. 110 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3742. —Cecile Cloutier

SATURDAY 6.12

Psychedelic Furs

First Avenue

The Psychedelic Furs are a study in retroactive popularity. They toiled in the punk and new-wave underground for years before finding success as the inspiration for a John Hughes movie in 1986. They re-recorded that song ("Pretty in Pink") for the soundtrack, and after being an afterthought for so many years, with the world at large not really paying attention to which direction they were headed, they suddenly had no direction at all. They recorded a Top 40-ish record as a follow-up to their newfound, long-awaited success (1987's Midnight to Midnight) but the band (and many of their fans—most of whom wisely dug into their back catalog in the meantime) have since characterized it as hollow and their weakest effort overall. There were two more underperforming but underrated albums afterward, and then the band members went their separate ways before reforming in 2000. There has been almost no talk of them revisiting a studio anytime soon; the band is what it is (or, more accurately, what it was). They tour on the back of a catalog that is 20 to 30 years old, but when the overall aesthetic is as good as the Furs', there isn't any need to apologize or dress it up as something it isn't, either. With She Wants Revenge. 18+. $23/$25 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien

SUNDAY 6.13

Steve Martin

 

State Theatre

"He's like the president of comedy," Jimmy Dore recently said of Steve Martin. Dore was interviewing pal David Feldman, who was part of Martin's writing team for the Academy Awards broadcast this past March. "When he hired me it's the first time in my comedic life none of my comedian friends were jealous," Feldman told City Pages. "They were more awestruck. I like it better when they're jealous." Martin is primarily known for his comedy and acting skills, and many forget that he's an accomplished banjo player. He's currently touring the U.S. backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, a bluegrass quintet from North Carolina. Drawing rave reviews, the set is top-drawer bluegrass, though Martin apparently mixes in some humor between songs. His album The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo won a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album this past January. Martin has also performed his bluegrass stylings at the Grand Ole Opry, as well as on radio's A Prairie Home Companion. All ages. $35-$65. 7 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —P.F. Wilson

TUESDAY 6.15

HEALTH

7th St. Entry

If you're coming from a musical background that cherishes the singer-songwriter concept above all others, you might consider HEALTH an abomination. The Los Angeles band doesn't sing so much as coo, the flattened-out vocals becoming part of a sonic bird's nest that they build out of bits of synth and guitar, heaps of noise, and drums that rumble like a stampede. There's not a lot to sing along to, really. But, to aficionados of sonic texture, HEALTH have touched on something extraordinary; they're masters of fashioning drama out of the most primal elements, knowing when to use each snarl of sound for maximum effect. It may seem an unholy mess at first, but notice the way the drums direct the action—their stop-on-a-dime dynamics are far too complex to be anything but meticulously planned. The band choose insane bits of noise the way a poet chooses words, turning the chaos into a musical lexicon all their own, a language that engages your basest, most animal instincts. With Indian Jewelry and Gold Panda. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

TUESDAY 6.15

Joe Ely

Bunker's

Another in a rich tradition of superb Texas songwriters, Joe Ely is among a select handful who hail from the wind-swept plains around Lubbock, whose panhandle geography imbues them with a haunting, grit-flecked grandeur and squinty-eyed existentialist outlook. It's the land the doomed Buddy Holly called home, as well as Ely's compatriots in the Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. With 30-some years between the first and second coming of the Flatlanders, Ely pursued a solo career that was often artistically phenomenal but less so commercially, neatly sidestepping easy categorizing by tapping border radio eclecticism and riding the range from country and Tex-Mex to roots rock, blues, and honky-tonk. Ely's written a lot of great songs over the years: "Up on the Ridge," "Because the Wind," "Cool Rockin' Loretta," "Me and Billy the Kid," and "Letter to Laredo" spring to mind. Many of those will probably surface as Ely appears in a relatively intimate barroom setting, essentially his natural habitat. Percussionist Pat Manske, who has played with the Flatlanders, will accompany Ely. Iron Range bard Paul Metsa will open. $23/$25. 7 p.m. 761 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8188. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 6.15

Booker T and the MGs with Eddie Floyd

Dakota Jazz Club

Soulsville U.S.A. reestablishes its northern outpost at the Dakota with the arrival upriver of the inimitable Booker T. & the MGs, the iconic groove masters who were the heart and definitely soul of Stax Records. Through the 1960s and early '70s, B3 organ wizard Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, and drummer Al Jackson were the house band at Stax's studio on Memphis's McLemore Avenue, defining the Stax sound while playing behind the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, and Wilson Pickett. Meanwhile, the MGs issued their own series of instrumental hits, including such nuggets as "Green Onions" and "Time Is Tight." During Stax's heyday, Eddie Floyd scored hits with soul classics like "Knock on Wood," "Raise Your Hand," and "Bring It on Home to Me," as well as being a prolific writer for other artists, including "Don't Mess with Cupid" for Redding and "634-5789" for Pickett. The original Stax is long gone. But in recent years the label has been revived by Concord, the iconic Soulsville marquee again reigns on McLemore, and Jones, Cropper, Dunn, Steve Potts (the late Jackson's cousin), and their friend Floyd continue working their magic. $55 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Wednesday —Rick Mason


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