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Spoon and Deerhunter, Flying Lotus, and more

Spoon return to town on the heels of Transference
Autumn De Wilde

FRIDAY 4.2

Spoon/Deerhunter

First Avenue

Hailing from Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, respectively, these two bands offer up what promises to be the best double bill to pass through the Cities so far this spring. Over the past 15 years, Spoon have built an increasingly accomplished catalog of polished, tightly packed indie rock wound up in a minimalist pop exterior. The new album from these expert craftsmen in the recording studio, Transference, is a jerkier, looser affair than we've become accustomed to from Britt Daniels and his band. It's also irresistibly fresh and bracing, which promises to make for a raucous live show. Boasting a similarly sprung tension at the center of their music, Deerhunter drape layers of shoegazing sprawl over a pulsing garage-rock rhythm section. Combined with the surreal, often paranoid lyrics of Bradford Cox—the chronic blogger who also fronts Atlas Sound—the result is hypnotic, at times disconcerting, and always capable of producing fireworks. With Micachu and the Shapes. 8 p.m. 21+. Sold out. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. Also Saturday —Jeff Gage

Tobacco

Triple Rock Social Club

Though Tom Fec, the man behind Tobacco, is better known for his lackadaisical psychedelicisms in Black Moth Super Rainbow, his solo work mystifies equally. While the drippy hedonism and retro posturing of BSRM are not altogether done away with, in Tobacco Fec takes a harder edge. In spots, his cadre of analog synthesizers nearly grunts in between hip-hop flourishes he adds to trademark pastoral undulations. It's an acid-pop wizard's take on the gritty city. And this time it's the gum on the sidewalk that's under the microscope, instead of glittery bubble pops. But when run through Fec's masterful toolbox, the inversions please. Joining the Pittsburgh native Friday are fellow Midwesterners the Hood Internet, profferers of hip-hop/pop-star mashups, and the newly West Coast-transplanted High Places, the perpetually touring dream-pop duo. 18+. $12. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erin Roof

Toro y Moi

Turf Club

In contrast to Washed Out's idyllic, well-manicured Life of Leisure, Causers of This, the first full-length from Toro y Moi, a.k.a. Chaz Bundick, is an intentionally chaotic affair. But it turns out the subgenre chillwave, even in deconstructed form, has its virtues. Though Causers is an undeniably piecemeal assemblage, there's something hypnotic about the way its wafting vocals, fractured instrumental passages, and tape hiss loosely coalesce into melodies, even if they often break apart before they have a chance to fully sink in. An aural puzzle like Causers is no doubt a challenge to replicate note-for-note onstage, but unlike many of his chillwave peers, Bundick doesn't even try, instead preferring scaled-back renditions that better suit a one-man performance. Some may say it's a copout, but Bundick makes a compelling argument that pulling it all together is vastly overrated. With the Ruby Suns. 21+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jonathan Garrett

SATURDAY 4.3

Cymbals Eat Guitars/ Freelance Whales/Bear in Heaven

Turf Club

These are three indie bands from three New York boroughs, all bearing various degrees of next-big-thingness. But none more so than Staten Island's Cymbals Eat Guitars, whose self-released debut, Why There Are Mountains, was anointed last year with a Pitchfork Best New Music tag. CEG has been widely compared to Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and Pavement, and the ties are readily evident. But the quintet has its own potent formula, crossing epic grandeur with snarly grit, guitars squalling over a stately pace, the odd lyrical piano interlude, horns occasionally poking in while Joseph D'Agostino's fevered caterwaul coos, throbs, and eventually explodes. On their debut, Weathervanes, Queens' Freelance Whales ply a hybrid sound that's part indie pop, part quirky post-modern folk, mixing whimsy, studied insouciance, and curious instrumentation that matches synthesizers, banjos, glockenspiel, harmonium, and guitars. With a preponderance of swirling synths, enormous hooks, soaring vocals, and large-scale pulsing rhythms, Bear in Heaven prove they've mastered most of the moves of progressive arena rock on their second album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. Brooklyn-based but with Atlanta roots, BIH, led by Jon Anderson sound-alike Jon Philpot, mostly go for the grand, over-the-top gesture but ground it all in well-crafted elements (like Anderson's Yes) and a good measure of contemporary urgency. 21+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Rick Mason

Flying Lotus

The Loft at Bar Fly

In just five short years, Flying Lotus has grown from a promising beat-builder with a side gig in Adult Swim bumper music to the caliber of rarefied artist who can score guest vocals from Thom Yorke. His aesthetic—a textural, hazy, heavy-bumping fusion that does for hip hop and IDM what '70s Ornette Coleman did for jazz—was firmly in place across his first few works, including debut LP 1983 and EPs like Reset and Pink Sun. But it was 2008's Los Angeles and its ensuing spinoff L.A. EPs that put him at the figurehead position of a creatively rich post-hip-hop scene, which aims to redraw the parameters of beat music. His intensely anticipated follow-up, Cosmogramma, which includes the aforementioned Yorke collaboration "...And the World Laughs with You," drops in May. Dubstep powerhouse Kode9 and local favorites the Moongoons open. 18+. $5/$10 at the door. 9 p.m. 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.6100. —Nate Patrin

Gilberto Gil

 

Orchestra Hall

Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Gilberto Gil looms large in contemporary music history. Not only is he an accomplished writer, riddling his songs with clever wordplay while tackling topics as diverse as technology, philosophy, and romance, he's an engaging performer whose music encompasses an enormous swath of genres, from Brazilian bossa nova, samba, and baião to reggae, Afrobeat, and the Beatles. In the late '60s, he was instrumental in creating Tropicália, a cut-and-paste artistic philosophy that at the time merged traditional Brazilian music with rock 'n' roll, creating a template adopted decades later by post-modern artists worldwide. Fascinated with Bob Marley, Gil introduced Brazil to reggae, leading to the creation of an entire new hybrid genre, samba-reggae. Long a stellar pop icon in Brazil, he also immersed himself in politics, serving for more than five years (until 2008) as minister of culture under President Lula. Gil's latest album, Bandadois, vividly revisits high points in his 40-plus-year career in elegantly spare arrangements featuring only himself and his son Bem on guitar and percussion. There'll be a similar vibe here in what Gil has dubbed "The String Concert." Renowned Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, joining Gilberto and Bem, should add a distinct dimension of his own to Gil's work. $30-$55. 8 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656. —Rick Mason

SUNDAY 4.4

Beach House

The Cedar

Virtually from their inception, Baltimore duo Beach House distilled their music into a hazy, shimmering darkness of near-perfection. Like the tunes of an old windup music box, their notes chimed forth in a warm, delicate warble, analog dreams that crackled and hissed with the quivers of new love, tinged by the remembrances of heartaches past. Their sound was of such a complete and self-contained beauty that it seemed impossible the band could ever improve upon it. Yet Victoria Legrand—the niece of French composer, Michel Legrand—and Alex Scally did just that by blowing up that sound on their third full-length, January's Teen Dream. Recorded in a converted church, the music on Teen Dream reaches further for its influences, bursting forth with a newfound assertiveness and unbridled lushness that match the grandeur of Legrand's dusky vocals. The results are as gorgeous as ever, but now more resonant, more passionate, and utterly breathtaking. With Bachelorette. All ages. 7 p.m. Sold out. 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Jeff Gage

MONDAY 4.5

Titus Andronicus

7th St. Entry

It's nothing new for a rock band out of New Jersey to ride a bit on Springsteen's coattails (especially now that the Boss is fashionable among indie outfits), but Titus Andronicus aren't satisfied with rewriting "Born to Run." Still, it's fitting that a group that takes after an American icon should illustrate the melting pot concept so well; they borrow liberally enough that it's not difficult to pick out heroes like the Pogues or Sham 69, but every influence has been blended together into a sound that's singular enough to earn the young band tons of high-profile accolades following the release of their '09 debut. A new album (The Monitor) based loosely on the Civil War and a band name cribbed from Shakespeare may reveal the group's bookish tendencies, but the booze-fueled working-class fight songs and shout-along choruses steamroll any notion of mildness you might have had. Forget hair gel and GTL; these guys are doing the Garden State proud using nothing but pure rock 'n' roll. 18+. 8 p.m. $8/$10 at the door. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Ian Traas

David Bazan/Headlights

Turf Club

David Bazan has never been one to shy away from confronting difficult questions about life and spirituality, or from dealing with them in an honest, even revealing manner. Raised in a strict non-secular household, the former Pedro the Lion frontman rather unfairly received the "Christian rock" label in his early days, but especially since shedding his former moniker the Seattle native has worked his (increasingly distant) relationship with God into a broader struggle with personal demons, ranging from addiction to romance to politics. While the bearded singer has loosened up his persona some over the years, the formula for his music has stayed relatively unchanged, its slow, subdued progressions built around his raspy drawl of a voice. Champagne, Illinois's Headlights don't trouble themselves with such heady issues, however. The indie-pop trio's infectious melodicism offers up simple pleasures, which means they should balance perfectly Bazan's carefully wrought ruminations. 8 p.m. $13. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jeff Gage

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miles
First Avenue

701 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

612-338-8388

www.first-avenue.com


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