The best Twin Cities concerts: 9/4 - 9/10

The best Twin Cities concerts: 9/4 - 9/10
Courtesy of Big Hassle

The weather has cooled down, but the music hasn't. Plenty of acts, large and local, are hitting up the Twin Cities this week. Mumford & Sons leave their mark on St. Paul Wednesday at the Xcel while Taylor Swift stops by later for the weekend. Alt-J plays a sold out two night show at First Avenue while local favorite Prof hits up the Cabooze. Monday night, First Avenue welcomes CHVRCHES while Deerhunter plays down the street at the Fine Line.

Wednesday 9.4.2013

Mumford & Sons
Xcel Energy Center
The ascendency of English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons to sold-out-arena status is certainly a curiosity, but also part of a pop trend that has also elevated roots bands like the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. But underneath the rousing, hootenanny choruses, sprightly banjo picking and melodies that have attracted Mumford's faithful is a grim, grey, earnestness concerned with Hell, the Devil, Belief (all with caps) and frequent kneeling in apparent hope of revelation. Marcus Mumford shouts energetically about it all on his quartet's second album, Babel. But the fundamental humorlessness that characterizes Mumford's songs suggests a hollow core, where blind religious faith substitutes for gritty substance amidst pleasant enough music. Fellow English bands The Vaccines and Bear's Den will open. -- Rick Mason
All Ages,$35 , 7 PM

The Velveteens with Jim and the French Vanilla
Turf Club/Clown Lounge
Retro Dreamy
21+, 10 PM

Pleasure with Camden and Beat Detectives
7th Street Entry
Cutting Teeth
18+, $5, 8 PM

Thursday 9.5.2013

Rupert Angeleyes, Shakin Babies, Panther Ray and Some Pulp
Triple Rock
Retro style Dance
18+, $6, 8 PM

Fury Things w/ DJs TRL, Dave S. & Jon from the Current
Kitty Cat Klub
Modern Fuzz
21+, FREE, 9 PM

Friday 9.6.2013

Battlefield Band
Cedar Cultural Center
Long considered the flagship band of traditional Scottish music, Battlefield Band (named for a Glasgow suburb) began as mavericks in 1969, keeping the music vibrant by mixing ancient and modern elements. Decades later, through numerous personnel changes (making 2005 addition Sean O'Donnell the quartet's senior member), Battlefield Band retains its fervent splendor, igniting a fine array of jigs, reels, strathspeys with their fiery fiddles, Highland bagpipes, bouzoukis and whistles. Room Enough for All, BB's latest, as usual deftly blurs the centuries. Ewen Henderson sings a 19th century sailor's song in Gaelic, while O'Donnell, in English, sings a seemingly silly 1930s poem with a subtle contemporary point about eroding culture. There are odes to remote lochs, a reference to a hairy fish and even an unlikely swirling quickstep--"Tynes in Overtime!"--in tribute to Scottish-born former New York Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes. -- Rick Mason
$18-$20, 8 PM

Parachute with Matt hires and Paradise Fears
Mill City Nights
Pop Fervor 
15+, $15, 8 PM

Lightning Dust with Louise Burns
7th Street Entry
Intricate Folk Affair
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

American Head Charge with Blue Felix, Throw the Figh, Gabriel and th eApocalypse and Automatic Imagery
First Avenue Mainroom 
Industrial Grind
18+, $20/$25, 8 PM

Bright Chords
21+, $5, 11 PM

Pink Mink with The Seawhores, Still Pacific, Svboda and DJ Stoo
Turf Club
Girls with Guitars
21+, $10, 9 PM

Lightning Dust
7th Street Entry
Started by the duo of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells as the softer folkie counterpart to their thunderous work in fuzzed-out hard Vancouver hard-rock combo Black Mountain, Lightning Dust have unexpectedly morphed into a dark downtempo electro-pop outfit on their third album, Fantasy. The record essentially sounds like one long song, with textures and tempos only slightly shifting as Webber's Stevie-Nicks-ish singing voice rings out atop molasses-slow mechanical beats and uber-'80s ambient synthesizer squiggles. The largely narcotized sound works bewitchingly well, with the added bonus of making those rare moments when the group opts to up the tempo on their drum machines hit that much harder. With Louise Burns. -- Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $10-$12, 8 PM

Saturday 9.7.2013

A live wire with more in common with Jim Carrey than Meek Mill, Minneapolis rapper Prof has an unpredictable delivery and a taste for phallocentric punchlines. Plus, his instrumentals are every bit as kinetic as he is. Still, the Minneapolis-bred Jacob Anderson can rap like the grown-ass man he is, too -- see 2011's King Gampo cut "On My Way," a Slug-ish self-intervention on par with anything Atmosphere has done this decade. Billed the "biggest show in the history of Prof," expect additional performances by Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), Evidence, Fashawn, Long Doe, Get Cryphy, Soulcrate, and others. -- Mike Madden
$20, 3 PM
Taylor Swift with Ed Sheeran and Casey James
Xcel Energy Center, Saturday 9.7 + Sunday 9.8
Girl Songs
AA, $31.50-$86.50, 5:30 PM

First Avenue, Saturday 9.7 + Sunday 9.8
No one agrees about Alt-J. The U.K. foursome's Mercury Prize-winning debut album feels cobbled together from a short list of recent indie rock success stories, and they're not embarrassed about admitting where each little piece was cribbed from. It's scuffed in all the right places ("Fitzpleasure"), politely twinkling in others ("Ms"), with the split opinions on the band stemming from a question of whether the calculated approach mars some excellent results. For those that want to see an act's guts laid bare onstage, Alt-J may come off as overcooked, but there's plenty of thoughtful, modern-sounding material for listeners who like their bands to arrive on the scene fully formed. It's still not clear if they're hounds of the zeitgeist or a band with a beautifully intricate master plan, but two sold-out shows might end up tipping their hand. With Lord Huron. -- Ian Traas
18+, SOLD OUT, 8 PM

We Became Actors
Guitars Anthems
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Blind Shake (Record Release) with Circles, Pony Trash and Crimes
Turf Club
Power Trio
21+, $7, 9 PM

Taj Raj with The Color Pharmacy, The Sudden Lovelys and The Cavalier Crooks
Fine Line Music Café
Colorful Chords
21+, $6, 9 PM

Sunday 9.8.2013

Robyn Hitchcock with Eugene Mirman
Varsity Theater
Prolific Songwriting
18+, $22/$25, 7 PM

Taylor Swift with Ed Sheeran and Casey James
Xcel Energy Center
Girl Songs
AA, $31.50-$86.50, 5:30 PM

First Avenue
Two Night Takeover
18+, SOLD OUT, 8 PM

Monday 9.9.2013

First Avenue
It's rare a synth-pop act has a serious chance to become as wildly popular as its '80s predecessors, but CHVRCHES embody that prospect. It took just three singles to catapult the Welsh trio (pronounced "churches") to an appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and primetime spots at a handful of European festivals this summer. Their sugary melodic punch features frontwoman Lauren Mayberry's wounded-angel tone, the galactic synth progressions, and the scintillating (not to mention dubstep-influenced) drum patterns. With their self-produced debut The Bones of What You Believe due September 23, this show will be at least in part a preview of their new(est) material just ahead of its release, too. With Orlando producer XXYYXX. -- Mike Madden
18+, $18-20, 7PM

Total Trash with Fancytramp, Kitten Forever and Miami Dolphins
Memory Lanes 
Fuzzy Chaos
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Fine Line Music Café
The last time Bradford Cox came to Minneapolis, he took a heckler's catcalling request for "My Sharona" as an invitation to play the song on repeat for almost an hour. When Cox wants to get in your face, he has a knack for finding the shortest distance between wherever he's standing and that little space one inch from your nose. That sort of stubborn antagonism plays into his band's records, too--Deerhunter refuses subgenre labels. They play rock 'n' roll, and lately, they're toying with a broken pop sensibility that lasciviously rubs up against noise. They'll change again. They'll probably change tomorrow. Seeing them live each time is seeing them in a fascinating new incarnation before they molt and grow a new skin. But they'll always have their middle finger up, and it will always be pointed at you. With Marnie Stern. -- Ian Traas
18+, $18, 7 PM

J. Roddy Walston & the Business
7th Street Entry
Reminiscent of bands like Dr. Dog in their ability to seamlessly blend modern indie rock with classic piano-pounding '60s-pop structures, J. Roddy Walston & the Business's decade-long slow ascent finally appears set to speed up. With this month's release of their third record, Essential Tremors, the Baltimore-by-way-of-small-town-Tennessee band moves to ATO Records - a label that's helped to break similarly deeply Southern bands like Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket into the big time. The record polishes the band's sound slightly while staying true to the raw energy that's always been their calling card. In other words, Roddy still favors a ragged-but-right shout/sing vocal style. Highlights include the snarling stomp-rock single "Heavy Bells" and CCR-evoking back-porch-rock bliss of "Same Days." -- Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $12-$14, 8 PM

Tuesday 9.10.2013

Monica LaPlante with Real Numbers, Some Pulp and Vonnie Kyle
Kitty Cat Klub
Retro Pop
21+, FREE, 9:30 PM

Animal Lover, Ex Nuns, Deleter and Congorats
Triple Rock
18+, $5, 8 PM

The Psychedelic Furs with The Technicolors and DJ Jake Rudh
First Avenue Mainroom
Agressive, punk desperation
18+, $23/$25, 7:30 PM

Brain Tumors, Eureka California, Muhammadali, Transitional Species, Vellhouse, Disthroned Agony 
Fuzzed out
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Tav Falco's Panther Burns with Crankshaft
7th Street Entry
Southern provocateur
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade with Becky Gaunt & the Gauntlettes and Bomba de Luz
Old Style 
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Where I'm Going

CHVRCHES @ First Avenue

...Kitty Cat Klub Tuesday

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