The Thermals, The Klaxons, Eels, and more

Tune into the Thermals this Thursday night at the Triple Rock


The Thermals

Triple Rock Social Club

The Thermals often get saddled with the "punk" tag, but that's a bit of a misnomer. Sure, the band has plenty of buzzing, up-tempo anthems at their disposal, and they've been known to pair their high-energy sound with righteous political dissent, but they're not solely concerned with smashing the system. Actually, the Thermals don't sound like they want to smash anything; even their angriest material is rooted in introspection and a genuine desire to improve the state of the world. Likewise, every album since their 2004 breakthrough has been increasingly intimate (even going so far as to call their newest release Personal Life), which makes their effortless, infectious hooks sound more like three-dimensional pop than three-chord punk. But regardless of which genre the band falls into, it's impossible to deny their passion, which comes across whether they're writing songs about the president or their paramours. Perhaps the most un-punk thing about the band is that they care, but you might not notice until your ears have stopped ringing. With Cymbals Eat Guitars. 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

Charles Lloyd New Quartet

Dakota Jazz Club

Seemingly way ahead of the curve throughout his lengthy career, saxophonist/flautist Charles Lloyd continues at age 72 to create definitive contemporary jazz with one of the premier bands in the business. Always keenly attuned to historic jazz influences, notably including gospel, Lloyd also was a pioneer in his experiments with free jazz, jazz fusion, and world music, all of whose threads still weave through his music. Lloyd's New Quartet features three incomparable players in their 30s, each redefining their instruments: pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland. The group's just-released first studio album, Mirror, follows up 2008's live Rabo de Nube and is distinguished by sparklingly beautiful, deeply ruminative explorations of standards, Lloyd originals, a pair of Thelonious Monk tunes, Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No" (Lloyd sometimes played with the Beach Boys in the '70s), a trio of vividly revised spirituals, and several tunes with international influences. As such, it's a kind of microcosm of Lloyd's career, but doesn't at all feel like a retrospective. Instead it's Lloyd, often playing alto instead of his more customary tenor, and the band's visionary take on the timeless, luminous music from different sources woven together with sublime ensemble work. This Dakota appearance is one of only five the band will make this fall, with an expanded tour expected next year. $50 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason


The Klaxons

Triple Rock Social Club

Though nu-rave had the lifespan of a mayfly (even in sub-genre terms), it spawned a few bands that have enjoyed a longer shelf life than the movement itself. Then again, for a flagship band the Klaxons had a curiously tenuous link to anything resembling "rave." Their music is danceable, yes, but it's less of a slave to the sounds of house or techno than that name would imply. The relationship with dance music proper is strained even further with their most recent release, Surfing the Void, and the Klaxons have started to give more than a passing nod to Madchester groups such as the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. But this isn't mere homage; their sound is acid-soaked and elaborate one moment, insistent and pounding the next, and more aggressive than a list of their influences would indicate. They're unafraid to throw curveballs, but an ace single like "Echoes" proves the band's crowd-pleasing aspects aren't strangled by experimentation and that they have a wealth of tools to drop jaws live. With Baby Monster. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

The Boxer Rebellion

7th St. Entry

When self-financed albums are released, many of the accolades often end up being backhanded; everyone respects the drive and moxie to get the thing done more than the finished product itself. Last year's Union, however, the Boxer Rebellion's second release, could be viewed as a shot across the bow to those lined up with the intention of giving faint praise. Resembling a less-dreary Interpol and a more aggressive British Sea Power, the Boxer Rebellion's songs take a fairly familiar drive through the last 10 years of British rock, but they turn corners without hitting the brakes, and the stops along the way aren't exactly to take in beautiful scenery. If a BSP album is like a bike ride through the English countryside, the Boxer Rebellion is a tour of Whitechapel in a rusty MG with a dodgy clutch. There's a certain mix of corrosion and claustrophobia present in their work, but there is also unmitigated triumph—almost as if the songs are on the verge of becoming black holes and supernovae all at once. They're not really here to regurgitate the last 10 years of British rock, they're here to vandalize it and claim it for themselves. With Amusement Parks on Fire, Grayshot. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien


Bettie Serveert

7th St. Entry

The Dutch band Bettie Serveert (whose name was copped from a tennis instructional tome) have been around for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years, yet remain a paragon of indie invincibility. There have been a few flirtations with wider success, including college- radio infatuation and opening stints for heavier-weight bands, but BS's following this side of the pond remains of the cultish variety. Nevertheless, the band consistently churns out quality rock 'n' roll inflamed by punk and pop, crafting melodic lures out of Peter Visser's rangy guitar exploits and Carol van Dyk's acid-etched purr. Pharmacy of Love, BS's first album in four years, is a solid collection of nuggets ranging from the effervescent pop of "Souls Travel" to the punkish "Deny All" and the full-fledged rock anthem "What They Call Love." There are echoes of the Pretenders, Velvets, Blondie, and even U2, but it's familiarity laced with fresh twists and vibrant spirit. With Buffalo Moon. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason



First Avenue

Eels mastermind E (Mark Oliver Everett, formally) issued three albums of new material in just over a year, essentially taking him from desolation to ecstasy. Hombre Lobo and End Times grappled with the multiple complications of primal lust and the devastation of romantic abandonment, respectfully, sometimes in excruciating detail. Tomorrow Morning, released in August, completes the trilogy with a somewhat unexpected wave of sunny optimism and renewed joie de vivre as E celebrates newfound love. E amazes himself with this unlikely outcome, musing in "Mystery of Life": "Pain in my heart twisting like a knife / disappeared just overnight." In contrast to the sometimes lacerating rock and raw minimalism that fueled his despair, E fashions a sound dominated by glowing electronics: soothing synth melodies; classical overtones sometimes juxtaposed with taut, percolating beats; arch counterpoint added to acoustic folk-like tunes; programmed rhythms giving a thumping heartbeat to E's satisfaction. Meanwhile, "I Like the Way This Is Going" unplugs for a simple, thoroughly alluring pop hook, and "Baby Loves Me" underscores E's giddy delight with a Devo-ish dash of punky adrenaline. E's a man as overwhelmed with his good fortune as he was with bad. Opening will be California singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop, a former nanny for Tom Waits's kids, whose enchanting album Hunting My Dress is an idiosyncratic, category-defying cross among ancient folk, alt-rock, ethereal melodies, crunching dance beats, whispered confessionals, and full-throated, quirky pop. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Ruthie Foster

Dakota Jazz Club

First she was lauded as The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster, then returned as a soulful seer bearing The Truth, backing up both declarative album titles with her terrific, smoldering voice and classic southern roots mix of gospel, soul, R&B, and blues. A Texas native who followed a stint in the Navy by launching her career on the folk circuit, Foster's voice seems to have been forged for Memphis, where she recorded The Truth at historic Ardent Studios. And Foster cultivates that classic, deeply earthy Memphis vibe with the help of funky guitar, bubbling organ, a splash of horns, and the benevolent spirits of Aretha Franklin and Ann Peebles. Whether singing of love's wonder and joy or sadness and pain, Foster taps every dimension of her marvelous vocal arsenal with passion and absolute conviction. She'll be accompanied by her usual band: bassist Tanya Richardson and drummer Samantha Brooks. $40 at 7 p.m.; $30 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Monday —Rick Mason

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Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


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