The XX, Brute Heart, Grimes, Dinosaur Jr., and more

Sign of the Grimes
john londono


Béla Fleck & the Marcus Roberts Trio

DAKOTA Jazz Club, WEDNESDAY 10.17 + THURSDAY 10.18

An extraordinary collaboration among banjoist Béla Fleck, pianist Marcus Roberts, and trio members Rodney Jordan (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums), this is likely a one-time-only tour prompted by an album (Across the Imaginary Divide) that grew out of a late-night jam session at a festival. Fleck and Roberts are virtuosos as well as musical visionaries with innovative approaches to slicing and dicing myriad roots and reassembling them in striking ways. Fleck has taken the banjo from bluegrass to Bach, bop, Botswana, and beyond while Roberts casually rummages through the entire history of jazz piano and emerges with something new and luminous. If the divide of the title refers to genres, the band vaporizes it with dazzling interplay that transcends styles even while referencing them. $50-$65 at 7 p.m. $40-$50 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.5299. —Rick Mason


Dinosaur Jr.

The Cabooze, Thursday 10.18

Now three albums into their unlikely second act, indie icons Dinosaur Jr. continue to blast eardrums and blow out speakers with a fury matching their late-'80s heyday. This year's I Bet on Sky fits in so smoothly alongside the rest of Dino's discography it could easily have been released 20 years ago, but that only enhances its atavistic appeal. The band does add some new wrinkles here and there — the twinkly piano fill on album-opener "Don't Pretend You Didn't Know" for one — but most of I Bet on Sky is by-the-book vintage Dino. That means plenty of detached nasal crooning and fiery fretwork from group mastermind J. Mascis and the occasional barbed-wire pop blast from bassist Lou Barlow. With Shearwater. 21+, $18, 7:30 p.m., 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Rob Van Alstyne

The Old 97s

First Avenue, Thursday 10.18

The Old 97s were alternative country's great commercial hope. Their 1997 major-label debut, Too Far to Care, was rightly hailed as a masterpiece, setting Rhett Miller's witty turn-of-phrase tales to searing honky-tonk pop. It boasted enough bar-band grit to appeal to country purists, and the sort of big choruses that go down easy on college campuses. While the album failed to make them stars, it remains a cult classic among the alt-country crowd. Tonight the band plays Too Far to Care in its entirety in honor of its 15th anniversary while presumably dipping into other highlights from their nine studio albums. With Salim Nourallah. 18+, $22, 6 p.m., 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rob Van Alstyne


Brute Heart

Cedar Cultural Center, Friday 10.19

As an early Halloween treat, hauntingly dark art-rock trio Brute Heart perform the live score to the spooky 1920 German Expressionist silent horror masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Joined by cellist Jonathan Kaiser and electronic musician John Marks, Brute Heart produced this live score as a commission for the Walker Art Center and premiered it in August as the Summer Music and Movies series finale. As the nights grow bone-chilling, Brute Heart will reprise this eerie mystical performance in the dark, intimate setting of the Cedar. Kaiser is transforming the space with spooky walk-through sets replete with smoke-and-mirror infinity rooms, creepy shadow puppets by Christopher Allen, and hypnotic soundscapes by MAKR (Mark McGee). $8, 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Cyn Collins


Triple Rock Social Club

The 22-year metal vets Converge are back on the road in support of their fierce eighth studio record, All We Love We Leave Behind. This release comes after 2009's album, Axe to Fall, brought the Salem, Massachusetts, metal quartet plenty of well-earned acclaim from all corners of the music world, while also delivering on the promise suggested by their explosive 2001 masterpiece, Jane Doe. Although that 11-year-old record boldly assured ascendancy to the metal pantheon, Converge haven't churned out tame rehashes of their old work. Instead, they've always pushed their roiling sound further and faster while consistently challenging their fans to keep up with them in the process. With Torche, Kvelertak, and Mourner. 18+, $17, 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erik Thompson

The XX

First Avenue

The XX conquered the world with their debut album, which undressed rock songs like an attentive lover and then slipped slyly into everyone's record collection. After their buzz died down, producer Jamie XX stayed in the public eye with some high-profile remixes and side projects, but the rest of the band was conspicuously silent. Now the trio's returned with Coexist, an album that extends their aesthetic instead of expanding it. It's more of a good thing, and as with the band itself, there aren't any wild gestures — just another set of slinky, smoldering tracks. With John Talabot and 2:54. 18+, $30.50, 8 p.m., 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas


Black Prairie


400 BAR

Black Prairie was formed a few years back by guitarist Chris Funk and bassist Nate Query of the Decemberists as a vehicle for exploring string-band music. They recruited Decemberists accordionist Jenny Conlee as well as two other members of the Portland music scene: guitarist Jon Neufield and singer/violinist Annalisa Tornfelt. With the recent release of the band's second album, A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart, the members of BP have established their group as a significant Americana band in its own right, and broadened their scope to include elements of jazz and world music. Their distinctive take on Americana may originate in Appalachia but strays into distinctive territory where blues and bluegrass meet chamber jazz and European café music. $10, 9 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Rick Mason


Elias J. Halling Recital Hall, Minnesota State University

The enigmatic outsider musician Jandek is coming to Mankato for his first-ever live performance in Minnesota during his lengthy and legendary musical career. The inscrutable singer-songwriter from Dallas has developed a cultlike following within the fringes of the music community, self-releasing over 60 albums in his 30-plus years on the outskirts of the industry. Since he has kept his story and his background mostly unknown, only his music remains for his fans to decipher. Jandek's musical styles typically range from folk to blues, with enough sharp right turns to keep everyone guessing. All ages, $20-$25, 7:30 p.m. 320 Maywood Ave., Mankato, 507.389.5549. —Erik Thompson


Triple Rock Social Club

Portland's Menomena are the rare experimental pop provocateurs whose tunes boast an insistent rhythmic pulse. Originally a trio of singers/multi-instrumentalists, Menomena's never suffered from a lack of musical ideas. At times they've been overstuffed with them, so the surviving duo of Justin Harris and Danny Seim weather the departure of co-founder Brent Knopf in fine form on this year's Moms. A song cycle dedicated to their mothers, the album contains intensely personal material — "You brought me into this shit show without a penny or a plan" — that is musically kinetic and uplifting even when lyrically despondent. The band continue deftly blending machine-manipulated rhythms and samples with atypical rock instrumentation — hello there, flute — and organic piano and guitar textures in a manner rarely heard since the Folk Implosion's heyday. 18+, $15, 8 p.m., 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.333.7399. —Rob Van Alstyne


San Cisco

The Turf Club

The video for San Cisco's taut boy/girl disco-rock ditty "Awkward" finds the Australian foursome so irresistibly cutesy in sound and look that they were seemingly birthed in a lab to soundtrack future Bing commercials. Already a fixture on 89.3 the Current thanks to "Awkward," San Cisco perform at the Turf Club directly following a barrage of shows at New York's buzz-building CMJ Music Marathon while en route to Los Angeles. It's pretty much a lock that any return appearances will be at decidedly bigger venues. They're far from a one trick pony, however: Dutiful YouTube listening to their overseas singles reveals a highly polished band with dashes of Vampire Weekend's spritely melodicism at work in tunes like "Golden Revolver." With Chaos Chaos. 21+, $12, 7:30 p.m., 1601 University Ave., St. Paul, 651.647.0486. —Rob Van Alstyne



VArsity Theater, MonDay 10.22

With all the artists clamoring to be a pop princess, Grimes was able to float just under the radar as a pop poltergeist. After a couple of albums that buried hooks under a stratum of digital sludge, Claire Boucher (the lone woman behind the project) lifted her noisy veil to reveal Visions, an album that grabbed listeners with ghostly loops and held them with subtly inviting melodies. The combination made Visions something of a breakthrough, as it proved that Boucher didn't need to obfuscate anything with murk — the hide-and-seek game was just Grimes having fun. With Elite Gymnastics and Myths. 18+, $15-$17, 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Ian Traas

Public Image Ltd.


Resurrected in 2009 by John Lydon with former members Lu Edmonds (guitar) and Bruce Smith (drums), plus Scott Firth on bass, PiL received good notices after hitting the road and subsequently recorded their first album in 20 years, This Is PiL. Whatever the expectations, the new disc is far better than you could hope for. Lydon, who financed the album by appearing in ads for butter(!), still yowls, yelps, theatrically rolls his Rs, and spits vituperative lyrics, achieving a quirkily mesmerizing intensity, if once or twice sounding like a Dalek threatening Dr. Who. The songs are a curious mix of complaints, rants, reflections, and even a musing about Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, held together by Lydon's raging, pointillist vocals and the exceptionally taut, searing instrumental work that daubs bristling rock with echoes of dub and funk. 18+, $29.50, 9 p.m. 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612.333.3422. —Rick Mason


Waka Flocka Flame


First Avenue

After years as Atlanta's resident mixtape messiah, Waka Flocka Flame huffed, puffed, and blew the trap down with 2010's Flockaveli, an album of ridiculously potent hooks and blistering Southern rattle that has, improbably, proven to be one of the most influential rap full-lengths of the past few years. Then, following another handful of tapes and an eponymous LP with Gucci Mane under their Ferrari Boyz moniker, Waka dropped his sophomore solo effort, Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family, in June. Though not as iconoclastic as Flockaveli was, the new album captures much of the same energy while also distributing sing-song hooks and EDM-influenced beats as quickly as Waka does cash when he's around a certain type of female entertainer (see, for evidence of all of the above, "Round of Applause" and "I Don't Really Care"). If nothing else, Triple F proves that the 26-year-old is still down to fuck the club up. With Wooh Da Kid and Reema Major. 18+, $25, 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Mike Madden

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