Concert Highlights for the Week of July 11 - July 17

Tom Morello has some political stuff to tell you, and it will blow your mind!
Sean Ricigliano

THURSDAY 7.12

Radio Birdman
Triple Rock Social Club
Formed in 1974, Australia's Radio Birdman put on their own shows in a Detroit-influenced underground that spawned dozens of great, tough Aussie bands during the waxing of disco and glam. Taking their name from the Stooges' "1970" and their 200-mph stage presence from the MC5, the band had a focus on keyboards that alternately recalled the Doors, early Blue Oyster Cult, and the grime of one-hit garage rockers. Guitarist Deniz Tek and powerful singer Rob Younger did fine work on their own after the group split in 1978, but it took until 2001 to have the band's legacy properly represented in the States, with The Essential Radio Birdman (Sub Pop). That led to last year's Zeno Beach (Yep Roc) with four original members on board, showing a hard-fought maturity and sophisticated sound textures. Yet, as their classic "Aloha Steve and Danno," and all those bootlegs from underground mid-'70s club shows prove, Birdman are at their best hosting a rock 'n' roll party either in the studio or onstage. Yeah, hup! $18. 9:00 p.m. Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Cecile Cloutier

Patio Night with Ghost in the Water
Minnesota Museum of American Art
People make music in their basements all the time, but it usually doesn't sound as cool as the soft electronic lullabies produced by local musical duo Ghost in the Water. Nathan and Mandy pair up in a mess of extension cords and offer the ears a soothing dream soundtrack mixed with sweet Björk-like vocals. There may be only two physical bodies onstage, but close your eyes, and you'll hear a variety of sounds, from violins and traditional guitars to innocent chimes and creative percussion. The combination of synthesized sounds and actual instruments creates a beautiful fusion between technological inspirations and wholesome handmade melodies. Ghost in the Water put a little cloud under your chair and another one behind your head. The men of Mystery Palace will also play the patio, adding a bit of spunk to the evening with their up-tempo electronic repertoire. $7. 7:00 p.m. 50 W. Kellogg Blvd., at Market Street, St. Paul; 651.266.1030. —Amber Schadewald

 

FRIDAY 7.13

The Redwalls
Triple Rock Social Club
Reform schools probably don't seem like inspiring places to their inhabitants, but the institutions provide plenty of creative fuel to outsiders. Bob Dylan immortalized Minnesota's infamous juvenile detention center in "The Walls of Red Wing." Forty years later, the song helped give a name to a foursome of Chicago boys who were starting to write their own Brit-pop style material after playing in a cover band called the Pages. Rechristened the Redwalls, the group, anchored by brothers Justin and Logan Baren, put out two albums of delightfully melodic retro pop songs. In February of this year, they were dropped by label Capitol Records, but have since released a new EP, The Wall to Wall Sessions. On "The Edge of the Night," Mexican-influenced guitars mix with complex rhythms from tabla and castanets for a heart-bending remembrance of nocturnal escape. And the lazyily pining "Maria" should convince drunk-dialers everywhere to sweeten their sloppy invitations using salt-shaker maracas and barroom harmonicas. With Robbers on High Street, Baby Teeth, and Che Arther. 18+. $8. 10:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Sarah Askari

The Nightwatchman
7th St. Entry
There's an obvious power created when people stand together, but sometimes the impact of a particular message can be more direct when announced by a single voice. Guitarist Tom Morello (above), whose past engagements have included Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine, is protesting through song, working to become a "One Man Revolution." The Nightwatchman, Morello's post-9/11 alter ego, was grown from his frustrations with the suits currently inhabiting the White House. His solo material seethes with bitterness and revenge, clawing at audiences with raw vocals and intense acoustic sound. While he tags musical greats like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan as his inspirations, he also notes Che Guevara, Malcolm X, and Emma Goldman. A ticket to this show means you had better be prepared to shut up and listen—he literally asks for quiet. All ages. $16. 6:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Amber Schadewald

They Shoot Horses Don't They?
Nomad World Pub
In the band's namesake Sydney Pollack film, desperate contestants in a dance marathon push their bodies to the limit in order to capture a cash prize. Drop by the Nomad World Pub tonight, and you may just find yourself channeling that kind of energy, bopping and ca-chunking your body to the musical circus onstage before you. More of a spastic carnival than an indie-rock band (even if they have released both of their albums for the Kill Rock Stars label), this frenetic troupe from British Columbia includes a full-on horn section and claims as many as nine members. Known throughout the Pacific Northwest for the dizzying exuberance of their live show, They Shoot Horses have all the juice-loosened pomp of a fun-loving brass band stampeding down Bourbon Street. With that kind of wild racket blaring away, you can either join the parade or get trampled underfoot. With Shapes and Sizes and Dearling Physique. $6. 9:00 p.m. 501 Cedar Ave S., at Riverside Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.6424. —Christopher Matthew Jensen

SATURDAY 7.14

40 Watt Bulb
Silver Creek
Silver Creek, Minnesota, has a problem. The goofball good ol' boys of 40 Watt Bulb are threatening to "shut down the whole damn town" in order to celebrate the release of their new CD, Snivel, in proper form. For these country-bluegrass strummers and pickers, proper form involves performing on a parked flatbed truck in the center of the road. But maybe they're on to something—the acoustics of small town Main Street ought to fit this band as well as a pair of off-brand dungarees. Frontman Drew Peterson has a voice that's frayed in all the right places, and the lively cascade of eighth notes spilling out of Andy Dee's resophonic guitar and BJ Haldy's banjo will get you wound up enough to kick dirt. Others roped into playing with the dim bulbs include Charlie Parr and Pert Near Sandstone—and why not, when the hospitality extends to cheap beer and a free shuttle to the sawbuck-per-tent campground? But be forewarned: This event takes place in the Wright County township of Silver Lake, about 45 minutes outside the metro area. Do not drive up to Lake County's Silver Creek and stand in the middle of the main drag with expectations of being serenaded. More information is available at www.40wattbulb.com. —Sarah Askari

Grandmaster Flash
Foundation
There's the Grandmaster Flash that most casuals know—the one who put his name on a handful of early-'80s rap classics like "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" with the Furious Five and Melle Mel—but then there's the one whom diehards breathlessly speak of, the colossus party DJ who developed several of the cutting and back-spinning turntable techniques that gave hip hop much of its instrumental vocabulary. A man who was practically born to rock parties (literally—his birthday's New Year's Day), Flash has survived inter-band squabbles, an increasingly DJ-deficient rap game, and about 15 major landscape changes in the last 30 years of hip hop to craft a number of great mix compilations—including 1997's meticulous disco love letter Salsoul Jam 2000 (reissued in '05 as Mixing Bullets and Firing Joints) and 2002's riveting history lesson The Official Adventures of Grandmaster Flash. His set at the Foundation should give a significant weight to that old MC shout: And it don't stop. $10/$15 at the door. 10:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. —Nate Patrin

MONDAY 7.16

Klaxons
The Varsity Theater
Strobe lights, candy-flavored pacifiers, and fluorescent body paint may get to the center of your tootsie pop, but it just ain't their bag, bra. This much-ballyhooed British trio may have made countless headlines as supposed pioneers of "new rave," whatever that means, but any effort to attach them to some kind of movement would be in vain. In reality, they're just a trio of indie kids with a knack for undeniably danceable, slightly artsy, self-consciously modern fuzz-tone guitar rock. With their debut album, Myths of the Near Future, Klaxons justified the excitement the British press had been lobbing at them ever since the release of their debut single, "Gravity's Rainbow." With memorable melodies, interesting song shifts, and Shins-y harmonies, Klaxons are perfectly satisfying as a guitar-oriented indie-rock group. But when the air-raid horns of "Atlantis to Interzone" hit, don't be surprised if you find yourself buying into the tantalizing possibilities of their dance-rock acid rave sheen. With Umbrella Sequence. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 7:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE; Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Christopher Matthew Jensen


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