Concert Highlights for the Week of June 20-26

Without the corrective voice of his Keeper, the Bad Plus's Ethan Iverson would be guided only by the evil inside himself
Michael Dvorak


Eyes curtained by a low fringe of bangs, Leslie Feist gives off a coolly knowing charisma that befits a Paris-by-way-of-Calgary chanteuse who once shared coffee cups and kitchen counter space with Peaches. The former Broken Social Scene vocalist came into her own with this spring's The Reminder, an album that quickly became the toast of critics on either side of the Atlantic. Not just adult-contemporary music for indie-rockers, The Reminder highlights the soft fire and peculiarly restrained exuberance of Feist's once-damaged voice (she blew out her cords fronting a teenaged punk band who once opened for the Ramones). Here's hoping audience members have a handle on the choreography behind her latest series of music videos; if we get the opportunity, let's pull a Busby Berkeley in the cheap seats. With Grizzly Bear. $26. 7:30 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Sarah Askari

Myth Nightclub
Sure, Ne-Yo might be a good artist to steer R&B fans toward if you want to promote a smooth, grown-up '70s/'80s throwback sense of soul—given last year's round of buzz tracks ("So Sick"; "Get Down Like That"; his guest spot on Ghostface's "Back Like That") that turned him into an upper-echelon star, it's a niche he fills remarkably well. But all the critical invocations of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder wouldn't mean much if he was just treading old water, and he's accomplished enough chart clout as a songwriter with an ear for the tribulations of infidelity, frustration, and unrequited love—Beyonce's "Irreplaceable"? Rihanna's "Unfaithful"? Mario's "Let Me Love You"? All him—to place Ne-Yo as one of R&B's most current-minded stars. With Trey Songz and Paula Campbell. All ages. $32/$35 at the door. 7:00 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984. —Nate Patrin



The Bad Plus
Carleton Concert Hall
The Bad Plus are probably the freest contemporary jazz ensemble capable of galvanizing the pop music world. I guess that's what you might call progressive. On Prog, the group's fourth studio effort, the compositions are as bold and articulate as ever, with contributions from all three players. As usual, lovable cover material (like Tears for Fears' 1985 hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," and David Bowie's "Life On Mars") accounts for some of the disc's most memorable moments. Idiosyncratic interpretations of pop material and a battering-ram rock sensibility have helped the Bad Plus play the jazz world's main stage. New York is the group's real home. I guess our city's loss is the music world's gain, because the Bad Plus have proven to be one of the most commercially successful jazz lineups of the 21st century, even while venturing into dark realms of roaring avant-garde cacophony. All ages. $18. 8:00 p.m. One North College Street, Northfield; 507.645.2555. —Christopher Matthew Jensen

Uptown Pride Block Party
Bryant-Lake Bowl
A few years ago, Bob Mould made a local Pride weekend appearance in the basement of gay bar the Eagle, where he played a DJ set just like he does at Blowoff, his monthly dance-party gig in his home base of Washington, D.C. (he also writes an advice column for the Washington City Paper). But tonight he's appearing as a solo performer, headlining the Uptown Pride Block Party. Besides authentic Hüsker Dü-era punk and college-radio hits from the Sugar years, look for new songs from his upcoming album, scheduled for release in early 2008. Also on the bill: the transfabulous Venus DeMars, formerly of glam-rock group All the Pretty Horses; and the blues-y bellowing of Tina Schlieske (of Tina & the B-Sides fame). 18+. Free. 6:00 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.8949. —Sarah Askari

Desdamona CD-release show
Fine Line Music Café
Desdamona's earnest fusion of rap, jazzed-out R&B, and spoken-word poetry sounds inevitable on first blush—hasn't neo-soul always flirted with the slam and the jam, from Common's cafe cadences to the spoken outros of Jill Scott and Alicia Keys? Yet Desdamona is at once more accessible and more obviously rooted in lyrics for their own sake than her bohemian predecessors. It's not quite a hook when she intones, "Tonight, I ask you to imagine that you [beat] are [beat] a [beat] god." But it's memorable and affecting, much like her actual hooks on The Source (Zlink Entertainment), which turn out to be plentiful, and sung with the ease and feeling of a nonsinger sticking to her range, and giving it her all. Her gift is to sound urgent no matter how whispery her pop collaborations, which include work with beatboxer Carnage, Tribe-like producer Katrah-Quey, local funk band the New Congress, and reggae legends Sly and Robbie. With Heatbox, PaviElle, M.anifest, and DJ Dudley D. $8. 8:00 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Peter S. Scholtes


Hip Hop and Harmony (CANCELLED)
Harmony Park Music Garden
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. One of the more irritating sticking points when it comes to genre labeling is the phrase "urban music"—typically as a euphemism-within-a-euphemism for "black music" and/or "hip hop." One of the cornerstones of the Hip Hop and Harmony Music Festival is the idea that hip hop can be enjoyed and appreciated anywhere, even in the rural backwoods of southern Minnesota. Some artists at this festival might initially seem a bit more out of their element than others—the Twin Cities' own Doomtree collective run a stylistic indie-rap-punk-rock gamut as wide as all outdoors, and the sweltering soul of Black Blondie was practically made to be heard without a roof, while the West Coast smart-assery of L.A.'s Murs was built to ricochet off concrete rather than topsoil. But hip hop had its early days doin' it in the park; this just makes for a much bigger field. Featuring Doomtree, Black Blondie, Truthmaze, Maria Isa, Unknown Prophets, more. Outdoor camping available. Noon. Harmony Park Music Garden, Geneva; 612.825.6120. —Nate Patrin


Melt Banana
7th St. Entry
Last time this insane Japanese art-punk trio (plus drummer) were in town, they showcased a collection of blisteringly chaotic 10-second songs. Fittingly, Bambi's Dilemma, the band's first album in nearly four years, is as fast and frantic as anything they've ever released. After eight full-length albums and a couple dozen 7-inch and EP splits, the band's songs have gotten shorter, faster, and tighter. Agata's space noise slide-guitar-triggered electronic textures are now almost overwhelmed with sheer impassioned velocity. Live, the band's thrashing D-beat rhythms are as propulsive as gasoline. Agata flings his body about (often donning a duct-taped surgical mask), and singer Yasuko O chirps and squeaks like a speed-addled Minnie Mouse tied to the train tracks. It's noisy, chaotic, beautiful, and terrifying; intense enough to draw the hardcore, crust, or black metal crowd, yet weird and brilliantly catawampus enough to hang at the Guggenheim. With Birthday Suits and the Boggs. $10. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Christopher Matthew Jensen

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