Concert Highlights for the Week of May 23 - May 30

Bubblegum b-girl: One of Maria Isa's split personalities
Courtesy of Maria Isa


7th St. Entry
It's been less than two years since DMBQ drummer Mana Nishiura (also of Shonen Knife) died after being thrown from the band's van in an accident during their East Coast tour. Despite the tragedy, these Japanese appreciators of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd persevere in their mission to fuse the experimental discord of noise with the familiar fun of heavy, blues-tinged psychedelia. Guitarist Shinji Masuko is known for ferocious and intense live performances that culminate in his disassembling the drum kit and casting its pieces out into the crowd. If you find yourself left holding a floor tom after the show, return it to the Tokyo underground, via 1970s Britain.$8. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Sarah Askari


FRIDAY 5.25.

Triple Rock Social Club
Of the many noise-rock acts to emerge from the East Village underground in the early '90s, none matched the corrosive vitriol and muscular fury of Unsane, a band infamous for its graphic crime-scene-photo cover art. Mixing the dissonance of Sonic Youth and Swans with an aggressive hardcore attack, guitarist and vocalist Chris Spencer and the original rhythm section of drummer Charlie Ondras and bassist Pete Shore created a crushing, cacophonous template that has since been hijacked by a parade of far less venomous alt-metal bands. Unlike Helmet, a New York contemporary that softened its edge after signing to a major label, Unsane only turned more offensive when Atlantic took over its label, Matador Records, in 1993. After an extended hiatus, Unsane returned stronger than ever with Blood Run, released by Relapse Records in 2004. Now signed to Mike Patton's artist-friendly Ipecac imprint, the group just dropped Visqueen, a slab of bluesy violence that has the band garnering some of the best reviews of its career. With 400 Blows and Mouth of the Architect. $10/$12. 9:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Dave Pehling


FRIDAY 5.25.

Golden (CD-release)
Fine Line Music Café
No, that's not a typo on the back of Golden's new full-length, Peddling Medicine, and no, it ain't the Duchess of York—that's Fergie and her genuine humps on "Elevator Music." The track is built around a couple of chords plinked out on a Rhodes and a brace of punchy brass led by a tipsy, New Orleans-style trumpet line; the spare, chunky instrumentation leaves plenty of room for Golden's dexterous but unflashy flow. Fergie's honeyed vocals on the hook are a perfect foil for Golden, whose goal isn't to prove how hard or wounded he is. He's out to make effervescent summer jams you can bump in your car, like the string-driven, Pilot-sampling "It's Magic," or "The Hustle," which isn't about cruising for tail or unloading bricks—it's a how-to about selling tapes on consignment. His album's DIY foundation belies its pop polish, but the one-two, yin-yang combo makes for a compelling debut. With Prof & Rahzwell and Big Quarters. All ages. $12. 5:00 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Steve McPherson



In Overflow (CD-release)
Fine Line Music Café
On paper, the band In Overflow shouldn't work: Their sound is derivative of a lot of the best Americana music of the last 30 years, lead singer Zac Fitzsimmons has a buttery-smooth voice that sharply contrasts the gritty blues vibe laid out by his bandmates, and, in an alternate universe, their debut album might be titled The Almost Famous Soundtrack, Volume Two. But for a group that's been together for less than a year, In Overflow's The Time Is Now is surprisingly epic. Slow-burning acoustic guitar-builds feed into fist-in-the-air anthemic choruses, while old-timey banjo and harmonica fills seem hand-crafted to accompany the next Cameron Crowe scene change. The disc plays like a mix-tape tribute to the good ol' days of blues-based rock 'n' roll, and, against all odds, it seems to work. With Sunshine Behavior and the Very People. $6. 8:00 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Andrea Myers


SUNDAY 5.27.

Sean P
Foundation Nightclub
Summer has sat its fat self upon the Cities once again, which means only one thing to me: I can get sweaty without too much shame, because hell, even the open-windowed bus gets mighty funky at high noon. And what better place to sweat unabashedly than at the upcoming Sean P concert at the Foundation? A veteran of the Atlanta crunk scene, the artist formerly known as Sean Price of the YoungbloodZ has worked extensively with such Dirty South luminaries as Organized Noise, Jazzy Pha, and the godfather, Lil Jon. P's one of my few radio-friendly guilty pleasures, with a voice syrupy and gravelly all at once, flowing more naturally than that dude spitting game all day on the corner. He's just back from a month-long tour overseas, entertaining the troops—I'll guarantee this show's gonna be militant in its hypeness, crazy and mindless in all the right ways. 18+. $25/$30 at the door. 10:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis, 612.332.3931. —Jordan Selbo


MONDAY 5.28.

Daniel Ellsworth
Acadia Café
Daniel Ellsworth's music is a lot like the new dollar coin. It's shiny, sparkly, and pretty. It feels heavy in your pocket, but it doesn't weigh you down. And unless you're a dorkwad like me, and twitter girlishly imagining yourself throwing coins all over town like a chi-chi European, chances are that this is the first you're hearing of both the coin and the music. Ellsworth plays the piano. He sings. His classical and jazz training bleed through the seams of his catchy pop songs. Imagine Ben Folds's piano, jazzed-up, with Jamiroquai on vox. Some of his slower songs ooze the typical singer-songwriter lust and love, but he's at his best when he goes full pop. Now based in Nashville, Ellsworth is coming home to play this show. Five gold coins get you in the door. They also make you look Euro. How can you lose? All ages. $5. 7:00 p.m. 1931 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.874.8702. —Sam Osterhout



Maria Isa (CD-release)
Expect more club beats and less folk percussion from the sprawling hip-hop debut of City Pages cover girl Maria Isa (see "Reggaeton Animal," 11/22/06), whose live show has gained a rep for incorporating traditional Puerto Rican dance into a righteous R&B-rap stew. At her relaxed best, Isa is downright playful in her call-and-response interactions with musicians (including members of Leroy Smokes) and DJs, finding and seizing new genre possibilities in every song. I wish she'd flash more of her natural sweetness on M.I. Split Personalities (Emetrece), but hip hop needs more angry young women, and she's got much to be simmering about. With Leroy Smokes, TC and Rollin Blunts, Bakers Dozen Band, DJ Wrek, Los Nativos, Raices, and Kotou Danse. 18+. 10:00 p.m. 107 Third Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.465.0440. —Peter S. Scholtes



Dinosaur Jr.
Triple Rock Social Club
The original lineup of Dinosaur Jr. likely titled Beyond, their first album together in nearly 20 years, as a nod to personal differences overcome for the sake of trio-powered electricity and reunion-gig paydays. Reverting to the quasi-deco logo of the band's early SST releases, Beyond almost literally picks up where witch-haired, distortion maestro J Mascis left off in '88. But Mascis hasn't exactly devolved from the exceedingly expansive, bong-water-dappled arrangements he pursued as Dinosaur Jr. into the mid-'90s. He's just galvanized by the return of Lou Barlow's jagged thickets of gnarly bass and the muscular drum-kit rollick of Murph. The three resume that singular whirl (blisteringly loud, it should be noted, so spring for earplugs) where classic-rock heroism is tattered and sandblasted, its crumbled chunks dolloped at the sloppy speed of punk and laced with the white-hot scrawl of Mascis's sunburst solos and his barely audible mellifluous croak. 18+ Tuesday; 21+ Wednesday. $25. 9:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Also Wednesday, May 30 —Bernardo Rondeau

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