Concert Highlights for the Week of May 9 - May 15


Fine Line
If disco-punk's soooo 2003, we might as well start congratulating our World Champion Florida Marlins and lining up for Kill Bill Vol. 1 right about now: Between the great albums by LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, and Fujiya & Miyagi that've come out in the last several months, it seems like the veins of creativity for danceable indie-skewing dance-rock aren't even close to being tapped out. !!! are right up there with the best perpetrators of this particular niche. While they were previously prone to moments of adolescent dimwittery where it felt like their name could've used a couple question marks and maybe an ellipsis, their latest, Myth Takes, is their most consistently groove-minded (and mind-minded) album to date. With Flosstradamus. 18+. $15/$16.50 at the door. 8:00 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Nate Patrin

Peter Bjorn and John
First Avenue
Now that PB&J's intoxicating Writer's Block—jangly, minimalist pop with strong, Velvety, '60s-psych leanings—has been out for a few months (and even longer in the U.K.), we must confess that Outkast's "Hey Ya" was the last track we've seen so effortlessly take over a bar and/or dance floor like the wonderful "Young Folks." The single features Concretes vocalist Victoria Bergsman, daydreamy whistling, white-boy funk bass, maracas, and bongos—once ya hear it, you're hooked. With Fujiya & Miyagi; Au Revoir Simone. 18+. $15. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —D. Shawn Bosler



Mastodon/Against Me!/Cursive/Planes Mistaken for Stars
Too often, the heavy-music scene can seem as fragmented and fraught with internecine squabbling as the dance-music world. So it's nice to see this diverse four-band bill roaring across the country; hopefully no fights'll break out over whose tattoos are the baddest-ass. Atlanta's Mastodon have spent the past year attempting a mainstream invasion that's going surprisingly well; "Colony of Birchmen," a highlight from their first major-label disc (last year's Blood Mountain), was even nominated for a Grammy. Florida's Against Me! just put the finishing touches on their own major-label debut, New Wave, which is due out in July; don't expect their flinty folk-punk to accrue much finesse. Omaha's Cursive are part of the Bright Eyes-led Saddle Creek posse; they play brainy emo-rock whose fuzzy crunch still leaves room for horns and strings and keyboards. Openers Planes Mistaken for Stars, from Denver, throw crusty noise-core tantrums that can't decide if they're punk or metal. You make the call. Or, better yet, don't. All ages. $22. 5:00 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984. —Mikael Wood

Andrew Bird
First Avenue
It's time we stopped giving hippies such a hard time. After all, not every one of them eschews deodorant, sports a ponytail, and listens to wanky jam bands. Some of them make good music and help the environment, too. For his current cross-country jaunt, Andrew Bird has greened out his shows by driving in a biodiesel bus, offsetting venue carbon usage, requesting organic foods, and offering green merchandise (and not the kind-bud kind). On his just-released seventh studio LP, Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum), the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist dispenses with the Gypsy ballads and hot jazz of his early records for a ruminative folk-rock sound made singular by his breathy singing, agile violin plucking, and theremin-like whistling. Like all good hippies, he writes lyrics that focus on environmental disasters, the plasticity of the 'burbs, and the evils of Halliburton, but deadpan humor and razor-sharp imagery keep them from sounding preachy. Onstage, he's even more fascinating, using numerous loops and collaborators like drummer/keyboardist Martin Dosh to reconfigure his complex tunes. And, dude, he can totally jam if he needs to—like when he played Bonnaroo. With Dosh. All ages. $20. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775.—Dan Strachota



The Rock Nightclub
Years before the jam-band scene became the festival-oriented financial juggernaut it is today, Fishbone penned the blueprint for the genre's irreverent eclectics. Funk, metal, rock, ska, and a punkish sense of humor have pervaded the band's oeuvre since their early days cuttin' teeth in mid-'80s L.A. The band signed with Columbia Records before releasing their self-titled debut, but never seemed to crack the mainstream. Throughout the '90s, Fishbone's album sales continued to flounder, but the band's mind-boggling jams and goofball charm helped keep them afloat as a popular live attraction. The original lineup has dissipated down to just singer/saxophonist Angelo Moore and Herculean bassist John Norwood Fisher, but the recently released Still Stuck in Your Throat (their first studio effort since 2000's The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx) is a solid showcase of what earned the band their cult following in the first place. With the Expendables, the Super Villains, and Serotone. 18+. $15/$18 at the door. 7:00 p.m. 2029 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood; 651.770.7822. —Christopher Matthew Jensen



Damien Rice
Northrop Auditorium
Three years after his popular debut release, Damien Rice is back on the road with his latest album, 9, giving fans the refill they've been thirsting for. Released in November of 2006, 9 includes a few swift kicks in the junk, shaking up the sleepier hits that earned him fame in the Amos Lee, David Grey, and Ryan Adams genre. These days the Irish-folk singer is filling half his bill with angry yelps and profanity-driven "your loss not mine"-type tracks. Of course, he continues to write and sing those numbers that drain your eyes and leave you lonely. Bordering on being a Lite-FM dreamboat, he's saved by his intensity, as well as his cascading symphonies and layered harmonies. Lisa Hannigan shares duets with Rice on the album, but she's not along for the tour. In concert, Rice is sure to improvise variations of his songs most of the evening, incorporating covers and giving the audience a naked glimpse of his very intimate music. $30-$35. 7:30 p.m. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.624.2345. —Amber Schadewald



The Tragically Hip
First Avenue
Worshiped as rock gods in their own country, Canadian Music Hall of Famers the Tragically Hip never caught on as strongly in the States, despite two decades of touring in support of album after album of sweet hooks and high-energy storytelling by frontman Gordon Downie. Maybe it's just that they were never really needed in the U.S., where the fruited plains offer up a new crop of rock gods every year. Early reports from the Hip's current road trip promise an exhilarating rush of a performance, sure to please the same Canuck expats who'll be turning out to see Sloan the following week. With Winter Sleep. 18+. $25/$30. 7:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Sarah Askari



The Killers
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
It's been said that Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers left his first band, Blush Response, for a real rock 'n' roll band after an epiphany at an Oasis concert. Do you think it was during the refrain for "Don't Look Back in Anger"? Riding high on the success of their second album, Sam's Town (Island), the Killers are bringing their updated brand of Duran-Duran-esque rock to a sold-out Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Known for being outspoken and thrashing against many of their peers, including guy-liner aficionado Pete Wentz & Co, Flowers and the gang are sure to regale the audience with their many hits, including "Mr. Brightside," "Bones," and the Springsteen-inspired "When We Were Young." If you love Smashing Pumpkins, but wish that Billy were a little more "rawr" and a little less whiney, the Killers will cure your ails. Sold out. 8:00 p.m. 175 W Kellogg Blvd, at RiverCentre, St. Paul; 651.989.5151. —Jackie Varriano

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