Big Gigs, May 23-29: Memory Lanes Block Party, Eels and Muja Messiah

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE MUSIC STAFF
  • Updated: May 23, 2014 - 9:19 AM
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Muja Messiah plays the 7th Street Entry on Friday.

POP/ROCK

The latest name for Harmony Park’s harmonious Memorial Day weekend hippie camp-out, Revival Fest boasts many Minnesota favorites, including Pert Near Sandstone Friday and the Big Wu Saturday alongside such touring festival mainstays as Virginian acoustic maven Keller Williams and Michigan pickers Greensky Bluegrass. Others playing through the weekend include Sans Souci Quartet, Night Phoenix (ex-Roster McCabe), Charlie Parr, the Motet, Rising Appalachia and the most poorly named band of white-boy jammers ever, Afrogasmic. (4 p.m. Fri.-2 a.m. Sun., Harmony Park, Clark’s Grove, $30 for Fri., $150 for Sat.-Sun., $75 for Sun. only) Chris Riemenschneider

If you had to pinpoint who the Memory Lanes Block Party caters to with its eclectic and snarling-toned lineup, the answer might simply be people over 40 with tattoos or folks under 40 who like to bowl. Saturday’s lineup includes the hip-hop queens of the summer block party circuit, GRRRL PRTY, arty punks Buffalo Moon, hippie horn-dogs Black Market Brass, Southside Desire, Pennyroyal and, indoor afterward, Black Diet. Sunday’s headliners are Detroit twang-rockers the Deadstring Brothers, part of the Bloodshot Records roster, preceded by another wild local bonanza with Eleganza!, Frankie Teardrop, L’Assassins, Crankshaft and, inside later, new rockabilly stars Ross Kleiner & the Thrill. (3 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat. & Sun., Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Av. S., Mpls., all ages, free.) Riemenschneider

After coming out with an ambitious rock opera for a debut album, Minneapolis’ psychedelic art-pop Fort Wilson Riot remains a little scatterbrained in scope but has grown more intimate and simpler in sound. Musical couple Amy Hager and Jacob Mullis sweeten the pot with eye-gazing harmonies on their third full-length collection, “trilliun,” produced by 12 Rods’ Ryan Olcott. The album covers more electronic/synth-pop terrain with sometimes flimsy, cutesy results, but there are several Mates of State-style infectious sing-alongs and surfy, reverb-heavy slow-wave rockers to enjoy. Maggie Morrison’s and Cecil Otter’s Laliberte open the release party with C. Kostra. (10 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, $7.) Riemenschneider

Long before today’s modern wave of electronic dance-punk came of fashion in New York or L.A., the fellas in the Faint were banging the bejeezus out of their synths and farming bold new beats in Omaha, Neb., in the late ’90s. Todd Fink and his crew are back from a four-year hiatus and sound truly revived on their sixth album, “Doom Abuse,” full of the dark, grinding throb-rock that made them almost famous. Reptar and Darren Keen open. (9 p.m. Sat., Fine Line,$20.) Riemenschneider

The West Bank School of Music ecumenically celebrates Bob Dylan’s 73rd birthday Saturday with a fundraiser featuring his songs rendered by whoever grabs the open mic or competes in a “Best of Bob” talent contest. Will anyone attempt the au courant “Full Moon and Empty Arms”? Proceeds will fund the school’s summer youth rock/pop band camps. Open mic is at 6:30 p.m. Sat., with talent contest at 8, food trucks outside from 6-10 and a closing set by the Tommy Bentz Band at 10:30. (Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Av. S., Mpls, $10 suggested donation.) Tom Surowicz

After capping 2013 with December’s airy “Reckless Arbor” single, Swiss-born DJ EDX has picked up where he left off. The Italian-blooded progressive house producer is amid a run of impressive spring/summer releases, starting with last month’s infectiously grooving “Cool You Off.” This weekend the real life Maurizio Colella rocks the club formerly known as Marquee on his “Cool You Off” tour. (10 p.m. Sat., Rev Ultra Lounge, $5.) Michael Rietmulder

The guy who first made his mark seeking novocaine for his soul, Eels’ Mark Everett has drowned his music in all sorts of intoxicating sonic dosage for two decades but went cold turkey on his latest album, “Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett.” His band’s 11th record strips away the noise for a Leonard Cohen-like, raw, meditative collection that makes a theater way more suitable than First Ave this time around. Gothy rocker Chelsea Wolfe is back after also opening for Queens of the Stone Age two weeks ago. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Fitzgerald Theater, $34.) Riemenschneider

It’s no gimmick for the otherwise unabashedly gimmicky Twin Cities dance-rap duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo to host two release parties in one day, a mid-day one for kids and a nighttime one for the kids-at-heart 18-and-up crowd. Their new album, “Whoopty Woop,” features some slightly more maturely humored tracks — albeit still silly as fart jokes — that older fans might dig more than the young’uns, including “Unibrow” and the P.O.S. collaboration “Shake It Well.” That’s in addition to “All I Eat Is Pizza,” “Superheroes Unite” and the other usual, unusually satisfying juvenile fare. (Noon and 7 p.m. Sun., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $6 or $15 per family) Riemenschneider

Electric bass master Victor Wooten doesn’t fit neatly into one category. Is he jazz, funk, bluegrass, R&B, fusion? All of the above, and the former child prodigy also played straight country as a youth, has rocked out with Dave Matthews and Gov’t Mule, and leapt into Moroccan music with the legendary group Nass El Ghiwane. Best known as a charter member of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones, Wooten is an energetic, aggressive, bass-in-your-face bandleader, and supremely confident soloist. Expect plenty of poppin’, slappin’ and funkin’ it up. (7 & 9 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $27-$37.) Surowicz

Although they never got the props that the Clash, Sex Pistols or even Sham 69 did, Angelic Upstarts were cult favorites from the late-’70s British punk scene. The controversial oi! pioneers led by vocalist Thomas “Mensi” Mensforth, who espoused socialist ideals and denounced police brutality and corruption, developed a reputation for violence-triggering gigs. Victory and Brick Assassins open. (9 p.m. Wed., Triple Rock Social Club, 18-plus, $18.) Rietmulder

 

Since splitting from Ohio thrashers Skeletonwitch, bassist Eric Harris has been taking it back to the ’70s. Now based in SoCal and stepping up to frontman, he blends metal influences with good ol’ rock ’n’ roll in his new project, Gypsyhawk. Its latest disc is part party rock and part wizard metal — a fireball mix of Thin Lizzy, Dio and Judas Priest. Portland psych metal act Black Pussy co-headlines with stoner/sludge locals Nightosaur opening. (9 p.m. Wed., 7th Street Entry 18-plus $8-$10.) Rietmulder

 

HIP-HOP

Muja Messiah has never relied on a crew or trendy production style to make a name for himself as one of Minneapolis’ pre-eminent rappers, and his unique, independent voice shines on his latest album, “God Kissed It, the Devil Missed It.” Produced by Mike the Martyr, the 17 new tracks range from the autobiographical opener “Muja Complex” to the gritty Minneapolitan anti-anthem “Northside Nightmares” to the standout track “Pocketful of Slave Owners,” addressing the war on the poor with guest verses by Brother Ali and the Coup’s Boots Riley. Back from a long Los Angeles hibernation, Muja is throwing his hometown release party with opening sets by Metasota, Grip, Audio Perm’s Bobby Raps and more (10 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry, $7-$10.) Riemenschneider

Another sign of how big their festival has become, Rhymesayers Entertainment is throwing a Soundset Before Party at First Ave this year in addition to the usual after-party, and it’s almost a festival within itself. Hometown favorite Brother Ali will deliver his only (advertised) performance of the weekend alongside some of his crew’s longtime Los Angeles cohorts, Slug’s old Felt partner Murs and Step Brothers (a duo featuring Evidence of Dilated Peoples fame and Eminem’s former DJ, Alchemist). The Lioness, DJ Abilities and more perform. (8 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $20-$25.) The after-party is in the very capable turntabling hands of the Get Cryphy DJs. (11 p.m. Sun., First Ave, $10-$15.) Riemenschneider

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