Friday: Twenty-three years after they caught the attention of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at First Avenue to jump-start their career, the childhood pals in Mint Condition seem to have found perfect timing again for their overdue return to the club. One of the last of the classic R&B bands, the St. Paul-bred hitmakers of "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" fame are playing there to tout their eighth album, "Music @ the Speed of Life," which shot straight to the top of the iTunes R&B chart upon its release last week and made it to No. 9 on Billboard's album chart. It's not the rowdiest nor edgiest record in their discography, but it might well be their best, with many slow-grooving, coolly retro ballads and a hopeful, gospel-ized tone. To help raise the bar, the band is bringing in the M Factory Horns for this show only, led by longtime Prince sideman Eric Leeds. (9 p.m. Fri. $26-$29. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388, or