The Hood Internet plays the Memory Lane Block Party.

Clayton Hauck,

The Big Gigs: Live music options for May 25-31

  • Article by: Star Tribune staff
  • Star Tribune
  • May 24, 2012 - 2:42 PM


What do hardcore punks, arty hipsters and vintage garage-rockers have in common? A love for bowling, beer and live music, all of which comes together beautifully at the Memory Lanes Block Party. The punks are kicking things off this year with a Friday night lineup that includes Needles (members of Limp Wrist and Los Crudos), Paddy Costello's Chicago mates the Arrivals, In Defence, Manipulation and more. Saturday's hipsters will be treated to Chicago mash-up dance duo the Hood Internet, Haley Bonar's all-star New Wave band Gramma's Boyfriend, Black Blondie, Fort Wilson Riot, Sleeping in the Aviary and more. Sunday boasts the other kind of Hypstrz, the Longhorn Bar-era precursor to the Mighty Mofos, along with masked Nashville surf-rockers Los Straitjackets, all-female punkabilly quartet L'Assassins, Latin party band Malamanya and more. (3-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun., Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Av. S., Mpls. Free, all ages. Chris Riemenschneider

Los Angeles-area happy hippies Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are making Minneapolis the third stop on a preview tour of "Here," the follow-up to their Current-adored 2010 breakthrough album "Up From Below." The single "Home" is a curious John Prine rip-off, and there are originality issues throughout the record, which arrives Tuesday but is streaming for free at Still, fans can expect more of the same warm, hand-clapping, barefoot-stomping '60s psychedelica that made the group local favorites, which should go over extra beautifully outside with the city skyline as a backdrop. I wouldn't actually go barefoot, though. Another dippily named familial ensemble, He's My Brother She's My Sister, opens. (7 p.m. Fri., Cabooze Plaza. All ages. $25.) Riemenschneider

The Lab Theater makes a fitting new home for the Heliotrope Festival, not only because the ninth annual event is a laboratory of sorts for mad-scientist-type musicians, but it also caters to the fringes of modern music. The three-day lineup, which began Thursday, continues Friday with the hypnotic International Novelty Gamelan, electronic buzz bands Food Pyramid and Claps, psychedelic rockers Flavor Crystals, chamber-rock ensemble Brute Heart and a special "horn chorale" featuring the likes of Milo Fine and Scott Newell. Things get even weirder Saturday with a rare reunion by TVBC, featuring local vets Paul Metzger, Freddy Votel and Adam Linz, plus Funeral & the Twilight and such obliquely named bands as Unhappy Virgin Damage. (6 p.m.-midnight Fri. & Sat., Lab Theater, 700 N. 1st St., Mpls. All ages. $12/night.) Riemenschneider

Young, retro barroom-blues/folk pickers Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers aren't just influenced by some of the greats of Minneapolis' West Bank music scene on their second album, "Mississippi Roll," they're actually playing with some of them. Spider John Koerner, Cornbread Harris, Charlie Parr and Dakota Dave Hull each star in one track apiece on the 15-track collection, which was co-produced with Hull and features a handful of Klatt's vintage-styled originals alongside such traditionals as "Delia," "Cincinnati Flow" and "Turn Your Money Green." Harris and Hull are also expected for the release party, featuring the Cactus Blossoms as openers. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $10-$15.) Riemenschneider

Eyedea's old Face Candy improv partner and former Abzorbr vocalist Kristoff Krane is clearly a dude who likes to play around. Half of the 16 tracks on his fourth album, "Fanfaronade," finds him cutting loose with different guests, ranging from non-local indie-rap heroes such as Buck 65, Illogic and Sage Francis -- who perfectly matches Krane's schizo-rap style in the track "Wild West" -- to local pals Crescent Moon, Joe Horton of No Bird Sing and Sector 7G's Mike Schank. No telling who might show up for the album release party. (10 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock. $12-$14.) Riemenschneider

Mark Sultan (aka BBQ) is one of the most unsung musicians in the modern garage-rock scene. The shadow of his hyper-flamboyant collaborator King Khan unjustly hangs over the soulful jangle-rocker's career, even though his "Sultanic Verses" LP arguably trumps their King Khan and BBQ Show recordings. Birthday Suits and FMwired (featuring members of the Soviettes and Gay Witch Abortion) open. (9 p.m. Sat., Turf Club, $8.) Michael Rietmulder

Not just a musical event for the troops on Memorial Day, the fourth annual Veterans Aid Concert is also a show by the troops. Organizer and host Matthew Griswold is an Iraq war veteran who also earned his stripes as a singer/songwriter and has a second album due next month, "East Suburban Serenade Revival." Some of the other performers also have military backgrounds. The lineup includes Thomas Kivi, Joel Kachel, Cait Leary, Joe Carey and Carl Franzen, with comedian Mike Early providing laughs in between. All money raised will benefit the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. (5 p.m. Mon., Fine Line. 18 & older. Free with military ID or ticket to that day's Twins game.) Riemenschneider

Whether or not you buy the tale that progressive electronic troupe Crystal Fighters' debut album was inspired by an opera written by one member's grandfather during an end-of-life mental breakdown, it's hard to deny "Star of Love" its merits. Murmuring electro pulses root the colorfully throbbing album in dance music, but an omnipresent Basque-folk influence steers the London-based quintet into kitschier territory (think MGMT fusing dance and gypsy punk). Nearly two years after its European release, the squeakily squalling disc dropped stateside last month via Atlantic Records. Oddball electro-poppers Is Tropical and the sensuously synthy Sexcat open. (8:30 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry, 18-plus, $10-$12.) Rietmulder

Is it St. Patrick's Day again already? Irish Fair? No, Flogging Molly is coming to town under quite different circumstances. Not only is it an atypical time of year for a local date by the Los Angeles-area Celtic punk band, led by former Fastway heavy-metal hero and Dublin native Dave King. It will also be a new venue for them. They always pack First Ave, so a move up to the Brick at least made sense when the venue operated under a larger, questionable capacity. Things are more comfortable there now. Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band makes for a fun party-starting opener. (8:30 p.m. Thu., the Brick. 18 & older. $33-$35.) Riemenschneider


It's a bit of a stretch to declare herself hip-hop royalty, and it remains to be seen if Lil Kim can at least get away with calling her current tour, "Return of the Queen," a true comeback. The Brooklyn-reared sexpot rapper reemerged this spring with the single "Keys to the City," featuring Young Jeezy, but it stiffed on the charts and was loaded with questionable, wannabe lines, such as this assessment of her prison time for perjury in a murder trial: "I went to jail for not snitching." The real-life Kimberly Jones also served a harsh sentence on TV in the 2009 season of "Dancing With the Stars." Now, she's reportedly trying to start a feud with Nicki Minaj for not paying her proper respect. Pretty cheesy stuff all around, but seeing Kim in a small club could still be a treat. (8 p.m. Tue., Fine Line. $26-$31.) Riemenschneider


Hard-swinging tenor titan Eric Alexander makes his annual Twin Cities visit. His new CD, "Friendly Fire," is a live collaboration with another great sax man, altoist Vincent Herring. It includes an unlikely cover choice, perhaps aimed at the strong Japanese jazz market: "Sukiyaki," a No. 1 pop hit in 1963 and an R&B chart-topper in 1981 by the female duo A Taste of Honey, which sounds good again in Alexander's loping hard-bop rendition. Alexander also has a new e-book out about improvising, a craft at which he's deft and potent. (8:30 & 10:30 p.m. Sat., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Sun., Artists' Quarter, $18.) Surowicz

Fresh from recording an all-star album at Carnegie Hall, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band touring caravan returns to Minneapolis to lead a funeral procession for our would-be Carnegie, Orchestra Hall, which is about to undergo a $40 million reconstruction. The Dixieland troupe is now led by sousaphonist Ben Jaffe, son of the hall's founders, and features several vets that date back to Ben's childhood. They will be joined by the Minnesota Orchestra's jazz director, Irvin Mayfield, and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. (8 p.m. Sat., Orchestra Hall. $25-$70.) Riemenschneider

The best little big band in Minnesota, 10 savvy players strong, Pete Whitman's X-Tet plays the last Thursday of each month at the Artists' Quarter. So-called "house" gigs often get overlooked, but the X-Tet's shows stay fresh and noteworthy thanks to the presence of so many good chart writers in the band. Laura Caviani, Dave Milne, Jeff Rinear and Whitman himself are all compelling composers; the rhythm section anchored by drummer Phil Hey and bassist Gordy Johnson is hard to beat, and stellar soloists include Dave Hagedorn on vibes and frisky elder statesman Dave Karr on baritone sax and some flute. Always a treat. (9 p.m. Thu., AQ, $8.) Surowicz


To end their season, the members of fledgling contemporary music group Ensemble 61 are serving up a sampler of solos and duos -- a fine way for us to get to know them better. On the menu is music by bad boys old (Iannis Xenakis) and new (Thomas Adès), by some of today's leading lights (Kaija Saariaho, John Harbison) and by lesser-known figures (Denis Cohen, Bruno Mantovani, Kenji Bunch). (8 p.m. Fri., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., St. Paul. $10-$15. Larry Fuchsberg

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