The best Twin Cities concerts: 9/4 - 9/10

Courtesy of Big Hassle

The weather has cooled down, but the music hasn't. Plenty of acts, large and local, are hitting up the Twin Cities this week. Mumford & Sons leave their mark on St. Paul Wednesday at the Xcel while Taylor Swift stops by later for the weekend. Alt-J plays a sold out two night show at First Avenue while local favorite Prof hits up the Cabooze. Monday night, First Avenue welcomes CHVRCHES while Deerhunter plays down the street at the Fine Line.

Wednesday 9.4.2013

Mumford & Sons
Xcel Energy Center
The ascendency of English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons to sold-out-arena status is certainly a curiosity, but also part of a pop trend that has also elevated roots bands like the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. But underneath the rousing, hootenanny choruses, sprightly banjo picking and melodies that have attracted Mumford's faithful is a grim, grey, earnestness concerned with Hell, the Devil, Belief (all with caps) and frequent kneeling in apparent hope of revelation. Marcus Mumford shouts energetically about it all on his quartet's second album, Babel. But the fundamental humorlessness that characterizes Mumford's songs suggests a hollow core, where blind religious faith substitutes for gritty substance amidst pleasant enough music. Fellow English bands The Vaccines and Bear's Den will open. -- Rick Mason
All Ages,$35 , 7 PM

The Velveteens with Jim and the French Vanilla
Turf Club/Clown Lounge
Retro Dreamy
21+, 10 PM

Pleasure with Camden and Beat Detectives
7th Street Entry
Cutting Teeth
18+, $5, 8 PM

Thursday 9.5.2013

Rupert Angeleyes, Shakin Babies, Panther Ray and Some Pulp
Triple Rock
Retro style Dance
18+, $6, 8 PM

Fury Things w/ DJs TRL, Dave S. & Jon from the Current
Kitty Cat Klub
Modern Fuzz
21+, FREE, 9 PM

Friday 9.6.2013

Battlefield Band
Cedar Cultural Center
Long considered the flagship band of traditional Scottish music, Battlefield Band (named for a Glasgow suburb) began as mavericks in 1969, keeping the music vibrant by mixing ancient and modern elements. Decades later, through numerous personnel changes (making 2005 addition Sean O'Donnell the quartet's senior member), Battlefield Band retains its fervent splendor, igniting a fine array of jigs, reels, strathspeys with their fiery fiddles, Highland bagpipes, bouzoukis and whistles. Room Enough for All, BB's latest, as usual deftly blurs the centuries. Ewen Henderson sings a 19th century sailor's song in Gaelic, while O'Donnell, in English, sings a seemingly silly 1930s poem with a subtle contemporary point about eroding culture. There are odes to remote lochs, a reference to a hairy fish and even an unlikely swirling quickstep--"Tynes in Overtime!"--in tribute to Scottish-born former New York Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes. -- Rick Mason
$18-$20, 8 PM

Parachute with Matt hires and Paradise Fears
Mill City Nights
Pop Fervor 
15+, $15, 8 PM

Lightning Dust with Louise Burns
7th Street Entry
Intricate Folk Affair
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

American Head Charge with Blue Felix, Throw the Figh, Gabriel and th eApocalypse and Automatic Imagery
First Avenue Mainroom 
Industrial Grind
18+, $20/$25, 8 PM

Bright Chords
21+, $5, 11 PM

Pink Mink with The Seawhores, Still Pacific, Svboda and DJ Stoo
Turf Club
Girls with Guitars
21+, $10, 9 PM

Lightning Dust
7th Street Entry
Started by the duo of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells as the softer folkie counterpart to their thunderous work in fuzzed-out hard Vancouver hard-rock combo Black Mountain, Lightning Dust have unexpectedly morphed into a dark downtempo electro-pop outfit on their third album, Fantasy. The record essentially sounds like one long song, with textures and tempos only slightly shifting as Webber's Stevie-Nicks-ish singing voice rings out atop molasses-slow mechanical beats and uber-'80s ambient synthesizer squiggles. The largely narcotized sound works bewitchingly well, with the added bonus of making those rare moments when the group opts to up the tempo on their drum machines hit that much harder. With Louise Burns. -- Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $10-$12, 8 PM

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