If our concert choices this weekend are any indication, the places to be in Minneapolis this weekend are the Armory and the Fine Line.
The Strumbellas @ Fine Line
The Strumbellas have racked up a slew of awards in their native Canada, and they’ve topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart with the 2016 international hit “Spirits.” The sextet, led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Simon Ward, moves beyond its initial country-folk emphasis to full-tilt power pop-folk on its effervescent new album Rattlesnake. Despite a few introspective moments, even Ward’s most melancholic musings are doused in shiny, upbeat, anthemic arrangements and massed vocal choruses, amounting to lots of rattle, more shouting than hum. The Moth & The Flame opens. 9 p.m. $25—$40. 318 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Acoustic Deathwish @ Vieux Carre
Acoustic Deathwish is Vector Families without guitarist Dean Granros, whose frantic sunbursts occasionally become beautiful detours. His absence allows saxophonist Brandon Wozniak the chance to stretch, a la Sonny Rollins or Joe Henderson, with a dream rhythm section itself consumed with protean interplay and improvisation—Dave King on drums, and Anthony Cox on bass and cello. 9 p.m. $15. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Friday music listings here.
Billie Eilish @ Armory
The first artist born in the 21st century to top the Billboard 200 albums chart, Billie Eilish has turned camp horror into its own pop genre. Her excellent debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, abounds with musical scare tactics: electronic shrieks, breaking glass, bass so buzzy it sounds like your speaker’s blown. And that’s not to mention Eilish’s pained, whispered voice, the spookiest sound of all. (In the video for “You Should See Me in a Crown,” a tarantula crawls out of her mouth, while several more crawl around on her tiara.) What makes this music pop are the giant emotions she stuffs into her songs, the fears and yearnings and delights her goth humor mocks and amplifies. She’s also become a favorite of ASMR fans thanks to her hushed, intimate yet also creepy vibe, an effect that could sound fascinating in a big venue. With Denzel Curry. 7:30 p.m. Sold out. 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Craig Finn & the Uptown Controllers @ Fine Line
I Need A New War completes a Craig Finn trilogy of solo albums that began with Faith in the Future and We All Want The Same Things. The specific links are in how Finn’s highly detailed character studies paint a damning portrait of life in the U.S.A. for those struggling on the wrong side of luck. Evident empathy aside, the locally raised Hold Steady frontman here isn’t a psychologist as much as a coroner of living but aimless cadavers, even brief hope couched in misfortune. A devastating storyteller, Finn’s creaky voice is supported by horns and backup vocals with soul/R&B/Spectorish overtones. 9 p.m. $25—$40. 318 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Saturday music listings here.
Vampire Weekend @ Armory
Vampire Weekend’s brilliant fourth album, Father of the Bride, is a sprawling collection of 18 snippets, the kind of songs that feel even shorter than they are—call it their Unbearably White Album. Production ace Rostam Batmanglij has left the band (though he helps on two tracks) and returning producer Ariel Rechtshaid is joined by ringers like Steve Lacy of the adventurous R&B/rap group the Internet. There’s a tension between ease and control throughout: it’s a celebration of singer/songwriter Ezra Koenig’s facility, displaying the effortlessness of his spry tunes and allusive couplets, but its genteel folksiness is also mechanically precise, like a digital rendering of an open-air landscape, and the guitars take on a jazzy indirection that reportedly expands into full-on jam band noodling live. With Chicano Batman. 7:30 p.m. $67. 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Matt Slocum Trio @ Crooners
St. Paul-born drummer Matt Slocum’s melodic sophistication has earned him a burgeoning rep on the New York jazz scene as a musician and composer. His new album, Sanctuary, features two other stellar talents, pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Larry Grenadier, who together create music of sublime depth and texture, both spacious and subtly complex, swinging on “Days of Peace” while establishing a sense of shimmery warmth on the title cut. Two other originals are sly, enchanting evocations of “Aspen Island” and “Star Prairie,” both near Slocum’s Western Wisconsin childhood home. Also Monday. 7:30 p.m. $20. 6161 Hwy. 65 NE, Fridley. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Sunday music listings here.