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Just a little crueler

April brings big names and big sounds to the Twin Cities.

AAl Green at The Guthrie Theater, April 29

Al Green’s voice sounds just as velvety-smooth-soulful as you could hope for. Sure he’s crazy, but that makes his shows that much more fun. He continually shushed his band so he could dive into goose-bump inducing solos and then laugh with his signature wide grin and ask, “Where’d that come from?!”

Spaghetti Western at The Dinkytowner Crossfaded Music Series, April 8

Spaghetti Western began with a lone cowboy on stage, looping fuzzy beats and blips. By the end, he was strumming a guitar backed by a whole band, including a violin player, and had nothing to do with electronica. Somehow, the two opposites melted beautifully into each other.

Hymie’s Basement at The Bryant Lake Bowl, April 14

“21st Century Pop Song” is one of the best singles to come out this millennium – a perfect mix of Jonathan Wolf’s (of Why?) raps and Andrew Broder’s (of Fog) dizzying guitar. It became an even more incredible song when they performed it live as they harmonized “You put your life in the hands of the highway designers.”

Best Friends Forever at The Triple Rock, April 15

The two-girl fronted band sings songs about being friends and John Wilkes Booth. This and their clap-along dance beats would be fun enough on their own; but the costumed extras on stage made their performance even sweeter – especially the dancing pine tree!

Matt Sharp at The Whole, April 20

“Holy shit you look like Mary Tyler Moore,” Matt Sharp sings in a slow, depressing mockery of his former band Weezer’s famous song “Buddy Holly.” He then jokes he’s afraid television producers will knock on his door and ask him to be “America’s Next Top Ex-Weezer Member.” But Matt’s not completely full of bitterness and resentment; he performed a charming acoustic rendition of his band the Rentals’ “Waiting.” He then assured he and Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo were friends and in fact, writing some songs together.

Madvillain “Madvillainy”Filled with 1940s movie samples that narrate the tales of urban anti-heroes, “Madvillainy” is like a comic book on tape. The highly anticipated collaboration between Madlib and MF Doom does not disappoint.

TV on the Radio “Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes”TV on the Radio’s first full length is a strange blend of post-experimental-rock with wandering guitars and strange tape loops mixed with doo wop. But the harmonies are not so harmonious or precise as groups from the 1950s. TV on the Radio sings loosely and in odd rhythms yet the songs are captivating.

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