Back-to-school season means impossible crushes, secret diaries, and dancing after dark—so who better to celebrate all that (even if we’re way beyond high school) than the Velveteens; their lo-fi doo wop sound crosses 1950s school dance with Twin Peaks eeriness, and they’re performing tonight downstairs at Turf. They’ve been in the studio lately working on their latest release, which we hear veers a bit darker than just having the hots for a history teacher. We’re game. The other half of the bill finds a perfect sonic match in Jim and the French Vanilla, a side project of the Blind Shake frontman Jim Blaha, who happens to be hosting a record release party at Turf for Blind Shakes latest, Seriousness, on Saturday. This venture’s sound is no punk grind though, more like garage folk strange. “Every band worth its salt should be good live, or better live than they are recorded,” Blaha once said. Consider the gauntlet thrown, Jim. Folks from Hymie’s Records will be spinning and selling vinyl upstairs, so stay a spell before you head out. 9 p.m. Free. —EK

Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-0486,