By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
THE FREE OUTDOOR concert action continues this week with lyrical prankster Stuart Davis's performance tonight (Wednesday) at Joe Schmit's Hangout at Riverplace, preceded by two sets from his also-autonomous backing band, Hindu Rodeo. The unique thing about this overlooked, month-old "Exhibition Hall Concert Series" is that, for the benefit of shut-in hackers and out-of-towners, the shows are broadcast live on Minneapolis-based NetRadio (www.netradio.net); (stay tuned for more words on that enterprise in a week or two . . .). Bands play two sets each between 6 and 10 p.m.; the performers next Wednesday (July 31) are G.B. Leighton and Johnny Clueless. (Free. 43 Main St. S.E., Mpls.; 379-2100.)
Afterwards, for a complete change of pace just two blocks to the north (at the Front), catch the second spontaneous stand of Fresh Squeez, the improv supergroup comprising members of the Joint Chiefs, Casino Royale, and the Curbfeelers, plus rapper Sluggo of Atmosphere. The Squeez's June debut at the Front was so successful and well-attended that it even landed them some points in the CP new music poll. Tonight, DJ Jen Downham from KFAI's The Groove Garden will sit in. (The Front, 15 Fourth St. N.E., Mpls.; 378-5115.)
Meanwhile, The Vibro Champs's Dave Wolfe has invited another sure-bet psychobilly/rockabilly act to town this Friday: The Twistin' Tarantulas from Motor City (featuring bassist Pistol Pete from the Frantic Flattops, if that rings a bell for all you swingers). They'll play Friday at Lee's Liquor Bar, preceded by the Vibros themselves. (Free. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m) On Saturday at First Avenue, it's Polara's first local gig in five months (not counting the time they scorched 5,000 youth in May as the early high point of Edgefest). Their Interscope album is ready and waiting, and the new material sizzles-big surprise. Balloon Guy opens.
At first, it was tempting to label the young, clean-scrubbed aggro trio Arm as one in a succession of local Guzzard clones. Now it seems more like they've honed a sharp meld of heavy treble noise and hyper-emotive screaming more akin to Olympia heroes Unwound. So maybe this will be the year of the Arm clones? Whatever. Arm plays a two-part LP release party for their untitled, vinyl-only debut Sunday at 7th Street Entry with Milwaukee tourmates Compound Red. (All-ages show at 4 p.m.; drunk show at 8 p.m.) If you can, catch Austin's Glorium at 9. I'm a bit shaken from a precursory listen to their '94 disc Cinema Peligrosa--it's as if the literate, arty political noise of D.C.'s Nation of Ulysses spawn were transplanted to the Tex-Mex multi-ethnic punk underground. Apollo Kings start the all-ages show at 5.
On Monday, it's Perfect Pop With Organs Night down at the 7th St. Entry, led by Possum Dixon, who've grown increasingly terse, unpredictable, and jarred by SoCal anxiety on their recent Star Maps (Interscope). Likewise, Dig's Defenders of the Universe (Radioactive) has all the right doses of glam, sci-fi, and distortion to befit '90s power pop--but to let you know where else they're coming from, they've also done fine remakes of Meddle-era Pink Floyd songs. Still, if you show up for nothing else, come for Yum-Yum, a new vehicle from 23-year-old Chicago wunderkind Chris Holmes (of trippy Sabalon Glitz fame). Their Dan Loves Patti (TAG) is a top contender for Summer-Crush Pop Record of the Year. It's your basic languid-strings & synths & sweet-boy-girl-harmonies affair that I file beside kindred pleasures The Return of the Rentals and that dog's Totally Crushed Out--though Yum-Yum's pop melancholia is more sophisticated. Live, we hear a string section will be in full effect. Billy Goat has been added to the bill. ($6. All-ages show 5 p.m.; ID show 10 p.m. 7tb Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.) (Groebner)