Finally, Monday will be a night to test the healing powers of rhythm. Olodum are a large (23 member) drum and dance ensemble born from the Bahian bloco of the same name, a neighborhood arts and culture group with 2,500-plus members that parades for Carnival and sponsors educational programs for its Afro-Brazilian constituents. The African element is, of course, most important in the group's music, which is as complex and awe-inspiring as the headiest drum & bass club jams. Powered by the thunder of those big-ass surdo drums, the group lays vocals over samba and samba-reggae beats in a hypnotic undertow that's tough to resist. It made a pretty impressive effect on Paul Simon's "The Obvious Child," which first introduced the group to U.S. ears, but believe me when I say that was just a tease. Vinx is a drum maestro who is something of what Bobby McFerrin might be if he'd embraced the conga over the baton. Charming, supple-voiced, and playful, he's a one-man percussion band--with songs--who'll woo you hard. ($12/$15 at the door. 9 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.) (Will Hermes)


          AFTER SIX YEARS as the Cities' definitive metal/groove/rap outfit, Brutus is calling it quits. Drummer John "Servo" DeSalvo, who moonlights as a sampler/programmer in Chemlab, is leaving for New York to concentrate on the latter band. Brutus's guiding force Mike Johnson will henceforth concentrate on his even-heavier Legion of Boom. The full roster of Brutus members, past and present, will reunite Thursday for one final blowout at the Mirage. The Legion headlines, with newer groove-ghoulies Inveigh and Release opening. ($4. 8 p.m. 2609 26th Ave. S., Mpls.; 729-2387.) Meanwhile on Thursday, Mountain Singers and Smattering play the Mighty Fine Gallery, with Metaluxe and the debut of wonderboy Marko 1-2-3 (call 331-5851).

          The June disbanding of Pimentos for Gus can now be filed under "blessing in disguise." The reason: Pimentos spinoff Mike Merz & the C@n O' Worms, with their wonderful new concept album Buzzkill Nation. Recorded piecemeal over the past year, the record has a diverse enough list of guest stars--from Willie Wisely to the above-mentioned John DeSalvo to members of Rex Daisy, Steeplejack, National Dynamite, the former Pimentos, and even Milk. Merz stitches together an eerie patchwork of dark, ambitious acoustic/electric folk, with the full control of a solo record working completely in his favor. Notable is the bitterly satirical, seven-minute "Rock & Roll" ("You know you're at a radio-sponsored show," sings Merz, "When no matter who the band is/The guy sitting next to you says/Oh--he sounds like Elvis Costello"). For the most part, Merz avoids the slight gaudiness that put me off his former band, and at its best Buzzkill Nation is a complex, beautiful record. The release party is Wednesday, October 9 at Bryant-Lake Bowl, with guest Eric Zeigenhagen ($3. 10 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Mpls.; 825-8949). (Groebner)

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