Music vs. Aids

A SEASON OF AIDS benefits is upon us, and this year fundraising efforts are involving the local music and arts community more than ever. At the 10th annual Minnesota AIDS Walk on Sunday, May 18, pledge-collecting walkers will convene at Minnehaha Park for a stroll down the Mississippi to raise money for AIDS prevention and support services. Once again, the Dayton Hudson Foundation has made its annual challenge to Arts Over AIDS to enlist members of the local arts/music/cultural community (which includes me and you, too, if you play in a band, write for a 'zine, or do anything related to the local scene). If the arts community can exceed its participation in last year's AIDS Walk (700 registered participants is the number to beat), Dayton Hudson will match every dollar raised up to $65,000.

"I'm fighting for prevention in the arts community, rather than (waiting) to have our own casualty to rally around," says Arts Over AIDS's Rachel Joyce, who is optimistic about the goal despite a couple of obstacles. First of all, last year's success was heavily influenced by the sponsorship and participation of the since-defunct REV 105. (It always comes back to REV, doesn't it?) Admirably, the REV's Kevin Cole will again be leading a REV Walk Team this year. Another feat will be making all arts community members aware that they must register their status in order to be counted.

So consider yourself informed: To qualify for the challenge, you must register for the walk as an arts community member (call the WalkLine at 373-2437). When you register, check the box that says you may qualify for the Dayton Hudson Foundation Arts Community Challenge Match. And then come down to the Arts Over AIDS table on the 18th...

May will also bring a stupendous 14-day, 10-venue celebration for Heart & Soul, the foundation started by singer Mick Sterling to benefit Camp Heartland, a summer camp for children affected by or afflicted with HIV/AIDS. In 1995, Sterling produced Artists for Camp Heartland, a 14-band CD benefit with the likes of The Jayhawks, The Honeydogs, and Debbie Duncan. This year's benefits kick off this Saturday with Tim Mahoney and the Meenies at O'Gara's ($6; 9:30 p.m.). On Monday, Luther Allison and G.B. Leighton play the Metropolitan in Golden Valley ($12/$15 at the door; 7 p.m.; call 797-1900); also on Monday is a Cinco de Mayo celebration with Latin Explosion at South Beach ($10; 7 p.m.; call 204-0787).

The benefits resume next Saturday, May 10 with Lights Out Committee and Renee Austin at the Cabooze ($6; 9:30 p.m.) and Accident Clearinghouse, Spy Mob and The Billy's at O'Gara's ($5; 9:30 p.m.). On Sunday, May 11, Mick Sterling himself will present his CD-release party at Bunker's ($5; 9:15 p.m.). On Wednesday, May 14: Eyeball Game plays the Turf Club (call 647-0486) and The Dust Bunnies, Tribe of Millions, Carolyn Pershing, and The Big Bang play at the Fine Line ($5; call 338-8100). The grand-finale gala comes on Friday, May 16 with Jonny Lang, Greazy Meal and Sterling at International Market Square in Minneapolis ($20; call 338-6250). Tickets for all events are available either at the door or through Ticketmaster (989-5151). VIP/group packages at $50, $500 or $750 for the Lang show are available at 374-5166 or 546-2420. And for more information on Heart & Soul in general, call 541-1110. (Simon Peter Groebner)

GIGS ETC.

JOHN ERIC THIEDE and his Dixieland gutter jazz stars The Strawdogs have found an ideal weekly venue at Biscuits & Blues on First Avenue and Fifth Street. Besides the fact that B&B's menu approximates the New Orleans feel of the 'dogs' Good Time Donkeys, Thiede can make use of the baby grand piano to spruce up the band's sprightly arrangements. There's nothing like chowing on an oyster po' boy while listening to "Chicken Pot Pie" and "Beans and Cornbread." (No chicken pot pie on the menu yet, though.) The Strawdogs perform there every Wednesday from tonight through May from 7 to 11 p.m. Call 333-2583... After levelling First Avenue last Sunday to a pile of smoking rubble (well, almost), The Chemical Brothers took a little bit of the Twin Cities with them--namely, techno ubermench Woody McBride, who will be the group's opening DJ for the Western leg of their U.S. tour. Just be sure to send him back in one piece, okay? We need him here... (Groebner/Hermes)

 
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