Band Stand

35 concerts to soundtrack your summer.

June 22

Pere Ubu

For 20 years now, Cleveland's Pere Ubu has been blessing its tiny fan base with an annoying/exhilarating mouthpiece for postindustrial stasis that, at its funky-clunky best, is as satisfying as either punk's malignant din or hip hop's buoyant blare--and as challenging as both combined. The grinding noise on Pere Ubu's new Pennsylvania might seem a bit obsolete in an age when the sound of logging on has convinced even the staunchest Luddites that the weight of postindustrial anxiety has all but lifted. Maybe that's what makes it worth hearing. And no punk fan should die without seeing and hearing David Thomas's blustery Rust Belt vocals live. $10/$12 at the door. 7 p.m. Fine Line Music Café, 318 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8100. (Dolan)

June 22

Steve Lacy

Easily one of the most original artists in jazz, Lacy leapt from Dixieland to Cecil Taylor more than 40 years ago while playing an instrument--the soprano saxophone--that no one else had bothered with (part of Lacy's legacy is that he impelled John Coltrane to pick up the straight horn). Since then, Lacy's become perhaps the most intrepid interpreter of Monk tunes. He's written and dedicated numerous compositions to painters, poets, and a wide range of other kindred spirits (from Herman Melville to Robert Creeley to Lao Tzu). And he's recorded more than a hundred records as a soloist, in duets (mostly with pianist Mal Waldron), and as the leader of bands both large and small. One of Lacy's latest projects is a "jam opera," The Cry, featuring his wife, vocalist Irene Aebi (who is even more of an acquired taste than Lacy himself). Lacy has lived in Paris for many years, so his stateside tours are few and far between, and his appearance at the Dakota is another feather in the cap of the Bandana Square club. For this show, Lacy will be in his longtime trio, featuring a French rhythm section that knows his inside-outside maneuvers well enough to accommodate his restless muse and ever-resourceful solo passages. $20 at 7:30 p.m./$15 at 10 p.m. Dakota Bar & Grill, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd., St. Paul; 642-1442. (Robson)

June 23, 24

Chucho Valdes

Touring with Roy Hargrove's Crisol big band last summer, Valdes demonstrated why he has become the musical patriarch of Cuba. As a pianist and composer, he has absorbed both the discipline of the Eastern European conservatory tradition (one benefit of his country's Cold War alliance) and the creative fire and complexity of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Like Duke Ellington, Valdes doesn't let harmonic elegance interfere with his affinity for the blues, instead wrapping them together in poignant tunes that are proud and dignified. And as the founder of Cuba's seminal modern big band Irakere (which counts Paquito D'Rivera and Arturo Sandoval among its alumni), he has written and arranged breakneck salsas and numbers that flirt with avant-garde dissonance. In other words, the guy's a consummate jazz master, and his presence in our fair city (with a quartet) is one of the year's handful of must-see concerts. $22 at 7:30 p.m./$16 at 10 p.m. Dakota Bar & Grill, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd., St. Paul; 642-1442. (Robson)

June 23


Toronto slacker-poet Hayden is more than the Beck without beats his first two records have made him out to be. But not much more. His plodding folk-pop and loose-limbed lyricism barely support the drear implicit in songs about "relying on little things to get by"--watching TV, swimming in pot, laughing (but not too hard). But his abjection betrays an honesty most slackers of his ilk have supplanted with showy musicology or cheap irony. This year's The Closer I Get is also a more studiocentric affair than 1995's Everything I Long For, evidencing a desire to push his ambitions out of the bedroom and into the world at large. $5/$7 at the door. 9 p.m. 400 Bar, 400 Cedar Ave., Mpls.; 332-2903. (Dolan)

June 25

Africa Fete

This wonderful package tour is to Afropop what the H.O.R.D.E. tour is to post-hippie alt-rock, or what Lilith Fair is to middle-class fem-folk. Headliner Salif Kieta's background is as interesting as his remarkable voice and hybrid musical style. A Malian albino descended from royalty, Kieta forsook his family's status at the top of his country's entrenched caste system to become a street singer, and, after being discovered, one of the most fluid vocalists in West Africa. Zairian singer Papa Wemba's airy, versatile singing can feel like deep soul and skybound scat, often at the same time (see his just-out Molokai). Even lighter, and much prettier, is Senegalese singer/guitarist (and former Youssou N'Dour sideman) Cheik Lo. In fact, he's so light and pretty that his gentle voice and super-supple guitar technique nearly slipped into the cracks of last year's almost unbelievably sweet Ne La Thiass. Yet, while each of these fellas is more than worth the price of admission, the real story here is Maryam Mursal, a refugee of Somalia's civil war, whose forceful voice flies in the face of her repressive Islamic heritage. Mursal's excellent new album, The Journey, is a fervid, funky masterwork--as fine a display of eclectic integrity as 1998 ("The Year Faux Broke") has yet produced. $15/$18 at the door. 5 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

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