Band Stand

35 concerts to soundtrack your summer.

July 21

The Pretenders/The B-52's

This is a fine touring force, featuring two of the best pop bands of the early '80s. Some might scoff at the Pretenders for not putting out a decent album in some 16 years. Others might wonder how the hell the act keeps its name when Chrissie Hynde is the only original member still with the group. And, to add insult to injury, many will be suspect of the band's reworkings of their classic hits--"Back on the Chain Gang" and "Brass in Pocket"--via the last refuge of the middle-aged rock 'n' roller, the "unplugged" format, on their latest, The Isle of View. It was bound to happen, and who cares. I still love Chrissie, and she could still kick the snot out of Natalie Imbruglia any day of the week. Interestingly enough, the B-52's seem to have aged a little better than Hynde. Like the Pretenders' Isle, the newest from the B-52's, Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation, recycles old hits, although in this instance the band was wise enough to touch them up without air-brushing away their intensity. The band's Cosmic Thing hits haven't retained their oddball charm, but the early new-wave classics "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho" seem just as kitschy cool as ever. No drag queen or thrift-store copycat can come close to their kind of brilliant postmod extremism. $25/$30 at the door plus Ticketmaster fees. 5 p.m. Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Dr., St. Paul; 989-5151. (Schmitt)

July 24

Shania Twain

The postfem will to power conveyed in the lyrics of country's Canadian heartthrob say more about the real sexual climate in Middle America than the collected works of all the Sarah McLachlan yawnalikes. Singing tunes with titles such as "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" and "I Feel Like a Woman," Twain is the most encouraging million-selling countrywoman since Loretta Lynn. Yet it's her husband Bob "Mutt" Lang's pop production that truly pushes Twain's massively successful Come On Over into the sonically and spiritually liberated land of Janet and Madonna--where she's entirely at home. This is Twain's first appearance in town since she corralled a crowd of 20,000 autograph seekers into the Mall of America last fall, and this time out she's even gonna do a little singing. $21.25-$41.25 plus Ticketmaster fees. 8 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Dolan)

July 27


While other frog-throated crooners like Waits (or Cobain or Armstrong) used their rasps to convey the wisdom that comes with suffering--as if mutilated vocal cords were the aftermath of a broken heart--the asthmatic pant of Tricky, the U.K. trip-hop rapper, is a medical condition. And he's got the inhaler to prove it. Tricky knows that his affliction is the source of his charm, so he evokes an aura of urgency, as if always on the brink of suffocation. His brand new Angels With Dirty Faces puts a strange twist on his seductive devil persona; he's now as huggable as he is hateable. $18/$20 at the door. 9 p.m. Ground Zero, 15 N.E. Fourth St., Mpls.; 378-5115. (Joshua Westlund)

July 29

Janet Jackson

Granted, the S&M posturing and other bits of contrived kink on her latest breakthrough, The Velvet Rope, feel more like a careerist's gambit than a boudoir confidential; Janet's aphrodisiac of choice will always be mass adulation. But from the cut-and-paste restlessness of "Got 'Til It's Gone" to the strolling pop splendor of "Together Again" to the electronica-funk snippets between many of the tracks, Rope represents the Flyte Tyme production team's most vibrant and versatile work among the five CDs they've fashioned for Janet thus far. It will be a kick to hear how this new material fits into the big-budget arena-rock setting where Janet, the buffed control freak, reigns supreme amid all the split-second choreography and visual pyrotechnics. Usher will open the show. $25/$50/$75 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Robson)

July 31

Spice Girls

Young girls are going to seek out feminism whether or not the Spice Girls fall off the face of the planet. What's more interesting is the group's effect on grown-ups. They bring out the dominatrix in some of us: We like being superior, submitting the five (er, make that four) Spices to our relentless critiques and ravaging them with abuse--"tools of men," "vapid," "obnoxious," "talentless." Others want either to be a Spice Girl or have a Spice Girl, consuming their videos and music to step into the fantasy clubhouse the girls seem to inhabit in their stale movie Spice World. Their individualized personas are a tidy analogue to the different "types" among the prostitutes in Belle de Jour: the seasoned one, the exotic one, the baby one. After all, "Who's your favorite Spice?" is a madam's question. But like the Sex Pistols, they have an uncontrollable, undeniable media charisma; they don't engage us, they engulf us. We like being outraged. Like Prince Charles, we enjoy getting goosed. $29.75/$39.75/$49.75 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Scholtes)

August 10

Burning Spear

Winston Rodney's resonant chants and passionate preaching made him one of the few vocalists who could rival the charismatic profundity of Bob Marley in his mid-'70s prime. So dominant within the trio Burning Spear that the group's name and his own soon became interchangeable, Rodney dropped a political-musical masterpiece with Marcus Garvey while still in his early 20s and went on to participate in some wonderful dub-music projects. Today he remains a vital, criminally underrated force in reggae. The show includes Ronnie Davis and Idren. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Robson)

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