Band Stand

35 concerts to soundtrack your summer.

August 16


The tired buzzword "multicultural" actually applies to this annual open-air fete of beer and boogie, which is as much a celebration of the cosmopolitan West Bank neighborhood as it is of music, arts, and street fashion. There's a special youth and family area at Currie Park this year, so kids won't get bored. And though no bands were confirmed at press time, more than 50 local and national acts will perform on eight stages. Celebrating its 15th year, Cedarfest always leaves you with fond music memories, like '96 when Babes in Toyland belted out Sister Sledge's "We Are Family"--as fine a fest theme song as any. And a tip to the wise: The reggae/world-music stage is both one of the more interesting and underattended attractions of the day. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Cedar and Riverside avenues, Mpls.; 673-0401. (Scholtes)

August 17

The Skatalites

Though Clement Dodd's Studio One has yet to enter popular American mythology the way, say, Sun Studios has, it was no less important in shaping modern American music. And this Jamaican studio's early-'60s in-house band, the Skatalites, did a lot more than craft the ska beat that launched a thousand bands. These guys helped pioneer the very idea that a Third World country could create its own pop music and market it around the globe as such. It's a powerful idea, but as global poverty has pushed world-music performers to live and work in the West, this might no longer be possible. Now these ska vets live in the States, tour the world, and try to keep it real, all the while rocking much harder than you'd expect. Bring your dancing shoes. $13/$15. 8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Scholtes)

August 21

Lilith Fair

With wild-eyed folkie Kristin Hersh and indie-credible pop grrl Mary Lou Lord buoying this year's lineup (Victoria Williams, the Cardigans, and Emmylou Harris will also play dates, though not here), one is almost made to think that Dear Old Lily is letting her hair down. Guess again. Featuring two middle-of-the-road elderwomen (Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant) and VH-1-derkind Paula Cole, this year's update on feminism as Chelsea Clinton would have it does little more than beg the question I posed to Sarah McLachlan at a press conference before last year's Fair: "Where the hell is Sleater-Kinney?!" Or Scrawl? Or Missy Elliott? Or Miranda July? Or Erykah Badu? Anyway, if anybody's interested (and has the cool couple a million needed to book the fucker) I'm just getting to work on Squeaky Fromme Fair '99. Takers? $38 plus Ticketmaster fees. Canterbury Park, 1100 S. Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 445-7224 or 989-5151. (Dolan)

August 21

Medeski, Martin, and Wood

Often associated with the nefarious mid-'90s hip-hop, jazz 'n' Swiss-cheese hybrid known as acid jazz, Medeski, Martin, and Wood are, in fact, one of the few truly funky, organically soulful '90s jam bands. So much so that they even helped open up the sound of that drippiest of '90s no-soul jam bands, Phish, when the two groups toured together a while back. Not exactly reason to break out the "Hot Pants" analogies, but funkier than the Sneaker Pimps to say the least. $22.50 or $79 for the four-concert series, plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Weesner Family Amphitheater, Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 989-5151. (Dolan)

August 22

Lee Perry

Fairly obscure in his mid-'70s recording heyday, dub-reggae inventor Lee Perry has become as famous as Phil Spector since his snaky, quaky art (compiled on must-owns like Some of the Best and the 3-CD Arkology) became the spacey inspiration to wave after wave of '90s hip-hop variants. (See his cameo on the Beasties' forthcoming Hello Nasty.) Perry's equally foundational high-pitched preachin', teachin' vocals--another huge rap influence for sure--might be the kookiest sound to skate across the Mainroom all summer. $15/$18 at the door. 6 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

August 27-September 7

Minnesota State Fair

Amid the milieu of cheese curds and 4-H follies, the music offerings at 1998's "Great Minnesota Get Together" give us the usual country and classic-rock suspects--the Oak Ridge Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wynonna Judd and Sawyer Brown--and one alt-rock attraction, the Wallflowers. What saves this from being the worst Fair ever is the appearance of Lolita-esque country rocker LeAnn Rimes--whose show in town last winter was described by one reliable source as "amazing"--and the second Minnesota stop this summer by the recently rejuvenated first lady of white R&B, Bonnie Raitt. (Dolan)

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