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48 Hour Band Contestival tonight at the 7th Street Entry

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Too often, the venues of Minneapolis’ crowded Gothic streets are fraught with predictability. Head into First Avenue to see Girl Talk, and you can gauge your own likelihood of emerging shirtless with decent reliability. This predictability has its comforts, the same indispensable comforts of an electric blanket. But there’s room for something a little coarser to the touch, a little harder on the stomach. Something that taunts the brain and all its predictive pathways. Room for the 48 Hour Band Contestival.

Organized by Anti-Civ, a Minneapolis based record label responsible for the dissemination of such bands as Bouncer Fighter, A Paper Cup Band, and Hangun Man, the 48 Hour Band Contestival is in its second year as populist and as adventurous as the DIY collective itself. The concept is simple-- on Wednesday evening, a coalition of the willing (musicians and non-musicians alike) threw their names in a hat. By random selection, bands were arbitrarily assembled and charged with the task of organizing a short set of music to be performed, and benevolently judged, tonight at the 7th Street Entry. And all in just 48 little hours.

It’s an exercise and an execution that rewards only the adventurous. But aren’t those the most thrilling payoffs life offers? Few meaningful dividends are paid by staying in the stable. Last year’s offerings ranged from the absurd to the shockingly engaging, spanning too many genres to count. The only predictable thing about tonight’s 7th Street Entry show is the camaraderie of attendees and performers alike. The rest is a grand crapshoot, from which, thanks to the good-natured engineering of the folks at Anti-Civ, everyone takes something meaningful home.

Friday, October 24th. 7th Street Entry. $6.00. 18+.