QUITE A WEEK for local CDs, with John Casey's release this Friday (see A-List, p. 35), as well as hometown honky-tonk heroes The Carpetbaggers, who also host a release party this Friday. The trio celebrates its debut on Oakland's HighTone Records, home to country roots acts like Dale Watson and Big Sandy and the Fly-Right Boys. Sin Now... Pray Later has plenty of fine tunes, sly humor, and sharp guitar work (courtesy of Mike Crabtree); fresh off an East Coast tour with Son Volt, they should be gassed up and ready to go. $5. Doors at 8 p.m. 7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.

After years of touring and releasing music as a one-man operation, 25-year-old vocab king Stuart Davis is back with his most ambitious album yet (Nomen est Numen), a slick full band (derived from opening act Hindu Rodeo) and a label to do his dirty work (Triad). Davis's unusually verbose lyrics take an aggressive front seat to everything else in his music, and his clever lines often take unpredictable, syllable-laden twists and turns. My favorite moment is his hilarious satire of the arts--a story of Davis posing for "Stephen's Exhibition" by fornicating with the painter's wife. ("In really wild positions, all throughout his home/We cluttered every room with empty tubes of paint and foam.") The singer-songwriter market doesn't make many smartasses this literate anymore. Saturday, 9 p.m. $6/$8 at the door. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8100. (Hermes/Groebner)


PARTING IS SUCH sweet sorrow, but Emma Bull, of the arty folk duo Flash Girls, is relocating to L.A. Monday morning. So what to do Sunday night but get together with fellow Flash Girl Lorraine Garland for a farewell performance. Pals Todd Menton, Adam Stempel, Robin Anders, and who knows who else will be on hand, and all proceeds go to benefit the Cedar Cultural Centre. $5. Music at 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls.; 338-2674. (Hermes)

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