Frontin' / Endnotes
DON'T LOOK NOW, but local club/lounge The Front has become a hotbed for the local acid-jazz and hip-hop scenes, which have long been in need of forums for kickin' it live. The club has already proven that there's an audience for acid-jazz with its successful Thursday-night Straight No Chaser series, which features local DJs and cameos, and has been topping the Front's attendance records. In response, Wednesday nights throughout the summer will now carry a new live performance theme called Freeloaded. The difference between Thursday and Wednesday is that Straight is a DJ-based chill-out, while Freeloaded is mainly live improv. "Straight No Chaser is DJs with musicians and rappers sometimes joining in," said organizer/Joint Chiefs guitarist James Everest at last week's Freeloaded opening. "With this it's basically the inverse."
The result is a chance for four particular groups to explore their improv skills in a laid-back setting, with plenty of guest interaction. Freeloaded returns this Wednesday with jazzcats Casino Royale; urban soulsters Shade and the Powersoul Messengers pick it up on June 19; supergroup Fresh Squeeze (featuring members of Casino Royale, Curbfeelers and Joint Chiefs) do it up on June 26; and the Joint Chiefs play July 3. The cycle will continue in that order on Wednesdays throughout the summer. $2. ID required. Doors at 7 p.m., music at 9 p.m. The Front, 15 Fourth St. N.E., Mpls.; 378-5115. (Groebner)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 marks the date of the International Reggae Fest featuring Ipso Facto, Jamerica, Shangoya, Les Exodus featuring Innocent and members of International Reggae All-Stars. The show's a benefit in memory of Alvin McFarlane Sr.--the father of several Ipso/Jamerica members--who died in December at age 72. Proceeds go toward shipping 22 tons of donated books to a new memorial library in McFarlane's childhood home in St. Mary's, Jamaica. $10. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8100... Rockabilly/western swing rulers Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys play 7th Street Entry this Saturday with the Carpetbaggers (who recently performed at Son Volt-er Jay Farrar's wedding), William & The Conquerors, and Dennis Brennan (8 p.m., $5)... Grassroots rockers The Sycamores conclude Intermedia Arts' Minneapolis 55408 neighborhood-art shows/fundraisers with a "starlight show" on Saturday (9.pm., $5)... Congrats to locals 12 Rods, Medium, Dan Israel, The Scott Laurent Band and The Whole Wide World, who are among the multitude of acts playing Toronto's new North By Northeast music fest this weekend. Good luck, and don't forget the sweaters... (Groebner)
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