THE APTLY NAMED Mighty Fine Gallery coffeehouse is becoming an ever-more-frequent venue for free all-ages shows on the increasingly musical Northeast side. This Saturday, Mighty Fine hosts a hip hop showcase from the Headshots family featuring Beyond and Atmosphere, who both showed skill and control opening for LL Cool J in July. (LL's self-indulgent appearance was another story.) As an added attraction, the prodigal jazz bassist Anthony Cox will sit in. (1302 University Ave. N.E., Mpls.; 331-5851.)

          Local troubadours Marlee MacLeod and Barbara Cohen will host a Female Songwriters Night on Tuesday at the 400 Bar. In the vein of recent "In Their Own Words" Q&A/performance sessions, MacLeod and Cohen will interview two panels including Rhea Valentine's Wendy Lewis , Dana Thompson of Strawdogs fame, Amy Fisher, Barb Ryman, violinist Lisa Fugeli, and several others, with performances featured throughout. (Cedar and Riverside Aves., Mpls.; 332-2903.)

          A couple of disparate local musicians who made names for themselves in the late '80s are back in the record stores this month. First up is Think Tank's Skullbuggery, a techno/ dance project from Paul Robb, whose former band Information Society is best known for its 1988 number one hit "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)." Fully recovered from his flirtation with fame, Robb is back in Minnesota and back to basics as a producer, working with his independent label, Hakatak, and Think Tank's less pop-oriented approach. Robb's trip hoppy collaboration with the aforementioned Barbara Cohen, Brother Sun Sister Moon, is due on Hakatak in future months.

          John Freeman and his quintessential garage band The Magnolias never quite nabbed the brass ring of indie stardom that was dangling over them at the turn of the decade. But despite umpteen address and personnel shifts, Freeman hasn't closed up shop. The Mags' first album in a whopping four and a half years marks a return to the Twin/Tone house under the auspices of TRG Records. Recorded at Third Ear by Tom Herbers, it's anxiously titled Street Date Tuesday and the street date is, uh, this Tuesday.

          Record release: Mezzofist celebrate their new 7" release Thursday at the 400 Bar, playing the middle set between Strumpet and Voodoo Love Mint... Deformo has unloaded their new "Maybe"/"Mystery Mammals" single on Thee Generic Label out of St. Cloud... Local CDs out now: The Surahoolies, Underneath the Water; Saucer, self-titled (Spanish Fly). In stores next Tuesday: Guzzard's third long-player, The Alienation Index Survey (Amphetamine Reptile); and G.B. Leighton's sophomore set Come Alive (OarFin). (Simon Peter Groebner)

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