FOR GENERATIONS OF south Minneapolis rockers, the crowning moment of last summer was the smashing reunion performance of the Suicide Commandos at the third annual Lyn-Lake Street Fair. In fact, both with and without them, each previous installment of Lyn-Lake has comprised the best live-music day of the summer. No Commandos this year, but Big Easy revivalists The Strawdogs will headline the main stage with Trailer Trash, Wallace Hartley & the Titanics, and beat murderers William & the Conquerors (who sounded exceptional at their last Entry gigs, particularly with Willie Wisely roughing up a Farfisa organ). On the Tatters/St. Sabrina's alley stage: Mr. Midnight & His Spooky Paradise Kings of Love, 69, All the Pretty Horses, Legion of Boom, Eller Lynch, Speed of Rain, and ska-swingers Suspect Bill. Then there's the new third stage, sponsored by pARTs Gallery and Bryant-Lake Bowl: Magnatone, Detroit, Happy Apple, Mona Boone, Dylan Hicks, The Sycamores, The Glenrustles, and Peachfuzz. Everything happens this Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. on Lyndale Ave. between Lake St. (duh) and 28th St. And it's free. Call 824-8198.

           Meanwhile, the Basilica Block Party offers loads more good music in the shadow of God's house and I-94. Yet we can't help wishing we'd been able to sit in on the ad campaign brainstorming sessions ("Well yeah, it's Catholic--but we want, like, fun Catholic, wacky Catholic, nutty Catholic. Can you guys do nutty Catholic?"). Anyway, the lineup is a selection of bands who have all put in fine recent appearances in town--most notably Steve Earle, whose comeback gig at First Avenue showed him in superb form, even if the yahoos wouldn't shut up for the quiet tunes, and Earle himself dwelt a bit too long on his druggie war stories. Crowd-pleasers Shawn Colvin, Golden Smog, and others fill things out. Friday's mainstage lineup includes Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans (5 p.m.) Earle and his band (7 p.m.), and the Rembrandts (9 p.m.), with side-stagers the Billy's (6 p.m.), G.B. Leighton (7:30 p.m.), and Tim Mahoney and the Meenies (9 p.m.) Saturday is The Freddy Jones Band (5 p.m.), Shawn Colvin (7 p.m.), and Golden Smog (9 p.m.) on the mainstage, with Lamont Cranston (6 p.m.), new band buzz-makers The Dust Bunnies (7:30 p.m.), and Jonny Lang and the Big Bang (9 p.m.) on the side. Tix ain't cheap, but the money goes to keep a grand old building in shape. $25/night, $35/weekend. Hennepin Ave. & 16th St., Mpls.; 333-4433.

           Other reasons to stay outdoors this week include those faceless guys in America who made more money biting After The Goldrush-era Neil Young than Young himself probably ever saw (at least from that record). And call it perversity, but some of us had songs like "A Horse With No Name," "Tin Man," "Sandman," "Sister Golden Hair," "Ventura Highway," and "I Need You" driven so deep into our musical subconscious that to hear them now is to be transported back to a beautiful and fuzzy SoCal fantasy of childhood. (We bet at least some of the guys in Golden Smog would back us up on this one.) Holiday Ranch opens. $20; showtime at 8 p.m. Ticket info: 989-5151.

           Indoors on Saturday, the reborn Boneclub celebrate the release of their new CD, Imagine Nation (Rocket Sound). Andrew Arashiba is the only remaining founding member of this well-worn pop-rock outfit, and the Arashiba-produced Imagine Nation is the first Boneclub product since his guitarist brother Dacey left last year. As usual, though, it's filled with performances by umpteen former BC members and guests; the current lineup apparently includes Arashiba, drummer Dave Berger and bassist Luca Gunther (ex-Fauna/Picadors). The disc is just average, though Arashiba's irrepressible spirit is the real draw, and it's the first legitimately "new" Boneclub release in ages. Some of Arashiba's favorite new bands--Speed of Rain, Electraglide, and Rhinestone Chassis--start the show. 9 p.m. Free. Cabooze. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls.; 338-6425.

           Sunday night marks the homecoming of Punchdrunk, who're touring in support of their ace flyer A Message from the Cockpit with their worthy friends, Grass recording artists the Wrens. Headliner Wake Ooloo is the buzzing 4-year-old psychedelic/roots outfit led by former Feelies Glenn Mercer and Dave Weckerman. It would be fair to expect a full night of speedy, guitar-oriented surprises, kicking off with the latest version of local left-of-centrists the Shepherd Kings. $6. 8 p.m. 7th St. Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.(Groebner/Hermes)

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