Band Stand

June 12

The Jayhawks

Their Midwestern stolidity and an affinity for SoCal country rock (circa vintage Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buffalo Springfield) make for a sturdy guitars-drums-vocals mesh; it rarely thrills or disappoints, instead demonstrating an admirably high degree of quality control. The departure of Mark Olson hasn't wounded the band's sonic integrity, either; the Jayhawks' tunes still amble amiably and occasionally swell into full-blown rock songs. Their last series of local gigs at First Avenue had them closing with a cover of "Ode to Billy Joe," and I expect they'll honor the Walker's artistic heritage with a similarly surprising gesture at this outdoor gig. With Hothead Swing Band. $20/$10 for Walker members. 6 p.m. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 725 Vineland Pl., Mpls.; 375-7622. (Britt Robson)

June 16

John Fogerty

For all but a blessed few middle-aged musicians, there comes a time when you change your style or become an anachronism. Fogerty is one of those rare rockers who is looming larger with time--his last record deservedly captured a Grammy, and his unmistakable guitar riffs and vocal yowl still quicken the pulse of fans wedded to the sound of tunes that simultaneously seem old, new, borrowed, and blue. As if his live shows weren't inspired enough, he's touring behind Premonition, a new concert CD featuring songs that range from old staples such as "Fortunate Son" and "Bad Moon Rising" to '80s comeback material like "Centerfield" to last year's chart-topper, "Blueboy." As souvenirs go, it's probably better than a T-shirt, and won't fade with age. $20.50-$30.50 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Robson)

June 16-August 19

Northrop Summer Music Series

The good folks at Northrop have put together another smashing summer of midweek concerts. This year's highlights include the exuberant Gypsy Klezmer Band (6/22); excellent local bop 'n' groove neotraditionalists Motion Poets (7/1); local guitar whiz Dean Magraw; Irish musician Paddy O'Brien (6/24); Greek maestros Callie and Her Palikaria (7/10); and the bop-influenced funk players Triplicate. Free. All events start at noon. Northrop Memorial Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.; 624-2345. (Jon Dolan)

June 17-18

Ray Barretto

One of the most recorded musicians of all time, Barretto has sharpened his game in recent years with the formation of his sextet New World Spirit, a Cubop ensemble with a dynamic flair for different moods and tempi that can only develop from big ears, open hearts, and long hours together. On their latest Blue Note CD, Contact!, they take Juan Tizol's classic "Caravan" from a canter to a crawl and back again, spritz up Michel Legrand's Summer of '42 theme, and strut through a series of salsa-driven numbers that neatly balances the sax and trumpet in the front line with a redoubtable rhythm section that includes Barretto's Chano Pozo-inflected congas, master percussionist Ray Vega, and drummer Vince Cherico. $20 at 7:30 p.m./$15 at 10 p.m. Dakota Bar & Grill, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd., St. Paul; 642-1442. (Dolan)

June 19


Swedish art-poppers Komeda render their erudite take on what they call "boogie-woogie rock 'n' roll" as if they had read about it in Foucault. Or Wittgenstein, whom they reference openly on their just-released What Makes It Go? And I'm guessing at least two band members can read him, possibly in more than one language (ah, the wonders of socialized education!). So, if their musical amalgam of Stereolab, Talking Heads, and the What do I do with this ass and these limbs?-funk of early Pere Ubu seems intellectual or precious, then come see it live, where these skilled players elongate their already oblong grooves and tweak their hooky melodies to rock as assuredly as any American college band. Ivy are comely cocktail-poppers whose pop world historic smartly makes room to incorporate the Jam and Motown. $8/$10 at the door. 5 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

June 20

Josh Wink

The Chuck Berry of the 303 bass synthesizer, Wink is one of the most talented producers and DJs in underground dance music: His singular style defines the acid-techno genre. His shape-shifting, propulsive tracks are both playful and powerful, and several of them--notably "Higher State of Consciousness" and "Are You There?"--are classics. Wink's last few local appearances (both at warehouse raves) were frustrating events; due to noise complaints, police turned down the sound, and this great live DJ didn't get the volume he deserved. This club appearance will be more satisfying, and more than worth the price of admission. Bring earplugs--you'll need them. 18 and up. Call for price and time. Ground Zero, 15 N.E. Fourth St., Mpls.; 378-5115. (Michaelangelo Matos)


June 21

Los Lobos

This erstwhile barrio bar band has proven it can do anything: Norteño ballads, blazing rockers, hurdy-gurdy pop, mystical narratives, and shimmering anthems that can give you goosebumps. It's a distinctive porridge that critic Robert Christgau aptly defines as "Chicano R&B," which is to say that their roots will always be showing--and thank God for that. I'm partial to David Hidalgo's splendid, economical guitar lines and doleful tenor vocals, but live, accordionist/vocalist Cesar Rosas commands the stage with good-natured charisma. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy this music. The show includes guest Jeb Loy Nichols. $25.50 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Weesner Family Amphitheater, Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 989-5151. (Dolan)

June 22

Pere Ubu

For 20 years now, Cleveland's Pere Ubu has been blessing its tiny fan base with an annoying/exhilarating mouthpiece for postindustrial stasis that, at its funky-clunky best, is as satisfying as either punk's malignant din or hip hop's buoyant blare--and as challenging as both combined. The grinding noise on Pere Ubu's new Pennsylvania might seem a bit obsolete in an age when the sound of logging on has convinced even the staunchest Luddites that the weight of postindustrial anxiety has all but lifted. Maybe that's what makes it worth hearing. And no punk fan should die without seeing and hearing David Thomas's blustery Rust Belt vocals live. $10/$12 at the door. 7 p.m. Fine Line Music Café, 318 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8100. (Dolan)

June 22

Steve Lacy

Easily one of the most original artists in jazz, Lacy leapt from Dixieland to Cecil Taylor more than 40 years ago while playing an instrument--the soprano saxophone--that no one else had bothered with (part of Lacy's legacy is that he impelled John Coltrane to pick up the straight horn). Since then, Lacy's become perhaps the most intrepid interpreter of Monk tunes. He's written and dedicated numerous compositions to painters, poets, and a wide range of other kindred spirits (from Herman Melville to Robert Creeley to Lao Tzu). And he's recorded more than a hundred records as a soloist, in duets (mostly with pianist Mal Waldron), and as the leader of bands both large and small. One of Lacy's latest projects is a "jam opera," The Cry, featuring his wife, vocalist Irene Aebi (who is even more of an acquired taste than Lacy himself). Lacy has lived in Paris for many years, so his stateside tours are few and far between, and his appearance at the Dakota is another feather in the cap of the Bandana Square club. For this show, Lacy will be in his longtime trio, featuring a French rhythm section that knows his inside-outside maneuvers well enough to accommodate his restless muse and ever-resourceful solo passages. $20 at 7:30 p.m./$15 at 10 p.m. Dakota Bar & Grill, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd., St. Paul; 642-1442. (Robson)

June 23, 24

Chucho Valdes

Touring with Roy Hargrove's Crisol big band last summer, Valdes demonstrated why he has become the musical patriarch of Cuba. As a pianist and composer, he has absorbed both the discipline of the Eastern European conservatory tradition (one benefit of his country's Cold War alliance) and the creative fire and complexity of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Like Duke Ellington, Valdes doesn't let harmonic elegance interfere with his affinity for the blues, instead wrapping them together in poignant tunes that are proud and dignified. And as the founder of Cuba's seminal modern big band Irakere (which counts Paquito D'Rivera and Arturo Sandoval among its alumni), he has written and arranged breakneck salsas and numbers that flirt with avant-garde dissonance. In other words, the guy's a consummate jazz master, and his presence in our fair city (with a quartet) is one of the year's handful of must-see concerts. $22 at 7:30 p.m./$16 at 10 p.m. Dakota Bar & Grill, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd., St. Paul; 642-1442. (Robson)

June 23


Toronto slacker-poet Hayden is more than the Beck without beats his first two records have made him out to be. But not much more. His plodding folk-pop and loose-limbed lyricism barely support the drear implicit in songs about "relying on little things to get by"--watching TV, swimming in pot, laughing (but not too hard). But his abjection betrays an honesty most slackers of his ilk have supplanted with showy musicology or cheap irony. This year's The Closer I Get is also a more studiocentric affair than 1995's Everything I Long For, evidencing a desire to push his ambitions out of the bedroom and into the world at large. $5/$7 at the door. 9 p.m. 400 Bar, 400 Cedar Ave., Mpls.; 332-2903. (Dolan)


June 25

Africa Fete

This wonderful package tour is to Afropop what the H.O.R.D.E. tour is to post-hippie alt-rock, or what Lilith Fair is to middle-class fem-folk. Headliner Salif Kieta's background is as interesting as his remarkable voice and hybrid musical style. A Malian albino descended from royalty, Kieta forsook his family's status at the top of his country's entrenched caste system to become a street singer, and, after being discovered, one of the most fluid vocalists in West Africa. Zairian singer Papa Wemba's airy, versatile singing can feel like deep soul and skybound scat, often at the same time (see his just-out Molokai). Even lighter, and much prettier, is Senegalese singer/guitarist (and former Youssou N'Dour sideman) Cheik Lo. In fact, he's so light and pretty that his gentle voice and super-supple guitar technique nearly slipped into the cracks of last year's almost unbelievably sweet Ne La Thiass. Yet, while each of these fellas is more than worth the price of admission, the real story here is Maryam Mursal, a refugee of Somalia's civil war, whose forceful voice flies in the face of her repressive Islamic heritage. Mursal's excellent new album, The Journey, is a fervid, funky masterwork--as fine a display of eclectic integrity as 1998 ("The Year Faux Broke") has yet produced. $15/$18 at the door. 5 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

July 2-5

Taste of Minnesota

When Minnesotans combine food and music, they really go all the way: three rock stages, four days, 50 performances, and--to hazard a guess--approximately 500 tons of food. There's a kids' stage featuring something called the Splatter Sisters, but adults should try to catch such "remember when" acts as Heart, Tommy Tutone, the Tubes, and Cheap Trick. There's also the must-see Dread Zeppelin and essential local-cum-national stars like the Jayhawks, Polara, and Matt Wilson. Free. Eating and listening begins at about noon, Thursday through Sunday. State Capitol grounds, Aurora and Constitution avenues, St. Paul; 228-0018. (Scholtes)

July 7

Dave Alvin

Having almost single-handedly invented roots rock along with his brother Phil in the early-'80s band the Blasters, Southern California native Alvin has spent the better part of his career playing a spare acoustic folk music that works against what he calls the "suburbanization" of country music. His new Blackjack David may follow its hokey title's fiat to a mythical whiskey town even an old-timer like Dave can never hold the keys to. But give yourself some critical distance and you're left with an Americanist whose somber, handsome singing, patient guitar playing, and detail-oriented lyrics will almost convince you his retro bullshit is actually a weathered realism. Greg Brown, Tom T. Hall--hell, James Agee--they're all here. $8/$10 at the door. $15/$18 at the door. 5 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

July 9

H.O.R.D.E. Festival 1998

The music festival features Blues Traveler, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Barenaked Ladies, Alana Davis, Gov't Mule, David Garza, Emmet Swimming, Michael Parrish Band, and Honey Wagon. $25/$30 at the door plus Ticketmaster fees. Gates open at noon, music begins at 2 p.m. Harriet Island, St. Paul; 989-5151.

July 10

The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group

The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group could easily follow the lead of the populous drum 'n' bass crew the Jungle Vibe Collective and name themselves the Jim Ruiz Vibe Collective--what with some 15 people (along with the four or five core Group members) performing on the band's latest, Sniff. World-class guitarist John Crozier plays throughout, and numerous friends blow trombones, play keyboards, and offer loopy "imitations of fairies." Even amid a circus of sound such as this, the record remains surprisingly cohesive; it's a guided tour through lounge and disco, even pulling out "Safety Dance" echo effects for the chorus of "Bigfoot" and its remake, "Bigfoot (I Remember Wes)." Album aside, the future of this group is currently uncertain; Ruiz's brother and right-hand saxman/bassist, Chris, has left the band, and drummer Danny Sigelman's duties will now be handled by a drum machine. Live performances will feature a stripped-down lineup that includes Jim, wife and singer Stefanie, and guitarist Allison LaBonne. It's anyone's guess what the future will bring, which is an excellent reason to see them now. That and Ruiz's classic "My Bloody Yugo," no doubt the sickest and most deceptively charming ska/lounge ode to death ever recorded. $6. 8 p.m. 7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Christina Schmitt)


July 13

Justin Hinds

A great tenor vocalist in the rural Jamaican tradition, Hinds pioneered the coupling of rasta and ska music back in the early '60s, and progressed into rocksteady with his group, the Dominoes. Nowadays it's all reggae, of course, and Hinds is as good a standard bearer of the music as anyone, having written a wealth of great tunes that neatly complement his resourceful voice and the sonic needs of anyone itching to dance. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Robson)

July 17

Tori Amos

We'll take Amos's often-precious confessional narratives and intuitive muse over, say, the sterile, cunning manipulation of Madonna. Like pop bands that disarm with how hard they can rock, Amos's lone-ranger piano skills and wounded-angel voice make for a funkier, more sinuous package than anticipated. Her new CD, From the Choirgirl Hotel, notably brings a band on board--a group that is touring to glowing reviews. $26 plus Ticketmaster fees. 8 p.m. Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. S.E., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Robson)

July 18

Ozzfest '98 and the Vans Warped Tour

Acknowledging what Black Flag knew more than 10 years ago--that the difference between white-male-metal angst and white-male-punk angst is little more than the fine line between hating the girls you could never screw and hating yourself for wanting to screw in the first place--the summer's premier alt-metal shindig (Ozzfest) and its premier skate-punk event (The Vans Warped Tour) have come together for a belated summit. People who used to hate each other in high school unite, you have nothing to lose but your ears! Not more beer! Your ears! At last, younguns who let their hair grow over their eyes and not-so younguns who let it flow down their necks can come together under one tent--assuming that all campers involved enjoy pseudo-virtuosic speed guitar and employ the epithet "pussy" in polite conversation. Ozzfest is headlined by the king of the emasculated shriek, Ozzy Osbourne, and presents grind-thrash champs Tool and old-timers Megadeth, plus a cast of second-rank acts including Limp Bizkit, Soulfly, Coal Chambers, and dirge-core legends (and Nirvana influence) the Melvins. The Vans Warped Tour's lineup is more current and more fun, featuring metalheaded shitabilly king the Reverend Horton Heat, a trio of wonderful ska-punk bands--Rancid, Voodoo Glowskulls, and NOFX--and Cali-punk elder statesmen Bad Religion. $30 plus Ticketmaster fees. 11 a.m. Float-Rite Amphitheatre, Somerset, Wisconsin; 989-5151 for tickets and (800) 826-7096 for camping packages. (Dolan)

July 21

The Pretenders/The B-52's

This is a fine touring force, featuring two of the best pop bands of the early '80s. Some might scoff at the Pretenders for not putting out a decent album in some 16 years. Others might wonder how the hell the act keeps its name when Chrissie Hynde is the only original member still with the group. And, to add insult to injury, many will be suspect of the band's reworkings of their classic hits--"Back on the Chain Gang" and "Brass in Pocket"--via the last refuge of the middle-aged rock 'n' roller, the "unplugged" format, on their latest, The Isle of View. It was bound to happen, and who cares. I still love Chrissie, and she could still kick the snot out of Natalie Imbruglia any day of the week. Interestingly enough, the B-52's seem to have aged a little better than Hynde. Like the Pretenders' Isle, the newest from the B-52's, Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation, recycles old hits, although in this instance the band was wise enough to touch them up without air-brushing away their intensity. The band's Cosmic Thing hits haven't retained their oddball charm, but the early new-wave classics "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho" seem just as kitschy cool as ever. No drag queen or thrift-store copycat can come close to their kind of brilliant postmod extremism. $25/$30 at the door plus Ticketmaster fees. 5 p.m. Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Dr., St. Paul; 989-5151. (Schmitt)

July 24

Shania Twain

The postfem will to power conveyed in the lyrics of country's Canadian heartthrob say more about the real sexual climate in Middle America than the collected works of all the Sarah McLachlan yawnalikes. Singing tunes with titles such as "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" and "I Feel Like a Woman," Twain is the most encouraging million-selling countrywoman since Loretta Lynn. Yet it's her husband Bob "Mutt" Lang's pop production that truly pushes Twain's massively successful Come On Over into the sonically and spiritually liberated land of Janet and Madonna--where she's entirely at home. This is Twain's first appearance in town since she corralled a crowd of 20,000 autograph seekers into the Mall of America last fall, and this time out she's even gonna do a little singing. $21.25-$41.25 plus Ticketmaster fees. 8 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Dolan)


July 27


While other frog-throated crooners like Waits (or Cobain or Armstrong) used their rasps to convey the wisdom that comes with suffering--as if mutilated vocal cords were the aftermath of a broken heart--the asthmatic pant of Tricky, the U.K. trip-hop rapper, is a medical condition. And he's got the inhaler to prove it. Tricky knows that his affliction is the source of his charm, so he evokes an aura of urgency, as if always on the brink of suffocation. His brand new Angels With Dirty Faces puts a strange twist on his seductive devil persona; he's now as huggable as he is hateable. $18/$20 at the door. 9 p.m. Ground Zero, 15 N.E. Fourth St., Mpls.; 378-5115. (Joshua Westlund)

July 29

Janet Jackson

Granted, the S&M posturing and other bits of contrived kink on her latest breakthrough, The Velvet Rope, feel more like a careerist's gambit than a boudoir confidential; Janet's aphrodisiac of choice will always be mass adulation. But from the cut-and-paste restlessness of "Got 'Til It's Gone" to the strolling pop splendor of "Together Again" to the electronica-funk snippets between many of the tracks, Rope represents the Flyte Tyme production team's most vibrant and versatile work among the five CDs they've fashioned for Janet thus far. It will be a kick to hear how this new material fits into the big-budget arena-rock setting where Janet, the buffed control freak, reigns supreme amid all the split-second choreography and visual pyrotechnics. Usher will open the show. $25/$50/$75 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Robson)

July 31

Spice Girls

Young girls are going to seek out feminism whether or not the Spice Girls fall off the face of the planet. What's more interesting is the group's effect on grown-ups. They bring out the dominatrix in some of us: We like being superior, submitting the five (er, make that four) Spices to our relentless critiques and ravaging them with abuse--"tools of men," "vapid," "obnoxious," "talentless." Others want either to be a Spice Girl or have a Spice Girl, consuming their videos and music to step into the fantasy clubhouse the girls seem to inhabit in their stale movie Spice World. Their individualized personas are a tidy analogue to the different "types" among the prostitutes in Belle de Jour: the seasoned one, the exotic one, the baby one. After all, "Who's your favorite Spice?" is a madam's question. But like the Sex Pistols, they have an uncontrollable, undeniable media charisma; they don't engage us, they engulf us. We like being outraged. Like Prince Charles, we enjoy getting goosed. $29.75/$39.75/$49.75 plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 989-5151. (Scholtes)

August 10

Burning Spear

Winston Rodney's resonant chants and passionate preaching made him one of the few vocalists who could rival the charismatic profundity of Bob Marley in his mid-'70s prime. So dominant within the trio Burning Spear that the group's name and his own soon became interchangeable, Rodney dropped a political-musical masterpiece with Marcus Garvey while still in his early 20s and went on to participate in some wonderful dub-music projects. Today he remains a vital, criminally underrated force in reggae. The show includes Ronnie Davis and Idren. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Robson)

August 16


The tired buzzword "multicultural" actually applies to this annual open-air fete of beer and boogie, which is as much a celebration of the cosmopolitan West Bank neighborhood as it is of music, arts, and street fashion. There's a special youth and family area at Currie Park this year, so kids won't get bored. And though no bands were confirmed at press time, more than 50 local and national acts will perform on eight stages. Celebrating its 15th year, Cedarfest always leaves you with fond music memories, like '96 when Babes in Toyland belted out Sister Sledge's "We Are Family"--as fine a fest theme song as any. And a tip to the wise: The reggae/world-music stage is both one of the more interesting and underattended attractions of the day. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Cedar and Riverside avenues, Mpls.; 673-0401. (Scholtes)


August 17

The Skatalites

Though Clement Dodd's Studio One has yet to enter popular American mythology the way, say, Sun Studios has, it was no less important in shaping modern American music. And this Jamaican studio's early-'60s in-house band, the Skatalites, did a lot more than craft the ska beat that launched a thousand bands. These guys helped pioneer the very idea that a Third World country could create its own pop music and market it around the globe as such. It's a powerful idea, but as global poverty has pushed world-music performers to live and work in the West, this might no longer be possible. Now these ska vets live in the States, tour the world, and try to keep it real, all the while rocking much harder than you'd expect. Bring your dancing shoes. $13/$15. 8 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Scholtes)

August 21

Lilith Fair

With wild-eyed folkie Kristin Hersh and indie-credible pop grrl Mary Lou Lord buoying this year's lineup (Victoria Williams, the Cardigans, and Emmylou Harris will also play dates, though not here), one is almost made to think that Dear Old Lily is letting her hair down. Guess again. Featuring two middle-of-the-road elderwomen (Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant) and VH-1-derkind Paula Cole, this year's update on feminism as Chelsea Clinton would have it does little more than beg the question I posed to Sarah McLachlan at a press conference before last year's Fair: "Where the hell is Sleater-Kinney?!" Or Scrawl? Or Missy Elliott? Or Miranda July? Or Erykah Badu? Anyway, if anybody's interested (and has the cool couple a million needed to book the fucker) I'm just getting to work on Squeaky Fromme Fair '99. Takers? $38 plus Ticketmaster fees. Canterbury Park, 1100 S. Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 445-7224 or 989-5151. (Dolan)

August 21

Medeski, Martin, and Wood

Often associated with the nefarious mid-'90s hip-hop, jazz 'n' Swiss-cheese hybrid known as acid jazz, Medeski, Martin, and Wood are, in fact, one of the few truly funky, organically soulful '90s jam bands. So much so that they even helped open up the sound of that drippiest of '90s no-soul jam bands, Phish, when the two groups toured together a while back. Not exactly reason to break out the "Hot Pants" analogies, but funkier than the Sneaker Pimps to say the least. $22.50 or $79 for the four-concert series, plus Ticketmaster fees. 7:30 p.m. Weesner Family Amphitheater, Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 989-5151. (Dolan)

August 22

Lee Perry

Fairly obscure in his mid-'70s recording heyday, dub-reggae inventor Lee Perry has become as famous as Phil Spector since his snaky, quaky art (compiled on must-owns like Some of the Best and the 3-CD Arkology) became the spacey inspiration to wave after wave of '90s hip-hop variants. (See his cameo on the Beasties' forthcoming Hello Nasty.) Perry's equally foundational high-pitched preachin', teachin' vocals--another huge rap influence for sure--might be the kookiest sound to skate across the Mainroom all summer. $15/$18 at the door. 6 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388. (Dolan)

August 27-September 7

Minnesota State Fair

Amid the milieu of cheese curds and 4-H follies, the music offerings at 1998's "Great Minnesota Get Together" give us the usual country and classic-rock suspects--the Oak Ridge Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wynonna Judd and Sawyer Brown--and one alt-rock attraction, the Wallflowers. What saves this from being the worst Fair ever is the appearance of Lolita-esque country rocker LeAnn Rimes--whose show in town last winter was described by one reliable source as "amazing"--and the second Minnesota stop this summer by the recently rejuvenated first lady of white R&B, Bonnie Raitt. (Dolan)

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