Music to my beers

This morning I was on WCCO Radio talking about the mag’s “Everything You Know About Minnesota is Wrong” story, in which I give perennial summer festival band GB Leighton a little ribbing. It’s not that I really think they’re untalented–a million tank-topped buttshakers at Bunkers can’t be too wrong, can they? But I did want to stick a pin in the idea that middle-of-the-road monotony and bar-band boogie still deserves to predominate in this metropolis. We have cutting-edge theater, art museums, restaurants–heck, even light rail, kind of–and our most ubiquitous music is reheated Springsteen riffs? Time to change the guard, folks, and maybe that radio dial–away from KQ.

In recent years, the music scene here has settled into a pop groove, which isn’t about to expand musical boundaries either, but can be great fun to listen to. For more adventurous outdoor music, try the Thursday patio nights (wish they were still on Fridays) at the upstart Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul: June 7 features Savage Aural Hotbed, June 14 is the Spaghetti Western String Co. and Painted Saints, June 21 is Dosh and Alpha Consumer, June 28 is Coach Said Not To and Small Cities.

The Mill City Museum in Minneapolis offers its competing Thursday night music starting June 7 with the Brass Kings.

Elsewhere, on June 2, Charlie Parr (one of the few young white dudes who can pull off the acoustic country blues thing, mostly because he manages to make this gutbucket music hauntingly catchy) celebrates a record release at the Cedar Cultural Center, with help from members of Tramped by Turtles and Pert Near Sandstone.

And I’m really happy that the Cedar landed Ryan Adams for a June 18 stop on his tour of more intimate venues this summer (tickets on sale starting Friday, June 1), demonstrating both the Cedar’s sudden hipness and Adams’s sudden downscaling (said to be a return to his Heartbreaker form, which, if true, is the year’s best news in music).