This weekend, local favorites Lookbook play music and movies in Mears Park, perfectly paired with ’80s favorite Sixteen Candles (which is turning into an accidental tribute – news just came out that director John Hughes has died today of a heart attack). Also, the Irish Fair kicks off on Harriet Island, and living legends Alejandro Escovedo and the supergroup members of Chickenfoot hit St. Paul.
Music in Mears: Lynhurst, Lookbook + “Sixteen Candles”
On the surface, Lynhurst and Lookbook would seem to have a lot in common. They’re both local bands fronted by cute boy-girl counterparts, and both of their names start with L and have eight letters. But in reality, the two bands couldn’t be more different. While sibling trio Lynhurst sport a substantial musical pedigree – they recently recorded their debut release Field Day with Cold War Kids’ producer in L.A. and their gleaming myspace page boasts of 4,500 friends – they are practically unheard of in Minneapolis. (The fact that their dad is a big-name music lawyer Ken Abdo, whose clients include Jonny Lang and Garrison Keillor, sheds some light on things.)
Meanwhile, Lookbook (which has only 900 myspace friends) is a big name locally, having garnered the coveted “Best New Band” title from City Pages in 2008. Its sound is substantially more unique than that of Lynhurst, whose paint-by-numbers pop rock sounds overly produced and saccharine compared to Lookbook’s dynamic, electronic-infused layers and coolly sexy vocals. Taking in the two bands back-to-back should provide an interesting juxtaposition of two very different sides of the spectrum of local music.
Quirky John Hughes classic ‘80s film Sixteen Candles rounds out the night with an outdoor screening at dusk, a rare opportunity no Hughes fan can afford to miss. (6 p.m. Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-632-5111. www.musicinmears.com)
Irish Fair at Harriet Island
With the high percentage of Irish-blooded folks living in St. Paul, it’s no surprise that our fair city’s Irish Fair has become nationally-renowned. The three-day festival features a big-name lineup of the top Irish-American acts in the country, including Boston celtic-punk band Dropkick Murphys (on Friday), L.A. celtic rockers Young Dubliners (on Saturday), East Coast celtic folk band Solas (on Sunday), and 11-piece fusion band Salsa Celtica. Local favorites with Irish ties on the bill include Americana act Romantica and Belfast Cowboys. The fair also features Irish-themed contests (Tug-O-War, anyone?), traditional dance, Irish paraphernalia, and of course, plenty of locally-brewed Finnegans and Guinness. (Fri.-Sun. Free. All ages. Harriet Island, 157 Water St. W., St. Paul. Visit Juleana Enright’s St. Paul STAYcation blog for more on the Fair.)
Alejandro Escovedo and Romantica at Minnesota Zoo
For what roots rock troubadour Alejandro Escovedo has lacked in mainstream success, he’s found in a huge underground following and his influential status among the alt-country ranks. For one, he’s collaborated with Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams; two, he shares Bruce Springstreen’s manager. He got his start in cowpunk band Rank and File in the early ‘80s, and broke out on his own in 1992. His most recent release, the raw Real Animal, harkens back to his early Rank and File days. Local Irish-Americana favorites Romantica open. (7:30 p.m. $25. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. 952-431-9500. www.mnzoo.com)
Dredg + Rx Bandits at Station 4
California neo-prog rockers Dredg started off as a nü-metal act, but have since carved out their own niche by incorporating unusual foreign-language vocals and atmospheric piano interludes into its heavy, psychedelic sound. Its latest, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is ambitious and perhaps a tad overly so; its 18 tracks feature everything from heavy metal riffs to children’s choirs. Orange County punk band Rx Bandits, known for its energetic live shows and helping to kick off the third wave ska revival of the mid-‘90s, opens the show. (6 p.m. $15-17. 16+. 201 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173.)
Chickenfoot at Myth
Perhaps the rock ‘n roll supergroup to beat all supergroups, Chickenfoot features legendary rock guitarist Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. What started off as a jam band for the longtime friends turned into a full-scale act. They’re currently on tour backing their self-titled full-length debut. Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam open. (6:30 p.m. $47-322. All Ages. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood. 651-779-6984.)
Reel Big Fish and The English Beat at Minnesota Zoo
The ringleaders for the mid ‘90s ska revival, Reel Big Fish’s sound hasn’t changed much over the years – all the better for fans of their silly, sarcastic sound. Their current release Fame, Fortune and Fornication dumbs it down even further, featuring ska-infused all-cover tracklisting. But there’s no doubt – it should all make for a good time for ska fans. The English Beat, the legendary Two-Tone vets behind such classics as “Mirror In The Bathroom,” act as opener, though the band is now non-amicably split between two different versions touring under the same name. (7:30 p.m. $34. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. 952-431-9200. www.mnzoo.com)
Also Tuesday: Five-piece Bangla-folk/jazz fusion act Jantri at Minnesota History Center’s 9 Nights of Music.
Nebula at Turf Club
L.A. three-piece Nebula has been churning out dirty psychedelic rock ‘n roll for over a decade on various indie labels (including Sub Pop and tee pee). These guys are the real deal: They’ve paved the way for better-known psych-rock bands like Black Angels and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Its latest, Heavy Psych (an expanded version of a 2008 EP), the album lives up to its name and reaffirms Nebula’s reputation as one of the most under-appreciated underground bands out there. The Entrance Band (which also recently opened for Sonic Youth) and Bastard Saint open. (9 p.m. $10. 21+. 1601 University Ave W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)