Music under the sun and stars

by Keri Carlson

There, there – just because Britney and Christina canceled their tours does not mean summer is ruined. You can still find plenty of things to do. After all, Hillary Duff has yet to cancel!

But besides the American Idols and stadium rockers the Darkness along with loads of other big name acts flooding the arenas of the Twin Cities, summer music really is about one thing: festivals.

No more uncomfortable plastic seats. Spread out the blanket, slap on the sunscreen and breathe in the fresh smell of grass. And while waiting for the music, indulge in lemonade and corndogs (or at some festivals), walk around and treat your eyes to the art stands.

There is no reason your ears should be bored this summer. Here are the highlights of this year’s summer festivals:

Hot Summer Jazz Festival

Now through Wednesday, June 30, at various locations. For a complete schedule visit:

From local swinging songstress Cookie Coleman to the Latin dance grooves of Salsa del Soul to the bluesy croons of the legendary Bettye LaVette, this jazz festival satisfies everyone’s cravings.

Music in the Zoo 2004

Going on now through August 28.
For a complete schedule visit:
If you can afford to shell out $20-$50, the Minnesota Zoo’s amphitheater is perhaps the loveliest place to see a concert in the Twin Cities. The view looks out over a serene lake and the show always takes place around sunset. This year’s notable artists include blues greats Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray and Keb’ Mo’.

GLBT Pride Block Party

Friday June 25 with a parade on Sunday June 27. For more information visit:
Featuring The Psychedelic Furs, Sandra Bernhard, The Soviettes, The Aluminum Group and Lisa Jackson. Molly Ringwald would not have been so pretty if not for the Psychedelic Furs’ song “Pretty in Pink” that defined the movie with a gloomy new-wave cool. The Furs were the soundtrack to 1980s record stores.

Taste of Minnesota

July 1-5. For more information visit:

Greasy French fries and free music – that’s what makes the Taste of Minnesota so wonderful. Every year, this festival brings in artists you never thought you’d get a chance to see (or if you’re old, see again). This year’s highlights are Rick Springfield, the Four Tops and the Violent Femmes.

10,000 Lakes Festival

July 2-4, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

For a complete schedule visit:

If you don’t have tie-dye or dreadlocks, you’re the minority at this festival. Pack up your favorite Phish tapes for the car ride and get ready to kick out the jams. For lovers of 20-minute guitar solos, groups like Medeski Martin & Wood, The Big Wu and The Roots will wail until your buzz wears off.

Marshall Field’s Day of Music

12 p.m. July 9 to 12 p.m. July 10, Orchestra Hall. For more information visit:

Can anyone actually handle 24 hours of music? Well, there’s a good chance when the music comes from artists like old time punk rockers The Flamin’ Oh’s and great new local artists like Cloud Cult and Haley Bonar.

Green Man Festival 2004

July 16-18, Duluth, Minn. For more information visit:

This could be the perfect road trip for those needing to escape the cities but don’t have much gas money. The acts to see include Willie Nelson, Low, Heiruspecs, Califone and Ike Reilly.

2004 Minneapolis Aquatennial

July 16-25, Block Party July 16. For more information visit:

The BoDeans have the curse of being known mostly for their song featured on a television show. Party of Five used “Closer to Free” every week to introduce the tragically orphaned angsty family. But the BoDeans have plenty more wistful roots rock up their sleeve.

Vans Warped Tour

July 25, Metrodome Lot

For more information visit:

Don’t walk, skateboard! With band names like Taking Back Sunday, Bleed the Dream and From Autumn to Ashes, you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of music is at the Warped Tour. Local boy Slug from Atmosphere is always a treat to see in his hometown.

Walker Music & Movies in the Park

Mondays from July 19-August 23, Loring Park. For a complete schedule of events visit:

Featuring Steve McQueen films. Har Mar Superstar returns, tightie-whities and all, to kickoff this year’s Music & Movies. Don’t miss other local music gems such as Traditional Methods and The Owls.

Ozzfest 2004

August 14, Alpine Valley

Music Theatre, Wis.

For more information visit:

This year Ozzy brings some old company with him. Judas Priest and Slayer bring on the metal like it’s 1982.

Minnesota State Fair

August 26-September 6

For more information visit:

Artists in the Grandstand this year include Clay Aiken, ZZ Top, Smash Mouth, Cyndi Lauper and more. The real excitement though is found at the Teen Stage with hyper goof-ball punk rockers The Plastic Constellations.

Art Fairs featuring live music:

Uptown Art Fair, August 6-8

Loring Park Art Festival August 7-8

Powderhorn Art Festival August 7-8,