This night will be a fascinating study of where today's female R&B and hip-hop stars are at. The three performers, Missy Elliot, Beyonce and Alicia Keys, each represent a different trend in their various takes on hip-hop yet are similar enough to provide cohesion to the show as a whole.
Destiny's Child's Beyonce modernized Motown and '70s funk on her two solo albums. Alicia Keys performs more classic R&B in the vein of Roberta Flack and Minnie Ripperton. Missy Elliott is the tough girl of the bunch -- a rapper, producer and songwriter whose use of DJs and tape loops borders on inspired.
Elliot's also the first hip-hop performer I've ever seen who's incorporated river dancing into her stage show, and I'm sure she won't be the last.
Thursday, April 1, 7 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N. $49.75-$75.75. 673-0900.
You know, I just love this band. And this is something, because I was determined not to like The Owls because certain people I know with dubious musical tastes rave on and on about them.
But, no, they're really good! Their debut album, "Our Hopes and Dreams," is a sweet collection of dreamy pop songs that delve equally into transcendentalism and love, featuring the absolutely wonderful vocals of Allison LaBonne and Maria May.
Musically, they draw heavily on '70s Beatles and Velvet Underground, without sounding too derivative. Anyone who may have given up on the local music scene should buy this album -- it's sure to put a spring in your step and a bright and happy song in your heart . . . really.
Saturday, April 3, 8 p.m. First Avenue's 7th Street Entry, 701 1st Ave. N. $6. 332-1775.