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August 23, 2004 // UPDATED 3:26 pm - April 25, 2007
By: A lesson learned
A lesson learned</b>

If the last season of "America Idol" taught us anything, it's that only Gloria Estefan can get away with singing a Gloria Estefan song.

The segment featuring those poor kids singing the superstars' songs was one of the saddest chapters in television history. And it was hard not to feel sorry for Estefan herself, hearing her music mangled by this sorry group of future karaoke stars.

Estefan is a powerhouse on stage, absolutely infectious and impossible not to dance to, but c'mon, asking John Stevens to cover a salsa tune? That's just cruel, especially to the audience.

Friday, Aug. 27, 8 p.m., Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N., $59.50-125.00. 673-0900.

Unlucky charmers

I have long dreamed of walking into an Irish bar and hearing a Stiff Little Fingers' tune being played, but it hasn't happened. I suppose it's because the highly influential '70s punk band from Belfast has never really sounded "Irish" to those who select music for such establishments.

Stiff Little Fingers' vocals don't lilt, they don't sing about clover or ships or fair-haired anythings, and they do sing about politics, but their scope is more international than Irish-centric.

A few spins on the Thistle & Shamrock could have done wonders for their careers, at least, oddly enough, on this side of the pond.

Saturday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m., Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave. N., $15. 338-8100.