Downtown music

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February 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

Still raw

Yay! More of the important, necessary dinosaurs of rap are coming out of retirement and taking it to the streets one more time. The 1980s hip-hop superstar, soft-core porn model, and big-screen actor Big Daddy Kane (short for King Asiatic Nobody's Equal) is hitting the stage after nearly six years after the release of "Veterans Day," his "farewell" album. Big Daddy Kane was the ultimate "Smooth Operator" of rap's first wave, known equally for his stylish wardrobe and a fantastic rhyming dictionary stuck in his head - has anybody else out there rhymed "Keno" with "Al Pacino" and made it work?

And, of course, he is the author of the greatest, sexiest, funniest lines ever: "I'm not the Ku Klux Klan, but I stay under sheets" (it's a sex reference, in case you can't tell, duh) and "You want poetic justice/ Go see John Singleton" are just two of many, many, many gems of wisdom from BDK.

The extremely learned Kane can mash consciousness-raising with the philosophy of the Nation of Islam (see "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" and "Raw") while still being a smooth urban soul crooner who will no doubt make the ladies line up backstage, waiting for autographs after the show.

W, Mar 2, 9 p.m. Escape Ultra-Lounge, 600 Hennepin Ave. S., Suite 200 Call for ticket prices. 333-8855, www.escapeultralounge.com

Important local stuff

There's just not enough space in the paper to write about everything cool that's happening in town, both in music and out, but if you really want to know what you absolutely should not miss, these three events are definitely some of the Downtown highlights of the week.

First off, our favorite insider, Ian Rans, will be filming yet another three episodes of the wonderful and inspired cable access TV show, "Drinking with Ian." For a nominal door charge, you, too, can be a part of the debauchery that is "DWI." By the end of the night, if you can still find your feet and make it to the stage, Ian will personally autograph your forehead with a Sharpie. Guests for the show include representatives of the national magazine "Modern Drunkard," local rock'n'roll stalwarts The Mighty Mofos and psychobillies Hot Rod Hearse.

That same night, and at the same time, First Ave. will be presenting Kuch Kuch Bollywood Night in the Mainroom, featuring a slew of Bollywood (India's Hollywood) classic and contemporary films on the screen as well as aural straight-ups and remixes of bhranga (trance) and hindi/filmi/masala music. I swear, there's nothing that exorcises the demons of winter better than those Bollywood vistas of tropical oases from the other side of the world.

For those more literarily inclined, local musician Ben Connelly will be performing an acoustic set at The Loft's Local Motion reading event. Poets Cathleen Calbert ("Lessons in Space," "Bad Judgment") and essayist Barrie Jean Borich ("My Lesbian Husband") will be the headliners, with Connelly providing a half-hour musical intermission.

Drinking With Ian: Su, March 6, 8 p.m. 7th Street Entry, 701 1st Avenue. $6 (see www.drinkingwithian.com for coupons). 332-1775, www.first-avenue.com

Kuch Kuch Bollywood Night: Su, March 6, 8 p.m. First Ave., 701 1st Ave. $6. 332-1775, www.first-avenue.com

Local Motion: Tu, March 1, 7 p.m. The Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S. free. www.loft.org

Kid's play

It's a band, it's a man, it's a moody blend of country, folk and rock music. It's Kid Dakota, the local group personified by frontman Darren Jackson.

Kid Dakota has an ebb and flow of contributors including drummer Christopher McGuire (John Vanderslice, Qurili), bassist Zak Sally of Low and Erik Appelwick on lead guitar (Vicious Vicious, and with Jackson in the power-pop 89.3 faves Olympic Hopefuls).

Andrew Broder of Fog sometimes joins the proceedings on piano, as he did back in 2003 for Kid Dakota's 7-inch "Ger Her Out of My Heart" release.

The various pieces of the band have been busy over the past couple of years turning Jackson's tales of heroin addiction into dusty crackles of sepulchral music buoyed by his pop-star voice. Late last year, the ensemble finally released the much-anticipated, much-delayed "The West Is The Future." (The album was begun in September 2001.) The funereal themes of the band's debut, "So Pretty," were replaced on this sophomore effort with more expansive explorations of subjects such as alcoholism on Indian reservations and the push west across this country by pioneering, invading white folks.

Sa March 5, 8 p.m. First Avenue's 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N. $7. 388-8388, www.first-avenue.com.