Basilica Block Party picks

  • Updated: July 6, 2012 - 8:25 PM

Eighteen bands on three stages over two days. Here are our recommendations for the Basilica Block Party.

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Nicole Gleson, 28, left, Kevin Rotman, 25, and Caitlin Mevisson, 25, dance Tyrone Wells at the 18th annual Cities 97 Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis, Minn. on Friday July 6, 2012.

Photo: Megan Tan, Special To The Star Tribune

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FRIDAY

A. Wolf and the Claws (5 p.m. Vita.mn stage). It's Dessa's backup singer working with her own band. This local songstress could turn out to be one of the more out-there acts at the basilica.

Imagine Dragons (7:15 p.m. Walser). Could this Las Vegas alt-pop band with the big sound and electronic beats become as popular as those other Sin City popsters, the Killers?

The Head and the Heart (7:30 p.m. Sun Country). These harmony-loving, jangly folk-rockers from Seattle crafted one of the best singles of 2011 -- "Lost in My Mind."

Cake (8:45 p.m. Walser). Always entertaining live with their party grooves, the eccentric and eclectic 1990s Sacramento rockers landed on the radio again in 2010 with "Sick of You."

Train (9 p.m. Sun Country). These well-traveled hook meisters from the Bay Area have been on a roll since 2009's ubiquitous "Hey, Soul Sister," and they're chugging ahead with this year's "Drive By."

SATURDAY

The Lumineers (6 p.m. Sun Country). Like Mumford & Sons, these Denver folk-rockers are intoxicating live -- and blowing up on the radio (and TV commercials) with "Ho Hey." (See accompanying story.)

Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles (7 p.m. Vita.mn). The once-cutesy Twin Cities ukulele folk-rockers branched out on their new album, "Heat," which was made with electric guitars.

Fitz & the Tantrums (7:30 p.m. Sun Country). These fresh-faced L.A. retro soulsters will remind you of Hall & Oates and kick the party into the next gear (as they did at last year's basilica event).

O.A.R. (8:45 p.m. Walser). A jam band that will rock you -- and still sound good on the radio with "Heaven."

The Avett Brothers (9 p.m. Sun Country). These outstanding North Carolinians mix bluegrass, pop and punk with irresistible spirit. Expect these basilica returnees to preview "The Carpenter," due in September.

JON BREAM

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