From Soundtown to all around town

A handful of bands booked for this weekend's canceled fest in Somerset, Wis., have landed gigs in Twin Cities clubs instead.

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Dr. Dog

"We didn't meet our threshold," Somerset Amphitheater owner Matt Mithun repeatedly told local media outlets last week, explaining why this weekend's second annual Soundtown music festival was abruptly canceled. In other words, ticket sales were slower than a Twins player with a sprained finger.

Here are some factors Mithun could have blamed: the economy, the glut of similarly named events (also: Soundset, Summer Set), the fact that many of the acts had recently been here (Jane's Addiction, Florence + the Machine), and the still unanswered question of whether Twin Cities indie-rockers actually want a campout kind of music fest.

Thanks to quick action by booking agents, fans will get to see a few of the castoff Soundtown performers in more familiar, less grassy venues.

DR. DOG

The Philly soul-twang rockers played here this spring, but it was right after the release of their seventh album, "Be the Void." The disc's infectious hooks and wiry grooves have since sunk in deeply with fans, and with 89.3 the Current staff, which has been heavily spinning "These Days" and "That Old Black Hole." It's one of the year's great feel-good albums, from an always lively and lovable live band. Fresh from a summer trek with Emmylou Harris, opening act Field Report is led by Wisconsinite Chris Porterfield, who played with Bon Iver and the Megafaun dudes in their earlier group, DeYarmond Edison. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue. $10.)

THE BASEBALL PROJECT

Certainly more exciting than the All-Star Game two weeks ago, this all-star band features Steve Wynn (ex-Dream Syndicate, soon to be reuniting), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows and R.E.M. tour member) and former Minneapolis drummer Linda Pitmon (ZuZu's Petals). Peter Buck also records with them but is not expected to make this round of dates, which means fellow R.E.M. co-founder Mike Mills will step in. Each is a baseball fanatic, and all their songs are based around the diamond. Mills still holds a grudge against the Twins over the '91 World Series vs. his Braves. "Gant was out!" would thus be a good pre-show chant. Castor Coal, Cats Melvin and Hungry Skinny open. (9 p.m. Fri., 400 Bar, 21 & older. $15.)

BEST COAST

If she doesn't wish they all could be California girls, Bethany Cosentino sure sounds happy to be one on "The Only Place," her band's second record and one of indie-rock's sunniest albums of late, offering poppy traces of the Lemonheads. She's touring with one of indie-rock's buzzingest young bands, Jeff the Brotherhood, a Nashville-based garage-rock duo that just issued its Dan Auerbach-produced debut for Warner Bros. Tennessee girl-group punksters Those Darlins will add greatly to the triple-decked fun. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $17.)

WHITE DENIM

The rare Austin, Texas, band that reflects its hometown's great blend of hippie psychedelica and Southern boogie without coming off like a jam band, it earned end-of-year praise from Rolling Stone, NME and other media outlets for last year's wickedly baked album, "D." Chicago electronic dance duo Eight Bit Tiger opens. (9 p.m. Sat., 400 Bar, 21 & older. $10.)

THE TEMPER TRAP

These brooding, melodramatic Aussie rockers have been rolling across the U.S. fest circuit -- from last month's Bonnaroo to next weekend's Lollapalooza -- to promote their eponymous second album, which sounds part Coldplay and part Styx. They landed a rare late-Saturday gig in First Avenue's main room, moving the regular Too Much Love dance night into the Record Room. (11 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $20-$25.)

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