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Thursday, June 26, 2003 02:20 pm

Now Playing 6-26-03

Enter, if you dare, the often wonderful, somewhat terrifying, but usually satisfying world of Springfield nightlife.

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boweband.com, the refurbished Pat Bowe Band, rocks the Grandstand on Sangamon Avenue Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Could somebody please tell me where June went? It flew by like a hummingbird, noisy and fast. Maybe it was all the fine entertainment that helped the middle month slip by. But no more moaning, we're a forward-looking bunch, planning a wonderful, exciting weekend for the end of June, rolling toward the big Fourth of July.

Friday is shaping up to be a big night on the town. Huge, large, humongous, gargantuan, bigger than a breadbox, for sure. There's Moroccan Soul in the Alamo's beer garden from 5 to 8, Debbie Ross Band at Breaktime from 8:30 to 12:30, and the Hit and Run Band at the American Legion Post 32, also starting at 8:30. Mr. Opporknockity packs 'em in at Marly's Pub from 9 to 1, and Mike Burnett and the Prairie Pranksters drop in to Norb Andy's from 9 to midnight. Want more? The Mighty Mudbugs blow out the blues at the Silver Dollar Saloon on Peoria Road, and Dan Rivero lines up his trio at the Trading Post Saloon on Durkin Drive; both acts start at around 9. Don't stop now, as the night continues with Clone, Resident Genius (in a rare over-21 performance), and Every Inch a God (what could they be like?) at Viele's Planet from 10 to 2, and Frank Huston's critically acclaimed trio cranks up 11 West from 9 to midnight. I know, it's overwhelming, isn't it? After a night of all that carousing, cruise to Jazz Central Station for the sounds of Craig Russo's Latin Jazz Project. Russo has lined up percussionist Thor Anderson as a featured guest. Anderson has "traveled, studied, and performed extensively in Cuba," and he'll bring all that experience to Craig and his "Project" from 10 to 2.

Now after you've recovered from Friday's revelry, plan on attending QLZ's RockStock at the Oak Harbor Amphitheatre on Lake Springfield. Let it all hang out at the old marina, playing volleyball, tossing a Frisbee, and staring at scantily clad members of all sexes, while listening to 10 bands on 2 stages rock your socks off (unless you already have them off). The doors open at 10 in the morning and the first band takes the stage at 11. They've got a pleasant mix of local and national acts, including Slur, a young D.I.Y. band "reminiscent of early Megadeath and Metallica with influences from modern-day rockers Godsmack and Staind." Tickets are $13 in advance at Penny Lane, the Rockshop, RTD Motorsports, Shaner's Tire, and the House of Brews; it's $15 at the gate. Read all about it at www.wqlz.com.

Southern rock lovers take note: Jimmy Van Zandt is returning to the Alamo on the Fourth of July. Last year the Lynyrd Skynyrd relative dropped by the downtown bar for an impromptu gig and packed the house. It should be hotter than a firecracker on his return.

Here's hoping July slows down, or at least there will be enough excitement to make the fast passing pleasurable for all.

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