Tonight: The Magic Carpet Ride at the Hard Rock, The Beets at the Funhouse

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The Magic Carpet Ride. Hard Rock Cafe, 116 Pike St., 204-2233. 9 p.m. $12. One of the foremost anthems of the '60s, Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" is a vintage jam with a proud heritage: over the past forty years, three generations of hippies have watched walls melt while listening to this song. It's right up there with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Rancorous relations between the band's former members make it unlikely that Steppenwolf will ever reunite. But former Steppenwolf keyboardist and current Seattleite Goldy McJohn's come up with the next best thing: to celebrate his 65th birthday, he'll be appearing with his band The Magic Carpet Ride. The show also features the Leon Hendrix Experience. SARA BRICKNER

The Beets, with German Measles, Coconut Coolouts. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $6. New York's The Beets may not have written the book on fast, loose, and exuberantly amateurish rock and roll, but the page they've torn from it is worth the price of admission. They follow in the grand tradition of starting a band before you actually play an instrument and energetically bashing your way toward competence. It isn't subtle; it isn't novel; it isn't particularly well done. Where The Beets shine is in their ability to embrace their limitations so completely, as on last year's debut effort, Spit In the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool. It's music that's in full possession of its inability, leaving room for only infectious enthusiasm. NICHOLAS HALL

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