Spring is upon us, and new albums are bubbling up to the surface everywhere we turn. It’s going to be another busy season full of album-releases here in the Twin Cities, and several promising records are already being celebrated this week at big release shows.
Read on for a roundup of the best gigs happening in town this week—and as always, you can find even more suggestions on the Current’s event calendar.
Monday, March 18
“Humanda Grahams” Cereal Release Show
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $6, 18+
Electronic duo Humanda have never been ones to do things the traditional way. For their vinyl release show tonight, they’ll issue limited edition cereal boxes full of Astronaut Ice Cream flavored puffed rice, with their record tucked into a pocket on the side of the box. You can also preview the new tracks here.
Fat Kid Wednesdays
9:30 p.m., $5, 21+
Monday night jazz host JT Bates has had quite a few impressive guests filling the club in recent weeks. Tonight, he’ll bring his Monday night residency back to its roots for two sets with the always-on-point Fat Kid Wednesdays, which features Bates on drums, Adam Linz on bass, and Michael Lewis on sax.
Tuesday, March 19
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
9 p.m., free, 21+
Three talented young songwriters will take turns playing songs and telling the stories behind them: Pat Dougherty of Fairfax, AK will kick off the night; Kara Laudon is in the middle slot; and Cait Leary will cap off the bill with support from Zach Gruszinski.
Wednesday, March 20
Michelle Leon at the Riot Act Reading Series
Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis
7 p.m., free, all ages
Former Babes in Toyland bassist Michelle Leon will read from some of her recent work (including pieces that reflect on her time in Babes) alongside local writers Rana May, Christopher Jug George, Beck DeRobertis, and hosts Paul D. Dickenson and Laura Brandenburg.
331 Club, Minneapolis
9:30 p.m., free, 21+
Singer-songwriter Dan Israel will play solo and likely preview some songs off his forthcoming 12th studio album, Live On, which is due out this June.
The Blackberry Brandy Boys
8 p.m., $6, 21+
The Current’s David Campbell and Bill DeVille host a night of Americana and country music; DeVille will be DJing before and between sets, while Campbell will lead his new cover band through two sets of “Cosmic American jams.”
Thursday, March 21
Sound Bite Series with Peter Wolf Crier
McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul
6 p.m., free, all ages
Experimental indie-folk duo Peter Wolf Crier will make their first return to the stage in quite some time at this free McNally Smith show, which will also include a live Q&A with host David Campbell. Info and reservations here.
Gospel Gossip Album-Release Show
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
Recent Local Show in-studio guests Gospel Gossip celebrate the release of their long-awaited, self-titled LP. With Ex Nuns, Flavor Crystals, and Hollow Boys.
Friday, March 22
Frankie Lee CD-Release Show
11 p.m., $10, 21+
You may recognize Frankie Lee as the talented axe man who has backed artists like Tim O’Reagan of the Jayhawks. This week, he’ll make his official debut as a capable songwriter and frontman with the release of his new EP, Middle West.
Haphduzn and Dimitry Killstorm Album-Release Show
Nomad Pub, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $7 adv/$10 door, 21+
If their latest single “Take Control” is any indication, Haphduzn and Dimitry Killstorm’s new collaboration Whittier Alliance is going to be huge. They’ll be joined at this release show by Greg Grease, Mike the Martyr, illab, Baby Shel, and DJ Snuggles.
Seward Cafe, Minneapolis
10 p.m., free, all ages
The whole lineup is solid (Santa Cruz’s Pale Robin is headlining alongside Minneapolis bands Bellow and Sister Species), but I’m going to recommend you get there early for opener Breakaway, a.k.a. solo artist Joe Kujawa. I caught the Winona-born artist last year at the Mid West Music Fest and was blown away by his expressive, sometimes operatic voice; this is his first Twin Cities show since moving up here late last year.
Saturday, March 23
The Current Sessions at the Fitz: Low
Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
8 p.m., sold out, all ages
Low will celebrate their 20th year as a band and the release of their 10th studio album, The Invisible Way (read my review here), with support from members of Trampled by Turtles.
Tom Selleck’s Moustache CD-Release Show
Gallery 13, Minneapolis
7:30 p.m., $8 adv/$10 door, all ages
Yes, Tom Selleck’s Moustache is really the name of a band, and yes, they are getting ready to release their debut CD. The group is led by Mischa Suemnig (formerly of Mighty Fairly), and the new record, Heartbreak101, was a collaboration with Kid Dakota’s Darren Jackson. For the release show, TSM will be joined by Bad Bad Hats, Danny O’Brien, and Brian DeRemer. More info here.
Squares CD-Release Show
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $5, 18+
Dark folk-rock project Squares will release their new full-length, Three Theories, which they say is ”loosely based around Dante’s Inferno and conveys the same dark, searching themes in an unforgiving landscape.” Opening the show will be like-minded acts Fire in the Northern Firs and the Sunny Era.
Ecid EP-Release Show
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $8 adv/$10 door, 18+
For the release of his latest EP, Post Euphoria, rapper Ecid is encouraging fans to come dressed at their absolute worst, and is even holding a worst-dressed contest at this show. With openers Sean Anonymous, Bomba de Luz, and Enemy Planes.