Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.
Joey Kantor is ready to become a frontman with his new project, Chalet. You may know him as the piano/keys virtuoso around town, most notably in Rogue Valley. His new band has been under wraps for a long while, and it’s good to finally get a taste of what direction he’s going in. Tucson is out April 25, but in order to meet that deadline, Kantor has launched a Kickstarter to finish the mastering process, and it looks like that goal’s going to be met in no time.
For good reason, too. An advance listen of Tucson gave me chills. It’s bright and extremely mature for a first solo outing, and while only three guys make up Chalet, there is an orchestrated sensibility behind it that makes the arrangements sound much larger. Kantor is no stranger to identifying and developing hooks—he does audio branding for a day job—and the songs on Tucson could all stand alone as strong singles. For me, “Evenings Out” is an immediate pleasure to fall away with and the most upbeat cut on the record. It’s good to hear an instrumentalist breaking through the curtain to sing lead after limited time to shine in the past. And that’s a good thing, because Kantor’s voice soars on this debut, thanks in part to the help of bandmate and engineer Brett Bullion (Tarlton).
Chalet won’t just be a musically-focused. It’s actually the umbrella for all of Kantor’s creative work which means that the release show will be pretty interactive. It will be at the Live Letters Loft—by the way, catch an interview with its founders on the 3/17 Local Show—and Kantor’s brother Brian will have a photo exhibition in the space, Alexander Helmke will be reading a short literature piece and Grant Cutler will do some remixes of Tucson.
In case you didn’t see yet, Low released a third single from new album The Invisible Way called “So Blue,” again featuring Mimi Parker’s voice. And while she hasn’t always gotten a chance to take centerstage with Low, on the new record she sings lead on five of the eleven songs. Every time her voice swells into a massive crescendo, it’s nearly impossible not to get emotional. That’s how I felt with “Just Make It Stop,” but “So Blue” is on another plane altogether, especially as the last two minutes hone in on its repetitive and gorgeous chorus.
A lot of people are saying that this record is good, but just so different from past Low albums that it’s difficult to get into properly for the traditional fan. While only three songs have been released—including the down-tempo, Sparhawk-fronted “Plastic Cup”—it does seem that Low feels a little more upbeat. Or maybe that’s just the result of Parker’s contributions. Either way, the album is a natural progression from C’mon, and it really feels like Jeff Tweedy re-calibrated the trio during their time at his studio in Chicago.
Fans of Yuck, Dinosaur Jr., Cheatahs… have you heard Fury Things yet? Here’s a band that I have no doubt will quickly gain steam in the Twin Cities. Hearkening back to the early ‘90s, their aesthetic is astoundingly concrete for an act that only started playing live at the end of last year. They’re already on their second EP, and stand-out track “Vapors” is the kind of music that we need more of in this frozen land. It’s really been a while since I heard a genuine rocker, and something about Fury Things just clicks—like, they should be making this music, and of course it’s going to be good, so now people just need to hear it.
Add them to the list of young bands in the metro who have all been playing shows together in the past few months and gathering some impressive line-ups along the way, most notably with the Kitty Cat Klub as their backdrop. You have two chances coming up to see them: at the Blue Ruin EP release show on Sunday, March 17, and on Friday, April 12 opening for The Men, both of which will go down at the Entry.