Local Current Blog

Haunting, not Haunted: Soap Factory to host Ben Weaver and the Ericksons

courtesy Ben Weaver

Live Letters, the two-year-old concert series known for hosting shows in unconventional Minneapolis spaces, has chosen its next non-concert-venue venue: the Soap Factory. The Ericksons and Ben Weaver will perform there on July 27.

Now in its third year, the Live Letters concert series is winning more attention without losing its intimate charm. This collaboration, the second with the Soap Factory, is an effort to expand the art space’s Sound On-Site programming, which encourages musicians to seek collaboration, test out new material, and experiment with side projects.

“The fit was perfect,” Sara Montour, the Live Letters co-founder, wrote via e-mail. The Soap Factory, she continued, “became an obvious place to hold our style of shows.”

What exactly sets this “style of shows” apart from what you might find at a bar or club? The scale is different, but so is Live Letters’ close focus on music.

“Our shows are really about the music and the great moments that can happen when everyone is focused on the art unfolding in front of them,” wrote Montour. At Live Letters, there is no soundtrack of clinking bottles and rowdy bar-goers undercutting the main event. This allows the musicians, said Montour, to “really dive into their music, uninterrupted, and put on an amazing show.”

If you’re used to the Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement, you might want to adjust your expectations for this Live Letters takeover—although plenty do find the Ericksons’ vocal harmonies and Ben Weaver’s folk ballads haunting. Both artists will be celebrating new material. For the Ericksons, that means Bring Me Home, an S.-Carey- and Ben-Lester-produced record with ethereal electro-pop elements.

For Weaver, that means I Would Rather Be a Buffalo, a self-released record which includes a printed and bound excerpt of his poem “Ragged Ass Joy.” He will embark on a bike tour from Minneapolis to New Orleans to promote the album.

Tickets ($10, or $5 for Soap Factory members) are available here.

Nina Slesinger is a student at Macalester College.