Local Current Blog

Art-A-Whirl music 2016: Where the bands are (and when)

Sonny Knight wants you — in Northeast on Saturday (Nate Ryan/MPR)

From May 20-22, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association will celebrate its 21st annual Art-A-Whirl. This open-studio tour remains the largest in America, featuring hundreds of artists and exhibits. It’s also become an unofficial music festival, showcasing dozens of concerts by local musicians. (What’s more, one art exhibit is entirely dedicated to Prince.)

A few of these performances are affiliated with Art-A-Whirl, but most are just well-timed and centrally located. Here’s the lineup of this year’s musical acts by venue. Keep your dial (or your app) tuned to The Current while you’re venue-hopping — we’ll be playing local music all day long.

331 Club

This year, the 331 Club and the Sheridan Room will present a visual art display in addition to three full days of music. The work of artist John Bowman will be on display around the 331 Club, the Sheridan Room, and several other venues around Northeast Minneapolis. If you want to jump-start your weekend fun, don’t forget about Start-A-Whirl on Thursday night at 10, featuring blinds, Falcon Arrow, and the Great Went. A few of The Current’s own will be emceeing throughout the weekend: Jade will host on Saturday starting at noon, and Lindsay Kimball will emcee Sunday’s performances starting at 3 p.m.

Friday, May 20

Outdoor Stage
5:00 p.m. — Murder Shoes
6:00 p.m. — Ghostmouth
7:00 p.m. — What Tyrants
8:00 p.m. — Bruise Violet
9:00 p.m. — Communist Daughter

Indoor Stage
10:00 p.m. — Lenz and Frenz (featuring members of the local bluegrass scene, like Pert Near Sandstone)

Saturday, May 21

Outdoor Stage
12:00 p.m. — Patty and the Buttons
2:00 p.m. — Tom Aydan
3:00 p.m. — Rank Strangers
4:00 p.m. — LNJAY
5:00 p.m. — Perfume Monster
6:00 p.m. — Midway Felix (of Heiruspecs)
7:00 p.m. — Bones & Beeker
8:00 p.m. — The Cloak Ox
9:00 p.m. — Kill The Vultures

Indoor Stage
10:00 p.m. — Tongue Party
11:00 p.m. — Technician
12:00 a.m. — The Rockford Mules

Sunday, May 22

Outdoor Stage
1:00 p.m. — The Poor Nobodys
3:00 p.m. — Fiddle Heirs (featuring members of Trampled By Turtles, Pert Near Sandstone, and Jillian Rae)
4:00 p.m. — PHO
5:00 p.m. — Koo Koo Kanga Roo
6:00 p.m. — Faith Boblett
7:00 p.m. — Brass Messengers
8:00 p.m. — The Drug Budget

612Brew

Celebrating its fourth Art-A-Whirl event, 612Brew will host several artists, seven food trucks (Simply Steve’s, Vito Lucco Pizza Co, Outlaw Grill, Little G’s Pizza, Market BBQ, Cranky’s Ice Cream and O’Neil Amusements), and two days of live music at their outdoor amphitheater.

Friday, May 20

5:00 p.m. — Sarah Streitz
6:00 p.m. — Kingsview
7:00 p.m. — Pool Boy
8:00 p.m. — Hustle Rose
9:15 p.m. — HaphDuzn

Saturday, May 21

1:00 p.m. — Matt Browne
2:00 p.m. — Tipsy Russells
3:00 p.m. — Nathan Miller
4:00 p.m. — Late Century
5:00 p.m. — K.Raydio
6:00 p.m. — Nooky Jones
7:00 p.m. — The Satellites
8:30 p.m. — Mac Irv
9:15 p.m. — Greg Grease with DJ Just Nine

The Anchor Fish & Chips

A beer tent, a food truck, and art by Kim Whittemore in addition to two days of music will greet concertgoers at the Anchor Fish & Chips’ Art-A-Whirl event.

Saturday, May 21

4:00 p.m. — From the Midwest
5:00 p.m. — Tea & Sympathy
6:00 p.m. — Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders
7:00 p.m. — Monica LaPlante
8:00 p.m. — Sarah White

Sunday, May 22

4:00 p.m. — Aidan Coy
5:00 p.m. — Martin Devaney
6:00 p.m. — Valet
7:00 p.m. — Romantica

Architectural Antiques

Head over to the Architectural Antiques building at 1330 Quincy Street NE for some live tunes and artwork.

Friday, May 20

4th floor
Evening — Bruce Jandry of Gourmet Jazz

Saturday, May 21

Outside
Afternoon — Ozmo Stone

Sunday, May 22

Outside
Afternoon — North Meets Easts with guest Sarah Streitz

Bauhaus Brew Labs

Bauhaus Brew Labs’ second annual Liquid Zoo will feature food trucks, a mini Down in the Valley store, a popup tattoo shop, and plenty of beer. Andrea Swensson will emcee Saturday’s performances.

Friday, May 20

7:30 p.m. — Viva Knievel

Saturday, May 21

2:30 p.m. — McNasty Brass Band
3:30 p.m. — Gospel Machine
4:30 p.m. — Black Market Brass
5:30 p.m. — Bad Bad Hats
6:30 p.m. — Jeremy Messersmith
7:45 p.m. — The 4onthefloor
9:00 p.m. — Sonny Knight and the Lakers

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

Dangerous Man Brewing Co. will be hosting a beer garden in the parking lot and will have food from Bark N’ Bite, Hot Indian, and O’Cheese for whirlers to snack on while listening to Saturday’s bands.

Saturday, May 21

12:15 p.m. — Tony Peachka
1:15 p.m. — Still Pacific/Shellycoats
2:15 p.m. — Driftwood Pyre
3:15 p.m. — Rabbit Holes
4:15 p.m. — Tiny Deaths
5:15 p.m. — News Years Steve
6:15 p.m. — Frankie Teardrop
7:15 p.m. — Mike Mictlan
8:15 p.m. — Forever Young Dance Party

Elias Metal Studio

“Metal and music!” promises Elias Metal Studio, which is hosting a range of bands alongside Linda Elias’s forged metal work and Scott Bean’s paintings, with food and beer from Create Catering.

Friday, May 20

5:30 p.m. — Halcyon Daze
6:30 p.m. — Witch Tree
7:30 p.m. — Stellar Dendrites
8:30 p.m. — Slam Acadamy

Saturday, May 21

11:45 a.m. — The Parlor Bandits
12:30 p.m. — Hoaxer
1:30 p.m. — Flavor Crystals
2:30 p.m. — Chastity Brown
3:30 p.m. — The Twilight Hours
4:30 p.m. — The Siverteens
5:30 p.m. — Top Rookie
6:30 p.m. — Slam Academy
DJ by Overzealous Sound System

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

Fair State’s Artsy Weekend features 21+ fun on Friday and Saturday, and family day on Sunday. Each day brings new food trucks and new lineups curated by Sarah Jane’s Music School.

Friday, May 20

6:00 p.m. — BBGUN
7:00 p.m. — Brian Just
8:30 p.m. — Molly Dean
9:00 p.m. — We Are The Willows

Saturday, May 21

2:00 p.m. — Jourdan Myers
3:00 p.m. — Harvey Benson
4:00 p.m. — Camp Dark
5:00 p.m. — Mina Moore
6:15 p.m. — Eric Mayson
7:30 p.m. — All Tomorrow’s Petty
9:00 p.m. — Frankie Lee

Sunday, May 22

1:00 p.m. — Instrument Petting Zoo with teachers from Sarah Jane’s Music School

Grumpy’s Northeast

You can stop by Grumpy’s for food, drinks, tattoos (!), and live music emceed by Brian Oake. This year, Grumpy’s NE will host a dozen musical acts, as well as featuring a pop-up tattoo shop by NE Tattoo for those seeking “quick and easy permanent ink.”

Saturday, May 21

12:00 p.m. — Mississippi Hot Club
12:45 p.m. — Ringout!
1:30 p.m. — Neon Noir
2:15 p.m. — Novacron
3:00 p.m. — Rich Mattson & The Northstars
3:45 p.m. — Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band
4:45 p.m. — Gay Witch Abortion
5:30 p.m. — The Boot R&B
6:15 p.m. — Shannon and The Clams
7:15 p.m. — Romantica
8:10 p.m. — Butcher’s Union
9:00 p.m. — Babes in Toyland

Indeed Brewing Company

Northeast’s oldest taproom will have plenty to do during their Whirlygig celebration. Three days of food, beer, and music (curated by First Ave) will culminate in a Sunday morning 5k.

Friday, May 20

6:00 p.m. — Gabriel Douglas
7:00 p.m. — Sam Cassidy Band
8:00 p.m. — Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band
9:00 p.m. — Eleganza

Saturday, May 21

1:00 p.m. — The Venture Covers Band
2:00 p.m. — Cherry Cola
3:00 p.m. — Rupert Angeleyes
4:00 p.m. — Dosh
5:00 p.m. — Fort Wilson Riot
6:00 p.m. — Birthday Suits
7:00 p.m. — The Blind Shake
8:00 p.m. — Bloodnstuff
9:00 p.m. — Black Eyed Snakes

Sunday, May 22

1:00 p.m. — The Federales
2:00 p.m. — Dusty Heart
3:00 p.m. — Matt Latterell
4:00 p.m. — Superior Siren
5:00 p.m. — Charlie Parr

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge

This year’s Art-A-Whirl event at Psycho Suzi’s includes pizza by the slice, a beer truck, coconut drinks, and a puppy pageant at 2:30 on Saturday.

Saturday, May 21

Outside
4:30 p.m. — Lonesome Dan Kase
6:00 p.m. — The Rope
7:00 p.m. — Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats
8:00 p.m. — Solid Gold

Inside
9:30 p.m. — DJ Jake Rudh’s Transmission

Repurpose Republic

Head out to 2833 Central Ave Northeast on Saturday afternoon for live music at the grand opening of Repurpose Republic, a repurposed furniture shop.

Saturday, May 21

2:00 p.m. — The Salt Vine

St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral

Last but not least, St. Mary’s will be showcasing new renovations and iconography in the cathedral, and members of the choir will perform on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, May 21

4:15 p.m. — St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir

Allegra Wallingford, of Eden Prairie, is a rising junior at the University of Notre Dame. She runs a music blog called the Suburban Hipster and drinks a lot of coffee.

  • Michael Bazewicz

    Jax Cafe is hosting, “The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band” (formerly from Nye’s) on Friday and Saturday Nights 7:15-11:15pm. Thank you!

  • The Wickerman

    How about instead of going to see the same fucking bands that you can see playing around town all fucking year ’round, maybe go see some art? This was initially started as an event for the visual artists in NE. They open their studios one weekend each year and now it’s a festival of beer and the same old lame-ass bands playing all over the place. What a joke.

    Anyone that wants to see these bands can see them any time, you can go to the fucking breweries whenever you like… stop promoting the fucking shows and support the artists. The Current you suck.

    • Would you like some cheese with that?

      • The Wickerman

        That’s the best line you can come up with? Amateur.

        • It served the purpose.

          • The Wickerman

            Yes, if the purpose was for you to come across as a dunce, mission accomplished.
            Now if you want to argue about the subject, go for it. Otherwise you’re just dull witted and compelled to post dumb stuff.

          • The subject of you being a whiny hater? If you want people to come out and see visual arts, trashing the music and beer aspects of Art A Whirl is a really great way to go about that.

          • The Wickerman

            You appear to be the whiner here, I’m being the loud, obnoxious jerk.
            However, I’m totally correct. The deal is, Art A Whirl has been going on a long time, many years before the jerks came in and co-opted it with the “music and beer aspects”. You realize that this was never the idea.. it was an open studio weekend to help visual artists sell their art. Not for clowns like you to come into NE to party and detract from the “Art-A-Whirl”. Did you not notice that Art was the first word? That Art was what used to be promoted, not “music and beer”? Idiot.

          • It’s called “evolution” – Art A Whirl is much more fun/interesting now than it used to be thanks to those jerks that “co-opted it.”

          • The Wickerman

            De-evolution is what it is. Now it’s just another big beers ‘n bros party for jerks to be publicly intoxicated. More “fun” for idiots, less art being sold, less art being seen. You’re part of the problem.

          • Not really, but I do know your ranting/complaining certainly isn’t part of the solution. Maybe you and NEMAA should get off your high horses and try actually working with the breweries instead of just throwing a tantrum in hopes things will go back to how they used to be? Because they won’t.

          • The Wickerman

            Perhaps it’s you that should get off of your high Pedal Pub and talk to the artists that have had their weekend ruined by dumb parties. How their one weekend each year has been reduced to navigating crowds of art-avoiding dullards and drunks. How their one weekend of previously good sales has been taken over by brats, beers and bros. People like you that had never bothered checking out the art previously are defending your desire to have yet another party-fest. You’re throwing your own brew-soaked tantrum yourself, you keep coming back and defending your party time over the art and artists. Drink up!

          • I have talked to artists. The smart ones are figuring out how to market their work to the new audiences instead of just whining about them.

          • The Wickerman

            All this says is that you don’t know any artists and that you’re making things up.
            Yes.. artists must change their work to attract new audiences, just like really good bands do, right?
            Bullshit. You just like to party, and won’t admit it. You don’t care about artists, just a good buzz.

          • Fine. I’ll enjoy the party while you fade off into obscurity. Bye.

          • The Wickerman

            Better to fade away than having been nothing but a party boy I suppose.
            Drink up!

          • Jason

            I’ve lived in NE for 18 years. I can drink a local beer any day of the week, should I want to. Your crazed booze and bros accusations make you sound like the church lady, so now I’ll just assume you’re a comedian having a laugh. Or that you’re actually Dana Carvey.

          • Jason

            Other facts you’re ignoring. To be included in the official AAW event you must pay for it. Many of the artists showing now are well aware of the high volume of attendance for this event and will spend big bucks to drive from outside the cities to rent space in NE for jacked-up AAW weekend prices. Now you get to see lots of what I call “loons on the lake” paintings that used to be reserved for the Uptown Art Fair or the State Fairgrounds. The idea that all of the artists are simply opening up their studios to the public is mostly nonsense. It started out that way, but that was 21 years ago and the event has changed in many ways, and not just the party parts. Families bring children to the art AND the music. Contrary to your boozin’ claims, you don’t have to drink a drop to enjoy all of the free music, and many of the venues are at actual AAW spaces, not just at bars and restaurants and breweries. And then there’s always the neighborhood element. People opening up their houses, having music in their garages, art on their lawns, and many other things that have nothing to do with paying costly dues and renting space for a weekend to get that “NE Artist” look. But I guess having art of all kinds happening everywhere all over your neighborhood probably isn’t your thing, so please, please, please STAY AWAY.
            -Jason Koffman

          • The Wickerman

            Oh just stop already. I’ve rented in Casket Arts, Northrup King and the California for many years and I know how things work. I can’t stay away as I live and work in NE and have for longer than you. Just shut up and have your party.

          • Jason

            ANONYMOUS “NE” MAN CONTINUES TO MAKE CLAIM OF LIVING AND WORKING HERE LONGER AND NEVER PARTYING

          • Jason

            The Wickerman, Your wild claims of who we are and what we believe are crazy talk. I have posted under my real name and I have a history with this town and the NE community. While you post anonymously and make big claims about the kind of righteous person you are. You don’t want to be taken seriously, so you won’t be.

          • The Wickerman

            Oh how noble, the one and only Jason in NE! I can make up stories about my “history” with this town and the NE community too. I really don’t care if you take me seriously, or if anyone else does.
            I represent quite a few artists viewpoints in this. Hardly any of us in the arts community think that having this brew ‘n barfathon is beneficial to Art-A-Whirl. It’s only the businessmen and party clowns that seem to think it’s great. So be a party boy. Whatever.

          • Jason

            So skip this one event if it’s no longer for you. But whatever you do, please grow up.

          • The Wickerman

            Okay, Mr. Maturity!

    • Tim Brackett

      Hi. I’m going to go see the same fucking bands that I can see playing all year round because we have so much great local music and because music is art and because many of these music venues provide space for local artists to exhibit their work. Also, I am going to visit several studios and, if I see something I like, purchase art. As I’ve done for the three years I’ve lived here, I’m going to continue attending the Spring/Fall St. Paul Art Crawls and Art-a-Whirl every time. I am going to continue purchasing local art and supporting local artists.
      But, I am still going to go see about 15 of the same fucking bands I see year round this weekend.

      • The Wickerman

        Cool story bro.

    • Jason

      You’re also welcome to see the same art by the same artists at Art-A-Whirl.

    • DKinMN

      It is very sad how proud you are of this opinion.

      • The Wickerman

        What’s sadder is that you feel the need to open your pie hole and make a useless, inaccurate comment.
        Go play some heartfelt songs on your acoustic guitar or something.

  • pMc

    Wickerman has a point…although I’d word it differently.
    I went last year FOR THE ART and was appalled at the crowds, lack of parking, noise, etc., after seeing there wasn’t a significantly larger number of people looking at the art. I spoke with a few artists and they just rolled their eyes or expressed displeasure at all the fuss — it wasn’t helping their exposure or foot traffic. In some cases the opposite — who wants to haul art a half mile to your car? One artist even mentioned talking to NEMAA about it, but these breweries are doing this in most cases without coordination with them — they are just piggybacking on an annual event for their own ends.

    That said, I see some good lineups. I *might* go for both the art and the bands, but recent experiences with crowds, drunks, parking, etc., aren’t selling points.

    • Jason

      I have heard of the breweries reaching out to NEMAA, but I haven’t heard of any headway being made.
      Art can be experienced at everything from huge buildings filled with galleries to small spaces to yards. Breweries having music is not your best choice for viewing art, so just avoid them if they’re not your thing. I’ve lived in NE for 18 years and all aspects of this event are wonderful to me. I’ve never understood this idea that there are TOO MANY people coming for an art event. Seems to me that is the best possible “problem” to have, with any event for that matter.
      PS – Your bicycle is your best friend for this event.

      • pMc

        The problem isn’t too many people coming for an art event. It’s too many people coming for beer tents in the areas surrounding the art event such that it presents a barrier to people who want to attend the art event. I agree to a point that if you don’t like it don’t go, but it seems like a shame there has to be a trade-off.

        And while I agree a bicycle could be helpful, it’s really limited to those who live nearby or aren’t planning to purchase and take home art that day. I live across the city, so it’s not really a viable option, even if the weather and increased vehicle traffic didn’t dissuade.

        Historically, it is a great event and one I’ve enjoyed.

        • Jason

          I meant you should bike to the music events, cutting down on cars, and allowing you to easily get from one place to another. Even without the concentrated music events there still would be some difficulty with parking, since it’s a residential neighborhood event. See any event of this type or size and you’ll find the same issue. And if you break it down, some of the more concentrated areas of galleries and official Art-A-Whirl aren’t even near the music events. But is it really that hard to park a couple blocks away from the big buildings of galleries and walk? Buses are also your friend.

          • pMc

            Because of the music crowds, it’s more than a couple of blocks…and don’t get me started on hauling pottery or other art purchases across multiple bus transfers. If I were going just for the music, sure…but I’m not. It’s called ART-A-Whirl for a reason.

            Which makes me wonder why the music/beer tents aren’t done the following weekend in a neighborhood/street music fest? Why does it need to be the same weekend?

            Anyway, I’m not sensing you’re fully understanding where I’m at with this, so I’ll just agree to disagree with you.

          • toastie072

            If you buy art artists will save it for you too, and you can always come back with a car when crowds are low on like Sunday afternoon or after the weekends over! Have a conversation and get to know the artists youre buying from! They’re more than willing to help get their pieces to a great home!
            It’s an easy fix if you’re truly wanting to take art home with you and experience the NE neighborhoods at their most vibrant! Creative solutions aren’t that hard to find!

  • Hub City Cafe

    MAY 21st – 6PM
    Soul Low w/ The Florists + Surgeons in Heat (WI) @ HUB CITY CAFE.

    https://m.facebook.com/events/229560550750788

  • Tmart

    Don’t forget to see the band Witch Tree at Elias Metal Studio tonight at 6:30. They are kind of a shoegazey/americana/rock mashup…I’ve heard they’re really good! Come for the music and stay for the really cool artist/blacksmith studio!

  • markohmark

    Don’t forget: Elias Metal Studio, which also has music by the Twilight Hours, Silverteens, Chastity Brown, Flavor Crystals and more (Saturday, noon-7 p.m.) (from the StarTribune). There! Art and Music. Together. Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

  • markohmark

    Here’s an updated one from the Facebook page:

    Elias Metal Studio. Forged metal work by Lisa Elias, paintings by Scott Bean,
    Create Catering will be serving up great food and Beer

    Metal and Music!
    Friday’s Music:
    5:30 Halcyon Daze
    6:30 Witch Tree
    7:30 Stellar Dendrites
    8:30 Slam Acadamy

    Saturday’s Music:
    11:45 The Parlor Bandits
    12:30 Hoaxer
    1:30 Flavor Crystals
    2:30 Chastity Brown
    3:30 TheTwilight Hours
    4:30 The Silverteens
    5:30 Top Rookie
    6:30 Slam Academy
    DJ by Overzealous Sound System

    Studio open all weekend long.

  • Joel

    If art lovers are hating the crowds and hassle of art a whirl, I’d remind them that the St. Paul art crawl is still an art centric event with a purpose of furthering community interaction with public and its creatives (not just drinking or fussing about with the “festival” vibe).