Local Current Blog

Local Gig List: August 19-25

Dear Data release their debut EP this week at Icehouse. (Publicity photo)


Monday, August 19

Aby Wolf, Grant Cutler, and Zoo Animal
Loring Park, Minneapolis
7 p.m., free, all ages
For the final installment of the Walker’s Music & Movies series in Loring, producer Grant Cutler will team up with two inventive songwriters and vocalists to present a showcase of their latest collaborations. The 70-minute show will be divided into three short sets: Zoo Animal will perform as a full band, Zoo Animal’s Holly Hansen will play a few of the songs she’s written with Cutler under the name Weird Visions, and Cutler and Aby Wolf will play songs off their stunning album, Wolf Lords. To top it off, the music will be followed by a screening of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

Tuesday, August 20

High Society
Black Dog Cafe, St. Paul
7:30 p.m., free, all ages
I don’t know what it is about Tuesday nights in the Twin Cities, but they seem especially conducive to unstructured, improvised, and exploratory music and collaborations. At the Black Dog this Tuesday, poet Lisa Brimmer will convene her High Society, which features spoken word poetry from artists MC Longshot, Toki Wright, Chastity Brown, Chaun Webster, Simrat Kang, Katie Leo and Saymoukda Vongsay intermingling with improvised music from Kahlil Brewington and Davu Seru on drums, Andrew Foreman on bass, and Evan Montgomery on guitar.

Cause, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $5, 21+
They haven’t yet played a show, but going off the name and personnel, Wings cover band Wangs is guaranteed to be a good time. The band is made up of former members of the Flying Dorito Brothers, including Night Moves’ Mickey Alfano and Mark Ritsema, UMAMI’s Angelo Pennachio, someone who goes by the name “Taco Salad,” and others. My only question so far: In a Wings cover band made up of all dudes, who will be Linda? With www.cars.auto (yes that’s a band), Aguo/Poochie, and Bob Cat.

Wednesday, August 21

The Cactus Blossoms
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
6 p.m., $5, all ages
Country crooners the Cactus Blossoms will gather in the museum’s beautiful outdoor Ruin Courtyard to perform as part of the long-running Mill City Live series. The $5 entry fee also covers admission into the museum itself between 4 and 9 p.m.

The Blackberry Brandy Boys
Icehouse, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $6, 21+
The Boys are back for their monthly installment of “cosmic country jams.” It’s a night that features a couple of familiar faces from the Current camp: The United States of Americana’s Bill DeVille will DJ between sets, and the Local Show and Radio Free Current’s Dave Campbell will trade off singing duties with singer-songwriter Brian Just as the Blackberry Brandy Boys work their way through covers of familiar, twangy tunes.

Thursday, August 22

Sun Gods to Gamma Rays, Ruben, Hunting Club
331 Club, Minneapolis
10 p.m., free, 21+
How did all of these bands end up on a free bill together? I’m not sure, but we should all take advantage of it. Sample some of the best up-and-coming indie rock the metro area has to offer with this showcase, featuring the moody, atmospheric Sun Gods to Gamma Rays, hard-hitting ’60s rockers Ruben, and increasingly dreamy pop-rock group Hunting Club.

Chastity Brown and Barbara Jean
Mears Park, St. Paul
6 p.m., free, all ages
At this second-to-last installment of this season’s Music in Mears series, two of the Cities’ best and brightest singer-songwriters will perform before a screening of the Minnesota-made feature film Profile Of A Killer.

Friday, August 23

Frankie Lee
Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis
7:30 p.m., free, all ages
As if a screening of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids wasn’t tempting enough, this Friday’s installment of Vita.mn’s Music & Movies series features alt-country troubadour Frankie Lee and his excellent backing band. If the turnout at other Lake Harriet events this summer is any indication, you may want to get there early to grab your spot.

Night Moves, UMAMI, and Tickle Torture
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
8 p.m., 18+, free with RSVP
Levi’s (yes, the jeans company) is swooping into town to put on this show as part of their Commuter Bike Shop tour. Free bike tune-ups, repairs, and valet bike parking will be offered starting at 5 p.m., followed by a free gig with headliners Night Moves and openers UMAMI and Tickle Torture. If it was me, I’d just go to this thing to watch Tickle Torture strip down and shoot off confetti cannons at a corporate-sponsored gig. It’s bound to get surreal.

Fathom Lane, Fairfax, AK, and Savannah Smith
Aster Cafe, Minneapolis
8:30 p.m., $8, all ages
I can’t think of a better venue for soaking up the delectable melodies and stories from these three equally talented folk-leaning acts.

Niki Becker Birthday Bash
Turf Club, St. Paul
9 p.m., $7, 21+
Songwriter Niki Becker is celebrating her birthday on Friday, and she rounded up a bushel of talented acts to help her party. Bonus: We all get to enjoy a stellar lineup crammed into one night. Becker will perform with her band in addition to sets by Prissy Clerks, Bomba de Luz, and Bethany Larson and the Bees Knees.

Greg Grease
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $7, 18+
Sample some of the best up-and-comers in local hip-hop in one go at this show, which features headliner Greg Grease and openers Spyder Baybie & 2% Muck and GRRRL PRTY, the new collaboration between Sophia Eris and Lizzo of the Chalice and MC La Manchita. DJ Simone Steppa DuJour will keep things moving between sets.

Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $30, all ages
Previously known as Prince offshoot the Family, fDeluxe has re-emerged in recent years to release new original music (see: last year’s album Gaslight) and put on funky, fiery live shows.

Fever Dream, Communist Daughter
Red Star Lounge, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
One of Paste Magazine’s 12 Minnesota Bands You Should Listen to Now, Communist Daughter, makes their way back up north for a show at the Red Star Lounge this Friday. Frequent visitors to the area, Communist Daughter have earned a supportive fan base in Duluth (sometimes tough for an out of town band to maintain). Opening the show is Renaissance man Marc Gartman, who’ll fire up his time machine for another trip back to 1987 with his Casio-inspired Fever Dream.

Bigtree Bonsai, The Getarounds, The Color Pharmacy
Tycoons Alehouse, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
Bigtree Bonsai represent a handful of bands who, although they’re technically from the Twin Cities, feel like they could be a Duluth band. The roots/folk/rock quintet has strong ties to Lake Superior and spends at least a dozen weekends a year playing Duluth stages. On this return north, the band will be joined by local duo Gaelynn Lea and Dan Dresser, playing as the Getarounds, and along for the ride will be fellow Minneapolis travelers, The Color Pharmacy.

Saturday, August 24

Dear Data CD-Release Show
Icehouse, Minneapolis
10:30, $6, 21+
With a moniker that namechecks a character from Star Trek, Dear Data aspire to move between the organic and inorganic—which explains the textured nature of their debut EP, Wait Until You See. Singer Yasmina Moore-Foster’s soulful voice is nestled under layers of crunchy guitars and mysterious blips, and her spacey lyrics (and I mean that in the literal sense; they are about space) only add to the otherworldly effect. Appropriately, they’ll be joined by new duo Moon & Pollution at this release show.

Ol’ Yeller
Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis
Rich Mattson and his long-running bar rock band will venture down from Sparta, Minnesota for this show at Lee’s, which will also feature Ol’ Yeller newest member, Germaine Gemberling opening with a set of her own material. With the Brian Just Band.

Starfolk CD-Release Show
Aster Cafe, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $10, all ages
Fans of the ethereal pop offered up by related groups the Owls and the Hang-Ups would do well to check out this release party from the Starfolk, led by husband-and-wife duo Brian Tighe and Allison LaBonne. The band, which also includes cellist Jacqueline Ultan and Stephen Ittner (also of the Owls and Hang-Ups) on drums, will showcase material off of their debut full-length, The Starfolk, with support from openers the Orange Peels and Jim Ruiz Set.

Dirty Horse, Meridene
Tycoons Alehouse, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
Living life on the road as a recent full-time addition to 4ontheFloor, Nate Case has had to put his “Winnkota” band Dirty Horse on temporary hiatus. But that doesn’t mean that the Horse has been put out to pasture; Case and his band mates have been hard at work in the studio crafting the next tidal wave of “pontoon rock” ready to hit the shores in 2014. Duluth welcomes back these filthy steeds along with April Base graduates and fellow Brian Wells act, Meridene to the Tycoons Stage this Saturday.

Sunday, August 25

First Avenue Garage Sale
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
12-2 p.m., free, all ages
Snatch up some collectibles as First Avenue clears out their storage closets. The iconic venue will be selling everything from memorabilia to RockAmerica music video compilations to dishware and old electronics. All proceeds benefit the Twin Cities Music Community Trust, which funnels financial aid toward ailing members of the local music community.

Umbrella Cloud Festival
Sacred Heart Music Center, Duluth
10 a.m. – 2 a.m., $10, all ages
Sacred Heart Music Center, in the heart of downtown Duluth, will play host to the inaugural Umbrella Cloud Festival, an ambitious 14-hour event highlighted by an impressive roster of ambient musicians curated by local artist Tobin Dack. This labor of love includes an art show and interactive art opportunities for all ages organized by Limbo Galleries. Twin Ports locals make up the bulk of this lineup that includes performances from Dirty Knobs, Jonah Cannon, Phantom Ship, Tim Kaiser, Marc Gartman’s Fever Dream, and If Thousands with sets from visiting guests Low-Gain, Rivulets, and Drekka interspersed throughout the day. Bring the family (kids under 13 get in free) and a pillow and take in a day of music to enhance the imagination. Brian Eno would be proud.

Duluth concert recommendations courtesy of Duluth Local Show host Walt Dizzo.