Local Current Blog

Local Gig List: September 25-29

Caroline Smith returns to First Avenue with a big new sound this Friday (Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR)

Thursday, September 26

The 757s
Turf Club, St. Paul
9 p.m., $5, 21+
The 757s are back! It’s about to get loud, loud, loud again for Paul Pirner, Jimmy Peterson, Seth Zimmerman, and Steve Sutherland, who have a new album in the works now. Catch ’em back in action at the Turf with openers Buffalo Sleeper.

Broken Wing’s Grace CD-Release Show
Red Star Lounge, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
After years on hiatus, electro-vibed brother sister duo Broken Wing’s Grace will debut a brand new album this Thursday at Red Star Lounge. The release party will be an eclectic affair featuring dance-friendly performances from synth seducer T. Dack and hip-hop specialists Nonfic with producer MidiEvil. The night concludes with a showdown between Duluth collective The Crunchy Bunch and DJ Path Annu.

One Week Live: The Fontanelles, Stacy K, Marcus J. Dandy
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
8 p.m., $5, all ages
Dave Mehling and his band mates in the Fontanelles have been hard at work in the studio prepping their first official full length, which they aim to have out this spring. Mehling has long been a mainstay at Beaner’s, performing on the stage since well before graduating high school. Expect to hear brand new tracks from his band as well as possible collaborations with musical co-conspirator Stacy K. Also on the bill is Mark Blom and his eclectic, acoustic-folk songs performed as Marcus J. Dandy.

Friday, September 27

Caroline Smith Album-Release Show
First Avenue, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $15, 18+
It’s a new era for Caroline Smith, whose latest album, Half About Being a Woman, finds her exploring a much bolder, sexier R&B/soul sound. She’ll bring an expanded edition of her Good Night Sleeps band—including powerhouse vocalists Lizzo and Hannah von der Hoff—to the Mainroom for what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest local shows of the fall.

Gang Font
Icehouse, Minneapolis
11 p.m., $8, 21+
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard new music from Gang Font, who put out their first record in 2007 with keyboardist Craig Taborn. This time around, founding members Greg Norton, Dave King, and Erik Fratzke are teaming up with piano player Bryan Nichols, and the quartet already have a new album in the can and are edging toward its release. Catch them playing their latest batch of complex, prog-meets-improv jazz material this Friday night at Icehouse.

Davina and the Vagabonds
Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $15, all ages
Step one: Read this fantastic profile of Davina Sowers by Pamela Espeland. Step two: See Davina and her band in action at the Dakota, where they’ve been performing regularly (and drawing large crowds of devoted fans) for years now.

One Week Live: Old Knifey, Care Bears Care Bears Yeah, Sonja & The Reckoning
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
8 p.m., $5, all ages
From behind the counter at Beaner’s and into the spotlight, many of the performers during One Week Live are current members of the staff who’ve put in hours fueling the creative scene both literally and figuratively. Tonight’s lineup will showcase some of these acts including oft-bearded and whiskey-minded minstrel Old Knifey as well as the satirically inclined female foursome Care Bears, Care Bears, Yeah. Rounding out the night will be Sonja Bjordal and her folk rock partners in The Reckoning.

Saturday, September 28

Totally Gross National Party
Icehouse, Minneapolis
2 p.m., $10 adv/$12 door, 21+
Increasingly influential Minneapolis label TGNP is throwing another fall blowout at Icehouse, with performances from most of the bands on its roster—including Digitata (Maggie Morrison, Drew Christopherson, and Ryan Olson, who will reunite just for this show. Lizzo, Marijuana Deathsquads, Pony Bwoy, Moonstone Continuum, Tender Meat, and many more will perform outdoors during the afternoon and indoors after 10 p.m.

One Week Live: Jeffrey James O’Loughlin, Philip of Nazareth, Fearless Moral Inventory
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
8 p.m., $5, all ages
The weeklong event wraps up with a rousing show featuring punk rock troubadour Jeffrey James O’Loughlin and two of the region’s elite young rock bands. Philip of Nazareth started out as a conventional punk band, but, over the last year, has experimented with adding new soundscapes including the occasional horn section and, it also seems that leader Andy Pletcher may have even developed a taste for prog. A perfect way to end a fantastic week of shows at the venerable West Duluth concert and coffeehouse.

The Cloak Ox, The Alan Sparhawk Dance Partee
Tycoons Alehouse, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
Fresh off the release of a brand new full length record, Shoot the Dog, Twin Cities innovative foursome The Cloak Ox make their way to Duluth for a Saturday night performance. The group comprised of highly respected musicians Jeremy Ylvisaker, Andrew Broder, Martin Dosh, and Mark Erickson will be spending the first weeks of 2014 hitting the road with the Justin Vernon led Volcano Choir, so don’t miss your chance to catch them in this intimate setting in Duluth. Also on the bill? Alan Sparhawk’s Dance Partee – I don’t think anyone really knows exactly what that might entail, but it’s bound to get weird.

Dad’s Acid, Jaw-Knee-Vee
The Round-Up, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
The first official public performance from Duluth’s newest supergroup, Dad’s Acid, takes place Saturday at Duluth’s beloved dive bar known for its menu of fried foods and calendar of basement-style punk rock shows. Dad’s Acid is made up of members of Duluth stalwarts The Keep Aways, and recent fan favorites Wolf Blood and Planemo and together they plan to unleash a wave of dirty surf rock on Round-Up patrons. White Bear Lake’s Jaw-Knee-Vee, the one-man thrash blues band, makes his return to Duluth to fill out the lineup.

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