Local Current Blog

Drone Not Drones: Your complete guide to our 28-hour broadcast

Jeremy Ylvisaker during a visit to The Current's studios last year with the band Alpha Consumer. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Things are about to get droney on our Local Current stream. Beginning tonight at midnight and ending at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, Local Current will be streaming the full 28 hours of last year’s Drone Not Drones charity concert. The concert took place Feb. 7-8 of last year, raising money and awareness for Doctors Without Borders. The second annual Drone Not Drones 28-hour event is coming up on Jan. 30-31 at the Cedar Cultural Center.

Click here to listen to our Local Current stream

Last year’s concert featured dozens of artists. Below is a schedule of our broadcast, with comments by Luke Heiken, the event’s creator and coordinator of Drone Not Drones.

The times below indicate when each artist takes the stage; since the drone is continuous, in several instances the artists who were previously playing continue to play for a period of overlap with the new musicians before departing. Also note that these times correspond to our broadcast of the show, not the times of day when the performers played during the original concert.

12:00 a.m. Wednesday: Prairie Fire Lady Choir

“They were the first band at the event. I was kind of nervous for everything, but this was awesome. They knocked it out of the park. They created a vocal drone, and then they sang a Crosby Stills and Nash song over that. It was awesome.”

12:29 a.m. Wednesday: Eric Wivinus and Party

“This was a variety of guitars, and other instruments start to kick in. They got the drone rolling in the right direction.”

1:15 a.m. Wednesday: BNLX

“They were great. They’re a local band; some members used to be in Polara from the 90s. The drone that they play in this set became the seed of a song from their new EP It was the Light, so they took things in a new direction.”

1:41 a.m. Wednesday: Peace Drone

“That’s Josh Richardson from Flavor Crystals and Jason Edmonds of Magic Castles. They were more simple, more minimal with their drone. They were really good, sort of hypnotic.”

2:13 a.m. Wednesday: Jesse Petersen

“Jesse plays solo, and he played guitar. He did a lot with a little.”

2:31 a.m. Wednesday: Noise Queen Ant

“Very percussive. They used homemade instruments that they bang. They managed to work it into drone and still be percussive.”

3:16 a.m. Wednesday: John Zuma Saint-Plevyn and (joining at 3:45 a.m.) Crystal Myslajek

“John is an experimental guy, and I would say the same about Crystal. They were a good duo. They played with the harmonies of the room.”

4:09 a.m. Wednesday: Low

“A lot of people showed up to see Low. They started out with a vocal drone that Mimi was laying down. Once they started playing a song by Black Eyed Snakes. Low played a lot of nice droney guitar riffs and stuff like that.”

5:00 a.m.: Peace Drone returns, with Eric Wivinus

5:15 a.m. Wednesday: The Hand

“Zak Sally used to be the bassist for Low. This group got things loud again with guitars and string electronics. They’re a little abrasive in a good way…definitely turned up the volume.”

5:54 a.m. Wednesday: Transitional Species

“This brought it back down again. Kevin of Transitional Species bows weird things. He has a unique spin on drone. People there loved it.”

6:37 a.m. Wednesday: 6000 SUX

“That was one of the only shows that they’ve ever played, that I know of at least. It was mellow and atmospheric.”

7:09 a.m. Wednesday: Dirty Knobs

“This is a guy, Zac Bentz, doing electronics and it was loud. It was really good for the time, it was like 3 a.m. when he played, so it was minimal with electronics creating an atmosphere.”

7:57 a.m. Wednesday: Chatham Rise

“This band did a spacier drone.”

8:30 a.m. Wednesday: Secret Colours

“These guys are from Chicago. They were another band with a drummer, sort of punk rockish.”

9:07 a.m. Wednesday: American Cream (joined by Adam June at 10:21 a.m.)

“They’re drone with grooves, and grooves with drone. They have a bass, and they do stuff with electronic organ on the keyboard.”

10:43 a.m. Wednesday: Pete Biasi and Jeremy Ehlert

“Spooky drone. If this was in a movie, you’d probably be like, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’”

11:11 a.m. Wednesday: Gabriel Douglas and Thomas Rehbein

“The set was nice, two guys, two guitars. They were a duo that worked well off one another and set good dynamics. They did a lot of layering, which made a dance between one another.”

12:00 p.m. Wednesday: Ghostband

“He was using electronics. Halfway through, he started adding some beats to the drone.”

12:31 p.m. Wednesday: Danny Surreal

“He was loud and used abrasive electronics.”

1:02 p.m. Wednesday: Nathan Grumdahl and Dylan Ritchie

“Another Guitar duo using pedals and stuff within the set. It moves with a variety of drone and moods in one set.”

1:33 p.m. Wednesday: M. Oliver Moltaji

“He drones in a couple bands, so he played heavy guitar with some cymbals. It was simple and captivating.”

2:05 p.m. Wednesday: Phone Drone

“Great name. They used phones glued to speakers for a unique droney sound.”

2:39 p.m. Wednesday: Andrew Broder

“He used to tour in a band, Fog. He did vocals with effects and guitar, so the vocal effects made his set unique.”

3:13 p.m. Wednesday: James Diers and Jake Hanson

“These two played a nice mellow set with two guitars, with a little bit of keyboard too.”

4:03 p.m. Wednesday: Sativa Flats

“It’s a group using lots of keyboards and effects, so yeah, they were very chill.”

4:35 p.m. Wednesday: Robust Worlds

“Another guy with a guitar. Very minimal.”

4:56 p.m. Wednesday: Finger Pressure

“Lots of percussion. They used breast pumps for a sort of sound. One member was a nursing mom at the time, and I don’t know if they did it just for me…because I am a father. I just remember that sound. I was tired and up all night, and hearing the breast pump was just like, woah! It reminded me of being up all night with a baby. It definitely made all the parents in the room wake up. So there was some nostalgia there. It was very slow, and it made you kind of feel like you were underwater, kind of disorienting. I recommend this one; great set.”

5:44 p.m. Wednesday: Sarah-Sarah

“They played a sort of minimal set with vocals. They were great! One of my dad’s favorites.”

6:25 p.m.: Colin Gorman Weiland

“He plays in a bunch of bands. The set he played was great. It was some sort of synthesizer that he was using. It reminded me of music from The Terminator, but that’s not quite right. It was mostly moody synthesized music.”

6:54 p.m. Wednesday: Oktaha

“Solo guitar. There were lots of dynamics in this one set.”

7:22 p.m. Wednesday: Wavepool

“Bennett Johnson with Colin Gorman Weiland. That was a cool duo, one with reel tape loop and a synthesizer. They worked really well together.”

8:02 p.m. Wednesday: Old Moon

“They’re kind of a star-based, psychedelic drone.”

8:37 p.m. Wednesday: Alex Bissen

“He used a modular synthesizer. Definitely experimental drone.”

9:00 p.m. Wednesday: Solar Pawn

“I didn’t know much about them or their sound before they played that night, since they were added kind of last minute, but they were beautiful. I am a total sucker for cello, so I thought it was gorgeous drone.”

9:41 p.m. Wednesday: Jesse Kwakenat, Mark Miller, Sarah Huska

“Drone and keyboards. Ah, their set was so thematic. It sounds like they are scoring something.”

10:00 p.m. Wednesday: (ALANS)

“They had a bunch of weird gizmos and stuff, but it was kind of dark sounding.”

10:32 p.m. Wednesday: Flavor Crystals with Jeremiah Doering

“Another band that was very spacy, so they had a kind of spacy psychedelic sound.”

11:03 p.m. Wednesday: Paul Fonfara

“Paul Fonfara played a field recording, and it sounded kind of like a tea kettle. It was a short drone with many unusual sounds.”

11:14 p.m. Wednesday: JT Bates, Michael Rossetto, and Chris Bates

“That was kind of a West African inspired guitar based set with drums. Definitely kind of a groove, west African groove, but minimalistic.”

12:00 a.m. Thursday: Trio Improvizi

“This was a string trio including two cellos and a violin. Very unconventional.”

12:51 a.m. Thursday: JT Bates

“He used treated drums with a special mic hooked up.”

1:31 a.m. Thursday: Tim Kaiser

“He uses homemade electronic acoustic contraptions that you won’t hear anywhere else.”

2:11 a.m. Thursday: Dosh and Ylvisaker

“These musicians have played with national acts. They both toured with Andrew Bird. They played a mellow set with drums and guitar.”

3:01 a.m. Thursday: Paul Metzger

“He’s a local guy. He plays a modified 28-string banjo. It’s a great sound. He plays kind of rustic Indian music with banjos that he bows and plucks. He is one of my favorite. For a finale Paul Metzger, Tim Kaiser, Elaine Evans, Martin Dosh, and Jeremy Ylvisaker all played as a group, and we ended with a few minutes of silence.”

Anna Segner is a student at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.