Local Current Blog

Duluth Does Dylan, Portage, and more of this week’s Minnesota music releases

Bringing It All Back To Duluth Does Dylan

Tonight at the Rex Bar, a big tribute concert will celebrate the man born Robert Zimmerman in the Zenith City 75 years ago today. It’s also the release party for the fourth installment in the Duluth Does Dylan series: a crowdfunded album featuring covers of Bob’s classics by artists including the Murder of Crows, the Social Disaster, and a special-occasion supergroup called the Weary Tunesmiths. Read Lilli Speakman’s article for more about this musical birthday party.

Portage: Creatures

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A Minneapolis band with Duluth roots, Portage are dropping their third release — an EP called Creatures — on Saturday at Icehouse. The quartet have a heartfelt, warm sound that they describe as “a house with no sharp corners.”

Astronomique: Astronomique

Summer is the perfect time for synthpop, and Minneapolis trio Astronomique are dropping a fresh slice of hooky keyboard-driven vibes on Friday at the 331 — a venue known more for banjos than blips and bleeps, but they’ll make it work with danceable tunes such as “Like Junkies” and “The Shape You Take.” They even go the full Wilco — in terms of nomenclature, not music — with a self-titled song on their self-titled EP.

Bryan Nichols: Looking North

Pianist Bryan Nichols is making his first solo foray with Looking North, a release that he sees as being in the long tradition of regional jazz music. The album, on premier local jazz label Shifting Paradigm Records, is a spacious set of songs that started as improvisations. Nichols will be at the Dakota tonight for a release show.

Daniel Bonespur: Daniel’s In Love

Daniel’s In Love is a diverse collection of eight songs, partly inspired by Daniel Bonespur’s theatrical collaborations with artists including Samantha Johns and Annie Enneking. Adding sonic richness are vocal contributions from Artemis and string/woodwind arrangements by Noah Ophoven-Baldwin. Eric Mayson will open for Bonespur at Icehouse for a release show tonight.