Local Current Blog

Music during Art-A-Whirl 2017: Where the bands are and when

Monica LaPlante performs at The Current's 12th Birthday Party at First Avenue on Jan. 28, 2017 (Nate Ryan/MPR)

May 19-20 marks the 22nd annual Art-A-Whirl, an open studio tour presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. Art-A-Whirl started as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the artistic talent that Northeast Minneapolis has to offer, and in a little over two decades it has grown to become one of the largest open studio tours in the nation. Those partaking in the weekend festivities will have the opportunity to visit over 50 different locations where the work of over 600 artists will be displayed.

As well as being an opportunity to admire and support the local artist community, Art-A-Whirl has also increasingly become a big weekend for live music. Some of the performances are at venues officially affiliated with Art-A-Whirl, but many are unofficial celebrations that coincide with one of Minnesota’s biggest art festivals of the year. Here’s the rundown on the live music happening during Art-A-Whirl this year, listed by venue.

While you cruise from venue to venue, keep your radios tuned to The Current: Saturday, May 20 is Local Music Day on our airwaves, with all Minnesota music.

A-Mill Artist Lofts

The artists of A-Mill Artist Lofts are opening their doors and welcoming art lovers to join them on Art-A-Whirl weekend, with over 70 different artists displaying their work throughout the building. There will be be live music on Friday and Saturday in the performance hall. Dance studio tours will also be available, along with both a Rock and Roll themed dance party and a Halloween one as well on Friday night. Event info here.

Friday, May 19

5:00 p.m. – Elizabeth Ghandour

6:00 p.m. – Johannes Rey

7:00 p.m. – Happy Cat

8:00 p.m. – Authentic

9:00 p.m. – The Poem is Done

Saturday, May 20

1:00 p.m. – Silverback Trio

2:00 p.m. – Amethyst 3

3:00 p.m. – Wallace/Johnson-Blanchard

6:00 p.m. – Paul Spring

7:00 p.m. – The Infamous Dr. Thunder

8:00 p.m. – Tom Abban

9:00 p.m. – The Poor Nobodys

The Anchor Fish & Chips

All the essentials for a great Art-A-Whirl weekend — a food truck, beer tent, featured art, and of course two days of music — can be found at The Anchor Fish & Chips this year.

Saturday, May 20

2:00 p.m. – Total Gaze

3:00 p.m. – The Carnegies

4:00 p.m. – The Brass Messengers

5:00 p.m. – Gabe Barnett & them Rounders

6:00 p.m. – That’s What You Get

7:00 p.m. – Monica LaPlante

Sunday, May 21

2:00 p.m. – Tea & Sympathy

3:00 p.m. – Magic Castles

4:00 p.m. – Tyte Jeff

5:00 p.m. – Valet

6:00 p.m. – Romantica

Bauhaus Brew Labs

The Liquid Zoo is back again this year with a three-day celebration of art, music, food and beer. Bauhaus is starting off the weekend on a groovy note with their Kick-Off Party Spectacular on Friday night. The fun continues on Saturday with an all-day concert featuring both local and national musicians. Down in the Valley will also have a special pop-up music shop where concertgoers can get their fix of vinyl. Sunday’s focus returns to the visual arts with a Made By Hand Art & Crafts Extra-Vaganza. There will also be the opportunity to get a classic Americana-style beer tattoo, designed specifically for the Liquid Zoo, by The Sea Wolf Tattoo Company. Event info here.

Friday May, 19

6:30 p.m. – Nightlights

8:00 p.m. – Viva Knievel

Saturday May, 20

12:00 p.m. – Nooky Jones

1:00 p.m. – SOLID GOLD

2:00 p.m. – FRAEA

3:00 p.m. – Royal Canoe

4:00 p.m. – ZULUZULUU

5:00 p.m. – Night Moves

6:00 p.m. – Black Market Brass

7:00 p.m. – Communist Daughter

8:00 p.m. – Heiruspecs

9:00 p.m. – Caroline Smith

Casket Arts

Casket Arts is opening its studios and showcasing the art of several of the building’s artists, as well as the work of guest artist Emily Gray Koehler. There will be informal process demonstrations, food trucks and live music.

Friday, May 19

6:00 p.m. – Mike Munson

7:00 p.m. – The Beavers

8:30 p.m. – The Old Fashioneds

Saturday, May 20

1:00 p.m. – The Salt Vine

2:00 p.m. – David Allen Ho

3:30 p.m. – Potluck & The Hotdishes

5:00 p.m. – MT Foyer

6:30 p.m. – The Long Odds

Club Underground

If you want to crawl into a hole after a long day in the elements, Club Underground — the rock club beneath the Spring Street Tavern — has you covered on Saturday night with live music by Les Speedos, T.W.Y.G., and the 99ers. Music starts at 9:30, with a $5 cover.

Dangerous Man Brewing

Dangerous Man Brewing is celebrating Art-A-Whirl with a pop-up beer garden. Along with numerous food trucks, beer, and live music there will also be a facial hair contest hosted by the Minneapolis Beard and Mustache Club. Event info here.

Saturday, May 20

3:15 p.m. – United Teachers of Music

4:00 p.m. – The Chinchees

4:45 p.m. – Partial Traces

5:30 p.m. – Chalk

6:15 p.m. – Graveyard Club

7:00 p.m. – Murf

7:45 p.m. – Royal Brat

8:30 p.m. – Kitten Forever

9:15 p.m. – dEM aTLAS with DJ Keezy

Grumpy’s Northeast

Grumpy’s is hosting their 19th Art-A-Whirl party on Saturday featuring an entire day’s worth of live performances, with DJ Christy Costello keeping the music going between sets. NorthGate Brewing will be unveiling this year’s Canoe Country Cream Ale, proceeds of which will be benefiting Save the Boundary Waters. Along with the beer, food will of course be available as well as some choice hot sauce options. As always, the walls of the bar will feature the art of friends and staff.

Saturday, May 20

DJ Christy Costello will be DJing all day long

12:00 p.m. – The April Fools

12:45 p.m. – Pubic Missile Crisis

1:30 p.m. – China City

2:15 p.m. – The Bad Man

3:00 p.m. – The Revenge Wedding

3:45 p.m. – The Slow Death

4:30 p.m. – Pleezer

5:30 p.m. – Porcupine

6:15 p.m. – Eleganza

7:15 p.m. – Romantica

8:15 p.m. – Gramma’s Boyfriend

9:15 p.m. – Har Mar Superstar

Indeed Brewing Company

Indeed Brewing Company wants you to get whirly with them this Art-A-Whirl weekend at their annual Whirlygig celebration. The weekend shindig is a solid three days of beer, food and music. The third day of Whirlygig, Sunday, May 21 will also be the kick off of the 5K run hosted by Minnesota Brewery Running Series. Event info here.

Friday, May 19

6:00 p.m. – Ayvah

7:00 p.m. – Pornonono

8:00 p.m. – Andrew Broder

9:00 p.m. – Marijuana Deathsquads

Saturday, May 20

1:00 p.m. – Porch Knights

2:00 p.m. – Ripper

3:00 p.m. – Matt Latterell

4:00 p.m. – COZY

5:00 p.m. – Fury Things

6:00 p.m. – Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band

7:00 p.m. – Birthday Suits

8:00 p.m. – The Mighty Mofos

9:00 p.m. – Mark Mallman

Sunday, May 21

1:00 p.m. – Inventions & Dimensions

2:00 p.m. – Jack Klatt

3:00 p.m. – Gabe Barnett & them Rounders

4:00 p.m. – Lydia Liza

5:00 p.m. – Pert’ Near Sandstone

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge

Psycho Suzi’s will be celebrating with food trucks, state fair food, coconut drinks, live music and their 5th annual puppy fashion show.

Saturday, May 20

4:30 p.m. – The 99ers

6:00 p.m. – Blinds

7:00 p.m. – The Rope

8:30 p.m. – The Soviettes

9:30 p.m. – Transmission Dance Party with DJ Jake Rudh

Public Functionary

The art gallery Public Functionary is collaborating with CMND+CTRL on Saturday to present “a sensory, immersive experience for Art-A-Whirl enthusiasts after the breweries and studios have closed up for the evening.” The event runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Live production:
Devata Daun

Special guest:
David Maxwell with live band and Isaac West

Just Nine
Frank Castle
Ms. Lakesha (vinyl set)

Live projections:
Nolan Morice
+more TBD

The Q.arma Building

In addition to the art on display in the studios, the Q.arma Building is hosting three days of live music.

Friday, May 19

6 p.m. – Laura Evelyn Music

7 p.m. – Versend

8 p.m. – Alex Crankshaft Larson

9 p.m. – Loons in the Attic

Saturday, May 20

12 p.m. – TBD

1 p.m. – Amanda Standalone

2 p.m. – Niki Becker

3 p.m. – Beer-a-Cat

4 p.m. – Brian Just

5 p.m. – Erik Christianson

6 p.m. – The Handsome Traveler

7 p.m. – Red Eye Ruby

8 p.m. – Peddler

Sunday, May 21

12 p.m. – TBD

1 p.m. – ECID

2 p.m. – Jalopy

3 p.m. – Theyself

4 p.m. – Bankrupt In Panama

The Sample Room

For live music and BBQ favorites like pulled pork and hot dogs, be sure to head over to The Sample Room on Friday and Saturday night.

Friday, May 19

5:00 p.m. – Whitney Olson

6:15 p.m. – Chemistry Set

8:30 p.m. – The Federales

Saturday, May 20

3:00 p.m. – Mason Buttler (KFAI)

6:00 p.m. – LOTT

7:00 p.m. – Joyann Parker Duo

8:30 p.m. – Potluck Stringband

Slam Academy

Slam Academy provides electronic music training at the Waterbury Building. Their five-year anniversary party coincides with Art-A-Whirl, promising “live music, open studios, hands-on gear experiences, and special event-exclusive class discounts.” Here’s the music lineup for Saturday.

12 p.m. – Maksha

1 p.m. – DJ T & Cora

2 p.m. – Edifi

3 p.m. – DJ Adatrak

4 p.m. – Beats by Girlz Band

5 p.m. – Baard

6 p.m. – Megan Hamilton and the Bermudas

7 p.m. – Lazerbeak and Bionik

Sociable Cider Werks

Sociable Cider Werks is hosting an Art Extravaganza that will include displays of local art, live chalk art murals, live music and of course cider.

Friday, May 19

7:00 p.m. – Wilkinson James

8:30 p.m. – The Common Ground Company

Saturday, May 20

1:00 p.m. – Ash St. John Music

2:30 p.m. – Chris Holm Music

4:00 p.m. – Boxstore Bird

6:00 p.m. – The Flattenin’ Frogs

Sunday, May 21

2:00 p.m. – Old Desert Road

Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive

Even an auto repair shop is getting into the action: at Tiny Tim’s Anything Automotive, live music will be side-by-side with car crushing — no, not a Snow Patrol tribute band called Car Crushing, literal car crushing.

Saturday, May 20

12-5 p.m. – Synth meetup
3:30 – 5 p.m. – car crushing
5-7 p.m. – Annex Panda and New Armada
7 p.m. and on – DJ Jeff Wong and VJ Ex Zee Ex


When it comes to satisfying your hunger and quenching your thirst for tasty beer on Art-A-Whirl weekend, 612Brew has you covered. There will be food provided by Heavy Metal Grill, Simply Steve’s Food Truck and Cranky’s Ice Cream to name a few, as well as plenty of delicious beer. Along with performances by amazing local musicians, Jackalope Tattoo will also have a pop-up tattoo shop in the brewery for those looking to get inked during Art-A-Whirl.

Friday, May 19

5:30 p.m. – Night Corvettes

6:30 p.m. – The Symptones

7:30 p.m. – Kingsview

8:30 p.m. – Absolute Gruv

Saturday, May 20

1:00 p.m. – Wayo

2:00 p.m. – Ayvah

3:00 p.m. – The Non-Prophets

4:00 p.m. – Jonny and the Palms

5:00 p.m. – First Dates Music

6:00 p.m. – RLGDPPL

7:00 p.m. – The Stress of Her Regard

8:00 p.m. – Anna Eltringham Music with DJ Mickey Breeze

9:00 p.m. – The 4onthefloor

331 Club

331 Club is once again hosting their three-day music extravaganza. With over 25 bands booked to play both indoors and on an outdoor stage, the 331 Club is prepared to keep the celebration going all weekend long. This year there will also be a Northern Minnesota Takeover on Saturday at the outdoor stage, with Charlie Parr headlining.

Friday, May 19


10:00 p.m. – The Coax, Monica LaPlante, Ally Mattson


5:00 p.m. – Neon Blaque

6:00 p.m. – PHO

7:00 p.m. – Roma di Luna

8:00 p.m. – The Hood Internet

9:00 p.m. – Mixed Blood Majority

Saturday, May 20


10:00 p.m. – The Drug Budget, The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League


12:00 p.m. – kyle olah

1:00 p.m. – DANCE ATTIC

2:00 p.m. – Superior Siren

3:00 p.m. – Kat Fox

4:00 p.m. – Tin Can Gin

5:00 p.m. – Teague Alexy Band

6:00 p.m. – Rich Mattson and the Northstars

7:00 p.m. – Feeding Leroy

8:00 p.m. – Al Church

9:00 p.m. – Charlie Parr

Sunday May, 21


1:00 p.m. – Alex Crankshaft Larson and the Gear Grinders

2:00 p.m. – Fiddle Heirs

3:00 p.m. – General B and the Wiz

4:00 p.m. – Kind Country

5:00 p.m. – Koo Koo Kanga Roo

6:00 p.m. – Drumbeat Red

7:00 p.m. – Catbath

8:00 p.m. – Fury Things

Wanderlust Vintage Market

This northeast vintage market is celebrating with art, live music and a vintage caravan for visitors to explore.

Saturday, May 20

12:00 p.m. – The BarRoom Clowns

1:30 p.m. – Tod Sisson

4:00 p.m. – D a N C E B U M S

Lillian Speakman is a senior at Hamline University and a DJ for HU Radio.