Local Current Blog

Nels Cline, Low, Loscil included in fifth annual Drone Not Drones concert at the Cedar

The 2018 Drone Not Drones concert is taking place at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday, Jan. 26 (or at least, that’s when it’s starting). The event will feature 28 hours of non-stop music by over 50 artists including Wilco guitarist Nels Cline; Low; and Canadian ambient artist Loscil.

Luke Heiken coined the phrase “drone not drones” in 2013 as a response to the Obama administration’s use of drones to target suspected terrorists in the Middle East. The phrase became famous when Alan Sparhawk repeated it after Low’s Rock The Garden 2013 set, which consisted entirely of their song “Do You Know How to Waltz?”

Since 2013, Heiken has organized the annual Drone Not Drones concert at the Cedar. During the event, each artist’s set bleeds into the next to create a 28-hour non-stop drone. Drone music is a type of music that uses minimal melodies and harmonies, instead focusing around a sustained tone.

Audience members are encouraged to bring pillows and blankets to cozy up in front of the stage, especially if they plan on staying the entire night. This year, the concert will also be streamed live online at dronenotdrones.com.

You can hear an excerpt from Alan Sparhawk’s 2017 Drones Not Drones set in this video animated by Dane Cree.

Benefits from the concert will go to Doctors Without Borders, a charity that provides emergency medical aid around the world. Since its conception, Drone Not Drones has raised over $10,000 for Doctors Without Borders.

The complete audio from 2017’s concert is now available on BandCamp. All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

Here is a list of the 2018 Drones Not Drones artists announced so far. Dozens more will be announced later, promised the Cedar in a press release.

Nels Cline
Ka Baird (of Spires That In the Sunset Rise)
Sarah Davachi
Doug McCombs (Tortoise/Brokeback)
Louise Bock (of Spires That In the Sunset Rise)
Chuck Johnson
If Thousands
Devil’s Flying Machine (Charlie Parr electric project)
Lee Noble

Colleen Cowie is a student at Macalester College. She hosts the show Locally Sourced on WMCN.