Local Current Blog

‘Crazy Broke Asians’: Concert at 331 Club will showcase Asian-fronted Minnesota music acts

Meghan Kreidler performs with Kiss the Tiger at the Varsity Theater, Feb. 2018. (Maddy Fox for MPR)

Kiss the Tiger booked the 331 Club for Sept. 29 weeks ago; however, it wasn’t until recently that the band decided to use the opportunity to craft a showcase of local Asian-fronted musical acts.

The title of the concert, “Crazy Broke Asians,” was inspired by the Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians, which has taken the box office by storm since its premiere on Aug. 15. The film is the first major feature to have an all-Asian starring cast in 25 years.

“It’s a really historic moment for Asian-Americans in Hollywood and in movies, specifically,” said Meghan Kreidler of Kiss the Tiger. “It was exciting for us to think about how we could translate that into a night of music — a different way of having visibility in a different sector of the arts.”

The concert features three local artists: Kiss the Tiger, D Mills (the solo project of Diane Mills, who performs in the band D Mills & the Thrills), and Night of Joy. The night will showcase a range of genres. Kiss the Tiger and Night of Joy both root their music in rock and roll. D Mills blends a variety of influences, from hip-hop to alternative rock and R&B.

“You don’t think of Asian people as being at the center of those genres of music,” said Kreidler. “What we’re doing is simply creating space for ourselves as people of Asian descent in genres that we don’t typically see an abundance of Asian people inhabiting and we’re creating an evening that makes that idea more apparent through our visibility as Asian people on-stage. Through this we’re able to reclaim notions of Asian-ness through our music by eliminating the ways in which we expect to see Asian people.”

Kreidler is already thinking about how the event could expand in the future. “I’m excited to think about where this might lead,” she said, alluding to the possibility of including other Asian collaborators such as photographers or food vendors, or creating a recurring concert series.

“I just hope it generates some collaboration or inspiration within our own community of artists that identify as Asian. Because I think some exciting things could happen from that. There’s just a special feeling that you get inside when you’re around your people. It’s the unspoken thing; it’s the things that you don’t even need to talk about because they live inside of you. That’s an exciting thing to have with people as collaborators.”

Colleen Cowie runs the blog Pass The Mic.