Umphreys McGee Debuts Prince Cover In Minneapolis

Umphreys McGee Debuts Prince Cover In Minneapolis:

The second show of a three-night stand at First Avenue showcased a new cover in The Purple One’s hometown.

It wasn’t until mid-way through “Bright Lights, Big
City” that the first cover of the night came out, the debut of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” UM
had previously incorporated the Purple Rain track into one of its Halloween mashups
along with Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and their original “Pay The Snucka”
which they dubbed “Don’t Fear the Doves, Snucka” and played only once on October 31, 2013. Last
night’s proper debut of “When Doves Cry” led back to the end of “Bright Lights, Big City”
followed by a stand alone “Partyin’ Peeps.”

Umphrey’s McGee finishes up their three-night stand at First Avenue tonight. The show is being
webcasted over at TourGigs which you can purchase here.

Tickets On Sale This Week: April 23, 2015

ON SALE: Friday, April 24 at 10:00am CT

The Hunts 7th St Entry MON JUNE 29
Dawes Cabooze Plaza TUE JULY 14
Brandon Flowers Mainroom THU SEPT 10

ON SALE: Friday, April 24 at noon CT

France Camp ‘Purge’ Release Show 7th St Entry FRI MAY 15
McNasty Brass Band EP & Video Release Turf Club SAT MAY 23
Sebadoh Triple Rock SAT MAY 30
Wrestlepalooza VI Mainroom SAT JUNE 20
KEN Mode ‘Success’ Release Party Turf Club THU JUNE 25
PINS 7th St Entry THU JUNE 25
The Answer 7th St Entry WED JULY 1
The Family Crest 7th St Entry MON JULY 6
Ceremony 7th St Entry FRI JULY 10
Trampled By Turtles Bayfront Park SAT JULY 11
Lydia Loveless Turf Club SUN JULY 19
Social Distortion Mainroom FRI AUG 7


Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band 7th St Entry WED APR 29
Filthy Animals | Rat Pit | Beau Blue & The Confused 7th St Entry THU MAY 7
Whitenoise | Grand Courriers | Laulu Turf Club WED MAY 13
Pseudoubt Album Release Show 7th St Entry MON JUNE 8
Unwritten Law 7th St Entry TUE JUNE 16

This Week at the Turf Club: April 21, 2015

TUESDAY: Communion Club Night April ft. Hey Rosetta!

Hey Rosetta! hails from the rocky and cold northeastern province of Newfoundland, Canada. In 2005, frontman Tim Baker arrived home from a road trip with a suitcase full of poems and melodies. Hey Rosetta! was formed soon after with the addition of a string section (cellist Romesh Thavanathan and violinist Kinley Dowling) and rhythm section (bassist Josh Ward, drummer Phil Maloney, and guitarist Adam Hogan). Since then, they've blossomed into a powerful group whose explosive live shows have earned them a devoted following. SECOND SIGHT, Hey Rosetta!'s first album in nearly four years represents the longest musical gestation in the band's history. In part, the delay was due to the lengthy touring cycle following the success of their last album Seeds, which was short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and resulted in the band's first JUNO nomination and a performance on the JUNO telecast. Also performing will be Brooklyn-native Kevin Garrett (no, not Kevin Garnett) and local-band Going To The Sun.

Sounds Like: Dan Mangan, Joel Plaskett, Wintersleep, The Rural Alberta Advantage


Veteran rockers Red Desert bring a unique and blended creation to the world of metal, combining heavy, deliberate elements of doom, the down tuned distortional fuzz of stoner rock, a unique and haunting vocal delivery, and, above all, a master craftsman's grasp of song structure with deep, twisted, metal tapestries interwoven around soul stirring melodies of exceptional insight and dispatch. This foursome from Minnesota come at you with abiding passion, an unshakable confidence, and a fierce and joyous delivery. Steeped in the exalted, dark arts of the intense rock of decades past, the brilliance of high desert music, and the heart of an explosive new breed of rockers, Red Desert have previously crafted 2 exceptional albums and will soon drop a third. Prepare for a furious, full throttle ride as Red Desert come at you full force, no holds barred, no excuses, in a full out hard rock onslaught. Fellow locals The Wolf Council and Kult of the Wizard round out the Metal Wednesday bill.

Sounds Like: Black Sabbath, KYUSS, Pentagram, High On Fire, Clutch

THURSDAY: Diarrhea Planet | Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

"Shred till you're dead, or go to hell." Diarrhea Planet is a six-piece rock and roll band from Nashville, TN. Their sound has often been described as The Ramones holding Van Halen hostage with an arsenal of fireworks and explosives. Diarrhea Planet's four guitarists provide enough riffs to make Jack Black squeal like a schoolgirl, while lead singer Hodan delivers enough hooks to straighten the curl out of Justin Timberlake's hair. In a world of unintelligible lo-fi recording, reverb drenched vocals, and tuneless guitars, Diarrhea Planet aims to put the backbone back into rock and roll. What awaits you when the needle drops on Dereconstructed, the new album by Lee Bains lll & the Glory Fires? Nothing less than pure fucking heaven, that's what. Dereconstructed is a careening, road raging, all night party of a record. Informed by a distinctly southern hoodoo, it is a master class in authentic Gulf Coast choogle. Having cut his teeth in the Dexateens, Lee Bains lll has been properly schooled in how to throw down, so much so that even his hyper literate musings are no match for the blown out distortion that gives this record its blistering urgency.

Sounds Like: Bass Drum of Death, METZ, Ramones, Drive-By Truckers


Upon first listen, it's immediately obvious where BNLX's obsessions and influences lie. From the overdriven feedback fuzz that scores the record, to the epic, post-punk spirit that courses throughout, Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen are an easy reference point. But while many modern DIY projects can plug in and produce squalling reverb and angst-y vocals, in most cases the results reek of posturing and shallow imitation. BNLX, dare I say, transcend time. Special guests of Friday night include local talent The Melismatics, The Stress of Her Regard, and Stereo Confession.

Sounds Like: New Order, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine

SATURDAY: Hiss Golden Messenger

M.C. Taylor—the craggy-voiced patriarch behind Hiss Golden Messenger, the country-rock ensemble he leads out of Durham, North Carolina. Lateness of Dancers is the fifth full-length album from the band. It's an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of M.C. Taylor's last record, 2013's Haw. Hiss Golden Messenger stretches out into the improv-rock territory of Traffic and the Grateful Dead and beyond. Touring with Hiss Golden Messenger is the talents of Phil Cook. Cook joins an exciting class of modern musicians who are carrying the torch of authentic folk music. Playing from the heart while keeping reverence for this country's history is indelibly present in Cook's tender and patient compositions.

Sounds Like: Wooden Wand, Strand of Oaks, Sturgill Simpson, Megafaun

SUNDAY: BAUMHAUS - A Night of Improvised Minimal Techno with TINY DEATHS + Friends (Clown Lounge)

tiny deaths will be holding court this Sunday in the Clown Lounge, making up dope dance music with their friends at an event titled "Baumhaus." This local group is poised to be the next breakout act from Minneapolis. Sounding simultaneously familiar and yet like nothing else, Grant Cutler (Lookbook, Wolflords) and Claire de Lune (The Chalice) have joined forces to create a fresh take on the dark, brooding electropop movement currently dominating indie rock. The result is a sexy, shimmering collage of color and texture, a refreshing blend of the electronic and the analog, the peripheral and the tangible. In this way, tiny deaths' live show is a dichotomy. It's something you can move to, with bass that pulses through your whole body. But lyrically it's delicate and introspective, and the vocals are so arresting, you could just as easily wind up so awestruck you're motionless.

Sounds Like: Phantogram, Beach House

Blog by Kevin Clancy

This Week in the Entry: April 20, 2015


Fateful encounters at Cleveland bars rarely lead to musical mythology, but SomeKindaWonderful have a different story to tell. A three-piece featuring Jordy Towers (vocals/lyrics), as well as Matt Gibson (guitar) and Ben Schigel (drums), the genre-bending group came together after Towers became a casualty of the major label system. Once signed to Interscope as a solo act, he refused to become yet another faceless persona and the label left him hanging on the vine. Towers knew it was time for a reset and headed to Ohio to re-examine his life. The band's hit song, “Reverse” is endlessly catchy, feeling both modern and classic, nodding to '60s soul and contemporary R&B with the dynamic range of big-room pop-rock and cinematic emotion. Its structure, which features Towers unraveling a backwards narrative with a cadence that merges rap and soul, provides a novel lyrical framework to a unique sound. Opening up Monday night will be Tired Tongues; the result of change based on previous circumstances by electroclash musician, composer, & producer, Taylor Nelson and drummer Adam Szczepaniak, of Minneapolis, MN. The duo of Tired Tongues came together when hard hitting electronic music clashed un-forcefully with hammering guitar riffs and larger than life synths, only to be duetted by the filling sounds of an aggressive drumming style.

Sounds Like: OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon


Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny has devised his very own system of musical composition, The Hexadic System, which is the basis for their newest album, entitled Hexadic which was released on Drag City on February 17, 2015. A lyrical mastery of acoustic finger-picking would be enough to build a body of work for most musicians; this is just the stepping-off point for Ben. From the earliest days of private-press psych home recordings, Six Organs of Admittance has sought out alternative spaces in which to make music and challenge audiences to keep up with his rapid advances into new terrain. Over the last two years Ben assembled a comprehensive system of musical composition. The System builds all of the tonal fields, chord changes, scales, and lyrics on Hexadic, creating the framework of the songs that the musicians engage with. Yet the System is open; within the framework, Chasny's own personal aesthetics - such as the production mode of loud guitars, the order of songs, the editing of length, were all conscious decisions made to communicate the pieces. Starting off Tuesday night, Elisa Ambrogio with her lyrical intelligence, guitar g'rilla, and awkward weirdo presence, is back (and forth, too) performing in the 7th St Entry.

Sounds Like: James Blackshaw, Sun City Girls, Comets on Fire, Espers


The Howlin Rain we thought we knew has evolved, on Miller's newest, Mansion Songs, into something strange and true and beautiful, a sound made of cigarette ash and swollen moons, salt air and the eggshell light that comes just before the dawn. The result is an album that pines and yearns, lusts and wails. “Meet Me in the Wheat,” “Big Red Moon” and “Wild Bush” push the album into high gear, up-tempo jammers that form the yang to the mellow yin of the album's deep feel ballads. Tracks like “Restless” and “Lucy Fairchild” ache like raw wounds or sway like lost, half-sunken ships. “New Age” is bright and clear-eyed and full of wary joy. “Coliseum” prowls, red-veined and hungry - claws out and teeth sharp.

Sounds Like: Black Mountain, The Black Crowes, Comets on Fire, Wooden Shjips


On February 3, 2015, the San Francisco based guitar-drum duo Two Gallants released their 5th studio album, We Are Undone, on ATO Records. While singer and guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel have stayed true to the two-person format since their acclaimed 2004 debut, The Throes, their sound has evolved considerably over the intervening years. Thematically, the album ranges from songs that attempt to make sense of the dramatically shifting social landscape of their home town, to the illusion of authenticity, impending environmental collapse, and romantic estrangement. Blank Range, will be taking the stage first Wednesday night. They're an American rock & roll band living in Nashville, TN. With nods to great things present & past, Blank Range stand tall as a unit and collapse wildly together in song and onstage.

Sounds Like: Neva Dinova, The Felice Brothers, Langhorn Slim


Sales is a collaboration between long-time friends, Lauren Morgan (guitar/vocals) and Jordan Shih (guitar/programming). The duo has been recording together on and off for years, eating an abundance of Thai food, and dreaming of tennis - but never really going the distance to the court. Instead, they have remained dedicated to their musical project, which has been described as minimalist guitar pop. Sales consists of vocal & instrumental improvisation, sampling, a lil' bit of chopping & screwing, and of course, friendship. Warehouse Eyes and Aubades will perform first Friday night. Warehouse Eyes is a dream/synth pop band formed in 2012 in Minneapolis. The band members are Jennie Lahlum (vocals/synth), Christopher Williams (keys/synth), Jason McGlone (drums), Colin Sheffield (guitar), and Kevin Scott (bass). Aubades is also a local, four-piece band.

Sounds Like: Tom Misch & Carmody, Seoul


Upon first listen, it's immediately obvious where BNLX's obsessions and influences lie. From the overdriven feedback fuzz that scores the record, to the epic, post-punk spirit that courses throughout, Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen are an easy reference point. But while many modern DIY projects can plug in and produce squalling reverb and angst-y vocals, in most cases the results reek of posturing and shallow imitation. BNLX, dare I say, transcend time. Saturday will be the second night of BNLXFest III (night #1 is Friday at Turf Club) and will feature three supporting local bands - Two Harbors, Frankie Teardrop, and Pale Spectre.


Big hair, big smiles, and a whole lot of love: International globe-trotter Dustin Thomas is making waves from Australia to Moscow with his infectious blend of beat-box/soul folk. Armed with a voice, a guitar and universal anthems of faith, love, and war; this young artist continues to inspire hearts around the world on his mission of music, joy, and peace.



Blog by Kevin Clancy

Breaking Down the Wrestling References on the Mountain Goats' Beat the Champ

Breaking Down the Wrestling References on the Mountain Goats' Beat the Champ:


This Sunday, beloved indie-folk-rockers the Mountain Goats play First Avenue. They’ll be playing songs from their new record, Beat the Champ,
a concept album about professional wrestling. While Minneapolis is
known as a big wrestling town, the scope of topics explored on Beat the Champ is pretty vast.

So, we’ve decided to bring you up to speed on the subject of the squared
circle by offering a little history about each track, and digging into
all the wrestling references on Beat the Champ.

Tickets On Sale This Week: April 16, 2015

ON SALE: Friday, April 17 at 10:00am CT

The Bright Light Social Hour 7th St Entry SAT JUNE 20

ON SALE: Friday, April 17 at 11:00am CT

Jack Garratt 7th St Entry SAT AUG 8

ON SALE: Friday, April 17 at noon CT

Surfer Blood 7th St Entry TUE MAY 26
Purity Ring (early show added) Mainroom TUE JUNE 9
Jeremy Loops 7th St Entry MON JUNE 15
Algiers Triple Rock TUE JUNE 16
Futurebirds 7th St Entry WED JUNE 17
Son Lux 7th St Entry FRI JUNE 19
An Evening with Erik Koskinen Band & Friends
"Live Album" Release Show
Turf Club FRI JUNE 26
Sage Francis Mainroom SAT JULY 25


Mike Lewis & Friends Clown Lounge SUN APR 19
The Wolf Council ⦙ Kult of the Wizard Turf Club TUE APR 22
Baumhaus - A Night of Improvised Minimal Techno
with tiny deaths + Friends
Clown Lounge SUN APR 26

This Week at the Turf Club: April 14, 2015


Catastrophe Cabaret is a new musical comedy variety show, brought to you by Amy Buchanan, founder of the modern Twin Cities burlesque scene, and creative director and producer of Le Cirque Rouge, Cabaret & Burlesque Show. What started as ANOTHER drunken brainstorm of ideas between former collaborators Amy Buchanan and comedy writer, Tim Kennedy, will be the first off-shoot of LCR, who have been performing since 2003. What can only be described as "creative interpretations and improvisations by both professionals, and experienced amateurs," is also backed by a full band - complete with backup singers.



Nick Howard could never be accused of sitting still. Following a 2 year stretch in which the British singer-songwriter has played 300 shows across Europe and the US, enjoyed his first number 1, packed in several headlining tours and even managed to learn German in two months and win the hugely popular TV show The Voice of Germany, Nick Howard recently released his fourth and latest album, Living In Stereo. Nick spent most of 2014 on the road in the US and Europe promoting his new material, playing over 200 shows to over 100,000 fans all over the world. Catch Nick's US Headlining Tour at the Turf Club while you can, he doesn't sit still for long. Opening for Nick will be Elliott Blaufuss, a multi-talented artist hailing from Minneapolis, MN. With an incredible vocal range, mesmerizing melodies, and a style that blends groove and soul, you can be sure to get to the Turf Club early Wednesday to catch Elliot's opening performance.

Sounds Like: Lifehouse, Train, Jack Johnson

FRIDAY: Duluth Homegrown Twin Cities Invasion

The Homegrown Music Festival is Duluth's annual showcase of rawk and/or roll devil music. It began as a simple birthday party with a handful of bands and a bunch of beer. Now it's a complete bureaucracy, run by a volunteer steering committee and a board of directors, featuring over 180 musical acts, along with a few filmmakers and other artists. On Friday, The Turf Club will play host to Duluth bands The Social Disaster, Red Mountain, Toby Thomas Churchill, and Wolf Blood.



Throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career, Cory Branan has been too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville, and probably a little too Cory Branan for anyone's damn good. He has proven himself as a top-notch songwriter, fierce lyricist, and a hyper-dynamic performer with the ability to fingerpick finer than '60s Greenwich Village folkies and brutally strum like a proto punk shredder. “Intense dynamics, deep humor, brave production and heavy songwriting: A new voice emerges to run with the greats." - Playboy. Taking the stage first Saturday will be Tim Easton, an American guitarist and singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sounds Like: Tim Barry, Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn


Michael Lewis is regarded throughout the Twin Cities and well beyond as one of the most creative sax players in modern music, lending his blowing and bowing skills to a number of highly regarded ensembles. Growing up in Minneapolis, Michael first picked up trumpet (his dad's instrument) and then settled on saxophone at age ten. He attended South High, where he added bass to his arsenal of saxophones. Lewis has been increasingly visible in New York, performing at the Stone with Happy Apple as well as with Fat Kids; and he appeared on David Letterman in connection with his 2009 tour with Andrew Bird, on which he played electric bass. He continues to lead a double life in music, playing bass with Bird, Dosh, Alpha Consumer and Red Start, and locally on saxophones with Bryan Nichols' quintet as well as with Bon Iver, Gayngs, and Arcade Fire.


Over the course of its two-decade existence, Lightning Bolt has revolutionized underground rock in immeasurable ways. The duo broke the barrier between stage and audience by setting themselves up on the floor in the midst of the crowd. Their momentous live performances and the mania they inspired paved the way for similar tactics used by Dan Deacon and literally hundreds of others. Similarly, the band's recordings have always been chaotic, roaring, blown out documents that sound like they could destroy even the toughest set of speakers. Jet Legs and Hardcore Crayons will start off Monday night. Hardcore Crayons can and will change from eerie dub grooves, with delayed snare, looped, psychedelic guitar riffs, thumping bass, to harsh, bob-your-head-cause-you-just-can't-help-it metal.

Sounds Like: Black Pus, Hella, Melt-Banana, Boredoms, Shellac

Blog by Kevin Clancy


Subscribe to First Avenue Blog