This week, Faces of First Ave interviewed an incredibly charming giraffe.
May I borrow a moment of the giraffe’s time?
Of course! I’m David. I’m from Rochester, New York.
Did you come all the way just for the Flaming Lips show?
I did. I’m a pretty hardcore Flaming Lips fan. This is my 19th Flaming Lips show since 2011.
That’s amazing! Have you been to First Avenue before?
I was here last year when they did the “Transmissions From the Satellite Heart” show so this is my second time seeing them in this venue. It’s a cool place to see them because no matter where you are, even if you have your back to the wall, let’s say you’re in some weird corner, you’ve still got a great view of the stage. That’s something I really respect about the place.
What was it that drew you to the Flaming Lips?
When I was living in Germany, I started listening to their music and thought it was really cool. When I came back to the United States, they had a show in my hometown so I went and was blown away by it. Then they had a New Year’s Eve Freakout that year where Yoko Ono was playing and a bunch of other people, so I just went and I met this group – we call ourselves “the Love Pit.” The guy in green over there? It’s his birthday today. Two friends of ours are coming from Japan to be here. NOBODY KNOWS THEY’RE COMING… So the Lips are great, they do some really cool stuff, and the band’s been super nice to us, they really value having us follow them… but it’s the people we meet, this artistic self-expression that just really ignites something in me. I’m a straight-laced IT guy back home, but then I get to dress up like a giraffe at First Ave and hang out, you know?
Yeah! It’s so great! Flaming Lips day is the best for me because I get to walk in and go “Fuck yeah, there’s a giraffe in the restaurant!” The joy really emanates.
That’s what I love about it! I was walking down the street and people were clapping out their car windows for me. Then I saw a lady wearing a cow hat and I was like, “I like your cow hat!” and she’s like “I like your hat!” and we both start laughing because we both have ridiculous things on, but everybody’s happier because of it. That’s really why I love the band.
You said that you’re a straight-laced IT guy back home… Do they know what you’re up to when you take off for these things?
Oh yeah. I tell everybody. My manager has seen me in the New York Times at festivals and he looks at them and laughs and goes “No, but that’s really cool.” I go to work with my nails painted. It’s a casual workplace and they like seeing people bring joy back. I wear my sparkly boots to work and everybody compliments me. So it’s like this band, doing this… I even get to bring that back to my workplace, and everybody there, even if it’s just a quick smile or a laugh, they’re happier. It’s just that effect, that wave, that ripple.
I’m beaming just listening to all this… How did you pick the giraffe?
On Instagram Wayne mentioned we’re looking to do a film, a documentary, does anyone know any weirdos we could interview or film? And then later on he said “Oh by the way, we really want people to come in giraffe costumes, or fetuses, or brains.” And I was like, “I don’t really feel comfortable with the fetus thing; somebody who’s pro-life is gonna get mad at me. The brain would just be hard to do because then I’d be taking myself seriously like I’m a smart guy. But the giraffe is cuddly and warm!” So that’s why I went with the giraffe.
You’re so good at this!
Why, thank you! I enjoy it. We have this whole community of weirdos, but weirdos in the sense that we’re artists and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
What did you do before you found the Flaming Lips? What was your outlet before this?
You’re not going to believe this: I loved the band Ramstein. I still have a place in my heart for them because they’re part of the reason I wanted to learn German. Then I learned German and it went beyond that band. I had all these other experiences, but it was one of the catalysts that said, “Man, I really want to know what they were singing about and be able to speak German.” But then you know the lyrics and you’re like, “Jesus Christ, that’s something I would never actually want to actually say to people” but there’s still a part of me that really likes that. There’s part of me that really likes a band like Radiohead, that they can talk about complex, troubled, depression and make that into an artform, and in sharing that with their fans, we all experience that together. Even when you listen to Ramstein, it’s about these hard, human lyrics with really graphic sexuality and dark themes, or Radiohead with these nuanced, depressed, angsty ideas, you celebrate it with other people, and you can acknowledge there’s a part of my heart where yes, that is true and I identify with, but I’m not alone and this is normal. This is something that’s part of humanity. So that’s why I draw strength from that, which other people would say, “Well that’s just sad!” I say, “Yeah, but that’s being a human!” We all have bad days, we all have our good times too, and let’s just hope we all stick through it ‘til we get to the good times and we don’t take the bad times too seriously.
(Interview: Sarah Brumble)
Fury Things and Brilliant Beast will be releasing their first ever split EP Wednesday night at the Turf Club. Fury Things are a trio from Minneapolis made up of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Werstein, bassist Devon Bryant, and drummer Andrew Carson. Werstein writes compelling lyrics and shreds fuzzy guitar solos while sharing the melody with Bryant's bass. Carson slams on cymbals higher than his head and has broken too many drumsticks to count. Together they're making fast, loud rock music reminiscent of Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr, and Hüsker Dü. Brilliant Beast is a loud band from Minneapolis. Playing in their current formation since 2011, Brilliant Beast released their third album, Where Do You Want, in November 2013. Led by sibling dual-vocalists Hannah (vocals, guitar, violin) and Jordan Porter (vocals, guitar) and anchored by the breakneck rhythm section of Mark Kartarik (bass) and Eric Whalen (drums). Wednesday night's Split EP release party will reveal the latest accomplishments of both of these home-grown rock bands.
THURSDAY: The Life and Times
Since the experimental space-rock trio The Life and Times formed in Chicago and began disarming audiences with unbelievably loud yet relentlessly beautiful music, the main constant for the band has been how un-categorizable they've remained. Lead singer Allen Epley, drummer Chris Metcalf and bassist Eric Abert were the calling card of Suburban Hymns (DeSoto) and each subsequent release. 2012's No One Loves You Like I Do was a towering think rock follow-up to their critically acclaimed breakthrough Tragic Boogie, pushing and molding the band's kitchen-sink aesthetic and beautifully lush, over-the-top arrangements into a tight, dense collection of songs with much more immediacy, urgency, and directness. The Life and Times band released their latest album, Lost Bees, in August 2014.
Lost Bees is the fourth full length from Missouri's The Life and Times, and represents their most singular and cohesive release so far. The band has been quietly developing their craft since 2002 and have combined the disparate elements that they've utilized over the past 12 years into a new formula. [Hit The Floor]
Sounds like: Shiner, Jawbox, Swervedriver, Year of the Rabbit
FRIDAY: Cheap Girls
Cheap drinks and CHEAP GIRLS will be filling the Turf Club on Friday. This band will be holding a special night for advance ticket-holders, but I'll let them tell you in their own words.
A note from Cheap Girls:
"We're incredibly excited about these shows coming up in your area, and we firmly believe that the artists coming along with us are some of the most important making music right now (RESTORATIONS, CHRIS FARREN, and THE SLOW DEATH). As a reward to those who show up early to see the entire show, we are rewarding the first 20 advance ticket-holders in attendance a free, exclusive hand-screened tour poster as a THANK YOU for supporting the music of our friends and of ourselves. The poster will not be for sale in any other form. On top of all that, anyone with an advance ticket can take 5 bucks off of any purchase made at the Cheap Girls merch table. Thanks for being a part of this with us."
Hurry down to the Turf Club Friday to claim the merch. Doors will open early, so start your weekend off right.
Sounds like: Banner Pilot, The Ergs!, Dillinger Four, Dead To Me
SATURDAY: Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line
NEW ALBUM WAKE DROPPED TUESDAY 2/24
Saturday will play host to a great night in St. Paul as Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line take over the Turf Club. The night will feature their new album, Wake. The evocative one-word title speaks volumes about what's happening on Nora Jane Struthers' latest album. For the thirty-year old singer-songwriter, it's "wake" in several senses of the word. There's the trail of a life and career behind her, the slipstream of lessons learned. There's the quiet observance and letting go of who she has been up until now as both an artist and a person. And most of all, there's the stirring of something new, an opening of a door and wide-eyed rush forward into a place of discovery and dizzying possibilities. "The whole album is about strength through vulnerability," she says. "That's what I've come to as an artist, and a human being, and I think it's the most powerful force in my life. I feel so much more like my childhood self now than I did over the past five years, than I have in my whole adult life." We're certainly excited to see what these passionate musicians have in store for us Saturday night as they debut Wake.
Sounds Like: Mumford and Sons, Gillian Welch, The Avett Brothers, Emmylou Harris
"Dewi Sant seems like the kind of guy that gets talked about well." You'd like to think that his goodness and sweetness both precedes and post-cedes him. The deeds of romance and love that he submitted as offerings have been duly noted and they will be played back for him when he gets to the pearly gates, as if to give him an opportunity to take a bow or to receive something like a good guy standing ovation. For The Person & The People, everything traces back to the high school years. A group of old friends from multiple bands in the area finally teamed up and joined together to make music. The result of that is a power-pop flavored rock and roll band that truly stands out from the rest. That youthful energy can certainly still be felt with this band. Lastly, formed in two cities founded on the intrinsic turns and tails of one of Earth's longest waterways, Fair Oaks has made an album that aims to shine a solar-hued spotlight on nature in the urban environment.
TUESDAY: The Lone Bellow (SOLD OUT)
Then Came the Morning, the second album by the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio the Lone Bellow, opens with a crest of churchly piano, a patter of drums, and a fanfare of voices harmonizing like a sunrise. It's a powerful introduction, enormous and overwhelming, as Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin testify mightily to life's great struggles and joys, heralding the morning that dispels the dark night: "Then came the morning! It was bright, like the light that you kept from your smile!" Working with producer Aaron Dessner of the National, the Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow. "The feeling I get singing with Zach and Brian is completely natural and wholly electrifying," says Kanene. "Our voices feel like they were made to sing together."
MONDAY: MN Next Star MATTHEW J
Pop artist Matthew J will be making his debut performance at the 7th St Entry on Monday night. Matthew spent his childhood growing up in Rabat, Morocco until he eventually found his way back to Minnesota. This local singer-songwriter and pianist gets his style from influential greats such as The Jackson 5, The Beatles, and Bruno Mars. Supporting the act will be a number of local artists such as: Ced Linus, Sti-Lo Reel, Louie P, The Friendly Beers, J. Plaza, MWTC, Cooly, Beauty White, and Lil One.
TUESDAY: SINGLE MOTHERS
Single Mothers has made a compelling case for bullshit. Not bullshit as in the self-serving act of using untruths for personal gain but rather how red flags, stacked odds and strike outs can somehow inspire a collective recklessness to keep at it. For Single Mothers, bullshit came early. Its members were born throughout Ontario in the late 80s and early 90s, all to lower class families and many to single parent households. Some grew up on native reservations while others were raised by maternal grandparents. Some were the byproducts of one night stands. Yet, through all the bullshit this punk rock band will find their way to the 7th St Entry Tuesday night. Supporting will be fellow Canadians The Dirty Nil and Minneapolis natives Animal Lover.
Sounds Like: Green Day, Black Flag, My Chemical Romance
WEDNESDAY: KEVIN DEVINE & THE GODDAMN BAND
Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band headline the Entry this Wednesday. Devine recently had a simultaneous release for Bulldozer and Bubblegum, his seventh and eighth studio albums. The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter attempts two drastically different sounds on two separate recordings in a dual-album project independently funded through an historically successful Kickstarter campaign. Bulldozer features the commanding big sound of chiming guitars, tongue-in-cheek wordplay, is a stampede of power pop, as is the quintessential rock/pop sound of "Little Bulldozer." Songs like "She Can See Me" bring out Devine's punk rock roots. Bubblegum other the other hand is Devine's "pedal-to-the-floor" rock album. It is the product of his special collaboration with Jesse Lacey of Brand New as producer, shaping and writing alongside Mike Fadem on drums, and Mike Strandberg on guitar, the two members of his touring group the Goddamn Band. Dads and Field Mouse are support.
Sounds Like: Brand New, Manchester Orchestra
THURSDAY: THE GROWLERS (SOLD OUT)
The music of The Growlers is unmistakable. Sure, you can hone in on some influences baked into the work of this California-bred band. The Growlers took the phrase "Beach Goth" as an apt descriptor of their five-piece band. Sunburned and salty is a term that perfectly describes their distinctive melding of reverb heavy surf guitar and Bakersfield-style honky tonk with '80s post-punk. This is especially true of the band's newest album, Chinese Fountain. The 11 songs found on it are some of the strongest that they've committed to tape yet; a byproduct not only of eight years in the trenches together, but finely honing their gypsy folk dirges and psychedelic sea shanties to fans at close to 150 shows each year. The connection between vocalist Brooks Nielsen and guitarist Matt Taylor (the groups' principal songwriters) has only grown deeper. Supporting The Growlers will be Oklahoma-natives Broncho.
Sounds Like: The Clash, Ricky Nelson
FRIDAY: FRANCISCO THE MAN
It took roughly seven years, a teenage instrumental rock band, a debut EP, additions and subtractions, and a near death experience to arrive at Francisco The Man. Following a two-year hiatus beginning in 2008, the band relocated from Riverside to Los Angeles, CA, bringing along a new addition, guitarist Brock Woolsey. Their debut LP, Loose Ends, was released in late January. The album gives its audience a more encompassing look at Francisco the Man with each song containing more and more honesty permeating through the lyrics. The band is composed of Scotty Cantino on vocals and guitar, Néstor Romero on bass and, Abdeel Ortega on drums. Leading off this great night in the Entry will be local groups Whatfor and Mad Rounds.
Sounds Like: Zach Schimpf, Young Jesus, Broncho
SATURDAY: MOON DUO
This will be the second appearance in Minneapolis for this talented pair. The event was previewed by City Pages earlier this month:
San Francisco's Moon Duo have kept the spacey fuzz and hypnotic grooves that soaked their first two albums, but they have expanded their sonic scope - as well as their lineup - on their third full-length, Shadow of the Sun. Wooden Shjips' guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sana Yamada have added drummer John Jeffrey (who also played on their last release, Live in Ravenna) to their droney mix, and the results are even more gritty and dynamic, echoing the early West Coast punk sound while also retaining the riff-fueled experimentalism of their early work. This Entry show comes at the start of Moon Duo's tour in support of their new record, so expect the band to focus on bringing these fresh songs to life while also working on innovative ways to explore the hazy parameters of their boundless material. Minneapolis noisemakers Vats open.
Be sure not to miss this Saturday night special at the 7th St Entry beginning at 8pm.
Sounds Like: Wooden Shijps, The Black Angels
MONDAY: THE TWILIGHT SAD
The Twilight Sad comprises James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane, (guitar/electronics) and Mark Devine (drums/keyboard). Forming in late 2003, the band played a couple of early shows at Glasgow's 13th Note. They created half hour pieces of music utilizing guitars, bass, drums, theremin, tape loops from films and old folk and country songs, effects pedals, toy keyboards, thumb pianos, computer games and various other ephemera. Subsequently withdrawing to the studio to refine their sound, and rejecting any live shows offered, the band underwent a gradual metamorphosis into a more traditional, but still sonically adventurous outfit, with a more overt inclination towards emotive, eloquent song. In 2014 the band released their latest album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave which showcases a sound that embraces and combines all of The Twilight Sad's previous releases. Opening for the night will be the NYC-based Port St. Willow.
Sounds Like: Frightened Rabbit, Idlewild, We Were Promised Jetpacks
ON SALE: Friday, February 20 at noon CT
|Torchlight Commission ft. Illa J and Moka Only||7th St Entry||MON MAR 16|
|Elvis Perkins||Icehouse||SUN APR 26|
|Drive-By Truckers ‘Dirt Underneath’ Tour||Mainroom||FRI MAY 1|
|Bobby Bare Jr.||Turf Club||FRI MAY 1|
|Gear Daddies||Mainroom||SUN MAY 10|
|Jessie J||Mainroom||MON MAY 11|
|Geographer||7th St Entry||MON MAY 11|
|Smallpools||Triple Rock||THU MAY 14|
|Zoobombs||7th St Entry||SAT MAY 16|
|METZ | FIDLAR||7th St Entry||THU MAY 21|
|FIDLAR | METZ||7th St Entry||FRI MAY 22|
|Little Dragon||Mainroom||THU MAY 28|
|Glass Animals||Mainroom||THU JUNE 4|
|Matthew Santos||7th St Entry||FRI JUNE 5|
|Kate Tempest||7th St Entry||SAT JUNE 13|
ON SALE: NOW
|Official Dopeness ft. Rich Lee, The Crxsh, & more||7th St Entry||TUE MAR 10|
|Al Church Next Summer CD Release Show||Turf Club||FRI MAR 13|
|The Cactus Blossoms (Duo) | Sam Outlaw||Turf Club||SAT MAR 14|
|Communion Club Night March
ft. Filligar | The Pass | Brolly
|Turf Club||TUE MAR 17|
|Govinda||7th St Entry||WED MAR 18|
|Tommie Sunshine||Mainroom||FRI MAR 20|
|Secret Stash presents Black Market Brass,
The Lakers, and Gospel Machine
|Turf Club||FRI MAR 20|
|Long Dark Blues - A Tribute To Jason Molina||Turf Club||WED MAR 25|
|Kristin Diable||Turf Club||FRI MAR 27|
|Mark Mallman with Step Rockets||Turf Club||FRI APR 10|
This week Faces of First Ave sat down with the city’s quietest force to be reckoned with, Ben LaFond, to talk about how he became a screen printer, questionable dumb luck, and bugs.
What’s your middle name?
Cooper. My grandpa named me that – Cooper. My full name is Benjamin Cooper LaFond.
What brings you to First Avenue these days?
Musics. Shooting photos. Eating cheese curds. Lurking on the sidewalk shooting photos. Always good people watching.
What shows were you at most recently?
Or a turkey!
Turkey’s better… I bowl more than I play hockey, so let’s go for turkey.
Do you remember the first show you attended at First Avenue?
Absolutely. House of Pain with Rage Against the Machine opening for them in ‘93 or ‘94. That was the first concert I ever went to without my parents, went with some junior high friends, jumped around and whatnot. It was super great, had an awesome time. Rage Against the Machine totally stole the show. I think it was right before they went on that first Lollapalooza tour. It was insane as a seventh or eighth grader witnessing that band at that part of their career was incredible and I’d obviously never seen anything like that before.
What’s your day job?
I am a screen printer at Burlesque of North America. It’s part design house, it’s part screen printing shop, it is part party-throwers, it’s part… eat-a-lot-of-snacks. We do concert posters for a lot of local bands, a lot of national bands.
When and how did you hop onboard with Burlesque?
August of 2005 was when I first made contact. I was in school for graphic design at MCTC and had an interest in screen printing but never really explored it, but trying to figure it out was kind of intimidating – there’s a lot of shit that can go wrong with it. I saw that Aaron Horkey was doing screen prints through this place called Burlesque and I knew of Life Sucks Die (the magazine that they used to do), and Aaron and I had gone to high school together at the Arts High School. I thought cool, should go check those guys out, had bought a few things from them on their website and they sent out their first email newsletter ever and was like “I should hit those guys up, see if they need some help” so I shot them an email.
I was in school, had a bunch of free time and I just went to meet them one day and help rack posters. They were working on an Arcade Fire tour series – Arcade Fire in Central Park was the first one that I helped on. Then the next one was actually for their show in 2005 at First Avenue, the ferris wheel poster, and just sort of made myself available as-needed and worked some crazy ass middle of the night shifts and did a bunch of grunt work. I cleaned the screens and watched over Wes’ shoulder and picked up as much as I could. Then it became busy enough that I was able to get hired on full time and I took on the majority of the printing there. I didn’t finish school but I got a great job working in the field.
You took the shortcut.
And photography-wise, do you shoot professionally, or do you mostly come down for… sport?
I mean I’ve been paid for stuff but it’s sort of just fun. Like, I shoot a lot of the Doomtree stuff cause they’re friends and I’m just around, hanging out. But yeah, I’ve never really pursued concert photography professionally. It’s just kind of fun to do on occasion. There’s so many people doing it. I feel in the way. I kind of feel like a hack, because I don’t really know what I’m doing at it.
Which I would like to say is preposterous, at least stylistically.
Stylistically dumb luck.
And street photography?
That’s also dumb luck.
What isn’t dumb luck?
Hm. I’ll get back to you on that.*
Not a single thing?
In closing: what’s your favorite animal?
What’re your favorite three animals?
What’re your favorite five animals?
I really like hawks.
After all that, you picked one.
Bugs are awesome in their uniqueness, and the sheer amount of them is mind-boggling to me and makes them incredibly interesting. Hashtag #hellyeahbugs
You’re responsible for that hashtag on Instagram and it’s blown up hasn’t it?
It did, apparently! Other people like bugs too!
You’re making it big on the Internet!
*Several days later, Ben actually did get back to me on the issue of dumb luck in the form of a message that read: “Okay so I just got my film back from the Doomtree Blowout and I would like to retract my dumb luck statement. I can work a camera, I suppose.” Head over to his personal Instagram for a taste of what he’s talking about.
(Interview: Sarah Brumble)
First Avenue will be sending off two great assets of the team Wednesday night as Eli and Mahtaab will soon call New Zealand their home. To celebrate their time here, the 7th St Entry will feature a two-piece rock band native to Minneapolis formally known as BLOODNSTUFF. Ed Holmberg (guitar/vocals) and Dylan Gouert (drums) bring a mountain of sound that is truly hard to believe comes from a duo. Looks can be deceiving, as the output of these two creatives is an amalgmation of all things hard, fun and fast. Also coming to The Entry in support will be the local talents of Honeystick, Jermaican Jake, and other special guests. Make sure not to miss out on this diverse night of quality local music as we wish Eli and Mahtaab the best of luck in their upcoming adventures.
Also performing: Honeystick, Jermaican Jake, and special guests
THURSDAY: DAMIEN JURADO
Damien is out of his goddamn mind. This isn't a recent development, but it's an important aspect of his work that often goes ignored. In place of this key element is the idea that his music is a sober and in-depth excavation of the American landscape and rural psyche. Well, folks, I'm sorry, but it's not. Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song. He is the gun, the purple anteater, the paper wings, the avalanche, the air show disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend's wife. It is a universe unto its own, with it's own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy. You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your religion is a character in his religion.
Sounds like: Phosphorescent, J. Tillman, Pedro the Lion
Mind Over Mirrors is the work of American harmoniumist/electronicist Jaime Fennelly. Utilizing an Indian pedal harmonium, oscillators, tape delays, and an assortment of synthesizing processors, Fennelly bends slowly-building, repetitive melodies into massive sonic mountains. Though Fennelly now resides in Chicago, Mind Over Mirrors emerged during a three-year period from 2007-2010 while he was living on a remote island in the Salish Sea of Washington State. Since then, he has released recordings on Immune as well as Digitalis, Hands In the Dark, and Aguirre/Gift Tapes. Joining Fennelly, Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux deploys modest acoustic constituent materials - an Indian pedal harmonium and the human voice to produce roiling, meditative music that both simulates the swells and troughs of synthesized electronics and conjures the ceaseless rhythms of tidal surges.
Daniel Bachman is a 6-string and lap guitar player from Virginia currently living in Chapel Hill, NC. From 2008 to present he’s been releasing material of almost exclusively an instrumental nature while touring everywhere from Istanbul to Los Angeles. The album Orange Co. Serenade will be coming out in the spring through Bathetic Records and is Daniel’s strongest work as a player and writer yet. Back to a minimal approach with little to no overdubs and sparse accompaniment, the album is solely about the tension and release between each song. From the most ecstatic blurry moment to the loneliest thud on the gut string it will help you explore the best and worst parts of yourself.
Sounds like: Innercity, High Aura'd, Mike Shiflet
SATURDAY: CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN (Sold Out)
Kathleen and the Other Three was produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) and Ian Grimble (Travis, Manic Street Preachers) and recorded in London and Wales. Of the new music, front man Van McCan explains, “We’re so excited to finally release something in the U.S. With this EP we’ve tried to put songs on it that grip instantly… short but explosive, with relatable lyrics. It feels like we're starting from scratch again. No one knows us and that really excites me.” Catfish and the Bottlemen are Van McCann (vocals, guitar), Billy Bibby (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums).
Sounds like: Kasabian, Palma Violets, Circa Waves, Drowners
SUNDAY: THE DISTRICTS
The Districts are a four-piece indie rock band from the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania. The group formed in 2009 while members Rob Grote, Mark Larson, Connor Jacobus, and Braden Lawrence were all still in high school. The energetic rockers released their first EP, Kitchen Songs, in 2012 followed by Telephone, their debut full-length, the following year. Their mix of indie Americana and blues-inspired rock caught the attention of Mississippi's Fat Possum Records, which signed the Districts in 2013. The Districts will take over the Entry Sunday night along with New Jersey natives Pine Barons.
Benjamin Booker, Deer Tick, Cold War Kids, The Wild Feathers
MONDAY: MN Next Star MATTHEW J
Pop artist MATTHEW J will be making his debut performance at the 7th St Entry on Monday night. Matthew spent his childhood growing up in Rabat, Morocco until he eventually found his way back to Minnesota. This local singer, songwriter, and pianist gets his style from influential greats such as The Jackson 5, The Beatles, and Bruno Mars. Supporting the act will be a number of local artists such as: Ced Linus, Sti-Lo Reel, Louie P, The Friendly Beers, J. Plaza, MWTC, Cooly, Beauty White, and Lil One.
F1rst Wrestling knows there’s more to wrestling than the surface, that it can present something bigger, more communal, and more alive than the sad armories and gyms depicted in Darren Aronofsky’s portrait of indie wrestling. In this context, putting on a business-as-usual production two weeks previous across the street at the 19,000-plus-capacity Target Center can’t measure up to joining Atmosphere and Doomtree as local icons who sold out First Ave. And it feels like both the culmination of a certain indie counterculture and the promise of something more, for audiences and performers capable of finding joyful absurdity in their art, while still suspending disbelief like a championship belt hanging from the rafters.
Keep your ear to the ground for details on your next chance to see Wrestlepalooza live in action…