TUESDAY: THE PISTOL WHIPPIN PARTY PENGUINS
Straight from the great Mill City comes the Pistol Whippin Party Penguins. Don't let the name fool you! This is not a violent group of flightless aquatic birds looking for a party, but rather 5 self proclaimed gentlemen, 2 guitars, a mandolin, a bucket of fiddles, an upright bass, a banjo, and a 4 part vocal harmony that will make Rush Limbaugh wanna pay taxes. This quintet from Minneapolis strives to maintain the original spirit of the "string band" while continuing to play new original music and creative cover songs. The combination of folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, and the occasional stage banter will create an experience that anyone can enjoy!
Opening the show is The Dead Pigeons, a roots-based americana band that formed over the course of a 5 year residency at Palmer's Bar, the notorious West Bank institution. Gretta Hunstiger has been with Drew from the very beginning, perfecting her sound with beautiful and haunting fiddle layerings, along with fresh backup vocals. The rest of the supporting cast includes Ryan Douglas Canyon on mandolin, Daryn Christenson on percussion, and John Reinhart on bass.
Govinda is the alter-ego of Austin based producer/composer Shane Madden. He began studying violin and composition at the age of eight and went on to study classical violin at the University of Texas where he fell in love with electronic music production. It was in Madden's pursuit of his gypsy roots that he opened his ears to music from around the world. From experiences learning violin with mysterious masters on his journeys across the globe and his passion for modern design and technology, the current sound of Govinda was born. The Govinda live show is truly a multi-sensory experience that features professional dancers, live projections, resonating vocals and a sonical sound-scape. His live experience is full of vibrant energy that plays to its crowd. Govinda performs on Ableton Live accompanied by classical violin. Govinda is currently touring in support of his album Universal On Switch which was released independently earlier this year.
Sounds Like: STS9, Bombay Dub Orchestra, Karsh Kale
THURSDAY: LIL DICKY (SOLD OUT)
Lil Dicky is the voice of the voiceless. In an era where rap is dominated by racial, social, and economic minorities, LD decided to put the upper-middle class on his frail, Jewish shoulders. The results have been monumental. His debut mixtape, So Hard, has been categorized as “funny,” and “impressive” by his friends. A non-traditional rapper, Lil Dicky uses a mix of comedy, lyrical ingenuity, and self-deprecation to spew out entertaining and relatable content. When he was 14, he opened up for the R&B group 112 at his overnight camp. He's been rapping ever since. Join him on his quest to change rap forever.
Sounds Like: G-Eazy, Hoodie Allen, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino
FRIDAY: CRAFT SPELLS
After a dormant period following the release of the Gallery EP in 2012, Craft Spells' Justin Vallesteros is back with the gorgeously ambitious Nausea. It's Craft Spells' second proper full length LP, and first since 2010's critically acclaimed Idle Labor. Since last on the radar, Justin moved to San Francisco to find a niche in the Bay Area music scene. This proved difficult within the regarded garage rock scene and insular DJ night crowds currently dominating the area's music community. Here, Justin fell into a slump, creatively. With a severe bout of writer's block he retreated to his parent's house in Lathrop, CA. Away from the city, he put down his guitar for a full year in favor of properly training himself on piano, the instrument from which all the tracks for Nausea were written. Nausea could easily have been a record rife with indecision and anxiety. But like the song for which the album is named, Craft Spells was able to turn the chaos and disillusionment into a work that provides ammo against that very thing, with beauty, vision and melody.
Touring support The Bilinda Butchers are a dream pop group based in San Francisco who take their name from My Bloody Valentine guitarist and early inspiration, Bilinda Butcher. The group experiments with genre-blending and dramatic themes to create sprawling, cinematic music.
Sounds Like: Wild Nothing, DIIV, Minks, Cults, The Radio Dept.
SATURDAY: MAGIC MAN (SOLD OUT)
You don't get this kind of immediacy in music much anymore, not in a band that can play with such precision. You rarely see a five-piece just a few years out of college playing with the gifted focus of consummate professionals while also throwing themselves around stage with the abandon of kids at a punk show in someone's friend's basement. Magic Man — and particularly frontman Alex Caplow — leave themselves on the stage, roughing up their tight, euphoric pop anthems and giving up everything as they simultaneously invite you in. Also performing Saturday night are Great Good Fine Ok and Vinyl Theater.
Sounds Like: Walk The Moon, The Griswolds, Bad Suns, Smallpools
Tony Simon, aka Blockhead, grew up in downtown New York City. As the son of an artist, surrounded by visual culture, he early on found that his passion was for music, for the sonic. A fan of a whole range of sounds, especially hip-hop, Blockhead steadily built a tremendous collection of tapes and later CDs from innumerable artists, a quiet accumulation of knowledge and know-how. After a brief stint as a rapper, he realized his calling was behind the boards and not on the mic – and from there he began to produce beats. Since making that decision, he's kept pretty busy: carving a niche as a quality underground beatmaker that people call when they want something special. Blockhead produced nine tracks on Aesop Rock's critically acclaimed album Labor Days. Additionally he produced half the tracks on Aesop's follow up EP, Daylight. He has also worked with other indie giants Atmosphere, Murs, Mike Ladd and Illogic. In between, he found time to complete a break beat album entitled Blockhead's Broke Beats, with ten hard-hitting instrumental tracks, which was released on Mush Records, the US home of cLOUDDEAD.
Openers Arms and Sleepers, composed of Boston duo Max Lewis and Mirza Ramic, revealed itself to the world almost a decade ago. In that time, the group has put out a total of 18 releases, collaborated with dozens of prominent artists (Tom Brosseau of Fat Cat Records, Philip Jamieson of Caspian, Ben Shepard of Uzi & Ari) and worked on numerous remixes (Caspian, Helios, Ef, Tape Deck Mountain, and others). The project has taken Mirza Ramic, the live performer of the duo, across North America, Europe and Asia over the past 8 years, attracting worldwide attention and garnering widespread appreciation from all corners of the industry.
Sounds Like: RJD2, Kid Koala, Bonobo, Wax Tailor, Quantic
Blog by Kevin Clancy