Get to Know: ‘Daddy MPLS’

Ahead of Daddy: Queer Variety Show, we got to ask Archie Bongiovanni (Daddy MPLS co-founder), Nick Jordan, and Symone Smash It a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them at First Avenue on Saturday, February 10.

Liz Legatt: Daddy has sold out 4 nights (5 nights?) at Icehouse since its beginnings. How has it evolved and where to do you see it going?

Archie Bongiovanni: Daddy has sold out 5 nights which is amazing! It’s evolved in that Brent and I are much better at being organized and knowing what to expect during each show. We’ve gotten better at all the behind the scenes planning and each event is a little tighter and more polished, but still raw in a lot of ways. I’m hoping that in the future Daddy can host even more fun, wild, weird, and experimental performers!

LL: What does the recruitment process look like for Daddy performers? Are there specific traits or genres you search for?

AB: There isn’t much of a process, folks can email us ( and we will take a look at what folks are creating. We want to have the stage be a place where folks can be vulnerable, weird, or sexy–or some amazing combination of all of it! We enjoy having a mix of experienced performers and folks who are new to the stage, that’s really important to us. We also want to make sure there’s a representation of many bodies/genders/sexualities on the stage each night as well. There aren’t any specific genres we search for, although we do ask performers to be authentic and not appropriative with their work. In the future we would LOVE to have a queer magician, someone performing live ASAM, dance troupes, more fashion shows, and anything new and fresh!

LL: In what ways do you feel Daddy has affected the queer community?

AB: The queer community in Minneapolis has always been super active and vibrant. I feel lucky to live in a city where throughout the week there’s a mix of things to do from theater to live music to dance nights to book clubs to all the wonderful things that happen underground. Our hope with Daddy is that it can be a connector between various queer groups and communities in the cities, we want everyone mingling and dancing and sweating together. We want Daddy to be a place to be loud and visible, whether that be totally dressed up or arriving in a flannel while celebrating the incredible varied queer talent the Twin Cities has to offer.

Liz Legatt: You’ve been awarded City Pages’ Best R&B Artist in 2016, Star Tribune “Are You Local?” Winner in 2017, and have performed at venues all across Minneapolis. What sort of planning goes into your impressive live performances that have earned you these titles?

Nick Jordan: I think it’s all about playing off of the beautiful energy exchange that occurs between the artist and the listener. It’s my responsibility as the artist to make sure I’m providing that energy to begin with! You need to give people something to believe in. You need to make it worth their while; time is sacred. It’s also important to be well-rehearsed, but not over-rehearsed. I just prepare and put in the work that makes it possible to reach my higher self on stage. I have this intense passion inside of me that’s hard to explain. It literally makes me blackout during my live shows.

LL: What are you most looking forward to about performing at Daddy this Saturday?

NJ: I’m looking forward to playing some new, unreleased music in addition to cuts off of my Dividends EP. My outfit is cute, too. I might overheat in it, but it’s a risk I gotta take. I love playing on stages large enough to accommodate my dancers, so I’m bringing 4 with me. Last February was my first time playing in the Mainroom. I feel really proud that I’m here now — a year later — with a completely different setlist and a better grip on my artistry.

Liz Legatt: What is the inspiration behind your signature ‘smashbotic’ fashion and musical style?

Symone Smash It: My fashion inspiration comes from all things sci-fi and futuristic but I pull inspiration from specific individuals as well–  David Bowie, Sailor Moon, and Lady Gaga. The inspiration for my music comes from a variety of electronic artists including Kerli, Purity Ring, and Zedd.

LL: This is not your first Daddy performance; how did you become initially involved and what excites you the most about returning?

SS: Prior to performing at Daddy, I had never been but I had heard it wasn’t something to miss. I did my research and I wanted to be a part of it immediately. I reached out to the Facebook page, and luckily Brent and Archie were already considering bringing me into the next event!

What excites me most is getting to be a part of an environment that I know accepts me and my team for what we do and who we are. I feel completely supported when I’m at Daddy and that’s not something you find often as an artist.

Blog by Liz Legatt (Marketing Intern)

Get To Know: Thomas Abban

Ahead of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017, we got to ask Thomas Abban a few questions. Read what he had to say below, and don’t miss him at First Avenue on Friday, January 5.

Liz Legatt: How does it feel to be named both City Pages’ Picked to Click 2017 winner and one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017

Thomas Abban: Unexpected.

LL: Where do you draw inspiration for your songwriting and how has that evolved since you started? 

TA: From experience and imagination. That’s all I have. It just ‘becomes’ - you know?

LL: What thought process goes into planning for your performances? 

TA: Every process at my disposal.

LL: What new year’s resolutions do you have going into 2018? 

TA: I don’t do them.

Blog by Liz Legatt (Marketing Intern)

Best of 2017 - Staff Picks

Screenprint by Kevin Cannon

Dayna Frank, President

St. Vincent / Palace Theatre / November 18
Jackie Venson / Turf Club / September 28
Frank Ocean / FYF Fest / July 22
Atmosphere / Palace Theatre / March 10
Thomas Abban / 7th St Entry / December 13
Bonus: Prince Memorial block party and dance parties

Top album:
DAMN. by Kendrick, anything else is a lie

Regret Missing:
Flip Phone “Queens United” benefit for Puerto Rico
SZA in the Mainroom & Kendrick Lamar at Xcel

Nate Kranz, General Manager

Atmosphere / Palace Theatre / March 10
Dave Rawlings Machine / Pantages / August 23
Dead & Co. / Hollywood Bowl / May 31
Kamasi Washington / First Avenue / November 9
Wilco / Palace Theatre / November 17

SHOW I MISSED is JRAD @ Red Rocks on August 31

My 5 bonus picks for favorite show are:
Vulfpeck / First Avenue / May 1
Gary Clark Jr / Palace / August 3
Seu Jorge / Pantages / June 17
Kevin Morby / Turf Club / August 29
Bob Dylan / Xcel Center / October 25

Sonia Grover, Booking Manager

Top Shows
All of them.

I didn’t miss any shows.

Eli Flasher, Talent Buyer

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives / Fine Line / April 11
Adrian Belew Power Trio / Turf Club / March 12
Dead & Co. / Wrigley Field / June 30
Iron Maiden / Xcel / June 16
Kikagaku Moyo / 7th St Entry / May 14

Album: Aldous Harding - Party
Missed show: Tom Petty 6/03/17

James Taylor, Talent Buyer

Liam Gallagher / First Avenue / November 20
Thundercat / First Avenue / September 17
Gary Clark Jr / Palace Theatre / August 4
Patti Smith / Northrop / March 8
Vince Staples / First Avenue / March 16

Regret Missing: Jason Isbell / Palace Theatre / July 7
Best Album of 2017: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Mike Killeen, Chief Financial Officer

Macklemore / Palace Theatre / November 2
Atmosphere / Palace Theatre / March 10
Jain / 7th St Entry / March 31
Rufus Wainwright / Orchestra Hall / December 2
Marian Hill / First Avenue / June 1

I take no prisoners and I have no regrets.

Damon Barna, Director of Event Operations

5) Atmosphere / First show at the Palace Theatre / March 10
4) Gary Clark Jr / Palace Theatre / August 4
3) A Prairie Home Companion / Palace Theatre / October 7
2) Rodrigo Y Gabriela / First Avenue Mainroom / June 2
1) Kamasi Washington / First Avenue Mainroom / November 9

Album of the Year: Kamasi Washington, Harmony of Difference
#1 Show I regret missing: Dent May / 7th St Entry / November 1

Marc Dickhut, Director of General Operations

Macklemore / Palace Theatre / November 2 (Kids loved it too)
Bob Mould - Solo Electric - Turf Club / April 18
Spoon / Palace Theatre / September 15
Charlie Parr / Turf Club / January Residency
Social Distortion / Palace Theatre / July 26
Bonus: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit / Palace Theatre / July 7

Album: Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Missed: QOTSA / Palace / December 3

Debbie Hager, Operations Manager

1.) Tori Amos / The O'Shaughnessy / October 24
2.) Arcade Fire / Xcel / October 29
3.) Future Islands / First Avenue / October 1
4.) Hurray for the Riff Raff / Fine Line / April 30
5.) Pitbull & Enrique Iglesias / Madison Square Garden / June 30

Top Album: St Vincent - Masseduction

Regret (Tie):
Phantogram / Palace / March 12
Lucius / State Fair / September 2

Lori Simonson, Accounting Assistant & Office Coordinator

Truckfighters / 7th St Entry / January 25
Goatwhore / The Frequency (Madison) / February 27
Sleep / First Avenue / April 19
Boris / Triple Rock / October 21
Chelsea Wolfe / Turf Club / October 25

Top Album: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
Missed Show: Tom Petty / Xcel Center / June 3

Sawyer Derry, Turf Club Operations Manager

Mogwai / First Avenue / December 1
Phantogram / Palace Theatre / March 12
Mew / Turf Club / August 13
Spoon Micro Show / Turf Club / December 11
Colin Stetson / Turf Club / July 23

Regret Missing: Wolf Parade / First Avenue / October 27
Best Album: Fever Ray - Plunge

Alex Nowak, Operations Manager

Raging Fyah / Turf Club / February 14
J Boog / Turf Club / February 8
Skatalites / Turf Club / September 17
All Them Witches / Turf Club / November 17
Tribal Seeds / Turf Club / February 14

Show I regret missing: Mihali @ Ice House

Emily Hoar, Marketing Assistant

LCD Soundsystem / Pitchfork Music Festival / July 14
The Minneapolis Uranium Club / Seward Café / December 15
Ho99o9 / Triple Rock Social Club / May 26
Palm / Turf Club / July 8
DJ Keezy (opening for Big Freedia) / The Cabooze / June 21

Missed Show: SZA / First Avenue / September 1*
*technically I was there… don’t get too drunk when you meet your heroes.

Erin Rocky, Office Coordinator

The White Buffalo / The Cedar / December 1
Dirtwire / Studio B / December 14
Senses Fail performing Still Searching in its entirety / The Cabooze / March 29
Jim James, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Warren Haynes collaborations, and alternating String Cheese Incident/Umphrey's McGee sets on a spinning stage / Lock'N August 2017 - Best Festival Ever
Warren Haynes and The Ashes & Dust Band / Fitzgerald Theater / February 23

Album: The Lil Smokies - Changing Shades
Regret: SCI at Red Rocks on my birthday :( too perfect and such a bummer it didn't happen

Cheers to another year of killer shows! Nah nah nah nahhhhh

Jon Gilbert, Website Coordinator

Quintron & Miss Pussycat / Turf Club / July 15
Jens Lekman / Fine Line / March 8
John Mulaney / Northrop / September 14
The Mountain Goats / First Avenue / November 18
Jen Kirkman / Woman’s Club / October 5
Special consideration: Fuck 2016. / Turf Club / 12/27/16

Top 2017 album (split decision): Favorite: Slowdive, Slowdive
Most played: The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions
#1 missed show regret: Ted Leo +Rx / Triple Rock / November 11

Kent Horgan, Promoter Representative

Marty Stuart / Fine Line / April 11
Kinky Friedman / Turf Club / May 3
Nicolas Jaar / First Avenue / July 14
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile / Palace Theatre / October 25
King Krule / Fine Line / October 31

Aoife Roberts, Booking & Finance Assistant

John K. Samson / Turf Club / October 18
Lemuria / 7th St Entry / February 06
The Wedding Present / Turf Club / April 22
At the Drive-In / Palace Theatre / June 17
Dillinger Four / final Triple Rock / November 21

Regret missing: Julien Baker / The Cedar / October 21
Best record: Play the Songs You Like by Radiator Hospital

Jerrod Woods, Marketing Associate

Vince Staples / Marathon Music Works (Nashville, TN)
Tedeschi Trucks Band / The Ryman (Nashville, TN)
Odesza / Myth Live / November 9
Alabama Shakes / Sloss Fest (Birmingham, AL)
Sturgill Simpson / Sloss Fest (Birmingham, AL)

Top Album: Awaken, My Love! - Childish Gambino
Biggest Regret: Khalid

Stacy Schwartz, Community Manager & Special Events

Lucius / State Capitol Rotunda / February 10
Bon Iver / Rock the Garden (strong wave of nostalgia) / July 22
U2 / US Bank Stadium / September 8
Patti Smith / Northrop / March 8
Father John Misty Microshow / Icehouse / May 16

Show I regret missing:
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers / Xcel Center / June 3

Isaac Burton, Graphic Designer

Downtown Boys / Triple Rock / September 15
Jay Som / 7th St Entry / March 22
Angel Olsen / First Avenue Mainroom / October 2
Girlpool / 7th St Entry / May 31
Palm & Lvl Up / 7th St Entry / February 27

Regret Missing: Pile / 7th St Entry / May 9

Adrianna Korich, Box Office Coordinator

Kendrick Lamar / Xcel / August 19
Mayday Parade A Lesson in Romatics 10 Yr Anniversary Tour / First Avenue / April 20
2 Chainz / Palace Theatre / August 25
Sylvan Esso / First Avenue / August 7
Girlpool / 7th St Entry / October 23

Show I regret missing: Lil Peep / Amsterdam Bar & Hall / October 17
Album: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music - 2 Chainz

Rodney Smith, Depot Kitchen Manager

1) Gary Clark Jr / Palace Theatre / August 4
2) Marian Hill / First Avenue / June 1
3) Sublime / First Avenue / July 19
4) Brother Ali / First Avenue / November 16
5) Flogging Molly / Palace Theatre / May 16

David Sundquist, Purchasing Manager

St. Vincent / Palace Theatre / November 18
Queens of the Stone Age / Palace Theatre / December 3
GWAR / First Avenue / November 7
Har Mar Superstar / Turf Club / November 22
Violent Femmes / First Avenue / October 18

Regret Missing: Beck / Palace Theatre / August 17
Best Album: St Vincent - Masseduction

Ashley Ryan, Director of Marketing

Patti Smith / Northrop / March 8
Jason Isbell / Palace Theatre / July 7
Sylvan Esso / Eaux Claires / June 16
SZA / First Avenue / September 1
The xx / Palace Theatre / April 28

Regret Missing: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / Xcel Center / June 3
Album: DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

Get To Know: Early Eyes

Ahead of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017, we got to ask Early Eyes a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them at First Avenue on Friday, January 5.

Liz Legatt: What was your initial reaction when you found out you were named one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017? 

Early Eyes: When we first heard news that we were playing Best New Bands, we were not only super excited as any local band would be, but we were overwhelmed with pride at what we have done as a band in the last year. 

LL: You have already accomplished so much in your first year as a group! What has been the most memorable part of 2017 (musically or not)? 

EE: We’ve had a lot of amazing times as a band in the last year. Our most memorable experience of 2017 was probably going on a self-booked tour leading all the way out to Athens, OH. We had such a blast and hope to get back on the road again soon.

LL: Is there a mission that Early Eyes stands behind? If so, tell us a little bit about it.

EE: As a band, we hope to be the soundtrack that plays in the background of our listeners favorite memories. We had all grown up with nostalgic songs that lead back to amazing times in our lives, and we hope to manifest the same feeling to the people who listen to our music. 

LL: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? 

EE: We just shot a music video and its full of funny moments surrounding the house we live together in. Wyatt just got a puppy named Norman who has some featured shots in it, as well. All around, it was a great time and we’re happy we’ll be able to look back at it and share laughs for many times to come.

Blog by Liz Legatt (Marketing Intern)

Get To Know: Sass

Ahead of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017, we got to ask Sass a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them at First Avenue on Friday, January 5.

Liz Legatt: What five words would you use to describe your music to those who have yet to hear it? 

Sass:  Loud guitars and honest emotions.

LL: You’ve graced the stage of the 7th St Entry numerous times in the past year—including alongside fellow BNB Early Eyes this past May—but what excites you the most about performing in the Mainroom for First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017? 

Sass: Practically, it would be the amazing sound system and technicians that make every artist that plays there sound amazing. Spiritually, playing the stage so many amazing people we look up to have played on is a powerful thing! And it’s just an honor to be asked.

LL: If you could tour with any band right now, who would it be and why?

Sass: Speedy Ortiz! Because they’re a big influence on my songwriting and play a lot of the kinds of venues that we like to.  

LL: Who is the sassiest member of Sass?

Sass: Willem certainly always has something sassy to say.

Blog by Liz Legatt (Marketing Intern)


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