89.3 The Current’s 8th Birthday Party
ST. PAUL, Minn. — This January marks eight years since The Current first went on-air, and they're celebrating with two nights of great local music at the First Ave mainroom! Join us on Friday, January 18th and Saturday, January 19th for The Current's eighth birthday party, with each night featuring a different line-up of four great local bands.
Friday, January 4 at noon
- MPR Member Online Presale: Tickets for MPR Members only will go on sale online Friday, January 4 at noon for $18.00 (service fees will apply). MPR Members must have a valid Member ID (as of 12/31/12) to purchase tickets during the online pre-sale. Limit 2 tickets per Member ID, per night.
- First Avenue’s The Depot: A limited number of tickets will be available to MPR Members and the general public for $18.00 by going in person to The Depot Tavern Friday, January 4 at noon. There is no service charge for purchasing tickets in person at The Depot. Limit 2 tickets per person, per night.
Saturday, January 5 at noon
General Public Online Ticket Sale: Any remaining tickets will go on sale online to the general public on Saturday, January 5 at noon for $18.00 (service fees will apply). Limit 2 tickets per person, per night.
The 4onthefloor’s new album, Spirit Of Minneapolis, evokes the spirit of American rebellion. That same pioneering spirit that brought us everything from modern aviation to rock & roll. Harnessing that spirit, the band is using it to break down modern music’s barriers down to our basic musical traditions. That ageless sound of rock & roll isn’t what it used to be, but the rumble of stomping feet emanating from Minneapolis is an omen of great things on the horizon.
The 4/4 beating of the bass drums recalls the American ideal of onward and upward, turning our prevailing spirits to the sky after a reaching the end of the land. The 4-barreled onslaught can be a train building up steam right behind you, the king of the jungle chasing you down, or your wheels on the highway. It’s the soundtrack of America moving forward. Delta blues, classic rock, and a lifetime of attentive listening have produced a sound whose time has come. The energetic and powerful delivery of this band cannot be overstated. Their huge, soulful anthems leave nothing on the floor as Gabriel Douglas’ guttural howl soars through the ether. There’s a readiness to be found in listeners now. The fervor of discovery and innovation is coming back to the American masses and the excitement surrounding the birth of rock & roll is now roaring out of the doldrums with a fury. Let go. Take flight. Indulge in life’s pleasures and stomp with them.
Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis & Saint Paul 1964-1979 is the first of its kind in uncovering and documenting the music on one double LP and CD that truly made the “Minneapolis Sound”. The soulful voices of Maurice McKinnies, Wanda Davis and Jackie Harris, whose singles have been long sought after on the collector’s market, are gathered in one place along with breakworthy R&B and psychedelic funk from Twin Cities bands including Prophets of Peace, Willie and the Bumblebees and The Lewis Connection. The sweet soul of Wee Willie Walker, The Valdons and Dave Brady and the Stars help round out an incredible package featuring 21 slamming tracks, vintage photographs, historical notes, interviews and articles. Secret Stash Records presents to the Twin Cities Funk & Soul All-Stars including Wanda Davis, Willie Walker, Maurice Jacox as well as members of The Valdons, Prophets of Peace, Willie and the Bees, Band of Thieves and The Exciters.
She’ll put a spell on you. Sweet as molasses and woodsmoke, clear and burning as summer sun, Chastity Brown casts magic. Her voice brings you to the crossroads with every turn, warms, comforts and challenges you. She is the inheritor of Leadbelly, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and Roberta Flack. She is past, present and future. She is fire, earth, air and water. She’s a natural. Throw all the genres and hyphenates together you want to describe her – gospel, roots & soul, jazz, blues & country – they are all right, and also not enough. Chastity channels songs that are borne deep in the American bone, the hunger, desperation and confidence that runs through our times. Coming from Tennessee to Minnesota, touring the country, she has had half her own lifetime and million lifetimes gone before to concoct her powerful sound. Ignite it all with love, and the rest is rapture.
With her fourth full-length record, Back-Road Highways, Chastity pushes her own natural talent even farther, to stunning effect. Back-Road Highways was recorded at the venerable Helsinki South studios in Nashville, Tennessee with the support of her new label C & D Music Network, giving Chastity a return to Southern warmth and a roster of heavyweight studio musicians with credits such as Mavis Staples, Garth Brooks and BeBe & CeCe Winans to lay down tracks. Also on Back-Road Highways is guitarist Robert Mulrennan of No Bird Sing, who plays with Chastity in her live band. Chastity pulls from a diverse cross-section of talent for her live shows, playing with percussionist Michael X, keyboardist deVon Gray (Heiruspecs) and bass player Jef Sundquist (Hildur Victoria), resulting in restless, electrifying and completely enveloping performances that never want to stop and linger long after the last note has quieted.
Back-Road Highways is the best yet from Chastity. She opens with the slow, pulsing insistence of “House Been Burnin”, a cry out for our needs, then follows it up with the rocking blues of “When We Get There” and the plaintive, moving roots of “Solely”. Chastity turns it all around and brings out the joys and sorrows of love with the enormous, pleading, “Say It”, and throughout Back-Road Highways, Chastity sings it all out, gives us all a reason to keep on going one more day. A talent like this doesn’t appear overnight. It takes travel, it takes guts. It takes chance, work and luck. It takes love. Get ready to love Chastity Brown.
Over the past decade, it has only gotten easier for artists to upload music and potentially get it out to a mass of strangers on the web. As there are more and more musicians employing these techniques every day, standing out is a challenge, but 18-year-old folkie John Mark Nelson has been scooped out of the Bandcamp fray. Nelson's popular trajectory has more to do with a pleasantly constructed presence on the web -- with the all-important "Minneapolis" tag -- than a lengthy run in local clubs. So far, anyhow. According to his Facebook page, rehearsals are in the works for full-band performances leading up to the release of his second full-length, Waiting and Waiting, out in August.
The two songs from that album have garnered the approval of 89.3 FM the Current staffers Andrea Swensson, who did a piece on Nelson in May, and Jon Schober, who just recently wrote about "Reminisce," the second song to emerge from this upcoming batch of songs. "There is now no doubt in my mind that John Mark will be one of the most talked about local musicians during the latter half of this year," he writes. And this will certainly be the case on their station as we get closer to an on-air performance July 8. This fresh graduate of Minnetonka High, who is heading to McNally Smith College of Music in the fall, is indeed worth some level of fuss in these early steps in his career. In the case of "Reminisce," you have a bank of harmonies as rich (or richer) as the Fleet Foxes', and an attention to detail in the crafting of the arrangement that some vets can never master fast enough to keep pace. In short, Nelson's songs already sound like they belong alongside the mainstays of the indie-folk up-swell currently figuring into our daily lives on radio, commercials, movies, and certainly spilling out of live music venues of all sizes. [Reed Fischer, City Pages]