Founded in the mid-1980s by Kraig Johnson and his brothers Kirk and Kyle from St. Louis Park, Run Westy Run never made the big splash outside Minnesota like the ’Mats, but it did ripple through cool circles and enjoyed a strong following here in town. The hard-blasting, psychedelic art-rock band recorded two albums for famed punk label SST and another for Twin/Tone with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart as producers. [...] The Westies were better known for their famously unpredictable, adrenaline-filled live shows, the last of which was probably sometime in 1998 at the 400 Bar, though the band members themselves can’t even remember.
[...] Kraig joined the Jayhawks in the late-’90s, then Golden Smog, then started his own band, the Program, before relocating to New York, where he plays solo gigs and backs Joseph Arthur and former Wild Colonials singer Angela McKluskey. The group’s primary singer, Kirk started the ahead-of-its-time electro-pop band Iffy, also well remembered by many local fans, and is now working as a visual artist and writer in Santa Barbara, Calif. The rest of the lineup for these [2013 reunion] shows will include: third Johnson brother, Kyle, and drummer Bob Joslyn, both of whom stayed in Minneapolis; Kirk’s primary Iffy collaborator Tommy Merkl, who now lives in Amsterdam; plus lead guitarist Terry Fisher, who organized the reunions from Duluth. [Chris Riemenschneider]