TUESDAY: An Evening with Trout Steak Revival
From its beginnings as an informal jamming unit during treks through the peaks of the Front Range, Trout Steak Revival has evolved into one of Colorado’s most tightly knit, hard-driving bluegrass bands. Their brand of heartfelt songwriting blends dynamic musicianship with intricately woven harmonies, all tied together with the unmistakable sound of their years of friendship. From sweat-soaked clubs to beautiful mountain festivals, the five-piece has shown a tenacity for quick-picking and all the right polish without sacrificing the raw feeling of well-executed bluegrass. Keeping an eye on traditions of the past but boldly forging into new territory, Trout Steak takes us back to memories of whiskey, laughter, and the misty high country where the band was born.
Sounds like: Head For The Hills, Dead Man Winter, Yonder Mountain String Band
WEDNESDAY: Candid Kid Turtleneck EP Release Show
Pull out your turtlenecks and wear them to the release show! Seriously, the band would love to see them. Candid Kid is a group of local-rockers looking to continue their growth as a group of four guys with a passion for playing music, crafting songs and keeping it loud. Come on out to the Turf Club Wednesday night and hear the band's latest recording, Turtleneck EP. Starting off the night will be performances from Carbon Handshake and Danny O'Brien of the Farewell Circuit. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Carbon Handshake are an eclectic group of indie-rockers that just released their new EP, Pulp Life, on March 9, 2015. By employing a distinct mixture of sounds, loops, and texture, their music successfully reconciles amorphous and ethereal sonics with immediate pop sensibilities and disciplined songwriting. The early days of The Farewell Circuit were spent playing on bar tops for mini-sliders, Greco-Roman style wrestling in the studio, becoming slaves to Myspace and Purevolume fandom, and lying about the origins of the name. Mostly though, they played music. Danny O'Brien, the band's only remaining original member, and the rest of the gang are set for another great night at the Turf Club.
THURSDAY: Van Stee | Sleep Study
Thirsty Thursday will showcase three Minneapolis bands, including co-headliners Van Stee and Sleep Study. The current lineup of Van Stee (Shawn Connelly on keyboards and Jimmy Stofer on bass) debuted in the fall of 2012, and the album that brought the band together was released in March of 2012. Their intimate live shows and relatable, yet catchy, material has generated an ever-increasing amount of grassroots buzz in their hometown of Minneapolis. Although Van Stee has had a surprising amount of support for a band without an officially released album, they have been encouraged by heavy radio play of their three advance singles (We Are, Color in the Paper Planes and When the Hammer Comes) on Minnesota's 89.3 The Current as well as on Seattle's KEXP.
Assembled in 2011, Minneapolis rock quartet Sleep Study has lived up to high expectations set by their dedicated followers and the media. “Coupled with strong chemistry within the band and an updated '70s aesthetic as heard on their first single ‘Flower Girl,' the group has been making waves since their formation last summer.” (NPR – 89.3 The Current). The band has tackled the near impossible task of being relevant while nodding to heroes of rock's past. The band's formula is a natural cooperative of strengths from all members, combining Ryan Paul Plewacki's (vocals/guitar) brand of Brit flavored rock with Justin Hartke's (vocals/bass) Seattle upbringing and Cory Eischen's (keys) extensive pop background. The calculated drumming of Levi Stugelmeyer solidifies their retro sound. Val Son, the new project from Sleep Study drummer Michael Gunvalson, will be opening up the night on Thursday.
FRIDAY: Diamond Rugs
In rock journalism, the term supergroup is often doled out a little too easy. But Diamond Rugs fit the bill in the most valiant ways. They may not be household names like Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Orbison or Lynne, but just about every last one of them is a consummate pro who's made a living touring and recording for 10 years or more—we're talking about Deer Tick's John McCauley & Robbie Crowell, former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Dead Confederate's Hardy Morris, Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Six Finger Satellite's Bryan Dufresne. Diamond Rugs is pure diversion, casting off the chains of expectations that come with rock & roll success and getting back to the all-important basics—to that addictive siren song that set each of them on this path in the first place. For starters, the undeniable feeling of euphoria that comes from letting a wide-open E-chord ring into the ether for no other reason than to feel the reverberations. I'm talking about rock & roll in its most pure and uncorrupted form—a bunch of good-time buddies getting together to do what they love most, crank the amps and let it rip. Fun, damn it. Good-old fashioned kicks. Were they—like Hardy Morris says—just “dicking off” in the studio? Maybe, but when Diamond Rugs dick off they tap into that primal spirit that makes rock & roll endure.
From the southern wilds of Athens, GA comes young four-piece, New Madrid. Their music is a dynamic mixture of underwater-psych-rock that engages the listener in fully textured aural landscapes, both on record and live. Their acclaimed 2012 independent debut, Yardboat - engineered by David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers) at Chase Park Transduction- displayed the band's inherent talents and introduces a distinctive sound budding with sonic energy. Home, Boy is the first solo effort from Nashville-based Diamond Rugs/ Deer Tick/ Middle Brother producer and Justin and The Cosmics frontman Justin Collins. It is a handful of dreamy lo-fi 4-track home recordings in the folk and psychedelic realms akin to Leonard Cohen and the Velvet Underground. These musical sketches evoke longing, existential heartache and reflections of past and present desperation. They are an exploration of life's enchanting darkness, while maintaining the hazy, yet clear testament of a man's will to find a meaning. The ubiquitous Nashville Cream folks have named it one of the best EPs of 2014.
Sounds like: Natural Child, Jaill, together PANGEA, Bass Drum of Death
In the fall of 2013, Graveyard Club recorded a batch of spooky, synth-laden 80's pop songs in the basement of a 19th century mansion in St. Paul, MN. Originally comprised of Matthew Schufman (vocals, keys) and Michael Wojtalewicz (guitar), the band expanded to include Cory Jacobs (drums) and Amanda Zimmerman (bass, backing vocals). The band draws influences from 50's crooners, 80's new wave and modern day dream-pop bands. There is also a heavy dose of spooky nostalgia, inspired in part by an unlikely source: Ryan Gosling's underrated band, Dead Man's Bones.
When you hear the name Tropical Depression, it may not sound like something joyful to let loose on your ears, but in all honesty, the Minneapolis band's self-titled debut is a wonderful treat. Their sound is sunny, blissed-out guitar synth-pop that has plenty of neat, slo-mo hooks. The album and band don't seem to take themselves too seriously either, which is such a rarity nowadays. The new project is something hatched from Vicious Vicious' Erik Appelwick with the help of Martin Dosh, James Buckley, and Adam Krinsky and tells of Applewick's adventures recording on a yacht.
BBGUN began in a sunny living room, over coffee, on a Friday morning that quickly turned into every Friday morning. Musicians and songwriters Al Church and Neal Perbix's distinct styles, matured over years of Minneapolis gigs, wove to form lyrics that are both contemplative and playful and harmonies both sophisticated and singable. Complemented by Jeremy Hanson's expert, easy drumming, their rock 'n' roll tunes sound best blasted from the speakers of a pickup truck. BBGUN's solid debut album documents the anxiety and surprising joys of trading in late-night cigarettes for a kind of settling down
SUNDAY: Ultimate Painting
Jack Cooper & James Hoare are Ultimate Painting. The two formed a fast friendship when Jack's band Mazes were on tour supporting James' band Veronica Falls, sharing similar tastes in music, art & films. It wasn't until after returning home that a musical synergy was formed. After numerous demos were exchanged, a few casual jam sessions turned into something more; a partnership. Christening themselves after a piece of art by the Southern Colorado desert community (and fanciful geodesic dome builders) “Drop City”, the lads set to work recording their debut proper. Ultimate Painting's ten songs are the fruits of that labor; a collaboration in the truest sense, with each member composing five songs each creating a seamless journey that is both pastoral & cosmopolitan. This is a new chapter for both of these fellas & the future looks very exciting.
Happyness released their self-produced debut album, Weird Little Birthday, last June. The album followed their eponymous debut EP released at the beginning of last year, to great critical acclaim. The album is not quite a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and eventually is driven insane with jealousy. It was largely recorded in the band's own Jelly Boy Studios, after a brief session recording first track “Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)” in an abandoned church was cut short by the bitter cold and an unconvinced congregation of the dead. The record was mixed by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston) and features Ed Harcourt with vocals on “Pumpkin Noir”
Also on stage Monday night will be four-dude rock band Danger Ron & the Spins hailing from Minneapolis, MN. Their self-titled genre "danger rock" is influenced by heavy listening to bands like Modest Mouse, The Cribs, Lonnie Walker and Harlem. They are always recording new material and forever forgetting the old stuff. Local-rockers of the two-piece, Nancy's Raygun, will also be at the Turf Club Monday night. "We have been told our music sounds like a bicycle crash" said Daniel Hughes of the band. Get over to the Turf Monday and decide for yourself.
Sounds like: Honeyblood, Avi Buffalo, Twin Peaks, Ought, Childhood
Blog by Kevin Clancy