WEDNESDAY: KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS
Kitty, Daisy, & Lewis is self-described as a mix up of dirty R'n'B, blues, whiskey soaked country, haunting Hawaiian jungle drums and Gospel fever, with a punch in the face by Daisy's hard beatboxing. At their packed live shows there's no compromise when Kitty's howling harmonica solos backed by Daisy's solid rhythm on a battered snare-drum and Lewis's snapping guitar work drive crowds into a Southern Evangelical frenzy. The trio jump from one instrument to another, which range from piano, lap steel, banjos, ukulele, accordion, xylophone, and trombone to name but a few. Joining them on stage are former Raincoats drummer Ingrid Weiss on upright bass, Daddy Grazz on acoustic guitar, and legendary Jamaican trumpet player Eddie “Tan Tan” Thornton.
Opening up the night will be Berlin-based British artist Gemma Ray. Gemma Ray has been calmly earning a cool reputation on the international independent scene since 2008. And with a self-produced album titled Milk For Your Motors – which features collaborations with Alan Vega (Suicide), Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), and Toby Dammit (Iggy Pop/Swans) – under her belt (released August 26, 2014), the music keeps on coming. A self-styled musician/songwriter/producer, she skirts somewhere between pop-noir, sideways blues, gothic folk, ‘60s girl-group, and cinematic soundscapes.
Sounds like: The Carter Family, Imelda May, Sallie Ford, Holly Golightly
THURSDAY: JOE PUG
If the opening notes on Joe Pug's new LP Windfall are a bit disorienting, his fans won't likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he's quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre. His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record Windfall, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that's what I love about music, and that's what I love about making music."
Sounds like: Langhorne Slim, Joe Purdy, The Felice Brothers, Middle Brother
FRIDAY: MARK MALLMAN
There is a line between insanity and genius that Minneapolis musician Mark Mallman has built a career on. His solid songwriting, combined with a wild stage persona, has earned him opening spots on stages with artists as diverse as Green Day, Cat Power and Guided By Voices to name just a few. Mallman's expansive catalog of infinitely catchy, masterfully orchestrated boot-stomping pop songs has rocked the airwaves of MTV, VH1, NPR, and dozens of major motion picture trailers and video games. Mallman has also been written about in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Time Out New York, the L.A. Weekly, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Post and so on.
Special guests for the night will include Step Rockets, Beasthead, and John Swardson. Step Rockets burst onto the international music scene with their single Kisser, a self-released indie pop anthem that shot to #1 on the Hype Machine charts just weeks after its release. The track was featured on countless Best-of-2013 lists and set the stage for what has become one of the most exciting acts of the past year. Beasthead is a four-piece electronic indie rock band from Minneapolis, MN. In the spring of 2013, the band came together in an effort to create a sound that could speak to the unusually eclectic common ground they found in their shared artistic interests. Drawing from their past musical experiences and current influences, Beasthead's music is as unique and diverse as the flourishing creative community found in Minneapolis. And finally, the guy and his guitar (and sometimes his backing band) has been done to death, but every so often something new comes along and demands that people take notice.
Sounds like: Har Mar Superstar, Mason Jennings, Haley Bonar | RSVP on FACEBOOK
The music of Jackson and the Roosters can be described in one word; infectious. The Americana group has been playing live shows live for two years now and just released their self titled, debut album, Jackson and the Roosters in February of 2015. The critically acclaimed band's popularity continues to spread, along with the demand for an increased number of live shows. The Minneapolis-based Jackson and the Roosters' debut album is diverse, intriguing and above all, captivating. From start to finish, Jackson and the Roosters has everything a true music fan desires. Mixed with everything from Bluegrass, to Folk, to Rock n' Roll, to Reggae, their album provides a refreshing, distinctive sound. Frontman Jackson Chalgren's songwriting provides the backbone of what makes the highly talented group so intriguing. The group's catchy music will be stuck in your head for days and having you singing along at the top of your lungs. Their songs are so relatable that you will feel comfort in the fact that you know that you're not alone in this world.
Opening the night up will be Edie & the Blaze Kings and The Summer Coats. Creating a blend of rock, indie folk and soul, Edie Rae brings personality, power and passion to her music. Singer/songwriter Edie Rae pens songs garnered from the fabric of every day life. “I write about what I know - experiences and the things I'm going through at the time. I've come to a place with my music where the creation of songs and finding a voice for my crazy ruminations is a really incredibly fascinating journey.“ The Summer Coats are a singing, strumming, tap-dancing whirlwind of sound characterized by the juxtaposition of differing style influences from its two core members, Chase Daniel Burkhart (Singer/Guitarist) and Molly Kay Stoltz (Singer/Tap Dancer). An afterparty will feature guest DJs The Bunga Bunga Boys, the vinyl-spinning, dance-inducing, party-pumping, soul-stirring, triumvirate of DJ C@H@, The Commodore, and DJ Flavius Falconius.
SUNDAY: HUGH BOB & THE HUSTLE + Special Guest (Clown Lounge)
Sunday in the Clown Lounge Hugh Bob & The Hustle will take the stage. Singer-songwriter Hugh Robert Masterson grew up in Butternut, Wisconsin - a quaint but fading small town with decrepit mills, dirt roads, farms, beat down bars, and a population of 300. “It's the kind of place where the silence is deafening and the stars are so bright you can feel nothing but humbled,” says Masterson. His band Hugh Bob and The Hustle and their masterful self-titled debut album brings to life this slice of classic Americana with ruggedly poetic lyrics and sweetly winsome roots rock. Masterson's blend of hard luck stories and backwoods whimsy with crisp twang, high lonesome harmonies, and heartland rock n' roll is an aesthetic called “North Country”. It's similar in spirit to country in its earnestness and its ties to American folk traditions, but details the plight of folks up North. Masterson has garnered favorable comparisons to Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Prine, Alan Jackson, and Dwight Yoakam.
Sounds like: Frankie Lee, Nikki Lane, Jamestown Revival, Nicki Bluhm
Irreal, the fifth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. This time the album plays out as a dream sequence - hazed dub landscapes give way to the bands most experimental and open music yet. If their last album, Era, confirmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity - it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irreal sits in the negative space where art rock and post punk collapse onto each other. It's the sound of Disappears reporting back from The Void.
The Chambermaids will take the stage first Monday night. Siblings Neil and Martha Weir formed the band (under the name the Shut-Ins) in 2003 in Minneapolis with a drum machine. They cut ﬁve demos and began playing shows in the Twin Cities. While the band's line-up has expanded and changed in the years since, Neil and Martha have been the constant that keeps The Chambermaids going.
Sounds like: Echo Lake, Young Prisms, Viet Cong, No Joy
TUESDAY: CATASTROPHE CABARET
Catastrophe Cabaret is a new musical comedy variety show, brought to you by Amy Buchanan, founder of the modern Twin Cities burlesque scene, and creative director and producer of Le Cirque Rouge, Cabaret & Burlesque Show. What started as ANOTHER drunken brainstorm of ideas between former collaborators Amy Buchanan and comedy writer Tim Kennedy, will be the first off-shoot of LCR, who have been performing since 2003. What can only be described as "creative interpretations and improvisations by both professionals, and experienced amateurs," is also backed by a full band - complete with backup singers. Whereas LCR stuck with jazz and swing styles, Catastrophe Cabaret ventures off into the stratosphere stylistically, and will be drawing on some unexpected special guests, flexing their creative muscle!
Blog by Kevin Clancy