It's fitting that The Family Crest was born in San Francisco, a city known for its rich history of experimentation, innovation and progressive thinking. In 2009, two young musicians — Liam McCormick (lead vocals, guitar) and his friend, John Seeterlin (bass) — settled in San Francisco to record a cycle of songs that McCormick had written. For McCormick, there was explicit intent to include as many people as possible in the music-making, based on his belief that everyone is inherently musical when given the opportunity. []

Sounds like:Little May, Run River North, The Lone Bellow


At first listen and first glance, Cadence & The Wolf's new album could have come from the peak of the 90s grunge era…and then you notice that next to the combat boots on the album cover are a pair of Uggs. The six-year-old quartet were formerly known as Half Demon Dolls, Strong Minds, Strong Thighs might be as close to an answer as you're likely to get. The band are celebrated the album's release in late June at The Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul. [The Current] Sounds like: If Ani DiFranco fronted Pearl Jam

Jett Fetish is based in Minneapolis, MN. The band began to take form in May 2011 when drummer Kace Evjen and guitar slinger Dave Rizzo began to collaborate. With that foundation, and after many auditions, bassist Brett were added and the entire band would take form. Influenced by: Joan Jett, The Blackhearts, Sex Pistols

Comprised of Minneapolis musicians Doug Everling, Jeremy Olson, Matt Mercer, Greg Campbell, and Trey Fortner, Tritone BLACK is a rock band with a splash of punk.


Strange Names are a Brooklyn-based indie pop trio with a rhythmic, synth-heavy, new wave-inspired sound. Formed in Minneapolis by keyboardist Liam Benzvi and guitarist Francis Ximenez, they released their self-titled debut EP in 2012 via Los Angeles-based indie White Iris Records. Both Benzvi and Ximenez were still finishing up degrees at the University of Minnesota and continued to build their regional audience in the Twin Cities playing bills with The Walkmen, Mac DeMarco, Yeasayer, and other notable indie acts. With the addition of now-full time drummer Fletcher Aleckson, they released the single "Minor Times"/"Once an Ocean," again on White Iris and, finished with their schooling, relocated to New York in 2014. During their time in Minneapolis they had completed work on their first LP, but unhappy with the recordings, they opted to start over again at a different studio in Brooklyn. Having achieved what they considered to be a more concise and honed version of the album, they signed with Frenchkiss Records and delivered their debut full-length Use Your Time Wisely in early 2015. [All Music]

Sounds like: Carroll, Royal Canoe, Body Parts


Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. His albums represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. Mining the catalogs of Robbie Basho, Sandy Bull, Michael Chapman, and Sonny Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, free jazz, and psych on the continually unfolding compositions. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, and Michael Chapman colored the disciplined evolution of the deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn's signature. []

Sounds like: William Tyler, Ryley Walker, Chris Forsyth


Dealing in hardcore punk that's punctuated with explosive fits of sonic violence, Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies with the unpredictable outbursts of Dillinger Escape Plan, the band cultivated a brutal sound that owed just as much to power violence as it did to old-school punk. In 2006, the band made their full-length debut with Violence, Violence, a 13-song, 13-minute long album that found the band exploding onto the scene in a burst of unfiltered aggression. The quintet followed up with a pair of releases, 2008's Still, Nothing Moves You and 2010's Rohnert Park, released on Bridge 9 Records. The band eventually began to tinker with their sound, tempering their raw, aggressive approach with post-punk influences like Wire and The Fall. After a surprising move to indie giant Matador, the band debuted their new sound in 2012 with the release of their fourth album, Zoo. By the time of 2015's L-Shaped Man, traces of their hardcore roots were all but gone in favor of a more melodic, brooding sound that recalled bands like Joy Division and Bauhaus. [All Music]

Sounds like: Black Flag, AFI, Blacklisted

SATURDAY: Vandy's Birthday Bash ft. ELEGANZA! & more

Another year, another birthday for Vandy--that is, Brian Vanderwerf of Minneapolis band Eleganza!. Formed by Vanderwerf, who is the guitarist/vocalist for the Estrus Records band, The Midnight Evils and the celebrated Chooglin' (Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess Records), is a 3-guitar ROCK AND ROLL attack featuring Vanderwerf and Chooglin' bandmate, Jeff Johnson, and ex-Ol' Yeller's Greg McAloon. Also on board is the legendary Tony Zaccardi of Romantica & Kruddler on bass, and his longtime partner in crime Tim Baumgart (Wizards Are Real/Big Ditch Road/Kruddler) on drums and August Varvig on harmonica. Also on the bill for the birthday bash are Solid Attitude, Leon Boots, and Shadow In The Cracks.


Torche is a band consisting of four dudes playing the loudest and heaviest hard rock on the planet. Formed by vocalist / guitarist Steve Brooks in 2004 after the dissolution of cult, sludge / stoner metal pioneers Floor, the group introduced the world to a refreshingly unique version of rock n' roll. Originally from Miami, Florida, but now peppered across the country, Torche has spent the last 10 years shattering ears and captivating crowds with their infectiously original heavy rock complete with soaring, harmonic vocals.

Sounds like: Floor, Big Business, Baroness

Blog by Gina Reis