TUESDAY: An Evening with ERIK KOSKINEN

Erik Koskinen’s America Theatre is a translucent eulogy to the genuine. Musically sprouted from the blend of American folk, country, rock-n-roll, and blues, Koskinen and his top-shelf band realize a sound that is distinctive and fresh while familiar and classic. From the tender opener, ‘First Time in Years’ to the defiant 'Six Pack of Beer’ to 'Boomtown,’ a track that flays the history of the west’s settlement from bedrock to fracking with a locomotive’s force of barbwire guitars, marching bass and cracking drums, Koskinen moves the listener through a landscape of personal and social struggles, as well as small triumphs, of our nation and its people. Ending on the quiet heartbreaker and breath taker, 'Slow Burn,’ Koskinen’s album is a lyrical and musical metaphor of American’s theaters of war, of history, of relationships, and of the reflections in the mirror. Knowing but not didactic, Koskinen channels the ways of Whitman and reverently enters the anthology of uniquely crafted wry songs with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Ry Cooder while speaking as plainly as your neighbor. Koskinen joins the ranks of chief musicians and sharp wordsmiths. Since moving to Minneapolis eight years ago, Koskinen has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. With experience stemming from years of traveling north to south and coast to coast, Koskinen taps those adventures and encounters in his second album, the follow-up to the acclaimed Keep It to Yourself.

Sounds like: The Defibulators, Quiet Hollers, Sinners & Saints

WEDNESDAY: A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS

Murray Christmas is upon us! Please join Camaraderie Records as we celebrate all things Murray. Costume contests, sighting stories, and a whole lot of holiday cheer. Performances by all our favorites:

DANCE ASSAULT: With a sound that “would have made it perfectly at home on the radio in 1983”, Dance Assault is a Minneapolis-based electro-pop group blending equal parts synth-pop & funk. The group originated as a one-man project, but has since evolved into a 3-piece band whose songs are entirely written and produced by their front man, Carson, who also plays synthesizers ad sings lead vocals in the group. Dance Assault just released their first full-length album in the Summer of 2015, and is preparing to release an EP in 2016.

CLEMENTINE: Clementine is an ambient grunge pop band from Minneapolis, MN. Their debut record, Crooked Brain (out now on Camaraderie Records), is a compilation of clever storytelling, gritty guitar leads, and dynamic themes.

MONICA LAPLANTE: Local Minneapolis darling, Monica LaPlante, plays a style of garage rock/garage pop loaded with class and charm. Her brutally honest lyrics prove that perfection lies in the art of simplicity. LaPlante’s forthcoming album, Noir, brings a much darker side to her repertoire, fueled by guitar-driven rockers and dark synthy ballads from the heart.

…and more! RSVP on FACEBOOK

THURSDAY: Communion: Twin Cities ft. NOMBE | AUSTIN PLAINE | HOLY WHITE HOUNDS

NoMBe: For someone managing to fuse IDM, Indie and Soul so seamlessly into danceable beats and catchy melodies, 23 year old Noah McBeth (alias NoMBe) has kept a low profile on the LA music radar. A native of Heidelberg, Germany, the classical pianist turned producer wears the many hats of composer, singer/songwriter & engineer effortlessly. NoMBe continues to make use of a wide range of obscure samples while leaving his own signature with a unique vocal sound, ranging from a strong bluesy tone to a chilly sweet falsetto. His lyrics touch on topics like shady women, drunk uncles and loose morals, sticking to only the most delightful things. Since moving to Los Angeles from NYC in 2013, Nombe has produced a number of up and coming artists while finishing up his own releases, making it his mission to take today’s world of “genre-less” music by storm. [ReverbNation]

Sounds like: Tom Misch, Made In Heights

AUSTIN PLAINE: Minneapolis native Austin Plaine writes country-tinged folk-pop, taking inspiration from artists like Ryan Adams, Elliott Smith, and fellow Midwesterners Bob Dylan and Bright Eyes. After heading to Nashville in 2013, he began working on the songs that would eventually become his self-titled debut album. Originally released through a Noisetrade campaign, his visibility increased when one of his songs was placed in a Mastercard commercial. Plaine soon signed with Razor & Tie imprint Washington Square, who gave his debut a proper release in 2015. [Billboard]

Sounds like: Alexander Cardinale, Cody Fry, Sam Burchfield

HOLY WHITE HOUNDS: Holy White Hounds started in late 2013 between long time friends Brenton Dean (vocals, guitar) and Ambrose Lupercal (bass). Having played in various projects across the mid-west, the two longtime friends sat down to create something urgent, novel and infectious. After demoing various songs and lineups, the duo approached Producer Brandon Darner (Imagine Dragons, Radio Moscow, Envy Corps) and began to flesh out the framework for what would become the Holy White Hounds. […] After a warm Midwest reception and a host of praising reviews for the Oh Mama EP, released in 2014, Dean and Lupercal knew they needed to start building their herd to defend their lambs - their fans. They recruited Seth Luloff (drums) and James Manson (guitar), and took Holy White Hounds on the road. Right out of the gate, they performed live with acts such as Cage the Elephant, Sick Puppies, Cake, Wavves, Surfer Blood, and Rob Zombie. Holy White Hounds released their debut album Sparkle Sparkle on September 19th, 2015.  The album is comprised of songs like their first single “Switchblade,” which is as influenced by Beck as much as it is by Queens of the Stone Age. Vocalist/guitarist Brenton Dean paints an intriguing lyrical portrait over a bass and drum groove that builds to volatile display of transient guitars, hurls you into space, and then brings you back to earth in four minutes and 26 seconds flat. "Switchblade" is currently seeing incredible support and airplay coming in from alternative and active rock stations across the country.

Sounds like: Head of the Herd, The Damn Truth

FRIDAY: The HEIRUSPECS Holiday Classic

Since the turn of the century Heiruspecs has been throwing big holiday shows in the Twin Cities. What makes them holiday shows? Does the band cover Christmas in Hollis by RUN-DMC? According to the members of Heiruspecs the answer to both questions is, “we’re not sure.” What you can count on is an incredible one-time only set filled with special guests, old classics, and new material. We’re lucky to be joined by two other great acts:

  • I-Self Devine, a Rhymesayers artist and legendary hip-hop icon for the past two decades, will be performing in the middle slot. This also means there’s a distinct possibility that I-Self will join Heiruspecs to perform their collaborative song, Broken Record, from Heiruspecs' self-titled 2008 release.
  • Pho, one of the strongest voices from the recent Twin Cities funk and afro-beat renaissance, will be rounding out the bill of performers. The 8-piece band has been blowing minds across the Midwest with their athletic brand of eclectic funk and soul. 

Before the fun gets started upstairs and in between sets, members of Heiruspecs (Felix, Twinkie Jiggles and dVRG) will play some of their favorite records down in the Clown Lounge to kick off another year of a classic Twin Cities hip-hop holiday tradition.

Sounds like: Blueprint, Unknown Prophets, Eyedea

SATURDAY: ALL THEM WITCHES

Heavy, heady and hypnotic, All Them Witches concoct a powerful and potent psychedelic sound that fuses bluesy soul, Southern swagger and thunderous hard rock. With their transfixing releases, 2012’s Our Mother Electricity and 2014’s Lightning At The Door, and a jam-filled live show where no two shows are the same, the band has amassed a devoted following and have become something of a sensation in the underground rock scene. “The band seemingly channels the churn of the universe and connects with a big, bad, uncaring cosmos,” wrote the Boston Globe, adding, “There is a primal ebb and flow at the core… The band’s mystic atmosphere, dark but not brutal, is the result of a tireless work ethic, a grueling tour schedule, and a tape trader’s compulsion for documenting every show.”


Blog by Gina Reis