Golden Smog: Electric (Gary Louris, Kraig Johnson, Dan Murphy, Marc Perlman, featuring Steve Gorman)

The exact origins of Golden Smog are lost in the hazy backwaters of the late 1980s Minnesota music scene. Initially a loose-knit outfit featuring members of notable bands like The Jayhawks, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Run Westy Run, early Golden Smog wasn't much more than a jokey cover band side project. Within a few years, the lineup solidified around a core of Gary Louris and Marc Perlman from The Jayhawks, Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum, and Kraig Johnson from Run Westy Run. The punny On Golden Smog, an all covers EP, came out in 1992 complete with fake identities and wacky Chris Mars cover art.

With Wilco's Jeff Tweedy now on board, two mid-'90s releases, Down By the Old Mainstream and Weird Tales, put Golden Smog on the map in a big way, featuring first rate original songs and inspired performances, aided by drummers Noah Levy and Jody Stephens, and violinist Jessy Greene. Often labeled as "Americana," these two landmark albums encompassed an impressive array of sounds and styles. It would be 10 years before the next Golden Smog album, Another Fine Day (2006), a sprawling, adventurous work of art that remains a true lost masterpiece. A follow-up EP came the following year; a greatest hits album was released in 2009.

Golden Smog live shows, and especially tours, have always been something of a rarity given all the conflicting schedules. The last full-length tour was in 2006 followed by a handful of one-offs and tribute shows over the next several years. For the most part, the last decade has been very quiet in Smog world. In July 2019, that silence was broken with a stealthy full-blown Golden Smog show in an off-the-radar basement event space in Minneapolis' St. Anthony Main neighborhood to celebrate Dan Murphy's birthday. Things fell into place naturally, the band sounded great and a good time was had by all.

Golden Smog was scheduled to make their long overdue return to First Avenue in April 2020 as part of a weeklong celebration to commemorate the legendary club's 50th anniversary. Postponed due to the pandemic, the rescheduled show finally happened 2 years later with 2 sold out performances featuring a reunited 1998 lineup that included Jeff Tweedy, Jody Stephens, and Jessy Greene in addition to the core 4 of Louris, Johnson, Murphy, and Perlman.

Past Shows


Dec
16
th
2023
Palace Theatre
Dec
16
th
2023
Palace Theatre

The Jayhawks

★ Local Show ★
with Golden Smog: Electric (Gary Louris, Kraig Johnson, Dan Murphy, Marc Perlman, featuring Steve Gorman)

More Shows

May
7
th
7th St Entry

John R. Miller

Jun
16
th
First Avenue

Wrestlepalooza

May
25
th
Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Glass Cannon Live!

Nov
16
th
Fine Line

La Femme