There must be something in the air in the Twin Cities over the past year. Suddenly, it seemed like local bands were taking up weekly residencies at venues all over the place. On any given month, the 331 Club in Northeast Minneapolis and the Nomad World Pub on the West Bank were hosting a particular band on an off-night of the week. Then there were the epic, nearly six-month run (more or less) of Marijuana Deathsquads on Wednesday nights at the Nick and Eddie, followed by Votel. While nothing new in the jazz world – Fat Kid Wednesdays held their Turf Club Clown Lounge residency for a whopping 13 years – it suddenly appeared as a new way for bands to experiment, the shows acting as a public rehearsal of sorts while giving the band a chance to test out new material in front of a receptive audience.
The latest such bands to take up this opportunity are Retribution Gospel Choir and Dead Man Winter, two bands that, while lacking somewhat in name recognition, make up for it when considering their star power – the former is Alan Sparhawk of Low’s hard-rocking outpost, while fellow Duluthians Dead Man Winter features members of Trampled by Turtles. Things kicked off voraciously last Tuesday with a reportedly distortion-drenched, jammy set from RGC, during which the band only played one familiar track – instead, opting to try out some new songs. Meanwhile, DMW (whose TBT members are back in town after a jaunt last weekend to play some little fest called Bonnaroo) also debuted a trio of new songs. Because of TBT’s busy schedule, Dead Man Winter is only playing two more weeks of the residency, so be sure to catch both bands tonight and next Tuesday. Up next month also at the Turf are residencies from the bluegrass-thumping Cactus Blossoms on Mondays and the grungy, punky, old-school Minneapolis trio Kruddler on Tuesdays.
Retribution Gospel Choir play at 9 p.m., with Dead Man Winter following. (8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, Tuesdays tonight through June 26. $12. 21+. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave., St. Paul, www.turfclub.net)