Tag: jeremy messersmith
We’re in the midst of the Great Minnesota Get Together-on-a-Stick, and while eating, drinking, and checking out the pig pen are certainly on the to-do list, the standout this year has to be the eclectic musical lineup, which is perhaps cooler than it’s ever been. Sure, you’ve got your big name Grandstand acts – Demi Lovato (playing tonight), KISS and Mötley Crüe (Wednesday), Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy (Saturday), but for the first time, a handful of locals are getting to rock the main stage. Here are the live music highlights from the remainder of the Fair.
Garage rock band Little Man has been playing around the Twin Cities since the mid-2000s, making them among the first locals to bring back retro T. Rex-flavored rock. The band’s big sound certainly outweighs the diminutive stature of frontman Chris Perricelli, whose known to throw down a Prince-worthy guitar solo.
5 p.m. Wednesday, August 28. Free with $12 Fair admission. Cities 97 Stage.
Rhymesayers hip hop act Brother Ali will be stopping by MPR’s booth for a live broadcast on 89.3 the Current with Mary Lucia. He’ll perform a few of his politically-charged tracks, likely some of his soon-to-be-released Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color.
Sometime between 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, August 29. Free with $12 Fair admission. MPR booth (corner of Judson & Nelson).
Hard-thumpin’ quartet 4onthefloor could be accused of having a bit of a novelty factor going on with their all-members-drumming-drums act, but their musicianship and rollicking live show has garnered them one of the Twin Cities’ most popular acts of late. It’s sheerly entertaining, and frontman Gabe Douglas has the whiskey-soaked vocals to back up their claims to be a “stompin’ roadhouse blues” act.
6 p.m. Thursday, August 30. Free with $12 Fair admission. Cafe Caribe Beer Garden.
MN Music On-A-Stick featuring Semisonic, The Jayhawks, Dessa, Jeremy Messersmith and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles
Local music gets it turn to shine on ye olde Grandstand with this show lined up with some of the Twin Cities’ most well-known (and loved) acts. Most exciting are rare sets from longtime local bands Semisonic and the Jayhawks, which both enjoyed their respective moments in the national spotlight over the past decade. Literary-fueled hip hop artist Dessa and similarly thoughtful singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, which both enjoy pretty strong fanbases themselves, round out the lineup along with the rollicking Lucy Michelle and her Velvet Lapelles.
5 p.m. Friday, August 31. $35. Grandstand.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
The fair is littered with has-been, retro rock acts, but Wilson Phillips is one I can get behind. As a child of the early ’90s, their hit “Hold On” is carved into my nostalgic willow tree of a heart forever. Most recently, they bounced back into pop culture – and our collective hearts – with an appearance on the hit movie Bridesmaids. We’re still holding on, ladies.
8:30 p.m. Friday, August 31 & Saturday, September 1. Free with $12 Fair admission. Leinenkugel Bandshell.
Hookers & Blow
Cover bands are a dime a dozen at the fair, but Hookers & Blow are a cover band with a majorly bona fide rock pedigree. The band, which specializes in R&B grooves from the ’60s and ’70s, features current and former members of The Honeydogs, Soul Asylum, The Bodeans, Brian Setzer Band, the Prairie Home Companion Band, The Dollys and more. ‘Nuff said.
7:30 p.m. & 9 p.m. Friday, August 31 & Saturday, September 1. Free with $12 Fair admission. Bazaar After Dark Stage.
The New Standards
In a city known for a strong jazz scene, jazz trio the New Standards stand out from the pack thanks to their knack for experimentation and pop hit reappropriation – their unique renditions of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” are as charmingly fun as they are dextrously arranged.
6:30 p.m. & 7:45 p.m. Friday, August 31 & Saturday, September 1. Free with $12 Fair admission. Heritage Stage.
SUNDAY & MONDAY
Legendary soul singer Bettye LaVette has been at it for 50 years, who started off as a blues-raised teen queen in Detroit in the mid ’60s. She was picked up by Atlantic Records, toured with James Brown, and starred on Broadway opposite Cab Calloway in Bubbling Brown Sugar. She’s still going strong on the jazz and soul circuit, making regular stops in the Twin Cities. Bring your parents out for this one.
8:30 p.m. Sunday, September 1 & Monday, September 2. Free with $12 Fair admission. Leinenkugel Bandshell.
Molly Maher & Erik Koskinen
Alt-country singer-songwriters Molly Maher and Erik Koskinen have shown themselves to be strong musicians in their own right, each releasing their own acclaimed solo records. The Twin Cities-based musicians have a long relationship sharing the stage, so their joint sets should feel like a well-worn-in flannel shirt by now.
6:30 p.m. & 7:45 p.m. Sunday, September 2 & Monday, September 3. Free with $12 Fair admission. Heritage Stage.
Big-name pop, country and retro rock acts are a given at the Fair, but it’s pretty much unheard of for it to land a bona fide rap star. Wiz is best known for his huge rap hit “Black & Yellow,” an inescapable track if you’ve been to the club any given time in the last two years. The young but prolific rapper brought up under the wing of Snoop Dogg has followed it up with tracks like “Work Hard Play Hard” and “Young, Wild & Free” – releasing nine mixtapes and two officially sanctioned albums before his 2011 major-label debut, Rolling Papers. It’s sure to be a banger of a show. With Mac Miller and special guest Big K.R.I.T.
6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3. $29 reserved seating, $39 general admission (plus $12 Fair admission). Grandstand.
Summer in the Twin Cities pretty much revolves around chance to hang out outdoors, via block parties, parades, movies-and-music-in-the-park events, street fairs, BBQs, and ballgames. And of all the block parties, St. Paul’s annual Grand Old Day is the biggest they come.
But it’s the seven music stages lining the 30-block-long avenue that are the real draw. This year, the music bookers seemed to have set their sights on a more national bent than in previous years, with hipster Philly act Free Energy and Detroit rockers The Von Bondies headlining. It’s pretty cool that both national acts have local connections – Free Energy is composed of former members of now-disbanded local act Hockey Night, and The Von Bondies features local musician Christy Hunt. Crowd-drawing local acts include Mark Mallman, Jeremy Messersmith, Doomtree (and a separate set by member Dessa), The Melismatics, First Communion Afterparty, Heiruspecs, Zoo Animal, Hookers $ Blow, and Red Pens round out the lineup. But so many stages, and so many great bands, what’s a local music lover to do? We’ll list out our top picks in a handy guide, from the start to end of the festival.
Noon: Zoo Animal vs. First Communion Afterparty vs. Chooglin’
The day kicks off with three local bands worth checking out. Jangly pop trio Zoo Animal – a runner-up in City Pages‘s 2009 Picked to Click best new bands competition – starts things off at the Green Mill stage (Grand & Grotto). The band’s strong songwriting, knack for melody, and engaging vocals by frontwoman Holly Newsom have made this band a local favorite. Over at the City Pages stage (Grand & Grotto), check out Brian Jonestown Massacre- and Mamas and the Papas-copping group First Communion Afterparty, which has worn off its initial novelty status thanks to strong musicianship and songwriting. If stripped-down pop and droning psych rock aren’t your deal, get thee to the Dixie’s stage (Grand & St. Albans) for hard-rockin’ Chooglin’. The band has had a fervant local fanbase since it hit the scene in ’05, but recent recordings on Fat Possum Records (The Replacements, Husker Du) and Heart of a Champion (Har Mar Superstar) show the band’s potential breaking nationwide. Trouble deciding? You’re in luck – the three stages are within three blocks of each other.
1-2 p.m.: The Von Bondies vs. Red Pens vs. Dessa
Hitting the stage around the same time will be Detroit rockers The Von Bondies (between 1 and 1:30 p.m., Dixie’s stage) and the equally-rocking Minneapolis duo, Red Pens (1:15 p.m., City Pages stage). Known referred to as a “buzz band,” the Von Bondies are more of a touring band that occasionally rides the buzz wave. Hailing from Detroit, the “rock city” itself, the band is perhaps best known for its long-ago feud with fellow Detroit rockers The White Stripes. But for fans of guitarist Christy Hunt, who plays locally with Ouija Radio, it’s a chance to see our hometown girl shine. Selected as last year’s winner for City Pages‘ Picked to Click contest, Red Pens employ a decidedly slower, fuzzy brand of rock – but one that’s not any less loud. But despite the rockin’ happening between the two aforementioned bands, it’s an emcee and R&B singer that may be the one to really ignite the stage. Before joining her Doomtree cohorts later on at the Salut Bar Americain stage, Dessa will hold her own at the Green Mill stage (1:30 p.m.). Hot off stints opening for P.O.S. on a nationwide tour earlier this spring, making an appearance during the heavily-buzzed GAYNGS prom-themed show at First Avenue in May, and a talked-about set at Soundset last weekend, Dessa is on a roll to say the least.
Edge: The Von Bondies
2-3 p.m.: The Melismatics vs. Heiruspecs
You’d be hard-pressed to come up with two local bands that could be any more different. Power-popsters The Melismatics have long been known for their upbeat, infectious tunes, and its lineup is filled with seasoned musicians that often do double-time on other notable bands (including that of Mark Mallman). On the flip side, St. Paul’s own Heiruspecs are known for their Roots-esque, jam-my R&B and hip hop stylings. But it does share the Melismatics’ longevity (ten years running) and penchant for side projects (Big Trouble). But for what the Melismatics have in energy, Heiruspecs have in being THE live hip-hop band in town.
3:30-5 Hookers $ Blow vs. Doomtree vs. Jeremy Messersmith
The final act of the night on their respective stages, expect extra-long sets from this trio. In the “if you’re going with your parents” category is the hilariously-named Hookers $ Blow (Billy’s stage, Grand & Victoria), which is Adam Levy of the Honeydogs’ classic rock cover band. It gained infamy during the RNC when it played an RNC-sponsored party and the national news circuit caught on. For the indie hip hop camp, there’s Doomtree (Salut Bar Americain stage) – joined by Dessa, of course, not to mention cohorts P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger, Mike Mictlan, Sims, MK Larada, and Turbo Nemesis. Fresh from Soundset, it’s a sure bet they’re throwing it down. Finally, for the indie-pop lovers there’s Jeremy Messersmith (Green Mill Stage), hot off his nationwide tour to promote his third album, The Reluctant Graveyard. His alternately breezy, booming pop tunes with a dark edge should make for a perfect end to the festivities.
Edge: Jeremy Messersmith
3:45-5 p.m.: Mark Mallman vs. Free Energy
The manic piano balladeer Mark Mallman (4:10 p.m., City Pages stage) is known to own the stage when he wants to – take his 52-hour marathon concert, his ten-hour live performance inside a refrigerator box, and his epic New Year’s Eve concerts at the Varsity Theater, which have had him dancing with Rollergirls and hopping a ramp on a motorbike. Likened to being “the most famous non-celebrity in town” by local music journalists, Mallman presents a conundrum – but one that never gets tired, somehow, thanks to excellent songwriting that outshines his wacky demeanor. But it’s a tough spot to be cage-matched against a hot national act such as Free Energy (4:10 p.m., Dixie’s Stage), beloved locally for its hometown members formerly in the local band Hockey Night. That’s right – members Paul Sprangers and Nick Shuminsky hail from our very own St. Paul – and Shuminsky even once worked for the mayor’s office! The Pitchfork faves, DFA-signed Philly act is the perfect festival fodder – its good-time, ’70s-flavored rock should go over well with a sun-baked, beer-drinking crowd.
Edge: Free Energy
The full list of bands by stage (bands listed in order from opening to headlining):
ROCK THE CAUSE STAGE, US Bank lot – Grand & Oxford
SALUT BAR AMERICAIN STAGE, Grand & Milton
DJ Verb X
BILLY’S STAGE, Grand & Victoria
Arc Flash Hazard
Hookers $ Blow
WILD ONION STAGE, Grand & Avon
White Iron Band
GREEN MILL STAGE, Walgreens Lot, Grand & Grotto
Dessa of Doomtree
CITY PAGES STAGE, Pier 1 Imports Lot, Grand & Grotto
First Communion Afterparty
DIXIE’S STAGE, Grand & St. Albans
Grand Idol Winner
Date: Sunday, June 6.
Time: Event 7:45 a.m.-5 p.m., with music from noon-5 p.m.
Location: Grand Avenue between the Mississippi River to downtown, St. Paul.
Cost: Free, $10 for wristband (required to purchase alcohol, gets you into the concerts)
More info: grandave.com, 651-699-0029.
Get your free Grand Old Day iPhone app here!
New Year’s Eve may be over, but the weekend still holds a few reasons worth leaving the house in zero-degree weather for in St. Paul.
Jake Rudh gives St. Paul guilty pleasure
Tonight, Jake Rudh of Transmission fame makes a rare St. Paul appearance – and a rare Saturday night gig – tonight at O’Gara’s. If you dig the Transmission “Guilty Pleasures” night, the set list should be right up your alley – expect early ’90s booty-shakin’ hits from the likes of Salt N Pepa and Bel Biv Davoe. (10 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat. Free. 21-plus. 164 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul. 651-644-3333.) It’s the official after party for the Minnesota RollerGirls‘ home season kick-off game at Roy Wilkens Auditorium. The game itself begins at 7:30 p.m., and costs 13 bones for entry.
One of the best things about summer in Minnesota is the plethora of options we have to watch live music outdoors. St. Paul is no exception – we’ve got the weekly Music in Mears music-and-movies event in Mears Park, the Latin-flavored music-and-movies series District del Sol in Castillo Park, 9 Nights of Music at Minnesota History Center, and the upcoming State Fair shows at their Grandstand.
But it’s easy to argue that the Minnesota Zoo’s Music in the Zoo series (located in St. Paul suburb Apple Valley) tops them all. After arriving at the Zoo’s main entrance, concert-goers get to take a lovely little walk through the Zoo’s surrounding foliage and ponds to get to the outdoor Amphitheater. Grab a Summit (brewed in St. Paul, natch) and head down to the wood benches that line the theater. No matter where you’re sitting, you’ll get a great view of the pond behind the stage, and the sunset as the headlining act takes the stage. I was lucky enough to get into the PJ Harvey and John Parish show there earlier this summer, and it was one of the most magical concert experiences of the year.
This weekend’s all-local line-up featuring Solid Gold, Jeremy Messersmith and The Pines should be another memorable one. (Local publication Vita.mn seems to think so – they’re giving away 50 passes to get into the show, along with a bus ride there and back on the “Vitabus.”) Electro-infused rockers Solid Gold are the hottest local band of the moment, getting a ton of airplay on 89.3 The Current, and a headlining spot at this year’s Rock the Garden, as well as a ton of attention across the pond (they recently played live on the BBC). They share the unlikely-paired bill with critically-lauded songsmith Jeremy Messersmith, who happens to be a good pal – and fan – of the band. Acclaimed old-timey folk band The Pines should bridge the gap between the two groups.
Kick off the night right at Red Stag for happy hour specials beginning at 5 p.m. and an after party featuring Solid Gold DJs at 11 p.m. (with more happy hour food and drink specials ‘til close).
Check out the remaining acts booked at the Zoo through the summer:
August 1: Gear Daddies
August 3: Paolo Nutini, Erin McCarley + Matt Hires
August 8: Alejandro Escovedo + Romantica
August 11: Reel Big Fish + The English Beat
August 14: Beer, Bears & Music: G. B. Leighton
August 15: Yonder Mountain String Band
August 18: Pat Green
August 21: Dar Williams, Haley Bonar, Stephen Kellogg + The Sixers
August 28: Gaelic Storm
(All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. Visit www.mnzoo.org for more info.)
OSGOOD DOGOOD BASH
The artistic cultivators over at Springboard for the Arts bring you the Second Annual Osgood Dogood bash. What began last year as a farewell event to honor longtime Springboard Arts Program Director Chris Osgood, has turned into a fabulous celebration of creativity! Take in a juried art show and sale, along with musical performances by Springboard artists, including local darling, Jeremy Messersmith. Enjoy delicious food, beverages and that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes with supporting the arts.
7:00 – 7:30pm Social
7:30 – 8:30pm Performances, Featuring Jeremy Messersmith
8:30 – 11:00pm Party & Visual Art Sale
Friday, June 26th / 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. / $35 donation
McNally Smith College of Music, 19 Exchange Street East, St. Paul
LEGO MODELS AT THE MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER
In a colorful display of what I can only interpret as high-functioning obsessive-compulsive disorder, the Minnesota History Center is pleased to present this five-day-only exhibit of Lego madness! The large-scale models of both the Minnesota State Capitol and the Cathedral of St. Paul were built by LEGO® Ambassador Roy Cook. Over 120,000 plastic bricks were pieced together to create these crazy tributes to our city’s history. The models will also be on display at the Mall of American (near LEGO® Land) on July 11 and at the Minnesota State Fair Education Building, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7.
Friday-Wednesday, June 26th-28th and June 30th-July 1st / 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.) / $8 adults, $5 children
Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul
THE DAKOTAH LIFE
When I was 12 or 13 years old I was forced, by my mother, into a volunteer position at the Gibbs Farm Museum. Being of a highly awkward age, I of course found this to be the height of embarrassment — especially considering I had to wear a pioneer dress every day. However, now that I’m older and wiser I recall the Gibbs Farm Museum as being such a well-maintained piece of historical property, with a thoughtful and engaging presentation of what life was like back in the olden days. This Sunday bring the whole fam to the farm for a special event that explores the seasonal migrations of the Dakotah Indians and offers fun activities such as traditional games, crafts and food. Check out the on-site bark lodge and tioti (tipi) as well as the maple sugar and wild rice camps. Educational AND fun — just don’t make your 13 year old dress up like Laura Ingalls; trust me, it’s a mistake!
Sunday June 28th / Noon to 4 p.m. / $7.50 adults, $4.50 children
Gibbs Museum, 2097 W. Larpenteur Avenue, St. Paul