Tag: minnesota zoo
It’s an acoustic weekend in St. Paul, with national heavyweights Jason Mraz and Dar Williams, along with local favorites Haley Bonar, who is back with her first local show since moving to Portland earlier this summer, and Michael Rossetto and Nicholas Lemme of Spaghetti Western String Co. Other highlights: The Nightowl Classic Bike Ride makes its way from Minneapolis to St. Paul; Jazz Implosion at the Clown Lounge; and local calypso music at the Minnesota History Center’s 9 Nights of Music.
THURSDAY: Jason Mraz, K’Naan, G. Love & Special Sauce + Bushwalla at Xcel Energy Center
Sure, Jason Mraz is a huge star, finding success with his blues-pop sound that only seems to be expanding with last year’s We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The Virginian singer-songwriter will try his hand on putting his intimate sound in the colossal Xcel, with a slew of energetic openers, K’Naan being the most intriguing of which. The Somali-born Canadian hip-hop artist blends an African folk influence into his songs about poverty, injustice, and of course, Somali pirates. (7 p.m. $25-45. All ages. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-265-4800.)
Also Thursday: Music in Mears features Latin hip hop band Maria Isa and a screening of “Field of Dreams”; Ghostband turn up the volume with their difficult-to-categorize trippy electro sound at Big V’s.
This weekend, local favorites Lookbook play music and movies in Mears Park, perfectly paired with ’80s favorite Sixteen Candles (which is turning into an accidental tribute – news just came out that director John Hughes has died today of a heart attack). Also, the Irish Fair kicks off on Harriet Island, and living legends Alejandro Escovedo and the supergroup members of Chickenfoot hit St. Paul.
Music in Mears: Lynhurst, Lookbook + “Sixteen Candles”
On the surface, Lynhurst and Lookbook would seem to have a lot in common. They’re both local bands fronted by cute boy-girl counterparts, and both of their names start with L and have eight letters. But in reality, the two bands couldn’t be more different. While sibling trio Lynhurst sport a substantial musical pedigree – they recently recorded their debut release Field Day with Cold War Kids’ producer in L.A. and their gleaming myspace page boasts of 4,500 friends – they are practically unheard of in Minneapolis. (The fact that their dad is a big-name music lawyer Ken Abdo, whose clients include Jonny Lang and Garrison Keillor, sheds some light on things.)
Meanwhile, Lookbook (which has only 900 myspace friends) is a big name locally, having garnered the coveted “Best New Band” title from City Pages in 2008. Its sound is substantially more unique than that of Lynhurst, whose paint-by-numbers pop rock sounds overly produced and saccharine compared to Lookbook’s dynamic, electronic-infused layers and coolly sexy vocals. Taking in the two bands back-to-back should provide an interesting juxtaposition of two very different sides of the spectrum of local music.
Music in Mears: Dan Israel + “Cool Hand Luke” at Mears Park
The chance to see Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke on the big screen is not one to pass up – and it doesn’t get much better than seeing it outdoors at dusk during the weekly Music in Mears series. Newman’s protagonist is Luke Jackson, a cool, gutsy prisoner in a Southern chain gain who refuses to back down to authority, repeatedly escaping and being recaptured. The camp works to crush Luke until he inevitably breaks. The forboding folk tunes of singer-songwriter Dan Israel will provide a fitting introduction to the film. (6 p.m. with film beginning at dusk. Free. All ages. Mears Park, 221 5th St. E., St. Paul. 651-266-6400.)
Also Thursday: Latin-flavored Ecuador Manta at District Del Sol music and movies series followed by a screening of La Perla; Pete Whitman’s X-tet at Artists’ Quarter; The Native Sons at Midway Stadium.
Dillinger Four at Eclipse Records
Despite not having released an album for six years until late last year, local punk rock legends Dillinger Four are showing no signs of slowing down. They manage to promptly sell out every show they play, and though the sound hasn’t changed much over the years, you have to appreciate how these guys still are able to pull off one of the sweatiest, most energetic live shows year after year. This all-ages show in Eclipse’s dank live show room is guaranteed to be packed – but no booze is served, so remember to bring your flask. With Off With Their Heads, Dear Landlord and 86’d. (7 p.m. $6. All ages. 1922 University Av. W., St. Paul. 651-647-7724.)
Also Friday: Solid Gold, Jeremy Messersmith and The Pines at the Minnesota Zoo (Check out my St. Paul STAYcation blog on the show); Cincinatti-based orchestral-pop band Pomegranates with Yourself And The Air and Ice Palace at the Turf Club; Florida metalcore vets Poison the Wells with Terror, Bane, This Is Hell, and more at Station4; Cirque de Soleil Cast & Crew post part at Rumours & Innuendo f. DJ Shiek.
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.)
From power-pop in the park, to the Twin Cities’ only lesbian dance night, to the hottest up-and-coming national acts, to Minnesota’s largest indoor music festival, St. Paul has your music and nightlife needs covered this weekend.
Music in Mears: The Hopefuls and Ready Goes at Mears Park
Since Erik Appelwick left the Hopefuls and joined Tapes ‘n Tapes, the local supergroup fronted by Darren Jackson (also of Kid Dakota) has been pretty quiet. Though they released a new album back in December, fans don’t get to see the band play live as much as they’d like. Expect unironic keytar playing and unabashed power-pop to avail. Their Music in Mears set will appropriately be followed by a screening of “School of Rock”; St. Paul’s The Bulldog Lowertownwill provide the eats. (6 p.m., movie at dusk. Free. All ages. 221 5th St. E., St. Paul. 651-291-9128.)
Also Thursday: Girl-fronted grunge-metal band Domenica at Station 4; Nick Hensley’s Love Songs for Angrymen at St. Paul Student Center, part of the U of M’s Noontime Concerts Series; mariachi youth chorus Los Ninos de Guadalupe at Castillo Park for the District Del Sol music-and-movies series (followed by a screening of “La Leyenda de la Nahuala”).
St. Paul’s got your nightlife and music needs covered this weekend. Check out the highlights of Thursday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 22:
Fancy Ray and John Conroy at Station 4
If the name Fancy Ray doesn’t seem familiar, his face will. Chances are you’ve seen him hawking products in local commercials looking like a dead ringer for Little Richard, for which he’s become relatively well-known since the mid 1980s. When he’s not being a TV pitchman, running for governor of Minnesota (which he did in 1998), or auditioning for realty TV shows like America’s Got Talent, the self-proclaimed “Best Looking Man in Comedy” also happens to have a comedy act. Though his slapstick act may elicit more groans than belly laughs, it’s worth seeing for the sake of witnessing a longtime local fixture. (8 p.m. Free. 21-plus. 201 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173.)
Also Thursday: Renowned folk singer Arlo Guthrie at the Fitzgerald Theater…Music in Mears featuring The Melismatics in Mears Park…The University Of Minnesota’s Noontime Concert Series featuring Chris Koza at the St. Paul Student Center…Golden Animals, The Suits and Hildur Victoria at the Turf Club.
Besides all the great music happening at Taste of Minnesota (check out my preview of the event here), St. Paul’s got a ton of other great shows lined up this weekend. Here’s a sampling of the best:
THURSDAY, JULY 2
Detroit Don King Band at Como Lakeside Pavilion
As part of St. Paul’s Music in the Parks series at the gorgeous Como Lakeside Pavilion, local bluesman (via Detroit, of course) Detroit Don King and his Blues Band play all the blues and R&B standards – think BB King, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters. (7 p.m. Free. 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul.)
FRIDAY, JULY 3
Toots at the Maytals at Minnesota Zoo
Reggae legend Toots Hibbert and his band The Maytals have been around since the ‘60s, and not only did they count Bob Marley as a contemporary, they’re credited for naming the genre of reggae. Nearly 50 years later, they’re still kicking out the grooves with their trademark mix of reggae, soul and gospel and recent collaborations with The Roots, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton have kept their sound fresh. Wain McFarlane opens. (7:30 p.m. $43. 13000 Zoo Blvd. 952-431-9200.)
Also Friday: A local underground punk/indie showcase featuring Private Dancer, The Blind Shake and Birthday Suits at the Turf Club; Washington, D.C. reggae act Lucky Dub at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium; and ‘80s New Wave band The Romantics (famous for “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep”) at Taste of Minnesota.
SATURDAY, JULY 4
Kate Voegele at Taste of Minnesota
Everyone knows Elvis Costello is the really hot ticket at the Taste, but Cleveland folk singer Kate Voegele is all-but-guaranteed to be the sleeper hit of the night. The 22-year-old just released her sophomore album A Fine Mess (which already hit the Top 10 on Billboard) and was featured on CW show “One Tree Hill” playing her single “99 Times.” (6:30 p.m. $10. Harriet Island, St. Paul. tasteofmn.com)
Also Saturday: Legendary rocker Elvis Costello at Taste of Minnesota; local acoustic/blues act Tap City at Station 4; and oldies act The Vogues (best-known for performing the “The Drew Carey Show” theme song “Five O’Clock World”) at Taste of Minnesota.
SUNDAY, JULY 5
No Doubt at Xcel Energy Center
After Gwen Stefani’s solo career took off – including not only a music career but a clothing, fragrance, and shoe line – most assumed No Doubt were kaput. But they’re back with a new album that harkens back to the ska sound they made popular in the late-‘90s. Whether you’re a fan of Gwen solo or the band, she’s always the entertainer, and is sure to have some killer outfits. Paramore and Bedouin Soundclash open. (7:30 p.m. $39.50-80. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd. 651-265-4800.)
Also Sunday: Hitchville, a country/rock fusion band featuring Minnesota Music Award-winner Heidi Owens, at Taste of Minnesota; and Duluth country-blues musician Charlie Parr at Turf Club.
MONDAY, JULY 6
Pterodactyl at Turf Club
Pterodactyl’s blistering beats, falsetto voices, and chiming guitars made them one to watch after their debut album “Bluebird” was released. Hot off a strong sophomore release “Worldwild” in June, the band’s sound goes everywhere from noisy punk to reserved psychedelic mood music. Also playing: Local band Gay Beast and Chicago’s Mayor Daley. (9 p.m. $6. 1601 University Av. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)
Also Monday: Soap Boxing Poetry Slam: IWPS Showdown Slam at Artists’ Quarter.
TUESDAY, JULY 7
9 Nights of Music: Café Accordion Orchestra at Minnesota History Center
Get out your beret and pack a beatnik picnic for this week’s edition of the Minnesota History Center’s summer music series 9 Nights of Music. Local band Café Accordion Orchestra perform a mix of French Musette, vintage swing, Latin and European folk music. Fun fact: It’s fronted by frequent Prairie Home Companion accordionist Dan Newton. (6:30 p.m. Free. 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul. 651-259-3000.)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8
VNV Nation at Station 4
London-based electronic music band VNV Nation have quite the cult following – they’ve been around since the mid-‘90s and helped establish the emerging electronic-goth genre. Their sound combines elements of industrial music, trance, synthpop and electronic body music; fans of modern-day electronic-infused acts like Interpol and Ladytron better get schooled and check them out. War Tapes and Ayria open. (6 p.m. $20-23. 201 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173.)