September 11, 2012
The power of Twitter for music venues is vast, especially in announcing and generating awareness of upcoming shows. I’ve been alerted to concert tickets via Twitter, tour announcements and deals at venues (heads up: there’s a special at First Avenue if you go on your birthday). However, I’ve never found a new music venue from Twitter. That is, until last weekend.
On Sunday, I stumbled upon a tweet alerting me to some of the Twin Cities’ greatest local acts performing during the Totally Gross National Product party that day. I couldn’t believe my luck. The lineup included Polica, Solid Gold, Marijuana Deathsquads and P.O.S. The surprise? The party was at Icehouse, a new music venue (and restaurant) on Eat Street that, in my mind, didn’t seem set up to host the crowd those artists would bring.
After rounding up some friends, we hit Icehouse and braved the anticipated crowd to check it out. I have to say, the night was amazing. Nobody was jockeying for position within the masses and each act worked the crowd perfectly – mingling and dancing amongst us. It was as if I was in the neighbor’s garage checking out a friend of a friend’s hobby when, in reality, I was catching a once-in-a-lifetime show.
The highlight of the night came at the end of Polica’s set when Marijuana Deathsquads and P.O.S. took the floor and collaborated with Channy and both drummers to transition sets – the whole club was buzzing with energy and excitement. The music left me in a state of euphoria, unable to fully comprehend and admire what I had seen and heard until I was home, reflecting on the night.
Icehouse has become one of my favorite local places to catch music, drawing the likes of Cecil Otter of Doomtree and Justin Vernon – better known by his stage name, Bon Iver. The venue is intimate, has great sight lines and an upstairs for those who want to step back from the face-melting (in a good way) that takes place directly in front of the stage.
My friends already know that I’m a huge audiophile, but my experience at Icehouse reinvigorated a passion to seek out new music and music venues. Too often I find myself trolling calendars of the usual suspects for the hottest weekend shows. Don’t get me wrong: I love First Avenue, 7th Street Entry, Turf Club, etc. But, I’ve learned there are a variety of other places to check out great music that offer just as much fun and, typically, a more intimate experience with the band and fellow fans.
The Twin Cities has an amazing music scene. On any given night, there’s a gig for everyone, whether checking out your favorite local tunes or scoping a new hangout. This weekend is no exception. Kick start fall and get ready to put on your musical thinking cap, dancing shoes or prepare to spit some rhymes.
If you like to pretend you’re in a world (or living room) dominated by pysch-pop and Mad Men, don’t miss out on:
Buffalo Moon w/Rupert Angeleyes + JT & The Sloppy Seconds + Sherbetty
At Hell’s Kitchen
Quick listen: Buffalo Moon – Amores Perros
If you’ve been hankering for some solid punk rock then don’t miss the riot of the weekend (and some great people watching) at:
NOFX and Dillinger Four
Quick listen (warning: explicit content): NOFX – Bob
If you want the opportunity to flex your knowledge of outlandish and obscure music trivia, make a night of it at:
Sean and Laura’s Movie and Music Trivia, followed by The Further Adjustments
At 331 Club
Quick listen: The Further Adjustments
If you’re big into emotive and vocally charged music, prepare to be moved at:
Marx & the Yogis
At Amsterdam Bar
Quick listen: Marx and the Yogis – Circles
If you want to reclaim the Talib Kweli performance that was stolen from you during Spring Jam at the U of M (and have a serious jonesin’ for Doomtree), mark your calendar for:
Hip Hop Harambee Block Party
At Nomad World Pub
2-10 p.m./18+/$10 in advance, $15 at the door
Quick listen: Talib Kweli – Ms. Hill
If you hear ’90’s music and instantly throw your hands up screaming, “This is my jam,” put on your dancin’ shoes for:
Forever Young Homecoming Dance Party
At the Uptown VFW
9 p.m./21+/$5 before 10 p.m., $7 after 10 p.m.
Quick listen: Destiny’s Child – Say My Name
If you can’t decide between putting the hip in hip hop or bustin’ a move on the dance floor, pick both and don’t miss:
Hands High with Plain Ole Bill and DJ Fundo
*Side note: Plain Ole Bill DJ’d at Icehouse during the Totally GNP party and is not to be missed.
If you’re a Talking Heads fan, then I suspect you already have tickets to check out this dynamic duo:
David Byrne & St. Vincent
At the Historic State Theatre
Quick listen: David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who
If you love synthesized indie pop rock (are a hipster, rock a mustache or own plaid and/or a vintage fixie), head over to:
At the Triple Rock
Quick listen: Wild Nothing – Chinatown
If your love for music spans many generations, make sure you’re at:
The 9/16 Party
If you like a little funk and soul mixed in with a healthy dose of pop, be sure to check out:
ZZ Ward and Zach Heckendorf
At Mill City Nights
Quick listen: Zach Heckendorf – All the Right Places