Band #1: Alpha Rev Band #2: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite Band #3: Delta Rae Band #4: Airborne Toxic Event Band #5: The Wild Feathers Band #6: Michael Franti Band #7: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros And Crash: Band #8: Serena Ryder Band #9: Eric Hutchinson Band #10: Caroline Smith Band #11: Train Band #12: Ingrid Michaelson
Cities 97 is ready to let the secret out! Join Paul Fletcher, Brian Oake + Keri Noble at The Depot Tavern in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, April 24th from 3-7pm as we reveal the lineup for The 20th Anniversary Cities 97 Basilica Block Party during a live broadcast event!
A new Block Party artist will be unveiled every 15 minutes and you’ll have 3 chances to win BBP tickets with each announcement:
- Win on-site at The Depot Tavern
- Win on-air by calling in to 651-989-9797
- Win online through Facebook.com/Cities97 + Twitter.com/Cities97Radio
Don’t forget to lock in July 11th and 12th on your calendar for the 20th Annual Cities 97 Basilica Block Party to benefit the restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary and the Saint Vincent de Paul Outreach Programs for those in need.
The Cities 97 Basilica Block Party Reveal Broadcast is proudly supported by Bud Light. Enjoy $3.50 Bud Light Tall Boys throughout the broadcast!
It’s been a whlie since I’ve highlighted any of my tracks of the week, but this is one deserving of a closer look.
TRACK: Kind and Cross
Ásgeir is a singer-songwriter from Iceland. With the release last September of ‘Dyrd i daudathogn’, at just 20 years of age Icelandic singer- songwriter Ásgeir has become something of an overnight sensation in his country’s music scene – breaking all records to become Iceland’s fastest selling debut album by a domestic artist.
That was reinstated at the Iceland Music Awards that took place on February 20th, Asgeir making an impressive sweep of the board, picking up Best Pop/Rock Album, Best Newcomer, Icelandicmusic.com award for online achievement and the Public Choice Award.
Produced by Gudmundur Kristinn Jonsson, Dyrd í dauðathogn (‘In the Silence’) immediately recalls the heavenly vocals of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and light electronic touch of British glitch pop sensation James Blake. In Iceland, the unusual poetry of lyrics have attracted almost as much attention as the music itself, in part because they are mostly written by Ásgeir’s 72 year old father.
The songs themselves, however, are all Ásgeir: light and airy, inset with his distinctive melancholic voice their vibrancy elevates their appeal way beyond the folktronica tag.
One such fan of Dyrd i daudathogn was John Grant (‘Queen Of Denmark’) – currently resident of Iceland himself – who has collaborated with Ásgeir to create an English language version, ‘In The Silence’, which is out now.
Buy In The Silence here:
It can be quite difficult to categorize Nashville, Tennessee’s “The Apache Relay” into any one genre of music. They are self-described as Indie Roots, but in my opinion they fall at times into categories such as alt-country, folk-rock, Americana, or even indie-rock, always however reminding you of their strong “rootsy” sound. The Apache Relay performed at First Avenue’s newly acquired Turf Club, in St. Paul, MN and despite the somewhat cramped stage set-up at the Turf Club, The Apache Relay delivered a strong and fairly well-received performance. This band’s extensive touring experience was obvious right from the beginning, and gained the attention of the many attendees of the Turf Club who seemed more preoccupied with drinking and enjoying their night out, rather than the music being played on stage. The well executed harmonies, solid songwriting, and rehearsed live performance had The Apache Relay gaining more and more fans at the club with each song. A highlight of the night definitely included the band’s new anthem-like track entitled “Katie Queen of Tennessee,” which will be their first single of the album being released April 22, 2014. They will continue their headlining tour until the end of March, including a stop at the famous SXSW festival in Austin, TX and then will hit the road again joining “The Weeks” in May, with a few other festival appearances mixed in.
Remaining Tour Dates:
photo by: Melissa Madison Fuller
Michael Ford Jr. was a music business major when he met The Apache Relay in a Belmont University dorm. They were already deep into “a very Americana, very rootsy” sound, and before long the band was backing up Ford around campus, and soon everywhere else. Ford Jr. dropped out of college, and the group, which at the time included Mike Harris (guitar, vocals), Brett Moore (keys, guitar, mandolin), Kellen Wenrich (fiddle, keys) gigged relentlessly behind their 2009 debut 1988 and 2011’s breakthrough American Nomad. Midway through their touring in support of American Nomad Ford, Jr’s brother joined the band rounding out the group’s line up and sound. While touring in support of the album The Apache Relay found themselves opening for Mumford & Sons and hitting such festivals as Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Firefly Music Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, among others.
The writing sessions for their new album, The Apache Relay, were the first time the Nashville-based group stopped to catch their breath in years. Inspired by Shelby Lynne and Richard Swift, and working with producer Kevin Augunas at Fairfax Recordings, formerly known as the famous California studio Sound City, The Apache Relay shows a band eager to push past their boundaries, and commitment to always evolving their sound.
Turf Club Show Details:
Before The Expendables show Tuesday night 2/4/14 at Mill City Night in Minneapolis, MN I had a chance to sit down with bass player Ryan Demars to discuss their current tour, working with bands such as Slightly Stoopid, and their new album.
Minnesnowta Music Blog: How has the cold weather been treating you so far? Are you guys surviving?
Ryan: Yeah so far, I have family who lives out here and they said that this is actually not bad, how it’s been
MMB: Yeah a few weeks ago it was about -40 degrees, so you missed that by a little bit
Ryan: How do you even go outside?
MMB: You don’t
Ryan: Like at a certain temperature does it even feel colder?
MMB: Well… -40 did feel quite a bit colder than this
Have you guys been through MN before?
Ryan: Yeah a few times. We have done a couple headlining spots up here, and then we’ve done some opening shows for G. Love and Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper.
MMB: What venues have you played?
Ryan: Usually First Avenue, when we play with the bigger bands
MMB: You are in the middle of a pretty big tour right now correct?
Ryan: Yeah we are just about 2 weeks in, on a 6 week tour.
MMB: How has the tour been going so far?
Ryan: It’s been going really good. We’ve been dodging some of the Hercules storm, or Maximus…whatever they are called. We’ve had some hard snow in Aspen and in Denver, but as far as the shows people are still coming out, and we’ve been having really good turnouts. We’ve got Stick Figure and Seedless band who are pulling their weight, and it’s a good package, and everything is going really good.
MMB: Any particular show highlights?
Ryan: Denver was awesome. It was a packed house, and it was the day before the Super Bowl. Better then the day AFTER the super bowl.
MMB: You guys tour quite a lot, and have been doing it for quite a while now, and are sort of known for these big long tours…
Ryan: Yeah the way we have developed our career is we do like 1 big headlining major market tour, and then we’ll do another like tertiary market type tour later in the year, and we’ll try to hop on other shows with bigger bands. So it’s definitely how we make our money, and you have to just keep pushing that product, just like anything else really.
MMB: Do you ever get sick of touring?
Ryan: Yeah you know, it was a lot easier the younger we were. And I just think that now it’s just such a business the way we go about it, that yeah we get sick of it. But it’s just one of those things where you’re like “Yeah we gotta do this” we’ll get through it, we’ll get home. You know it’s fun but there’s always those days where you’re like, “Dang, I wish I was home right now.”
MMB: I bet, like what you drive in to -10 degree weather in Minnesota
Ryan: Haha yeah exactly
MMB: It’s know that a lot your success has come from the band Slightly Stoopid, and they are known as sort of a big brother band to you. How would you describe working together with Slightly Stoopid, have you learned anything from them?
Ryan: Yeah, definitely when we first started touring, Slightly Stoopid was the band that took us on tour. And their tour manager, and their whole touring technique definitely rubbed off on us, because we knew that we wanted to be a headlining band, and there is so much more behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t know about that makes an actual production happen. Even on smaller levels, like ours compared to Slightly Stoopid, you still have to have a schedule, and show up, and get everything running smoothly. We owe a lot of our knowledge of touring to them and for the first couple years we toured with them we got a lot of their fans, and then we’ve kind of branched off and done our own thing.
MMB: Do you still stay in touch with them?
Ryan: Yeah we just did a show with them in Costa Rica with them a couple weeks ago, we are under the same management, and it’s just one of those kind of things like, we’ve known them since they could barely even draw people, and know they are a huge band. They’ve done this since I was like 17, when I met those guys, and I’m 31 now, so they are definitely like our big brother band, like you said.
MMB: Who else have you worked with/toured with that has stood out?
Ryan: A big tour we did that was really cool was the Unity Tour with 311 and Ziggy Marley, that was back in 2009 or 2010. We took Rebulution on their first national tour, and they have since… blown up, haha. Yeah like I said Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, G. Love. You know our genre is very unique where we kind of know all the bands, the smaller and the bigger ones. So anytime we can get our family on together tour, it’s always been good times.
MMB: You mentioned something about G. Love earlier too?
Ryan: Yeah he did a song with us on one of our albums a few years back, and we’ve done some touring with him. He’s also correlated in the Slightly Stoopid family. It’s just like a big network of bands and musicians.
MMB: I saw you recently released a song called “Zombies in America” that will be on the newest album you guys are working on?
Ryan: Yeah we haven’t released an album yet, we’ve cut about 20 tracks and that was just something that got finished quick, and we threw it out there. We’re probably going to release a couple more tracks before the album is released. It’s just kind of something to let people know that, we actually are going to release and album and that we are making new music.
MMB: Has a date been set for the release of the new album?
Ryan: No no yet, all the tracking has been recorded, we just need to get it mixed and mastered. After that we’ll have more of a date in mind.
MMB: How would you describe the songs off your new album? Is it going to be similar to your older stuff? Is there going to be anything different?
Ryan: I wouldn’t say its something necessarily different. I would say it’s definitely something our older Expendables fans are going to like, people that liked our earlier albums. We’ve added a little more element of keyboards, and you know every album is just different. You go through phases in your career and something inspires you one way or the other and it’s just kind of a natural process. I would say though, we recorded the album live, and we’ve never done that before. So the biggest thing about this project is, everyone says “oh yeah your live shows are great, the album just never really captures that,” so that’s what we were trying to go for, is what we play live, trying to make that sound. So we’re not adding anything totally crazy that we would never do live or anything, we are just really trying to copy our live show.
MMB: Speaking of live shows, your previous release “Gone Soft” with acoustic songs was quite a bit different from some of your normal stuff right?
Ryan: Yeah that was basically, our whole career people have been like “Oh I’d love to hear acoustic stuff from you guys” and we finally got around to it, because we came into a studio back home that is kind of our headquarters. So it gave us the freedom and ability to record stuff, so we recorded that whole album ourselves. We just had fun with it. You know covering our own songs acoustically and in different styles. We turned a punk song into like a salsa song or like another song we turned country. It’s just more fun than anything.
MMB: How about your live shows? Have you tried to work any of those songs into when you perform live?
Ryan: We’re such a high energy electric band, that it’s hard to translate an acoustic kind of vibe to a show. We did a couple shows that were just all acoustic, and it was cool, people supported it, but I think that for us, we’re just that high energy kind of deal. But during our set we always bring out the acoustics for a song or two, and give just a little taste of what else we can do.
MMB: Is there any good music you’ve been listening to lately?
Ryan: Haha oh my guilty pleasures…you know The Expendables we all listen to so much different music people would probably trip out. I personally am very intrigued by Pop music, and what makes it appeal to people. So I’ve been listening to the new Miley Cyrus album, and there are songs I like on it, I’m not gonna lie. I listen to a lot of Metal, Techno, Blues, even a little Jazz, Reggae. Reggae has always been big with us. Steel Pulse, Bob Marley…we listen to the bands we play with and end up liking them after we play with them and tour with them. It’s kind of funny how that works, you’re like “Ah, I’m not really into this band,” and then you go on tour with them, and after the tour you’re like “I love this band!”
Be sure to check out The Expendables as they continue their Winter Blackout Tour:
Lord Huron is picking up 2014 right where they left off in 2013. The Los Angeles based group had a very successful year in 2013 with highlights including a performance on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and a large tour supporting the band Alt-J. The group is keeping their momentum going right off the bat in 2014 with the largest headlining tour to date spanning six weeks all across the country, including a stop Tuesday night at Minneapolis’ own First Avenue. After their tour they can also be found playing a number of large festivals this summer including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly and Newport Folk Festival, Squamish and more.
Lord Huron’s folk/Americana sound often reminds me at first of watching some old western movie with tumbleweeds blowing by in the background (which you can see they have fully embraced by their video posted below), but there is indeed much more to them than that. They have taken the classic Americana sound and put a sort of modern twist on it. The four-piece band has proven over the last few years that they are capable of not only delivering deep, emotional songwriting, but backing it up with very solid live performances. They are able to convey their serious passion for their music, as well as their tremendous musical talents, providing thick and layered harmonies and a great blend of acoustic and electric sounds. This band will no doubt continue their successful run all the way through 2014.
Remaining Tour Dates:
January 30 /// Chicago, IL /// Metro*
January 31 /// Detroit, MI /// Majestic Theatre*
February 1 /// Toronto, ON /// Danforth Music Hall*
February 2 /// Montreal, QC /// Le Cabaret du Mile End*
February 4 /// Boston, MA /// Royale*
February 6 /// Washington, DC /// 9:30 Club*
February 7 /// New York, NY /// Terminal 5*
February 8 /// Philadelphia, PA /// Theatre of Living Arts*
February 9 /// Charlottesville, VA /// Jefferson Theater*
February 11 /// Saxapahaw, NC /// The Haw River Ballroom*
February 12 /// Asheville, NC /// Orange Peel*
February 13 /// Nashville, TN /// Cannery Ballroom
February 14 /// Birmingham, AL /// The WorkPlay SoundStage*
February 15 /// New Orleans, LA /// Civic Theatre*
February 17-18 /// Austin, TX /// Emo’s*
February 19 /// Dallas, TX /// Trees*
February 21 /// Denver, CO /// Ogden Theatre*
February 22 /// Aspen, CO /// Belly Up Aspen*
February 23 /// Salt Lake City, UT /// Urban Lounge*
February 25 /// San Francisco, CA /// The Fillmore*
February 26 /// Ventura, CA /// Ventura Theatre*
February 27 /// Solana Beach, CA /// Belly Up Tavern*
February 28-March 1 /// Los Angeles, CA /// The Fonda Theatre*