Over the Weekend: July 3-6, 2008
Kitty Cat Klub, July 3
I didn't go to the Kitty Cat Klub wanting to dance, but it ended up happening anyway. Somehow, throughout the course of their set, Estate managed to coax most of the audience out of their chairs and onto the dance floor to sway to their spacey, dreamy electronic music. Estate's music isn't even particularly easy to jive to -- subtle electro beats propel the songs forward in an ambient, relaxed fashion -- but the combination of singer Dan Kramer's constant ass shaking and a hypnotic flashing video screen made it impossible to sit still as they played. Fans of Boards of Canada and uncontrollable audience participation would do well to check out this electronic duo.
Father Hennepin Park, July 4
I'd been meaning to check out the Crossing Guards, a new project spearheaded by Martin Devaney, ever since I interviewed Devaney earlier this year and he described his new group as "more of a clubhouse than a band...having a bunch of beers and just banging out some fun rock music." Those familiar with Devaney's solo music know that he can tend to be a bit melancholic at times in his solo folk music, so I relished the opportunity to see a more upbeat Devaney in action.
The Crossing Guards were everything I'd hoped. Devaney was joined by Sean Hoffman, Judd Hildreth, Eric Kassel, and Steve McPherson, and the group rambled through their songs with the loose camaraderie of a gang of old friends. Which isn't to say that the band was sloppy, because they weren't -- but they played with a relaxed air that stressed fun over perfection. Devaney wore aviator glasses throughout the set, despite the fact that the sun had gone down and it was almost time for fireworks, and he punctuated his lyrics with the occasional leg kick and back and forth swagger.
Song Town Saloon
Acadia Cafe, July 5
By Jeff Shaw
A new monthly music event, Song Town Saloon brings together artists to play roots, blues and Americana music on the first Saturday of each month at Acadia Cafe's new location on Cedar. The night of songs is hosted by "Sneaky" Pete Bauer and Jaspar Lepak. Besides Bauer and Lepak, musicians included locals the Roe Family Singers and Salem, Ore. based Loren Depping.