Former Go-Go Kathy Valentine Returns to Twin Cities with the BlueBonnets

Press photo
The BlueBonnets | First Avenue | Thursday, May 7

"We're a rock 'n' roll band," Kathy Valentine stated plainly about her current group, the BlueBonnets, from her Austin studio last week. "Some of our songs might sound like pop, some like soul, maybe there's Motown and punk, too, but we're a rock 'n' roll band, straight-out."

Valentine and her revamped BlueBonnets are currently in the midst of a 10-show run as openers for the elegiac and celebratory UK/Irish band the Waterboys. The latest stop is Thursday at First Avenue. "While it's not new to me, it is new to us in its present state," Valentine said of the band she founded some years ago. "It's an evolving thing."

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The Horrible and the Miserable Start Fresh and Throw a Festival for Their Friends

Photo by Emma Anderson
Heaven knows that we're the Horrible and the Miserable now
One Last Party | Hexagon Bar, Triple Rock Social Club, Grumpy's Downtown | May 7-10

There's an old cliché about the distinction between good friends and best friends. A good friend, the adage says, will listen to the stories of your greatest capers with enthusiasm, while the best friend will help you tell the story because they were along for the ride.

If that little chestnut is true, then Annie Sparrows, Saumer Kinsey, and Kat Naden are practically blood sisters at this point. The trio forged their close ties during their time together singing in the God Damn Doo Wop Band, while also attending countless punk shows like the one at the Hexagon Bar that we're at tonight for their new band, the Horrible and the Miserable.

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Grand Old Day 2015 Lineup Announced

Photo By Erik Hess
The Cactus Blossoms is one of the acts scheduled to perform at Grand Old Day 2015
Twin Cities block parties may come and go, but there's a certain tradition that makes Grand Old Day stand out in a crowded field. This year, the proclaimed largest one-day festival in the Midwest returns as big as ever on Sunday, June 7.

The annual Grand Avenue celebration will feature live music, a Grand Old Beer Bash presented by Beer Dabbler and the Growler, and food and family fun galore.

Part of the charm, of course, is the varied musical lineups, and there will be six stages of live acts at the event. The lineups are mostly complete, with notable acts announced including Charlie Parr, the Cactus Blossoms, White Iron Band, Erik Koskinen Band, Dead Man Winter, and the Tim Malloys.

See also:
Grand Old Day, 6/1/14

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Lady Lamb Comes in Like a Lion

Categories: Concert Preview

Shervin Lainez
Lady Lamb's music draws from a bevy of genres, none of them quaint.

Lady Lamb | 7th St. Entry | Tuesday, May 5

The name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to singer Aly Spaltro in the throes of a dream, and the foggy then-18-year-old jotted it down before slipping back into sleep. Spaltro scrawled the honorific on the first 11 CDRs she ever recorded, and from then on, it was part of her identity.

A name like "Lady Lamb the Beekeeper" suggests pastoral, almost Victorian, folk. Like the Decemberists recruiting Joanna Newsom to record an album of Levon Helm covers. But that is not the case with Spaltro's work. Lady Lamb, who now officially eschews "the Beekeeper," makes searing revival music that draws from a bevy of genres, none of them quaint.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts This Week: 5/4-7

Categories: Concert Preview

Photo by James Grant
Wolf Alice -- see Tuesday!
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts This Weekend: 5/1-3

Categories: Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of Carpark Records
Speedy Ortiz -- see Saturday!
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff Infuses Folk with Punk

Photo by Sarrah Danzinger

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Cedar Cultural Center | Friday, May 1

The enigmatic Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff sings indie-folk songs with the heart of a punk rocker. The Bronx-born New Orleans resident of Puerto Rican descent juxtaposes her lilting voice with assured lyrics that give her spare songs a rough edge. It's hard to pinpoint what kind of artist she really is, and Alynda is okay with not having a category assigned to her.

Before their show at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday night, the singer talks about why she had to leave New York to be able to make the kind of music she wanted, and why she leaves all of her emotions in her songs.

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Krill Bring Their Peculiar Cult Appeal to the Entry

Joe Difazio via BDCwire
For some reason, people are bonkers for Krill and their anxious garage rock.

Krill | 7th St. Entry | Saturday, May 2


These are perhaps the most galvanizing words a person can utter in Lower Allston, Boston's scum-rock haven. It's a slogan used as both a battle cry and a salutation. Yes, KRILL FOREVER is a rebel yell for sweaty basement moshers to unleash in the feedback between the band's songs, but it could also stand for punctuation in the everyday speech of the citizens of Allston Rock City.

With the trio (which consists of Jonah Furman, Aaron Ratoff, and Ian Becker) coming to Minneapolis on Saturday in support of fellow Bostonians, Speedy Ortiz, its time to figure out what exactly about the whale-food-named anxiety rockers has the kids from Beantown going bonkers.

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Charlie Parr Finds a Band and a Label for His Personal New Album

Photo by Peter Lee
Charlie Parr | Varsity Theater | Friday, May 1

The timelessness of Charlie Parr's folk, country blues, and spirituals is not an attempt to be archaic. It occurs naturally. "It does feel contemporary to me, maybe just because I'm doing it now," Parr says via phone from a California wayside on a recent drive to Berkeley.

Parr's scratchy vocals are filled with the haunting echo of a century-old musical bard rising from a dusty country crossroads. Add his eccentric picking on 12-string guitar, dobro, or banjo, and Parr seems to have stepped off some ancient 78 with Blind Lemon Jefferson, or away from a campfire after swapping songs with Woody Guthrie.

See Also:
Charlie Parr: With this job, there's no way to retire

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A Chat with the Mysterious Lagbaja: The Real Truth About the Man, the Music, and the Mask

Courtesy of the Artist

Lágbájá | The Cedar Cultural Center | Tuesday, April 28

Rumors continually swirl around Lágbájá. One common one is that Lágbájá has never been seen without a mask, even by his own wife. Some believe that the award-winning Nigerian musician is able to appear from nowhere, and often does so at his performances. In anticipation of his show at the Cedar Cultural Center this Tuesday, we caught up with Lágbájá himself to hear the real truth about the man, the music, and the mask.

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