Strange Names| Summer Set Music and Camping Festival| Friday, August 15
This September, the self-described "next-wave funk" men of Strange Names will officially relocate from Minneapolis to New York, where they will finish recording their upcoming full-length to be released on the independent Brooklyn-based record label Frenchkiss Records. By joining the label, started in 1999 by Les Savy Fav bassist Syd Butler, Strange Names find themselves in the company of an array of successful artists including the Hold Steady, Local Natives, and Passion Pit.
"It's been crazy," says Liam Benzvi, one half of the duo, who is originally from Brooklyn himself. He is quick to defend the importance of Minneapolis to the two, who have accomplished various local music rites of passage: they have been featured on City Pages' Picked to Click list, performed both at countless house shows and on the First Avenue main room stage several times, played ex-mayor R.T. Rybak's birthday party, and will be doing a set at this weekend's Summer Set festival at Somerset Amphitheater. "Just to squash this, though... I would always consider us a Minneapolis band. I don't really want to be a New York band, necessarily. There are so many New York bands."
The prospect of a new home and fresh start with Frenchkiss is also an appealing one to Benzvi's partner in crime Francis Jimenez, the other half of Strange Names, and a born and raised Minnesotan. "I'm kind of ready to go," he says. "I've been in Minneapolis for almost six years. It's time to make a move."More »