One Girl, Two Cities

A local music-filled weekend

I saw ten different music acts this weekend, most of which are based in the Twin Cities. I won’t go into great detail on all of them, but know that they are all artists I would recommend. Saturday afternoon brought me to the Cabooze plaza but the weather decided to not cooperate, so three of the four bands moved indoors. American Scarecrows opened the show, and I had experienced withdrawal over the winter as they spent time making a new album. The plus side to a new album, of course, is new music! Which they played! I noted the addition of a keyboardist/background vocalist which fills out their sound nicely. White Iron Band from the Iron Range is a little too country for me, but each member brings great energy to their performance. Murder by Death hails from Bloomington, IN, the lone non-Twin Cities group I saw this weekend, but I would definitely see them again. Lead singer Adam Turla commands the stage perfectly and cellist Sarah Balliet adds a unique element to their indie rock sound, along with Scott Brackett who switches it up on keyboard, cornet, mandolin and more (for those who have seen the Human Empire, he’s the Michal of the group). The 4onthefloor closed it down the way their were meant to, with a hardcore blues rock vibe accompanying Gabriel Douglas’s gritty lead vocals. They’re joining me on The MSP Collective June 18th and it’s going to be a pretty rad show.

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When the Cabooze show wrapped up, I headed to the Turf Club in St. Paul for Mayda’s CD release show, and now the club is closed until September for renovations. I couldn’t think of a better way to give it a send off. Toki Wright hosted, and Mixed Blood Majority performed first, a rap group consisting of one of my fave rappers Joe Horton from No Bird Sing, rapper Crescent Moon from Kill the Vultures and DJ Lazerbeak from Doomtree (who DJ’d for Lizzo at Soundset). The crowd couldn’t help but get wrapped up in their energy, laying the groundwork for Mayda’s set which was filled with powerful electronic pop sounds thanks to DJ Neviator and the theatrical, emotional performance of Mayda herself. Joined in turn by Mu Taiko drummers and Hiponymous dancers, then performing solo on guitar for a couple songs, Mayda is a performer through and through and I was captivated. She’ll join me on The MSP Collective June 11th and I’m psyched to talk with her.

Sunday found me at Grand Old Day; there was no way I could pass up the chance to see Chastity Brown since I was actually available, and despite the reports of more rain. I started with General B and the Wiz, an indie blue/psych rock band whom I’ve been following on twitter for a short while. I loved them and you should check them out, end of story. I caught a few songs by country blues singer Charlie Parr before enjoying hip hop group Heiruspecs, which includes bassist Sean McPherson. The group recently released their sixth album Night Falls and have been touring, so I’m sure it was nice for them to be on home turf, and we were happy to have them! Saving the best for last, I FINALLY SAW CHASTITY BROWN PERFORM. It was everything I wanted it to be; she’s amazing and I love her music. Her voice is so soulful and I love that her music ranges from blues to jazz to pop to gospel. I’ll be seeing her again this Sunday the 8th at Icehouse when she plays over brunch.

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What an amazing weekend full of amazing music. If you think ten bands/artists sounds pricey, I’ll share that I paid a total of $41. You need a 21+ wristband to get into where the bands play at Grand Old Day, and if you buy yours early it’s only $6. Mayda’s show was $10 and the Cabooze show was $25. Completely worth it. Also, I didn’t have to pay for parking for any of them – bonus!

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