Art-a-Whirl at the 331

This all-day local music extravaganza should not be missed. The Rockford Mules' (pictured) Pigpen-filthy, whiskey-splattered blues-rock is a thing of absolute beauty live, where it sounds even more dangerous and unpredictable. Halloween, Alaska have slowly become this city's authority on epic dream-pop, but theirs has razor-sharp claws and lyrics that make you want to do more with yourself than you're doing, no matter what it may be that you do. And no band has made more noise (both literally and figuratively) in the past 12 months than Red Pens. The boy-on-guitar/girl-on-drums thing seemed to have been done to death, but it's never been like this. They're amazingly loud (like a shop class held on an airport runway) but they are a pop band at heart, and the songs are structured as such (read: you'll find yourself dancing a bit as your teeth rattle around inside your skull). And then there's the rest of the lineup: Chris Koza, the Dynamiters, Zoo Animal, Minneapolis Dub Ensemble, the Alpha Centauri, the Roe Family Singers, and Man Is Doomed. None of these bands really has much left to prove, but they don't know that yet and it's to everyone's advantage.
Fri., May 14, 10 p.m.; Sat., May 15, noon, 2010

 
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