Art-A-Whirl Day 1 in Northeast Minneapolis, 5/18/2012
Art-A-Whirl Day 1
The 331 Club, Northeast Minneapolis
Friday, May 18, 2012
Slideshow: Art-A-Whirl 2012: Friday's Music
Art-A-Whirl Day 2 in Northeast Minneapolis, 5/19/12
Slideshow: Art-A-Whirl 2012: Saturday's Music
The oldest section of Minneapolis came alive this weekend with art, culture, love, and best of all, music. Although it may only be mid-spring, the heat and humidity certainly deceived everyone who descended in Northeast Minneapolis into thinking that they were in the throes of summer.
Embracing Tom Petty in spirit, All Tomorrow's Petty warmed up the crowd at the 331 Club's outdoor stage with familiar tunes made famous by the rocker. Lead vocals were traded amongst the members which included Jake Hanson, James Diers (both of Halloween, Alaska), Joey Kantor (Rogue Valley), JT Bates (The Pines), and Robert Skoro, each adding their own flavor to their piece. Joey Kantor (keyboards) shared, "This is a side project for all of of us, and we don't take it too seriously. It's all about fun."
All Tomorrow's Petty
Photo by Youa Vang
Last weekend may have been about celebrating girls having rhythm at the Amsterdam in St. Paul (day 1 review, day 2 review), but rhythm is not limited to one weekend, especially with Is/Is. With little banter between songs, the all-girl band administered their blend of girl punk with driving drums and guitar riffs. The result is powerful, but a little tedious for a forty-five minute set where the songs began to bleed into one another.
The majority of Friday's music was at the 331 Club, but the hardworking duo the Sudden Lovelys were able to sneak in a set in an alley on 13th and University with their brand of aggressive folk.
There is no doubt that anyone works harder than Holly Newsom. Often seen hauling gear and helping with sound at Art-A-Whirl this weekend, she fortunately took the time to perform in Zoo Animal to a crowd that exponentially grew as the night progressed. Hauntingly lovely in performance, sound, and lyrics, it's difficult to take your eyes off of the petite artist -- artist being the most appropriate word to describe her when she's onstage.
Photo by Youa Vang
Due to noise ordinances, Vicious Vicious rounded out the last of the outdoor sets. Rupert was spotted in the crowd and said of the band, "Erik Appelwick is great in Tapes 'n Tapes, but everything about Vicious Vicious, to me, is ten times more special. The lyrics and the melodies are spot on." They certainly had plenty of talent with Appelwick, Martin Dosh, James Buckley, and a female (that I was unable to find out her name) integrating their skills into one captivating new band.
It was interesting to see how everyone would fit inside the tiny 331 -- even the stage is tiny, barely able to contain the five piece Pennyroyal, which recently released a new album. Lead singer Angie Oase may look like a punk-rocker with her platinum mohawk, but the band's indie, almost folksy-rock, songs are perfectly complimented with her heartbreaking vocals.
Critic's bias: The first night of Art-A-Whirl was an exhausting success, but I wish I had stuck around for Birthday Suits, and The Goondas, who are always crazy and entertaining to watch.
Random notebook dump: This weekend emphasized how incestuous the music community is in the Twin Cities. Everyone seems to have a side project or plays in more than one band.
The Crowd: A mix of folks from families to hipsters. Everyone looks like they are in a band.
Overheard in the crowd: "It looks like Urban Outfitters sponsored Art-A-Whirl."
Seen across the street of the 331: Scott Seekins in white. Summer is officially here.
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