Art-A-Whirl Day 2 in Northeast Minneapolis, 5/19/2012
Art-A-Whirl Day 2
331 Club, Psycho Suzi's, and Sample Room, Northeast Minneapolis
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Slideshow: Art-A-Whirl 2012: Friday's Music
Art-A-Whirl Day 1 in Northeast Minneapolis, 5/18/12
Slideshow: Art-A-Whirl 2012: Saturday's Music
Rusty Quarters in Uptown Minneapolis posted a Facebook status asking where everyone was, making the Uptown area a literal ghost town. The answer: Art-A-Whirl.
The day started off hot and humid with a promise for rain that was later fulfilled.
The 331 Club once again hosted an outdoor and indoor stage including Southern-blues Toby Thomas Churchill, who got the crowd moving with a waltz st mid-set and ending with a foot-stomping piece that crescendoed with the wind.
Photo by Youa Vang
Martin Devaney performed sans Crossing Guards (due to a scheduling conflict) with a drummer and sometimes inviting Kate Murray onstage to accompany him on harmonies. After getting his start with the diverse Heiruspecs, Devaney has made a mark on the local scene with his new music that has traces of Bob Dylan in his lilting drawl.
Me and My Arrow debuted their first single "Erazor" from their summer project on Friday and favorably performed it also at Saturday's set.
Photo by Youa Vang
Over at Psycho Suzi's where the crowd was a little sparse -- maybe due to the $5 cover, while Enemy Planes took to the stage under the sweltering sun. The band, which includes member of Pictures of Then, debuted a new ambient sound that recalls a newer Radiohead. Lead singer Casey Call remarked, "It's not so much a new sound, but rather a new band. We're not done as Pictures of Then; we were just done exploring our roots-rock side of things...for the moment."
At the Sample Room, Dan Israel rocked to a bit of an older crowd -- there was a grandmother spotted with toilet paper used in lieu of earplugs. Although his combination of rockabilly-pop regaled the crowd, the highlight was Dan's speech on the Twins, on which he rants daily on Facebook.
Fire in the Northern Firs
Photo by Youa Vang
Back at the 331, Fire in the Northern Firs got ready to take the stage. Clearly the catalyst of the band, lead singer Carin Barno danced around barefoot onstage, sometimes singing into a micro-"phone" used to distort her voice. Her soaring vocals were underlined by guitarist Adam Kirsch's distinctive metallic intonations.
The skies opened up as No Bird Sing started their set, driving the crowd under the tent. Lead vocals/MC Joe Horton commented on how much Minnesotans love talking about the weather. They sure do.
No Bird Sing's set could be condensed into one word: intense. From their lyrics to onstage banter, a lot of what the band does has a lot of political undertones. Horton urged the crowd to find the lady that had been ceaselessly picking up after everyone and to thank her and find out her name.
A lot of the set had the band's traditional pieces starting out as freestyle raps. It's often taken for granted how difficult it is to just have three members onstage where each individual part is imperative. Graham O'Brien's drums drive the sound, but Robert Mulrennan's guitar set the melodic and moody tone for Joe's vocals.
Claiming the evening to be one big PSA, Joe appealed to the crowd to vote in November on the marriage amendment, saying how everyone is entitled to love because, "If you don't have love, you don't have anything."
Critic's bias: Art-A-Whirl has grown quite a bit in the last few years, and I expect to see it get some national attention in the upcoming years.
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