Har-di-Har and Sister Species unite for a night at Bryant-Lake Bowl



“We’ve always wanted to add a performance art aspect to our shows,” says Julie Thoreen, one half of Minneapolis freak-poppers Har-di-Har.

Tonight at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, Har-di-Har, along with fabulous local septet Sister Species, will do just that. In addition to playing their own sets and collaborating on each other’s songs, both groups will perform a one-time-only original piece -- the details of which are top secret, though the musicians promise “something out of the ordinary.”

Wife and husband Julie and Andrew Thoreen are known regionally for their musical dreamscapes -- and for occasionally playing a single drum set together. Fresh off a long break from performing, Har-di-Har began thinking about shows differently. “We really want to [perform], but we also want to make it more than a ‘band plays with band’ show,” Andrew Thoreen says.

The seven-piece Sister Species specializes in quirk-folk of the golden pomegranate variety, with tight-knit harmonies, surprising accordion tones, and a three-piece trumpet section. “The only challenging thing has been, how do we all get together at the same time?” says Emily Kastrul. “Coordinating seven bodies is not easy, and now there’s nine of us.”

“That’s definitely the hardest part,” Andrew Thoreen chimes in, nodding emphatically. “Time as currency.”

“For a long time, the idea of disconnection, distance, competition and judgment were things that I wouldn’t necessarily own up to, but they affected me,” adds Julie Thoreen. “There’s this trajectory that a lot of us musicians can get stuck in. We get distracted by these ‘shiny lights,’ for lack of a better term, and miss all these moments. Since we started playing again, I see a whole new trajectory for my life as a musician. It involves others and it involves an investment in the arts community. My hope is that people will feel like they were part of something.”

“There are so many bands in this town. I would love to see more collaboration between them,” says Andrew Thoreen. “We’re all in this music scene together. So many positive things can come out of that. Sure, it can fail, but even that can still be constructive.”

Both bands are determined to remain in cahoots going forward, and Sister Species plans to incorporate this collaborative practice into their upcoming recording projects.

“I like to think about it like gardening,” Kastrul says. “It comes back to approaching collaboration through a feeling of abundance as opposed to scarcity.”

Sister Species and Har-di-Har
7:30 p.m. Wed., March 29
Where: Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
Tickets: $10/$8 advance; more info here