Kate Nash, The Cops, Dosh, and more -- here's a rundown of the shows we saw this weekend. Now with 33% more pictures!
Kate Nash First Avenue, May 2 By Jeff Shaw Photos by Daniel Corrigan
Charles Bukowski once advised playing the piano drunk like a percussion instrument until the fingers began to bleed a bit. Kate Nash wasn't drinking anything stronger than tea, but her First Avenue show was at its best when most percussive.
"We love you, Kate! Please stop telling us to be quiet!." More photos.
A prime example: Nash mashing the keys toward the end of upbeat songs and her backing band employing multiple drummers during "Mariella." Employing a powerful backbeat helps Nash's melodies advance. The 20-year-old Brit's innocent stage presence permits her certain trespasses -- like shushing the audience not once, but twice, before quieter songs -- that other artists might do well to avoid. But she curtsied to the crowd while wearing a skort, and how adorable is that? She might have broken the heart of one concert-goer by shooting down his shouted proposal ("You can't propose yet, you haven't even met my dad," she chided), but everyone else left satisfied.
Blind Shake, The Cops, The Slats, Strut & Shock Hexagon Bar, May 2 By Andrea Myers
The Blind Shake drive the ladies crazy. Photo by Jon Behm.
"I've already lost the heel on my shoe and the tuning peg on one of my guitars," announced The Cops's lead singer Michael Jaworski, a few songs into their set. "This is gonna be a good night." Despite having problems keeping track of their physical belongings, The Cops played a powerful set of gritty-yet-melodic punk. The Seattle, Wash. band were the only out-of-towners on the bill Friday night, but they fit in nicely between locals The Blind Shake and The Slats.
Another highlight of the evening was Strut & Shock, a new project from Selby Tiger's Arzu Gokcen. The band is still rough around the edges (perhaps intentionally?), but with Gokcen's snarling vocal melodies and badass Joan Jett vibe leading the way there's a good chance that Strut & Shock will be the next quintessential local girl-punk band. At the end of their set, Gokcen announced that their debut album will be released late next month.
World of Dosh Walker Art Center, May 3 By Andrea Myers
Image by Cameron Wittig
It was easy to be awestruck by the massive amount of talent pulsing through the room at the "World of Dosh" show -- if a bomb had been detonated at the Walker Saturday night, it would have been the death of Minneapolis's experimental jazz and electronic scenes. What was even more impressive, however, was that even when all seven or eight guest musicians were playing at once (including Andrew Bird, Jel, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Andrew Broder, Mike Lewis, and J.T. Bates), their instruments blended together into unified tapestry of lush and muted chaos. There were no mind-blowing solos -- though many of the musicians playing could have likely melted our faces at a moment's notice -- and no vocals, aside from a few looped grunts and moans. Instead, the guest musicians were like pawns at Dosh's disposal, their contributions bent and broken down at his command.
The Walker's McGuire Theater was the perfect setting for such an event. Patrons were able to sit quietly and digest the minute details of Dosh's spiraling creativity as it unfolded. The stage was scattered with microphones and pedals, and videographers were on hand to capture the proceedings from every possible angle and project live feeds onto a screen behind the band.
To learn more about the magical world of Dosh, see Jeff Severns Guntzel's extensive coverage in last week's issue of City Pages.