The Hexagon Bar hosting a hex of a weekend of local music

Hark! The weekend approaches, and with it a marathon of exceptional free shows at the Hexagon, tailored to lovers of straight-from-the-basement rock and the musky charm of Seward's definitive club. Three nights: three musical mélanges of intriguing and complimentary local talent.

Here's this weekend's guide to noise-fueled depravity at the Hex:
Thursday, February 23: Friends by Fire, Nyteowl (EP release), Plastic Believers and the Rope.

What binds this lineup together is the utilization of synthetic sounds, with each act harnessing a slightly different approach. Friends by Fire serve their synth in the form of catchy, melodic pop, channeling the vocal drama of the '80s in a way that's accessible beyond the niche of new wave nostalgia. Nyteowl ushers in the element of computer-generated, space-funk, electro-pop. Jeremiah Conlon (read Gimme Noise's interview here) has held a prolific career as a DJ and it's evident in this danceable, musical product. Plastic Believers (a duo) project a more eerie, experimental interpretation, a hypothetical offspring of the creepy band from Twin Peaks and the opening track in Drive. The Rope doles out such authentic, vintage new wave that one stops to wonder if the man at the mic might indeed be Robert Smith or Richard Butler himself. (Facebook invite)

Friday, February 24: Toxic Shrews, Animal Lover, Miami Dolphins and Hasps.

This grouping of musicians hold a shared love of of garage rock in its most unrefined, entertaining forms. Toxic Shrews bring the fuzz, the feedback and the fervor to jam while Animal Lover riffs to a more corrosive, Krautrock-influenced aesthetic. Miami Dolphins pull from a grab bag of influence, blending elements of sun-soaked surf with frenetic noise-punk in a way that's best comprehended with a drink in hand and a death wish for your eardrums. Hasps reshape the raw ingredients of the garage band into lively (and wonderfully loud) experimentation. (Facebook invite)

Saturday, February 25: NPC's, the Velveteens and Little Pagans.

Saturday's set may be less cohesive in a thematic sense but it's far from lacking in terms of quality musicianship. The NPC's (featuring parts of Total Babe and Red Pens) deliver a fast-paced brand of reverb-y punk. The Velveteens: almost the polar opposite with more subdued instrumentation and mild, soul-fused vocals. Little Pagans is the newest project of Red Pens drummer Laura Bennett, so if if there's anything it's not, it's boring or mild. (Facebook invite)

The Hexagon bar is at 2600 27th Ave S., Minneapolis. Call 612.722.3454.

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