Mallrat at First Avenue – SOLDOUT
“Hannah Montana of the rap game.” It’s the tongue-in-cheek moniker that Grace Shaw gave herself early in her career as Mallrat, the best description the then 16-year-old could ascribe the bright, bouncy pop she made inspired by the likes of her rap heroes Allday, Drake and Kanye. Smash cut to three years later and now when you say, “Mallrat,” you know exactly the vibe and sound we’re talking about. The 19-year-old is perfectly positioned to be Australia’s next big name in pop music and with the release of her second EP just around the corner via Dew Process and Nettwerk, stardom seems inevitable.
Joep Beving at the Cedar – TICKETS
At nearly six foot ten, with his wild hair and flowing beard, the Dutch pianist resembles a friendly giant from a book of children’s fairy tales. But his playing – understated, haunting, melancholic – marks him out as the gentlest of giants, his delicate melodies soothing the soul in these troubled times.
“The world is a hectic place right now,” says Joep. “I feel a deep urge to reconnect on a basic human level with people in general. Music as our universal language has the power to unite. Regardless of our cultural differences I believe we have an innate understanding of what it means to be human. We have our goosebumps to show for it.”
Joep’s music is the antidote to that hectic world of uncertainty and fear – a soundtrack for a kinder, more hopeful future; a score for the unmade film of lives yet to come. “It’s pretty emotional stuff,” agrees Joep. “I call it ‘simple music for complex emotions. It’s music that enhances images, music that creates a space for the audience to fill in the gaps with their own imagination.”
Ian Sweet at the Entry – TICKETS
IAN SWEET has been the source of and solution to many of Jilian Medford’s deepest anxieties. But now, two years after her soul-bearing debut LP Shapeshifter, Medford is confronting that reality with surprising optimism on her new full-length Shapeshifter. Medford has decided to make the project a solo endeavor once again (as it had been in her salad days in the Boston DIY scene) and took the opportunity to compose some of her most self reflective and emotionally analytical songs to date.
In writing Shapeshifter, Medford committed herself to exploring her own issues with self-image, self-respect/worth, and the responsibility she has felt to others. Album opener “Hiding” was one of the first songs she wrote for the record while living in a frigid Brooklyn apartment during a winter break amidst her grueling tour schedule. In the song, Medford reflects on an interpersonal relationship that fell apart because of an inability to feel supreme comfort in sharing all the pieces of herself with someone. Nevertheless, a hopeful demeanor shines through on “Hiding” and in her writing across the album, with lyrics that embrace life’s hurdles and make them feel a little less scary.
Active Bird Community at the Entry – TICKETS
“In the simplest of terms, Amends is a record about forgiveness,” says Tom D’Agustino, one of the singers and primary songwriters of the Brooklyn-based band Active Bird Community. “Forgiving your parents for splitting up, forgiving your friends for not always understanding you, learning to forgive yourself.” The band’s forthcoming album, Amends, dwells in the intricacies of relationships — broken bonds between friends, family, and lovers — and hoping to heal.
In Hastings-on-Hudson, a small town just north of New York City, the band’s founding members — D’Agustino, co-songwriter/lead guitarist Andrew Wolfson, and bassist Zach Slater — were three teenagers without direction. Long summers were spent learning how to write and perform songs, and how to communicate complex emotions, which at such a young age brought the friends closer and closer together. “I think starting the band was almost a symbol of our friendship,” says D’Agustino. “I think we wanted to build something together.”
Active Bird Community became an exciting new world for them to explore, a home to run away to whenever life got too confusing, too difficult to navigate. They didn’t expect the band to last through high school, so when it did, they had to choose: separate and head off to different colleges, or stay together and see where the band could go. They chose both, and with the addition of Quinn McGovern on drums, Active Bird Community’s lineup was finalized.
EZI at the Fine Line – SOLD OUT
Sincere, soulful and unexpected; Ezi is a force to be reckoned with. EZI is a singer-songwriter based in LA. Signed to Steve Madden’s indie record label, 5Towns Records, EZI recently released her debut EP AFRAID OF THE DARK in January 2018. She had her first success with a feature on Kapslap’s viral hit “Gone” with over 10 million streams across all platforms. She has gotten love from publications such as Billboard, Refinery 29, Galore, EARMILK & more.
London Wainwright III at the Cedar – TICKETS
Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet)–or HGTB(Y), for short—is the 26th album in the long and illustrious career of Loudon Wainwright III.
It follows his acclaimed Older Than My Old Man Now album—“my death n’ decay opus,” as Wainwright calls it, and 2010’s Grammy-winning High Wide & Handsome.In HGTB(Y) he broadens his scope with a 14-song, genre-bounding set (“eclectricity,” he calls it) dealing with varied subject matter including depression, drinking, senior citizenship, gun control, heartbreak, pet ownership and New York City’s arcane practice of alternate side-of-the-street parking.
Uproariously rocking lead track “Brand New Dance,” which evokes The Big Bopper’s classic “Chantilly Lace,” is “me moaning and groaning about the horror and embarrassment of personal physical diminishment in the wider context of the world in which we live today,” Wainwright states.
Continuing this theme, “The Morgue,” which Judd Apatow originally commissioned for Wainwright’s dysfunctional dad character to sing to Adam Sandler in an episode of Undeclared, finds “death and decay meeting shit love,” he says.
Sure sure at the Entry – TICKETS
Sure Sure is an experimental pop band from Los Angeles, California. The highly collaborative group, composed of Chris Beachy (keyboardist, singer), Charlie Glick (guitarist, singer), Kevin Farzad (drums, percussion) and Michael Coleman (producer), has been releasing music since 2014. Perched on a hill in Highland Park, they’ve converted their house into a studio — a myriad of instruments positioned throughout the first floor, with cables snaking up the walls to the recording console upstairs.
Sure Sure’s recordings and infectious live show have quickly solidified them as one of the most exciting up and coming bands in LA. Their sound is characterized by a glowing warmth, ear-worm melodies, and driving rhythms, like if the Talking Heads, Tame Impala and Steely Dan raised their love child together under the California sun. Ever since their 2016 single “New Biome” caught fire on Spotify, the band has been garnering a rapidly expanding audience.
In the summer of 2017 they began a new release cycle, putting out the heartbreak-pop tune “Friends,” dance-tastic “Hands Up Head Down” and others, reaching #1 on the Hype Machine charts and gaining praise from Grizzly Bear, Rostam of Vampire Weekend and other staples in the indie music community. Following their album release on January 12 and Winter 2018 tour with Hippo Campus, Sure Sure will embark upon their national headline tour in April. You can call the boys at (323) 739-0630 if you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi.
The Dead Tongues at the Cedar – SOLD OUT
Ryan Gustafson remembers very little about the origins of the ten songs on Unsung Passage, his profound new reflection on the emotional architecture of love, loneliness, and life at large.
He mostly knows that the songs were written during quick spans scattered between various tours of the last two years—as a supporting guitarist for his kindred North Carolina spirits Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook’s Guitarheels and as the leader of his own long-evolving vehicle for a beautifully fractured vision of folk, country, blues, and cosmic American rock, The Dead Tongues. Gustafson’s third and best album under that name, Unsung Passage depends more on the songs themselves than the sounds around them. It is a first-person reckoning with the things Gustafson, a chronically peripatetic adventurer, has seen enough to sing about. “Every turn, every changing that occurs,” Gustafson offers during “The Broken Side of People Everywhere,” his voice sweetly yearning for whatever it is that might come next. “There’s a string attached, with a promise at the end.”
KT Tunstall at the Fine Line – TICKETS
Since scoring a worldwide smash with her debut album Eye To The Telescope in 2004, which went on to sell over 5 million copies, KT Tunstall has remained at the forefront of UK singer-songwriter talent. Over the next decade, three further critically acclaimed albums followed; Drastic Fantastic, Tiger Suit and Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively, keeping the platinum sales rolling and cementing the Scottish singer-songwriter’s reputation as a major recording talent, as well as a mesmerizing live artist.
She released her 6th album “Wax” a few weeks ago
Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double CD Release at the Hook & Ladder – TICKETS
Americana singer/songwriter, Vicky Emerson, will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her wildly successful 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down. The Minneapolis Star Tribune said, “Vicky Emerson has voice like a fallen angel that’s as pretty as it is strong, and now she backs it up with growing lyrical depth and richly blue Americana arrangements on her third album.” The album reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart.
Featuring Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals, Mother Banjo is a New England-raised, Minneapolis-based songwriter. Called “an outstanding poet” (Inside Bluegrass), she was a Midwest Finalist for the prestigious Mountain Stage NewSong Contest and has been featured nationally on SiriusXM Radio and CMT.com. Her first original release in over five years, the highly anticipated Eyes on the Sky is Mother Banjo’s most fully realized album to date, artfully mixing her signature blend of folk, bluegrass and soulful Americana that has become a hallmark of her live shows, whether playing solo or with her dynamic five-piece band.
Low at the Fitzgerald Theater – TICKETS
In 2018, the band Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.
Richard Marx at the Fitzgerald Theater – TICKETS
The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his self-titled debut which went to #8 and spawned four Top 5 singles, including the chart-topping “Hold on to the Nights,” with “Don’t Mean Nothing” earning him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The follow-up, 1989’s Repeat Offender, was even more successful, hitting #1 and going quadruple-platinum with two #1 singles in “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.” When both Rush Street (with two #1 AC hits in “Keep Coming Back” and “Hazard”) and Paid Vacation (with its #1 AC hit, “Now and Forever”) went platinum, Marx achieved a seven-year string of triumphs that rivaled any in pop-rock music history. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.
On July 8, 2014, he released his eighth album, Beautiful Goodbye, featuring all new material such as its first single and video, “Whatever We Started.” Fans may find Marx’s eighth studio album, a bit of a departure from his previous albums. According to the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, he set out to make a deliberately sexy album. “The songs on this record were influenced greatly by everyone from Sade to Bebel Gilberto to various EDM artists to even Chopin. I’m known for romantic music in the past, but this music I wrote is all more sensual and ethereal, and the lyrics are more adventurous than I’ve been willing to go in the past.”
The Safes at the Eagles Club – EVENT INFO
Touring coast-to-coast since 2003, The Safes have established large, loyal fanbases across the country on the strength of their live show which is a sweaty explosion of energy and melody. The Safes have also shared the stage/floors with such acts as wild america, The Growlers, Autumn Defense, Detroit Cobras, Foghat, The Toasters, Hunx and his Punx, Andrew Bird, The Zoltars, Smoking Popes, Greenhornes, The Vibrators, Shannon and the Clams, Spinto Band… to name a few.
The boys have been very fortunate to have worked with such talented & generous friends such as: director/filmography/editors Andrew Maggio & pupeteer Rachel Frizzi for The SAFES “The Sky is Falling” puppet massacre (premiere on Pitchfork TV) and Well, Well, Well’s cold killer “Since Trust Went Bust”(premiere on Daily Motion); to Nika Thiel’s masktacular “Deception”; Mike Hindert’s chicken caper for “Hopes Up, Guard Down” (premiere on CMJ) and the weeper rabbit peeper “She So Sad, and most recently a uniquely global video directed by Mickey Mangan for The Safes “I Would Love To”, that was filmed by Safes fans in 15 countries and represents 12 languages (premiere on Yahoo! Music), and Patrick Oleksy’s animated and multi-layered suburban dreamland drama for “Hometown” (“Stereogum”).
Capitol Sons at Dayblock Brewing – EVENT INFO
Capital Sons is a heart-on-your-sleeve rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. No fluff, no gimmicks; we get up on stage and play our songs… it’s that simple.
Seamlessly blending musical influences and a pop-rock nature into a high energy, unique and lyrically poignant mix, Capital Sons has a sound that is fresh, yet recognizable.
Led by Karl Obermeyer, Capital Sons brings undeniable melodies and heartfelt lyrics to audiences, all anchored by a rock steady rhythm section. The band members — Obermeyer on vocals and guitar, John Tetrault on bass and vocals, Rick Paukert on guitar, and Mike Jueneman on drums — have earned a reputation as an original and expressive band making a mark on the Twin Cities and beyond.