In the sea of concerts coming through the Twin Cities each year there a plenty of fish travelling in the same genre “Metal band with vaguely satanic sounding name”, “Boy with guitar”, “Indie girl singer talking about breakups”, “Pop Punk band that maybe listened to a real punk song once”, “Emo band with 3 random word name”………… but every once in while there’s an artist that breaks genres. Two of those – Cartel Madras and Sudan Archives – were at First Avenue’s Entry last night.
First up was Cartel Madras. Boy do they ever throw the rule book out the window. Buzzwords? Indian, Queer, Female, Rap Duo, Goonda (Indian slang for Thug), oh and from Canada. Beneath the Gansta Rap top layer are musical references to India, from Sitar tracks to melodic references. Nor are political issues off topic – Indian Prime Minister Modi got an earful ………
The sister duo of Contra and Eboshi had a ton of fun and spend a good time laughing at themselves and with the crowd. Jokingly asking if it was always this cold and when the audience responded like we usually do (expecting some freezing southerner) we were reminded that they were from Vancouver (-40 degrees). A magic show, feared wardrobe malfunctions and PowerPuff Girl references rounded out the set.The stage was cleared for Sudan Archives with a good amount of candles (the LED kind, First Ave is still standing). She is a self taught electronic musician whose music is as fascinating as her appearance. With her platform boots she towered over the Entry stage and still managed to work numerous foot pedals. Her sound layers numerous influences (including some from the namesake country – she’s from Cincinnati, Ohio and Sudan was one of her nicknames) and infuses her violin into the fabric of her songs often topping them with voice floating softly over it all. Her sold out performance at the Entry is more than proof of her style finding fans.
Both sets were unique, captivating and memorable. In the vast sea, 2 shiny fish sparkle.