The North Star State
Fun Facts: State flower; lady slipper, state song; “Hail Minnesota,” state bird; common loon
The Venues: Boasting four days of music and camping, the annual 10,000 Lakes Festival (10KLF) is held every year at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, MN. This year the festival lineup includes Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and Ozomatli in addition to OurStage artists My Dear Disco, Roster McCabe and Colfax. The building known as First Avenue has been an integral part of the Twin Cities music scene for the past three decades. While artists from Jefferson Starship to Run DMC to Jimmy Cliff have played there, the club is best known as Prince’s regular venue and the setting for his iconic movie Purple Rain. To see local and national bands cut their teeth, and enjoy some kitchy retro decor, the Turf Club is the place to go.
Clawthroat – St. Paul’s Clawthroat play honest, simple, straightforward folk rock. The sparse instrumentation on “Halifax” lets their smart lyrics shine. You can tell this band puts their hearts and souls into their music.
Bella Ruse – Whether you think its folksy jazz with pop hooks or pop-folk with a jazz twist, Minneapolis duo Bella Ruse are definitely on to something. On their Myspace page, the band describes their sound as “Ella plus a little folk, Feist plus a little jazz, Yael [Naim] minus the accent.” A typical set can include jazz standards and Broadway staples along with their own original music. You can hear their song “Heart of Everyone” on their debut EP.
Aviette – Minneapolis-based Aviette play progressive, catchy indie rock. Vocalist Holly Munoz sings like a more subdued but no less sincere Emily Haines (Metric). “Ghost Town” won Aviette the #1 Channel Prize in Indie Pop for July 2008. Their third full length album We Never Make Mistakes will be available through local St. Paul artist collective Draw Fire Records this October.
Sam Keenan – According to his OurStage profile, Sam Keenan spends his time “…Trying to blend the rich history of rock, hip-hop, folk and improvised music.” He succeeds with “Rosie’s Door,” a laid back song with sweet melodies and acoustic guitar layered over a hip-hop beat. In addition to making music, Sam has worked as a recording engineer for artists like Regina Spektor, M.I.A. and Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. He is also a part of the Draw Fire Records collective.
Check out these acts and other great Minnesota artists in the playlist below!
Who are your favorite OurStage Minnesotans? Where do you like to see live music in Minnesota? Let us know in the comments!