Check out our playlist featuring all of our May 2017 artists on Spotify, and read about our top picks below.
Laura Marling – Friday May 5th
British folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling recently celebrated the release of her 6th album Semper Femina. This album, recorded in LA and produced with Blake Mills, is an unparalleled examination of womanhood. Marling began writing the album with the intent of taking the perspective of a man talking about a woman. She soon realized there was no reason for her to not write from her own perspective. The result is an “intimate, devoted exploration of femininity and female relationships” that poignantly “addresses the space between the perceptions and realities of being a woman.” First Avenue and The Cedar will be co-presenting this show in the First Avenue Mainroom on Friday May 5th. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a great night. In the mean time, check out her incredible performance of Wild Fire off her new album below, and pick up tickets ($25 General Admission) here.
Orbiting Human Circus (of The Air) ft. The Music Tapes – Sunday May 7th
This event will truly be a once in a lifetime experience. As fans of the podcast already know, The Orbiting Human Circus is an eight-part series telling the tale of the hapless Janitor of the Eiffel Tower (played by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel) and his wayward attempts to become a part of a popular radio show broadcast nightly from the ballroom atop the Eiffel Tower. The whimsical world created by Koster and the popular podcast producers Night Vale Presents translates beautifully into their live shows. The night will feature music from Koster’s band, The Music Tapes, who are “known for creating unique and extraordinary live events.” For a glimpse into what a wonderful night of whimsy we have in store, check out The Music Tapes video for “S’ Alive to be Known (May We Starve)” below, and pick up tickets ($15 advance/ $18 day of show) here.
Frontier Ruckus – Tuesday May 9th
Enter the Kingdom, the 5th record from Michigan band Frontier Ruckus, eloquently mixes their diverse influences of 60s folk rock and 90s power pop into a truly poignant, accessible tonic of sadness and sweetness focused around the suburban American household. It is evident in their lyrics that the man behind them, Matthew Milia, is a talented storyteller. Don’t miss Frontier Ruckus with opener J.E. Sunde at The Cedar Tuesday May 9th. Pick up tickets ($15 advance/ $18 day of show) here.
Emel – Wednesday May 10th
First gaining notoriety as a leading artist in the Arab Spring, Emel has since proven she is a powerful force that is here to stay. Her music is a “unique mix of North African rhythms and modern electronic beats,” with lyrics that continue to speak to social and cultural issues she sees in her homeland of Tunisia and in the world at large. Watch her video for “Ensen Dhaif” below and pick up tickets ($15 advance/ $18 day of show) here.
Steep Canyon Rangers – Thursday May 11th
Formed in 2000 in North Carolina while the members were still attending the University of Carolina in Chapel Hill, this bluegrass group has gone on to become a Grammy award winning force. They have been referred to as the “sound of North Carolina” and have managed to “effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra.” After fifteen years together and nine studio albums, Steep Canyon Rangers are only gaining steam. Check out their Garden & Gun Back Porch Session below and pick up tickets ($30 General Admission/ $40 Center Section) here.
Festival Au Desert/ Caravan of Peace – Saturday May 13th
Exiled from the Sahara, Mali’s influential Festival in the Desert brings its “caravan” to The Cedar for a rare performance of desert blues, an art form now banned in its homeland. Get tickets ($25 Advance / $30 Day of show) here.
Ali Farka Touré Band is composed entirely of musicians who travelled the world with the legendary musician of Malian blues and triple Grammy award winner, including singer Afel Bocoum and the master of the guitar Mahmadou Kelly. To mark the 10th anniversary of Ali Farka Touré’s death, the former band members have gathered together to revive his entire repertoire.
Often dubbed as pioneers of desert rock, Terakaft is a Tuareg band from Mali featuring founding members of Tinariwen that “combine Western high-tech with earthy African roots in perfect calibration” (Songlines). In these troubled times, they present deep Saharan rhythms as a vital contemporary heartbeat.
Choir! Choir! Choir! – Thursday May 18th
Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, founding members of Choir! Choir! Choir! began collaborating nearly a decade ago. However, it wasn’t until February of 2012 that they held their first organized sing along. Since then, they have been holding an average of two sessions a week in their home town of Toronto. These “sessions” turn the crowd into the most important instrument of the performance. Each audience members is given a lyrics sheet and divided into three sections based on pitch. The audience then becomes the lead vocalists, and Adilman and Goldman onstage act as only back up. The community these two have managed to build around these sessions is astonishing. Get a glimpse of the sheer power of the community below and visit the event page to pick up tickets ($20 general admission).
Pyrrha – Friday May 19th
In 1839, Edgar Allen Poe wrote The Fall of the House of Usher. In the short story, an unnamed narrator tells the tale of his last encounter with his childhood friend, the neurotic and delusional Roderick Usher. The story is to this day known as a great “psychological tale of confusion between reality and pictures.” In 1928, the great French director Jean Epstein turned the work into a movie. Known for his dreamy visual experimentation and surreal imagery, Epstein’s rendition of The Fall of the House of Usher brings Poe’s perturbed and compelling universe to life.
In 2017, Minneapolis band Pyrrha will perform an original soundtrack to the movie. This three piece collaboration of Jackie Becky, Jonathan Kaiser and Adam Wozniak use viola, cello and bass alongside electronic and experimental sound making tools to create a densely layered, ethereal sound. In the past members of Pyrrha have scored such movies as Fritz Lang’s Spies, D. W. Griffith’s A Corner in Wheat, Kaiser’s Flat Land Speed and The Phantom Carriage. Check out the excerpts from their original score for The Phantom Carriage below and visit the event page to pick up tickets ($10 general admission).
Moonrise Nation – Saturday May 20th
This Chicago based trio have their roots firmly dug into Americana and indie-driven pop. The group, made up of sisters Eva and Arden Bee and long-time friend Emma McCall, are masters of song craft. Their music is “both heartfelt and honest, with orchestral elements and vocal hooks.” In 2014, they released their first EP, which was recorded under none other than Prince and Revolution’s Bobby Z. Their forthcoming debut album Glamour Child is a coming of age story, dealing with issues of loss, love and identity. See their video for the album’s title track below and visit the event page to pick up tickets ($10 advance/ $12 day of show).
Matra Album Release Party – Friday May 26th
Matra will be celebrating the release of their first ever full-length at The Cedar Friday May 26th. This Minneapolis percussion based ensemble consists of Andres Crovetti on vibraphone, Jenny Klukken on marimba, Ryan Hays on bass, Matthew Solace on drum set, and Krissy Bergmark on tabla. Matra has performed at the Minnesota Public Radio’s Pop-up Classical, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, MacPhail Center for Music events, have toured Minnesota as MPR Class Notes Artists, and even held a residency at Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar in Lowertown St. Paul. Check out their performance of D5 at the Southern Theater below and pick up tickets ($15 advance/ $18 day of show) here.
Opening for Matra will be local band Jelloslave. Jelloslave debuted as a collaboration between Jacqueline Ultan and Michelle Kinney back in 2003. Now a full fledge quartet with the addition of Greg Schutte and Gary Waryan, Jelloslave is known for their “dynamic improvisational compositions.” Check out a clip from their 2007 performance at First Ave below.
Zack Baltik, another former Cedar Commissions artist, will also be performing. Once again, he will take the stage to perform the piece he created for The Cedar Commissions: ingress/passage. He will be joined on stage by bass clarinetist Carley Olson and drummer Reese Kling. To learn more about his piece, check out the Cedar Commissions Spotlight piece below.
Frazey Ford – Thursday May 30th
Canadian singer-songwriter Frazey Ford, founding member of The Be Good Tanyas, made her solo debut with the full-length Obadiah in 2010. The release was met with much support and enthusiasm. She was lauded for her “sensual and opulent vocals.” Her most recent release Indian Ocean was recorded with Al Green’s band The Hi Rhythm Section. This album tells a story of highs and lows. It is about “pain and dealing with tough truths but also about trust, love contrition and being bold.” Check out the video for “Done” below and pick up tickets ($20 advance/ $25 day of show) here.
For a full look at all the events we have going on, check out our upcoming events.
Brenna Tierney – Spring Marketing Intern