During the dead of a Minnesota winter, whether during biting subzero temperatures, dreary winter thaws, or majestic but disruptive blizzard is to take advantage of some of the Twin Cities’ venues for live music, listening to bands both local and visiting our cities. Over the past month, Lindsay and I have seen some pretty awesome shows, in some pretty awesome and intimate settings. In all of them, it felt like we were just hanging out with the bands! Here are a few highlights from a January of music!
Probably my favorite show of the month (and the year so far) was the Anonymous Choir Sings Leonard Cohen, a beautiful and romantic interpretation of Cohen’s classic songs by Anonymous Choir. Nona Marie Invie of Dark Dark Dark’s fifteen person women’s choir, . The venue, Icehouse, was a particularly apt place to experience the dulcet vocals and piano the choir specializes in. This was made even more enjoyable as Lindsay and I enjoyed a few of Icehouses’ heady, delicious cocktails at the site of our first date! Wow, romantic!
Another of my favorite local bands I found out about a year ago at the Cedar Cultural Center, StoLyette played a few weeks ago at the Nomad World Pub, part of Bones and Beeker’s Minneseries, held there every Thursday night. The Nomad is a great, relaxed pub with a pretty strong list of craft beers and cocktails (in both senses of the word) and is a great place to experience some live music. Dosh had some interesting and hypnotic tunes, mixed live, and again StoLyette entranced me with their ethereal, eerie sound and modernized Russian folksongs sung in Russian! Pretty cool.
When seeing shows at First Avenue, I think I prefer the 7th Street Entry which, while a little cramped, always seems to be a cozier, more intimate space for listening to bands. Earlier in January we went to see one of Lindsay’s favorite bands, Lower Dens, an indie pop band from Baltimore on their return to the Twin Cities. The group performed a lively and energetic show for a packed audience eager for their dreamy but upbeat sound.
The last music event we experienced in January was one of the most interesting. Celebrating the reopening of the historic, elegant George Latimer Central Library branch of the St. Paul Public Library, this year’s first Loud at the Library concert was awesome. Featuring local sibling singers The Ericksons and the headliner, folk rock singer Reina del Cid, it was a great location for some awesome, upbeat songs, like this one!
In between sets, a DJ played selections from the St. Paul Public Library‘s own, awesome vinyl collection (which are available to check out!) Thanks to sponsor Summit Brewing, another local St. Paul institution, bottles of free beer were provided. I will definitely have to pay off the fines I owe to the St. Paul Public Library so that I can make use of their collections (in particular their vinyl) in the future!
Loud at the Library will be continuing to bring live music to the George Latimer Central Library in February and March, so definitely check that out!