$10 in advance/$15 at the door
10pm doors/10:30pm showtime
Heartache is at the center. Every song written by frontman Jonathan Tolliver is about one thing. There are major chords, there’s dancing, and there’s plenty of boozing. Underneath, though, is pain.
Fresh on the heels of a record that put them on the map in the upper Midwest, and having won best new bands honors from some of Minneapolis’ most influential publications, Black Diet stands at a crossroads. With a sound that fits well enough in a growing soul revivalist narrative, they can surely book shows, tour, work the circuit. But until that pain comes out, stands front and center, not obfuscated by hooks or shimmering guitar lines, it’ll be hard to move forward. You can only smile through so much.
With this in mind, the band is smoking more, listening more, taking more in. While soul is the center, nobody’s ever been mad at a Talking Heads record. While Al Green stays on the playlist, Room on Fire’s probably next in the queue. Lyrically, the sordid tales of abandonment and sex without connection that marked “Find Your Tambourine” have been replaced by tales of familial strife, fear of failure, and hard fought, bleary-eyed love.
Their growing sound can be summed up in the euphoria found in a great dancehall. Everyone’s moving, desperately trying to hold off the morning after. When those dancers take a break, grab a fresh drink, and step out of the haze of the hardwood floor, that moment of heartache, with the music still blaring in the background. That’s where Black Diet’s is.
The center. Pulling everything in from the outer rings, the satellites, the tangential, to create something grounded and true. This is a band constantly in search of the center, the place where your heart and your body meet. If you find it first, you should let them know.
With their sophomore release two, the rising PHO use funk as a vehicle to explore their “Minneapolis sound” influences with torch in hand. Intimate and soulful, intense and highly energetic, the new album comes sprinkled with psychedelia and hip-hop, while maintaining the tight arrangements of funk tradition.
The thirteen tracks, which were produced by John Davis, feature Kirk Johnson of Prince’s New Power Generation on percussion. Recorded in Cannon Falls, Minnesota at the legendary Pachyderm Studio (Nirvana's In-Utero), there was no shortage of vintage vibe amidst a playground of old ‘70s synths and classic guitars, all articulated in the expansive array of musical colors ever-present throughout the mix.
The youthful PHO has been proving their funky prowess to the national music scene with a powerful live show that leaves crowds in awe. They’ve achieved this stature alongside big names in the business, including The Motet, Dopapod, Dumpstaphunk and many more.
PHO has been acquiring new fans with each appearance, but in the winter of 2016 they attracted a truly unexpected fan when Prince caught a live performance from their YouTube page, which prompted an invite to open for Larry Graham (Graham Central Station) at the iconic Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN. That performance triggered another Prince Tweet: “Come back anytime. Just Holla.” Having the blessing of “The Purple One” before his untimely death has pushed PHO to continue cultivating the Minneapolis sound’s legacy, and with the release of two, PHO promises to bring a new and exciting brand of funk to the world.
Ayvah is a collection of jazz-trained musicians and hip-hop lovers rooted in soul; as they combine all of these influential and eclectic sounds, Ayvah has emerged as a jazz-funk, neo-soul band. Ayvah creates music from a wide base of inspiration, including love, heartbreak, coming of age, sexuality, poetry, nature and more. Minneapolis/Saint Paul based, Ava McFarlane (lead vocals), Sam Rosenstone (keys), Ethan Yeshaya (bass), Joey C. Hays (drums) and Andy Schupp (guitar) bring a strong sense of artistry and collaboration, thus creating a sound that's intriguing to all music tastes. City Pages echoes Ayvah's attack on music, saying, "Minneapolis five-piece Ayvah’s is [hard] to pin down. That’s not just because they’ve hardly released any music, instead preferring to hone their live show. It’s due to the band’s eclecticism; their sound is an intoxicating fusion of jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, and more. Led by the preternaturally talented singer Ava McFarlane, the group reliably whips up kinetic, propulsive grooves, as attendees of their live shows have witnessed.
Ayvah's response to the eclecticism of their music is, "We don’t want to limit ourselves to any specific genre or taste— we just want to create art that is technical, thought out and charged with inspiration.