Oh, what a year to be part of the LGBTQ community! With Minnesota becoming one of a now handful of states to legalize same-sex marriages, this year is one for the books for the annual Pride Festival in Minneapolis and St. Paul. And, of course, what’s a celebration without a little music. Focusing on the festival’s main stage at Loring Park (though there are four other stages to help host the 60+ different entertainers throughout the festival), Pride weekend is filled with Twin Cities-based musicians that have been hiding right underneath your nose.
SATURDAY June 29
Duck Duck Punch is a synthpop duo who, according to their website, is “fueled by vintage snythesizers and drum machines” and brings “the analog spirit into the modern electronic genre.” They claim that they “fall somewhere amongst the likes of Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Ladytron, Goldfrapp, and Fischerspooner.” Listening to them will definitely bring back memories of the 80s popular music, and who doesn’t love 80s music!
Alternative trio TIGER VS. is described to “combine catchy synths and quivering vocals with electric cello and live drums,” according to the bands bio via First Avenue’s performer pages. This electro-pop trio released Lone Wolf last September, their first EP, and their second album is due to be released Summer/Fall of this year. For more regarding their various gigs throughout the city, check out their Facebook page; Lone Wolf can be heard on Bandcamp.
One of the bands featured in “Pride in Concert,” the concert concluding the main stage’s Saturday entertainment, is that of L’Assassins. These “post-apocalyptic vixen” rockers take influence from the likes of The Cramps, The Shangrilas, and The Ramones, so listed on their Facebook. They “snarl their way through the roots of garage rock and female angst,” attested by their sophomore EP, Lovin’ on the Run, which “draws more heavily from garage influences – resulting in a raw punk edge combined with rockabilly roots.” The description of the album also states that the EP is “for those who enjoy classic girl groups and 60s garage, as well as the 80s revivalist movement of that genre.” Safe to say, these girls will rock your socks off.
Also on Saturday’s Main Stage: Strange Names, Wiping Out Thousands, RJ & The Soul, and The New Standards
SUNDAY June 30
Buffalo Moon, according to their First Avenue performer biography, “congregated haphazardly under a common admiration for traditional samba, Brazilian psychedelia, and American rock and roll… to flesh out the songs of [Ecuadorian] lead singer Karen Freire.” A band not Minneapolis-grown but at least cultivated by the city, their sound incorporates “elements of R&B, electro-pop, jazz, and punk rock, without ever abandoning the underlying Latin groove.” Influenced by The Beach Boys, amongst various other bands, Buffalo Moon’s album Wetsuit “is in turn beachy and cosmopolitan, slyly experimental, and a lot of fun” as stated on their Facebook.
The Roxxy Hall Band is all about promoting women in the music business. The “8-piece, all-women, rock-n-soul band” lists their influences on Facebook as musicians such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and more. “[Grooving] on Stax, Motown, band originals, and R&B,” Roxxy Hall Band plays at events like Grand Old Days, the Minnesota State Fair, and various other gigs, all while “promoting womens’ music and hosting the All Women’s Jam”
While not a native Minnesotan, Keri Noble currently resides in Minneapolis and that’s enough for her listeners. This singer-songwriter, inspired by Joni Mitchell, has a “passion and penchant for living life on her own terms [that] radiates from her music,” stated on her website biography. This piano-based musician, in addition to her concerts, is co-host with Brian Oake on a morning radio show for Cities97 and also has a segment featured bi-weekly on KFAN’s morning show, “Keri Around Town.” With tours around the world, one of her songs used on Grey’s Anatomy, and appearance on CBS’s The Early Show, Noble’s achievements make Minneapolis proud.
Also on Sunday’s Main Stage: Southside Desire, June Bug, Matt Iverson, and Brent
For the exact lineup, the entire list of entertainment at Pride, or for information about the Twin Cities Pride Festival, visit www.tcpride.org