MN Winter Music Residency Line up: good excuses to get you out on a school night

I saw my friend Mikkel Beckmen at the Charlie Parr Residency at the Turf Club last night. (He was on stage; I was not!) He reminded me of his upcoming debut residency Tuesdays at the Midway Saloon. It got me thinking that I’d like to have a quick list of local residencies because there’s so much happening and I get so annoyed at myself when I forget. Then I figured I might as well share. I can’t promise I’ve included everything (feel free to send me something if you’ve got it) and I’ve stuck with weekly gigs because there’s no quick list of monthly events. And I won’t pretend like I spent hours on this – just a quick tool to help me remember to support hometown music in January!

Sunday Night

Charlie Parr at the Turf Club
It’s as fun to hear Charlie’s stories as it is to hear his music – almost. He’s often joined by Mikkel Beckmen, Liz Draper and a host of other local musicians. Everyone usually plays together at some point so it’s fun for new collaborations. This series sells out quickly. In fact, I’m sad to report that it’s sold out for January 2020. I’m looking for tickets myself!

Radio K Gigawatt at 7th Street
I gotta be honest, I don’t know too much about this gig other than it’s clearly hosted by U of M’s own Radio K. What excites me is that I think I’ve only seen one of the bands listed for the month. That’s impressive!

Monday Night

Cactus Blossoms at the Turf Club
Going back to their roots, the Cactus Blossoms play every Monday in January. There’s a musical guest each week. It’s fun to see them play at place that seems so much like home. The series isn’t sold out yet, but I’d be surprised if tickets don’t sell out before the night of the show. (Once January is over, the Cactus Blossoms will be replaced with an Erik Koskinen residency.)

JC Sandford at Icehouse
Monday night has featured jazz at the Icehouse for a number of years now. Jazz always sounds good there. The latest iteration features trombonist JC Sandford. I have to say that jazz incorporates a wide swath of sounds. For me the more experimental, the better – but if your tastes are more refined you’ll just want to check the feature of the week.

Tuesday Night

Worker’s Playtime (Mikkel Beckmen) at the Midway Saloon
I loved Big V’s but I was happy for Vic and Jeanne when they sold it and I’m excited to see this series get off the ground in the fairly newly minted Midway Saloon. Mikkel Beckmen is hosting; he knows every country, folk, Americana musician in the state. This is an early gig (6-8:00). You could come after work. It’s early for me but I’m hoping to make it part of my routine – since it’s here in the heart of St Paul and it sounds like this could become a regular thing.

Tuesday Early Evenings (TEE) at 331 Club
Hosted by Zoo Animal’s Holly Hansen, this show is always interesting and as the name implies, it’s an early show. There’s never a cover at the 331. So you have little to lose trying it out.

Brianna Kočka’s January Conspiracy Series at 331 Club
Following TEE, you can hang on to see Brianna Kočka’s January Conspiracy. Looking at the lineup for the month it’s a nice blend of folks I know and folks I don’t. So, an opportunity for old and new!

Humbird at the Icehouse
Humbird plays experimental folks music, lots of interesting looping. It’s very soothing and I love when the shows includes dancers. The night often includes another artist or artists and the genres can be all over the place, which I always enjoy. A good opportunity to hear something entirely new to you.

Wednesday Night

Turn! Turn! Turn! At the Aster Café
This residency started a month ago, or so. The band features Adam Levy, Savannah Smith and Barb Brynstad. They play a lot of songs from the 70s. They should add an official trivia element to the show as they are always sharing deep details of the original tunes. They also play a host of original songs and are working on an album. They have monthly guests.

Why Not Wednesday? At Palmer’s Bar
I attended the inaugural Why Not hosted by Theyself at Palmer’s. Palmers is great for playing any old kind of music you can imagine and I think Theyself will be able to make the most of that challenge. It was a really good show and the people watching at Palmer’s is always worth the effort.

Thursday Night

Khyber Pass Café
OK it’s not a winter residency but the Khyber Pass has been (fairly quietly) playing awesome experimental music after hours on Thursdays for years. They have beer and wine. They show is generally very affordable, the kitchen stays open and it’s in St Paul!

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