June 17, 2015
BECCA MARX: June 18th Hoot Preview —
I’ve written a lot about The Hoot, hoping to convey it as the sounding board for musical experimentation that it is. I fear I’ve neglected another important element: the audience! I don’t know of a more neighborhood-friendly music spot than the Hoot at Harriet; people come in off the street, walk or bike from their nearby homes and often are netted and brought in. The regulars have welcomed all types of artists, and in fact, many audience members are artists in their own right. They’re a generous crew, lending a hand when needed and reaching into their pockets for the players. Yes, that’s me touring the tip bucket, please forgive my intrusions, and know that I’m working to support The Hoot (tip bucket, and pen to paper: preview and recap). I believe in artists getting paid for their art, and like to see them have cash for a drink, or a bite from the food truck. Please tip your Harriet staff & musicians! Dear Hoot audience, I can vouch for the players, without your support and enthusiasm, The Hoot wouldn’t be half the creative playground that it is!
Minneapolis singer/songwriter Peter Lochner has played The Mad Ripple Hootenanny at least three years running, and in 2010 participated in First Avenue’s tribute to The Replacements. This May, he released a video for “Save Me”, a song that feels touched by soul. With thoughtful lyrics, and a voice evocative of rough sandpaper (fine grit), you’ll enjoy his spin on rocking R & B. His debut solo record “Shame On Me” was released in 2009, and he’s said to be working on its follow up. Since 2006, he has played in the band STOOK! & The Jukes at venues such as First Avenue, Art A Whirl, Moto-I, Kieran’s Irish Pub, and this Saturday (6/20) will find him performing at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival (Central Ave. Bridge).
Molly Dean might seem like a brand new artist to some. Dean’s new project Moon & Pollution is taking off in a big way. In actuality, the singer/songwriter has been around since the early 2000’s. In 2004, she released her first solo album, “Resonate,” and subsequently opened for the Bodeans, The Honeydogs and Billy McLaughlin. Her partner in Moon & Pollution is producer Graham O’Brien, and they released their first album “The Box Borealis” to rave reviews in January of this year. Slug himself endorsed the duo, and invited them to participate in the Duluth Bayfront Festival. Dean has played all over, including the Aster Café, a 2014 Harriet Brewing Hoot, Icehouse, and Hell’s Kitchen. Moon & Pollution also performed at Vita.mn’s 2015 “Are You Local?” showcase at First Avenue. Dean’s hard work seems to be paying off, and she’s currently at work on an acoustic album with Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles as the producer. The record is set for a late 2015 release through Simonett’s newly launched label GNDWIRE Records.
An Americana singer/songwriter, John Swardson (pictured, above) has a real talent for writing lyrics that tell the story of Middle America, leading to Bruce Springsteen comparisons. In 2012, with his former band Get Gone, he released “Dogs in the Woods”, and in 2006 and 2008, he released his solo records “Ablaze” and “Silver Dust.” Swardson has quite the Hoot history, going back to at least 2010, where he played The Mad Ripple CD release party for “Her Tattoos Could Sail Ships.” Since then he has played subsequent Hoots, and venues like Fulton Tap Room, the Turf Club, First Avenue, Indeed Brewery, SXSW, the Aster café, and the Live Letters singer/songwriter showcase. His band John Swardson and Bad Blood was formed in 2013, and includes the brilliant trumpet player Paul Odegaard. Most recently, Swardson and Bad Blood played a whirlwind of shows at this year’s Art A Whirl.
Newcomer to the Hoot is singer songwriter/guitarist, harmonica player: Angie Oase, a founding member of the late band Pennyroyal. Their record “Baby I’m Against It” was produced by Ed Ackerson (BNLX, Polara, Flowers Studio), and released to critical acclaim in 2013. Record Store Day 2015, at Hymie’s Vintage Records, was Pennyroyal’s last show and they’re sorely missed already, and have left a gaping hole. Remnants of Pennyroyal (Oase and Pennyroyal guitarist/vocalist Brian Cameron) can be found performing as an electronic duo at venues like Day Block Brewing, or at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival (Water Power Park) on 6/21, with bassist Ryan Plewacki (The Honeydogs, Sleep Study) and drummer Jeff Marcovis joining them. Oase is leaning deeply into the creative process, and has a solo album in the works. She has an amazing voice, all at once vulnerable, but with a raw power, and I know that she’ll be a valuable addition to The Hoot family!
Can’t wait to see all you regulars, newcomers and performers at this Thursday’s Hoot on 6/18! Let’s have a creative play date!
Becca Marx is a St. Paul-based freelance writer and critic and staff reporter for Rift Magazine.