Homegrown Day 3: Surfing monkeys, dusty road trips and tainted love

Tim Saxhaug of Trampled By Turtles performs “Swimming Alone” at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth during a show Tuesday, April 30, 2013, as part of the Homegrown Music Festival. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Trampled By Turtles opened its Homegrown Music Festival set by paying homage to the band’s homies. The kept the lights dim and moody for “When I Got Deaf,” conjuring the spirit of the currently jet-set Low in front of about 700 fans on Tuesday at Clyde Iron Works.

There was a guest appearance from Erik Koskinen, who is in Dead Man Winter with a few of the guys from Trampled. Koskinen, who played Bayfront Blues Festival this past summer, didn’t stick around long. He sat in on steel guitar for “Widower’s Heart” and then disappeared into the night.

The crowd performed a big sloppy sing along to “Alone” and then danced like they were at the Prom after party in a barn on the edge of town to “Wait So Long,” which still seems to be everyonessuperfavoritesong.

There was crowd surfing — and not just from a huge yellow stuffed monkey (was that a monkey?). There seemed to be an actual body at some point. There were lit lighters in lieu of phone screens. Tim Saxhaug took lead on “Swimming Alone.”

There was little chatter from the band, aside from Dave Simonett thanking Homegrown organizers and Erik Berry agreeing to an encore, although, I think he said they weren’t supposed to, followed by “Codeine.”

It’s fun to look at Trampled through fresh eyes and think: What if I’d never seen this band before?  I’d be pretty sure that fiddle was going to start on fire and then the mandolin would start on fire and then WATCH YOUR BEARDS, EVERYONE!

The world-touring bluegrass band played Symphony Hall recently enough that someone somewhere must still have a crumpled ticket stub in her pocket. They are also booked to  play with Atmosphere on June 29 at Bayfront Festival Park.

AURORA & HER GOOD INTENTIONS
Confidential to Big Top Chautauqua: Is it too late to book Aurora Baer on your stage? This singer-songwriter needs an outdoor concert, preferably at night, and hundreds of barefoot fans holding keg cups. Aurora & Her Good Intentions opened Day 3 with a set on the Mezzanine at Clyde Iron Works. The crew of Baer, Mark Glen on bass, Andy Lipke on guitar, T. Bruce Bowers on fiddle and Tyler Dubla on drums played for a packed early audience. Baer has a big, triumphant voice with songs perfect for the dustiest of road trips. Her work as a heavy-gigging performer has paid off: She’s got a comfort on stage that matches that of Sheryl Crow or Lucinda Williams.

JASON WUSSOW & FRIENDS
There is something about the “& Friends” that lends itself to a good-time band. These bands are never just going through the motions. They grin, bring other friends on stage,  get silly. This band had a surf-reggae sound, obvi, there was Jimi Cooper of The Fractals. Wussow brought Homegrown gig-less Jen West on stage to perform “We Own the Night.” Mark Glen, who had just played with Aurora Baer, suddenly Houdini’d himself to the main stage for the set with Wussow. HOW DID HE DO THAT?

THE KEEP AWAYS
Every young woman should be required to watch The Keep Aways. The sooner the better. Singer-guitar player Mindy Johnson and bass player Nikki Moeller were once referred to by a News Tribune reporter as “rocket launchers for punk rock.” Seems about right.

BIG WAVE DAVE & THE RIPPLES
I wonder if Mr. D’s knew what it was getting itself into, hosting three bands on Tuesday night. The doors must have opened, the bartenders looked up from their prep work, and WHAM! CHAOS. Mr. Kickass, Iron Range Outlaw Brigade and Big Wave Dave & The Ripples played at the West Duluth bar — a scene that looked an awful lot like Spirit Valley Days.

This audience member grabbed a stool far from the action and caught a bit of a “Tainted Love” cover and little else. It is believed to have been a solid show.

NOTED HOMEGROWN TRENDS (so far)
Face paint.
High Fives.
Making out.

ONLINE
Here is a story about the Music Resource Center showcase at Sacred Heart Music Center. This four-act bill starts at 6 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>