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Thursday, April 08, 2004


Music by The Melismatics, Astronaut Wife, Sideways, Faux Jean, The Mood Swings and DJ Marc Mueller / Visuals and interactive digital media design by Co.Lab and Jennifer Jurgens

At First Avenue, Minneapolis on Friday, April 16th, 2004 @ 5 pm

It's that time of year again, and time for this much-anticipated annual event from one of my favorite local labels: Susstones. HowWasTheShow will of course be onhand to give you a full report after the show, but this is one you really shouldn't miss folks.

Today's Susstone's press release gives the down and dirty on the particpants:

"The Melismatics – Since the release of their New Infection album on Susstones, the Melismatics have seen their fanbase explode both locally and regionally. This band represents Minneapolis rock at its finest – melody, attitude, energy and wit. They have a couple of cool surprises in store this evening - just wait and see – but above all, enjoy the Melismatics in their natural element of the big rock stage.

Astronaut Wife – This show marks AW’s return to live performance after nearly a year’s absence. Things have been moving along behind the scenes, however, with a whole new group of songs in the works for the follow-up to the band’s Flying Saucer album. Tonight the band plans on debuting several of these new creations, accompanied by interactive visuals created by digital artist / Susstones co-founder Jennifer Jurgens. Expect more sublime electro-organic melodies and artful grooves as the Wife charts the course toward its next release.

Sideways – Ed Ackerson’s retro / futurist instrumental project Sideways has morphed into a live action musical and visual “happening”. Combining live music with narrative animation elements designed by collaborator Christian Erickson, the show brings the original integrated media concept of Sideways to life. Erickson’s visual elements react in real time to musical input from the band, utilizing original technologies developed by Susstones technology partner Co.Lab. The live band, which includes Ackerson on guitar, Peter Anderson on drums, Kraig Jarret Johnson on bass, Tim Oesau on organ, and Blake Hurlbert on percussion, made its first appearance a few weeks ago at the Walker Art Center to rave reviews. Tonight the Sideways experience comes to the main stage with bigger sound, bigger projection screens, and refined visuals.

Faux Jean – Although nearly ready to, ahem, spring a new band line-up on his adoring masses, Faux Jean is scheduled to appear at the Soirée in his solo “troubadour” guise. The Faux material shines brightly in solo presentation, the undiluted charm of the tunes and lyrics clear. Don’t be surprised, however, if a guest or two mysteriously appear to give a hint of Faux Jean to come.

The Mood Swings – The very newest addition to the Susstones crew starts the evening in full rock tilt. Formed by singer / guitarist / songwriter Ashley Prenzlow (previously of The Meg, Basement Apartment), The Mood Swings combine a heavy fuzz-rock sound with ultra sharp pop songcraft. Ashley, guitarist Sallie Watson, drummer Laura Bennett, and draftee-bassist Mark Wade have only played a couple of shows but are already blowing minds and taking no prisoners with their live assault. Be sure to come early to check out this cool new band!

DJ Marc Mueller – Resident vinyl alchemist at Sussed!, the Susstones-sponsored Tuesday night DJ event at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, Marc “The Guv’nor” Mueller will spin his trademark mix of sublime sounds throughout the evening.