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Rock the Garden 2014 Lineup: Spoon, Guided By Voices, De La Soul, and More

This afternoon, the Walker and 89.3 The Current announced the lineup of Rock the Garden 2014. For the first time in Rock the Garden history, the festival spans two days: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. As Associate Curator of Performing Arts Doug Benidt said, “the only thing better than live music is more live […]

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This afternoon, the Walker and 89.3 The Current announced the lineup of Rock the Garden 2014. For the first time in Rock the Garden history, the festival spans two days: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. As Associate Curator of Performing Arts Doug Benidt said, “the only thing better than live music is more live music.”

On Tuesday, April 15 at 4 pm, Walker Performing Arts Curator Philip Bither joined Mary Lucia and Jim McGuinn on The Current airwaves to reveal this year’s two-day lineup. We liveblogged the announcement, and you can see the list of bands below. For more, read “27 Facets of the Rock the Garden Lineup.”

Saturday, June 21

Jeremy Messersmith (Minneapolis, MN)

Jeremy Messersmith. Photo: Kyle Dean Reinford

Jeremy Messersmith. Photo: Kyle Dean Reinford

Best Coast (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Coast. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Best Coast. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Matt and Kim (Brooklyn, NY)

Matt and Kim. Photo: Caleb Kuhl

Matt and Kim. Photo: Caleb Kuhl

De La Soul (Long Island, NY)

De La Soul. Photo: Courtesy the artists

De La Soul. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Sunday, June 22

Valerie June (Memphis, TN)

Valerie June. Photo: Matt Wignall

Valerie June. Photo: Matt Wignall

Kurt Vile and the Violators (Philadelphia, PA)

Kurt Vile. Photo: Shawn Brackbill

Kurt Vile. Photo: Shawn Brackbill

Dessa (Minneapolis, MN)

Dessa. Photo: Bill Phelps

Dessa. Photo: Bill Phelps

Guided By Voices (Dayton, OH)

Guided By Voices. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Guided By Voices. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Spoon (Austin, TX)

Spoon. Photo: Courtesy the artists

Spoon. Photo: Courtesy the artists

BUY TICKETS

Tickets go on sale to Walker and MPR members on Thursday, April 17, at 11 am through Etix.com only. Any remaining tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday, April 19, at 11 am.

REMEMBER

Last year’s Rock the Garden sold out in less than an hour, so mark your calendar and make sure that your Walker membership is up to date. Walker/MPR membership ID numbers will be required for all pre-sale purchases.

Walker membership: 612.375.7655 or membership.walkerart.org.

MPR membership: 1.800.228.7123 or mpr.org/support.

In 2014, Rock the Garden Expands to a Two-Day Festival

A rain delay that turned into an impromptu parking-ramp rave with Dan Deacon. Low’s now-infamous 27-minute, one-song, “drone-not-drones” set. A homecoming for former Hüsker Dü front man Bob Mould. After Rock the Garden 2013, it’s hard to imagine the event getting any more memorable. But next June, we’ll try: In 2014, the Walker and 89.3 […]

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A rain delay that turned into an impromptu parking-ramp rave with Dan Deacon. Low’s now-infamous 27-minute, one-song, “drone-not-drones” set. A homecoming for former Hüsker Dü front man Bob Mould. After Rock the Garden 2013, it’s hard to imagine the event getting any more memorable. But next June, we’ll try:

In 2014, the Walker and 89.3 The Current are expanding Rock the Garden to a two-day festival for the first time in the event’s history. Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22, 2014.

Held nearly every summer since 1998, Rock the Garden has welcomed a diverse array of bands to its stage. including David Byrne, Stereolab, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Bon Iver, Doomtree, Trampled by Turtles, and the New Pornographers, to name a few. Be the first to get the announcement this spring about the on-sale date and lineup for 2014′s two-day festival by following Rock the Garden on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up to receive Cross Currents, The Current’s weekly newsletter, and Walker emails.

Tickets to the two-day event will be available to Walker Art Center and MPR members first, with an exclusive pre-sale to be announced at a later date. To purchase Walker memberships visit http://www.walkerart.org/membership; The Current/MPR memberships can be purchased at mpr.org/support.

Low: Rock the Garden’s own Rite of Spring?

Defying expectations and offering courageous, surprising, pure, extreme, heartfelt, and sometimes even beautiful expressions are some of the things we count on artists to do. The fact that Low was able to do them all in one 27-minute set at Rock the Garden I found remarkable. Others apparently weren’t so thrilled with the extended version […]

Low's Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker at Rock the Garden 2013. Photo: Amy Fox

Low’s Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker at Rock the Garden 2013. Photo: Amy Fox

Defying expectations and offering courageous, surprising, pure, extreme, heartfelt, and sometimes even beautiful expressions are some of the things we count on artists to do. The fact that Low was able to do them all in one 27-minute set at Rock the Garden I found remarkable. Others apparently weren’t so thrilled with the extended version of the band’s 1996 song “Do You Know How to Waltz?”: Angry tweets and blog posts appeared, and before the band had even arrived back home in Duluth, Low’s Alan Sparhawk was on the phone doing an interview about the set. (Listen to Low’s Saturday performance and tell me you can’t find dark, redemptive beauty there.) I guess the kind of riots that erupted in Paris after Stravinsky’s premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913 now happen online.

Rock and roll long ago transitioned from solely entertainment into an art form, one that often serves as a wake-up call to boot. When Low walked on stage, the deluge had just passed, dark clouds were still hanging low but beginning to break, and wet, straggling fans were finding their way back from the underground onto the wet field. At that moment, their decision to play an extended version of “Do You Know How to Waltz?” felt inspired — one that fit the unsettled day and our unsettled times. How does a band better create a transition from Dan Deacon’s equally memorable underground parking lot digital throw-down to what would surely be more song-based, hits-oriented, high energy music coming later in the day?

Of course, strong artistic statements inevitably spark strong counter-responses, especially when presented to large, unsuspecting audiences. To my mind, Low’s set was one of the most exciting moments in Rock the Garden history. Yes, it served as a jolt to some listeners who had expected something different. It introduced noise, distortion, and drone in an artful, low-keyed, actually rather peaceful manner — cascading, swelling layers of sound, floating electronic harmonics, and patience-inducing stoppage of time. Low chose to place themselves in the company of sonic renegades from rock’s history: Hendrix, John Cale, Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Sunn O)))), Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, and dozens of others, including some of today’s most popular rock artists — Neil Young, Wilco, and Radiohead, to name a few. They opened a dialogue with the avant-classical side of the aisle as well, represented by artists/musicians familiar to Walker visitors: Yves Klein, John Cage, La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, Philip Glass, Yoko Ono, Rhys Chatham, even Tim Hecker. The success of Rock the Garden has for some time brought commercial and broad-based expectations of accessibility to an event never intended to exclusively carry such, certainly not with all or even most of its chosen bands.

The Walker and The Current both strive for diversity and innovation in the RTG lineup. The event grew out of a 50-year old Performing Arts program at the Walker dedicated to new sounds, new movements, and new forms of theater and interdisciplinary art, where traits like innovation and audacity rank high. Equally, on the radio, The Current has helped open up the airwaves, forging a new model for public radio nationally, actively supporting independent artists from Minnesota’s strong rock scene and far beyond. While I find some of the angry, closed-minded online responses to Low’s set dispiriting, I remain thrilled with the debate that ensued — seeing directly what the power of art, in this instance a strongly made musical statement, can evoke. Low’s set is in line with both Rock the Garden’s roots and its ongoing efforts to champion innovators like tUnEyArDs, Yeasayer, Bon Iver (then an unknown with a brand new sound), Howler, Andrew Bird, The Bad Plus, Retribution Gospel Choir (Alan Sparhawk’s last RTG appearance), and Calexico, all Rock the Garden performers in recent years.

Witnessing Low’s set Saturday, I admit to my own initial confusion, which melted quickly into gratitude and then awe as the piece unfolded. So much so that when the set ended I rushed backstage to give Steve, Mimi, and Alan my thanks and my well wishes before anyone else could reach them, wanting to counter in advance any unhappiness or criticism I assumed — correctly, it turns out — was likely to follow.

Philip Bither is the Walker’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts.

 

How Dan Deacon Decided to Go Underground: Rock the Garden 2013

It wasn’t going to stop raining. The radar flashed a train of yellows and reds that churned toward and over Minneapolis. The doors to Rock the Garden 2013 had opened 20 minutes earlier and decisions had to be made. An hour before, Dan Deacon and I had a conversation about the dodgy weather that was […]

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Parking-garage dance party. Photo: Greg Beckel

It wasn’t going to stop raining. The radar flashed a train of yellows and reds that churned toward and over Minneapolis. The doors to Rock the Garden 2013 had opened 20 minutes earlier and decisions had to be made. An hour before, Dan Deacon and I had a conversation about the dodgy weather that was headed our way. He was fine playing in the rain and would ask some kids to hold a tarp over his gear during his show. I thanked him for his adventurous spirit. “Gotta keep it punk somehow,” he smirked.

Rain is one thing; lightning changes plans.

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Dan Deacon talks to Philip Bither, the Walker’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts, after covering his gear with a tarp. Photo: Greg Beckel

The storm helped us make an easy decision (safety first, right?). A volunteer evacuation to the parking garage was announced over the PA by Jill Riley (The Current host and voice of god), and she then kept the audience informed with storm info and ETAs for sun. But now it was raining quite hard and was looking like we’d have to play it safe and skip Dan’s set, hoping at that point to somehow salvage at least one song by Low.

At 3:30 pm, the rain had become torrential and I was huddled in the production tent with the key decision makers, including RTG production manager extraordinaire Maury Jensen, Randy Levy of Rose Presents, and Walker tech staff genius Ben Geffen. We all agreed: we couldn’t ask Dan to perform in such conditions, but we’d wait another five minutes or so before pulling the plug. It’s not a pleasant moment for any of us — we try to keep the mood light, buoyed with half-formed jokes and optimistic reads of the radar, but we all know this totally sucks. Months of work have gone into this one seven-hour period, and it’s taking a turn for the worse.

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Rock the Garden attendees waiting out the rain in the ramp. Photo: Gene Pittman

Then I see a beautiful sight — a purple hoody and the bespectacled and bearded face of Dan Deacon making his way toward me through our tiny tent. He’s Cheshire smiling. I’m flummoxed. I’m about to launch into my friendly chat about how it’s not going well with the weather when he blurts out, “I can play in the garage.” A moment of clarity hits me. “Of course you can play in the garage!,” I think to myself. Turning to Maury, I ask if he can pull this off and, without doubt or hesitation, he says, “I can make it happen.” We all thank Dan and experience a collective bit of much needed cheer. A generous twist of fate is at hand and the rest of us agree quickly to suss out if this is possible, with little time to waste. We confer with the MPR broadcast team and the TPT filming crew and realize this might just work. Ben Geffen and his team deploy to the garage to find a proper space and power to set up Dan’s gear. Ten or so minutes later, Ben radios up that they’re all set and Jill makes the announcement that Dan will be “rocking the underground,” sparking the remaining weatherproof stalwarts on the hill to quickly hoof it to the garage. A bullhorn is found and Current host Steve Seel agrees to do the intro for Dan.

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“Electro Pied Piper” Dan Deacon. Photo: Gene Pittman

What ensued in the depths of the parking garage is one of the most spontaneously joyous performance moments I have witnessed. Electro Pied Piper Dan Deacon led an ecstatic dance party with thousands of wet and ponchoed people – all dancing, drinking, and feeling the relief of being dry just for a moment. Deacon also concocted a dance contest and prodded thousands of people to make a giant circle within the cars and pillars — “Keep moving, all the way back to the Acuras!” This well-executed salvation and truly remarkable moment was all captured by hundreds of phones — check YouTube today.

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Dance battle. Photo: Gene Pittman

Dan ended his set right on time, the crowd spilling out of the garage as the rain lightened and eventually stopped, allowing Low to take the stage a mere 10 minutes behind schedule. Midway through Low’s (now also legendary) set, the sun broke through as the cheer of thousands echoed throughout the neighborhood.

Many thanks (and virtual hugs) to Dan Deacon for his inspired improvisation that set the perfect tone for RTG 2013 and clearly showed us how the essential the artistic perspective can be. And even more thanks to all the staff and crew (and audience!) who made this wonderful and super fun moment happen so fluidly. Dan’s performance became instant Rock the Garden lore and will certainly be hard to top next year.

Doug Benidt is the Walker’s Rock the Garden programmer and band wrangler.

The 2013 Rock the Garden Lineup

The Rock the Garden 2013 Lineup has been announced! On April 16, Mary Lucia and Jim McGuinn (89.3 The Current) with Philip Bither (Walker Art Center) revealed this year’s bands. Here’s who’s playing the festival: 5. Dan Deacon (Baltimore, MD) 4. Low (Duluth, MN) 3. Bob Mould Band (San Francisco, CA) 2. Silversun Pickups (Los […]

The Rock the Garden 2013 Lineup has been announced! On April 16, Mary Lucia and Jim McGuinn (89.3 The Current) with Philip Bither (Walker Art Center) revealed this year’s bands. Here’s who’s playing the festival:

5. Dan Deacon (Baltimore, MD)

Dan Deacon. Photo: Shawn Brackbill

Dan Deacon. Photo: Shawn Brackbill

4. Low (Duluth, MN)

Low. Photo: Zoran Orlic

Low. Photo: Zoran Orlic

3. Bob Mould Band (San Francisco, CA)

Bob Mould Band. Photo: Peter Ellenby

Bob Mould Band. Photo: Peter Ellenby

2. Silversun Pickups (Los Angeles, CA)

Silversun Pickups. Photo: Autumn Dewilde

Silversun Pickups. Photo: Autumn Dewilde

1. Metric (Toronto, ON)

Metric. Photo: Justin Broadbent

Metric. Photo: Justin Broadbent

BUY TICKETS

Tickets will be on sale to Walker and MPR members only this Friday, April 19, starting at 11 am. Any remaining tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday, April 20.

REMEMBER

Last year’s festival sold out in less than an hour, so be sure to mark your calendar and double-check that your Walker membership is up-to-date. Walker/MPR membership ID numbers will be required for all pre-sale purchases.

Walker Membership: 612.375.7655 or membership.walkerart.org. MPR Membership: 1.800.228.7123

THE FESTIVAL

Rock the Garden 2013
Walker Art Center
Saturday June 15, 3–10:30 pm

Haiku the Garden (part 2)

But WAIT!  There is more! Also left behind this year… The Hold Steady’s list!

But WAIT!  There is more!

Also left behind this year…

The Hold Steady’s list!

Haiku the Garden

  We’ve caught up on sleep, after taking the stage down! Here’s Tune-Yard’s set list:  

 

We’ve caught up on sleep,

after taking the stage down!

Here’s Tune-Yard’s set list:

Doomtree

 

Rock the Garden 2012 Review and Photo Round-up

There wasn’t much to complain about at this year’s Rock the Garden. The skies gave us a go ahead by clearing up just in time for the show, the “goat path” stayed in place leading to easy movement up and down the hill, the food offerings were delicious, and the bands all seemed happy to […]

There wasn’t much to complain about at this year’s Rock the Garden. The skies gave us a go ahead by clearing up just in time for the show, the “goat path” stayed in place leading to easy movement up and down the hill, the food offerings were delicious, and the bands all seemed happy to be there and gave it their all.

Oh, and the Mayor once again proved that he knows what it takes to be awesome on Twitter.

Here’s a round-up of some of your tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(More of those tweets plus photos can be found right here on Storify.)

Reviews:

“Reverence for the Twin Cities music scene was in overflowing supply during the 2012 running of Rock the Garden.” City Pages‘ Gimme Noise blog review every band and also reports on the number of mosquito bites the reporter received during the show: 3. (There were mosquitoes out?)

During the show, Local Current’s Andrea Swensson wrote a play-by-play of every band’s performance, including posting their set lists.

Rock the Garden a city unto itself: Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider says that we were “daring” by changing up the formula by including so many local bands, and says this is why: “A punky hip-hop group — the first rappers ever booked at RTG — going on before a bluegrassy string band, both following an Afrobeat-influenced experimental group, with two straight-up, guitar-heavy rock bands for the opener and headliner. That’s how widely Saturday’s RTG lineup reached.”

Rose City Live admits they were watching the #rockthegarden tag all day long.

METRO finishes off their review saying, “No, Minnesota is not the center of the musical universe. But on this afternoon, at this venue, it seemed pretty close.”

Cake in 15 wants us to expand our drink selection and has a fantastic animated gif of Sims really, really moving.

Photo round-ups:

First of all, thanks to everybody who posted their photos and stories on our Rock the Garden wall! We love having them there.

City Pages‘ 1, 2, 3 punch: animated GIFs, bands, and people.

Three opportunities to find yourself in the Current’s interactive superzoom crowd photos taken from the VIP Skybox, press pit, and the top of the hill.

Rose City Live’s Stuart Wainstock’s set on Flickr.

Secrets of the City has a nice photo round-up of bands and happy concert-going couples.

Ryan Siverson has a gallery of 120 photos, including lots of shots of each band.

How Was The Show’s album showcases Craig Finn’s expressive faces.

We are still awaiting Vita.MN’s photobooth album, until then, here is their set of festival shots.

Leslie Plessner of shuttersmack‘s set of beautiful close-up shots, called out on Twitter as the “best photos I’ve seen so far from #rockthegarden” (@cleverkate.)

The Current also offers some behind-the-scenes photos from set-up before the gates opened.

KARE 11 and their photo gallery from the press pit.

Heavy Table devotes the first half of their photo set to the food, naturally.

One thing is missing from these photo sets: where are your fashion recaps? As predicted in our Rock the Garden Bingo game–

–we saw all of these, and yes, sometimes by standing in one spot. Congrats to @moonsweetie, our winner!

Are we missing something? Let us know in the comments below.

PS: Totally feel you on this one:

And also, the beautiful annual Rock the Garden time-lapse video is in, set to Trampled by Turtles’ “Alone”:

The Rock the Garden 2012 Lineup

The Rock the Garden 2012 lineup was announced at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul Wednesday. Here’s who’s playing this year’s show: 5. Howler, Minneapolis, Minn. 4. tUne-yArDs, Oakland, Calif. 3. Doomtree, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. 2. Trampled by Turtles, Duluth, Minn. 1. The Hold Steady, Brooklyn, New York Don’t miss our interview with the Hold […]

The Rock the Garden 2012 lineup was announced at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul Wednesday. Here’s who’s playing this year’s show:

5. Howler, Minneapolis, Minn.

4. tUne-yArDs, Oakland, Calif.

3. Doomtree, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

2. Trampled by Turtles, Duluth, Minn.

1. The Hold Steady, Brooklyn, New York

Don’t miss our interview with the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, who discusses the Twin Cities music scene, his new brew, and the secret to his songwriting.

BUY TICKETS:

Update: Rock the Garden is now sold out. Tickets go on sale to Walker and MPR members Wednesday, April 18, at 4 pm online through Etix.com.

Walker/MPR membership ID numbers will be required for all pre-sale purchases.

Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 20, at 12 noon.

Walker Membership: 612.375.7655 or membership.walkerart.org. MPR Membership: 1.800.228.7123

Rock the Garden 2011 Review & Photo Round-up

Whew! How are you all feeling? Standing my ground on a goat path of mud and avoiding dirty-footed crowd surfers in the marsh pit took quite a bit of energy out of yours truly, but I’m jazzed to see all the reviews and photos on the web and Twitter from before, during, and after the […]

Getting rocked. Photo: The Current

Whew! How are you all feeling? Standing my ground on a goat path of mud and avoiding dirty-footed crowd surfers in the marsh pit took quite a bit of energy out of yours truly, but I’m jazzed to see all the reviews and photos on the web and Twitter from before, during, and after the show.

Here is a round-up of some of your tweets:
@hansenwithane: My Morning Jacket melts faces. #RTG2011 #amazing
@misslibrarian: I wonder what hair products Jim James uses. #hairtwins #RTG2011
@_SamChoo: #RtG2011 was sprinkley, but good. Bands were solid – though this will be known as the the year I finally tasted @chefshack1′s mini-donuts!
@ChaseThisBear: Favorite part of #rtg2011 was lost child alert and to pick him up at the Vodka tent and Mark Wheats annual drunk speech.
@thatredgirl: Oh the glory of dry pants and clean feet! Who knew it was so lovely, thank you @RockTheGarden for reminding me of this pleasure #RTG2011
Celebrity sightings! @EamonCoyne: Saw Craig Finn, the Sklar Bros and Josh Hartnett @RockTheGarden today. Oh and some pretty good music too! #rtg2011 – you have exhausted me!
@maggieckane: “You could stare into that cherry [on the spoon] for hours and hours. God bless it.” –My Morning Jacket #rtg2011

And related (intentionally or not…)
@vholst: My Morning Jacket was the cherry on top of an amazing day. #rtg2011

And finally…
@dane_ray: It may have rained, but it sure was fun as hell! #rtg2011
@mlindstrom: Watching @mymorningjacket as the sun goes down in the best city in America. #rtg2011

Reviews:
* = reviews that mention Jim James’ reverent comments about Spoonbridge and Cherry

Metro has a review and recap of the show. *

City Pages was doing some livebloggin’ all day long over at Gimme Noise. *

The Star Tribune covered the day inside and out: in this review for the print edition, a recap of Neko Case and My Morning Jacket and their set lists on Artcetera*, and this short piece and slide show about a few of the 10,000 people who came to the show–rain, mud, and all.

Photo Round-Ups:

The Current has great behind-the-scenes, crowd, and band pics on their page. They’re still updating!

Metromix’s massive 100-photo slideshow

Heavy Table: a visual feast of food and band photos.

Trend-spotting was a little difficult this year due to the continuous drizzle, but art of wore soldiered on anyways.

A nice album of band and crowd shots from McNally Smith.

City Pages slideshow

Shuttersmack has a nice big set of band-heavy photos.

A set of photos from How Was The Show

The Pioneer Press slideshow opens on a shot of people drinking beer in ponchos: a representative photo.

Derek Johnk has an album that offers a sneak peek into the life of RTG VIPs.

And last, but definitely not least, some amazing folks over here at the Walker have put together an extra special time-lapse video this year. Check it out and re-live your entire day in 4 minutes:

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