Photo credit Jeff Mozey
Basilica Block Party just released its lineup for this year’s event, and let’s just say it’s one of the best lineups in a long while. This might be because it’s their 25th anniversary (Lakefront Music Fest got Brad Paisley for their 10th anniversary this year, my co-worker pointed out) or because they contracted concert promotions company Live Nation for the event. Either way, this year’s Basilica Block Party sounds promising—I know I’ll be there! You probably recognize a few of the names—Kacey Musgraves (yes, the Grammy Award-winning artist), Jason Mraz (who didn’t have “I’m Yours” memorized as a teen?), and Hanson (best known for “MMMbop,” although I’ll admit they were a bit before my time)—but a few might be new to you. Here is a breakdown of the local artists, songs, and albums you should get to know. Ticket presale begins on Feb. 15.
Yam Haus is a Minneapolis-based synth-rock quartet (with roots in Hudson, Wisconsin), and while they’re still small, they have been praised locally for their electro-pop tunes and vibe. (They are actually going to be at the Fine Line with Early Eyes on Friday, April 5, if you wanted to see them then, too.) “West Coast” is definitely their most popular single to date, but I’d recommend giving the Stargazer Sessions acoustic version a listen—it’s heavier on the bass and will get you excited for their live show.
This dynamic duo can only be described as day-dreamy. Minneapolis native Cole Randall connected with Swedish singer Shpresa Lleshaj on Soundcloud—4,249 miles away from each other. After many Soundcloud comments, Facebook messages, Skype calls, and finally, a trip to Minneapolis, the two relocated to Sweden and then married back in the U.S. Flora Cash’s combined energy and experiences allows them to create songs that are emotional, raw, wanting, and hauntingly beautiful. Check out the now-viral song “You’re Somebody Else” for a good example of their emotive energy.
Best known for their hit single “Closing Time,” Semisonic has origins in Minneapolis. Although the alt-rock band split soon after its third album, a reunion took place in 2017 for two shows in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Besides “Closing Time,” you might recognize “Secret Smile” or even “F.N.T.” (fans of 10 Things I Hate About You will know this one). One thing’s for sure—Basilica Block Party attendees are going to enjoy the early 2000s throwbacks.
The Jayhawks formed in 1985 in Minneapolis and through many hiatuses and switching members, the alt-country band finally released a new album Back Roads and Abandoned Motels in 2018. Present members include Gary Louris (one of the founding members), Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, Tim O’Reagan, and John Jackson. Listen to “Blue” and “Save It for A Rainy Day” for a taste of the band’s older stuff and try “Everybody Knows” and “Backwards Women” on their new album while you’re at it.
Other Albums and Songs You Should Know: