Music note: Awesome Snakes rock the patio


Local groups the Vignettes, the Talkers, and Awesome Snakes were undaunted by storms that flooded the patio last Thursday night at the Minnesota Museum of American Art as they launched the museum’s Patio Nights music series. The performances were moved inside a small room that was adjacent to the drenched patio, but still offered a beautiful view of the river. The crowd was small—only a few dozen—but more than enthusiastic for the loud, fast, thunderous punk music.

For more information about Awesome Snakes: The Talkers: The Vignettes: The Patio Nights series at the MMAA:

The first group to play was the Vignettes. They got the night started with a song about screaming cats, and scream they did! The group had an eccentric, young sound, but what I liked best was that the lead singer had a soulful, Joplinesque quality to her voice.

Next up were the Talkers, who played super fast, with an untamed potency. Lead singer Sam Gerard mesmerized the crowd with his energy: bounding off the stage, doing jumps, and stretching up on tip-toes to strum his guitar. They played songs about pizza (which also happened to be the name of the Vignettes’ cat), the desert, and more. Living up to their name, they chatted with the audience between songs—joking about Kare 11 news and the Radio K kids and laughing at themselves. There were definite rumbles in the crowd about how their set was too short.

Awesome Snakes is a group of two: drummer Danny Henry and guitarist Annie Holoien. They were greeted with cheers as the crowd pushed forward towards the stage. Their first two songs were instrumental (though they did, in fact, sing about snakes at least twice on Thursday night) and the sound was so full and intricate that it was easy to understand the fan appreciation. Slower than the two opening bands, their sound had undertones of classic surf music that would suddenly burst into furious punk riffs. The highlight of the whole performance was a whistle solo by Henry—who left the stage, keeping rhythm with his drumsticks and blowing into a whistle while the Holoien strummed on stage. In true punk spirit, Henry ended the whistle performance by zealously smashing the whistle.

Melissa Slachetka contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.

Also in the Daily Planet, read Jay Gabler’s summer music preview.