Written by Trey Reis
With the excitement of the new semester comes the anticipation of the release of the Grinnell College concert schedule. Often taking a less heavy-handed approach to booking shows than Iowa State University’s Maintenance Shop, Grinnell College’s Gardner Lounge has housed some of the more up-and-coming bands from the Internet music realm. They’re the kind of bands you only read about from glowing computer screens and only hear about from Soundcloud and Bandcamp embeds. Each year, the Grinnell concert schedule holds many of those buzz band names, providing that rare opportunity to see inventive new music in its earlier, more raw stages, when bands still have to try and impress the audience, rather than the other way around. That schedule has just been released, and it’s another timeline filled with big names from the blog and online magazine end of things. Here at Band Bombshell, we love this kind of thing.
Mikal Cronin, on September 8, is proof that all of that beach-in-the-garage rock sounds just as good in hi-fi, and with the folk-leaning tendencies of Cronin’s voice and instrumentation, the result is something clean and driven.
The show not to miss of the semester is Dent May with Dead Gaze on September 17. Dent May’s new album, Warm Blanket, is pulling both Beach Boys and Animal Collective references to high appraisal and adding to the fairly sizeable weight the name Dent May already carried.
The second week of October brings Young Galaxy on the 9th and Crystal Stilts on the 11th. The wonderfully dreamy Young Galaxy are really soft and have drum machines and synthesizers and lots of reverb and everybody loves that, especially since everyone in the band is beautiful in a kind of way that translates into the music they are capable of making. It’s weird. And nice that things like that happen sometimes.
I imagine that a lot of people would argue with me that Crystal Stilts is the show-to-see of the semester, and they might actually be right as I re-listen to them writing this up. They have that defeated 80’s garage pop thing down so well but it came from them making garage rock to begin with and they’ve actually been around for a while. Like veterans to the type of young bands that usually play the Gardner Lounge.
Those are just a few of the highlights. The full schedule is below.
September 3: Norwegian Arms
September 7: Caveman
October 2: PAPA
October 11: Crystal Stilts
November 1: Venus X
November 15: Fort Frances
All shows start at 9 PM and are free (even for us non-Grinnelliberal Arts Iowans).