On Friday night, following a terrific dinner with various IFP Minnesota folks, a small group ventured off to the historic live-music venue First Avenue & 7th Street Entry. It’s basically two clubs in one: a big room on the corner of First and 7th, and then a smaller club in a side entrance on 7th. Appropriately, there were two sold-out shows happening simultaneously. The big headliner was local hip-hop sensation Brother Ali, who was fantastic, but I found a lot more to love in Chicago-based opener, Psalm One. There aren’t enough great female MCs from America (they’re usually coming from the U.K.), so it was refreshing to see and hear someone so mind-blowing.
In the smaller room, we found a lot to love in a very different kind of vibe. Brighton, UK pop trio The Pipettes headlined a jam-packed gig, following the charming openers of Smoosh. Smoosh is a rock/pop trio of its own, but featuring pre-teen girls from Seattle. They’re pretty incredible, especially when they offer playful covers of songs like Bloc Party’s “This Modern Love.”
It was a blast of an evening, and a memorable tour of the Minneapolis live music community. It’s a town with a rich musical heritage, both classic (Prince, Bob Dylan, The Replacements) and recent (Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, Atmosphere). I’m happy to sample some of it, and there may be no better place than First and 7th.