Haley Bonar glammed it up with Gramma's Boyfriend at last year's Current birthday parties and returns Jan. 28 to tout her new solo album, "Impossible Dream." / Bre McGee, Star Tribune file
Working to maintain its reputation as a go-to place to discover new music, 89.3 the Current will celebrate its 12th anniversary Jan. 27-28 at First Avenue with a lineup heavy on Twin Cities newcomers and buzz bands from afar.
Two local mainstays of the public-radio rock station, Jeremy Messersmith and Haley Bonar, will top out the two-night birthday bash alongside rising out-of-towners Joseph, the Lemon Twigs, Strand of Oaks and Sam Roberts. For local newcomers, the Current will welcome 12-man Afrobeat/funk band Black Market Brass, folky Kenyan transplant Jay Smart, grungy young rocker Monica LaPlante and one more act to be announced later.
Tickets for each night cost $20 and go on sale to Minnesota Public Radio members starting Thursday at noon and the general public beginning Friday at noon via TheCurrent.org. The shows often sell out. Here’s a rundown of each night's lineup:
FRIDAY, JAN. 27
Jeremy Messersmith / Joseph / Strand of Oaks / Black Market Brass / Jay Smart
SATURDAY, JAN. 28
Haley Bonar / The Lemon Twigs / TBD / Sam Roberts / Monica LaPlante
Part of last year’s all-local 11th birthday lineup with her side band Gramma’s Boyfriend, Bonar returns to the party amid a busy tour schedule supporting her acclaimed sixth solo album, “Impossible Dream.” Messersmith and his band will be previewing songs off a new record due out next spring or summer on Glassnote Records.
As for the non-locals, the three harmonious Portland-area sisters in Joseph packed the Cedar Cultural Center and have been all over the Current with the single “White Flag.” The Lemon Twigs are a band of two young brothers from Long Island, N.Y., whose new debut for 4AD Records has generated a hipster buzz with its glammy, T. Rex flashblack flavor. Philadelphia rocker Timothy Showalter’s band Strand of Oaks played a well-received Turf Club gig last year behind their 2014 record “HEAL” and have a new LP coming Feb. 17. Canadian popster Sam Roberts just issued his sixth disc, “TerraForm.”
Here's a little sampler of the acts coming to town for the parties: