A beloved local band that hasn’t played First Avenue in five years and another that has been playing there since the early-‘80s will headline 89.3 the Current’s two-night birthday bash at the club in January.
Orchestral rockers Cloud Cult and local legends the Suburbs were announced this morning atop the bills for the Current’s 14th birthday marathon Jan. 18 and 19, always popular shows that help fill the venue’s winter lull in tour dates.
Other names on the lineup include: collegiate pop/rockers Bad Bad Hats; newly signed Verve recording artist J.S. Ondara (fka Jay Smart); arty but mighty indie-rock trio Porcupine (featuring ex-Husker Du bassist Greg Norton); bombastic punk quartet Scrunchies (led by Kitten Forever’s Laura Larson); bluesy Rochester area tunesmith Annie Mack, and just one out-of-state act, Nashville singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter.
The Saturday night show will be Cloud Cult’s first time at the club since a two-night stand promoting the "Love" album in 2013, after which the group scaled back on its performance schedule and graduated to venues without trough urinals such as the State Theatre and Orchestra Hall. Hopefully this gig will serve as something of a preview for a new Cloud Cult album likely coming next year. The Current premiered a new single by the band, "Best Time of My Life," on air this morning.
Meanwhile, the Suburbs – led by current Star Tribune magazine cover boy Chan Poling -- issued a great album last year and play their old haunt just about every year, but they always consider it a special event.
Tickets for the parties will be $22 per night and go on sale to Minnesota Public Radio members Thursday before the general on-sale Friday at 10 a.m. via First Ave outlets. Here’s the rundown of who’s playing which night.
FRIDAY, JAN. 18: The Suburbs, Bad Bad Hats, Rayland Baxter, Scrunchies.
SATURDAY, JAN. 19: Cloud Cult, J.S. Ondara, Annie Mack, Porcupine.