Plus news albums from Mark Olson and Bight Club.
While it's a shadow of the spectacular Deep Blues fest -- which only attracted a few hundred people last year at the Cabooze and thus had to be shelved by its organizer -- this weekend's West Bank Blues Festival is carrying on in that vein, featuring everything from rustic acoustic pickers to noisy punk bands who all have an affinity for authentic, gritty, yuppie-free blues music. And it's entirely free this time.
Patrons will be able to hop between two stages like last year, but they'll have to change venues: The Cedar Cultural Center and its Cedar Avenue neighbor Palmer's Bar are hosting the event, which kicked off Thursday night with the Brass Kings, Purgatory Hill featuring Pat MacDonald (of Timbuk3) and Bloody Ol Mule. It continues Friday with Kent Burnside (R.L.'s grandson), Charlie Parr, Joe and Vicki Price and more. Music starts at 7 p.m.
Palmer's will then carry on in the same gritty spirit with its annual Palmfest party Saturday, featuring Spider John Koerner, Willie Murphy, Chooglin', the Liquor Pigs, F- Knights and many more (noon-2 a.m., also free).Random mix
As was often alluded to when he was in town with the Jayhawks last month, Mark Olson has a new solo album, "Many Colored Kite," coming out Tuesday on Rykodisc. The disc was recorded in Portland, Ore., over a month's time with Chris Robinson's cohort Beau Raymond producing. Jolie Holland guests on the opening track, "Little Bird of Freedom." Olson will be back home to promote the album Sept. 12 at the Varsity Theater. ...
Madcap, saucy, Spank Rock-like electronic hip-hop duo Bight Club hosts a party Saturday at the Kitty Cat Klub behind its first full-length album, "Dreamworld vs. Minneapolis" (10 p.m., $5). After winning Vita.mn's "Are You Local?" contest, Club members Jeremy (Nutz) Nutzman and Tony Rabiola entered Hideaway Studio with Joe Mabott and came out with a seriously grinding, dizzying, sweat-inducing set of party songs. Of course, the songs themselves -- including "Rug Cutter," "M.O.N.E. Why?" and "40 Oz." -- aren't quite so serious. What a blast. ... Bight Club is also playing Sunday's Chiang Mai Thai Block Party outside Calhoun Square in Uptown along with the Red Pens, Pink Mink, Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps, Seawhores and more (1:30-8 p.m., free). ...
Punk vets the Harpies are paying tribute to their late singer/songwriter Mary Michaels with a breast cancer and animal shelter benefit Saturday at Lee's Liquor Lounge featuring guest singers, plus sets by the Red Flags, Middle States, You and Whose Army and more (9 p.m., $6-$10 requested). ... Sturdy pop-rockers the Melismatics have a steaming new single and video called "Your Love Is a Poison," which they're touting with a party Monday at the Kitty Cat Klub (9 p.m. Mon., $5). ...
Last week's reference to Haley Bonar dissing Afternoon Records on the Basilica Block Party's "confessions" website was itself a sin on my part. Bonar says she had nothing to do with the post and would never put down a label that invested time and money in her music. My apologies to her and to Afternoon Records. Turns out you can't believe everything you see on the Internet. ...
After issuing their spring CD "Crater Lake" in April, Chris Koza and Rogue Valley will host an Aug. 13 party behind their second of four planned seasonal albums, "The Bookseller's House" -- coming in just a few weeks under the wire, but proof there's still plenty of summer left.