Nothing warms up Twin Cities music lovers like a packed First Avenue in January, and once again 89.3 the Current will provide two nights of such heat. The public pop/rock station will host its two-night ninth birthday party Jan. 24-25 in the main room, details of which were finally announced today with Lizzo and Har Mar Superstar headlining the first show and Caroline Smith topping off the second act. Here’s the full lineup:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
Har Mar Superstar
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25
The Cactus Blossoms
Tickets will be $20 each night and go on sale to Minnesota Public Radio members via the Current’s site on Wednesday at noon, when there will also be a limited number of tickets available in person at the Depot Tavern (next door to First Ave). Non-members can buy them online starting Thursday at noon.
Har Mar and Lizzo -- who each had gigs in town this past week, delaying the announcement of the Current parties -- spent the past few months on tour together starting with a lively First Ave show back in September. In addition to singing some sultry backup vocals with Har Mar, Lizzo has been opening the gigs to spotlight her solo debut, “Lizzobangers,” which went on to be local music critics’ favorite album of the year. Smith’s R&B-flavored album “Half About Being a Woman” also fared well with the Current and critics, and she too played a packed First Ave gig back in September.
Other interesting tidbits: This will be Howler’s first real public gig in town in over a year. It will be Heiruspecs’ first First Ave gig in even longer, given the hip-hop vets’ slim-of-late gig schedule. However, Heiruspecs does have a new album in the can for release in 2013, as do Howler and Strange Names, so we can probably anticipate all three acts to preview some of the new songs that night.
Meanwhile, Strange Names and Actual Wolf each played First Ave this time last year in the annual Best New Bands showcase, the next installment of which lands the week after the Current parties on Jan. 30 with buzzing rapper Allan Kingdom, BB Gun (Al Church’s new band), soul-punk rockers Black Diet, psychedelic garage-popster Frankie Teardrop, fuzz-rock greats Fury Things, Lizzo’s other other group GRRRL PRTY and Duluth’s gospel-toned indie-folk duo Southwire.