Is it a record label, a promotions company, an artists collective or just a clique of cool local musicians?
In the case of Minneapolis’ Totally Gross National Product, the answer to that question might simply be “yes.” Best known for issuing records by Lizzo, Poliça and Marijuana Deathsquads, the musicians-run operation will once again celebrate its unnatural existence with a sixth annual mini-fest Saturday at Icehouse in Minneapolis.
Even for a crew as adventurous and creative as TGNP, six years is a long time to keep a party fresh and interesting. Here are some talking points to add intrigue this year, with help from co-founder (and Poliça drummer) Drew Christopherson.
1) Jason Feathers, an electro-fried rap-rock collaboration between Justin Vernon and Astronautalis, will make its live debut at the party. The duo’s wonky 2014 album, “De Oro,” earned lukewarm reviews but could be a different beast in concert.
2) Poliça will play its 2012 debut album, “Give You the Ghost,” front to back for the first time. It’s also the last time the band will perform for a while as it welcomes a new baby to the family and readies a new record.
3) Other new acts stepping out Saturday: Invisible Boy, a solo project by Poliça bassist Chris Bierden; StoLyette, a Russian-language trio with Votel’s Ben Clark and his wife, Irene Ruderman-Clark; plus a new Minneapolis-based backing band for New York’s JM Airis of Dead Sparrows, who just issued his solo album “Wild Birds” via TGNP.
4) There are several late additions. Lizzo wasn’t announced as part of the lineup due to competing clauses, but she’ll be there with new songs in tow. Also newly added are a Tickle Torture DJ set and a comedy set by artist Michael Gaughan.
5) Bigger space should be better. The party’s boundaries are extending into the parking lot next to Icehouse, making room for both a main stage and side stage outdoors.
On the same night First Ave will reopen after three weeks of emergency ceiling repairs, the Turf Club will celebrate the first anniversary of its reopening after three months of First Ave-helmed refurbishments on Friday. The special twofer anniversary show will feature the M.I.A.-of-late Solid Gold and the thankfully ubiquitous Blind Shake, plus Tiny Deaths and the cover band Bliss U.K. (9 p.m., $10). …
Another sign the songs remain the same at Lee’s Liquor Lounge after Louie Sirian sold the place, rockabilly faves and longtime Lee’s regulars the Vibro Champs are reuniting their original lineup for a show there Saturday (9 p.m., $8), timed to guitarist/co-vocalist Dave Wolfe’s return visit from Austin, Texas. … Fresh off seeing one of his tracks premiere on Paste magazine’s site, John Mark Nelson will take over First Ave on Sept. 11 to mark the release of his third album, “I’m Not Afraid,” which is the first record issued by new local label GNDWIRE, co-helmed by Trampled by Turtles’ Dave Simonett. …
With the words “This has to stop!” adorning the show poster, the world’s greatest watermelon-smashing Metallica cover band Metallagher marks its unlikely 10th anniversary at the Triple Rock on Saturday with Appetite for Zaccardi and something mysterious but intriguing called Panteragher (10 p.m., $8-$10). … Wisconsin’s Rush River Brewery is raising money for sidelined local music hero Slim Dunlap via a custom-hopped batch of Small Axe Golden Ale that will be sold exclusively at Nightingale restaurant (2551 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.) starting with a “Suds for Slim” tapping party Wednesday night. …
Patrick’s Cabaret hosts a special acoustic blues pairing on Saturday: Charlie Parr and Iowa vet Dave Moore (7 p.m., $10.) … Parr is also among the noteworthy local music favorites playing the free stages at the State Fair this year, also including Sonny Knight & the Lakers, Davina & the Vagabonds, Haley Bonar, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, Tonic Sol-fa and probably some clog-clopping fiddle and kazoo player you’ve never heard of. See the schedules in our daily fair guide (see page E5) or at mnstatefair.org.