They made a splash at First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2013 showcase and won Vita.mn’s Are You Local? contest in 2014, so predictably Black Diet went on indefinite hiatus in 2016.
If you’ve missed their bright, lively, fun-loving presence, the soulful dance-rockers are playing their first gig in more than a year at Icehouse on Friday (10:30 p.m., $10-$15). The gig is timed to frontman Jonathan Tolliver’s return for the holidays from Los Angeles, where he’s been testing the waters on several fronts, including an eponymous solo music act.
Guitarist Mitchell Sigurdson revealed that the group has written a new Christmas tune just for the show — a collaboration with members of opening band PHO — which went well enough to suggest it won’t be their swan song. “We had a blast doing it, and the odds of writing more seems more promising than not,” he said. …
Another home-for-the-holidays reunion show that’s even longer in the waiting, ’00s-era synth-rock band So It Goes plays its first gig in about five years at 7th Street Entry on Friday with BNLX and the Step Rockets (8 p.m., $10-$12). This one is a wedding present for bassist Brian Gruidl from his bandmates. Awww! … Saturday at the Entry, Bad Bad Hats play their first hometown shows in too many months — two in one night, both sold out. Guess that confirms BBH’s next LP is one of the most anticipated local records of 2018. The trio will kick off the year on tour with Typhoon in January. …
There are murmurs of Trampled by Turtles getting back into action in 2018 following a year and a half hiatus, but the members still continue to carve out interesting music on the side. Mandolinist Erik Berry just put out an album of acoustic Irish music with another mainstay of the Duluth scene, Teague Alexy of Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Titled “Irish American,” the record features a pair of sweet original tunes alongside traditionals and musical contributions from members of Pert Near Sandstone and TBT violinist Ryan Young, who helmed the recording in his Cold War-era bunker studio. They’re promoting it Friday at the Dakota with the Pert Near offshoot Haute Mess (7 p.m., $15-$25). …
Speaking of First Ave’s Best New Bands showcase, the annual mishmash/overview of happening young acts is set for Jan. 5 in the main room with Dwynell Roland, Lady Lark, Blaha (led by Mike Blaha of the Blind Shake), Picked to Click winner Thomas Abban, Early Eyes, Sass and the only dudes brave enough to perform with a sax and without a shirt at last weekend’s Replacements tribute, the Bad Man. … And it’s nice to have one more noteworthy newcomer to tout at year’s end: Harmonious Minneapolis acoustic tunesmith Ben Noble will hit Bryant-Lake Bowl on Sunday (8 p.m., $8) to celebrate his gorgeous and hallowed-sounding debut album, “Whiskey Priest,” which he self-recorded in a cabin in the woods. Obvious comparisons to Bon Iver wouldn’t be too off, especially with his looped falsetto and harmonies. But Noble’s ultra-tender voice and haunting writing style better recalls Damien Rice and late Twin Cities indie star Jeff Hanson. Check out the new Pony Rug Session with him on YouTube for a good taste of his talent.