While attendance was sadly less than stellar, the inaugural Girls Got Rhythm Fest was widely regarded as one of the coolest events on the concert calendar last year, and organizers and sponsors are thankfully standing by it. They lined up former Runaways singer Cherie Currie to give a rare performance as the headliner, happening again May 10-11 at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul.
Portrayed by Dakota Fanning to Kristen Stewart’s Joan Jett in the 2010 movie on the all-female punk band, Currie battled addictions, became a chain-saw woodcarving artist (no kidding) and largely dropped off the music industry radar in the ‘80s, though she reportedly just finished her first album in over 30 years with help from Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan (GunsN’ Roses, Velvet Revolver).
Also on the bill for GGR2 are: San Francisco punk vets the Avengers (fronted by Penelope Houston), who opened the Sex Pistols’ notorious final show at the Winterland Ballroom; Berlin-based ex-Busy Signals punk songstress Ana Lucia; Italian four-piece Marilu and the Machetes; Milwaukee’s Sugar Stems; plus local scenesters Is/Is, Gateway District (led by Maren Macosko of the Soviettes), the Vignettes and Total Trash. A two-day pass for the fest is now available at the early-bird price of $35, or single-day tickets are on sale for $20. Go to the Girls Got Rhythm site for all the details.
The lineups for two popular outdoor events have also been announced:
TWIN CITIES JAZZ FESTIVAL (June 27-29, Mears Park, St. Paul): This year’s hot summer jazz offerings will include two piano maestros for headliners, Kenny Werner and Cyrus Chesnut, plus Houston sax great Walter Smith III and innovative drummer Matt Soclum. As always, the event will be free and will include lots of local talent, too. Stay tuned for the full schedule via the TC Jazz Fest site.
HYMIE’S RECORD STORE DAY BLOCK PARTY (April 20): The beloved vinyl haven, at 3820 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis, is once again showing optimism for fair April weather with its communal bash, which will feature an outdoor stage with performances by Big Quarters, Audio Perm, the Prissy Clerks, Southside Desire and more. The indoor stage is set to include Chastity Brown, the Ericksons, Wizards Are Real and store regulars Ben Weaver and Martin Devaney. This one’s also free, and once again the neighboring Merlin’s Pub will have beer for sale. Details here.