It’s hard to feel sorry for either Martin Dosh or Frankie Lee when they talk about finding a cure for the winter blues.
The former just finished a string of tour gigs with My Brightest Diamond before the holidays and is often on the road during the coldest months of the year. The latter spent last January rambling between Texas and California and humbly bragged, “I haven’t stayed home in Minnesota for a winter in over 10 years.”
This January is going to be different for each musician, though, and they came up with very similar ways to stay active while staying in town: Both have booked a January residency gig at the Turf Club with alternating guests lined up each week.
“If I was gonna stay around town, I wanted to have a place to play,” explained Lee, the sandy-voiced Americana/country stalwart, who will perform every Sunday through Jan. 25 in the Clown Lounge, located underneath the Turf’s main room.
“Instead of hanging out alone in a basement somewhere in northeast Minneapolis, I figured why not hang out in the basement of the Turf Club and play music with my friends?”
After his “Middle West” EP came out in 2013 to local acclaim, Lee put together a regular backing band that is irregularly stacked with talent, including drummer JT Bates, bassist Mike Lewis and guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker and Michael Rossetto. However, those guys are just some of the many people he is inviting to play with him this month.
“The idea is that whoever shows up and whenever they show up, we will get them up,” Lee said. “If you’ve seen me play, you know the band can go from two to 10 players, and any and all of them can play two or three instruments — some at the same time. So, we will have plenty of players and options to explore each week.”
Dosh, the drummer and keyboardist who has been performing his one-man hypno-groove/electro-loop shows for 13 years now, is following a similar no-holds-barred mold for his Tuesday gigs upstairs — and he’ll even have some of the same players as Lee.
In addition to Lewis and Ylvisaker (Dosh’s former bandmates in Andrew Bird’s band), the so-called House of Dosh improv cast through the month will include vocalists Nona Marie Invie, Aby Wolf and Toki Wright and other longtime instrumental collaborators such as Cloak Ox chums Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson, James Everest, Ryan Olson, DeVon Gray and Jon Davis. The latter was his partner for the new dance-flavored EP “Def Kith,” issued as Dosh & Ghostband.
Sounds fun, but Dosh isn’t just doing this for kicks. He said he will have recording equipment set up at all of the shows and “will either release the tracks as is, or use them in bits and pieces as fodder for something else.
“If I’m home in January and February, I usually just stay in my basement and invite a bunch of people over to record,” he said. “This will be like that, except there’ll be a stage.”
And an audience, assuming the rest of us also aren’t content spending the rest of the month in our basements.
The North Shore’s most happening music venue come ski season, Papa Charlie’s in Lutsen welcomes back the 4onthefloor Saturday ahead of a busy calendar that includes the annual Snowball fest next weekend with WookieFoot and Pert Near Sandstone (Jan. 7-10), Sarah Krueger (Jan. 17), Dessa (Jan. 17), Haley Bonar (Jan. 19), Dead Man Winter and the Pines (Jan. 28) and Cloud Cult (Feb. 7). …
The Cabooze’s usual winter-warmer tribute shows kick off next weekend with the 10th anniversary installment of “Big Pink: Tribute to the Last Waltz” (Jan. 9-10), followed by the “Cash Only” Johnny Cash marathon Jan. 16, the Janis Joplin birthday bash Jan. 24 and the Bob Marley celebrations Feb. 6-7. … Easily the prettiest indoor gigs in town each winter, Como Conservatory’s Music Under the Glass series is in full bloom and features Parisota Hot Club this Sunday (4:30 p.m., free, ComoZooConservatory.org). …
First Ave’s Best New Bands of 2014 lineup was announced for Jan. 17 with PaviElle French, Warey (ex-members of Roma di Luna), Tiny Deaths (with the Chalice’s Claire de Lune), Suzie (led by Night Moves’ Mark Ritsema), ZuluZuluu (rapper Greg Grease’s new group) and Sam Cassidy. … Casey O’Brien of PaviElle’s band as well as Sonny Knight & the Lakers is issuing a jazz album, “Ghost Dance,” with a release party Monday at Icehouse (9:30 p.m., $8). The versatile bassist, who also played with Eyedea’s Face Candy, collaborated with sax player Nathan Hanson and drummer Davu Seru on the record, which he describes as “sparse and spacious.” …
After their Turf Club show last weekend, rebounding local metalists American Head Charge announced a March 23 gig at First Avenue as part of a tour with Coal Chamber and Filter. … Underage rockers Hippo Campus will hit the road for their first-ever tour in March. They’ll start at South by Southwest and then play a month of dates with L.A. hippie-pop kids the Mowgli’s, including a local stop April 3 at the Varsity Theater.