Let’s not sugarcoat it: Fans of Ryan Olcott’s beloved old band 12 Rods could very well hate his latest recording project, c.Kostra. But that’s actually a reason to admire his debut album under that moniker, which he’s celebrating with a performance Friday at Icehouse.
Titled “Now I Feel It,” the 10-track collection is utterly devoid of the loud, reverberating guitars and dramatic singing that earned 12 Rods a 10.0 Pitchfork review and V2 record deal back in the late ’90s. Instead, the album features warped layers of retro synthesizers and slow-swaggering, lo-fi R&B grooves topped off by breezy, electronically manipulated vocals. It’s even more experimental than Olcott’s band in between, Mystery Palace. He calls this “pitch-deviant beat music,” but in layman’s terms you might say the record sounds like early ’80s Prince demos that accidentally got put through the laundry.
Not only does Olcott have a new album, but he is putting it out on his own new electronic label, Pytch Records, which has also issued music by Devata Daun and Black Diet’s Garrison Grouse. His party Friday will feature short sets by Solid Gold and Suzie frontman Mark Ritsema’s new act 68 Degrees (11 p.m., $8-$10).
Paisley Park goes ‘Dark’
This weekend marks the first time since Prince’s death that fans can head out to Paisley Park at night again and party like it’s 1999, or at least like it’s not god-awful 2016. The studio-turned-museum’s weekly Paisley Park After Dark parties kick off with a DJ-led bash on Friday night, followed by a screening of the stellar “Sign o’ the Times” concert film Saturday, plus tours. Fans won’t be there too long after dark, though; tickets list an 11 p.m. cutoff ($60, OfficialPaisleyPark.com).
Coincidentally or not to Olcott’s gig, 12 Rods superfan Justin Vernon stopped in at Icehouse last Sunday night to play an unannounced set of electronic drone music with Camilla Staveley-Taylor of the Staves. Who needs that Bon Iver tour, anyway? … The Pines surprised fans at their Cedar show last week by offering a stripped-down new EP, “Pastures II,” now in wide release and featuring traditional folk songs and covers from Willie Dixon and their Iowa kin Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown. The EP was coproduced with Mason Jennings.
Before another stellar effort at the Replacements tribute last weekend, the Melismatics’ Ryan Smith and Kathie Hixon-Smith dropped a new digital single billed simply as Ryan & Pony, a new-wavy rocker titled “Low.” … The Melismatics return to the Turf on Saturday as part of the 12-band, two-stage 10th anniversary party for booking agency Green Room Music Source, also featuring Johnny Solomon and Molly Moore, Sleep Study, Maudlin, Gaelynn Lea and a reunion of Mark Mallman’s Ruby Isle (6:30 p.m., $10-$12).
Hopefully the only local holiday concert involving spilled blood, Impaler is bringing its Merry Krampus show to the James Ballentine VFW in Uptown on Friday with Dumpster Juice (9 p.m., $7). Then on Saturday, the same VFW hall hosts a 10-year reunion gig by prog-metal adventurers My Valkyrie (7 p.m., $5). … With the new 40th anniversary box set out and the movie in rotation on TV, it’s worth noting the Band’s “Last Waltz” will once again be re-created live with a wide array of local music vets at Cabooze on Jan. 21.
Harriet Brewing in south Minneapolis permanently shut down this week, two months earlier than expected after five years of being the most music-friendly taproom in town. Which isn’t saying much. Given the glut of beermakers in town nowadays, it’s high time some of the other breweries start booking bands — if not to support local music, then at least to distinguish themselves from all the competition.