First Avenue earned another love letter from the Twin Cities music community on Valentine's Day, this one signed by 18 of its homegrown performers.
Minnesota music mainstays Babes in Toyland, Slim Dunlap, Low, the Honeydogs, Suicide Commandos, Polara, Gini Dodds and Curtiss A all contributed tracks to "First Love 2.0," issued Sunday via Bandcamp.com as the second installment of the so-called First Love Project — a subscription series organized by local scene veterans to raise money for First Avenue while Minneapolis' fabled rock venue remains mostly shuttered by the pandemic.
Younger scenemakers are also featured among the double-LP's worth of songs, including Sophia Eris, the Gully Boys, Nur-D, Lady Midnight, Dwynell Roland, David Huckfelt, Longshot and the 4onthefloor.
As with the first batch of "First Love" songs, the second collection is available for download and streaming with a subscription rate of $25 or more, and it includes a varied batch of previously unreleased tracks alongside old or current album cuts by the contributors.
Among the unreleased material are new songs by the Honeydogs ("Tent City") and Lady Midnight ("Tide Over"), an unearthed 1992-era Babes in Toyland track from Paisley Park ("Fake Fur Condom") and a rather colorful 2017 "director's cut" version of the Commandos' "Ghost Burrito."
The rest of the "2.0" collection includes tracks off new albums by Curtiss A ("You're Gonna Die Someday"), Nur-D ("Break Chains"), Huckfelt ("Gambler's Dharma," from the Pines' co-leaders second solo record out Feb. 26) and the Slim Dunlap Band ("Big Star Big," from "Thank You, Dancers! Live at the Turf Club, April 27, 1992"). It also features one track apiece by the late Ed Ackerson's bands Polara and BNLX, as well as one he produced for his wife Ashley Ackerson's group the Mood Swings.
Music fans who already signed up for the first round of music from the First Love Project will automatically get access to these new songs, but they can also "re-up" if they wish. Newcomers can always join at the $25 minimum rate via FirstLoveProject.org. The project is pledging to be active for a year; which is hopefully much longer than it takes for First Ave to be fully reopened and rocking again.
"First Love 1.0" included tracks by Jeff Tweedy, the Drive-by Truckers, Fugazi, Dessa, the Hold Steady, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks and Trampled by Turtles — the latter of whom also teamed with the club on a series of live performances webcasting via Mandolin.com every Thursday night in February.
Here's the full tracklist for "First Love 2.0":
1. Slim Dunlap Band, "Big Star Big" (live)
2. Sophia Eris, "KDJA"
3. The Mood Swings, "No Limit"
4. Dwynell Roland, "Run It Back"
5. Low, "Last Snowstorm of the Year"
6. Babes in Toyland, "Fake Fur Condom"
7. Gini Dodds and the Dahlias, ""A Little Forgiveness"
8. David Huckfelt"Gambler's Dharma"
9. Longshot, "Parades"
10. Suicide Commandos, "Ghost Burrito" (Unexpurgated Director's Cut)
11. Gully Boys, "Like Me Now"
12. The Honeydogs, "Tent City"
13. Nur D, "Break Chains "
14. Curtiss A, "You're Gonna Die Someday"
15. The 4onthefloor, "Moontower Blues"
16. Polara, "Closer to Heaven"
17. Lady Midnight, "Tide Over"
18. BNLX, "Vibrant"
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658