the 2013 Block Party line up

North Stage
9:30The Hold Steady
8:00Dead Man Winter
6:30Lucy Michelle
5:00Meat Puppets
3:30Enemy Planes
3:00Gates Open
World Stage
7:45Free Fallin' (Tom Petty Tribute)
6:15Sammy Llanas (formerly of the BoDeans)
5:00Actual Wolf
3:30Greenwich
3:00Gates Open

North Stage

The Hold Steady

Playing the North Stage at 9:30

The Hold Steady is an American indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2004. The band consists of Craig Finn (vocals, guitar), Tad Kubler (lead guitar), Galen Polivka (bass), Bobby Drake (drums), and Steve Selvidge (guitar). Noted for their “lyrically dense storytelling,” and classic rock influences, the band’s narrative-based songs frequently address themes, including drug addiction, religion and redemption, and often take place within the city of Minneapolis.

Formed four years following the break-up of Finn and Kubler’s former band, Lifter Puller, The Hold Steady released their debut album, Almost Killed Me in 2004, and came to prominence with the release of their third studio album, Boys and Girls in America, in 2006. In 2010, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay left the band prior to the recording of their fifth studio album, Heaven Is Whenever (2010). During the band’s subsequent tour, the band became a five piece, once more, with the addition of former Lucero guitarist Steve Selvidge.

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Dead Man Winter

Playing the North Stage at 8:00

On a bleak, cold, frighteningly typical winter night in 2002, the last band I was in before Trampled by Turtles played our final show in a modified pizza restaurant-turned-venue in Duluth, Minnesota. The show ended, our band ended, glasses clinked cheers. We had plenty of help loading out our gear that night. So much, in fact, that someone walked away with my electric guitar and amp. They walked right passed the car where it was supposed to end up and went off into the frozen night, putting a giant period on the end of a what had been a short, struggling, but very necessary musical time for me.

I was now fully unemployed and sleeping indoors only by the good graces of friends willing to share a couch, and the loss of my instruments was more than a little devastating. Of the few possessions I still had, the one that now gained top billing was a cheap acoustic guitar collecting dust in a small room on Duluth’s central hillside. A few other musicians in town had similar instruments collecting a similar dust and we started what was our first acoustic band, Trampled by Turtles.

We’ve been able to stay together ever since and had some good fortune that escapes many more deserving and talented bands. Lately, though, the drums and amps ringing in the back of my head have been getting louder and the desire to play, write, and record in a way removed from what I’ve been up to has been getting stronger. Dead Man Winter was born out of these things.

I’d been renting a studio in Minneapolis, and with the help of some amazing people I set to the task of making a record. My partner in the dirty and thankless work of recording was local engineer, songwriter, producer, guitarslinger, and master of the vibe Erik Koskinen. We spent countless blissful hours exploring guitars, amps, mics, and players in the worn-in beauty and sanctity of Realphonic Studios. Without a doubt, countless more hours could have been spent but you can’t begin work on the next record until you put out the current one, so here it is.

The musicians that play on this album are dear friends – there’s not a one of whom would I’d hesitate to trust a song that I hold dear. In the end, the whole experience has reconnected me to that couch-surfing kid in Duluth trying to figure out what to do next in this big, terrifying, wonderful world and now, with a few more years behind me, it’s refreshing.

– Dave Simonett, 2011

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Lucy Michelle

Playing the North Stage at 6:30

At 25, Lucy Michelle is a songwriter as serious as they come. Twin Cities natives will know her as frontwoman of gypsy-pop outfit Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, a raucous and eclectic six-piece. At home and on the road, Lucy has stood boldly amidst that chugging whirlwind of cello and accordion, stomping her foot and singing out fiercely over the top of it all. It’s a collaboration five years strong whose catalogue reveals an artist developing not only her craft, but also personally.

Through songs of adventure, love and reflection Lucy has shared an evolving understanding of herself and her values. It’s a process that in 2012 led Lucy, after becoming happily married, to write a batch of songs more deeply personal than any she’d written before. The result is ‘Attack of the Heart,’ Lucy Michelle’s first ever solo album. Enlisting the help of local greats John Munson and Chan Polling, Lucy set out to create an American pop gem. It’s a hard-earned hallelujah at times reminiscent of Dylan’s contented spirit on ‘Nashville Skyline’ but with a strut all her own. “Heart Race”, the album’s opener, rolls in as gentle as a weekend sunrise upon a Minnesota lake.

From there Lucy takes us on a journey of American pop music in the classic sense. There’s a bit of New Orleans in the shuffle of “Do What Your Daddy Told You”; a bit of that old countrified California in the slow dance of “Best We Know How”; a bit of Detroit R&B in “All I Need”. “For You” features Lucy’s first jazz vocal on record, but it’s apparent she’s been doing this for years.

By the end of the album one gets the impression that Lucy has found that long pined for home she’s sung about all along. While a life of music on the road may have prepared her to give a nod to what has come before but she’s clearly now more than the sum of her influences. With ‘Attack of the Heart’ Lucy Michelle emerges as a true American artist, and once again lets us all in on the adventure.

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Meat Puppets

Playing the North Stage at 5:00

The Meat Puppets are an American rock band formed in January 1980, in Phoenix, Arizona. The group’s original lineup was Curt Kirkwood (guitar/vocals), his brother Cris Kirkwood (bass guitar), and Derrick Bostrom (drums). The Kirkwood brothers met Bostrom while attending Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix. The three then moved to Tempe, Arizona (a Phoenix suburb and home to Arizona State University) where the Kirkwood brothers purchased two adjacent homes, one of which had a “shed” in the back where they regularly practiced.

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Enemy Planes

Playing the North Stage at 3:30

“Wanna know what the next big Minneapolis band is? Ten bucks it’s Enemy Planes, a moody little band that sounds like the best Brit-obsessed psych band from 1985 crossed with skittering modern indie with a touch of lo-fi electronics stirred in. Their forthcoming album, Beta Lowdown, is filled with mysterious little songs with a dark heart, and is as good as anything “local” you’ve heard in the last couple years, though don’t expect ’em to stay contained by our fair cities for long. Dunno much about them other than that they feature Shön Troth (formerly of Solid Gold) and members of Pictures of Then — and that anonymity is the way they seem to like it, at least so far, despite a star-making turn at SXSW last year. “~LE’TOILLE MAGAZINE

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World Stage

Free Fallin

Playing the World Stage at 7:45

America’s Favorite Travelin’ Tribute to Tom Petty! Free Fallin presents it’s show with the power and passion that went into over 30 years of Tom Petty’s best selling songs from “Damn the Torpedoes” through
his latest CD “Mojo” (including hits from the Traveling Wilburys).

Free Fallin’s show has the instrumentation to duplicate the sound of the Heartbreakers as well as the convincing looks and costumes that gives you a show that you will never forget!

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Sammy Llanas

Playing the World Stage at 6:15

Sam Llanas (born in 1961) is a singer, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter in several rock and roots rock bands active from the 1980s to the 2000s, including the BoDeans and Absinthe. Sam is known for his unusual and distinctive voice.

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Actual Wolf

Playing the World Stage at 5:00

The Legend of the Actual Wolf

There are outlaws, and there are outlaws. Some practice the pose and cultivate the image, though seldom dirty their soft, bourgeois hands with anything actually outside the law. When they do, it is often despicable, irresponsible or just plain mundane. The Actual Wolf, however, is a real outlaw and has pled guilty to it. Between the bust and before the trial AW recorded a pair of EPs, each showing ‘another side of the Wolf’. The first is USA, an everyman’s acoustic album that channels both Woody and Zimmerman on a smuggler’s road trip on the cop-laden corridor of the I-80. The second—Lightning & the Wolf— conjures a 30-something’s symphony to Gawd, a rock EP at times so ethereal that it floats like smoke up into the aether, at others so earthy & grounded you can almost feel the parole. This is not music that pleads for forgiveness—the man has given his freedom as a sacrament at the altar of his beliefs. Rather, these are songs of redemption. Actual Wolf has paid a price, but like many deals with devils, seems to have come out the greater for it.

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Greenwich

Playing the World Stage at 3:30

Greenwich embodies the spirit that is true American Folk Music but reinterpreted through the eyes of artists from another land, a land steeped in a rich musical heritage of its own – from the city of Brescia in Northern Italy comes a sound that is both familiar and unknown.

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