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Live Music: It’s Going Down In Lowertown

Plus craft beer rankings, a Hold Steady fire sale, and the icy wonders of northern Minnesota in today's Flyover news roundup.

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A scene from Lowertown Sounds 2021.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Lowertown Sounds Shares 2023 Concert Lineup

Proper, functioning cities should rock. With the annual, free, weekly, and outdoor Lowertown Sounds program, St. Paul is privy to this in ways Minneapolis could really learn from. Organizers just shared this year's lineup, and they note that over half of the acts are new this summer.

Take a look:

  • June 1: Good Morning Bedlam, Trevor McSpadden & Mary Cutrufello
  • June 8: Turn Turn Turn, Danger Pins
  • June 15: Kiss the Tiger (revisit Keith's feature), Creeping Charlie
  • June 22: Nur-D (revisit Jay bothering him for a hot take), Malamanya
  • July 13: The New Standards, New Primitives
  • July 20: Craig Clark Band, JoJo Green
  • July 27: Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers, Palms Psalm
  • August 3: Jaedyn James, Twin Citizen
  • August 10: Salsa del Soul, Ecuador Manta
  • August 17: Run Westy Run, Doug Collins and the Receptionists
  • August 24: Flamin’ Oh's, Two Harbors, Chemistry Set

But know this much before you venture to Mears Park: Each evening the entertainment runs from 6-9:30 p.m.; non-musical offerings include great beer from Utepils and Wabasha Brewing Co., wine from Alexis Bailly Vinyard, and a rotating cast of 20 food trucks. Click here for way more info.

HOW Big Are MN's Biggest Breweries?

Each spring the bearded, flannelled masses await the top 50 biggest-producing breweries list, as dutifully compiled by the Brewers Association trade group. While the craft beer market share grew by 13.2% in 2022, almost the same growth as in 2021, the overall beer market dipped by 3%, this year's just-released report reveals. Why? "Rising operating and material costs and increasing competition, particularly in distribution,” according to Bart Watson, BA's chief numbers man. But there were wins for the little guys, including the number of operating U.S. craft breweries reaching its highest number ever—9,552.

"Bah, flimshaw!" you might be thinking at this point. "Where's the hyper-local context I crave?" Calm down, we're getting to it! Per usual, three Minnesota breweries cracked the top 50 craft beer ranking: Summit Brewing Co. of St. Paul (No. 26, down four spots from '21), August Schell Brewing Co. of New Ulm (No. 29, up one), and Surly Brewing Co. of Minneapolis (No. 42, down three). Summit and Schell's managed to chart on the overall top 50 list, which basically mirrors the craft one but with the handful of macro daddies at the top. For more Schell's content, revisit our explorations of the fabled brewer's lunch and the sexy fish-lady beer.

Wanna Buy a Shitload of Hold Steady Musical Gear?

Wanna rock like the Hold Steady? Well, it wouldn’t hurt to own one of the band’s guitars—or effects pedals, or amps, or some other assorted gear. The band (which was formed by Minnesotans in New York, and is therefore not a local band) is doing a spring clearing, dumping years of instruments, equipment, and paraphernalia onto the online shop Reverb. There are 60 listings in all, including six guitars, though we’re not regular enough Guitar Center customers to have an opinion about how good the prices are. If you’re not quite ready to rock, or if your rockin’ days are behind you, check out the 15 banners from past Hold Steady tours. There is truly no better way to say “I love the Hold Steady and I no longer have $400.”

LOOK at Grand Portage State Park Right Now

Minnesota State Parks says it's "otherworldly," and I mean...

That's kinda the only word for it! That icy frosting on every surface is unlike anything we've seen at a state park before, like a bottle of root beer exploded overnight and froze. But if you were already getting packed for a drive up to the border, be forewarned: In a series of follow-up tweets, the Minnesota State Parks account notes that you should expect "challenging conditions" at High Falls over the next several weeks. "While most of the trail to the High Falls is clear, the boardwalk still has snow and ice buildup and is NOT currently wheelchair accessible," their warning reads.

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