Cakes da Killa and MikeQ to Run Gardner

Cakes da Killa, also known as Rashard Bradshaw, is a rapper from New Jersey. He dropped his first EP, Easy Bake Oven, in 2011, and garnered widespread critical acclaim in 2013 with his second mixtape, The Eulogy, released on Mishka NYC . His music is intense. Citing Lil’ Kim as a pivotal influence, he raps with raunchy and commanding lyrics that flow and skitter over boundary-pushing beats. In 2012, Cakes da Killa appeared in Pitchfork’s profile of queer rappers in New York, but his music can’t be reduced to his sexuality, nor should it be. He has toured through Europe, Canada, and Australia, and in June he put out a new mixtape, Hunger Pangs.cakes-cover1-560x683

MikeQ is a ballroom producer and DJ based in New York. He heads up Qween Beat Productions, a crew that is spearheading a new generation of ballroom and vogue house music, and is a frequent collaborator with Fade to Mind and Night Slugs. In April 2013 he performed in Gardner with Prince William and Kelela.
Cakes da Killa // MikeQ

Mon, Oct 6 @9pm

Gardner Lounge

This event is free, all ages, and open to the public.

Watch the video for Cakes da Killa’s “I Run This Club” below:

PUP Brings Catharsis to Gardner

PUP (formerly Topanga) is a pop punk band gracing us all the way from Toronto. PUP stands for “Pathetic Use of Potential,” a phrase coined by a band member’s grandmother, who jokingly warned that playing punk music was a pathetic waste of potential. Nonetheless, this grandmother is extremely supportive of the band, and rightfully so.

PUPPUP is comprised of four childhood friends (Stefan Babcock, Zack Mykula, Steve Sladkowski, and Nestor Chumak). The band has been deemed as one of Rollingstone’s “Breakout Rock Bands of 2014,” and this description has held true. Their self-titled debut album, released last April, has been praised by Noisey as “a perfect ten,” filled with addictive “ripping guitar riffs, infectious hooks, [and] cathartic, angst-ridden screams.” Considering that they are in the middle of their European and North American tour after having played several music festivals, PUP is sure to bring an energy-filled show this Monday night.

Their new album is available for streaming here.


Mon, Sep 15

Gardner, 9pm

Free // All Ages // Open to the Public

Mandolin Orange Lights Up Gardner

On September 9, Mandolin Orange will be lighting up Grinnell College with its memorable blend of folk, country, and bluegrass. The band is comprised of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, who, through the “plainspoken, mournful power of bluegrass” leave one in a state of serene calm. The two met in 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and have released multiple albums together. Their most recent project is titled This Side of Jordan and is described as an album focused on the healing process, a work that combines the sounds of Southern Appalachia to create a moving exploration of love and loss. Ashley Phillips of Independent Weekly described the duo’s sound as able to “go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure.” The amazing multi-instrumentalism of Marlin and Frantz, who incorporate guitar, violin, mandolin, and more into their music, exposes the talent of their act. Mandolin Orange is going to bring an element of its own personal beauty to Gardner, and it’s going to be something to witness.

Mandolin Orange

You can watch the video for “One More Down” below.

Opening for Mandolin Orange is Leif Vollebekk, based out of Montreal, Canada. His sound is a mix of folk and blues, generated out of influences in Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Sigur Ros. His album North Americana is out now.


Mandolin Orange // Leif Vollebekk

TUE, 9/9


Gardner Lounge

This event is free, all ages, and open to the public.


GRRRL PRTY to Launch Fall Lineup

After surviving a long, concertless summer, we are getting excited for the fall lineup of shows. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long. On August 29, GRRRL PRTY is coming to Gardner and kicking off a new year of Concerts in the right way.

GP Focus Photo (1)

Photo courtesy of GRRRL PRTY

GRRRL PRTY is a “celebration of femininity and unsheathed swagger,” comprised of Sophia Eris, Manchita, and Lizzo. Each of the three artists brings their own style and voice, but they all come together to create a “gritty, unapologetic sound.” Since forming in Minneapolis last year, the trio has established itself as an integral part of the hip-hop scene: they’ve dropped a mixtape, held a residency at the Icehouse in Minneapolis, and are currently set to release an album. Their live shows, featuring DJ Lanae & The Hot Pants and DJ Clean Drop, are explosive and infectious. GRRRL PRTY will leave Gardner begging for more.

You can watch the video for “Wegula” below.

Opening for GRRRL PRTY is the Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo KILLSTREAK, made up of Tony Williams and ICETEP. The pair draw upon diverse influences ranging from LA beats to Midwest hip-hop to create smart, hard-hitting rap music that refuses to be boxed in.

FRIDAY, 8/29


Gardner Lounge

This event is free, all ages, and open to the public


Ryley Walker Plays [2014]‘s Last Show

ryley walker poster

For the last show of the semester, Grinnell Concerts is excited to present Ryley Walker with openers Seth Hanson and Grinnell’s very own Adriana Walsh, this Thursday in Gardner.

Ryley Walker is a 24-year-old Chicago native singer/songwriter whose music has been described as “straight out of the 1970s.” Last year Walker released a 3-song EP, The West Wind, which features songs from his recently-released full-length LP, to critical acclaim.NPR Music’s Lars Gotrich wrote of the EP’s title track, “with acoustic guitar in hand and a voice like browned butter, Walker swings and sways in a lush string-and-piano arrangement right out of Buckley’s Starsailor; it slowly picks up to a swirling gallop without bucking the rhythm.” The title track from the The West Wind was also featured on NPR Music’s SXSW 2014 mix, and the song earned him a spot on Acoustic Guitar’s “30 Great Guitarists Under 30” list. Be sure to check out the music video for “The West Wind,” which debuted on The Fader in November. For more information, see Ryley Walker’s page on The Windish Agency website. 




THURSDAY, April 29th

9 PM

Gardner Lounge

This event is free and open to the public


Full Saturdaze: Dream Weapon/ Beat Detectives/ Canoe/ DJ PYGYN

This Saturday night, Grinnell hosts Dream Weapon, Beat Detectives, Canoe, and DJ PYGYN. Dream Weapon, an experimental band out of Minneapolis, has an avant-garde sound that relies heavily on synthesizers and layered noises to create multi-dimensional music that builds beautifully. Check out their release for Opal Tapes here.


Beat Detectives continue the good vibes with bassy and funky beats that Moonglyph describes as “outsider chopped and screwed dance hits from an imagined, weirdo urban radio station floating in the ether.” With smooth, jazzy tracks that slip from heavy synthesizer beats to hazy drip noises to slowed down looping vocals, Beat Detectives’ original combinations create an atmospheric and fresh sound. As impose Magazine writes, their music “pulses and throbs with homemade beats, indecipherable lyrics, bassy thumps, and the occasional slice of a raw guitar lick.” Listen to their soundcloud here.

Lastly, Grinnell welcomes back [concerts] favorites DJ PYGYN (Robin Dugas ’10) and Canoe (Nic Wilson ’12). Listen to Canoe here and here. 


SATURDAY, April 26th
9 PM
Gardner Lounge
This event is free and open to the public


Celebrate the Holidays with Worthless


a1162032784_10This Sunday, [concerts] brings to you Worthless with visuals by Drippy Eye Productions. Hailing from Brooklyn via Florida, the Worthless and

Drippy Eye combo offers an engaging soundscape with awe-inspiring visuals to further  boost the psychedelia of the show. Don’t let their name fool you, a Worthless performance is truly an amazing spectacle of lo-fi psychedelic rock and trippy “liquid light” visuals. Worthless, lead by Drippy Eye contributor Curtis Godino, combines vibrant aural and visual elements together to produce a concert experience unlike many others. In the words of Godino, “the lights keep the music going, the music keeps the lights going.” Synesthesia plays a huge role, with the band’s intent to help you to truly experience the color, feel the sound, and transport the whole of your mind and soul back to the more carefree era of the Summer of Love. Worthless’ most recent release via Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records is titled Keep Sleeping and fuses sweeping sitars, bongo beats, intricate guitar work, and spaced out vocals to help you completely lose yourself.

You can check out some of the band’s early tracks on their bandcamp page,, and their most recent releases on

And, to catch a quick glimpse of some of the artistic stylings of Drippy Eye Productions, definitely peruse their facebook page at

Shake the Monday Night Blues // DTCV // Spaceships


This Monday, [concerts] welcomes DTCV, pronounced Detective, a French-American rock band from Los Angeles made up of The Lola Freakout, James Riot, and Ringo. The band is often compared to rock ‘n’ roll groups such as the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and Black Sabbath on their more riffy tracks, and are known for their energetic, jam-filled live shows. Most recently, the band released a double album titled Hilarious Heaven under Xemu Records, an impressive record that “contains free jazz saxophone skronk and flute solo(s), a piano ballad in French, synth-pop, a Monks cover, and two songs that surpass the eleven minute mark.” Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices did the beautiful cover art. Check out the album here, and listen to the band’s soundcloud here.


Monday’s other act, Spaceships, plays noise-pop-bedroom-garage-punk. The band is funky and fun and stands to turn us all into little disaffected nose-picking beer chugging punk children. It can’t be summed up better than the following quote from LA Record: “Nobody knew anything about Spaceships but manager Mani Quin, who mumbled “Get this” in my ear. A short fusillade of arty brusque noise pop followed, highlighted by Jessie Waite’s impassioned powerhouse vocals. There ensued a gooey community sweat and all was drippy cheers and well-kicked ass.” Listen to their bandcamp here. 



9 PM


This event is free and open to the public

PUNK WEDNESDAY// Audacity // The Coathangers

Liven up this Wednesday with Audacity and The Coathangers, playing in Gardner Lounge at 9 PM!


Hailing from Fullerton, California, the garage-rock band Audacity has the rare capability of being energetic and noisy while also having sing-along choruses and lyrics worth reading. The four members of the band have played together since grad

e school, and their familiarity shows—not only do they jam seamlessly on their fast-paced tracks, but their lyrics often evoke a carefree, elementary school humor; for example, in the song “Indian Chief” off their 2012 album Mellow Cruisers, they sing, “Jesus has parties when God’s out of town/ Joseph and Mary are really not down.” In this sense, Audacity is like the garage-band that you formed in high school, except they stuck together and got better and better. With rough guitars, catchy hooks, and sweaty live performances, the band seems to relish in youthful, carefree energy that will be an exciting break from the workweek.

The band has put out a number of EPs and 7”s under with Burger Records (a label that has released the likes of King Kahn, the Pharcyde, and Hunx and His Punx), and most recently released their third full-length album, Butter Knife, under Suicide Squeeze Records. Check out their bandcamp here.


Atlanta-based punk band The Coathangers is made up of three members: Crook Kid Coathanger (Julia Kugel, on guiatar), Rusty Coathanger (Stephanie Luke, vocals), and Minnie Coathanger (Meredith Franc, on bass). With tracks titled “Shut Up,” “Smother,” “Love Em and Leave Em,” and “Adderall,” The Coathangers’ new album, Suck My Shirt (also released by Suicide Squeeze Records) has gotten rave reviews for its range of sound and moods. Pitchfork writes, “Suck My Shirt shows a band continuing to grow and refine their sound. Have they become more tame as they’ve become a tighter band? Hell no. Their instruments still bite and their vocals still growl. But this time, the subject matter feels weightier.” Better yet, Suicide Squeeze Records writes “the title [Suck My Shirt] refers to an incident involving the salvaging of spilled tequila during the recording session for the album.” You won’t want to miss them! Listen to their bandcamp here.




9 PM

This event is free and open to the public

Review: Oneohtrix Point Never

Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin) is experimental, ambient, and electronic. Upon first listen of his latest album, R Plus Seven, one might get a little lost in his minimalistic approach to orchestral and synthetic sounds. Though minimalistic, his albums are extremely complex, such that he does not try to replicate the songs in concert. He instead “takes the raw stuff of the songs — melodies, keyboard parts and noises — and basically remixes them on the fly, creating new compositions from familiar parts” (Washington Post).  So naturally, I was curious to see how Lopatin would take on a small college in the middle of Iowa on a Wednesday night.


The crowd at Gardner slowly gravitated towards the stage as Lopatin played his first song, which displayed many of his talents as a musician. It slowly built up with layers of subtle bass, white noise, and small melodies and patterns that faded in and out. Along with the one blue light shining on stage and a television in continuous static in the background, Lopatin’s performance created an atmosphere in the room that made you feel like you were exploring the spooky depths of an ocean. Though his performance was improvisation, Lopatin still incorporated fine complexity—from small, rhythmic clicks to low, distorted, changing bass lines. He displayed an intense, almost mathematical concentrated look while performing, yet effortlessly made the crowd sway and even dance to his compositions.
The concert was an interesting change in pace in the midst of [concerts]‘ noise-rock and hip-hop shows, and it was pleasure to hear his sounds on the loud speakers of Gardner.