After tonight’s Thursdays on First stages shut down, both the Doggery and Kathy’s Pub have you covered for the after party.
If you’re in the market for mellow introspection, head over to the Doggery, where Joel Ward will play his roots, folk, and soul music. Ward is a local favorite, and the songs available to stream on his Reverbnation page, reverbnation.com/joelward, show why. From the Ben Harper-channeling “Don’t Want You Around,” complete with slide guitar and sorrow-flecked, soulful vocals, to his stellar cover of Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man,” Ward’s work is infused with top-notch musicianship.
Across the alleyway, at Kathy’s Pub, Betsy & the Mongrels will play the first of their two shows for the weekend. Led by lead singer Betsy, the band plays a mash of rock, alt-rock, funk, blues, and pop songs. Their YouTube channel, youtube.com/watch?v=AVt0ZmLbceI, features a few samples of their work; I found their cover of Tracy Chapman’s ’90s classic, “Gimme One Reason,” particularly compelling.
If you miss their set tonight, you’ll have a shot at redemption on Saturday night, when the band plays Kathy’s Pub’s 4th of July celebration. For more info about the band, check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/betsyandthemongrels.
On Friday night, Kathy’s helps prime the public for the following day’s tide of patriotism by importing California classic rockers King Washington. You may remember this crew from its string of performances last fall as part of their mini-residency at the pub, which, aside from Suite’s barnburner of a CD release party, boasted the wildest dance floor action I’ve ever seen at Kathy’s.
If this is your first time hearing about them, I suggest a trip over to their website, kingwashingtonmusic.com, where you can get a taste of the band’s sound. Their penchant for harmonizing brings to mind the vocal acrobatics of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, while rest of their work inhabits similar sonic territory to artists like The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Tom Petty. Their sets are comprised of mostly original tunes, but the band has been known to toss in killer renditions of classic tunes like “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. I cannot recommend this show enough.
The biggest concentration of live music this weekend occurs on Saturday at Silver Lake Park, where The Commission’s Salute to the 4th Event will kick off around noon. Admission is a $5 donation, which will go towards next year’s fireworks display.
Throughout the afternoon, you’ll have a chance to catch performances by the likes of Andrew Garcia, Brian Puspos, JR Aquinio, Acillatem, Suite, FlightClub, MEDCityRepublic, Jargon & Blacky Chan, and DJs Gavin Boss and DJ RAv. The event will include a skate and BMX contest, car and motorcycle show, and foot races, as well as food, drinks, and activities for children. The whole thing was organized by a group of young professionals known as The Commission, and could become a new Rochester institution if we treat it well, so do your patriotic duty and check it out.
Later, on the Silver Lake soccer field, the Rochester Concert Band, conducted by Chuck Blattner, will give a free performance just before the fireworks display. The band has promised to include fireworks classics like Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and Michael Kamen’s “Band of Brothers,” among other patriotic selections.
The Redwood Room will bring Driven By Rhythm along for dinner tunes on both Thursday and Friday night from 7 until midnight.
Stewartville is throwing a street dance on Friday night in Florence Park from 8:30 p.m. until half past midnight. The event will be scored by Time Machine, who will provide ’80s pop, ’80s hair band, ’80s country, and ’80s disco styles.