Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog saw his shadow, but Rochester is still in for a heat wave. The forecast calls for a sweltering night of funky music when Outta Tune promotions brings the Minneapolis-based Circle of Heat to “The Guiding Light”—The North Star Bar for the uninitiated—on Feb. 23.
Outta Tune Promotions, responsible for this musical thaw, is Charles Tune’s brain child. “Outta Tune has been around since 2009. I started out just making flyers for my band at the time, Dread Veil, for local shows at Midwest Skate Park and Rochstock.”
Tune promoted shows for Minos, Arrows at Dawn, Headband Jam and acts from farther afield, like Post Paradise (Fort Collins, CO). In addition to the Star, Tune’s also promoted gigs at places like Forager.
Promotion companies like Outta Tune are important components growing the local music scene. “Finding a company that cares about quality music and wants to bring that to their audience is such a huge thing for a band like ours…Knowing you have someone promoting and pushing your show in a market is the greatest thing to put your mind at ease going into a show,” says Circle of Heat guitarist Tom Alane.
In 2016, Circle of Heat, which in addition to Alane includes Kurt Andersen (bass and vocals), Eric Neseth (drums and vocals), and Trevor Anderson (keys and lead vocals), released its sophomore album “Some People Say.”
Alane says Circle of Heat shows might include a jazz-fusion instrumental sandwiched between a Rage Against the Machine song and something from The Allman Brothers.
Cameron Smith, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter in projects like Push & Turn, recalls good times sharing a bill with Circle of Heat at awarehouse in the Kutzky Park area a few years ago. “I always enjoy running into those guys at music festivals that we are both playing,” says Smith.
Smith thinks it’s a win-win situation when promotion companies bring bands to Rochester: “It’s nice to have Rochester on the map for other cities’ local music scenes, and in turn it can also open doors for Rochester musicians to be able to play in other cities.”
“The bigger this city grows, the more of a need there will be for live music and other things to do for the residents and visitors,” says Tune, who hopes to expand to venues like the Mayo Civic Center.
With Thursday’s on First regularly drawing crowds in the summer, Tune hopes he can start a once or twice a month Thursday night option for winter entertainment. Tune describes the shows he promotes as “good times with good people and great music,” and his main goal is to help everyone have fun while creating “a music family.”
Perfectly “outta” tune with a money-motivated mindset, Tune says, “I don’t take any money from the shows. It all goes to the artists, and I’d like to keep it that way and watch the scene grow, knowing I had at least a little something to do with it.”