Keweenawesomefest is a two-day indie music festival that is hosted by Michigan Tech University's radio station WMTU. It takes place at the "gateway" to the Keweenaw Peninsula (get it!? KEWEENAWesomefest lol) in an old mining town called Houghton. In its birth year of 2007, the fest was at first just an idea of way WMTU could help unite the distinct music communities of Michigan's two peninsulas. Eventually though, it acquired a stellar lineup, astounding buzz, and one of the best venues in Michigan; transforming the idea into a mammoth-sized event that defied all expectations. WMTU's masterpiece brought attention from the press, but more importantly it showcased what many musicians already knew as the most attentive and respectful audience in the Midwest.
With this year's increased budget, combined with the University Student Government's generous financial assistance, we've been able to book several big names (Low! Fred Thomas!!), in addition to many promising up-and-coming acts. Whether or not the mythical Houghton energy will again flow through the Black Box is of course up to you, but we promise we're doing our best to ensure another couple of nights jammed with inspired songs.
Keweenawesomefest II -- March 28th and 29th
The Black Box (McArdle Theatre)
2nd floor of Walker Arts and Humanities Building on Michigan Tech's Campus
Tickets are $5 for one night or $8 for both.
Music begins at 5 PM sharp on both nights.
A WMTU Event: http://www.wmtu.mtu.edu
Please, please, please invite all your pals. Our best PR efforts pale in comparison to your words and mouths.
Add us on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/keweenawesomefest
Link non-Facebookers here: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/446113/?ps=6
Houghton is here: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Houghton,+MI,+United+States+of+America&ie=UTF8&z=13&iwloc=addr
Super 8 Hotel: http://www.super8.com/Super8/control/Booking/property_info?propertyId=03513
Keweenawesomefest Mix CD and tickets are on the way! Stay tuned.
!!!Friday Night (March 28th)!!!
SAH (Marquette, MI)
DEASTRO (Detroit, MI)
THE HELIGOATS (Chicago, IL)
KELLY JEAN CALDWELL (Zug Island, MI)
SPIT FOR ATHENA (Kentwood, MI)
MICHAEL WAITE (Marquette, MI)
WINDMILL MUSIC (Ann Arbor, MI)
ALMUS MAGNUS (Grand Rapids, MI)
UTOPIAN BONFIRE (Marquette, MI)
ANDREW KRAMER (Houghton, MI)
!!!Saturday Night (March 29th)!!!
LOW (Duluth, MN)
CHRIS BATHGATE (Ann Arbor, MI)
FRED THOMAS (Brooklyn, NY)
CHILD BITE (Detroit, MI)
FRONTIER RUCKUS (Lansing, MI)
CANADA (Ann Arbor, MI)
ACTUAL BIRDS (Ypsilanti, MI)
LINDSAY ELECT (Houghton, MI)
DUCT APE (Marquette, MI)
!!!Press from Last Year!!!
Detroit Metro Times: http://www.metrotimes.com/blahg/journal_item.asp?journalid=98
Real Detroit Weekly: http://www.realdetroitweekly.com/article_2340.shtml
Motor City Rocks: http://www.motorcityrocks.com/2007/02/weekend-update-keweenawesomefest-press_26.htm
If you want to read (and listen) up on this year's performers before you see them live, read on...
[[[[[[[[[[ Friday Night (March 28th) ]]]]]]]]]]
--ANDREW KRAMER (Houghton, MI)--
Houghton’s own electro-bleepity-blip-blop composer/dance king/pretty awesome dude.
--UTOPIAN BONFIRE (Marquette, MI)--
Somehow I was the last one in the (yooper) loop on Utopian Bonfire, cuz every time I ask anyone about them, I’m invariably cutoff with some variant of “UTOPIAN BONFIRE IS KILLER DUDE YOU SHOULD BOOK THEM.” If the all-caps reports are correct, we’re in for a stellar set by the next UP rock stars.
--ALMUS MAGNUS (Grand Rapids, MI)--
Hard-strummin’, mumblin’ folk singer. Originally from the UP.
--WINDMILL MUSIC (Ann Arbor, MI)--
Once an integral member of the UP music community, Kent Randell (Windmill Music) now goes to school in Ann Arbor and makes experimental indie-pop in his free time. Additionally, I’ve been told to expect opera singing and Gregorian chants.
--MICHAEL WAITE (Marquette, MI)--
Singer/songwriter hailing from the woods surrounding Marquette. Dude can write a soulful folk song or two.
--SPIT FOR ATHENA (Kentwood, MI)--
Extremely tight four-piece indie-rock act who convey emotion through technical instrumentation, honed by the 7+ years they've been jamming together.
--KELLY JEAN CALDWELL (Zug Island, MI)--
Indie-pop singer/songwriter who formerly jammed with Saturday Looks Good to Me but now writes fantastic, rainy-day ballads.
“…Caldwell creates her own furnace-room lullabies that Neko Case would envy…” --Detroit Metro Times
--THE HELIGOATS (Chicago, IL)--
Chris Otepka (the Heligoats) was once the lead singer of the now defunct, fast-burning Troubled Hubble and he can evidently still write a number-one-summer-jam in his sleep.
--DEASTRO (Detroit, MI)--
One-man-band pop genius. M-Sword-esque synth & drum & vocal combo sounds like it could be an army of prodigies.
"A preternatural ear for eloquent tones, and a mind for moving pop structures and overwhelming crescendos of heartrending melancholy and unstoppable joy; consistently surprising and rewarding." --Real Detroit Weekly, Albums of the Year
--SAH (Marquette, MI)--
Cathartic, instrumental, dueling-drumsets, wall-of-sound, end-of-the-world rock and roll with members now spread so far apart that catching them live is a very rare treat. It’s a shame, cuz Sah—who helped inspire a wave of innovative rock groups in Marquette—has created some of the greatest live sets in Michigan music history.
[[[[[[[[[[ Saturday Night (March 29th) ]]]]]]]]]]
--DUCT APE (Marquette, MI)--
“Duct Ape is known for two things: being Marquette's funniest noise rock duo and for the band having the most number of final shows. Jeremy and Jon may strike you as just another couple of Yoopers, but be warned: they will melt your heart with their impassioned rock'n'roll music.” -Tyler Debelak
--LINDSAY ELECT (Houghton, MI)--
New-to-the-scene and an extremely talented guitar player; Sycamore Smith says, “How the fuck are we hearing this? She should be famous!”
--ACTUAL BIRDS (Ann Arbor, MI)--
Ann Arbor songwriter/noisemaker. Might be joined by MC Trashpedal and/or Annie Palmer.
“…unleashed a sound that is perhaps matched only by the nightmares and/or daydreams of small children and/or terrifying monsters.” --826 Michigan
--CANADA (Ann Arbor, MI)--
7-piece folk-rock ensemble known for their mirth and their sing-along choruses and for that one time they used tree branches in lieu of drumsticks. I don’t know if it’s all those auxiliary instruments or what, but it's impossible for Canada to write a song that isn't catchy. They’re labelmates with Chris Bathgate, too.
--FRONTIER RUCKUS (Lansing, MI)--
Some of the most beautiful folk poetry I’ve ever heard, backed by a saw and a banjo and all kinds of pretty chords. They’ve never played in UP, but their EP somehow made it across the Mackinaw and into the hearts dozens of Houghtonites.
--CHILD BITE (Detroit, MI)--
Smart post-punk outfit with fist-pumping anthems; crazy (and occasionally soaring) vocals.
--FRED THOMAS (Brooklyn, NY)--
Fred Thomas is the frontman of the critically-acclaimed indie-pop group Saturday Looks Good To Me. When he’s not making really great records with Saturday, Fred likes to make pretty solo records about being sad and lonely.
NPR Record Review: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18024704
--CHRIS BATHGATE (Ann Arbor, MI)--
The first time Chris Bathgate came to Houghton, he played to around 80 people in the Wads Annex for around 42 minutes and 51 seconds, and I’m pretty certain he blew every single mind in attendance with his haunting folk-pop gems. I still listen to the recording of that show regularly, and I sometimes wonder if the original Keweenawesomefest would have ever happened without the electricity that Chris and the Great Lakes Myth Society brought to our community that night. If you see one music thing this year, let it be Chris playing to the Houghton crowd.
Best Solo Artist of 2007 --Real Detroit Weekly
--LOW (Duluth, MN)--
Only 4 hours West, and also sporting a Lift Bridge, Duluth sometimes seems like Houghton’s big brother. It’s no wonder it produced the wintriest of indie-rock bands, whose songs make you want to layer up. They do more than chill you though: Low’s harmonizing husband-and-wife songwriters can find beauty in any blizzard.
Rolling Stone, 'Ten Best From Under the Radar': http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/low/articles/story/5934033/ten_of_the_best_from_under_the_radar
Official Website: http://www.wmtu.mtu.edu
Added by hand on March 3, 2008