Beaners One Week Live celebrates its sweet 16th volume

by Felicity Bosk

For the past 16 years, bands have been performing at Beaners over the course of a week and having their songs recorded and added to a collection of local acts. These acts include a variety of sounds but they all have one thing in common: they’re Midwestern. This year is no different. 
The first song on the album comes from Jacob Mahon, something of a rising star in Duluth’s local music scene. He is a frequent performer at Beaners and had his album release show there this past month. The song “Gingerbread Man” includes a line that likely resonates with all the acts in this album: “He knew what we wanted to do since he was two, he grew and now he knows he’s gotta go to all the open mics.” 

The first 10 of 18 tracks are all on the acoustic/folk end of the musical spectrum. The energy picks up with the Latelys song “Joan of Arc” but chills out again with mellower tracks from Daniel Champagne, Lowland Lakes, Tenderness and Jen West.
Of the mellow acoustic tracks, I enjoyed Gavin St. Clair’s “Gotta Get Away” extensively. It’s a break-up song, but it’s also about a desire to move on and out of the parts of your life the ghosts of your past live.
We exit the acoustic/folk songs with S3ym0ur Glass, who described themselves as “computer music for dystopian dance parties.” This song is without lyrics but instead puts you into a place with the music. You hear rain falling off leaves and birds singing in the background of computer-generated music. 

Noble Sound System makes an appearance on One Week Live with a political track about police brutality: “The racist man keeps his pistol cocked.” The song has some important lyrics but they’re hidden between the repetition of the line, “We don’t want no trouble with the policeman oh whoa oh yeah.” 
Nudecolors, who just released their album “Paradise” this past weekend, makes a One Week Live appearance with “Snow on Easter.” It’s a melodic rock song that starts out slow and ends fully engulfed in musical energy. It’s a pleasant song and one you won’t find on their new album. 
When I said this album includes all genres, this includes metal. Hurricane Joe is a Minneapolis-based group that came to visit Duluth. Beaners doesn’t host a ton of metal, but Hurricane Joe made an appearance with a couple of other metal bands in February, showing that the venue is a musically versatile concert coffeehouse. 

Other acts included on this album are Woodblind, Dan Dresser, Blake Thomas, Nonfic, Lesser Planets, Average Mammals and The True Malarkey. 
Something I enjoy about Beaner’s One Week Live is that it is a yearly opportunity to listen to some local bands I haven’t heard yet. They typically don’t showcase the same bands years in a row, making each volume unique and enticing. The only better way to hear a diverse group of local music is, well, attending Homegrown.

The CD is available at Beaners Central, 324 N. Central Ave., Duluth.