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Home Local The Bon Iver effect: Is Wisconsin the new Brooklyn?

The Bon Iver effect: Is Wisconsin the new Brooklyn?


Who is the real Justin Vernon?
 

Have you heard the one about Bonnie Bear? The garbled interpretation that became the butt of many post-Grammy jokes about Justin Vernon and Bon Iver’s lack of name recognition from the masses.

Winning two Grammys certainly has strange repercussions. Justin Timberlake’s Saturday Night Live impersonation of a rumpled Justin Vernon falling asleep while singing one of his own songs to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s new baby is hipster satire at its best.

 

With all the tongue-in cheek Bon Iver humor saturating the media, one has to wonder how the band is taking it personally. On the other hand, the indie-folk troubadours are blazing a trail for Midwestern indie credentials that put the focus squarely on Wisconsin. 

holy shit, i was just watching SNL and JT did a Bon Iver hilarious thing! Also, Maya Rudolph saying "bon iver" is enough. I can die now!!!

— jdevernon (@blobtower) February 19, 2012

 

Even Spin Magazine has christened Wisconsin the next indie hot spot, “Chillwave's next hot spot is in flyover country: Madison, Wisconsin,” says Spin in describing their love for Peaking Lights’ “936” album.

Wisconsin indie artists (partial list):

Bon Iver                                   Kings Go Forth
Zola Jesus                                Jaill 
Peaking Lights                         Sat. Nite Duets
S. Carey                                    Volcano Choir
Julian Lynch                             Dead Luke
All Tiny Creatures                    Slow Loris
Yellow Ostrich                         Cory Chisel
Daredevil Christoper Wright   Man Mantis

The leader of course is Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

The defiant Justin Vernon, who attended the Grammys for his parents and refused to perform a scripted collaboration as dictated by show producers, struck a nerve with the eclectic nonconformist indie crowd. Somehow we couldn’t picture a bearded Justin Vernon gyrating with Rhianna or Katie Perry in a glee-like spectacle anyway. And after seeing Maroon 5 and Foster the People’s luke-warm tribute to the Beach Boys can you blame Justin for sitting this one out?

Justin Vernon is a genuine regular guy who represents the Wisconsin indie ethic well. Suspicious of the music industry, but willing to listen to opposing views, he doesn’t appear to be jaded by the meteoric rise of Bon Iver. Did he jump at the chance to sign with a major label after all his success? No, Justin stuck with indie label Jagjaguar. Does he buy into the idea of an indie artist as a celebrity? Not really, but the recent surge of media exposure has got to have him wondering.

In the connected age of the Internet, you really don’t need to be on either coast to spread the word about your music digitally. An organic buzz can be started just as easily from Wisconsin as New York or Los Angeles, and the rent is a lot cheaper! Besides, any place that has Spotted Cow beer on tap across the state has to be on the short list for residency. Watch for the Bon Iver effect to raise the profile of many deserving Wisconsin indie bands. Wisconsin is the new Brooklyn!  

 

 

Rock of the Arts

Club Crawl

DMA's (Australia)
w/ The Living Statues,
Oh My Love
High Noon Saloon
Fri, May 29

Archie Powell
& The Exports
w/ Heavy Looks,
Little Legend
The Frequency
Fri, May 29

Mandolin Orange
w/ Michaela Anne
The Frequency
Sat, May 30

Sam Llanas 
(Former Bodean)
True Coffee Roasters
Sat, May 30 (Fitchburg)

Merchandise
w/ Cloakroom, Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Sat, May 30

Porches
& Frank Cosmos
w/ Trophy Dad
The Frequency
Sun, May 31
 
Royal Blood
w/ Mini Mansions
High Noon Saloon
Sun, May 31 (sold out!)

Hot Chip
w/ Slow Magic
Turner Hall (Milw)
Sun, May 31

Father John Misty
w/ Springtime Carnivore
Pabst Theater (Milw)
Sun, May 31

Milo Greene
w/ Hey Marseilles 
High Noon Saloon
Mon, June 1

World Party
w/ Gabriel Kelly
Majestic Theatre
Tue, June 2

NE-HI
w/ Modern Mod,
Dolores
The Frequency
Thu, June 4

Cage the Elephant
Orpheum Theater
Fri, June 5

CJ Ramone 
& Shonen Knife
w/ TBA
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, June 9

Steelbridge Songfest
Sturgeon Bay
June 11 - 14

The John Spencer Blues Explosion
w/ Daddy Long Legs
High Noon Saloon 
Sat, June 13 

Kate Tempest
w/ Lord of the Fly
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Jun 15

Future Birds
w/ Christopher Gold,
The Sharrows
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Jun 19

Dawes
w/ Langhorne Slim
Capitol Theatre
Sat, June 20

Iceage
w/ Low Life
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Jun 21

The Helio Sequence
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Fri, Jun 26

Against Me
w/ Frank Iero
& the Cellabration
Fri, July 3

Blitzen Trapper
w/ We are the Willows
High Noon Saloon
Sat, July 4

Ceremony
w/ Pity Sex, Tenement,
Tony Molina
The Frequency
Thu, July 9

Melt-Banana & Torche
w/ Hot Nerds, Zebras
High Noon Saloon
Wed, July 15

Moon King
w/ Mr. Twin Sister
Memorial Union Terrace
Thu, July 16 (Free!)

Eaux Claires
Music & Arts Festival
feat. Bon Iver,
The National, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens
+ more
Foster Farms - Eau Claire
July 17 & 18

Ex Hex w/Tweens
High Noon Saloon
Tue, July 21

Elvis Costello
& the Attractions
Overture Hall
Thu, July 23

alt-J
w/ San Fermin
Riverside Theater (Milw)
Wed, July 29

Screaming Females
w/ Vacation
The Frequency
Fri, July 31

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