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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

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS
w/ Split Single,
Julian Lynch
The Frequency
Mon, March 30

Bleachers
w/ Joywave,
Night Terrors of 1927
Majestic Theatre
Tue, March 31

Belle and Sebastian
w/ Honeyblood
Capitol Theater (venue change)
Sat, April 4

The Pines
w/ Hayward Williams
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 4

Ultimate Painting
w/ Heaters
The Frequency
Mon, April 6

Polica
w/ Pony Bwoy
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, April 7 (sold out!)

FOXYGEN
w/ Alex Cameron
The Sett - Union South
Fri, April 10 (Free!)

Joe Pug
w/ Field Report (solo)
High Noon Saloon
Fri, April 10

Reptar
w/ Icky Blossoms
The Frequency
Fri, April 10

Dolores
w/ Mutts,
Cowboy Winter
& Little Legend
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 11

Mr. Gnome
w/ Bron Sage
The Frequency
Sat, April 11

Twin Shadow
w/ Erik Hassle
Majestic Theatre
Tue, April 14

Kodak to Graph
w/ Big Wild,
Obeson
The Frequency
Wed, April 15

Chuck Prophet
& The Mission Express
w/ Nick Brown
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 15

Shana Falana (NYC), 
w/ Modern Mod,
Oh My Love
Mickey's tavern
Thu, April 16 (Free!)

The Soft Moon
w/ Noveller
The Frequency
Fri, April 17

PELE
w/ Golden Donna
Cactus Club (Milw)
Sat, April 18

Diarrhea Planet
w/ Lee Bains
& the Glory Fires,
Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 22

Six Organs of
Admittance
w/ Elisa Ambrosia
The Frequency
Wed, April 22

Sufjan Stevens
w/ Little Scream
Riverside Theater
Thu, April 23

Hiss Golden Messenger
w/ Phil Cook (Megafaun)
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 23 

Max Jury
w/ SALES,
Bonzie
The Frequency
Thu, April 23 

JAMES MCMURTRY
w/ Max Gomez
High Noon Saloon
Friday, April 24

Lord Huron
w/ Leon Bridges
Pabst Theater
Sat, April 25

Caroline Smith
w/ Vic and Gab
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 25

Rhiannon Giddens
w/ Bhi Bhiman
Capitol Theater
Mon, April 27

Hurray For The
Riff Raff
w/ Daniel Romano
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 30

Speedy Ortiz
w/ Krill, 
Two Inch Astronaut
The Frequency
Fri, May 1

The Replacements
w/ TBA
Eagles Ballroom (Milw)
Sat, May 2

Revelry Fest
w/ Chance the Rapper,
The Chainsmokers,
Alunageorge, Mick Jenkins,
Nick Hakim + More!
Library Mall
Sat, May 2 

Death Cab for Cutie
w/ The Antlers
Riverside Theater
Mon, May 4

Vetiver
w/ Eric D. Johnson
The Frequency
Thu, May 7

Bop English
(from White Denim)
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Fri, May 8

Pianos Become The Teeth
w/ Loma Prieta,
Gates
Cactus Club (Milw)
Fri, May 8

Tame Impala
w/ Mini Mansions
Riverside Theater
Thu, May 14

Dan Deacon
w/ Prince Rama,
Ben O’Brien
High Noon Saloon
Fri, May 15

METZ and FIDLAR
High Noon Saloon
Sat, May 23

Surfer Blood
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Sun, May 24

ST. VINCENT
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26

Built to Spill
w/ Wooden Indian
Burial Ground
High Noon Saloon
Tue, May 26

Archie Powell
& The Exports
w/ Heavy Looks,
Little Legend
The Frequency
Fri, May 29
 
Royal Blood
w/ Mini Mansions
High Noon Saloon
Sun, May 31

Father John Misty
w/ TBA
Pabst Theater
Sun, May 31

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

Kate Tempest
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Jun 15

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

Eaux Claires
Music & Arts Festival

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

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