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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

Lotus
w/ Turbo Suit
Orpheum Theater
Fri, Feb. 27

MisterWives
w/ BØRNS,
Handsome Ghost
High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 4 (sold out!)

Paper Diamond
w/ gLAdiator,
Louis Futon
Majestic Theatre
Wed, March 4

Reverend Horton Heat
w/ Ha Ha Tonka
High Noon Saloon
Fri, March 6

Lust for Youth
w/ TBA
Memorial Union
Fri, March 6 (Free!)

Helmet "Betty"
20th Anniversary Show
High Noon Saloon
Thur, March 12 (sold out!)

Swervedriver
w/ Gateway Drugs
High Noon Saloon
Fri, March 13

The King Khan & BBQ Show w/ Milk Lines, Cowboy Winter
High Noon Saloon
Sun, March 15

Alabama Shakes
w/ Promised Land Sound
Overture Hall
Tues, March 17

Filligar
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 18

CURSIVE
w/ Dylan Ryan Sand,
See Through Dresses
High Noon Saloon
Thurs, March 19

TV on the Radio
w/ Nostalghia
Pabst Theater
Tues, March 24

THE RASHITA JONESES w/ Filter Free Rodeo, Bron Sage, Spaceship Parts
The Frequency
Fri, March 27, 9:00 PM

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

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

Belle and Sebastian
w/ Honeyblood
Overture Hall
Sat, Apr 4

Ultimate Painting
w/ Heaters
The Frequency
Mon, April 6

Polica
w/ PonyBwoy
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, Apr 10

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
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 15

The Soft Moon
w/ TBA
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 

Max Jury
w/ SALES
The Frequency
Thu, April 23 

JAMES MCMURTRY
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

Dan Deacon
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Fri, May 15

METZ and FIDLAR
High Noon Saloon
Sat, May 23

ST. VINCENT
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26
 
Royal Blood
w/ Mini Mansions
High Noon Saloon
Sun, May 31

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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