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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

Yonatan Gat (NYC)
(former Monotonix guitarist)
 w/ Lover's Spit, Fire Retarded, The Amigos
The Frequency
Tue, Feb. 3

AESOP ROCK
and Rob Sonic
w/ DJ Abilities
& Homeboy Sandman
Barrymore Theatre
Tue, Feb. 3

Wild Child
w/ Cheers Elephant
The Frequency
Wed, Feb.4
 
Sturgill Simpson
w/ Anderson East
Majestic Theatre
Wed, Feb. 4

JOHN MARK NELSON w/ The Ragbirds
The Frequency
Thur, Feb 5
 
Local H
w/ The Traveling Suitcase
Bron Sage
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Feb. 13
 
Nikki Lane
w/ Jonny Fritz,
Hugh Bob
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Feb. 15

Hey Rosetta
w/ Communist Daughter
The Frequency
Wed, Feb. 18
 
Portland Cello Project
Honoring Elliott Smith
High Noon Saloon
Thu, Feb. 19

Doomtree
w/ Open Mike Eagle,
Greg Grease
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Feb. 21

The Districts
w/ Pine Barons
Dolores
High Noon Saloon
Sat, Feb. 21

JMSN
w/ Rochelle Jordan
and DPAT
Memorial Union
Sat, Feb, 21 (Free!)

SUUNS
w/ Disappears &
DJ Tolerance
The Frequency
Sun, Feb. 22
 
Robyn Hitchcock
w/ Emma Swift
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Feb. 23

The Growlers
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Tues, Feb. 24

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

MisterWives
w/ BØRNS
High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 4

Helmet "Betty"
20th Anniversary Show
High Noon Saloon
Thur, March 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diarrhea Planet
w/ Lee Bains
& the Glory Fires,
Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 22 
 
ST. VINCENT
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26

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