After rescuing live music in Minneapolis with its COVID-safe outdoor concert series last summer and fall, Icehouse is getting a little help from its musician friends over the winter via a new collection of live recordings available via Bandcamp.
"Icehouse Live Series, Vol. 1" arrived just before New Year's featuring 18 tracks recorded at the Nicollet Avenue supper club over the past eight years. Among the Twin Cities artists who donated tracks to help raise money for Icehouse's music programming are PaviElle, Erik Koskinen, Greg Grease, the Cloak Ox, Fat Kid Wednesdays, Lady Midnight, David Huckfelt, Dusty Heart, Zebulon Pike, Marijuana Deathsquads and Halloween, Alaska.
The recordings were compiled and produced by drummer and sound engineer Ryan Mach, who works at Icehouse when he's not touring with Har Mar Superstar or other acts. He said "about 99%" of the shows there have been recorded since the venue opened in 2012, if only for the artists to hear their sets afterward.
"When the pandemic ground the entire industry to a halt, I stopped into Icehouse and grabbed all of the hard drives I could find," Mach said.
He credited fellow sound engineer Alex Proctor and drummer and jazz booker JT Bates for helping compile the recordings; Bates is naturally heard throughout the collection, including the 11-minute FKW ride "Chandra" and a subversive collaboration with Martin Dosh titled "Scarface at the Louvre."
Said Mach, "[We've] all talked about releasing live recordings for years. I just ended up making this specific push to do it now, while the stage is dark and economic relief is bleak."
Icehouse will reopen for food takeout and delivery on Wednesday, but live music likely will not return there until it gets warm enough again to host shows on the patio. When its outdoor series ended in early November, owner Brian Liebeck said the concerts "weren't big moneymakers, but they kept us going."
"Music is also so much of what we're about, it hurts not having it," he added.
Mach said money raised from the digital album will go toward new p.a. equipment that had to be bought for Icehouse's outdoor setup, and toward hosting livestream concerts in the coming months. A similar compilation album was put out last month to benefit First Avenue titled "First Love Project," though that one featured more studio tracks than live recordings.
As was the case with the First Ave fundraiser, there's reportedly plenty more to come in the "Icehouse Live" series.
"What's in volume one barely scratches the surface," Mach said.
"Icehouse Live Series, Vol. 1" is being sold exclusively via Bandcamp with a $10 minimum donation. Here's the full tracklist, including the date of each recording:
1. Erik Koskinen - First Time in Years (06.07.17)
2. The Cloak Ox - Don't Listen (12.15.16)
3. Fat Kid Wednesdays - Chandra (11.27.17)
4. PaviElle - Disbelief (06.02.2017)
5. Halloween, Alaska - Hot Pink (11.26.14)
6. Zebulon Pike - The White Light of the Black Star (01.30.15)
7. Greg Grease ft. MMYYKK - Deemon/Moderation (07.22.17)
8. Dusty Heart - Archer (03.23.17)
9. David Huckfelt with Billy Seldmayr & the Unarmed Forces - As Below, So Above
10. Lateduster - Transformador (11.26.14)
11. Her Crooked Heart - Pleasant Valley Reservoir (03.11.18)
12. RÅDĮØ ÅHŁËË - Intro (05.25.18)
13. Coach Said Not To - Bus Stop Birthday (02.13.18)
14. JT Bates & Martin Dosh - Scarface at The Louvre (10.21.19)
15. Self-Evident - Rumors (01.18.19)
16. Enormous Quartet - Beautiful Photograph (02.16.15)
17. Lady Midnight - Lightness (11.02.18)
18. Marijuana Deathsquads - Untitled (11.28.18)
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658