Every Madisonian who enjoys dancing, free stuff and good music, take note: up-and-coming indie artists Gemini Club and Strange Names will hit the Majestic Theatre Thursday in a free concert put on by Red Bull Sound Select.
Hailing from Chicago, Gemini Club stands as one of the most infectious groups currently operating in the indie pop genre. Their danceable sound caught the attention of Red Bull, who offered to make a music video for the group. Band member Tom Gavin was instantly drawn to the company.
“I just think as a brand Red Bull does really, really cool stuff,” he said. “I mean, that space jump, all that motorcross, dropping snowboarders out of helicopters. They seem to help people who want to do cool things, so I think that’s mainly what attracted us to them.”
Doing cool things is nothing new to Gemini Club. The group sports a “specially designed rig” that allows for improvised remixing during their shows. This means that no two Gemini Club shows are the same.
“Sometimes I find remixes to be better, and with an a cappella track you can do pretty much anything with it,” Gavin said.
Come Thursday, Gemini Club will release a wave of infectious dance beats upon the Majestic crowd. The band insists that dance music makes up the backbone of all their music.
“People are calling us indie pop. But even our songs that are on the heavier side and a little bit darker are danceable as well,” Gavin said.
Gavin is attracted to the city of Madison for one simple reason: “I like how crazy people are there.”
From the other side of Wisconsin comes Strange Names. Straight outta the Twin Cities, Strange Names was birthed when Liam Benzvi met Francis Jimenez in their University of Minnesota dorm. Benzvi, who is from Brooklyn originally, knew there was a connection the second he met Jimenez.
“Well I saw his blue eyes, and I just had to say hello,” Benzvi said jokingly. The two grew close, living across the hall from each other, and bonded over their music tastes. They began making music and performing in 2012. It wasn’t long until they were named one of the Twin Cities’ best new bands by the City Pages in 2013.
The Twin Cities, Benzvi said, is the perfect place to be playing music.
“Minneapolis is a really hopping arts hub. Even coming from New York, I was really impressed with the whole vibe of Minneapolis. It’s kind of fresh and cool,” he said. “I feel like there’s a boom that’s about to happen, not just in what we’re trying to do but with our peers. There’s a lot of cool bands that are about to blow, I think.”
Like Gemini Club, Strange Names injects an utterly danceable aesthetic into their groove-laden indie pop. With such catchy songs as “Potential Wife,” “Luxury Child” and “Once an Ocean,” the band seems destined for mainstream recognition. But first, the relatively young band has to push their way into the music industry, which is easier said than done.
“It’s very agonizing at times. It kind of just keeps you going. We’re in a privileged time in our career because it’s the most time we can luxuriate in writing songs without any kind of pressure from anyone who’s signed us. It’s a really cool creative time,” Benzvi said.
Strange Names is currently working on a new album, which they anticipate will be out in spring 2014. They’ll be releasing a new single in January to hold listeners over. Until then, they’ll be touring with Red Bull Sound Select, and Benzvi couldn’t be happier to stop by Madison.
“We’re excited to meet all of you.”
Both bands will be playing a free show Thursday at the Majestic. To get tickets, RSVP at Red Bull Sound Select’s website.