This Weekend in Kato: Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders


In time, redjacket will throw flashlights on most of the happenings within Mankato’s music scene.

This is not that time.

Until we get a little more traction, only the ultra-cool stuff is going to be showered with love. Sure, Mully’s and the Wine Cafe might be offering some perfectly acceptable fare for the boomer crowd this weekend, and The What’s Up Lounge is taking a breather from their usual onslaught of regional death metal and metalcore by hosting Howard “Guitar” Luedtke & Blue Max. (If that sounds like white-dude blues played by guys that utilize the words “THE BLUES” in each of their album titles…that’s ’cause it is.)

But for the foreseeable future, ‘This Weekend In Kato’ is basically just going to let you know where I’ll be getting hammered on a particular evening.

This Saturday, it’ll be in lovely Lower North, with…

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders [NaKato, 8:30 pm]

Anoka County-based Crankshaft first shambled into Mankatoan consciousness by pulling up to Savoy in a spray-painted station wagon and laying the place to waste as a one-man, blues-fueled filth machine. (Yes, Savoy actually hosted listenable bands prior to its waterlogging. Like Crankshaft. And Buildings. And…yeah.)

While the man cuts a dapper profile, his jams are nasty, boasting a raw minimalism born of vintage surf rock and pushed through a working-class punk filter. His cuts are throwback, assuredly, but they’re packed with a furious, immediate vitality mined in territory where many retro-ists fear to tread.

On Saturday, he’ll have his backing band, the Gear Grinders, in tow, likely leaving his rickety bass-drum bashery to a cohort. Support comes courtesy of Chicago’s Lou Shields.

See you there.