Mages + The Heart Pills

up-and-coming local alt-folksters hit The Nucleus

Betty Nikia, photos by Frank H. Robinson

The Heart Pills all Bottled & Barreled.

Live music at The Nucleus is less frequent than in days of yore, so when it happens, people make a special point of showing up. The space provides an intimacy that can be difficult to match at other venues. The lucky few who get there early can snag the comfy chair or the couch. The upcoming show at The Nucleus features locals-turned-Minneapolis-exports Mages with locals The Heart Pills opening. Although both bands loosely share the tag “Americana,” their musical personalities feel more like an older sister to a younger brother. Mages came together in 2008 and, after playing local shows, released their self-titled album last fall. They are currently a five-piece ensemble that includes the smooth vocals of Amy Jo O’Connor. Mages delivers an acoustic folk set borne of collaborative songwriting and organic harmonies. Their sound weaves present themes with threads of nostalgia – love, liberty, and the human condition. The Heart Pills are a four-piece band (sometimes five) creatively self-described as campfire tin can folk punk. Not surprisingly, their sound is a little louder, a little more raw, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. With songs like Bus Ride and Jane and Dave (Got Depraved in the Shade) you can expect some interesting narrative lyrics. When I asked drummer Matt Haapala what he thought people would want to know about the show he replied, “Uh … I don’t know.” Josh Ingersoll, guitarist and vocalist added, “My dad likes a couple of my songs.” Amy was a bit more hopeful, saying, “The Nucleus is an ideal setting for the organic, soulful, foot-stomping folk rock groove audiences experience with both the Heart Pills and Mages.”

Mages + The Heart Pills • April 10 • The Nucleus, 405 Water St., Eau Claire • 7pm • $3 • all ages • 834-7777

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