Are You Local? 2014 concert to feature Cloak Ox, Simonett, JMN and Gramma's Boyfriend

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER | Updated 2/12/2014's annual contest, which sends a newbie band to South by Southwest, takes place March 6 at First Ave and the Entry.

The Cloak Ox will make their headlining debut at First Avenue for the March 6 Are You Local? showcase, though the members certainly have played it before with their other bands.

The kind of two-tiered show that requires two rooms,’s Are You Local? showcase will move back to the best-loved twofer venues in town this year, First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, with a lineup topped off by the Cloak Ox and featuring a solo Dave Simonett, John Mark Nelson, Haley Bonar’s freak-punky side band Gramma’s Boyfriend and the up to five newbie finalists from the AYL? contest. Tickets go on sale today at noon via First Ave outlets for $10, and voting for the contest is under way at


Despite their powerful reputation as a live band and the year-end acclaim for their full-length debut, the Cloak Ox will be making their headlining debut in the main room for the show. It will also be Simonett’s first high-profile gig away from Trampled by Turtles since the release of his first solo EP, “Razor Pony.” Nelson will be previewing tracks from his long-in-the-works sophomore album, which he plans to gain attention for at the South by Southwest Music Conference next month. Bonar is also readying her new, sonic change-up of an album but is always willing to cut loose with Gramma’s Boyfriend, which shares guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker with the Cloak Ox.

The newbie bands -- who range in quality on the AYL? voting site from "Wow!" to "Huh?" (such is the nature of the contest) -- will start off the night in the Entry. A "winner" will be chosen from the finalists to perform a quick set in the main room before the Cloak Ox and then to perform at the Ave day party in Austin, Texas, during SXSW at Holy Mountain on Friday, March 14. Carroll won AYL? last year, preceded by Prissy Clerks, the 4onthefloor and Bight Club.

[Photo: Star Tribune file]