Wilmington's Grace Koon and her bandmates have discovered a key way of burning off their Thanksgiving calories.
The solution is to deliver an intense set with 20-plus outfits in the untamed Wilmo Rock Circus 2012 concert at World Café Live at the Queen on Saturday.
Presented by Gable Music Ventures — a Wilmington-based company specializing in offering local artists the chance to showcase original music — the second annual Wilmo Rock Circus has beefed up since its inaugural concert, which showcased 10 bands. This year, the event will feature 22 outfits from the Mid-Atlantic region, including local favorites New Sweden, A New Dakota and the Joe Trainor Trio across two main stages, with a third stage set up on the balcony serving as a fill-in for band changes. Each band will play a 30 minute set.
"I'm quite excited," said the 21-year-old Koon, frontwoman of the indie-rock trio A New Dakota. "I didn't go last year, so I don't know what to expect from it."
A New Dakota's off the leash
Fans of experimenting with heavy distortion, psychedelic, grunge, rock and blues elements, A New Dakota is a Newark-based outfit that was founded nearly three years ago and is captained by Koon, along with her faithful crew: Scott Mathews (bass) and Bryan Fitzgerald (drums).
A New Dakota's mission for the Rock Circus is to infiltrate it with fresh songs they've been working on for their new project (slated to be released in the spring of 2013), along with some of their more established tunes.
Two shiny tunes the band might showcase are "Baltimore" and a song that may or may not be titled "On and On," depending on how fuzzy Koon's memory is.
"They're both bright, catchy and they have that melodic kind of hook with high energy," said Koon, who pens most of A New Dakota's songs. The new songs reveal a more cheerful vibe than the band's previous works, since Koon revealed she's been "on a happy kind of kick" lately. However, the frontwoman added she hasn't gone soft, because the fresh tunes have also been injected with the special ingredient of "soul," which is prevalent in the band's prior material.
'I got a song out of it'
The song "Baltimore" was inspired by an adventurous day Koon experienced in Baltimore, Md., last April.
"I ended up kind of getting stranded in Baltimore, and this song came out of that experience," she said. "I was with a friend and ended up like… having it out [with them] and [I] got left in the city."
Page 2 of 3 - Despite the incident, the 21-year-old and her friend are still pals. Moreover, "I'm glad it happened, because I got a song out of it," beamed Koon.
Some of A New Dakota's staple tunes are "Powder City" and "Goldbloom," both off the trio's recent and self-titled EP, which dropped in January.
The frontwoman seemed mildly embarrassed about revealing the origins of the gritty tune "Powder City."
"I made a song that's alluding to a model city that my brother and sister built for fun on the floor one night," recalled Koon, who fought through laughter to continue the story. "It just so happened we ended up making this miniature city and we made it snow with baby powder."
Then there's the mellow song "Goldbloom," a reference to "Jurassic Park III" actor Jeff Goldblum's last name. The song was motivated by an inside joke stemming from a question Koon and her bandmates have about the movie.
"Jeff Goldblum, he has a black daughter in 'Jurassic Park III' and it's never explained," smiled the inquisitive Koon. "And you never know why."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Wilmo Rock Circus 2012 featuring 22 bands
WHEN 6-1 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
Page 3 of 3 - WHERE World Café Live at the Queen, 500 North Market St., Wilmington
COST $15 online; $17 door
INFO worldcafelive.com or 994-1400