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Lake Street Dive at Meadow Brook, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Lake Street Dive has been the horse to best on during the past year and a half.

After building an audience with five previous independent albums, the Brooklyn quartet rode 2016’s “Side Pony” to a higher level of notoriety. The group’s first national label album debuted at No. 1 on three Billboard charts -- Top Rock Albums, Folk Albums and Alternative Albums. It was also named one of the 50 Best Albums of 2016 by Paste magazine.

The “Side Pony” ride isn’t over, either, as Lake Street Dive continues to tour in support of the album, though the group’s Mike “McDuck” Olson says it’s also time to start thinking about what’s next...

• Olson, 34, says by phone from Virginia that what’s stayed with Lake Street Dive from “Side Pony” is the collaborative songwriting approach to one track, “Can’t Stop.” “Most of the songs were written individually and then brought in for the band to wrap its head around,” Olson explains. “But after we did (‘Can’t Stop’) and some other things that aren’t on the album we came out the back end realizing that, for us, is a method worth exploring. It shares ownership of the material. it advances the understanding of a song more within the band. So in preparation for our next record, whenever that happens, we’ve been doing a great deal of writing and the collaborative method has yielded some songs that would never have come from us individually.”

• Lake Street Dive is, in fact “probably a dozen songs” towards it next album, according to Olson. “They’re not necessarily all finished,” he says. “We’re still writing new material, and we’re still road-testing things. But it’s been a very productive however long it is since ‘Side Pony’ came out. We’d like to have a new record out next year; I think that there’s a sense there’s not a lot more touring we can do without something new to show for it, so the intent is to have some new reason for fans to come see us next year. The pressure’s on.”

• Together since 2004, when the group was formed in Boston, Lake Street Dive has surpassed its members, and certainly Olson’s expectations. “The initial impetus was always to be a bar band, and most bar bands don’t get to play Radio City Music Hall,” Olson says. “So it’s been a success story that none of us imagined, per se, but also hugely terrifying. From a philosophical standpoint, does a band that only aspired to be a bar band deserve the kind of success we’ve had? It’s been a really interesting thing to grapple with and say, ‘OK, we can approach our career as this overblown bar band, or we can keep the sort of spirit of that and find ways to grow the show. It’s been a fine balancing act. I don’t think we’ve achieved perfection, but we’re working on it.”

If You Go

• Amos Lee and Lake Street Dive

• 7:30 p.m Monday, July 24.

• Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills.

• Tickets are $29.50-$59.50 pavilion, $20 lawn.

• Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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