The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 26, 2012

Crowd pleasers: Church hosting Punk n' Pie event

NORTH MANKATO — Katie Lundquist is introducing a novel recipe for live music.

Her band, Dead Level Best, formed about six years ago when Lundquist met Zak and Nate Kinowski at Mankato West High School. They’ve released a couple short albums and have played several shows in the Twin Cities and music festivals. But they’ve played only rarely in Mankato.

That changes Wednesday with Punk n’ Pie, a rock concert -- plus homemade pie -- at Evangelical Free Church, 354 Carol Court, North Mankato. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m.

Tickets for $10 include a slice of pie baked by members of the church. More than 50 pies will be on hand in several varieties, from the standard pumpkin to the more adventurous maple bacon custard pie.

Dead Level Best will take the stage first, followed by Children 18:3 and The Wedding. The latter two bands are signed to Seattle-based Tooth and Nail Records.

Children 18:3 is comprised of three homeschooled siblings from Morris, Minn. The band’s third full-length release, “On the Run,” was released this year. The Wedding is a musically diverse Christian punk band from Fayetteville, Ark., that formed in 2003.

Children 18:3 are playing a handful of dates on The Wedding’s “American Rebel” tour that began this month. Lundquist said they agreed to swing through Mankato before playing a show in St. Paul on Thursday.

“When we first started thinking about this show, we were hoping for maybe one national act,” she said, noting that Dead Level Best has played with both bands at previous music festivals. “But we reached out and they both said yes.”

As for Dead Level Best, Lundquist said the band is nearing completion of its own full-length CD, an effort she estimated will comprise 15 tracks of driving rock sound with punk and ska influences.

Though the band has Christian underpinnings, Lundquist said she hesitates to classify the band that way. They’ve replaced Nate’s lead guitar with an electric violin -- which makes for “tricky, but fun” song compositions, Lundquist said -- and so often refer to themselves as a bow rock band.

“We feel very strongly about our faith,” Lundquist said. “But we feel very strongly about music, too. ... The phrase ‘dead level best’ is an old idiom for trying your hardest. We try to take that approach in our musicianship and in our lives.”

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