Five Bands You Should Know From Dr. Manisha Virdi - The Echo

Dr. Manisha Virdi is a friendly dentist by day and an avid showgoer by night. At least once a week you can find her at a concert in the Quad Cities and on extra special nights she even opens her home to touring artists passing through. Her dedication to the QC music scene is clear and the variety in her list of favorite bands is proof that she doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk, too. 

#1 Subatlantic

Subatlantic sort of taps into my love of 80s alternative music. I really love that they sometimes have upright bass instead of an electric bass. They are closer to my age so they have a lot of the same musical history that I do, so I connect with them a lot on that level. They played on the patio outside of Daiquiri Factory during Alternation Currents last summer and it was the perfect summer evening. There was something about that setting with everybody outside, kids there… it was a lot of fun.

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#2 Jeff Konrad

I’ve kind of known Jeff for a long time because my mom and his dad were friends. But I love his music because he is a true artist first and foremost. I really like what he does with his sound. He’s really musically talented and plays a lot of different instruments and mixes those things together. I think he’s very skilled at electronic mixing and that in itself is an art form.

I’ve never seen him live, but probably like 20 years ago he played some music for me. I’ve heard him on Iowa Public Radio, too. 

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#3 Centaur Noir

I am so envious of his ability to get up and put himself out there in a way that I never could. Centaur Noir lyrics are incredible and he does things that people wouldn’t think to do musically, which I think is really amazing. 

There was a night at Tommy’s when he was playing off in the corner and it was really random to have a band in Tommy’s because there’s not really much space in there for music, but everybody was dancing and having a lot of fun. It was all on the same level since there’s no stage, so the blend between artists and concertgoers wasn’t a defined space, it was pretty organic.

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#4 Mountain Swallower

There was a night at the Village Theater and I had never seen Mountain Swallower before. I had no idea who they were. It was just one of those nights where like, “Hey, there are some bands playing, let’s go check them out and see what it’s all about.” The crowd was so enthusiastic. They were loving the crowd. The crowd was loving them. There was so much symbiotic energy between them and the crowd. And it was like, you couldn’t not get excited listening to them and being in that space. I love that.

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#5 Xavy Rusan

I really, really enjoy him. I don’t know a ton about him, but I saw a Xavy Rusan show at Daytrotter that was just such a fun experience. He’s one of those people who really put themselves out there on stage. Being a single person on stage has to be very intimidating and he does it so well.

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