Thursday, January 15, 2015

Minneapolis Weekend Almost Here

Time is flying and I just realized that I hadn't posted a notice of our unofficial Contratopia Minneapolis Weekend here on the blog yet. It's Thursday evening, Jan. 15, 2015, as I write and on Saturday the 17th Erik and I will drive up to Minneapolis for a flurry of Contratopia activity.

Luckily there are no flurries in the forecast and our visit is coinciding with a small January thaw, following on last week's bitter arctic weather. A perfect excuse to come out dancing.

So, if you can, join us at Tapestry Folkdance Center on Saturday for an afternoon Waltz Time event and an evening contra dance. Check the Tapestry calendar for exact times. The excellent David Kirchner will be our caller on Saturday night.

On Sunday we will present a rare concert performance at the home of Robin and Eric Nelson. See the announcement above for details. We are very nearly sold out at this point so if you are interested please contact Pat at the email address in the flyer soon.

We will, of course, have plenty of copies of Riff City available at all of these events and would love to help you adopt a copy or two for your collection.

We would love to see you sometime this weekend. Please come by and say hello.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Schedule Correction for March 1

We're sorry to announce a change in plans for our upcoming Philadelphia, Glen Echo, Richmond weekend at the end of February. We learned a few days ago that we will not be playing for the March 1 Waltz Time dance at Glen Echo after all.

The good news is that the most excellent Taylor Among the Devils band, featuring Jonathan Jensen (one of my favorite composers), will provide the music that afternoon.

Contratopia will play for the Sunday evening contra at Glen Echo on March 1 and we hope to see many of you there. We will have a little more sleep than usual before that and should be rested and ready to play up a storm.

We hope to be invited back to play at Waltz Time again sometime in the next couple of years. If so we'll be sure and let everyone know.

Oh, don't forget it's not too late to order a copy of Riff City before Santa makes his rounds! See the previous entry for a link to order from CD Baby.

Happy holidays from all of us at Contratopia Central!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Free shipping at CD Baby through December 3rd

Well, not actually free, they're charging a nominal 1 cent per order for all CDs in stock. This is a worldwide offer so it's especially interesting to anyone overseas who's been wanting to buy a copy of Riff City, or any of our other CDs. You can click on the link below to go to CD Baby and order.

Contratopia: Riff City

Friday, November 07, 2014

Riff City at iTunes

Our new CD Riff City is now available for download from both iTunes and CD Baby. That means you can click on one of the links in the previous sentence and buy a copy right now, no muss, no fuss; immediate gratification. (Now that would make a good album title.)

Of course if you want the physical, high quality CD you can always buy one from the band tomorrow night (Saturday, Nov. 8) at Tapestry. Then you'll get to see the excitement in our eyes as we thank you for getting us one step closer to recouping our investment. Plus you get a physical copy of Maria's great artwork.

Any way you choose is fine with us. We're confident that you'll enjoy the tunes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Riff City has arrived

A decade in the making, Contratopia is proud to announce the release of our 4th CD, Riff City.

It is hot off the press so, for now, the best way to get your hands on a copy is either to order one from CD Baby ( or to buy one directly from us. Digital download options will be available soon.

We will have lots of copies with us on Saturday night when we play at the Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis.

More news to come. You can go to the CD Baby link to hear sound clips or come hear us play the tunes live at Tapestry on Saturday.

Cover art and package design by our friend Maria Nicklin Collins (

Monday, October 20, 2014

Northfield Harvest Stomp Coming This Week (Oct. 24, 2014)

Whoah! What a sleepy blog!

OK, so things have been too busy for the last few months to post here (or maybe I've been too lazy?) but Contratopia is getting ready to launch the new 2014-2015 season, starting this Friday in Northfield.

It's not like we've been inactive since last February. There have been a number of gigs, together and apart, plus lots of real world events, both happy and sad.

We've got several dances lined up, including another swing out to DC at the end of February/beginning of March, and we are finally wrapping up work on our fourth CD, which was actually recorded back in February and March.

The new CD is titled Riff City and we hope to make it available, physically and online, in the next few weeks. We'll be sure and make a little noise when it's ready.

For now though, consider coming to Northfield on Friday and having some fun while we dust off some familiar tunes and maybe try some new ones.

More info at this Facebook page:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Glen Echo & Shepherdstown Coming Right Up

We are heading out east this weekend for another visit to a couple of our favorite dance halls. The fabulous Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park will be our home away from home on Friday night and Sunday afternoon and evening. On Saturday night we will return to the lovely & historic War Memorial Building in Shepherdstown, WV (pictured above).

The band is coming off of another high energy dance last weekend in Northfield, MN. We all had significant challenges trying to get to Northfield because of near blizzard conditions and roads covered in thick ice but we made it there and back to our various homes without injury or accident.

We were hoping that DC in March would involve some Spring weather but it looks like temperatures may only be in the 30s and 40s most of the time that we are there. It was 10 below here again this morning so anything above freezing still sounds pretty great.

Whatever the weather we are looking forward to playing for lots of enthusiastic dancers! You can find out the details about these events by following the links on the "dances" page on our website. Hope to see you there!