Green Sweater Society
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Green Sweater Society


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"With new album, local rockers opt for new name"

Formerly Running Down Renee, pop-rock band Green Sweater Society is releasing its new album at Bogart’s Nightclub on June 21

by Andrew Miller
Thisweek Newspapers

Running Down Renee is no more.

Fans of the south metro-based pop-rock outfit, however, needn’t despair.

The band is changing its name to Green Sweater Society and launching its new EP, “Verde,” at a June 21 concert at Bogart’s Nightclub in Apple Valley.

The CD release show is a homecoming of sorts for the band.

After developing a modest but devoted south-of-the-river following with a series of concerts at the city of Burnsville’s GARAGE Youth Center in 2005-06, the band moved on to bigger metro-area venues, becoming regulars at Station 4 in St. Paul and The Rock in Maplewood.

For two of Green Sweater Society’s members, the Bogart’s Nightclub gig is a return to the stomping grounds of their youth. Frontman Steve Rhoden and bassist Jeff Blesener are both graduates of Apple Valley-area high schools.

“We only held one official practice before realizing being in a band would be much more difficult than we first imagined,” Rhoden said.

After high school, Rhoden went on to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to study filmmaking, and now works as an editorial assistant at a Twin Cities publishing house. He said he hopes to employ his filmmaking skills when Green Sweater Society shoots a video in support of “Verde” later this summer.

Blesener is a 2004 graduate of Eastview High School. He, too, started playing in bands in high school – Blesener belonged to 808, a contemporary Christian rock band that regularly played for the youth group at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.

Blesener attended Dakota County Technical College, and now works at Abra Auto Body in Apple Valley.

Rounding out Green Sweater Society is Iron Range native Nick Scott on lead guitar and Eli Jivan of Minneapolis on drums.

Originally relying heavily on cover songs, the band now focuses on original material. The band’s turbo-charged brand of pop rock will appeal to a wide audience.

“We appeal to 14-year-olds to 35-year-olds,” Rhoden said.

“And disillusioned 85-year-old grandmas,” Scott added with a laugh.

What’s in a name?

Running Down Renee is changing its name to Green Sweater Society, which raises the question: What prompts a band to choose one name over another? Originally, the band considered changing its name to the Astronauties, “but we feared nobody would take us seriously,” frontman Steve Rhoden said.

Rhoden provided the following reasons why the band opted for “Green Sweater Society”:

• “It rolls off the tongue.”

• “Green is the most pleasing (color) to the eye, and it represents life.”

• “Society represents a group or partnership in a positive light for me. I would like to think that, if you like the Green Sweater Society, you can consider yourself a part of that group, much like a ‘Deadhead.’ ”

• “Just hearing the name gives a sense of joy and mystery, as in, ‘Why sweaters?’ and ‘What in the world is Green Sweater Society?’ ”

CD release show

Green Sweater Society, formerly Running Down Renee, will launch its new EP, “Verde,” with a concert at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Bogart’s Nightclub, 14917 Garrett Ave., Apple Valley.
- Thisweek Newspapers/Dakota County Tribune

"Clean-cut, punctual: Green Sweater Society's new punk"

Clean-cut, punctual: Green Sweater Society's new punk

In the beginning, there was nihilistic noise, anarchy, safety pins, black leather jackets and spiked hair. There was violent, elemental music scorched with shouted, caustic commentary. Thirty years later, the crumbling social and business institutions that punks reviled are still in control and still crumbling and the genre itself has been mostly reduced to an adjective used to market bands eager to appear edgy.

Even nice, clean-cut suburban guys who take daily showers, show up for their gigs on time and choose a fuzzy, warm name for their band — Green Sweater Society — will describe themselves as punks these days.

Apple Valley's Green Sweater Society was until recently known as Running Down Renee. The name was changed after some personnel changes and alteration of musical direction and because some folks thought the name implied something sexist or something violent against someone named Renee, says lead singer and guitarist Steve Rhoden.
"We used to be more folk pop and now we're alternative, indie and punk," he says of the change. "Plus, some people actually took offense at the name."

Green Sweater Society releases its debut EP, "Verde," this Saturday (June 21) at Bogart's in Apple Valley.

Attention, please
Two of the five songs on the EP can be heard at the Green Sweater MySpace page.

"To Entertain You" is a bopping little Rhoden-penned number about the many depressing bar gigs the band played in its four years of existence as Running Down Renee.

"We were, and still are, a bar band. 'To Entertain You' is just an outcry to get people to listen. People [in bars] are more interested in drinking than listening to you," Rhoden says.

Consider these lines from the song: "Drink to us, drink to your friends, drink to the night you might not remember again. You've only got one life that you can throw away."

With the release of "Verde," and then a full-length album early next year, the band hopes to start doing regional tours of small clubs, making enough money so that Rhoden can give up his administrative job at a local publishing firm.

The 24-year-old isn't looking to stand in front of the biggest, brightest lights; just the lights illuminating music clubs rather than bars with a focus on drink specials.

He hopes Green Sweater Society (they consider Astronaughties as a possible new name) sets itself apart from its peers musically, of course, but also with behavior some club owners might be unaccustomed to: Promptness.

"We arrive on time for our shows," Rhoden says.

For most jobs, on-time arrival for employees is something employers take for granted. In the rock music world, it's a rarity Rhoden hopes club owners and patrons will appreciate.

On a band website, the Green Sweater Society describes itself as, "4 clean cut ROCKERS [who] give you an original sound medley along the lines of Weezer, REM, and Panic at the Disco."

The story of Green Sweater Society is certainly not the story of Johnny Rotten. But then that story has been told. A greener, fuzzier day has dawned — and it has dawned on time, too.
- Minnesota Post

""...we think it’s high time more people started paying some close attention to these guys.""

Love Songs is the second EP release by Saint Paul power pop outfit Green Sweater Society. Their first EP, Verde, was put forth back in 2008. We first caught word of GSS a little over a year ago at a SueCity concert, and since then have been keeping a close eye on the bands they roll with (psst… check out Machine 22 and Vaudeville if you haven’t already.) GSS has been featured in MinnPost and we semi-regularly drop their name here, but we think it’s high time more people started paying some close attention to these guys. Listen up! - Borangutan Music Blog


The "Verde EP"
was our first public release that enjoyed over 5000 plays on over 150 radio stations across the country

The "Love Songs EP"
dropped on February 26th 2010. Three of those tracks are available on this EPK.



"Music that makes you want to get up and dance where ever you are"
-KSCL - Shreveport, LA

"...we think it’s high time more people started paying some close attention to these guys."
-Skelly - Borangutan Music Blog

Green Sweater Society is a high energy rock band with strong, catchy, original music and a harmonious library of cover songs. Their sound is flexible enough for any public or private venue.

GSS performs mostly in Minnesota and its five state area but has and will travel elsewhere by special request.

Up to 4 Hours worth of music!


Green Sweater Society began in early 2008, and they released their debut EP "Verde" soon afterward. Over the last couple years they have had the opportunity to play throughout the country sharing the stage with large acts such as: FASTBALL, BOWLING FOR SOUP, THROW THE FIGHT, TIM MAHONEY, JESSE LANG, THESE GREEN EYES, CRASH ANTHEM, TREATY OF PARIS, VANITY THEFT and many more

GSS released their latest EP, (Love Songs) on February 26th.

Booking Contact: Steve @ 952-994-8315

Venues Played:
-7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN
-What's Up Lounge - Mankato, MN
-Turf Club - St. Paul, MN
-U of Wisconsin - Parkside
-Plum Crazy - Ottumwa, IA
-Station 4 - St. Paul, MN
-400 Bar - Minneapolis, MN
-Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN
-U of Wisconsin - Waukesha
-Globe College - Richfield, MN
-Globe College - Woodbury, MN
-Tiffany Sports Lounge - St. Paul, MN
-400 Nightclub - Warrensburg, MO
-Uptown Bar - Minneapolis, MN
-Bogarts Nightclub - Apple Valley, MN
-Utopia - Marshfield, WI
-O'Gara's Garage - St. Paul, MN
-Dandelion - Plymouth, IN
and many more...