Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Human Highway- Moody Motorcycle

Human Highway is the new group from indie rock chameleon Nick (Diamonds) Thornburn. He is the guitarist/singer from Islands and Unicorns, two of the best (and quirkiest) indie pop bands of the last couple of years. You could always expect something equally great and weird whenever Thorburn puts out material, no matter what the moniker is on the album sleeve.

His latest album, Moody Motorcycle, is with fellow Islands alum (and touring partner) Jim Guthrie (yes, he is Woody's grandson) and it has many more "classic" influences that his other two bands. There are hints of a more mellow folk sensibility, although I don't think anyone would accuse them of writing a "safe" or "normal" record. Thorburn and Guthrie's voices mix great on the record and it really comes across as a warm homage to a certain time in music. I did read somewhere a reviewer compared this to the Everly Brothers, which is really funny, but also kind of true. If only the Everly Brothers were 21st Century pop weirdos.

Check out their myspace page to hear their songs and pick up their new album at any local record shop.

We Jam Ecno

We Jam Ecno is a documentary about the legendary band the Minutemen. Unlike other bands who have had their lead singer die, the Minutemen have not been granted a spot in the annals of rock hierarchy, which I personally think is a travesty. The movie is a loving portrait of this band of misfits, with a large portion of the commentary provided by the always entertaining Mike Watt. The story starts from the beginning, when social outcasts D. Boon and Mike Watt could barely identify their instruments, to when they met their drummer (and definte non-outcast) George Hurely to the point where they were one of the most adventurous bands on the planet. It is both redeeming and sad. It is obviously hard for a lot of the people in the movie (especially Watt) to talk about losing such a great person who they were close to, but it is a great chance to celebrate the amazing music they made. To this day I have not heard a CD that is as perfectly all over the map and amazing as their masterpiece Double Nickels on the Dime. This is a great movie that I would highly recommend to any music fans.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why? @ the Triple Rock

Why? played an excellent show Saturday night to a fairly full Triple Rock Social Club crowd. The 4 peice band sounded great and played large portions of their two latest CD's, this years great Alopeica and their masterpeice Elephant Eyelash. The band played for about an hour and noted how docile the crowd was. This was probably a mix of Minnesota nice and the fact that it was 7:30 and it wasn't yet dark outside, but I can say that the crowd enjoyed the set, which was short but very entertaining and reminded me how good this band really is.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Please let this movie come out soon

Some more photos and videos from the upcoming Bruno movie. This picture is from him crashing a runway in Milan, which led to him to being arrested. If you are unfamiliar with Bruno, he is another alter ego of Sasha Baron Coen, the man behind Borat and Ali G. Baron Coen is one of the funniest/smartest comics around and this movie is going to be awesome. If you have never seen the Ali G show, it comes with my absolute highest recommendation. It only ran for two seasons on HBO and you can buy them both on DVD.

For the full story go to the Huffingtonpost HERE.

Posion Control Center

As longtime readers know, I have a deep seated affinity for the Ames, Iowa based band Poison Control Center. Their debut CD, A Collage of Impressions, is never far from my stereo and their live show has never let me down. They are literally impossible for you to take you eyes off when they hit the stage. As posted below, they will be playing a show at the Nomad World Pub on the West Band Saturday night and I recommend you go. You will not be disappointed.

Weekend Shows

Here is a listing of some great local and national shows this weekend. No excuses should be uttered Monday morning around the old coffee maker about "nothing to do", so get your asses out there.

Martin Dosh-331 Club 9PM FREE (21 +)
The Small Cities, Farewell Milwaukee, High on Stress, Laarks - 400 Bar $5 (21+)
Baroness + Building Better Bombs [Early] (Triple Rock) 5PM $12
Goddamn Doo Wop Band [Late]Triple Rock) 10PM $6
A Whisper in the Noise (Whole Music Club) FREE 9PM
Matt Keating, High of Strees, The Small Cities 400 Bar $5 9PM

Why? Triple Rock Social Club 5PM $12
Muja Messiah + St. Paul Slim + Paper Tiger (Triple Rock)
Jagerfest w/First Comminuion Afterparty and Solid Gold 7PM FREE
Poison Control Center Nomad World Pub 9PM

Hand over Fist CD (Mike Mictlan and Lazerbeak of Doomtree) CD Release show The Entry 8PM $7

The Walkmen

Weird timing. I am sitting at work listening to and appreciating how awesome The Walkmen's new CD, You and Me, and I stumble upon their La Blogotheque set on the Gorilla Vs Bear blog. Man, they are good. If you haven't heard the CD, do yourself a favor and check it out and watch the always amazing live videos from La Blogotheque. If you have never been to their site, do yourself a favor and look through their archives, there are some simply stunning videos.

McCain Wins!

This is an interesting ad to see on the internet today. I was under the impression that the debate (that McCain was trying to skip) does not start for another 8 hours and that the American people got to decide the winner. Silly Me.


My throat hurts from screaming and I want to nap under my desk here at work, but what a game! GO TWINS!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Night

Crescent Moon is in Big Trouble- The Whole 8PM Free
The purveyors of what is still my favorite local CD will be playing a free show for the kiddies on the U of M campus. Highly Recommended

Sigor Rose-Orpheum Theatre SOLD OUT
This should be a wonderful show.....for those of you who got tickets.

Jeremy Messersmith- Varsity 7:30 18 plus $10
Jeremey Messersmith is, pound for pound, one of the best songwriters in MPLS right now. This will be a very laid back show with fellow mellow folk rockers the Owls at a perfect venue to absorb his wonderful stories.

Me....I will be at the Metrodome cheering on our Twins as they sweep the White Sux. GO TWINS!

Your Wu-Tang Clan Name

If you are anything like me, you have spent many a years wondering what you name would be if you had been part of the Wu Tang Clan. My friends, the wait is over. Go HERE to find out. I came out as International Cow. No Ghostface Killah, for sure, but you play the cards how they lay, right? If anyone can beat International Cow, leave it in the comments. (Thanks to Culture Bully for the heads up)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Glasvegas are a Scottish based band that is getting in line for their place in the NME run world as the "next big thing." The band, which plays fuzzy stadium rock, has recently released their self titled debut and are starting to cause excitement on both sides of the pond. Not unlike the Arctic Monkeys, their CD is easy to like and they have the potential to be the "rock" band that the masses fall for.

Their CD is angelic and very large sounding. I read their sound described as "rockabilly, doo wop, and pop/rock from the '50s and '60s", which for the most part I do not think is correct. They incorporate those elemants into their sound throughout the disc, but it is not the main cornerstone that the album is built upon. I hear fuzzy, almost Jesus and the Mary Chain pop rock fronted by a Scottish version of Bono. They write the kind of dense, crowd pleasing anthems that allow the Killers to sell out stadiums yet still maintain a little bit of cred. Their songs give instant gratification in the way only great pop songs can, but they add that little something that makes them a band that could be around for the long haul. I am not sure if the band will tour, but if they come near us, I will let you know.

Below are some MP3 for you to check out....if you hurry you can say you knew them before they were cool. Or something like that.

Glasvegas- Daddys Gone (from KEXP blog)

Glasvegas- Flowers and Football Tops (from P-Fork)


So this will be my second Fleet Foxes post of the morning, but it is wholly deserved. This is something I saw the other day and meant to post, but it took a reminder from my sisters fiance Chris to get me on the ball. The band, along with alt-country brethren Wilco, are releasing a cover of the seminal Band/Bob Dylan jam "I shall be Released" that they recently performed live during a show they did together at the mind blowing price of....free. The catch? You have to promise to vote, but you are going to do anyways, right? They are not trying to sway your vote, just get you out the door to pull a lever on Nov 4th. Seems easy enough, right? Go HERE to read the message from Wilco and get the song.

I figure this is as good of time as any to big up one of my favorite DVD's of all time, which is the Last Waltz by the Band. The Band, one of my favorite classic rock groups of all time, decided to go out in style and have one final concert on Thanksgiving Day 1976. They invited their friends (Dylan, Clapton, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil fucking Diamond, etc etc) to play one last amazing show. Luckily for us who would not be born for another decade, Marty Scorsese was on hand to film this event. The movie cuts back and forth from documentary footage of the Band and the concert. It is a beautiful movie that is really a landmark as far as the genre (music docs) goes. If you have never seen it, definitely check it out.

High Places

Lo-Fi indie darlings High Places will be bringing their sparkling electro rock to the Triple Rock Social Club tonight. I really liked their album they put out last year, o3/07-09/07, which collected their early 7" and assorted tracks. The pop music was dreamy and soothing without slipping into boring and tranquil. They have recently released their first self titled full length, and although it has not grabbed me like their 03/07-09/07, it is still a good record. The show is 18 and up and cost $10.

2nd Fleet Foxes show

Fleet Foxes are quickly overtaking Bon Iver as the band that keeps coming back for sold out shows in Minneapolis, and they are not even from around here! The band, already playing a very sold out show for us older kids on October 11th at the Cedar Cultural Center, has added another show earlier that evening for the youngins. This all ages show will also be at the Cedar and begins at 5PM. Like the later show, tickets cost $15 and WILL sell out, so if you are interested, get on it quick. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TV on the Radio bonus track

Seriously, if you have not gotten your hands on the new TV on the Radio, Dear Science, do yourself a favor and stop reading this and get their amazing new CD..................

OK, you back? Good, now I have some more good news. Last.fm has some of the songs featured as bonus tracks on the CD on their website. "Make Love All Night Long" is another great song from the band and proves that they have an abundance of amazing songs up their sleeves.

Once again, get their CD and see them at First Avenue Oct 20th and 21st.

TV on the Radio-Make Love All Night Long

Muja Messiah

I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest rap fan in the world. The genre of my youth has lost some luster in my eyes over the years, but I like to believe it helps focus my attention on what is really good. Luckily, a lot of the best stuff lately has been coming out of Minneapolis. The latest of these is a rapper by the name of Muja Messiah. He has put out one mix tape, MPLS Massacre, and one full length, The Adventure of a B-boy D-boy, both of which are excellent. What initially drew me to him was his political rap. I am a huge fan of overtly political rappers like Immortal Technique, and Messiah definitely takes a hard edged approach to the current political institutions. Like Technique, he doesn’t let serious business like a corrupt government cause him to not have a good time. Like most rappers, he often misfires with too much bravado and misogyny, but he is much better than most and spends the length of his discs spitting lots of truth over some seriously good beats. To show his power, some big name rappers (I-Self Divine, Slug, Black Thought) all added verses to this up and comers disc. Muja Messiah is a talent that all rap (and music) fans should keep an eye on as he has big things in his future.

Rosebuds Tour

The Rosebuds will be returning to the Twin Cities in the frosty month of November for a show at the venerable St. Paul club the Turf Club. This good news comes after the band allowed fans to hear their new album, Life Like, on the Merge website for free last week. The CD, which comes out October 7th, sounded really good and the show should be excellent, so get your tickets soon. (Thanks to Swithblade Comb for the update)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Private Dancer- Trouble Eyes

Private Dancer are a local band who came to me as a great surprise this year. They were the unannounced TBA band on the Cheap Time/Jay Reatard show I saw earlier this year at the Triple Rock, and I was instantly impressed. I was able to see their record release show and have since got a copy of their debut EP, Trouble Eyes. The CD is all over the map, but in a perfect mixed up way that makes it a CD that has infinite listening opportunities. It comes as no suprise that this high quality sounding band starts off so great when you find out their memebers have/still do come from such great MPLS bands as Hockey Night and STTNG.

The 8 song CD has many highlights, starting off with the first song, which happens to be my favorite song from their live set, "I See Trouble." The song has a pulsing guitar rhythm and grinding guitars with lyrics that are more shouted than sang, but it fits the spirit nicely. The highlight is near the end, when the band has pummeled you for two straight minutes, it lets up ever so slightly and the lead singer howls out "Rag, Mama, Rag." I don't know if it is a direct reference to The Band, but I thought that such a melting pot of a song would be appreciated by a one of my favorite genre crashing bands. The last song of the EP, "Do you like to Read", follows in the "I see Trouble" lead and mixes crashes guitars and cymbals with almost Hold Steady like vocals. There is definitely no holding back with these guys on these songs, which makes a couple of the songs all the more arresting.

There are 3 songs that are either all or almost all instrumental. They are epic post-rock songs that are strikingly beautiful and are really the highlight of the album. The songs, titled "1000 year wave", "A Horse named Reverb" and "Ain' leaving no more" could fit in with the best Explosion in the Sky could offer up. The songs are engaging and well laid out and really show a band with some explosive talent. Throughout the whole disc, the band has quite the sense of humor. They have one song titled "Hot Dog Dance", which is about exactly what the title says, and another titled "Perfume Cow." They found the perfect mix of humor, skill and raw emotion to make a CD that hits on so many levels.

Overall, this is one of the best debuts, and overall, CD's to come out of the Minneapolis music scene this year. The band was able to capture their staggering live show and put that lighting in a bottle. The CD is as varied as you could ever ask for, yet it has a certain cohesiveness to it that makes it something that you want to spin time and time again. This is a band to keep on your radar. I would highly recommend this CD and also their live show if you get a chance to see them.


On the day before of the release of their steller new CD, The Hawk is Howling, Mogwai have cancelled their date this Saturday in Minneapolis. They were going to play a early show at 1st Ave with Fuck Buttons, but all of their upcoming US dates have been canceled after some scary news came out about drummers Martin Bulloch's "ongoing heart conditions." Sounds pretty serious and I wish Martin the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

I will be sure to post anything I hear about a make up date.

Guest Spot on Culture Bully

I have the pleasure of being a guest reviewer on the Culture Bully website today. They do a feature called "Four Takes" where they have four people take on one single album, and the one they asked me to contribute to was the new Kings of Leon record called Only by the Night. Check out the review HERE. If you are not already a reader of Culture Bully, you should hang your head in shame. Just joking, but they are a great blog and one of the best places to keep up to date on MPLS happenings, so check them out.

A Place to Bury Strangers

Head to the Triple Rock for what will surely be one of the loudest shows of the week (year?) as scuzzy rockers A Place to Bury Strangers will bring their noise rock to the West Bank. Their self titled CD from last year was versitle and hard hitting and should lead to a dramatic show. Opening will be WHG favorites First Communion Afterparty. They released their debut LP Sorry for All the Mondays and to those who can't sing, which I just got and will be reviewing soon. Should be a great show. Music starts at 9ish and tickets are $12.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Christmas on Mars

I got some great news when I was browsing the excellent local blog Switchblade Comb today. The long awaited (at least for me) Flaming Lips movie Christmas on Mars will be making its debut in Minneapolis! Ever since I saw pieces of the sure to be crazy movie in the very cool Flaming Lips documentary Fearless Freaks, I have wanted to see what Wayne Coyne and his band of merry pranksters have up their sleeves. It is a one time screening, so mark it on your calender.

Christmas on Mars

Saturday, November 22
Uptown Theatre
Minneapolis, MN
11:55 PM | $9

Go HERE to the post from Switchblade Comb to see the preview.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Roma Di Luna/A Night in the Box

Roma Di Luna and A Night in the Box, both up and coming bands from Minneapolis, are trying to bring back some old school styles with their new records. One succeeds and creates a warm album that pays tribute to their influences without becoming a watered down replica, the other....not so much.

Roma Di Luna started out as the husband and wife duo of Alexi and Channy Moon Casselle. On their first two records, they used the sparse guitar and violin backdrop to recreate the dusty folk music of the past. On their latest disc, Casting the Bones, they decided to add some meat to the bones, so to speak, and have added some band members to flesh out their sound. The added instrumentation add a nice touch to the songs, sung mostly by silky smooth voice of Channy. The songs are still home spun and heavily in debt to traditional folk music, yet now often have a nearly Beirut like ensemble behind them. The band is both charming and engaging live and are always worth checking out. I would recommend both their new CD, Casting the Bones, and seeing them live whenever you get the chance. If mellow folk music is not your thing, check out Alexi's other two bands, avant-garde hip hop group Kill the Vultures or his amazing collaboration with Big Trouble called Crescent Moon is in Big Trouble (who may have put out my favorite local record this year).


A Night in the Box are a local band that is garnering praise for both their new CD, Write a Letter, and their energetic live show. I, for one, am not one of those people lavishing praise. As I said before after I saw them live for the first time, I felt like they were an unauthentic band who were prone to purloin from multiple sources without changing or adding anything to the music. Also, as one review I read noted, they often seemed more concerned with their old time outfits and hats looking right than the music, which is always a red flag. I decided I should give them a second chance by listening to their new record. After hearing Write a Letter, my opinion, if not the same, may have fallen farther. I don't think their is anything wrong with appropriating music from bands, in fact I don't see too many ways around it these days with almost everything have already been done, but there are some parameters. I feel like A Night in the Box take the easy, if not lazy route of stealing from easy sources and not even trying to make it their own. Some sound like the White Stripes, some sound like Flogging Molly, while others have the Zeppelin feel. They do incorporate banjo in, which adds a nice touch, but it is not enough to carry other otherwise lazy music (and uninspired songwriting). I know a lot of people really like A Night in the Box, and I am all for supporting local bands....they just do not do it for me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Small Cities EP

The Small Cities are a local band that have recently released their debut self titled EP. The four song set clocks in at right around 20 minutes and has many reference points, the most obvious being British influenced pop and local slowcore legends Low. The record is somber and was not an instant attention grabber for me, but with a couple listens I have dove deeper into the songs and found a really great debut record from this up and coming Minneapolis band.

The CD flows well and there are no moments when it lost my attention. I found myself listening more intently than I had realized and before I knew it I was completely wrapped up in the ambiance of the record. The opener, "This City", is built around a Low sounding simple drum pattern and a haunted vocal harmony providing the background to the guitars and the soaring vocals. It builds slowly with the phrase "The cities grown bigger since you've gone" until it bursts over with swelling instrumentation. Next up is"Fargo", a more straightforward, almost Elbow sounding pop number. It is a nostalic song that talks about a youthful exuberance....I think. It is more sunny and upbeat than the rest of the record and fits in nicely at song #2.The third song, "Trust Me, I am not a Stalker", is the most adventurous song on the disc. It starts off with a slinky bass line with singer Leif Bjornson singing in a devious tone that when mixed with that bass line (and the song title) leaves an ominous feeling. This feeling is doubled when a stabbing guitar line joins the song part way through. While the song may have a sinister song title, I can assure you that the storyteller is not a evil person, in fact they are the one being let down. This is another song which is indebted to Low with its swells and crashing crescendos. The song is over five minutes long, yet manages to keep the listeners attention with its many parts and dense layering of various parts. The album closes with the slow burning song that is emotionally heavy and is the most somber song on the record. It is titled "I'm Gone" and it works nicely as an endcap to this emotional draining record. After all of the trials and tribulations expressed in the first three songs, the band seems to float away on the last number, leaving the listener wondering what is coming next.

The EP is out now. You can check out the songs at their myspace page, but remember to support local bands at LOCAL record shops. Their next show is at the 400 Bar with another great local band, High on Stress on September 26th. Don't miss it.

Cut Copy/The Presets @ Fine Line

Last night after the soothing and sensitive folk of Jeremy Messersmith, I went across town to a show that bore no resemble to the acoustic troubadour I had just enjoyed.

Cut Copy are an Australian electro-rock band that put out on of my favorite CD's from 2008, In Ghost Colours. I have described them before on here as similar to LCD Soundsystem except with 60's AM guitar rock as the backbone instead of jerky post-punk. When I saw them earlier this year at the Entry, they were amazing, and their popularity has only grown since then. I wished the show was somewhere other than the Fine Line, but you have to make due. If you are not in the mood to fit into the middle of the crowd, your sight lines are very limited at the Fine Line, but so goes it. That being said, Cut Copy were very awesome again. They had a some a very cool light show and they really interacted well with the crowd. It is amazing how much better live instruments can make dance rock sound. The band has four members playing synths, guitars, bass and drums. They played an even mix between their first record, Bright Like Neon Love, and their new disc In Ghost Colours. The highlights for me were some of the more straightforward numbers from the new disc including "Feel the Love", "Out there on Ice" and "Lights and Music." I would highly recommend you pick up either of their cd's and see Cut Copy live if you ever have the chance.

The co-headliner of the night was the Presets, who are fellow countrymen of Cut Copy's. I had heard their newest CD once before the show and I made a point to get their on time to see them play. To me, they perfectly illustrated the weakness of not having more live instruments. They had one guy on drums and one guy doing sampling/keys and singing. Their music was too structured and programmed and was a letdown for me. It did seem like the scenesters who were there to grind and take myspace photos liked them a lot. I just felt like they could have taken the two guys off of the stage and played their CD with a light show and nothing would have been lost, and that is a turn off for me.

Jay Reatard

Remember that Jay Reatard 7" and upcoming record I told you about yesterday? Well, I have some more news about it. My (brand new) friend Andy from Matador sent me some info about how us lazy folks still have a chance to pick up those 6 limited edition singles. To be entered in the contest to win all six, you just have to pre-order the upcoming Singles '08 disc. They have it on both LP and CD. As an added bonus, there is a code that allows you to get 10% off if you pre-order the disc from Matador. The record comes out Oct. 7th, so don't be an idiot and miss this great opportunity.
The code is: reatardfans10
This really is a airtight deal. You should be getting this CD anyways, since it will surely be awesome, and even if you don't want the singles, you could sell them on Ebay for a Kings Ransom, so bust out your maxes out Visa and make this impulse purchase....it will help the economy!

Jeremy Messersmith

Jeremy Messersmith played a free in-store performace last night at the Electric Fetus. The decent sized crowd was treaded to a couple of songs off of his new album The Silver City before he opened it up to crowd suggestions. Based on the fact that the new album was just released, it was not surpisingly that most (all?) of the requests were from his excellent debut album The Alcatraz Kid. The highlight for me was his abbreviated version of The Replacements song "Skyway." With his newfound appreciation for Minneapolis landmarks (watch out Craig Finn), the song was a perfect fit alongside his songs "Lightrail" and "Franklin Ave". Jeremy is always good live and his Elliott Smith style hushed lullabies always work well in more quiet settings (i.e not a bar on a Friday night).

His new CD is out now and you can find it at local record shops. He will be having a CD release show on September 25th at the Varsity Theatre.

Brian Wilson in MPLS

New Show Announcement

Brian Wilson
State Theatre

The former Beach Boys legend is coming back to Minneapolis for a show at the State Theatre. He is promoting his new album Lucky Old Sun, which is the follow up to his long unreleased masterpiece Smile. I have heard mixed reviews about the level of quality for his performances in recent years, but this would be one that would be worth it just for the nostalgia of hearing these amazing songs being produced live by a band.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Australian electro rockers Cut Copy are playing at the Fine Line Music Cafe (ugh) tonight. They will be co-headlining with fellow countrymen The Presets for what will surely be an upbeat and sweaty performance. Last time they were here the show was amazing, so do not miss your chance to see this great band playing from one of the best albums of 2008, In Ghost Colours.
I just got word of the set times for those of you going to this show.
Presets @ 9:30
Cut Copy @ 11

Cool news 9/16

If you are a huge Jay Reatard fan and you want to be one of the few to get his last single in his series for Matador, follow the instructions found HERE. (It is kind like a pretentious, indie rock scavenger hunt.) For those of us who can wait, the whole singles collection will be released the first week in October. If it is anything like his singles collection from '06-'07, it should be really fucking sweet. I can't wait.
In other news stolen from p-fork, Nick Cave will be scoring the soundtrack for the adaptation of The Road. This is one of those situations that causes a near sensory overload. A great book by a great author is being turned into a film that will be scored by a truly great artist. I lost count, but that is a lot of greats. Hopefully the movie can fill the big shoes left by the last film adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy book.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blitzen Trapper/Horse Feathers

Blitzen Trapper, one of my favorite discoveries of last year, are coming back to St. Paul in support of their great new CD entitled Furr.

The new record is a stripped down follow up to the great Wild Mountain Nation. Wild Mountain Nation was a equal mix between Twangy-Americana and angular Pavement influenced slacker rock. Furr seems to tame down the Pavement/Beck references and really embrace some classic rock stalwarts like the Band or the country era Grateful Dead. Maybe this is what happens when you go on a nationwide tour with Fleet Foxes, but whatever it is, it worked out great.

Highlights are all over this record. As I have mentioned before, the title track is a great folk song that is one of the best things the band has ever written. Other low key numbers that really show the bands great sound include "God and Suicide" , "Not Your Lover Anymore" and the dark "Black River Killer." The band has not completely abandoned the quirky rock that they have done so well on previous efforts, and they revisit this particular genre on songs like "Fire and Fast Bullets" and "War on Machines". Overall, it is a great record that makes me even more excited to see the band when they come to the Turf Club on Nov. 8th with Horse Feathers (read below). Check out the new CD when it drops next Tuesday September 23rd.
The last time I saw Blitzen Trapper, they jumped onstage shortly after I had scraped my jaw off of the floor from the Fleet Foxes performance I had just seen. Fleet Foxes leave a pretty big set of shoes to fill as openers for Blitzen Trapper, but the band they chose to do it should not let anyone down. Horse Feathers are a folk duo from Portland, Oregon (surprise, surprise) who create tranquil songs that hum along with great ease. Their new CD, House with no Home, is a haunted folk album that brings to mind Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Iron and Wine or the Great Lake Swimmers. Their music is a perfect compliment to these cold fall nights and they are a great reason to show up early for the show at the Turf.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV on the Radio

After about a week of playing it non-stop, I can say that at this very moment the new TV on the Radio record, Dear Science, is sitting comfortably atop my list of best records of the year. This is something that can (and usually does) change, but this album has surpassed my sky-high expectations.

The songs are more streamlined and less rough around the edges than their previous two LPs and their handful of EPs. They venture into a more danceable, pop heavy realm that really takes their sound to a new level. It is also the most beautiful TV on the Radio album they have ever made. The songs "Stork and Owl" and "Family Tree" contain hushed melodies that do not seem like the same band who made Young Liars would be capable of producing. The horns and strings swell like waves and make this a CD that has instant value without relinquishing the great layers of sound that make TV on the Radio records something you can come back to time and time again to find something new.

The CD comes out next Tuesday Setp 23rd and the band will be in MPLS on Oct. 20th and 21st with the great garage rockers The Dirtbombs at First Avenue.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Spiritualized put on a great show to a surprisingly less than capacity crowd last night. I was going to write a review, but then I read the review at the wonderful local blog Words to Sell and realized that he summed up the show perfectly. His review does a great job of capturing the night in a warm and venerating way. The pictures (including the one at the top) are also top notch and really capture the psychedelic feel that the band and the lighting created as a perfect backdrop to their spaced out soul jams. Check out Erik's review HERE.
Did I just write a review of a review?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spiritualized/Langhorne Slim

Don't miss your chance tonight to see the wonderful Spiritualized tonight at the First Ave Mainroom. Tickets are $15. They will be playing in support of their stirring new album, Songs in A & E. Spiritualized are going to hit the stage at 10:30.

If soaring space rock isn't your thing, head down to the 400 Bar to see a great bill that includes Langhorne Slim with openers Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls from the lengendary UK group The Wonder Stuff.
You can't really go wrong with either of these shows. Enjoy and GO TWINS!

Bon Iver

Check out local (?) hero Bon Iver on something called a Myspace Transmission Sessions. I have no idea what it may entail, but it would be a safe bet to say it probably has to do with THIS. No matter what it is, I assume you MPLS folks will like it since we can't seem to get enough of the Eau Claire troubadour.

No word on the location or date of his next show in Minneapolis, which is already sold out.


A band I came to love last year, the Rosebuds, are releasing the follow up to their ultra catchy Night of the Furries. The new album, titled Life Like, is being streamed for free on the Merge Website located HERE.

I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but I hope it continues the shimmering pop magic that that worked so well for them on their last record.

I got a chance to listen to part of the album and it is great. It is less electro and more of a back to the basics effort, but I would have know that if I would have read the release from Merge stating it differs from Furies "Synth heavy dance pop". Either way, it still has the dark and brooding pop songs, albeit in a slightly different form, pushed by pulsing rhythms and sung beautifully with the great girl/boy mix.

City Pages Picked to Click

City Pages released today their annual Picked to Click event which highlights up and coming local bands. This year the top two bands ended up being two females fronted groups that for whom I have much love. Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lappels (pictured above) ended winning with Gospel Gossip coming in a close second. Both are wonderful bands who deserve the award and attention that comes with it (and hopefully they avoid the dreaded P2C curse).

The whole list is full of great examples of why you should support local music and the abundance of great bands that out city has to offer. Here are the top ten and below is a link to the full story and the list of all of the bands who got votes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mercury Rev

One of my favorite bands from across the pond, Mercury Rev, will be returning to Minneapolis for the first time in many years at the Fine Line Music Cafe. The band will be promoting their new album, Snowflake Midnight, which hits stores September 30th.

Check out the video to one of my favorite songs by the band off of their Deserters Songs LP.
Mercury Rev-Opus 40 Video

Monday, September 8, 2008

Conscious is Not Enough Mixtape

I received a pleasant surprise in my inbox the other day in the form of a mixtape from local rapper El Guante. You may remember him from before when I was talking about his great social/political rap from his album El Guante's Haunted Studio Apartment. He is back with this solid follow up that he is giving away on his myspace page. The record is well worth your time and has an awesome mix of bangin beats and smart/witty/relevant lyrics that make El Guante one of the best up and coming rappers in the Minneapolis scene. For a more nuanced analysis of why I think he is so great, read this....for some kick ass music for free, go HERE.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Okkervil River- The Stand In's

In my books, Okkervil River has about as good a track record as you can get. The records they put out are constantly good, and often great. They will be releasing their fifth full length album The Stand In's this upcoming Tuesday. The new album is stunning and is a step up from last years steller album The Stage Names. Lead singer Will Sheff takes the emotion down a notch from The Stage Names (where he occasionally got a bit over dramatic), which allows his literate, but not stifling literate, lyrics and great song arrangements shine through. The CD, like most Okkervil River CD's for me, started off slow and has grown on me in the last couple of weeks to the point where it now may be a contender for my year end list.

As a promotional event for the album, the band has been enlisting a group of very talented friends to cover songs from the album and release them on their Youtube page. Not only is it a really cool idea, in an age of over saturation of albums, it is a great way to draw attention to their upcoming release.

Check out the album this Tuesday at your local (independent) record shop.


While at the Twins game last night with my friend Bill from Sarcastic Tears, he asked if I had heard the new Gutter Twins EP Adorata. My initial reaction was yes, but then I realized that I had got it about a week ago and never taken the time to listen to it, so today I rectified that situation.

The collection is made up mostly of covers and has a couple of originals from the Dulli and Lanegan. The bands covered are a wonderfully diverse collection of bands spanning many decades. The choices range from soft folkies Vetiver and Jose Gonzalez to druggy legends Primal Scream to traditional tunes (St. James infirmary Blues). For good measure (and the always important indie cred) they also include tunes by less known (but no less great) bands Eleven and cult legend Scott Walker. The two new originals ("Spanish Doors" and "We have met before") are lead by Lanegan's commanding voice and the same decedent fever that weaves through all of the best work by the great band.

The whole disc, like their debut LP, is dark and brooding, but never loses focus and never seems overdone and overtly dramatic. Dulli is a master of atmospheric ambiance and his soul croon is a perfect match with the dusty doom of Lanegan's husky baritone. It is always cool when a band is able to pull off a great covers and make them their own. The first mistakes bands often make is choosing songs that do not fit with their style and seem to have them stretch outside of their comfort zone. The Gutter Twins did nothing of the sort and came up with an excellent collection of songs that makes me even more excited to see them again and hear more new material from these two legends.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BIlly Bragg

I can barley find the words to describe how great Billy Bragg is. If you are unfamiliar with his amazing body of work, do yourself a favor and check him out. If you are a fan, I hope you took the opportunity to see him at one of his many shows this week here in Minneapolis. He is such a cool/talented guy who is the ultimate example of someone who seems does not seem to be full of shit, which is hard to find these days. His songs are so simple and poignant and tell the stories that need to be told. Unfortunately, in our fucked up world, his songs are still relevant and probably always will be.