Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get off yr ass (post NYE weekend)

This is a weekly feature that takes away your lames excuse that there is "nothing going on" this weekend. So put away your sweatpants and lippers, put your Bud Light back in the fridge, take the Lost disc out of the DVD player and get off your ass and support live local music. If I missed any shows that are worth seeing, leave them in the comments. HAVE FUN!

If you don't get enough of the Minneapolis scene tonight, there are a couple amazing shows this weekend around the Twin Cities.
Ben Weaver-Turf Club
Great local folky playing a solid lineup at the Turf.

Worst Band Showcase- Uptown Bar (Thursday- Saturday)
Great bands, including Economy Team, Absent Arch and Fuck Knights will play at various times over these three days for the dubious honor of being the worst.....I can assure you that they are not the worst.

El Guante and Big Cats- Eclipse Records
One of the best local hip hop/spoken word artists playing at one of the best local all ages spots.
Local female singer songwriter will be celebrating the release of her brand new LP.
Two of the most explosive local rock and roll bands share the bill at the Hexagon, where there is never a cover charge, which is a wonderful thing.

Alan Sparhawk- Cafe Maude (also Saturday)
Local legand, and Low/Retribution Gospel Choir frontman Sparhawk will play some solo shows at this south Minneapolis coffee shop. Get there early, it might get crowded.

A great lineup top to bottom features some fo the most electic, and frankly best, bands currently playing in the Cities.

An interesting match should provide a good show at the cool Dinkytown venue.

Isn't that Funny?

I never thought I would put funny and Dane Cook in the same sentence, but this headline made me smile.

Dane Cook's Brother Steals Millions From Him

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NYE '08

So we are about to ring in the last year of this crazy decade and you still don't have plans!!! Well, luckily for you, the hardworking folks over at How was the Show Blog have put together a snazzy list with all of the important parts (who, what, when, where, why and how much is this shit going to cost me). There are more good, local shows than seems possible, so if you have a desire to go out, there is really nothing holding you back. Check out the list HERE and have a very safe and fun New Years!

New Show's

Culture Bully will be presenting a few great shows in January, including this one at the Acadia. Even if I didn't work for Culture Bully I would highly recommend this show to any and all. Three great bands for the steller price of....wait for Don't miss it.

Chairlift Review

My review of the debut album from Chairlift, Does you Inspire You, is up now at Culture Bully. Check it out HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fuck Knights

My short and sweet take on new MPLS band Fuck Knights and their fuzzed out (and free) "Live" album. Check it out HERE.

Dark Dark Dark and Dosh

My review from part 1 of Saturday night is up over at Culture Bully HERE. The show, at the Cedar Cultural Center, was a great mix of the electronic wizardry of Dosh and the rootsy Dark Dark Dark.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mill City Scene party @ 7th Street Entry

My review of the Mill City Scene party at the Entry Saturday night is up over at Culture Bully HERE (with great pics from Jon). Mill City Scene is a new publication dedicated to the thriving Minneapolis Hip Hip scene and was celebrating the release of their first issue, so check them out if you are looking to find out about local hip hop news.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And the Winner is....

So Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Willman names his best album of the year....and the winner is John May...wait, what the....Hold Steady "Stay Positive"?!?!? So I am not sure if this is one of the moments where the Hold Steady should be proud or embarrassed. It is not quite the Pazz and Jop list, but first place is first place, right? Grab some pounders and lets get drunk, but can we listen to "Almost Killed Me..." instead?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fuck Winter...Let's Watch Baseball

My headline and picture are taken directly from the good folks at Switchblade Comb in promotion of their awesome sounding event they will be starting this January. I will let them tell you in their own words.....

"I hate winter. I fucking hate it. A lot.
So… starting tomorrow night at The Uptown Bar and continuing for the next seven weeks, Record Party is gonna give a big middle finger to winter by playing the 1987 World Series in full. Every week starting at about ten o’clock we’re gonna screen one of the games on the ol’ big screen. Fuckin’ sweet. That way you can listen to us play the freshest jams in the land while watching Kent Hrbek and Danny Gladden whoop all up on Ozzie Smith and the Cardinals.Hopefully it’ll help us all cope a little better with these sub-zero temperatures we’ve been having. If nothing else it will help me out."

So I really can't think of any reason not to go to this sweet bundle up and get your ass to the Uptown Bar and watch some classic Twins with some good people and good drinks.

Downtown Owl

Chuck Klosterman to me is like a literary Craig Finn. Both are too smart for their own good and seem to speak in the same strange hipster secret language. Both are love them or hate them type artists, and both, even though they have moved thousands of miles away, cannot let go of their childhood Midwestern roots. Klosterman has spent his career being a wisecracking pop culture satirist working for various magazines and writing great semi-non fiction novels. Downtown Owl, a story of a sleepy town in North Dakota full of depressed old people and drunks, is his first full on novel (i.e is does not directly involve him talking about himself).

Knowing about Klosterman and having read most, if not all, of his previous major works, it is not too hard to know where he got these stories from. The story is based in the early eighties and features lots of crappy hair metal music, booze, drugs and the general despair that comes with living in a town of a couple hundred on the lonely plains of North Dakota. Even the this is the first book where it is not about him, it clearly is. Like Finn, even the most elaborate story seems destined to be pulled back to reveal another story that Klosterman is writing about himself. It would take him writing about outer space or the conquests of Genghis Khan for me to believe the story isn't about himself. Klosterman's narcissism aside, the book is pretty good, although I would still say it is my least favorite book he has written. His biting sarcasm and hipster wit are something that never cease to make me laugh and his books, while never risking being confused for Joyce, are good reads. I feel like a little bit of what makes him best, mostly his forthright desire to show he does not give a shit, was tampered a little bit in the novel format.

Like all of his books, the 270 odd page book was a very quick read and only took me a couple nights to finish. The characters are entertaining and I feel like they do offer a glimpse into a world (small Midwestern towns) that most people have never experienced. Klosterman always makes his books easy to read and, even with some heavy content that peppers the book, it is a good book to pass some time during the ever increasingly cold winter months. If you like the book, check out his older work (especially his first three books).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem, a band I wrote about only a few weeks ago, are going to be making a stop in our fair city on their upcoming tour. The band will play April 4th at the Varsity Theatre. Although I think it would be cool to see them in a little less of a grandiose venue, it should still be a great show. Below is a video (actually a photo and sound) from one of my favorite songs from their latest album, the '59 Sound.

Best New Bands

Every year First Ave puts on a Best New Bands showcase in the Mainroom and it is always one of my favorite local events of year. The bands selected for this year were announced Saturday night during the Crony Christmas bash and are as follows:

While there are a few bands who I feel were robbed by not being on the show, this should still be a great night for local music and a good reason to get out in the middle of January. The show is January 14th and tickets are $7.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cadillac Records

Robyn and I saw Cadillac Records last week and I came away pretty torn. Going into it, I didn't know what to expect (I had not even seen a preview...Rob had wanted to see it). I didn't think this was great movie per se, mostly because it was scattered and never seemed to decide what direction it wanted to go, but I really liked the idea. I think the artists from the glory years at Chess Records deserve all the attention in the world and the story of how these black artists had their art stolen by white artists is one that should be more well known, but it seems like the producers bit off more than they could chew. My initial love of music in my early teen years came from a lot of the artists highlighted in this film (especially Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry). I think a lot of people will come to this movie simply because of the Beyonce factor, but I just hope they leave with a stronger appreciation for the people who created the groundwork for all of Rock and Roll. Overall, it was an OK movie. I can't say I would suggest paying to see it in the theatre, but fans of the music mentioned might take interest when it comes out on DVD.

Friday, December 19, 2008

P.O.S tickets

P.O.S, who will be releasing his third album, Never Better, in February, will be headlining a show at First Avenue on Saturday February 28th. This all ages show, featuring fellow Doomtree members Sims and the Lazerbeak + Mictlan combo Hand over Fist, begins at 6PM. Tickets went on sale today and are $10.

Get off yr Ass (12/19-12/21)

This is a weekly feature that takes away your lames excuse that there is "nothing going on" this weekend. So put away your sweatpants and slippers, put your Bud Light back in the fridge, take the Lost disc out of the DVD player and get off your ass and support live local music. If I missed any shows that are worth seeing, leave them in the comments. HAVE FUN!
Another weekend, another boatload of great concerts. Don't miss out your chance.
Happy Apple- Artists Quarters 9PM
Fun and talented local jazz group play at one of the best live jazz joints in town both Friday and Saturday.
Chooglin + Fuck Knights + Rockfurd Mules- 7th Street Entry 9PM $6
Some good old fashioned Rock and Roll at the entry. Chooglin will be playing some material off their upcoming release and this show should be a perfect fir for a Friday night.
Dance Band + Mystery Palace- Turf Club 9PM
Mystery Palace is a great electronic tinged band and Dance Band do what their name implies.
Soul Asylum- First Ave 9pm
Under 30 crowd need not apply.
Crystal Method- Epic 9PM
The Crystal Method will be playing material off their upcoming disc for this guaranteed to be wild show. Ecstasy optional.
Some really good folk/Americana at a great intimate venue.
To Reinvent will be celebrating their CD release with this varied, but solid, lineup at the Uptown Bar.
Battle Royale are a criminally underrated band made up of members from Mouthful of Bees and One for the Team. They are awesome and you should go see them.
This event is called "Crony Christmas", but you should not hold that against them as this should be an excellent show. Also, 1st Ave said they will be announcing the names of the bands in the Best New Bands showcase this night, so you could be the first to know.
Military Special- Eclipse Records 7PM
Electronic rockers playing at the great St. Paul record shop. Buy some music while you are there and support a great outlet for local music.
Sugary pop overload. The Hopefuls are back after 4 years with their sophomore album. Supporting them are equally excellent pop rockers One for the Team and Chris Koza. All three make easy to digest and likable pop music and should provide a great night of entertainment.
Black Audience- 331 Club
A band that should fit in perfectly at this acoustic venue.
What's That? (A Radiohead project)- O'Garas Garage 9PM
The Radiohead "cover" band is back with another show exploring the great work of Radiohead.
Naked Raygun- Triple Rock 9PM
This legendary punk band is in town to help the Triple Rock celebrate their 10th Anniversary.
Different approaches, but all three of these bands play guitar centric rock and roll and make for a great lineup.


I have to say I was pretty surprised at THIS. Pitchforks whole list is rather bland and makes it seem like the staff is growing old and complacent, but it is still interesting. It's not that I don't like Fleet Foxes (I think their debut LP is great), I am just suprised that P-Fork would pick them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do Look Back- Nomo

Don't Do Look Back
This is my ongoing series that allows me to go back and take another look at artists and albums that I have not gotten a chance to highlight. They could be albums or artists I didn't hear right away when they came out or artists/albums that have grown on me over time. It will also incorporate albums that came out before I started my blog but feel a strong desire to write about. I know people like hearing about new music, but I feel pretty strongly that there are so many albums that many people (including myself) missed when they first came out. If you have an album or artist you think I should go back and check out, please email me and let me know.

Nomo is a instrumental collective (there are 8 core members) that started at the University of Michigan a few years back. The first CD of theirs that I got into was the jazzy funk gem New Tones. The disc is heavy on African funk (think Fela Kuti) and lots of jazzy horns. The disc still gets constant spins around my place and has that great mixture of talent and soul. Their are no weak links on the album, and band leader Elliot Bergman had the group firing on all cylinders. The music is tight and glorious and it is a CD that I have yet to get sick of.
The latest disc, Ghost Rock, took a slight left turn towards Can style Krautrock mixed in with their horns. There was some electronic stuff on New Tones, but Nomo take it to a new level on Ghost Rock. I have to say that, while being really good, it was a little bit of a let down for me after New Tones. The free spirit and the tight grooves on that record made the more mechanical Ghost Rock seem a little distant. It still is a really great album, but I find myself wanting to go back to the funky Brazilian-esqe rhythms of New Tones.

I saw Nomo a while back when they opened for Dan Deacon, and they were amazing. Their infectious music pumped through the Triple Rock and had the crowd worked up in the best possible way and set up the crowd for the craziness of Dan Deacon.

I would highly recommend Nomo, both live and on disc, to anyone interested in world influenced funk/jazz and instrumental music. Their music, while being challenging and musically adroit, is still based in the body over mind formula that makes this type of music so endearing and invigorating. Below is a live video of "Fourth Ward" from their New Tones Album.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a comedy about 4 friends (and later their "Dad") who own a bar in Philadelphia. Like Curb Your Enthusiasm, the show aims to strike nerves and bring up what would otherwise be taboo subjects. I had not checked out the show, despite many friends suggesting it, for whatever reason. Possibly because I don't really like Danny DeVito, but who really knows. (He actually is funny in the show and he doesn't come in until part way through the second season). Either way, it was a mistake. The show is hilarious and is well worth checking out. They are currently in Season 4 and Seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flight of the Concords Season 2!!! news ever. The guys at You Ain't No Picasso just posted the link where you can stream the first episode of Flight of the Concords second season. This show is one of my favorites and I am very excited to watch this episode when I get home from work. Below is the video from one of the funniest moments from season one when they sang "Business Time." One of my big fears is that "Business Time" will someday become a song of choice for lame people in the same fashion as "Fuck Her Gently" has become. Either way, check out both Season 1 of FOC and their debut disc; both are Highly Recommended.


Tobacco is the Nom de personne of the one man band that put out the excellent electronic CD Fucked Up Friends earlier this year. Tobacco, whose main job is in the psychedelic freak folk troupe Black Moth Super Rainbow, uses his side project to make slinky, dirty electronic music that doesn't sound a whole lot different than his main band. The sound, which is a great mix of polished synths and dirty squeals, is both complex and engaging while being easy to dance to, which is no small feat. One of the main differences is the more direct, hip hop influenced beats that pop up on this album. He even has Aesop Rock rap on one of the tracks, which is pretty cool. While this isn't Cut Copy, it still is a CD that will get you moving and has a lot of layering, grimy parts that make it a cool headphones album as well.

Tobacco opened for Why? earlier this year at the Triple Rock and played a good set that had some trippy videos that added to the drunken, fucked up feelings that his music can create. Both the CD and his live show are recommended if you are interested in one of the best electronic albums out this year.

Here is the video for the opening track Street Trash. Borderline NSFW.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Absent Arch

Absent Arch are a local lo-fi band that have been gaining a lot of positive local praise. I got their CD a few months ago and liked it well enough right away, but did not see what all of the fuss was about. My opinion has slowly changed over time and the CD has found its way into my constant rotation. The music is simple and often rudimentary guitar parts with swelling background instruments, including viola, banjo and trumpet adding to the songs. It reminds me in a lot of ways of the simple yet full sound of Neutral Milk Hotel. Lead singer Will Markwardt has a yearning howl of a voice that took a little while to warm to but has since grown on me and is an important part of bringing the songs together. Their debut CD, Keep Calm and Carry On, is out now and is highly recommended. They have multiple shows coming up that you can check out at their Myspace page.

Pick up their album at any local record store.

Now Now Every Children Live Review

My review of the Now Now Every Children CD release show is up over at Culture Bully. Check it out HERE.

New Shows

More Cowbell just dropped a couple new shows that should get people out of their doors in the dead of winter.

After their really steller show a few months ago at the Turf, this should be a great venue for this band.
Fujiya & Miyagi and School of Seven Bells @ the Entry 2/11 $13
Two up and coming bands make for an interesting bill that should sound great in the confines of the 7th Street Entry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gaslight Anthem The '59 Sound

One of the great things about year end lists for me is that I always end up rediscovering different bands. So far this year the biggest one has been the Gaslight Anthem. I got their CD a couple months ago when it came out and liked it a lot, but it got lost in the shuffle and I had totally forgot about it. Their disc, The '59 Sound, is one that I have often seen described as a punk band (usually Against Me!) mixed with Bruce Springsteen. Their dramatic story songs, songwriting wise, are on par with the best in business, including the Holy Steady, Drive By Truckers and the Weakerthens.

The disc does lyrically sound like a true disciple of Springsteen. Unlike bands like, say the Killers, who seem to try to force nostalgic Americana into their lyrics, The Gaslight Anthem seem to be legitimately writing songs about the times and tribulations of young kids growing up in troubled times. They are at their best when they have their Ted Leo esqe guitars slashing with the band pushing the great songs forward.
The whole CD is consistantly great and has the feel of an album that will never stop sounding fresh and has the marks of a band that has a very strong future. Below is the title track from the disc, which happens to be my favorite song from the disc.

Best of 08

Image from Culture Bully

This is the time of year that keeps on giving, and for fellow music lovers, right now is near nirvana as more and more best of lists are being released. Today saw the Top 10 by Solace over at More Cowbell and P-Fork starting what will be a week of them calling down from their mountain and telling us lowly masses what was cool this year. The A.V Club, the entertainment section of the Onion, also released their top 30 CD's of the year HERE.

Last night as I was risking my life on the roads of Minneapolis I got to hear most of the radio show Sound Opinions. The show, made up of a duo of music critics from Chicago who have a weekly one hour radio show on 89.3 the Current, was going through their top 10 lists. I actually like this radio show a lot (you can tell they genuinely like music, even if I don't always agree with their picks) but never remember to listen Sunday nights at 6. If I wasn't so lazy, I am sure I could listen to the Podcast, so I will just be happy I heard their year end show.

Any and all inquires about best of the year lists should always be directed to the Holy Grail of "Best Of" lists, which is the directory located at Largehearted Boy. Every year they put together a "list of lists" and if you really want to get nothing done at work, go HERE and start reading all the lists.

Also, if you missed our lists over at Culture Bully, check them out HERE.

Any lists that I missed and really need to see? Email me or leave them in the comments.


I will be updating and expanding on my best of lists that I had up over at Culture Bully in the next few weeks, so keep you eyes out for that.

Christmas Songs

I always thought that the Christmas Song idea that is so prevalent in the UK is a cool idea and wished it would catch on over here. I can hear "traditional" Christmas songs once (preferably for the first time each year on Christmas Day) and every time after that they make me want to claw my own eyes out. That being said, I don't want to be a Scrooge and I like having new songs each year to help celebrate the season. Frightened Rabbits are a great band that I feel are vastly underrated, so I was excited to see they decided take a stab at this yearly tradition. They have released the Christmas song "It's Christmas so We'll Stop." Check it out HERE.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush dodges shoe

An interesting way to make a point. Maybe it is like old Black Flag shows where throwing shit and spitting on the person on stage is considered a good thing. I have a strange feeling that wasn't the case here.

Mercury Rev "Opus 40"

I was supposed to see Mercury Rev Friday night, but there was an issue with the guest list which caused me to not make it in. After reading a few reviews and seeing the set list, I am very disappointed that I missed the show. They ended the set with one of my favorite songs, "Opus 40", from their amazing Deserter Songs. I first fell in love with the songs when I heard it on a compilation disc that came a music magazines in the UK. I don't remember what magazine it was, but I remember listening to it as I was on a train from Newcastle to Edinburgh, and the heartbreaking beauty of the song, combined with the beautiful English countryside, created one of those moments that serve to make a song become more than just another song and make it become something that will forever bring me back to a really great moment. Hopefully they will come back soon and I will get another chance to hear this song.

Friday, December 12, 2008


All Tomorrows Parties, the hipster festival that happens a couple times a year, announced its first wave of bands for their September run in New York. The Flaming Lips will be both curating and playing this show with such amazing bands as Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Atlas Sound and Suicide playing their amazing first LP, which is worth whatever they are charging alone.
If anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket and pay my entrance fee, I will be your friend forever.

Top 5 overrated moments of 2008

The final list is up over at Culture Bully, and it focuses on all things overratted this year. Also, if you have missed any of the lists, you can check them out all in one place HERE. I hope people enjoy reading these lists half as much as I enjoy reading other people's lists. There is also a reminder to vote in the contest for best blog. When you are voting, don't forget about little old me here at Whiskey for the Holy Ghost. Thanks for Reading!

Get Off Yr Ass (12/12-12/14)

This is a weekly feature that takes away your lames excuse that there is "nothing going on" this weekend. So put away your sweatpants and lippers, put your Bud Light back in the fridge, take the Lost disc out of the DVD player and get off your ass and support live local music. If I missed any shows that are worth seeing, leave them in the comments. HAVE FUN!
Mercury Rev/Duke Spirit- Fine Line Music Cafe 9PM $23
Indie space rockers Mercury Rev will come to the Fine Line behind their even more Flaming Lips than usual Snowflake Midnight. Openers Duke Spirit recieved some good reviews when they opened a few months ago for Eagles of Death Metal, so get there early.
Dillinger Four- Triple Rock Social Club 5pm(AA) 10PM (21+) $10
MPLS punk legends will celebrate both their new release, C I V I L W A R, and the 10th anniversery of their bar, the Triple Rock, which has become a Minneapolis institutino on the West Bank.
Now Now Every Children- 7th Street Entry 5PM $6
Local female fronted indie-pop group Now Now Every Children will celebrate the release of their debut full lenth Cars with this early show at the Entry.
The Deaths/Crossing Guard- Turf Club 9PM
The Deaths are an underrated local band who play quirky, almost Unicorns style indie pop. Crossing Guards are a more classic rock oriented band made up of some local stawlerts of the MPLS scene.
Two noisy bands who are as talented as they are challenging, this should be a great show.
Some good old fashioned alt country music from a good national act (The Sadies) and a good local band (The Glad Version).
Heiruspecs- First Ave 5PM ALL AGES $10
Like Dillinger 4, the Heiruspecs are local legends who are returning after a couple year absense to celebrate their new slef titled LP, which is excellent. Openers are really great local group Big Quarters.
Heiruspecs Afterparty- 7th Street Entry 9PM $5
After the early show to officially celebrate their CD, the band will move over to the more intimate 7th Street Entry to keep the party going with Kanser, Lookbook and more.
A trio of really great angular indie rock bands from Minneapolis that will keep people moving on a cold night at the Uptown Bar.
The Honeydogs/Aby Wolf- 400 Bar 9PM
Two bands that play simple yet earnest pop music and are great representations of the Minneapolis scene will converge on the 400 Bar for a night of great music.
Big Bussiness- Triple Rock Social Club 9PM $12
This noisy bass and drums combo will be part of the Triple Rock ten year anniversery celebrations going on this month.
Plastic Chord- Hexagon 9PM
This ecclectic local group will be celebrating their new EP with a show at the Hexagon.
Dan Wilson- Pantages Theatre
The former Semisonic frontman, and current soft rock kingpin, will be playing some easily digestable pop gems at the Pantages.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 5 concerts

Top 5 Concerts are now up over at Culture Bully. Check it out HERE.

Oasis/Ryan Adams

Oasis and Ryan Adams came to town last night for a far from sold out show at Target Center. I was able to get in at the last minute (thanks Kyle) last night and it was quite an interesting experience. I can now say that I know what the original punk kids felt like in 1976 in regards to blowhard arena bands who think they rule the world when in fact they could not be farther away from what is really going on at this very moment.

Oasis is a band that walks the tightrope between wanting to be a classic rock nostalgia act who just play their radio hits and a band that still yearns to be relevant. Much like the bloated classic rock bands in the late 70's, the band plays to large crowds all over the world who are essentially there to hear material from previous decades. While they could not release new material and still find (somewhat) large crowds waiting for them, they still choose to release album after album, each one being their "return to form." The band played a handful of songs from their latest album, Dig Out Your Soul, but most of these songs were lost on the crowd and served as a chance for the middle aged crowd to get a couple more $7.50 beers while waiting to hear "Wonderwall" and the bands other giant hits. The band, while sounding ok(and a lot better than I remember other bands in previous Target Center shows) seemed like they were going through the motions. They mostly stood still and hoped that their rock star posturing would suffice for stage presence. My attention was often diverted to the four vertical video screens that were hanging from the rafters. I don't actually know if they were a good light system in comparisons to other arena shows, as I have not been to one in years, but it seemed like it was a nice mix of weird videos and close ups of the band members without being too annoying. The crowd, some of who paid over $140 per ticket (I heard a guy tell a friend that, with me then scraping my jaw off the disgusting Target Center floor), did seem to be happy with the hits heavy set. It was weird hearing some of their more classic songs, which previously had only been heard by me during drunken karaoke/jam sessions on guitar at college parties in my younger days. In the end, the show, which was as empty as I have every seen a Target Center, will surely be the death of Oasis arena shows (at least in Minnesota). This will also be go down in history as my first (and last) Oasis show as I will leave the prized seats at their future shows at Grand Casino to people who find last nights show more entertaining than me.

Opener Ryan Adams, an artist who I used to love and has slowly fallen from grace in my standings, played a good, if not really good, 45 minute set before Oasis came on stage. He played a lot off his newest album, Cardinology, which is not his strongest release, but he played a really rocking set with some Sonic Youth like noise and some psychedelic guitar noodling that had multiple moments that were more entertaining than anything Oasis did during their entire set.

Top 5 Overlooked albums

Today the Top 4 list involves the 5 most overlooked albums of the year. This was the list I had the most trouble with (who is it that overlooked it??), but being a lover of all things lists, I still had a good time racking my brain to come up with my five. Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Best Local CDs

Some more loving for the masses in the form of year end list from the gift that never stops Day 3 brings you the top 5 local records from 4 different writers, so go check it out HERE.

Blast From the Past Face-Off

Two commercial giants from the 90's are in town tonight to play shows. Oasis will be playing at at the Target Center while across the street the Black Crowes will be playing at 1st Ave. Both shows have really strong openers, with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals opening for Oasis and Vetiver opening for the Black Crowes. Both headliners have recently released CD's that critics are calling "return to form" CD's, and both have a back catalog of hits to keep their live shows engaging. Apparently Oasis is selling very poorly, so if you are interested you should head down before the show and you will probably be able to pick up a really cheap ticket from a scalper. The Black Crowes were a little more prudent with their venue choice and could see some trickle over from the Oasis show when it lets out.
A quick thought....Are these bands classic rock nostalgia acts yet? Do people really want to hear their new material, or just the songs from the radio?

VOTE FOR ME! is up with their yearly vote for "best of". While popularity contests are unbecoming on pretty much everyone who is involved, I will let people know that a small and inconsequential blog such as my own could benefit from a little name recognition, so if you have some time head over HERE and sign in (it is very easy and they don't ask for any personal info, not even name) and vote. Both Whiskey for the Holy Ghost and Culture Bully are in the running for best local blog and would love your vote! You can also vote for your favorite bars, TV shows, music, get your opinion out there.

Do Look Back- Immortal Technique

Don't Do Look Back

This is my ongoing series that allows me to go back and take another look at artists and albums that I have not gotten a chance to highlight. They could be albums or artists I didn't hear right away when they came out or artists/albums that have grown on me over time. It will also incorporate albums that came out before I started my blog but feel a strong desire to write about. I know people like hearing about new music, but I feel pretty strongly that there are so many albums that many people (including myself) missed when they first came out. If you have an album or artist you think I should go back and check out, please email me and let me know.
Immortal Technique
Revolutionary Vol. 2
Revolutionary Volume 2, the sophomore album from Harlem based rapper Immortal Technique, is my favorite rap album of all time. This is not to say it is the album that I consider to be the best rap album ever, just the one I find myself coming back to more than any other rap album.

The album came out in 2003, right around the time I was heading to college and Bush was driving forward towards his unimaginable re-election. It was a time of constant anger, with both new found historical context (through engaging history classes and books like The Peoples History of the United States) and current events (43's re-election and 2 unending wars). Being a music lover, I needed a soundtrack to this confusing time that left me so disillusioned, and I found it in Revolutionary Vol. 2. Unlike a lot of albums around that time, which took pot shots at Bush because it was cool, you could feel that genuine anger in Techniques rhymes. The songs, which are boiling over with furor and contempt for everything ranging from wars to genocides to racism to class structure, are always engaging and often full throttle in-your-face. The beats are all well done and often serve as great material to get your head bobbing as Technique is spitting what are often controversial lyrics. A point that shows his true street/political cred is that he got Mumia Abu-Jamel to make an appearance on his record. He does both the introduction and a spoken piece comparing hip hop to homeland security (check it is very interesting)
As I have grown older, my views have become less rigid and I have become less angry (though a lot of shit still pisses me off), but that has not dampened my love for this record. Some of the conspiracy stuff that he talks about seems less relevent to me, but a majority of the tracks still speak a resounding truth to power. Like most hip hop, the album is at times filled with misogyny, but for the most part he takes it to people who need to be confronted. There are a few tracks where he lets his (dark) humor come out, most notably "obnoxious", but he mostly sticks with political rap, which is just fine with me. My favorite tracks on the album are "Obnoxious", "The Point of No Return", "Industrial Revolution", "The 4th Branch" and "One (remix)". That being said, I can easily listen to the whole CD straight through and not feel the need to skip over a track.

Immortal Technique came out with a mix tape this year titled The 3rd World that was OK, but he still claims to be worth on Revolutionary Vol. 3, often referred to as the Middle Passage. I will keep my fingers crossed that the next disc will be a true follow up to this awesome disc and will be a return to form. Lord knows there is enough crazy shit going on in the world for him to rap about.

Andrew Bird Show

Whistling extraordinaire Andrew Bird will be returning to Minneapolis on Sunday April 11 at the State Theatre. Tickets start at $22 and go on sale this Friday.

(Hat Tip: More Cowbell)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"My Girls"

So this will probably get taken down soon, but for the time being there is some new Animal Collective goodness floating around the interwebs for your listening pleasure, and man, is it good. "My girls" is up here from the site, whatever that is, and it is amazing.

Best of Daytrotter

Local Blog Minneapolis Fucking Rocks put together a list that, well, fucking rocks (sorry) of the best Daytrotters sessions for the 2008 Calender year. Whether you are a Daytrotter addict or a virgin, this list has some really amazing perfeormances from one of the coolest music sites around. Check it out HERE and make sure to make MFR a daily stop on your blog list.

Blur are Back!!

Blur, one of the great bands of the Brit Pop Era, are playing a reunion show with their original lineup for a show July 3rd at Hyde Park in London. Hopefully they will cross the pond and play some shows here (and not just Cochella).

(Hat Tip: Pitchfork)

Best Songs of 2008

List #2 is up over at Culture Bully, and today it is featuring the best songs of 2008. Check it out HERE.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday Shows

Curtiss A from the City Pages blog

Two cool shows going on tonight in the same building. It may be snowing and Minnesota drivers seem to forget how to drive in snow each December, but these shows are worth risking your life for*.
Curtiss A- Tribute to John Lennon 9pm First Ave $12
This is the 29th year of Curtiss A getting together some great local players to dig back in the Beatles/John Lennon catalog on the day that Lennon was shot down. Shows have lasted 5 hours in the past and is a much loved holiday tradition in Minneapolis.
Stook!/Invincible Kids/Military Special- 7th Street Entry 9pm $5
Three local bands with three very different sounds come together for what should be a good alternative if you need to step away from the nostalgia of the main room.
*Value of shows in relation to risking your life is not guaranteed and should be decided on a person by person basis.

Year End Lists

It is truly the most wonderful time of the year, but not because of any silly holidays or is year end list time!!!! My part in the 4 Takes of Best Album of the Year is up over at Culture Bully. Check it out HERE along with three other great lists from the guys at CB. More lists will be coming soon!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Common "Universal Mind Control"

My take on the new Common album, Universal Mind Control, is up over at Culture Bully with three other reviews as part of the 4 Takes Series. Check it out HERE.