Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wavvves

My short write up about the new album by San Diego based Nathan Williams (aka Wavves) is up over at Culture Bully. The album comes out next month and is a great fuzz pop/fractured punk disc and you will probably be hearing a lot more about it in the near future.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dirty Projectors



The Dirty Projectors announced the details for their new album, the follow up to their amazing re-interpretation of Black Flags Rise Above. Bitte Orca will be released on June 9th on Domino records. Hopefully they will play some of the new songs at both of their shows next week. For those of you who missed out on the news, the band will play a free show Thursday at 7pm at the Walker as part of the Making Music Series, and will play an official show at the Walker Friday night. Both should be amazing.

Get Off Yr Ass (Blizzard Edition 2-27 to 3-1)

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!
FRIDAY
Some scuzzy garage rock from FHTB with Omaha based Box Elders, who may be slightly less frantic but should make for a great show.
An embarrassment of riches on display tonight at the Entry. A great example of the talent in our MPLS hip hop scene.
Dillinger Four- Turf Club 9PM
Minneapolis Punk Kingpins head across the river to play at the venerable Turf Club.
Jenny Dalton + Nighinghales- Nomad 9PM $5
A great bill featuring the great songstress Dalton headlining a bill featuring Brit Rock revivalists the Nightinghales.
Les Ourses + Zoo Animal- 331 Club 9PM
Les Ourses, who played their prog-opera at our Culture Bully show at the Acadia, will headline this show featuring WHG favorites Zoo Animal.
Some great pop music by two consistently good bands from the Minneapolis scene.
The band, who are about as "love them or hate them" as one can get, will bring their 1.7 rated debut record to the Triple Rock for the believers.
SATURDAY
P.O.S- First Ave 6PM SOLD OUT
What else can be said? Never Better is amazing. Add to the fact that Sims and Hand over Fist will be playing and this should be an amazing show....if you can get in.
Probably the strongest lineup of the weekend, this show at the Turf showcases three of the best ambient, electronic rock group the city has to offer, all on the same bill. Highly Recommended.
Dean from Galaxie 500 is joined by his musical partner Britta (both of Luna fame) to play some songs to accompany some silently Andy Warhol films.
A Night in the Box- Lees Liquor Lounge 9PM
Blues/Punk/Gospel group bring their high energy live show to the stage at Lee Liquor Lounge for what should be a really fun time.
This showcase, featuring such great bands as Little Man, Dan Isreal, the 757's and Hoja Rojas, should be a really fun time.

The Tipping Point/Freakonomics


Just got done reading the Tipping Point, which had been on my "to read" pile for a while, and it ended up being a great book. For those of you who only know it as a Roots album, the book takes a detailed look at how something "tips", i.e how something goes from being a fringe thing to becoming and epidemic. It covers everything from teen smoking to STD outbreaks in Baltimore to how fashion trends become "cool." While being a bit wonky, it has some really fascinating stuff and is highly recommended if you are looking for a good non-fiction book to read during our latest blizzard.
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This also gives me the chance to give a shout out to a book that I thought was equally as awesome and would be recommend to the same audience who liked The Tipping Point. Freakonomics is a book that blew my mind when I read it a few years back, and I think it is something that would be interesting to almost any reader. The premise is a "rouge" economist from Chicago takes his crazy ideas and tests them out in real life situations. While my description may sound boring, it really is a great book and, like The Tipping Point, is highly recommended.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grouper



Just found out Grouper will be opening for Animal Collective at their show at First Ave in May, which is really awesome. Grouper, who put out the excellent Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill last year, make this show even more of a can't miss. Her ambient and dreamy pop music is great for late night listens and should be a perfect warm up for hearing the Merriweather Post Pavilion stuff live. I am not sure what is left for tickets, but if you haven't picked one up yet, I would do it asap.

Black Gold



I got the latest CD from the band Black Gold, Rush, a few weeks ago and it has been slowly growing on me ever since. The band plays electro tinged rock while never becoming too bombastic or overplaying their hand, which is often a problem with that genre of music. The video above is for the song "Breakdown", which is one of the best songs on the album. Like WHG favorites Solid Gold, the song is a churning, nearly apocalyptic, electro funk jam that is both dark and epic. The band will be playing an opening slot tonight at Station 4 for a show headlined by the band Lydia. Black Gold will hit the stage around 7 for the all ages show, so don't miss out.

MCTC photo show



MCTC will be hosting a benefit tonight at the Turf Club for their photography department and have brought in some great bands to provide the entertainment. There will be a raffle to win students framed pictures, and the excellent musical lineup includes WHG favorites Gospel Gossip, Gay Witch Abortion and local stalwarts Plastic Chord, who sadly will be playing their last show.

Tickets cost $5 and it is $1 for a raffle ticket to win some great artwork. Music starts at 10 PM.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Veckatimest

Hopefully the new Grizzly Bear album, Veckatimest, will be able to live up to the gigantic hype it will get (at least from me). Although it won't be released for a few months (May 26th to be exact), you can already pre-order your vinyl copy HERE. In case you forgot, the album will still include my favorite song from last year, "While You Wait For Others", which is linked below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cool Show for Wed Night


El Guante/Zoo Animal @ Stasius

After checking out the Minnesota Swarm game Friday night and getting home through the blizzard, I headed down to Stasius for the Rift Magazine benefit show. It was a really good lineup, but I mainly wanted to see El Guante/Big Cats and Zoo Animal, and luckily it worked out perfectly.

I got to the cozy NE venue shortly after El Guante started his set, and was very impressed by his great set (I have seen him a few times, but always seem to come in just in time for the last song). Photo by Jon Behm In addition to Big Cats making live beats, Guante had a sax player playing behind him, which was great backing music for his intricate rhymes. If you haven't heard El Guante, he is one of the best up and coming rappers in the Twin Cities and is a must hear for any hip hop (and non hip hop) fans. He mixed socio-economic hip hop (my favorite kind) with some more straightforward songs (including a great one about tattoos) that made for an excellent set of music. Guante had a little bit of a cold, which at some points made him sound like a rapping Tom Waits, but even with his cold he showed why he is one of the best rappers in the city.

Next up were Zoo Animal, a three piece band I have been digging a lot ever since I got a copy of their latest record, Young Blood. Their music is fractured pop music at its best led by lead singer Holly Hansen's great trembling voice. They played some new songs, but the highlights for me were them playing some of the excellent songs from their album, including my favorite song from their Young Blood, "My Lord"

El Gaunte and Zoo Animal are two of my favorite young bands in the Twin Cities and are well worth checking out, both on record and in concert. Also, if you have some spare change sitting around, send it over to Rift Magazine and support some cool independent media.

Solid Gold Tour Diary



Solid Gold were cool enough to agree to keep us (meaning Culture Bully) up to date with what is going on with their London tour. The first(short) message we got is up HERE at Culture Bully. I'm looking forward to hearing more in the next few days.

Monday, February 23, 2009

King Khan and the Shrines



Some great news just went up over on Culture Bully/More Cowbell about a great new show coming to the Twin Cities. King Khan and his mighty Shrines will be visiting the Triple Rock Social Club on May 16th. King Khan and the Shrines are one of the bands highest on my list of acts I want to see and have not, so this is very awesome news.

200 Million Thousand

My review of the excellent new Black Lips album 200 Million Thousand is up over Culture Bully. If you have never seen the band, do yourself a favor and check them out March 16th at the Turf Club when they bring their crazy live show back to St. Paul. Opening that show will be the great local band Vampire Hands.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Solid Gold Remix/Show

Solid Gold will be playing what will surely be a packed show tonight at the Nomad World Pub, so get their early if you are going. Below is a remix by another great local band, Mel Gibson and the Pants from local blog Sound Verite.



RECORD SALE!


There is a record sale today at the Soo Visual Gallery presented by the fine folks that run the greatly missed Let It Be record store in Minneapolis. I have never been to one of these events, but apparently they have thousands and thousands of vinyl for really cheap prices. I just hope I don't spend my whole paycheck. The show runs yesterday (Friday) until tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mogwai

After cancelling their last show here, Mogwai are coming back to Minneapolis to make up for their cancelled performance. No word on whether the show, being held May 10th @ First Ave, will feature the great Fuck Buttons as openers like their last show had planned. Don't forget your earplugs.

Leonard Cohen



The legendary Leonard Cohen will be coming to the Orpheum Theatre on May 3rd for what should be an amazing show. I just hope that the cash strapped Cohen doesn't charge an arm and a leg for tickets, although I think his lack of touring and brilliant songs would warrant it. Will update with ticket prices when they come available.

(Hat Tip: Culture Bully)

Blitzen Trapper/Alela Diane show

Photo by Jon Behm
My review of the Blitzen Trapper/Alela Diane show is up over at Culture Bully with some excellent photos (including the one above) by my esteemed colleague Jon Behm. For those of you who saw them at the Turf last year and skipped this show, consider yourself lucky. The band simply laid an egg, which was pretty disappointing since it was their first show headlining the mainroom and they had gathered a pretty big crowd on a cold Wednesday night.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New St. Vincent Album



Good news, music lovers. Annie Clark, known to the masses as St. Vincent, is releasing her sophomore album. The sultry singer, who's debut album Marry Me was a disc I really enjoyed, will be dropping Actor on May 5th on the 4AD record label. The video above is from her excellent show at the Entry in 2007.

Friday Show


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Solid Gold "Bible Thumper" video

Solid Gold - Bible Thumper


Newest video from Solid Gold, who continue to build steam towards their eventual take over of the entire world. Check them out tomorrow night at 7pm for a free instore at the Fetus, with Lucy Michelle playing before them at 6.

(Hat Tip: Sound Verite')

Blitzen Trapper Set Times

For those of you who missed their last show, which was excellent, you get another chance to see Blizten Trapper tonight. The band, who grew too big for their origional venue (The Cedar Cultural Center) will be playing tonight at the First Ave Mainroom. Tickets are $13. Opening will be the wonderful Alela Diane. Set times are below.

Alela Diane- 9PM
Blitzen Trapper- 10:15

Ty Segall

My review of a new CD by one man band Ty Segall is up over at Culture Bully. His CD was sent to me out of the blue, and I pretty much fell in love with it the first time I listened to it. If you are a fan of any semblence of garage rock, do yourself a favor and check him out.

M Ward



Troubadour M. Ward will be making a return to Minneapolis for a show on April 25th at the First Ave Mainroom. The show, which will be 18 +, will set you back a cool $16. Matt Ward is one of those musicians that is always constantly good, if not spectacular. I have always liked/respected/listened to/bought music by/seen live and have come to know that any project he is involved in will be a quality endeavor. He is a great talent, and his new CD Hold Time is excellent as usual, and his upcoming show should be no exception.

For those of you who may only know him through his duo She and Him, be sure to check out his great back catalog and check him out live in a few months.

Above is the video for the title track, "Hold Time", from his current CD.

Vampire Hands



Another local band who are Whiskey for the Holy Ghost favorites (like Gospel Gossip) that could very well blow up this year are the band Vampire Hands. They play frantic, pulsing music that is both wildly hypnotic and musically dense. Their last album, Me and You Cherry Red, was one of my favorite local CD's of last year and I have seen them many times live and never been disappointed. They have a great opportunity coming up as they will be the openers for the San Diego based buzz band Wavves, a tour that is sure to draw a lot of attention. On this same tour, they are also playing some big SXSW showcases that should expose them to some of the hipster taste-makers lounging around Austin.


Around town, they have a free show tonight at the Nomad (with Extra Life and To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie) and will be opening for the Black Lips of March 16th at the Turf for what should be an awesome show.

The video above is from a show at the Turf Club where they played my favorite song, "No Fun", from the My and You Cherry Red disc. If you haven't seen/heard Vampire Hands, I would highly recommend checking them out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ben Kweller @ Electric Fetus

Don't want to spend your hard earned money on the Ben Kweller/Watson Twins show tonight? I got your solution....see him for free at the Fetus for a short performance this evening. His acoustic set begins at 6pm, and he will be signing copies of his new album, Changing Horses, after he plays. The reason I chose the old picture is because the CD pictured above is honestly the last time I listened to him, so it should be interesting seeing him tonight, especially with the sharp left (rd: alt-country) turn he has taken on his new album.

Noah and the Whale

Noah & the Whale are a young band that make some good, quirky indie pop. They cancelled a gig at the same venue late last year, so I know a lot of people will be looking forward to seeing them on this swing through our fair city.

Noah and the Whale
7th Street Entry
Friday April 24th
All Ages
$10
(Hat Tip: Switchblade Comb)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fuzz Pop

After spending the night listening to the new discs by Wavves and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, two bands that blogger types seem to trip over themselves to offer up grandiose praise, I am more convinced than ever that this could be the year for WHG favorites Gospel Gossip to get their big break. After their successful initial single, they will be releasing and EP this spring, which hopefully will continue what they started with their excellent debut album, Sing into My Mouth. Like both of the bands mentioned above, Gospel Gossip cover their sugar coated melodies with some grimy layers of fuzz and are not afraid to let their My Bloody Valentine love seep out in all of its shoe-gaze glory. Below are MP3's for each of the band, so be the judge for yourself.



Passion Pit "Sleepyhead"


Head on over to Culture Bully to check out my article about the song "Sleepyhead." It is kind of a roundabout little write up, but even if you skip my review, check out the song...it is excellent.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wavves/Vampire Hands


Awesome news.

7th Street Entry
April 5th

(Hat Tip: More Cowbell)

America America

Just recently got done reading a great new book called America America by Ethan Canin. The story centers around a young boy growing up in a middle class family who was taken in by a local family with powerful connections to a world of money and power. The story follows his time as he is slowly brought into the wild and deceitful world of American politics during the Vietnam era as the American Dream was taking its last fateful breaths. The fictional Senator at the center of the story decides to enter the real Democratic primary of 1972 (alongside Humphrey, Muskie and McGovern) in the battle to unseat Nixon and stop his war in Vietnam. The story at heart is a political novel (a la All the Kings Men) mixed with a coming of age story of a boy fighting his way out of his surroundings (a la The Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye). It is a somber telling of a young boy looking up to a revered figure only to see the dark veil that we carefully place around powerful figures torn back. It is a superbly written book with a timely story that shows that illuminates the fact that some things, no matter how horrible they may be, may never change.
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Most of the time I spent reading this book was late at night, and the CD I seemed to keep putting in to accompany the fairly morose novel was the Yo La Tengo masterpiece And then nothing turned itself inside-out. The album, with its spacey ambiance, was a perfect foil for this novel that kept coming back to the failures of people and the grim reality of never quite accomplishing the dreams and goals that we set out for ourselves. If you haven't heard this album, check it out. Below is a video to one of my favorite songs from the album.

The Wrestler



The rumors are true, folks.....the Wrestler is excellent. Sad, poignant and crushing, the movie strikes nerve after nerve with its gripping portrayal of a broken down hero trying to find his place in a world that has passed him by. Mickey Rouke gives a world-wind performance that knocks the wind out of you and hopefully will get his due rewards with whatever awards they give to people these days for creating something so affirming as he did with this movie. The video above is for the Bruce Springsteen song "The Wrestler" which is also not half bad itself.

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When I saw this movie my Dad and recalled seeing Jake "the Snake" Roberts at a local high school when I was younger and thinking about the similarities. Roberts was just pathetic....he was drunk (or on drugs) and the guy he was wrestling had to basically pin himself with the bloated Roberts on top of him. While it was fairly amusing, seeing this movie really struck a chord with how far he had fallen. When I was looking on Youtube for the video of "The Wrestler", I came across this juxtaposition of the song with some footage of Roberts, so apparently I wasn't the only one who had noticed the difference. A movie this sad becomes even more sad when you think of the fact that there is someone out there who is living it every day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

VD day shows

So whether or not you go someone special to spend this corporate saturated day with, you can at least take some solace in the fact that there are some really great shows going on all around the Twin Cities tonight.
Our Bloody Valentine- Nomad 10PM
Three awesome bands (Revolver Modele, First Communion Afterparty & Gospel Gossip) came up with an awesome concept that shows why these bands are so great. They are going to have a Valentines day show where they cover Jesus and the Mary Chain and have a DJ who between sets plays J&TMC, My Bloody Valentine, 4AD hits and other shoegaze classics. Like the 69 Love Songs show last year, this is a great idea that should produced some excellent music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
A little bit lighter take on the old VD holiday, with sensitive singer/songwriter Chris Koza and the quirky Lucy Michelle leading a bill with Big Trouble playing love songs sung by Lucy Michelle and man-about-town Dave Campbell singing.
Absent Arch/Yer Cronies/Tentacle Boy- Triple Rock Social Club 9pm
A great triple bill. As far as I can tell, there will be no theme other than two bands (AA and YC) who put out killer debut records last year and a great up and coming band (TB) playing what should be a really great show.
Monotonix/Fuck Knights- Uptown Bar 9pm
In case you missed the insanity last night, Monotonix will give you one last chance. Opening tonight are local scuzz-garage rockers Fuck Knights. Should be crazy.
Antony and the Johnsons- Pantages Theatre
If you haven't heard Antony and the Johnsons, I am not going to describe how surreal it would be to see him on Valentines Day, but needless to say this should be an amazing show.
One a night full of diverse lineups, the show tonight at the Turf Club probably takes the top prize for most diverse. Noisy art rock (Blind Shake) with some throwback rap (MC/VL) and some psychedelic rock (The Chambermaids). Should have something for everyone.
Dre Day VII- Varsity Theatre
Year seven of the local hip hop community celebrating the birthday of Dr. Dre. Pretty sure it has nothing to do with VD day, but should be pretty sweet no the less.

Culture Bully

If for some crazy reason you don't already check Culture Bully every day, now you have ANOTHER reason to do so...the brand new layout. Culture Bully kingpin Chris Deline whipped up a great looking site design which I think is going to work very well.

Check it out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Wish That I Believed in Fate



Stereogum premired some brand spankin new National songs today, which is always good news. The band, who's last two CD's, Alligator and Boxer, are two of my favorites of this past decade, apparently arn't putting out a new CD until 2010, but if these songs are any indication, it should be well worth the wait. The MP3's from Stereogum are bleow. For anyone out there who has missed out on the National, check out the videos both above and below.

The National - "Karamazov" (Live) (MP3)
The National - "Wake Up Your Saints" (Live)




Vicky Christina Barcelona

While I don't think anyone would call it his best work ever, Vicky Christina Barcelona still shows that after all of these years Woody Allen still has what it takes. While it may have taken some shortcuts and turns out to be predictable for fans of the director, it still was an interesting and engaging movie. I have found I always like his movies best when he is in them (like Larry David...I like both their writing/producing, but find their unrelenting cynicism delivered more sincerely by the men themselves). I think the thing I found most while watching this movie was a strong desire to go back to Barcelona, which as you see through the cinematography in the movie, is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. I just hope Woody, probably my favorite writer/director, has a few more solid movies like this left in him before he decides to call it quits.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Some new info (including the absolutly awesome album cover above) on the upcoming Yeah Yeah Yeah's release It's Blitz!, which is now due April 14th on Interscope. The Yeah Yeah Yeah's are a band that I seem to forget about from time to time, but whenever I go back and revisit their first two LP's or their latest EP, I always find something to really love. Hopefully their next album, produced by both Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) and Nick Launay (Is Is producer) will be as good as the first two.

Fujiya & Miyagi/School of Seven Bells @ 7th Street Entry

Fujiya & Miyagi are neither as strange nor mysterious as their name would apply. What they are is an excellent 4 piece band that, along with School of Seven Bells, managed to sell out the 7th Street Entry for a show Wednesday night and played a great show for the sweaty masses that packed into the archaic 7th Street Entry for a great mid-week show.

The British band, who mix Can sounding Krautrock with some snarky dance music, played a great set that really got the sold out 7th Street Entry moving. The 4 piece band frantic, pulsing sound is an oddly engaging juxtaposition with their stoic and serious stage demeanor, sounded great Wednesday night. The drums were crisp and the bass was loud, but it never overpowered singer David Best’s wry, aloof singing that propelled the catchy, but undeniably British songs forward. The band played a mix of songs from both of their albums and for the hour long set kept the show, which had sold out days in advance of the show, moving along at a good pace. There are some videos at More Cowbell from near the end of the set, starting with new single “Knickerbocker” and including one of the strongest songs of the night, “In One Ear and Out the Other.” Overall the band proved to be a fun time live and showed the chops that make them such a great band.


Based strictly on recorded output, I was more excited to see the opening band School of Seven Bells than Fujiya and Miyagi, but they ended up not meeting my expectations. I have been really enjoying their latest album, Alpinisms, and was hoping the shoegaze-dreampop sound would translate better in a live setting. Unfortunately, their sound was lost amid a drum machine and bass samples that were too loud and tedious and made their songs sound less ethereal and more monotonous. The layers of sound that make the album so great were lost during their set, and guitar player (and former Secret Machines member) Ben Curtis seemed to serve more as a male foil to the Deheza twins than a functioning member of the band. There were still some highlights and it was a cool sight to see the band, all with dark hair dressed in dark clothes, playing their sprawling and dreamy songs in the dark and dirty club. I would like to see the band as a five piece (adding live drums and bass) and see if that would help bring their sound to life a little bit more.

Grizzly Bear "Veckatimest"


While they may not create the buzz that Animal Collective did with Merriweather Post Pavilion, I for one am very excited for the upcoming Grizzly Bear release. Stereogum has the news last week that the album, which should be out this spring, will be titled Veckatimest. Not sure what it means, but I am fairly certain it will be awesome. Track listing (which inludes my favorite song from last year) and some MP3's, also from Stereogum, are below.

"About Face"
"All We Ask"
"Ready, Able"
"Southern Point"
"That's Not True"
"Dory"
"I Live With You"
"Foreground"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Night Shows

Why not, right? The week is already half over and you should go out and celebrate. Luckily for you, there are some great shows lined up for tonight.

Unfortunately for those of you who didn't scoop up tickets, rumor has it this show is sold out. Not sure if it is true, but that is what I hear.

Zoo Animal- Red Stag Supper Club 10PM
This band, whom I profiled for Culture Bully a few weeks ago, is a great up and coming local group and will be playing a set tonight at the cool NE restaurant/bar The Red Stag Supper Club.

Two different sounding (new wavy vs psychedelic) but equally talented and entertaining local groups will be playing a nice mid-week bill for those of you who prefer St. Paul to MPLS.

Harlem review

My review of the album Free Drugs by Austin based Harlem is up over at Culture Bully. Posted along with the short write up is a MP3 of the excellent song "South of France", which has been getting a lot of love in the mythical "blogopshere" as of late.

SXSW Send-off Show

Saturday, March 14
First Avenue Mainroom
5 PM/ 18+
$3
Good luck to the boys and girls from MN as they head off to Austin looking for their big break.
(Hat Tip: Switchblade Comb)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dirty Projectors Making Music


Dirty Projectors (David Longstreth)
Making Music Series
McGuire Theatre
March 5th 8pm
FREE

This is awesome. I am going to miss their full band show the next night, so I am very happy to see this event. More information HERE.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lykke Li Letdown


I should preface this by saying that I never quite fell for Lykke Li and her debut album, Youth Novels, as much as it seems a lot of other people did. Her quirky pop songs not only drew the attention of the blogosphere and public radio types, but seemed to do well enough with the non-music obsessed mainstream that exist out there. I thought the album was OK and had some strong songs, but I guess I was always a little confused by the people who seemed to be tripping over themselves to bestow her with such high accolades. In the same vein as M.I.A, I thought of her as talented but in existence mainly to appease the pop appetite of people who don't want to admit they like mainstream pop stars. Under this same train of thought, I was surprised at how many people shelled out twenty hard earned dollars to see a young artist who had put out not much more than an hours worth of work. Oh well, what do I know?


I think I was in the minority of the close to full Varsity who thought Lykke Li's Swedish Wiccan-on-meth stage presence was annoying and seemed wholly contrived and the show only cemented my feelings that she was no more than a run of the mill pop singer (a la Lily Allen). Like Allen, I think she has some decent songs and some potential to be a more well-rounded artist in the future, but I just felt like her show was a shining example of a hype artist fizzling out and exposing a lesser artist being propped up by a vague idea of what something is supposed to look or sound like. On some of her bigger songs like “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” (and her painful covers of the Kings of Leon and A Tribe Called Quest), the crowd had less the feeling of a group who was there to enjoy the extensive talents of a singer than a group of people who liked something for more nefarious reasons and were more into the moment than the music. (In defense of that statement, there is nothing wrong with liking a concert more for the moment than the music; I just think people try to portray Lykke Li as transcending that or being something different than artists usually associated with that type of music.)
Overall, maybe my dislike for the show was something that kept multiplying upon itself. As her stage presence annoyed me and her songs sounded hollow, I was more and more confused by the rapturous response she was receiving by the crowd. I think sensing the disconnect between my thoughts on the show (an over-hyped pop singer who was being exposed for some paper thin songs and forced stage antics) and what was happening around me (screaming and general high praise for everything she did) caused even further frustrations.

While trying my best to not sound like a female-fronted, pop music hating curmudgeon, I guess I just never have bought into the hype that is Lykke Li. I withheld judgment until seeing her live, but that only served to bolster my opinion, which seems to place me on the opposite side of popular opinion on this young singer. I am sure most of the people at the show will vehemently disagree with me....if so, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I am missing.

Killer Parties almost Killed Me

Hold Steady live CD/DVD, titled A Postive Rage, coming out on April 7th? Yes, Please. A little late on the news, but the tracklisting for the live CD that will accompany what will surely be an awesome documentary is listed below.

Tracklist to the second disc:
01 Intro
02 Stuck Between Stations
03 The Swish
04 Chips Ahoy!
05 Massive Nights
06 Ask Her for Adderall
07 Barfruit Blues
08 Same Kooks
09 You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came With)
10 Lord, I'm Discouraged
11 You Can Make Him Like You
12 Your Little Hoodrat Friend
13 Southtown Girls
14 Citrus
15 First Night
16 Girls Like Status
17 Killer Parties

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Good Movies

I won't lie and say I have anything brilliant to say about any of these movies, but I have seen all three in the last couple of weeks (2 on DVD and 1 in the theatre) and all three were excellent. Just thought I would pass them along if you are looking for a good movie to check out.



Abe Vigoda "Reviver"


My review of the new Abe Vigoda EP, Reviver, is up over at Culture Bully. In a weird thought that is neither here nor there, the album cover reminds me of the band Wire.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get off yr Ass (weekend shows for 2/6-2/9)

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!

FRIDAY
RNC 8 Benefit- Black Blondie + Bouncer Fighter + Best Friends Forever- Bedlam Theatre

Tapes N Tapes/Wild Light/Solid Gold- 1st Ave 9pm

Birthday Suits/1,000 of Cats- 7th Street Entry

Chasity Brown- Cafe Maude 9PM

1st Communion Afterparty- 400 Bar 9PM

Gospel Gossip- Hexagon 9PM

Grant Hart- Turf Club

SATURDAY
Solid Gold & Beatrix Jar- Kitty Kat Klub 9PM

Me and my Arrow- 7th Street Entry 9PM

Cowboy Mouth- Varsity Theatre 9PM

His Mischief- Stasuis 9PM

Upcoming show @ The Hexagon

Next Friday there will be a benifit at the Hexagon for a new sound system for the club. In conjunction with Friday the 13th, each of the 13 bands (plus one surprise guest) will play 13 minute sets. The Hexagon is a great venue that hosts free local shows all the time and is well deserving of some new sound equipment. Their will be two stages and the set times are listed below.

lineup is as follows*indicates stage 2
1:15(ish) special guests
12;45 speeds the name
12:30 power of two*
12:15 plastic chord
12:00 marvelle*
11:45 economy team
11:30 zyclon b cool*
11:15 the nina the pinta
11:00 nightinghales*
10:45 young brides
10:30 falcon arrow*
10:15 kill to kill
10:00 the hasbeen*
9:45 military special

The Evening Rig news

The excellent folks over at Switchblade Comb have some exciting news about local band The Evening Rig. Not only do they share the release date of their new album, Is Doin Stuff, which will be coming out on Heart of a Champion March 31st, but they have an exclusive MP3 and some news about the record release show.

The show will be March 27th at the Entry with the Dynamiters and will set you back $6, which is very reasonable price for these two really great bands who are both great live acts.

Head over to Switchblade Comb (which you should do anyways as they are one of the best MPLS based blogs out there) and get a first listen to the new single "Hilltop Pines" to hold you over until the new record comes out next month.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart


I have been listening, and liking, the new CD from the band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart for a few weeks now and have been meaning to post something about it, but now that P-Fork has given them "Best New Music", it probably looks like bandwagon jumping. Ho-Hum. My first few listens reminded me of the Shocking Pinks CD that was released last year and was some really good fuzz ladened pop. Check them out before the backlash starts.

Television

A short little write up about Television is up over at Culture Bully. The band, who made one of my favorite records of all time in Marquee Moon, are a band that I always wish got more credit for how amazing they were. Check out the article HERE and buy Marquee Moon if you don't have it already.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tapes N Tapes/Solid Gold


First Avenue tommorow night will be showcasing the current golden boys of the local scene (Solid Gold), the former golden boys of the local scene (Tapes N Tapes) and up and coming band Wild Light all together for one night. Apparently there are still tickets avaliable, but I wouldn't be too supirsed if the show sells out, so if you have a burning desire to see this show, I would get some tickets ahead of time.

Goodbye Silver Jews



Saw the sad news the other day that the Silver Jews are claiming that they are done for as a band. While I always taken the final show news with a grain of salt from any band, it seems to me like David Berman and his crew would be ones to actually to stay off the stage once they have taken their final bow. I only saw the Silver Jews once, at the Pitchfork Music Festival a few years ago, but I have always loved their work. Going to Chicago that weekend they were one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing, but I unfortunately didn’t pace myself that 100 degree day and wound up swinging in and out of consciousness laying in the outfield grass while they were playing their set. I tried to prop my head up and hear their great songs, but most of it, unfortunately, was lost on me. I did summon the strength to get up and walk closer when they played my favorite song, “Smith and Jones Forever”, but overall it makes me feel like an idiot that what may be the only time I get to see them was lost because I was passed out in a public park with people stepping on me. Oh well. Above is a video of them playing “Smith and Jones Forever” from their “last” show.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire, a revivalist rock band in the vein of My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog, just announced that they will be returning to the Twin Cities on April 23 for a show at the 7th Street Entry. The band, who last year released the great LP The Places We Lived, also stated that they are hard at work recording their follow up album. The recording, which is being produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, won't be starting until later this month, but it will definitely be a record to keep your eyes out for. Below are two songs the band sent along from a Daytrotter session where they previewed some of their new songs in a stripped down format. Below those two songs is the video for one of my favorite songs from their last record, "How In The Hell Did You Get Back Here?"

Backyard Tire Fire- Food for Thought (Daytrotter)
Backyard Tire Fire- Ready or Not (Daytrotter)


That Minneapolis Sound

Good day to be from Minnesota in Pitchfork-land. Although I had heard a rumor that one of my favorite local groups, Gospel Gossip, would be getting a write up for the forkast, I was still surprised to see their new single, Nashville, as the top entry under "New Music"this afternoon. I really like the single, which I wrote about on Culture Bully HERE, and am very happy the group got some great exposure.
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In related news, there were also full length reviews up on P-Fork today for local rapper POS, who got a strong review, and local punk legends D4, who got a good review. Not that either of these great bands needs the press, but it was still cool seeing these local boys done good get a little national love.