Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Made my first trip to the new (to me) Guthrie Theater last night for the preview performance of their new play God of Carnage. The show, set in one solid 90 minute block, was a drama featuring two couples coming together to talk about a fight their sons had engaged in during school. During the course of the conversation, demons are revealed and couples were split as a playground fight seemed to unearth problems that may not have been expected when the discussion began. There was the usual man vs women, tough vs weak, passive vs aggressive, but one of the downsides of the play was their avoidance of issues that I thought they would dive into. Their were racially charged words and homophobic statements, but from the preview I was suspecting these deeper subjects would be examined with closer attention. Instead the arguments centered more around the emotionless husband who killed the hamster and the workaholic, emotionless husband whose cell phone was more important than his sick wife. The arguemtns were real and visceral (and, to their credit quite funny), but they seemed, at least to me, very surface level.
While I wished they would have touched, or at least reached for, that third rail in a somewhat more direct fashion, the dialogue as presented was brisk and entertaining. The 90 minutes flew by and the four characters were equally funny, provoking, emotional and versatile. With such a small cast you had a chance to watch the performers idiosyncrasies and see how their performance, both when they were in the spotlight and when they were off on the side using more non verbal cues, really involved them pushing themselves to explore these broken, fragile and complex characters.
The best part about the play, to me, was that it felt slightly like a exaggeration on a real life situation....but not too much. The flesh left from broken relationships and failed dreams was laid out heavy and was presented in a blunt and affecting way, especially their lifelike, "colorful" language. (Fair warning...don't bring Grandma if she can't handle the F Bomb) God of Carnage does well in presenting four people, suffering in different ways, who fight and tussle in their quest to find both individual, and group, salvation. Like real life, they found it isn't so easy when you get down to the nitty gritty of things. While there was a chance to explore more controversial issues, I can safely safe that the material presented was entertaining and thought provoking, providing both laughs and cringes, and an overall success for my first play at the Guthrie.
Posted by YEP at 6/01/2011 10:34:00 PM
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I figure June 1st is as good of time as any to dust this bad boy off, so I will be seeing if I can squeeze in time to do one daily post that hopes to hit all of the stuff that I would want to talk about. It will feature blurbs and links, mostly, but hopefully it will be informative and entertaining. Any comments or suggestions are definitely welcomed.
Listen to the new Poison Control Center song “Dracula’s Casket”
Read reviews of the two new tapes from Minneapolis space synth trio Lighted
Read a review of the great new tape III from local group Food Pyramid
Twins lose, again.
Things might be rough again next year.
Today is National Punch a Hipster Day.
Literally Unbelievable, which goes to show that not only is the Onion geared towards those who are a little more, how do we say it nicely….connected to the happenings in the world and therefore able to comprehend Satire, but I didn’t realize how it could be mishandled in the wrongs hands. Funny/scary.
Posted by YEP at 5/31/2011 11:01:00 PM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Capping off a packed to the gills week for shows, this weekend has some great concerts for local music fans. Saturday night you can do the double header of Cut Copy/Holy Ghost! in the Mainroom early and a free show featuring Birthday Suits/Bombay Sweets/Teenage Strangler at the Entry. Sunday night is a similar double header, with Wire and Arcwelder in the Mainroom and Skoal Kodiak and Leisure Birds in the Entry. Should be fun!
Posted by YEP at 4/07/2011 09:55:00 AM
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Check out four takes on the new Explosions in the Sky album Take Care Take Care Take Care HERE. The Texas post-rock group are one of the very best at what they do, and it is great that they are finally back with another LP after many years.
Posted by YEP at 4/03/2011 08:00:00 AM
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I have never been shy about my appreciation for local label Moon Glyph, and they in turn continue to release awesome music, both from local and national bands. Their latest is the space funk of Deep Earth on the CS House of Mighty, which is four tracks that pack a intergalactic punch that mixes grooves and warped out beeps and hisses. Read a full review HERE and hopefully we will be seeing the group coming towards MPLS from their home base in Chicago sometime very soon.
Posted by YEP at 4/02/2011 08:02:00 AM
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Can we count Madison as local? Probably not, but I will anyways. The latest "local" (or at least Midwest) group to get some attention is the electronic duo Peaking Lights, and it is for good reason. Their latest LP, 936, is out now on Not Not Fun and it is a great LP that searches for the middle ground between ambient noise and pop music. And guess what, it almost comes close to finding it! The album is hot with music nerds/blogger types right now, but I hope it reaches a bigger audience, as it really is a compelling record. Read a full review and listen to a track HERE.
Posted by YEP at 3/27/2011 08:05:00 AM
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Listen to the new song "Faraway Friends" from the group/collective Zodiacs, which features bands from the Captured Tracks crew, over at Reviler. This song features members of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Woods and Blank Dogs. Even more bands will be featured on the LP, which should be awesome.
Posted by YEP at 2/24/2011 11:41:00 AM
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I am trying to get better about listening to every band I get who is "local" (or at least not being promoted by a national PR agency), and one of the fruits of my discovery was the new album Madison Square Gardner by Fancy Mike. Read my review of the electronic/instrumental hip hop album over at Reviler.
Posted by YEP at 2/23/2011 10:32:00 AM
Read my review, along with three others, as part of the 4 takes series on the new album Party Store from Detroit garage enthusiasts Dirtbombs. The album is their take on classic house/techno songs that came from their cities legendary scene in the 80's. Read it HERE.
Posted by YEP at 2/23/2011 08:29:00 AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I'm only doing one post today because I feel like it is a pretty important one. There is lots of crazy stuff happening around the world that make our problems seem kind of trivial, but don't let that downgrade what is happening to workers in Wisconsin, which is just the first step if the Republicans win this battle and could easily affect working families here in Minnesota. No matter what they say, this argument is at its heart a battle between working/middle class people and business and their power brokers in office (i.e The Republicans). Only Republicans would have the chutzpa to break private sector unions for the last 30 years, causing wages, job security and benefits to plummet while they (the top 10%) are getting richer, and then blame it on the last big group who have been able to stick together and have a collective voice against corporate greed (i.e Public Sector Unions). Yeah, most of the teachers I know have more money than they know what to do with, those greedy bastards. We can't raise taxes on the richest amongst us or enforce rules making businesses actually, you know, pay the taxes they are supposed to, but we can balance the budget, which was thrown into flux by the greed of Wall Street and investors, mind you, on the backs of working people. Even if you aren't from a union family (I am not), try to frame this argument in the sense of how much fiscal belts have tightened for so many people, while a small portion are living in opulence that seems to have no end. That isn't fair, nor should it be promoted and allowed to go on without protest. This bill, at its core, is a striking blow to damage, maybe for good, the rights of working people. Instead of allowing for the Right/Republicans to split the working and middle class between union and non-union, people should be fighting for better pay and benefits for everyone. Livable wages and health insurance that actually protect people from financial ruin isn't something that should be used as a wedge between people, but a tie that holds people together against a small group that, frankly, wants to totally and completely cement their ability to put profit over people for good. I put the videos of the firefighters below because it helps me to illuminate how this battle can be won if the large majority of middle/working class people stick together. This crisis can not only be adverted, but could help the process of bringing people together if they only can realize that this a ploy to plot people with like minded interest against each other. The Firefigthers and the Police were exempt from this bill (in a big surprise, they also endorsed Walker...hmmm, strange that they don't get hit with this too, huh?), but they refused to take the bait and along with the police unions joined together with the protesters to show their solidarity. Like the chief of the fire union said, this should not be a race to the bottom. If Walker wins and deals this blow to the unions, things won't get better for anyone other than the businesses that can pay people less and strip away their insurance/safety net that helped create the middle class and make our country as great as it is. While it hasn't directly influenced us yet, if this is allowed to happen it very well could. If you want to show your support to the workers in Wisconsin facing this battle, head to the Capital today at 4PM for a rally to show solidarity with the working people in Wisconsin.
Posted by YEP at 2/22/2011 09:05:00 AM
Monday, February 21, 2011
Daughters of the Sun have been, and continue to be, one of the very best bands in the Twin Cities over the last few years. They are back with a new album (that actually was recorded a few years back) called Ghost With Chains that I reviewed it over at Reviler. It is a little darker and more introspective, but it is still a great record. Read the review HERE.
Posted by YEP at 2/21/2011 11:19:00 AM
It's snowing and it seems like chaos is popping up everywhere...but man, check out this awesome goal by Wayne Rooney. It is a snow day here in MPLS, so back to more serious business tomorrow.
Posted by YEP at 2/21/2011 10:29:00 AM
Friday, February 18, 2011
Head over to Reviler to check out two songs from the new tape Ultraterrestrial Harvest Hymns by Daniel Higgs. It didn't totally resonate with me, but in talking with Steve from Moon Glyph (who released the tape), it is a cool project from a highly respected artist. Check out a few songs and if you are feeling adventurous it seems like a great project.
Posted by YEP at 2/18/2011 11:27:00 AM
It makes me filled with hope that the people of Wisconsin are standing up to the Draconian legislation that Gov. Walker has laid before the feet of the Republican legislature. After cutting taxes for rich/businesses, Walker not only is cutting pay and benefits for Union workers, but unnecessarily trying to take away collective bargaining agreement. This would save no money for the state, only hurt working people by taking away their power to negotiate for anything. I truly believe they have overplayed their hand, and even if this awful bill passes, the true colors of each side have become evident. I think the American public will realize that the Tea Party is just a front for rich people to cut taxes for themselves while slashing pay/benefits for the large majority of working class people who make this country how great itis. Following this makes me think of the Teddy Kennedy quote when he asked "what is it about working people that disgusts you so much?" Keep up the fight Wisconsin. There are lots of people around the country who are standing with you.
Posted by YEP at 2/18/2011 08:49:00 AM
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Minnesota Rep Betty McCollum is in hot water. Republicans, who are in a tizzy to cut anything and everything, especially things like PBS and Public Radio, are very upset that McCollum suggested that we cut our funding that we use to sponsor a Nascar team. We want to cut money, but not for our Nascar team! I mean, c'mon, Nascar is the most American thing in the whole world....if Betty McCollum hates Nascar, she must hate America, right?
Posted by YEP at 2/16/2011 09:40:00 AM
Friday, February 11, 2011
After a long wait, I just got the new Keith Richards autobiography Life from the library. Of course it came when I have no time to read it, but such is life. I was randomly opening pages last night and reading sections and it was as lively and entertaining as I had heard. I definitely will be getting back on the list to get it and hopefully it will come again this summer when I have more time to dive in.
Posted by YEP at 2/11/2011 08:32:00 AM
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Had a great time last night at the Reviler 1 Year Anniversary show, so thank you to all of the bands and local music supporters who came out. You can see some of Jon's pics (including the one above of Mother of Fire) HERE and some of my videos HERE.
Posted by YEP at 2/10/2011 12:32:00 PM
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Brace yourself for the oncoming hysteria for the new album from Fleet Foxes. While I really loved the bands debut EP and LP, I am already tired of the hype that is going to engulf this album. Any-who, here the first single, Helplessness Blues, over at Reviler.
Posted by YEP at 2/09/2011 01:29:00 PM
Just because we don't live in Brooklyn doesn't mean we can't reap the rewards of the great music scene the city offers. Shea Stadium, one of the current hot spots for young indie bands, has decided to release high quality sets from shows that have happened at the venue over the last few years. Head over to Reviler to hear Velvet Davenport's set and grab the link to hear the others.
Posted by YEP at 2/09/2011 09:23:00 AM
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Rumor has it W canceled a trip to Switzerland because he was afraid of getting arrested by human rights courts. I have been lucky enough to go to Switzerland, and it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Moral of the story? Don't authorize torture as part of your illegal and immoral war, or you may miss out on a great vacation opportunity.
Posted by YEP at 2/08/2011 08:19:00 AM
Monday, February 7, 2011
After waiting since 2008 for their follow up to the amazing In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy are finally back. While it would have been easy to have been let down, Zonoscope is really, really great and one of my favorite releases of the year. Read my review over at Reviler.
Posted by YEP at 2/07/2011 09:56:00 AM
Friday, February 4, 2011
head to Reviler for more info on where to grab the EP.
Posted by YEP at 2/04/2011 11:09:00 AM
I'll be mentioning more next week, but since it is all coming together at the last minute, I want to give a heads up about the Reviler 1st Anniversary Show that is happening at the Triple Rock Social Club next Wed, Feb 9th. We are excited to have Mother of Fire, Buffalo Moon, Camden and possibly more, so it should be really fun. Doors at 8, $6. Keep an eye out for more info.
Posted by YEP at 2/04/2011 09:07:00 AM
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
National Journal has a really interesting and interactive chart showing where there is currently turmoil in the Middle East. You can click on the country and see who is in charge, how long they have been there and what might come next. It is really a fascinating time and, while it is too early to say for certain, feels like a tectonic shift in a very crucial region of the world.
Posted by YEP at 2/02/2011 01:00:00 PM
With the Affordable Care Act making news again as a Republican judge has tried to strike it down, I couldn't help but think back to this article I saw a few weeks back about the fact that nearly half (129 million) people in the US have a "pre existing condition." There may be legitimate ideological differences within the ACA, but making sure private companies can't screw over people because of something they were born with doesn't seem like an especially radical view.
Posted by YEP at 2/02/2011 11:21:00 AM
I generally just ignore music I don't like (and trust me, I get sent a lot of stuff I HATE), but sometimes I put it up on Reviler if I think others might like it or if they are band who might make a splash. Adventure is one of the bands. Read more about them and hear a song over at Reviler and see if you agree with me.
Posted by YEP at 2/02/2011 08:59:00 AM
In another example of why Chicago politics is in a league of its own, one mayoral candidate dropped this bomb on another. Basically she said that the reason she is better than the other candidate is because she wasn't "strung out on crack." Ouch. She, of course, pulled back from the statements.
Posted by YEP at 2/02/2011 07:48:00 AM
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
While I didn't get a chance to finish it before I had to return in to the library, the first 1/3 of Griftopia, the newish book from political reporter Matt Taibbi, was as excellent and engaging as I have come to expect from him. This book is about the people who created the financial crisis, so if you aren't mad about what happened, this is a good place to show how the greed and hubris of a small group of assholes cause this current financial crash.
Posted by YEP at 2/01/2011 09:56:00 AM
Monday, January 31, 2011
Listen to two new songs from Israeli rock wild men Monotonix over at Reviler, who apparently are on their last world tour. If that is the case, it is a bummer since they canceled their show this month at the Turf Club. Hopefully a date gets rescheduled so the Twin Cities can experience their antics one last time.
Posted by YEP at 1/31/2011 10:48:00 AM
Read a review for the really good debut LP Unlearn from Brooklyn via Texas duo Fergus and Geronimo. I would try to sum up succinctly what they sound like, but that really isn't possible. Everything from indie/soul to warped acoustic ditties. Good stuff.
Posted by YEP at 1/31/2011 09:16:00 AM
After many failed attempts, we finally saw the last of the three Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies. Like the other two, it was good, but deviated so far from the book it was hard not to get frustrated. They are different enough that you could actually read the books after seeing the movies and find new things. My only thought was that the Swedish movies were only OK, but I can't imagine what happens when Hollywood gets their sensationalistic hands on it.
Posted by YEP at 1/31/2011 07:37:00 AM