Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis’

The Minneapolis Uranium Club have been steadily cranking out nervous, wiry, weirdly hooky punk rock for the past few years. And next month, they’ll follow up their 2017 album All Of Them Naturals with a new one called The Cosmo Cleaners. The band actually sold test pressings of the album on their European tour last year, but now the rest of us will get to hear it. And they’ve now shared “Man Is The Loneliest Animal,” a five-minute sprawl of a song, epic for DIY punk, that starts out as a languidly jittery Unwound-esque meditation and then turns into a freaked-out sprint. It sounds a bit like what might’ve happened if the Modern Lovers had come up in the Bandcamp-hardcore era.
Smile cautiously as the Uranium Club welcomes you into their stinky apartment. You’ve been here before, right? Oh, that must have been some one else. Do you have a brother or sister? One of the members mumbles some deceptively eloquent bullshit as he hands you a drink. His lips are dark red and chapped; he looks really bad. But the drink is wet, and those stairs had been tall. Sit down, lean back, sip it. It rolls around your tongue, hides between your teeth, a perfectly TV-worthy combination of pleasure and mischief.  It’s supposed to go into your ears! How crazy is that? Such a sensation of taste, transmogrified for the realm of sound? Is it Sprite, or is it… music? Careful, engaging, and dare-I-say theatrical vocals over hyper bass-and-drums while other boingy-boingy instruments puke all over it, all over the whole show. That’s called synesthesia. Gentle lectures, dangerous storytime, eerie fast-and-slow nightmare riffs, and a taut, bound-and-gagged rhythm section. Boingily-boingily, that’s phantasmagoria. That’s the Uranium Club’s latest album, “The Cosmo Cleaners.” So swish around some mouthwash and plug in your AirPods, kid, it’s time to drop that needle!
Releases March 15th, 2019
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Kid Dakota is the musical moniker of Darren Jackson. He started performing as “Kid Dakota and the Tumbleweeds” in 1998 while living in Providence, Rhode Island. The name was chosen in homage to his home state of South Dakota and also as a parody of Kid Rock. In the summer of 1999, Darren recorded the five songs that would appear on the So Pretty ep with long-time friend and producer, Alex Oana at City Cabin (formerly Blackberry Way). Darren moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota that winter and self-released the “So Pretty” (Kid Dakota album)” An ep in the spring of 2000. The ep caught the attention of Alan Sparhawk, singer and guitarist for the seminal slow-core band, Low (band)and he offered to release the ep on his label,

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Darren Jackson – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Mathew Kazama – drums
Brent Paschke – guitar
Adam Levy – guitar

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The latest album from this Minneapolis trio adds pop polish to its folk-tinged sound. “[Lead singer] Kerry [Alexander] and I were kind of thinking, ‘Yeah, we’ll pretty much just do the same thing again,” multi-instrumentalist Chris Hoge said. “But [producer] Brett Bullion really pushed us to make something different.”

Lightning Round is the second studio album by Bad Bad Hats. It will be released August 3rd, 2018 on Afternoon Records.

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When Kerry Alexander wants to write a song, she turns on the radio. That’s because Alexander, the lead singer and songwriter of the Minneapolis band Bad Bad Hats, is interested in pop tropes – how to play around with them, why they work the way they do.

Take “Nothing Gets Me High,” the power-pop centerpiece of her band’s new album, Lightning Round. Alexander wrote it after listening to Tove Lo’s 2014 hit “Habits (Stay High)” and figuring how to invert the song’s premise. “I was thinking about how there are so many songs about love and drugs as a metaphor,” she says, before spelling out her uniquely personal premise for the song: “And I was like, ‘I want to write a song like that, but I have never actually been high. I have never done drugs.”

Another new song, “1-800,” came from listening to Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and wondering why more songs didn’t play around with toll-free numbers. “I like that phrase, using 1-800 as a metaphor for how you get nothing but junk in your life,” she says, “Or that you feel like people look at you like a 1-800 call, like, ‘No one picks me up. They all let me go.’”

On Lightning Round, the Minnesota quartet refine and polish the blend of indie-pop, folk, and rock that they introduced on their 2015 debut, Psychic Reader, an album that won positive reviews and high-profile opening gigs for Third Eye Blind and Margaret Glaspy.

Bad Bad Hats is:
Kerry Alexander,
Connor Davison,
Chris Hoge

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Kid Dakota is the musical moniker of Darren Jackson. Formed in 1999, Kid Dakota to date have released two albums on LOW’s Chairkicker’s UnionSo Pretty (2002), and The West is the Future (2004) – and three albums on Graveface Records – A Winner’s Shadow (2008), Listen to the Crows As They Take Flight (2011), and Denervation (2018).
Some albums were meant to be heard on vinyl. So Pretty is one of those albums, and that’s why we’re reissuing it as a 2LP on 180g of black vinyl. Originally released in 2002 on LOW’s record label, this reissue will include two previously unreleased tracks (Down to Get ’Em and Blackout) from the “So Pretty” sessions in the summer of 1999.

Darren is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, engineer, teacher, and producer. He owns and operates Shortman Studio in Northeast Minneapolis. In addition to creating and recording music, he is currently a Ph.D. student in ASPECT (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His areas of research are early twentieth-century avant-garde film, film theory, and philosophy.

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Band Members
Darren Jackson,
Justin Korhonen

Releases June 29th, 2018

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Driftwood Pyre hail from Minneapolis in the US and were, in part, born from the ashes of First Communion Afterparty, the former band of mainman Liam Watkins. Whilst the band name may have changed and new members recruited, Driftwood Pyre have retained the same hazy take on garage/psych, but possibly a tad more ‘mainstream’ (and please don’t take that as a criticism!). The album gets off to a cracking start with ‘Man On A Wire’ and its garagey vibe and ringing guitar….it’s The Velvet Underground if they played straight rawk’n’roll. This is a great album, artfully mixing garage and psych without sounding the least bit contrived. The songwriting is intelligent and meaningful and overall it is an album that takes the listener on a journey from modern day back to the sixties via the eighties.

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The Replacements were always going to be a risk for any label to sign in the mid eighties. The band’s reputation for sloppy live shows, drunken interviews and overall contempt for anything resembling self promotion was already legendary. Not that any of this ever worried the band, when Sire eventually signed the Mat’s in 1986 they seemed more concerned with keeping up with their local rivals Husker Du (who had just signed to Warners) than proving any doubters wrong.

Paul Westerberg always seemed to understand that for the kind of band he was going to run, danger was a part of deal. Indeed, the Replacements seemed to revel in it. One of their very first songs was a tribute to Westerberg’s great hero and soon-to-be inevitable heroin casualty Johnny Thunders. On “Johnny’s Gonna Die,” Westerberg sings with an offhand casualness: “Johnny always takes more then he needs / knows a couple chords / knows a couple leads / and Johnny’s gonna die.” The sentiment is decidedly not, “Hey, we should probably do something before Thunders finally kicks it!” It’s more like he’s noting the weather outside, an absolutely prosaic dispatch. Westerberg even ends the song with a sort of cheerful refrain of “bye, bye” — it was 10 years before Thunders would finally leave the building, but the Replacements had already skipped ahead to the eulogy.

For all of the tremendous hilarity surrounding the band’s legendary antics, the Replacements’ story is far more tragedy then comedy. The band wasn’t a suicide pact, but they were a sort of four-man Russian Roulette game. Excess bordered on mandatory. A much-repeated (and unconfirmed) story tells of Westerberg confronting the deeply troubled and dependent founding lead guitarist Bob Stinson before a show when Stinson had just finished 30 days in a detox clinic. Westerberg brings him a bottle of champagne and tells him: “Either take a drink, motherfucker, or get off my stage.” It doesn’t matter so much if this is true or not, simply because it is plausible. Being wasted was Bob Stinson’s brief in the Replacements — he really wasn’t good enough a technical player to keep around sober and levelheaded. The fact that he was eventually fired for being overly erratic is an unamusing irony.

All Shook Down [Explicit]

‘All Shook Down’ (1990)

The band’s final LP gets punished for what it’s not – a real Replacements record. Paul Westerberg began ‘All Shook Down’ as a solo effort and only shifted to include his bandmates during sessions. On its own merits, and stripped of ‘Don’t Tell a Soul’’s misguided bombast, the album is pleasant. It is fine. The steady “Merry-Go-Round” has a nice hook and Paul’s sleeve-hearted storytelling is solid – even if, as he looks back, Westerberg takes his band’s legacy more seriously than the boys did in the moment). But middling tempos and hushed shuffles make ‘All Shook Down’ the audio equivalent of beige. Stuck between being a Replacements record and a solo debut, the album doesn’t satisfy in either way. Westerberg’s pen is typically astute and nimble here, noting the soon-to-be-disastrous marriage depicted in “Nobody” and the fractious future of an unsettled newborn in “Sadly Beautiful.” It’s an album reckoning with the consequences of all that has come before. On the final track the band would ever release, “The Last,” Westerberg ruefully acknowledges: “It’s too late to run like hell.”

NOW NOW – ” Wolf “

Posted: March 13, 2017 in MUSIC
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“Threads” is the second full-length release from Minneapolis based Now, Now the album explores the fragile and often transitory nature of our existence, our perceived understanding of the world around us and relationships shared with others physically and emotionally. Produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, An Horse, New
Pornographers), Threads forms a sprawling sonic endeavor that showcases the bands incredible growth as
songwriters and musicians. Vulnerable vocals give way to oceans of sound, deftly layered guitar parts augmented by lingering synths .

This past June, Now, Now, a trio composed of Cacie Dalager (Vocals, Guitar), Jess Abbot (Vocals, Guitar), and
Brad Hale (Drums, Synth) packed up their van and drove 1800 miles across North America to record with Redekopp in Vancouver, Beyond the geographical shift, the recording felt miles removed from their full-length debut “Cars”. Released in 2008 prior to Abbot joining the band, “Cars” saw the fresh out of High School Dalager and Hale traveling the United States non-stop and finding their way onto European arena tours. Through word of mouth and constant touring, Now, Now (formerly Now, Now Every Children) began building a support system of fans“We had a practice where she played for us the parts she had written for songs off Cars, recalls Hale. It was apparent from those sessions Abbot could bring something to Now, Now. “Her guitar work is amazing,” says Dalager, “and just adding another creative brain into the mix .

Band Members
Brad Hale
Cacie Dalager
Jess Abbott

from “Threads” (2012) // nownowband.com

Regardless of whether you want to call them Minneapolis Uranium Club Band, or just plain Uranium Club, these punks fuse the propulsive sounds of Wire, Dow Jones and the Industrials, and DEVO with weird fun times. This is the sound of the future if it was 1975 in a Saint Paul basement with Fran Tarkenton and Vikings posters on the walls and empty Bud cans on the floor. The frantic “Who Made the Man?” is the musical equivalent of that stiff-armed herky jerky robot dance move, and over the course of five minutes, it transforms from a wild garage rocker into some tense post-punk agitation. It needs to come with anti-anxiety tablets. With ambiguously disturbing lyrics, super tight musicianship, and an odd sense of humor, these guys are up there with Indiana’s Coneheads as one of most interesting bands in punk right now.

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Morly’s debut ep, in defense of my muse, was a superb release of 2015, and Katy Morley has already put forth one of the most impressionable songs yet this year.  “The Choir,” a standalone single for Cascine, straddles the space between haunting and ethereal, pairing morly’s affinity for seismic bass tones with a commanding lead vocal that gradually cedes the foreground to distant saxophone bleats and sputtering drum production. Amazing instrumentals mixed with beautiful vocals. A heavenly experience for the ears. I can’t wait for more

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Her beautiful new EP In Defense of My Muse is made up of what the label calls four “lo-fi explorations into the transient space between joy and melancholy,” and is inspired, at least in part, by the “deep wintry sadness” of Morley’s home state. That sadness starts to fade, though, on the EP’s glorious emotional centerpiece “And Sooner Than We Know It…“, as the lonely, plaintive piano that opens the track slowly and steadily squads up with a gently rousing beat, sunbeam synths, and gorgeous, uplifting, wordless choral swells, and it feels like the ice is melting away,

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The Flavor Crystals are among the champions of the new wave psych from the United States of America and which includes, among others, Magic Castles, Myrrors, Mystic Braves.

Led by guitarist and singer Josh Richardson, also author of all the songs (if we exclude ‘Diamond Mine’ , a song by David Kilgour of the Clean and betrays a taste for the lo-fi and all Dunedin Sound), the band arrives the publication of the fourth LP in the studio after the previous work, simply titled Three’ , he rightly got a good response and great acclaim from audiences and critics. To act as the guarantor of the rest was the guru Anton Newcombe, who took the Flavor Crystals under his wing: the band then went on tour with Brian Jonestown Massacre, when the record came out for The Committee To Keep Music Evil, which then it would always be one of the many creations of assets and more and more ‘relevant’ Newcombe.

After three years the Flavor Crystals are back and confirm this with out the good proposed earlier if possible improving itself further and in particular for what concerns a more mature approach to the so-called ‘song form’.Josh Richardson is indeed a songwriter shrewd and intelligent and with a keen sensitivity, while the band has now acquired its own sound identity well defined. Recorded in the Old Blackberry Way of Minneapolis, Minnesota, ‘The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals’ is a record that can only please the aficionados of the band and generally to all fans of psychedelic music.

Listening to this disc drops us into a particular size. Almost surreal. I am reminded of a scene described in the film ‘The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean’ by Giuseppe Tornatore. It seems to the listener to walk barefoot and trying not to make noise in the corridors of an old brothel do not bother others who at that precise moment are sweeping or maybe you are just doing embrace. What then for the writer is a bit ‘the same thing. The disc never reaches the level of the noise those that could be considered somewhat of excesses, and rather than trying to hit and displace and to surprise at first glance, it is proposed then slowly enter into the ears of the listener to reach the heart and soul and then convey a sense of infinity and cosmic peace.

Do not miss also excursions to the wonderful world of sound and psychedelia, such as in the case of ‘Wednesday Bloody Wednesday’ or ‘Bridge of Noise’ and ‘Bumble Birds’, practically the mantra recited softly.‘Mirror In My Mind’ is a real trip where stand a couple of excellent collaborations, namely that of Ricky Maymi, one of the most eclectic musicians outstanding and here plays the drums, and that of Stephen Lawrie Telescopes of the synthesizer. More pronounced in some cases the component shoegaze: ‘Billy Dee Williams’ Parking Spot’ for example has the connotations of the genre. A concert of guitars screeching like the brakes of a car on the asphalt bagntato serve as the backdrop to a singing suffused and atmosphere, almost ‘numb’, while the battery obsessively repeats the same time.

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Among the most interesting releases of recent times, ‘The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals’ is a hard discrete, but how could it be a cat, a domestic cat, and that makes us rediscover those principles that are important for achieving a size freer of the human race: the trust and confidence in relating to themselves and therefore with others. Even where the tones are more melancholy prevails nonetheless a certain serenity background. This disc is great for those who need to pull the oars and rest for a while ‘, for those who want to return to believe in anything, simply for those who now want to switch off and dream a little’ to open eyes . Better if together. The loneliness of the rest never did anyone any good.