Tag Archive for 'minneapolis'

Gayngs Related Minneapolis Band Poliça to Play Voices Warehouse in Dubuque 9/25

What does one do when Ryan Olson, the mastermind behind the Minneapolis Supergroup Gayngs suggests that you start your own band? Well, if you are Channy Leanagh (née Casselle) formerly of Minneapolis folk band Roma di Luna and one of the vocalists in Gayngs– you take the suggestion and help. Olson took some of the songs that Channy had been writing and added some of his own electronic wizardry– a process similar to how he grew the Gayngs album. Olson then called in some other musicians he had worked with the vision of creating not just a solo Leanagh project but a complete band.

The unique formula of Poliça (pronounced POE-LISA) takes the vocoder fetish from Gayngs (and Bon Iver for that matter) and layers it over a no-guitars lineup of electronics (mostly handled by Leanagh in a live settng), insane bass guitar by Chris Bierden of Twin Cities Indie Psych band Vampire Hands, and twin drummers Drew Christopherson (of Olson’s bands Digitata and Blunts) and Ben Ivascu (of Olson’s bands Building Better Bombs and Marijuana Deathsquads). Mike Noyce of Gayngs and Bon Iver guests on a couple of tracks, too. Poliça brings a significant pedigree to the table and the results are impressive– a very trip-hop electronica sound reminiscent of Portishead in my opinion.

Since Poliça released their debut album Give You The Ghost on February 14th on Olson’s Totally Gross National Product label (on CD and LP) they’ve been touring seemingly non-stop in the US and Europe. They played Iowa City in February as part of their album release shows, so it’s pretty interesting that they will be back in Eastern Iowa playing the Voices Warehouse Gallery on September 25th. Voices is a really special venue down in the Warehouse district of Dubuque. Beautiful exposed brick and pipes with a well-worn wood floor housing interesting sculptures, prints and paintings. I’ve seen a couple of shows there– Tortoise and Bo Ramsey and both were cozy personal shows.

Poliça played “Dark Star” on Jimmy Kimmel last week, and it was announced that they have signed to Mom + Pop Music (home of Andrew Bird, An Horse, Sleigh Bells) who will reissue the album and have already released a remix EP for “Dark Star.” All really great news for the band who will be opening for Bon Iver’s upcoming four-night run at Radio City Music Hall, which is just before the Dubuque show.

Opening the show will be Canon Blue, aka Daniel James. James’ new album Rumspringa is a orchestral/chamber pop album that was recorded while on tour with Efterklang. Check the audio out on his site– beautiful stuff.

Tickets for Poliça and Canon Blue are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show starts at 8PM. For more information check out the Voices Warehouse website.

Check out Polica’s Daytrotter Session Here.

12 Releases I’m Looking Forward to in 2012

The month of January was named after the Roman goddess Janus who had two faces.  Like the goddess, January is the month of the year when we both look back on the previous year that is over as well as ahead to the year coming up. I just posted my favorite releases for 2011— here is a list of releases that I’m looking forward to in 2012.

The Right Now – sophomore release (April 21st) – The Chicago R&B group The Right Now has had a pretty great run since their first album Carry Me Home came out in 2010 (which I was the Executive Producer on). They’ve played some pretty great headlining shows as well as opening for many of the bigger R&B acts touring. They flew out to L.A. in 2011 to work with Sergio Rios of Orgone at his studio for their 2nd album. Most of songs for this album have had their fair share of live workout and it shows– as someone who has seen the band a lot over the last year, the new songs have already become standards. The album will be released on Record Store Day.

Jeff Parker – Bright Light In Winter (February 2012) – The guitar-slinger for post rock fountainhead Tortoise is releasing his third solo album on Chicago Blues/Jazz label Delmark. Jeff Parker’s first solo record Like Coping was released on Delmark, with his second solo record The Relatives on Thrill Jockey. Credited as the Jeff Parker Trio, the album will feature Chris Lopes on bass and Chad Taylor on drums.

BTW: Don’t get me wrong– I’m a Thrill Jockey fanboy of the first order, but when was the last Jazz release from Thrill Jockey? (It was Chicago Underground Duo…) Thank goodness for Delmark, or we wouldn’t get these crucial releases from Chicago’s Jazz scene!

Garbage – title TBD (March or April 2012) – I reported on this previously. The new fifth album from Garbage is apparently in the can and mastered. There have been reports of an extensive tour in 2012 as well.

Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires (January 10) – After developing a big crush on the Tired Pony record, I was waiting expectantly for this album as it was produced by Jacknife Lee who also produced R.E.M.’s album Collapse Into Now, and with all of the ties to R.E.M.– Pete Buck was in Tired Pony, Michael Stipe helped Gary Lightbody get through some writer’s block– I was hoping for something great. The first song from Fallen Empires was “Called Out in the Dark” which has an unstoppable beat and build to it. I think that the promise of Tired Pony delivers on Fallen Empires.

Poliça – Give You The Ghost (February 14) – Technically, this album is already out as it is available as digital download from iTunes and Amazon. But, the debut album from GAYNGS lead vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s (formerly Channy Moon Casselle) new band Poliça will be officially released on CD and vinyl on producer Ryan Olson’s record label Totally Gross National Product on Valentine’s Day 2012, complete with sold-out shows at First Avenue. If you are a fan of the vocoder-laiden production of GAYNGS and Bon Iver (Mike Noyce from Bon Iver helps out on vocals on a couple of tracks, too), then you’ll love this album as much as I do! The lineup of two drummers, bass, vocals and keyboards gives the band a very unique sound, but also pretty reminiscent of 90’s trip hop from bands like Morcheeba, Sneaker Pimps and Portishead.

The Pines – Dark So Gold – (January 31) – The third album from The Pines on Red House Records find principal members Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt living in two different cities. This doesn’t prevent them from turning out their best collaboration, yet. I caught three of their shows back in May and their stop at CSPS in September and got to hear songs destined for Dark So Gold, so I was already looking forward to hearing the studio versions of “Cry Cry Crow” and “If By Morning.” Produced again by Benson’s dad, Bo Ramsey. The Pines are kicking off a tour at the beginning of February in support of the new album and will be making stops at CSPS again as well as The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

Cheyenne Marie Mize – We Don’t Need EP – (January 24) – What started out as a release on My Old Kentucky Blog’s label Roaring Colonel has been picked up by Cheyenne Marie Mize’s new label home YepRoc. I loved her last album Before Lately and managed to catch her at The Mill where she performed the percussion-plus-vocals “Wishing Well” which Consequence of Sound is debuting. You can also check out her Daytrotter session to listen to “Keep It” which is also on the 6-track EP available on 10″ vinyl and digital download.

Jacob Jones – Good Timin’ in Waynestown – (August?) – Jacob Jones is someone my wife and I met in Nashville during an overnight stop on a Monday night with Brendan of The Right Now. We were on a marathon road trip getting the mastering done and dropped off for the vinyl version of Carry Me Home. Brendan insisted we needed to hit this local-yokel  bar called the 5 Spot where they have this over-the-top dance party on Monday nights. This dance party called “Keep on Movin'” is hosted by Jacob Jones and his label partner Reno Bo and consists of mostly 50’s and 60’s country, R&B, garage rock and blues– typically spun on a turntable (though sometimes from a MacBook). The drinks are cheap, the folks are friendly and the floor is packed. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most memorable events we’ve been to, and certainly one of the high-points of the trip.

In addition to purveying this party, Jacob is also a singer/songwriter with a couple of pretty great Americana records under his belt. I introduced blogger Amber Valentine to his music and she wrote this really great review of his last release, which is a free download. When I was pinging folks for releases I reached out to Jacob and he told me about his 2012 release, Good Timin’ in Waynestown which is inspired by the 5 Spot Monday nights! “Good Timin’ In Waynetown” is about the good times. plain and simple,” Jacob told me in a recent conversation, “The songs are for dancing. drop the needle and get to work. The songs are filled with huge sounds of New Orleans and Nashville, Memphis and Mussel Sholes. They are about the finer things in this world like love and having good friends, that’s it, plain and simple.” Indeed, based on the couple of rough mixes he sent, this album has a big sound somewhere between Ray Charles, Chris Isaak, and Lyle Lovett. This release is going to come out on vinyl, too, so that is really exciting! A sure bet for my best of 2012.

The Diplomats of Solid Sound – TBD – I don’t have any details about the third release of Iowa City-Chicago-Austin band The Diplomats of Solid Sound with the Diplomettes other than it was recorded in Iowa City in 2011 and that they played some of the new songs at their gigs leading up to and on New Year’s Eve. I loved their last two albums, so there should be no reason to believe I won’t love this one, too!

Camper Van Beethoven – TBD – News of this release– their follow-up to 2004’s New Roman Times— was delivered with a run of tour dates starting this week. No other details other than this run of winter dates will include some of the songs from the forthcoming record.

Hiss Golden Messenger – TBD – As if  releasing the amazing 1-2 punch of Bad Debt and Poor Moon over the last two years wasn’t enough, M.C. Taylor is planning to come back in 2012 with another album! As part of one of the Poor Moon pre-order bundle he included a bonus digital EP called Lord I Love The Rain that included outtakes and demos, but also had early versions of tracks that will be on the next album. Though we’ll see if this is the next album or maybe another project he hinted at in a recent conversation!

The Horses Ha -TBD – In a recent conversation with Janet Beveridge Bean she told me that James Elkington and she were done recording the follow-up to the debut Horses Ha release The Cathmawr Yards which came out in 2009. I absolutely loved the jazzy folk harmonies from The Horses Ha. You can read my review of The Cathmawr Yards here. Watch my site for updates as I get them!

 

It’s Time to Play B-Sides Top 10 Albums of 2011

Here we are in the final month of 2011 and it is time for the Top lists. I started this last year for the first time, and I think it was a pretty good exercise. 2011 for me personally was a time of change– I was laid off from a job I had for over 13 years and spent most of 2011 unemployed. As I write this, I’m happily employed, though I’m having to deal with the fallout of being unemployed for so long.

If it wasn’t for the friends and contacts I made through this blog, the time I spent unemployed would have been unbearable. As people found out about my family’s situation, they reached out with concern, help and well-wishes. Frankly, writing for this blog and the other places I sometimes contribute gave me a much-needed distraction as I experienced first-hand the employment conditions and lack of hiring in the U.S. It seems like things are turning around, but we are far from recovery, I’m afraid.

So, I look at this list of albums as being kind of a soundtrack for my unemployment– sometimes expressing hope, sometimes expressing despair, but 2011 was a good year for music. As 2012 brings new hope and opportunity for me, I look forward to bringing my music blog into its sixth year.

While there were a lot of notable releases in 2011, these are the ones that spent the most time in rotation for me– had more staying power.

1. Hiss Golden Messenger – Poor Moon – M.C. Taylor’s post Court & Spark band makes my list for the second year running– Poor Moon is a full-band companion-piece to last year’s Bad Debt in that they share a few songs. You can read my summary and review here. Mike’s in the running for 2012, too, as he has started work on his next album already!

2. Bon Iver – Bon Iver – Like last year’s The Suburbs from Arcade Fire, this is an album that will make a lot of 2011 “Top” lists. Already the album has been nominated for a few Grammys. I was not a fan of the first album from Justin Vernon, but this album quickly has found a seat in my regular rotation and gets played often at my house. The fact that it shares common DNA with the brilliant album from Eau Claire-Minneapolis supergroup GAYNGS helps, too.

3. Pieta Brown – Mercury – With a boost of moral support from her new label home Red House Records and continued support from her musical family and friends, Pieta Brown has created what is her best recorded statement to date. I wrote a review of Mercury for Little Village here.

4. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire – In some regards this album can be heralded as the triumphant return for Ryan Adams whose last new studio effort was 2008’s swansong for Lost Highway as a label and The Cardinals as a band, Cardinology. Life has changed pretty dramatically for Ryan who seems to have embraced his life and career with new perspective. Ashes & Fire is a return to the simpler sound of Easy Tiger— arguably a sound he has refined and polished. For a guy whose love of metal and punk are public record, he has the ability to make some of the most beautiful folk-rock-country songs this side of Neil Young. He is on a sold-out solo acoustic tour at the moment as he re-familiarizes himself with his legacy and live performing in general. I hope he gets the itch to bring a band on the road with him in the near future.

5. Dawes – Nothing Is WrongDawes is back and their sophomore release is even more confident than their first album, Taylor Goldsmith is embracing his role as lead guitarist and this album features some very polished guitarwork. In 2011 we saw more of the indie space contributing videos to VH1’s Top 20 and Dawes spent a week or two with “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” I think that the almost-universal embrace of Dawes’ own spin on 70’s singer-songwriter classic rock is showing that people are looking for strong melodies and honesty in the face of mostly manufactured pop music. The songs for Nothing Is Wrong got a lot of mileage on the road, many songs were familiar to dedicated fans like me, it will be interesting to see what the next songs will be like. I don’t expect any dramatic change in the band, but I would like to see some envelope pushing– maybe a change in production.

6. Kelly Pardekooper – YonderKelly cut his songwriting teeth here in Eastern Iowa writing and recording his first five albums while he lived here. A brief jump to Wisconsin and a permanent displacement to the yonder of L.A. seemed to silence the songwriter, but after some recognition by the new tastemakers that assemble soundtracks for TV shows he was kickstarted to record his most Iowa-sounding release to date with Bo Ramsey and a band of Backslider regulars. Relased in the fourth quarter of 2011, I’m hoping the album gets some legs in 2012 before returning to the lockers.

7. Canasta – The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather – Technically this release from Chicago band Canasta came out late in 2010, but I heard it in February when they made a stop in Iowa City.  This quote from my article for Little Village says it all, “There nestled in the extensive list of influences is what appears to be the nearly 30 years of my record collection. While this list seems impossibly diverse on paper, the thing that unifies all of these artists is a strong knack for melody and composition that Canasta brings in spades.” Watch their great video for “Mexico City” here.

8. Chicago Odense Ensemble – self-titled – This album– a meeting of members of Tortoise and Isotope 217 and Causa Sui– had been announced for months before it was eventually released this year by French label AdLuna. A sliced and diced approach to assembling a record from hours of improvisational recording by the group a la In A Silent Way resulted in a beautiful record with gorgeous packaging to match. You can read my article about the release here.

9. Kerosene Circuit – self titled EP – This was an EP that really reached out of the stereo and shook me. Rockin’, diesel-powered bar chords. You can read my review for Little Village here.

10. The 4onthefloor – 4×4 – Minneapolis stompin’ bar-blues band The 4onthefloor may seem on paper to be tied to a schtick with each member of the band playing a kickdrum on stage, but the formula of 4/4 time heavy blues is one that works. Lead singer Gabe Douglas transforms to the on-stage personae of the possessed while riding the chugging rhythm provided by the rest of the band. The album captures a lot of this live energy, but catch them live if you can.

The Play B-Sides Guide to Hip Hop and Rap on Daytrotter.com

 

 

If you’re familiar with Daytrotter.com, it is probably because of the extensive coverage of the independent rock, folk and Americana scene. Daytrotter has established itself as one of the premiere tastemakers in this space, contributing to breaking bands like Dawes, Bon Iver, Mountain Goats and Deer Tick by featuring early sessions of the groups.

What you might not be familiar with is the impressive coverage of Hip Hop and Rap by Daytrotter. These sessions get lost in among the more visible or “buzzworthy” sessions by the Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird’s and Timber Timbre’s of the scene. It’s as if while no one was looking, Sean Moeller has amassed sessions from notable and diverse artists from the so-called “Underground” Hip Hop genre and is certainly worth a closer look. So, I present The Play B-Sides Guide to Hip Hop and Rap on Daytrotter.com! This is a list of the sessions I’ve found on Daytrotter, each with a short write-up about it.

Looking at the list below, you get a sense of how in-tune with the Underground Hip Hop scene Moeller is. In fact, three of the acts he recorded are featured very prominently in this month’s Spin Magazine in a feature titled “The Changing Face of Hip-Hop” on Underground Hip Hop (G-Side, Danny Brown, and Main Attrakionz). But, more than that, we have some names that have been on the scene for a long time– producers Kid Koala, RJD2 and DJ Spooky and Tricky all turn in impressive sets, but also Lateef the Truthspeaker, and Aesop Rock as well as a surprising meetup with Naughty By Nature and Minneapolis Wunderkinds Solid Gold. Speaking of Solid Gold, a lot of the hot Minneapolis Hip Hop Scene is represented in Doomtree, P.O.S., Marijuana Deathsquads and Brother Ali.

I’d like to point out that typically the term “Hip Hop” is used these days to mean both DJ/Producing and Rap and I also tend to use the term to mean both, but since this list includes sessions with producers and M.C.’s (and combinations) I’m making the distinction. A very scholarly dissertation on hip hop is Jeff Chang’s “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of The Hip-Hop Generation” and I heartily recommend this to anyone interested in this music and culture. According to Chang, initially, “hip hop” was used to describe the culture surrounding three things: b-boy/breakdancing, DJ’ing and graffiti. Once M.C.’s took center stage, this idea changed to what we know today. It would also appear that graffiti as an artform has moved from it’s initial exclusive ties to hip hop culture. And, as far as breakdancing, well…

So, put on your headphones, sit back and take a tour of Daytrotter Hip Hop and Rap!

BTW: While you’re enjoying this treasure-trove of music, please consider paying a couple of bucks a month to support the efforts of Daytrotter who make this possible– and you get some bonus video and higher-quality downloads as a result.

(in alphabetical order- click on artist name to get to the session)

Aesop Rock An early session– 2008 by Definitive Jux artist Aesop Rock around the time of his None Shall Pass album. This is one of my favorite Hip Hop sessions on Daytrotter.

Astronautalis Minneapolis native Charles Andrew Bothwell performs as Astronautalis. Nice flow– reminds me a bit of Buck 65 (who really should do a Daytrotter, dontcha think?). He just wrapped up an extensive tour in support of Tegan & Sara. Tegan helps out on Astronautalis’ new video “Contrails.” One to watch, I think.

Brother Ali From Minneapolis via Madison, WI and signed to P.O.S.’s label Rhymesayers. According to a press bio, he’s influenced by classic hip hop and specifically KRS-One, who I think Ali’s style reminds me.

Busdriver Twitchy, frustrated spitting– vocally and musically. Busdriver at times seems to remind me of Mike Patton (Faith No More).

Curumin While not strictly hip hop, Curumin’s approach to his craft are well-steeped in that esthetic. Being signed to Bay Area massive Quannum Records helps a bit, too. Brazilian electronic goodness. Read my interview with Curumin here.

Danny Brown One of the artists featured prominently in the aforementioned Spin article. Brown’s slightly tongue-in-cheek nervous yelping seems reminiscent of Biz Markie with a bit more smutty bent.

DJ Spooky aka “That Subliminal Kid” turns in a brilliant set, bouncing and fresh. His other hobby is scholarly writing about symbolism and semiotics and I’m left pondering how his use of signs informs this set.

Doomtree Minneapolis’s other home of hip hop next to Rhymesayers is Doomtree. This is a set with multiple MC’s so we get 16 tracks. Dessa, Mike Mictlan, Cecil Otter and SIMS. I guess we assume that Lazerbeak did the beats? Learned about this group just ahead of the Gayngs Affilyated show where they performed as a group set on the main stage and as solo sets. The group just released their second album as a group titled No Kings that is shaping up to be a critical success.

Grieves This is an early (ish) recording of Grieves who is now part of the Rhymesayers label and apparently runs in the same circles as Mac Lethal, so it makes sense he shows up on a Daytrotter session. This 12 minute smooth rant is pretty great. The late DJ Jimmy Hands from Fort Collins on the turntables.

G-Side G-Side is part of the Huntsville, Alabama hip hop scene that is based around the Slow Motion Soundz record label that is also featured prominently in the Spin issue. Out of all of the sessions on Daytrotter, this one is one of my favorites and I’ve listened to it a dozen times in the last week. You can hear the hunger of a group trying to break. Plus, some really great beats– the use of strings on “Came Up” is brilliant.

Kid Sister Spitters of the fairer sex aren’t represented heavily on Daytrotter, but Doomtree’s Dessa and Kid Sister from Chicago are both MC’s I’m a fan of. This is a really fun session and Kid Sister is able to take the attitude and finesse that Fergie embodied on “Glamorous” (and never achieved again, IMO) and run. “Right Hand Hi” is a real trunk-rattler (if you’re into that kind of thing) Worth repeated listens, seriously.

Kid Koala Koala has been on the scene since the mid 90’s if you can imagine that– as long as I have been following the turntablist phenomenon, he has been a staple and is as important a figure in that space as Mixmaster Mike, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Q-Bert, in my opinion. An interesting session as he recreates his beat-juggling manipulation of “Moon River” like he did during The Hard Sell tour opening for Shadow and Chemist.

Kimya Dawson & Aesop Rock For Aesop Rock’s return to the Horseshack, he is in support of Kimya Dawson, who is likely best known for her band Mouldy Peaches and the Juno soundtrack. This collaboration resulted in tracks on Kimya’s album Thunder Thighs, but it seems that none of these songs made it on that album. I’m compelled by the idea of this session, but I’m afraid it doesn’t quite live up to the promise. Maybe it’s just a little early in their work together?

The Knux Another brilliant session on Daytrotter– sounds like the Strokes if they were fronted by MC’s. These cats are on Interscope– why they aren’t more exposed, I have no idea.

Lateef the Truthspeaker One of the original artists on the seminal Bay Area label Solesides along with DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Blackalicious that would become what is today known as Quannum Records. I hope that this is a sign that we’ll see Lyrics Born or Lateef’s project with LB Latyrx in for a session.

Mac Lethal As I write this Mac Lethal is blowing up all over the place for a video he shot recently of himself rapping and making pancakes. I saw Mac Lethal at the first Daytrotter in 2009 at West Liberty and wasn’t very impressed– at least with that particular live show. I’d like to see another attempt at bringing other genres of music to the barns– but maybe it just isn’t the venue for that music.

Main Attrakionz This Oakland duo was also called out in the Spin article. The production by Green Ova brings a mellow atmospheric vibe to the works.

Matisyahu Matisyahu melds his traditional Hasidic Jewish spiritualism with Raggae music and rap. Matisyahu has been gaining exposure steadily over the last few year since his brilliant and groundbreaking Live at Stubb’s.

Marijuana Deathsquads Originally formed as the backing band for P.O.S., the band has ventured into it’s own and has a reputation for over-the-top improvisational live shows.

Naughty By Nature featuring Solid Gold An interesting pairing as a result of both acts playing RIBCO on a shared Daytrotter-presents bill. Solid Gold, who provides the instruments, is quickly becoming the next-big-thing from Minneapolis with some helpful boosting from their participation in GAYNGS. NBN brings some inspired MC’ing. Would love to see this partnership fleshed out into a formal release, but I’m afraid this magic intersection is a one-night-stand.

P.O.S. Stef Alexander– better known as P.O.S. turns in an early Daytrotter session from 2006 around the time of his sophomore album. Mike Mictlan from Doomtree collective on beats. A fun, and loose session. Minneapolis represent.

Reggie Watts If you aren’t hip to Reggie Watts, it’s time. Every work is improvised on the spot and produced by looping the layers. Mindblowingly cool and typically funny stuff in the funk/soul tip.

RJD2 RJ turns in a fantastic mix. I’m a sucker for his stutter beats.

Shabazz Palaces As buzzworthy as hip hop gets in the indie space– Seattle collective Shabazz Palaces is the first hip hop act to be signed to SubPop. It makes me happy that Ishmael Butler was once in Digable Planets, because Shabazz Palaces is cool like that.

Soulcrate Music Wow, hip hop from Sioux Falls, South Dakota? The Midwest is shaping up to be bringing some really compelling hip hop and Soulcrate Music is a collective to watch.

Theophilius London An oddly short session. “Flying Overseas” gets a great treatment and remix in this session. I agree with the poster who commented that there should have been a couple of other songs.  But, we get what we get.

Tricky Oh, Tricky. You had me at Maxinquaye but not much longer than that. After the bizarre love triangle with Bjork and Goldie, I sort of lost track. However, this session is really great, showing why he was a big deal to begin with. Worth checking out, for sure. The cover of the XTC “hit single” “Dear God” is amazing.

Yea Big & Kid Static From Chicago– kind of “nerdcore” or whatever that genre that Childish Gambino seems to fit in. The cover of “Thank You For Being a Friend” is pretty funny, if disposable.

Garbage in Studio Recording Release for Spring 2012

Today it was announced that Garbage is back in the studio in L.A. after a seven-year hiatus following their 2005 studio album Bleed Like Me, which was their highest-charting album at #4 on Billboard Top 200 Album chart. As-yet-untitled, the album is projected to release in Spring 2012, and the band posted earlier that there should be a song coming out in October.

They’ve been in the studio all summer in L.A. recording in a basement, and apparently at the infamous Western Recorders (now called EastWest Studios).  The progress of the sessions has been tracked on the band’s official Twitter and Facebook pages along with photos and small video clips, and the little bits we hear seem to point to the trademark bombastic, distorted and compressed sound Garbage is known for and Shirley Manson seems as gothic as ever.

They posted a picture of themselves recording in Studio 3, which is where the Mamas and the Papas recorded “California Dreaming.” A bit of a scenery change for the band who had recorded at drummer Butch Vig’s now-defunct Smart Studios in Madison, WI for their previous albums. Smart was the landmark of recording during the grunge period when Vig worked with bands such as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, so it’s a little sad in light of the anniversary of Nevermind (which was demoed there) that Garbage isn’t continuing their tradition of recording there.

Apparently they are free-agents from a label perspective. From the press release: “Now free of all their corporate obligations, the band has been able to start again with a clean slate on their own terms. They add, ‘We are making a record filled with the music we love to hear. The new songs have been inspired more by what we haven’t been hearing rather than by what we have.'” It does seem that the band is coming into the record refreshed and taking a new-world-view of things. Considering that the first part of their career represents “big label” times it will be interesting to see how they embrace the new modes of distribution and promotion.

I still remember the first time I heard Garbage on the radio in Minneapolis on the late, great REV105. It was late one night and the lady DJ who spun the record– literally, it was a 7″ in a metal tin, likely the Discordant import– talked about the connection with Butch Vig and Duke Erikson and their 90’s band Fire Town (and Spooner before that). The aggressive and angry single “Vow” was earthshattering to me– I hadn’t heard anything like it with a woman lead singer. I kept my eyes peeled on AOL (pre-internet days for me) for any kind of sign that the promised album would drop. I picked up the domestic version of the CD single on Almo Sounds.

When the CD finally came out, it included an e-mail address for the band and I shot a quick note over about how much I loved the record and that I had seen Fire Town perform at Loras College in Dubuque in the 90’s and that I was a fan of their jangle-pop record In the Heart of the Heart CountryRock Music CDs)
(which I have on cassette, and has apparently been reissued). To my delight, I got a reply back from Garbage guitarist/keyboardist Steve Marker, who was the sound engineer for Fire Town. He said that he remembered that particular gig, even though it was a long time ago– he had been running sound that night.

Thus, for some of us, Garbage is the “home team” coming from Madison, WI and showing what the Middle West of the US could do. I hope they play a hometown gig as part of their comeback– I know I’ll be there!

Here is a Spotify Mix I made of Garbage Songs.

Stay tuned– I’ll post updates as I get them! Meanwhile here is the official video for “Vow”

“I nearly DIED!”

Click Here for Garbage’s Website.

Click Here for Garbage on Facebook

Click Here for Garbage on Twitter

(Upcoming Release) What’s In A Name? Members of fDeluxe Announce First Album in 26 Years Together- “Gaslight” to Release in September

Photo credit: Steve Parke

There is a lot that can be said about Prince, and at this stage in his life and career he has firmly established himself as one of the Rock and Pop greats and the sellout tour that he is currently undertaking is a statement made about his career to date– every night is a different lineup of songs from his extensive and prolific career and he is inviting guests to perform with him from his past and current notable artists. In this post-Elvis, post-James Brown, post-Michael Jackson time, we are lucky to have His Purple Majesty walking among us.

One thing is certain, though, when Prince chooses to surround himself with other musicians, they are usually some of the best in the business– The Revolution, New Power Generation, The Time, Sheila E., –the list goes on. One band of musicians that would have probably continued to exist as a footnote in the Wikipedia article that is Prince’s life was The Family. And, it appears that Prince would have preferred it stay that way.

The story about The Family is kind of a notorious one amongst the Prince faithful. Following the massive success of the “Purple Rain” movie and the extensive two years of subsequent touring, took its toll on The Time– who was in the movie and was supporting band on the tour– and ultimately caused key members to quit– namely Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Prince collected the remaining members of the Time proposing a reboot including his then-fiancee Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin– starting the trend of his svengali-like tendencies of producing albums of his romantic interests. In addition to Susannah, Prince proposed Paul “St. Paul” Peterson as the other lead vocalist and added Eric Leeds on Sax and keyboards.

The resulting self-titled album in 1985 was comprised mostly of Prince compositions and was performed completely by him except for the vocals and sax parts. The band was short-lived, however as St. Paul left the band, forcing the end of the group, but by this time Prince had moved on to other projects including Sheila E.’s Romance 1600 and the next two albums of Prince and the Revolution as well as the feature film “Under The Cherry Moon.” Prince was not happy with Peterson’s departure, and it seems like he might still hold a bit of a grudge 23 years later.

The story of this band would have stopped here if it wasn’t for a reunion of one of ?uestlove’s favorite Paisley Park-era bands as part of one of The Roots Pre-Grammy parties in 2007. (Athough, I think the genesis for this reunion might have really started with the band Edith Funker who ?uestlove was part of with Susannah and Wendy) It was around this time that Paul Peterson announced the reunion of the members of The Family and that they were working on a new record!

This was over three years ago! A project like this one takes a lot of time and resources and is a good example about how the Internet can facilitate. With members split geographically between California and Minnesota and having careers and lives outside of this project they slowly recorded the album supported in some cases by frequent flier and car rental miles donated by fans eager to see this project get off the ground. Periodically the band would come out of hiding streaming internet video of recording sessions and taking fans questions and posting the occasional raw unmastered track for fans to hear the progress.

The Family 2.0 Live in Minneapolis

The first real fruits of the reunion of the band came in the form of a live performance at The Cabooze in Minneapolis in June of 2009 as part of the “Prince Family Reunion.” The reunited band calling themselves “The Family 2.0” of St. Paul, Susannah,  Jellybean and Eric Leeds plus members of Mint Condition put on a short-but-amazing set which included songs from the first record as well as newly-written songs. The crowd was excited and the band put on a high-energy set.

Since that show the band has struggled with a certain artist who has been blocking the group’s use of the name “The Family” as well as any PR that even implies their past relationship with him. The first change the band made was their name– they became “fDELUXE” last year. As awkward as that name might be, it really serves to point out that while the core of the band acknowledges a past together in a previous band, this new incarnation is much more than vocals added to tracks recorded by one man.

This week, band manager Neil Richards of Square One Entertainment announced via the fDeluxe Facebook page that the long-time-coming reunion album is going to be titled Gaslight after one of the album tracks and not The Family as they had originally planned, and will come out September 12th.

Ringing in at 11 tracks, Gaslight has the expected two-lead vocalists of Susannah and St. Paul along with the core members of Jellybean and Eric Leeds, but they also bring in an extended “family”-  if you will- of  Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, guitarist extraordinaire and husband of Susannah, Doyle Bramhall II, JP DeLaire, Oliver Leiber co-writing and performing…  as well as members of The Hornheads, Ricky Peterson, Charlie Drayton and more helping out during the recording. fDELUXE, indeed!

The band has announced a record-release show in Minneapolis as well on September 16th at the Loring Theater. Ticket information to come as well as other tour dates!

In the meantime, you should sign up for their e-mail list to stay on top of things fDELUXE, and get a free download of “Over the Canyon.” CLICK HERE to visit the band’s website and to sign up.



Click Here for the fDELUXE Facebook Page and become a FAN!

Click Here to follow fDELUXE on Twitter

Click Here for the fDELUXE Website

Here are the pictures I shot at the June 2009 show of the band:

 

Gayngs Fall Tour Dates

In early April, Sherry and I were in the Twin Cities visiting relatives and I managed to get a trip to the Mecca of Records known as the Electric Fetus. While I was flipping through their used vinyl and discount bins an unfamiliar soundtrack was playing overhead. Sherry asked me what it was, and I wasn’t sure but I was as enthralled as she was with the very mellow and groovy music. At one point I found myself singing along with one of the tracks, “You don’t know how to ease my pain, you don’t know…” I asked the guy behind the counter, “Is this a cover of Godley & Creme’s ‘Cry’?” He replied that the thought it was and said, “we’ve been playing this all day and I never noticed that!” He went on to tell me that it was a kind of “Minneapolis Supergroup” called Gayngs (I had to look at the “upcoming releases” board to see how it was spelled). Well, I promptly scoured the file sharing repositories for a leak of Gayngs album titled Relayted and found one. The album quickly entered my regular rotation until it’s release date on May 11th when I  purchased the gorgeous 2 LP vinyl in a white gatefold sleeve.

Gayngs is a 23-member (or should I say “participant?”) band/project assembled by Ryan Olson who had an epiphany of sorts waking up one morning to the strains of 10CC’s softrock mega hit “I’m Not In Love.” It was then and there that he decided he wanted to record an album of a similarly-inspired sound. One that would allow them to use all of those cheesy synth patches any self-respecting musician should stay away from. The beginnings of the album started with Ryan and Solid Gold members Adam Hurlburt and Zach Coulter. Over time Ryan added other members to the band drawing from friends and girlfriends until the assembled cast grew to 23. All 23 members don’t play together on any one song on the album. Other notable groups who donated members include Bon Iver (Justin Vernon, Mike Noyce), Megafaun (Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Joe Westerlund), P.O.S., Leisure Birds (Jake Luck, Nick Ryan) and Roma di Luna(Channy Moon Casselle). The album delivered by this large union of musicians is surprisingly singular in vision given all of the participants– which can only be a testament to how Olson managed the proceedings.

A couple of weeks ago we had a family get-together and my relatives from Eau Claire, WI showed up with a present for me– a copy of Relayted on CD and a copy of the May Vita.mn magazine with an article on Gayngs with a focus on the band leader/arranger Ryan Olson. Apparently my aunt is good friends with Ryan’s mom! It turns out that my aunt and uncle went to The Last Prom on Earth show at First Avenue in May and had a great time! Of course, this was a show that Sherry and I had debated on going to, but couldn’t make it and had been kicking ourselves about. Well, thankfully the band will be bringing their 69-beats-per-minute antics to a quick run of dates at the end of September and beginning of October cumulating in a visit to the Austin City Limits Festival on 10/10. While the Last Prom on Earth shows had all of the members of Gayngs, the touring version will only have 10 members— notably without the women but showcasing new arrangements and new material!

TOUR DATES
09/29/10 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
09/30/10 Chicago, IL – Metro
10/01/10 Toronto, ONT – Phoenix Theatre
10/02/10 Boston, MA – Paradise
10/03/10 New York, NY – Webster Hall
10/04/10 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/05/10 Washington, DC – Black Cat
10/07/10 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
10/10/10 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival

Click Here for Gayngs website

Click Here for Gayngs MySpace

Click Here for Gayngs Facebook Fanpage

Click Here for Gayngs Vimeo Videos (a must-see, frankly)

Click Here to download “The Gaudy Side of Town” (an edit) from Relayted

Click Here to download “Faded High” from Relayted


Upcoming Show: Umphrey’s McGee in Iowa City on 3/10/10 at IMU Ballroom

Umphrey's McGee Live at The Capitol Theatre 7-16-09
A little bit of New Year’s Umphrey’s McGee news is bestowed upon us as they announced new March 2010 tour dates which include stops in Madison, Iowa City and a three-night run in Minneapolis!

As Umphrey’s McGee is ostensibly a Chicago-based band you might imagine that they have played these cities frequently over the years and as such they have built a very strong fanbase in each of these towns. This is also bolstered due to the strong college populations in each of these towns. The Minneapolis multi-night run seems to be a recurring theme, and when I saw my first show last January it was at the beginning of a three night run as well. A lot of the great people I talked to at the show were going to hit all three nights as part of a package that also included a meet-and-greet with the band and a limited edition poster of the shows.

Tickets for the shows will pre-sale on January 5th with general sale on January 9th. As part of the announcement of the March tour dates, they also announced that they will be giving away tickets for shows through their Facebook fanpage. A week before any of the shows they will give away a ticket at random to a fan who has responded to the Facebook event for that show as “attending” and they will be able to bring a friend who must also have responded as “attending” or “maybe.” This is cool for them to do, but if you are a big enough fan you likely didn’t wait until the last week before the show to get tickets, so I don’t know how that works in reality unless you can get someone to buy the ticket you paid for. Maybe I’m missing something– feel free to explain.

The dates (from umphreys.com)

Wed, Mar 10th, 2010
Iowa Memorial Union Ballroom

125 North Madison Street – University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
– show: 8:00 pm
– tickets will go on sale via pre-sale through Umphrey’s Ticketing on January 5, 2010; general on sale will be January 9

Thu, Mar 11th, 2010
Orpheum Theatre

216 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703-2215
608.255.8755
– tickets will go on sale via pre-sale through Umphrey’s Ticketing on January 5, 2010; general on sale will be January 9

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
First Avenue

701 1st Avenue North , Minneapolis, Minnesota
612.332.1775
– tickets will go on sale via pre-sale through Umphrey’s Ticketing on January 5, 2010; general on sale will be January 9

Sat, Mar 13th, 2010
First Avenue

701 1st Avenue North , Minneapolis, Minnesota
612.332.1775
– tickets will go on sale via pre-sale through Umphrey’s Ticketing on January 5, 2010; general on sale will be January 9

Sun, Mar 14th, 2010
First Avenue

701 1st Avenue North , Minneapolis, Minnesota
612.332.1775
– tickets will go on sale via pre-sale through Umphrey’s Ticketing on January 5, 2010; general on sale will be January 9

Upcoming Show: Ladyhawke in Chicago and Minneapolis 9/19 & 9/21

One of our favorite albums from 2008 was the debut release from New Zealand artist Phillipa “Pip” Brown who performs as Ladyhawke (yes, after the Rutger Hauer film of the same name). Released on Modular Recordings– also the home of Cut Copy– it launched four very successful singles in “Magic,” “Back of the Van,” “Paris is Burning,” and “My Delirium.”

How this record managed to not have a U.S. release before now seems unimaginable, but September sees the release of Ladyhawke in CD and LP on Universal/Decca Records in a Special Edition with bonus tracks.

Coinciding with this release is Ladyhawke’s first US tour which as luck would have it brings her to the Midwest in Chicago and Minneapolis. This tour is being sponsored by celebrity mud-slinger Perez Hilton under the “Perez Hilton Presents” banner. This questionable vehicle aside, Hilton seems to have the good taste to include Pip in the lineup of otherwise unfamiliar (except for Ida Maria, I guess) acts.

The tour stops at The Metro in Chicago on Saturday, September 19th and Minneapolis at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Monday September 21st. Both stops have the same lineup– Ladyhawke and Ida Maria as co-headliners and Semi-Precious Weapons from NYC and French electro-pop musician Sliimy.

The tour seems to be providing a fairly wide selection of artists and music (at least within whatever Hilton’s tastes are). At least in the Chicago and Minneapolis stops, we have dancy late 70’s/early 80’s new wavy rock from Ladyhawke, punky indie rock from Ida Maria, Semi-Precious Weapons sounds like The White Stripes-gone-Glam (a good thing, I think), and Sliimy provides a French-pop perspective.

Four diverse acts for under $30! The ticket prices seem to vary. If you get the Minneapolis tickets from Ticketmaster, they are a flat $25 (no fees!), but if you get the tickets from The Fine Line boxoffice, they are $18.  The Metro tickets are $17.50 from Metro on line (plus fees). So, visit the sites to find out the best way to get tickets.

Here are the other dates for the Perez Hilton Presents tour:

September 10th – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
September 12th – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
September 13th – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts
September 14th – Boston, MA – House of Blues
September 16th – New York, NY – The Fillmore @ Irving Plaza
September 17th – Toronto, ONT – Opera House Concert Venue
September 19th – Chicago, IL – Metro
September 21st – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café
September 22nd – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
September 23rd – Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont Club
September 25th – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
September 26th – Salt Lake City, UT – Club Sound
September 28th – Seattle, WA – The Showbox @ The Market
September 29th – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
September 30th – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
October 2nd – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
October 3rd – Hollywood, CA – Avalon

Click Here for the Ladyhawke Official Website

Click Here to download a free remix of “My Delirium” hosted at RCRD_LBL

Click Here for the Ida Maria Website

Click Here for the Ida Maria Daytrotter.com Session

Click Here for the Semi-Precious Weapons Website

Click Here for the Sliimy Website

Tortoise Announce Fall Dates in Support of Beacons of Ancestorship

Tortoise
Tortoise’s Beacons of Ancestorship— their sixth official studio album– arrives in stores and online on Tuesday, June 23rd.  The release was available online for pre-order as CD, LP and mp3 and a special set of packages of the CD and LP release that included a folded poster of Beacons and a very limited brass belt buckle with the “TRTS” logo with the eye that was used on the hoodies. Apparently the buckles were only available to the first 75 preorders. The LP’s– which are 180g virgin vinyl which was mastered by Ray Janos at Stirling Sound— are sold out online, but thre should be copies available at your favorite indie record stores. It sounds like there will be a future re-repressing, too. At this moment there are still some CD+buckle packages left on the site.  See the “artist’s rendering” below. I’m going to need to run to WalMart and get a belt with the snaps so I can rock this thing!

The Tortoise touring machine is getting ready to jam econo in support of the new album. They’ve been playing some sporadic shows already and are hitting some festivals, but the fall tour is already starting to shape up with some Midwestern dates starting in September and October.

Notably (for me anyway) Iowa is getting its first tour date in a very long time. The show is going to take place at the very cool Voices Warehouse Gallery in Dubuque, IA. It has a similar artsy space feel as CSPS in Cedar Rapids.  I saw Bo Ramsey there in October of 2006. I called Tim McNamara who handles setting the shows up and there will be more information coming soon about tickets and the possibility of other opening acts. 10/3 ends up being the end of the season for the gallery and last year they had a number of acts playing. I’ll post an upcoming show article when I get more details.

Tortoise Tour Dates:
Sat. July 11 — Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Mon. July 13 — San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Wed. July 15 — Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Fri. July 17 — Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
Sun. July 19 — Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Mon. July 20 — Philadelphia, PA @ Sanctuary at First Unitarian Church
Tue. July 21 — New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
Fri. July 24 — Tokyo, Japan @ Fuji Rock Festival
Fri. Aug. 14 — St. Malo, France @ La Route Du Rock
Sat. Aug. 22 — Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
Tue. Sep. 29 — St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
Wed. Sep. 30 — Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
Thu. Oct. 1 — Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Fri. Oct. 2 — Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
Sat. Oct. 3 — Dubuque, IA @ Voices Warehouse Gallery

Other articles at playbsides.com about Tortoise

Related Posts with Thumbnails