ON SALE: Friday, August 22 at 10:00am CT
|The Wytches||Turf Club||SAT NOV 1|
|B.o.B with Kevin Gates “No Genre Tour"||Mainroom||MON NOV 10|
|Allah-Las||Turf Club||MON DEC 1|
|Sturgill Simpson||Fine Line||THU DEC 4|
ON SALE: Friday, August 22 at noon CT
|Wampire||7th St Entry||SAT OCT 4|
|Augustines||Turf Club||SAT OCT 11|
|Continental | Tristen||Turf Club||SUN OCT 26|
|Wheat||7th St Entry||WED OCT 15|
|Clockwork Indigo (Flatbush Zombies & The Underachievers)||Mainroom||MON OCT 20|
|An Acoustic Evening with Alpha Rev||Fine Line||SAT OCT 25|
|Hot Water Music||Triple Rock||THU NOV 6|
ON SALE: NOW
|Secret Stash Super Soul Shakedown||Mainroom||FRI AUG 29|
|Turf Club Grand Re-Opening feat. Night Moves||Turf Club||SUN AUG 31|
|Mockingbird Sun||Turf Club||MON SEPT 8|
|Gastro Non Grata: Turf Club Tarnation||Turf Club||SUN SEPT 14|
|The 10th Anniversary of Pert Near Sandstone||Mainroom||FRI OCT 24|
|The Protomen||Triple Rock||FRI OCT 31|
|SonReal||7th St Entry||FRI NOV 7|
It seems like Nora and the Janitors is an attempt to tell the story of the world as it is in "[not] too linear a fashion" - a band that likes it loud and is very clearly inspired by Daniel Johnston. Nora and the Janitors recently put out a split record with Lawrence, Jennifer - a punk group from North Dakota - called Girls Just Want To Have Gun. Check out the album here!
Related Artists: Daniel Johnston, Slave to the Mushroom Cloud, sBACH
Tim Showalter, the man behind Strand of Oaks, gives us an idea of what his new album HEAL is all about, “The record is called HEAL, but it’s not a soft, gentle healing, it’s like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that’s how I got better." A journey of alienation, desperation, rebirth and clarity. Be part of the journey this Tuesday!
Similar Artists: Great Lake Swimmers, Vetiver, Night Beds
Post-hardcore turned post-rock trio, The Life and Times are making their way to the 612. Fronted by Allen Epley of Shiner fame put together The Life and Times when Shiner broke up in 2002. Now, the group has put out their fourth album, Lost Bees. In support of this latest release these three boys are hitting the road - make sure to listen to their single "Passion Pit" and see 'em Wednesday with support from Porcupine and All The Way Rider.
Similar Artists: Cursive, Superchunk, No Age
Self-proclaimed "humorcore," Psychostick is a comedy metal band with a reputation for a high energy, hilarious performance. The brainchild of two friends from high school who share a love of metal music and a crazy sense of humor, Psychostick came to be in Phoenix, Arizona around the turn of the century. Clad in silly costumes, while still managing to shred, Psychostick is sure to have your head banging while laughing your ass off.
Similar Artists: Polkadot Cadaver, Powerglove, The Left Rights
Radradriot is a two piece punk group from Little Rock, Arkansas. Tyler Evans and Elgin Venable make mathy art-rock and use the words "dope" and "rad" frequently. Nouveau means "new" in French. This three piece from Nashville probably is pretty new since they only joined Facebook last year and their EP Languour just dropped last month. If you dig loud DIY punkers, you know where to be Friday night.
Similar Artists: No Age, Cloud Nothings, Title Fight
Local dream funk group, Treading North is having their release show this Saturday! Treading North is a group of silly musicians - if that's even the right word, since it seems they don't have much formal training, and identify more as artists than anything else. They make kinda jazzy sounding tunes featuring sax, keys, bass, guitar and drums. For this release show, Treading North will be joined by Chalk, Moving Parts and Naomi Wachira.
Blu is a rapper/producer from LA. On the scene since the late 2000's, Blu found major success with the release of his debut album Below the Heavens in 2007. Now with seven full-length releases and several mixtapes to his name, Blu is one of the hardest working and prolific underground rappers of our times. In May of this year he dropped his seventh solo album, Good To Be Home. Now touring in support of the effort, Blu is stopping by the Entry!
Similar Artists: Johnson&Jonson, C.R.A.C. Knuckles, Fashawn
ON SALE: Friday, August 15 at 10:00am CT
|The Smokers Club Tour starring Method Man & Redman||Mainroom||SUN OCT 26|
|Horseshoes & Hand Grenades||Turf Club||SAT NOV 8|
ON SALE: Friday, August 15 at 11:00am CT
|Atmosphere North of Hell tour||Mainroom||SUN NOV 23|
ON SALE: Friday, August 15 at noon CT
|Run Westy Run||Triple Rock||MON AUG 25|
|Benjamin Booker||Turf Club||MON SEPT 29|
|Jucifer||Turf Club||WED OCT 15|
|The Preatures||Triple Rock||WED OCT 15|
|Big K.R.I.T. Pay Attention Tour||Mainroom||THU OCT 16|
|Charlie Parr||Turf Club||FRI NOV 7|
|Capital Cities||Mainroom||SUN NOV 9|
|FKA Twigs||Fine Line||FRI NOV 14|
|Stars||Mainroom||WED NOV 19|
|Lydia Loveless||Turf Club||SAT NOV 29|
ON SALE: NOW
|Radradriot + Nouveau||7th St Entry||FRI AUG 22|
|Tahne Stillwell | Tom Aydan | Mary Bue||7th St Entry||WED SEPT 3|
|Tickle Torture Spectrophilia EP Release Show||7th St Entry||SAT SEPT 6|
|Magic Castles + Ancient River + Pussytoes||Turf Club||FRI SEPT 12|
|Allo Darlin'||Icehouse||SAT NOV 1|
|The New Pornographers feat. A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar (Destroyer)||Mainroom||WED NOV 12|
|Gary Gulman (late show)||Turf Club||THU NOV 20|
Named one of Esquire’s 15 Bands To Watch In 2014 - along with the likes of Cashmere Cat, Warpaint, Earl Sweatshirt and Blood Orange - These Wild Plains are a band you’re not going to want to miss this week. Five boys from across the nation started making music in Cambridge a couple of years ago, now they’re generating real buzz. Making the same kind of twangy rock and roll they grew up on, These Wild Plains are vintage rock stars.
Similar Artists: Lord Huron, Fleet Foxes, Local Natives
Week after week Brownout would show for their residency at a local club in Austin. How’d they keep it interesting? They played Black Sabbath songs. Well, not exactly. They reworked their classic tunes, and had an overwhelmingly positive response from their audience. More than that, they had a great time themselves. Now, presenting a full-length release of their work and a national tour. Don’t let the Austin club goers have all the fun, come check it out for yourselves!
Similar Artists: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, Quantic
Local “dramatic cabaret” in the Entry this Wednesday. According to Thee Duke himself, you can expect a mix of theatrical overture and soul stirring melancholy; grandiose meets aggression. Committed to the performance, Thee Duke of Dark believes in the experience of rock n roll – providing an experience to remember. Initially from Minnesota, Thee Duke of Dark gone to great lengths to find his persona. Will he deliver on his promise of an experience you’ll never forget? Lets see.
Similar Artists: The Horrors, Purson, Scott Walker
A male version of Adele? That’s what some people are saying. You might know him for his collaboration with Lupe Fiasco, which got him nominated for two Grammys. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Santos played his mom’s old piano as a kid, but was drawn more to the visual arts. At 17, while attending art school, Santos picked up a guitar and never put it down. In 2009, Santos met an up and coming hip hop artists, Wasalu Jaco (aka Lupe Fiasco) through a mutual friend. Their song “Superstar” blew up and since then Santos has appeared on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Craig Ferguson, TRL, and performances at Lollapalooza, Coachella, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, and the Video Music Awards as well as on a 56-date tour with Kanye West, Rihanna, and NERD. Having returned to his indie roots, Santos is also returning to Minneapolis.
Similar Artists: Gotye, Cat Power, Feist
Former engineer for Prince. Must I say more? Okay, okay. Black Asteroid, or Bryan Black, makes crazy multidimensional techno tracks. After working for Prince and perfecting his production skills, he moved to London and launched MOTOR, a techno supergroup, performing with Daft Punk and Kraftwerk at major festivals after just two singles. In 2011, Black started Black Asteroid to recapture techno, to redefine his sound, and has released several popular EPs under that moniker. Maybe Prince will stop by to see his old engineer perform - you never know.
Similar Artists: Woo York, NX1, Tim Wolff
Orny Ozzborn of Grayskul (Rhymesayers) met producer Zavala in 2009 while working on a mutual friends’ record (Sleep, Hesitation Wounds). Since then, they have continued collaborating and perfecting the sound of Dark Time Sunshine. In 2010, the boys released their first full-length - and one of the most well received hip hop albums of 2010 - Vessel, and began touring extensively, including Soundset and SXSW. They just put out a new single, which you can check out here. And of course, come check em out in the Entry!
Similar Artists: Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, El-P
Having emerged from Ohio’s famous punk scene, Obnox is the solo project of Lamont “Bim” Thomas, known for drumming with V-3, Bassholes, Unholy Two, This Moment in Black History, and Puffy Aerolas. When Thomas became a stay at home dad, he took to his music and put out his Obnox debut, I’m Bleeding Now. In March of this year, Obnox released Louder Space, a punk rock record infused with soulful horns, grungy riffs, some metal chords, and even sugary vocals. Seriously, don’t miss it.
Similar Artists: Whatever Brains, We Are Hex, Verma
ON SALE: Friday, August 8 at 11:00am CT
|mc chris||Triple Rock||THU OCT 16|
ON SALE: Friday, August 8 at noon CT
|Windhand||Triple Rock||THU SEPT 11|
|Yonatan Gat (Monotonix)||Turf Club||TUE SEPT 23|
|Brett Dennen presents Water Colors, a special acoustic evening||Fine Line||THU SEPT 25|
|Agent Orange||7th St Entry||THU OCT 2|
|Daedelus||Triple Rock||FRI OCT 3|
|Surfer Blood | We Are Scientists||Turf Club||THU OCT 9|
|Pond||Turf Club||SAT OCT 25|
|Barcelona||Triple Rock||WED NOV 5|
|Animals As Leaders & Devin Townsend Project||Mainroom||TUE NOV 25|
ON SALE: NOW
|France Camp | The Drug Budget | The Social Disaster||7th St Entry||TUE SEPT 2|
|P.O.S presents The Best Fucking After-Show Ever||Mainroom||SAT SEPT 13|
|The Hood Internet||Turf Club||FRI OCT 31|
|Dopapod||7th St Entry||SAT NOV 8|
|Avi Buffalo||7th St Entry||FRI NOV 14|
What is it that draws you to music?
Strange Names: Music defines mental and physical moments in everyone's life. There's a push and a pull that exists in every song. Constantly discovering and re-discovering things you love about someone's performance is never a tiring experience. If it isn't new, then it's sentimental. And if it's sentimental, you probably listen to it when you fall asleep. And when music is private, it's a very different experience than when it's public. Movie scores really get this point across. It enlightens you all around.
Carroll: The first music that ever drew me in was Miles Davis. I was probably six or so and having such a young person's vocabulary, could never find words that expressed the tumultuous complexity of my boyish mind. Hearing the tortured blast of trumpet, the jagged swirl of drums in some of those songs was a way for me to just point at the speakers and say, "THAT! THAT IS HOW I FEEL!" I've learned a lot of new words since then but music still renders me speechless.
89.3 The Current, Radio K,
Tickle Torture: I like anything that makes me feel like I'm driving a cadillac through the universe. I'm talking about neon cars on neon highways. If the track contains both laser sounds and congas, there is a 100% chance I will be into it.
Two Harbors: Good melody, a massive chorus, and loud guitars.
Can you tell us a little more about the new "Once An Ocean" video? It's so excellent!
Strange Names: The "Once an Ocean" video is actually over a year old at this point, but it was really fun to make. We did it in a day. There was a lot of dust, but also a lot of Rosé.
How did the band come together? How does the band stay together?
Strange Names: We began writing music in late 2010, and didn't perform live until a year and a half later. We weren't sure how we were going to do it for a while. We present ourselves as a songwriting duo, and when we play live, we collaborate with our very talented and creative peers: Fletcher Aleckson on drums, and Lawn Mall on bass. We could never do this without them. We're relocating to New York at the end of the summer, and finishing our record in Brooklyn. The bond is tight.
Carroll: Carroll got it's start because of a house named Carroll on a street named Carroll. It was this very open space where more people than legally should have lived, worked, created, and cooked together. At one point or another four of those people were us. We were looking for a name and our friend Emma pointed out that it is was all around us. I think the band stays together because after all the time together in confined moving spaces, green rooms, rest stop bathrooms, and strangers' living rooms, we still text each other in the middle of the night about a potential bridge to a new song. Whatever should have spread us further apart has brought us closer together. Also no four guys share a stronger affinity for absurdist humor and banh mi sandwiches.
Tickle Torture: The band started when I got sick of working on music with other people. Being in a band is like having 5 girlfriends. So I quit my old band and started making music by myself and I always wanted to explore combining R&B and noise music. So I did that, and after playing a ton of shows solo karaoke-style with just me and my mp3 player and my bubble machine, people started asking me to be involved in the project. So I added back up dancers. Then live background projections. Eventually, enough people wanted to join to make the Tickle a full live band. The way I keep the band together is by buying a ton of shitty beer for everyone for every band practice. Except that one week I quit drinking. Sorry bout that one, boys.
Two Harbors: The band came together at Twin Town Guitars when I was there to consign a van full of gear with every intention of quitting music. The guy behind the counter was Kris Johnson (lead guitar), and he told me he wouldn't take my stuff, but that he would start a new band with me. We've been a band ever since. We've been together now for over 10 years. We have stayed together so long because we are very good friends, and we agreed from day one that it's all about Wednesday night (the night we rehearse). Four guys in a room, playing songs, drinking beer, and having a laugh. It's that simple. We don't let money or anything else get in the way of what we do on Wednesday night. Also, everyone has an equal voice in any decisions that are made, and we are very respectful of each other. Easy.
Any news on another album?
Carroll: We recorded our debut LP in January with producer Jon Low (The National, Sharon Van Etten, Local Natives) in Philadelphia. Though we've put out one single ("Bad Water"), we don't have a release date yet. 60-82% of our set on August 8th will be songs from that record.
What's the best song you've written? What's so special about this one?
Strange Names: It doesn't seem productive to pinpoint a single song and say "that's the best song" because you're suddenly living in a vacuum. We're often trying to get out of our own way when we write. But we are especially excited about the songs on our upcoming record. We've been sitting on some of these for years.
Carroll: I will get in trouble with my band mates if I say any particular song so without naming names: it's the one with drums, guitar, bass, synth, and vocals playing simultaneously. Something about that one really gets me.
Tickle Torture: The best song I've ever written is my new hit single "Would I Love You" because in the full six and a half minute album version it has a 3 minute conga solo with lots of laser sounds.
Two Harbors: The best song we've written is "There Is Love." It's an absolute anthem, and we love performing it live.
What is your approach to keeping people entertained at a Tickle Torture show?
Tickle Torture: 5 string fretless bass. Taking out my dick.
If you could turn a potential fan onto your music in one sentence, what would you say?
Strange Names: One sentence: Your mom loves it.
Carroll: "Imagine you've only just settled into a Jacuzzi set to your ideal warmth when you look down and realize the substance you thought was water is a mysterious, potentially toxic green liquid."
Tickle Torture: If there is a lack of depraved sex-funk in your life, you should come for a ride in Uncle Tickle's cadillac. But you won't be getting a ride home.
Two Harbors: If you like The Verve, The Smiths, and The Who, we're gonna get along just fine.
How does it feel to have had you record mastered at Abbey Road Studios?
Two Harbors: Walking through the front door of Abbey Road for the first time is such a mind blowing experience, it's very difficult to put into words. We worked with Frank Arkwright (who has worked with The Smiths, Johnny Marr, Blur, and Oasis), and he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He brings us to his mastering suite, and goes right to work. Our songs ringing loudly within the walls of Abbey Road Studios. You can't top that feeling.
Monday: PHOX (SOLD OUT)
Recorded by engineer Brian Joseph – you might recognize him, he worked with Bon Iver and The Fray - PHOX successfully released their debut self-titled album in April of this year. The product of more than two years “in the think tank” s/t is a delightful debut. With an air of mystery and evocative feelings PHOX is an enigmatic and engaging release. The sextet have been friends since high school in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and are now roommates in Madison, so it isn’t surprising that they play so well. In the midst of a huge tour through the US and Europe, PHOX is stopping by the Entry for the best Monday night you’ve had.
Similar Artists: Wake Owl, Lucius, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Joined by the brand new project, Aero Flynn - members of Solid Gold and Amateur Love - Dana Buoy is hitting the road in support of their new Preacher EP. Like we said, Aero Flynn will be in attendance in the Entry for his very first stop on an impressive tour that also features The Rosebuds, Janka Nabay, The Human Eyes and Sylvan Esso. Dana Buoy - of Akron/Family - is an indie-pop powerhouse, instrumentalist and songwriter based out of Portland. His debut release Summer Bodies came out in 2012, and his 2014 follow up has been long awaited. As Noisey says, “IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FEEL SHITTY WHEN LISTENING TO DANA BUOY’S TRACK ‘PREACHER.’” This is a feel good EP that you just can’t miss. Be sure to see Dana Buoy in the Entry!
Similar Artists: Tennis, Oberhofer, Yellow Ostrich
Chicago hip-hop ensemble Sidewalk Chalk is coming to Minneapolis! Featuring an MC, jazz vocalist, big band with horns and all, and even a tap dancer. The bands’ first collaborative album, Leaves, came out in February of this year, and now they are making the rounds of North America spreading the word about their unique hip-hop/jazz/soul sound. With so many talented members, the group is able to run seamlessly through different styles, always keeping the show fresh. Listen to Leaves here!
Similar Artists: Lettuce, Brian Fresco, Shapers
Paul Michell’s new record We Keep On Dreaming will drop this week on Tuesday, August 5. Two days later he’ll be performing all his new tunes in the Entry with a full band. Paul grew up in Minneapolis in a strict Baptist household, where even some gospel records were too scandalous. When he got to high school, Paul started listening to secular music by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Ben Folds and Tori Amos. At 18 he started experimenting with his own music, and in 2012 he put out his debut record, Wake Me Up. Two years later, and Paul has grown into his sound - heartfelt piano pop ballads - and is ready to blow us away!
Similar Artists: Sara Bareilles, OneRepublic, Brendan James
Götterdämmerung, or Twilight of the Gods is the last cycle of four operas called Der Ring des Nibelungen, meaning The Ring of the Nibelung by the German composer Richard Wagner. In March 2007, Timothy Sexton put out a full-length record by that name. Not much more than that is known. Come find out what this guy is all about. Sexton will be joined by Fuck Knights, Milwaukee transplants Sonic J, and Yohimbe Bark. Come to see the show for the curious at heart.
Similar Artists: n/a
Thomas Spiegel, better known as DJ Man-X, died in December of 2012 at the age of 47. DJ Man-X was a regular at First Ave and hosted House Nation Under A Groove nights all around the Twin Cities. Investment banker by day, DJ Man-X brought soulful house music to the community by night. DJ Man-X is truly the man who brought techno to the Twin Cities. To pay tribute to this influential man, friends Daniel Paul AKA Ghetto, Focus, David Stromdahl, Bryan Gerrard, Etones and Naughty Wood are bringing in a wall of speakers, Housenation swag and the best tunes in town. All proceeds of the show will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Similar Artist: Jam Funk, Raffa Scoccia, D’Moov
Chain & the Gang is led by Ian Svenonius, the prime mover behind the bands Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up. The band deals in a new genre called CRIME ROCK that updates rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and gospel music or vocal quartets from the late 50s /early 60s for the discerning few. A cool sound, blurring the lines between garage, indie pop, funk and lo-fi experimentalism, Chain & The Gang use their art to convey an unconventional message: dependence. They tell the story of a society who values “liberty” but it’s really just a mechanism employed by the lazy and corrupt to pit class against class, human against human. Instead, Chain & The Gang calls on us to find a new sort of bondage and dependance. Just like they depend on outlaw noise and performance, we should seek out the convicts, hobos and other outlaws to accept them as our brothers. Chain & The Gang are a group of punk rockers with something to say - don’t miss out on this raucous performance in the Entry!
Similar Artists: Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, The Growlers
What is your favorite song to cover?
Wangs (Wings/Paul McCartney tribute band): The middle breakdown part in "Mrs Vandebilt" where everything drops out and we're all yelling in non harmonized falsetto. That part rules.
All Tomorrow's Petty (Tom Petty tribute band): It's pretty impossible to pick a favorite, but we do have a special kind of love for the all-instrumental "post-rock" version of "Free Fallin'" that we sometimes do. That's the one song we kinda refuse to do in a way that's true the original, just because it's so inescapably famous, and because Cameron Crowe allowed a powerful Scientologist to pee all over it in one of his movies.
Arron "Al" Bergstrom of Steeling Dan (Steely Dan tribute band): I'd have to ask all the other 12 members for a consensus....but my personal fave is "Throw Back the Little Ones" off of the album Katy Lied. But in the end, all Steely Dan tunes have unique & cool twists to them....which make the band a fun one to cover.
How do you choose what you'll cover?
Wangs: We take it to the streets and ask the women what they want. Turns out, they want Wangs. So we go on stage and give it to them slow and deep.
All Tomorrow's Petty: The set list is always pretty democratic, mainly radio/MTV hits from various records. Thus far, we haven't dealt too much with anything after the late '90s. We also try to pull in guests/friends when we can to mix it up. It's just down to wherever the Petty love is greatest on any given day.
Steeling Dan: Sometimes we get song requests from our fans (we have actually received sheet music before!), sometimes i have a particular song or entire album I/we want to do, sometimes the band as a whole chooses the set list, etc. I try & mix up the ways to choose to keep everyone interested & fresh on the material.
As a cover band, how would you define "success"?
Wangs: Playing the First Avenue mainroom.
All Tomorrow's Petty: Playing someone else's music as a collective platform for generative social fulfillment, for love and money. Or just the time when we played a wedding and the bride got to take a guitar solo during "American Girl."
Steeling Dan: We've been playing music together since 2002 & [had] very little band turnover, so I'd consider that a success. Another thing would be the very dedicated fan base we have & to them we owe any success we could possibly have.
What’s your claim to fame?
Wangs: We took pictures of each others Penis's and made a collage out of it. WANGS.
All Tomorrow's Petty: Of the many bands that involve JT Bates, this is the only one where you might hear him on lead vocals.
Steeling Dan: I personally dig our horn section & I'd like to commend our horn chart writer /arranger Jim Hann for doing such an excellent job with arranging the complex material. Not to say the rest of the band is lame or anything (kudos to the rest of my bandmates for their commitment to the band & their ability), but I really like our horn section. It gives us a lot of unique arranging options, all you need to do is just listen to them - pros all the way.
If you could turn a potential fan onto your music in one sentence, what would you say?
Wangs: We play Jet.
All Tomorrow's Petty: "We play Petty, you're human, do the math."
Steeling Dan: If you like jazz, r&b, funk, rock/pop &, in general, music of the 70's, you will definitely enjoy the music of Steely Dan. It's like a fine wine.
You boast a very long list of (possible) members. How did all of you Petty lovers meet and start making music?
All Tomorrow's Petty: We're all friendly via original music endeavors — various bands you've seen or heard or at least heard of. ATP came about after Jake Hanson and James Diers separately watched the epic Petty documentary Runnin' Down A Dream, which is pretty definitive in showing how Petty is such a huge figure in commercial rock music. Watching the film reminded those two guys how many great pop songs Petty wrote, and they thought it would be fun to get some folks together once in a while and play some Petty tunes live in a very non-calculated way — i.e., not trying to "re-create" anything or do them totally note-for-note, but rather just grabbing the basics, keeping it loose and just having a good time playing them among friends. The first ATP "show" was just Jake and James playing duo in the corner at a holiday craft sale. Other players gradually just kinda recruited themselves, cuz who doesn't wanna hang out and play Petty jams. It's as much a social affair as it is a band, which is partly why there's a growing posse of people who participate.
How does it feel to be the deemed Best Cover Band 2014 by City Pages? What brings you to this point in your cover stardom?
Wangs: There are a lot of good cover bands this year but I guess we're just the best looking one. #JET
When covering Steely Dan and Donald Fagen are you looking to recreate their sound as closely as you can? What kinds of artistic license do you allow yourselves?
Steeling Dan: When covering Steely Dan (Donald Fagen/Walter Becker) or Donald Fagen's solo material, we always try & pay attention to the finer details of the music. It is very difficult music to properly recreate. There are certain songs which I have everyone play spot-on as possible, generally the hits, but I definitely allow for improv within solo sections of certain material. We may tweak certain things here or there arrangement-wise & we definitely search out live arrangements / performances for guidance on extensions of parts or endings or whatnot. I personally definitely learn a lot by learning their music...
Who's your number one local inspiration?
Sarah White of Shiro Dame: That's tricky because for me it falls somewhere in-between Polica and Up Rock. I can't pick one, so both merged together will have to be my answer. Up Rock is on some futuristic afro electronic eruption, while Polica is emotional, limitless and fearless. I love them both.
Allan Kingdom: My mom.
tiny deaths: How to pick just one? Impossible! Really inspired by the work Father You See Queen has been doing of late. Love Aby Wolf, Solid Gold, Polica, The Cloak Ox, too. Also super inspired by some talented instrumentalists I surround myself with... JT Bates, Mike Lewis, Frankie Lee, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Mike Rossetto, Martin Dosh, Joey Van Phillips... the list goes on and on and on.
Manny Phesto: I was late in learning about the scene here but the first people I became aware of, that I'd credit with inspiring me would be Big Quarters, Big Zach, I Self Devine and Glo Pesci of the Abstract Pack.
Ander Other: The pursuit of a practical and efficient coping strategy for seasonal affective disorder.
DJ Just Nine: My inspiration would be this community and local scene that I'm lucky enough to be a part of. I get to see a TON of great works of art come out of here every single day. I have so many friends who not only make music but also draw, paint, sculpt, write, cook, craft, build, sew, amongst many other things and do it very very well. The creative process is never ending here. If that doesn't inspire you to be doing more, good luck finding something that will do that for you.
Ms Kenna Cotta, director for Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: Right now, I'm inspired by Ndugi Njoroge - this Kenyan sister who works on literacy with very young Black children. She's my sister, our kids are each others brother and sisters, she's a revolutionary for educating Black children. I'm planning on making a Liberation dance about her kind of work. Musically I love listening to Pavielle sing - she opens her mouth and pours all this pain and pleasure into the air. It's cathartic to experience.
Sound Verite & City Pages present
As a musician, how would you define "success"?
Shiro Dame: I feel like music is successful if I am happy making it and my heart stays in the right place. It sounds like such a simple task, but I really often times get so lost in the process and the expectations, that I lose sight of how much I love the journey. When I'm in a pocket where I feel good about making music and feel the music I am making really reflects who I am (without outside influence), I feel successful. Fame comes and goes, but the beat goes on.
Allan Kingdom: Being able to express myself, improve the living experience, and connect to the largest amount of people possible.
tiny deaths: Lately I've been defining success as making music you're proud of with people you respect. Being able to live off of it is nice too.
Manny Phesto: Success to me is being able to make music people can connect with and relate to, & to support myself with it. Being able to travel and live a comfortable lifestyle doing what I love is success.
Ander Other: Near-satisfaction, in perpetuity.
DJ Just Nine: Success for me is to be able to have people listen and enjoy the stuff we create. Having people hear it and respond in a positive way is all we could really ask for. If they decide to come support us through the releases and the live shows is just an added bonus!
Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: Voice of Culture makes music that represents the various modes and facets of Blackness. We are successful when people connect with those stories and learn more about themselves from interacting with our work.
How did you first start playing music? How did you become involved in the Twin Cities music scene?
Shiro Dame: I was trained in piano, flute and choir as a young child. My love for music was pretty apparent even at a really young age. Once I found a passion for words and was old enough to make the deep connection between the two, I began writing lyrics and poems. I'll always give credit to Big Zach for teaching me to write bars and raps, and the rest is history. After forming Traditional Methods and playing around the midwest, I definitely grew some serious roots in the Twin Cities music scene. Even once I moved to Brooklyn, I kept my ear on the twin cities. It will always be a home and creative space in my heart.
Allan Kingdom: Been playing music since birth in some form. Whether it be writing, singing, an instrument, recording, I've just always naturally be involved in it. Same with the twin cities music scene, went to an arts school in high school and tried to immerse myself in every way possible.
tiny deaths: I've been writing songs since I was 5. I became involved in the twin cities music scene by going to Perpich, the arts high school, and playing every open mic night and shitty gig where someone would let me in front of a microphone.
Manny Phesto: I've been free styling forever. One of my first real shows was a benefit for the family of Fong Lee, a St. Paul kid murdered by police. I started organizing small shows around town as I began to discover and network through the different corners of the scene. In 2012 I co-founded and curated a day long music festival on the west bank, Hip Hop Harambee. I released my first body of work, the Social Capital EP at the event. After 2013's event I decided to focus more on my music and released Southside Looking In June of of this year.
Ander Other: My parents played music when I was young and I took to it. I started using digital audio workstations and video production suites in school and had interfaced with software at a young age. I made blends and mixes with the software I knew how to use and handled the musical aspect of a few family gatherings. Technology and music converged further in my teenage years. Shortly after that, I became involved in the Twin Cities community through spectatorship, persistence and staying true to the dreams that came true (some nightmares, too).
DJ Just Nine: My father was a musician so when I was really young, I started seeing an interest in music from the things he was doing recording and playing out. After trying out a number of instruments in my youth, I saw a DJ with some turntables and decided I want to do that! I became involved in the Twin Cities scene back around 2007 with my late friend Abdulle Elmi when we started up a group called "The Usual Suspects." Later joining forces with Greazy, Akrite and I.B.E. and playing out as much as possible
Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: My grandmother and father are Jazz radio DJs on KFAI, and my mother was a member of some of the first African Drum and Dance groups in the Cities. I grew up as a Black American Griot, learning from and through the music and movement in our culture. I started seriously drumming in 2004 when I got my first set of douns (west african bass drums). VoC formed in 2008 with myself and my children and a few other folks from the African drum and dance community. We used to practice in the basement of this art studio down the block from my house and our first performance was at Juneteenth when it was still over north.
What’s your claim to fame?
Shiro Dame: Hmm... I'm not sure I know the answer to that, or I'd claim it.
Allan Kingdom: Making music people like.
tiny deaths: I have the world's coolest mom.
Manny Phesto: People know me for smashing free style cyphers. throwing dope events, speaking my mind, and handling business.
Ander Other: I've been recognized from time to time but I'm not living or working to achieve some enviable notoriety.
DJ Just Nine: probably my skills on the turntables. Actually, maybe it's the hair...
Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: Only the very young members are worried about that. My seven year old son said 'oh yeah i wanted to be famous!' when we got to be on a web TV show for the Children's Hospital. But here's a quote from one of our songs, "Say VoC": VoC/That's the name/Voice of Culture/ not out for fame/we play the beats/we learn the steps/ its more than shows/this is Blackness we rep! I think we are unique because we are a Black space for African culture in a white dominated environment.
If you could turn a potential fan onto your music in one sentence, what would you say?
Shiro Dame: Sultry Electric Neon Soul Revival.
Allan Kingdom: Hey I really hope you like my music.
tiny deaths: Imagine if Twin Peaks was set in the future, in the cosmos.
Manny Phesto: I'd say "you probably shouldn't listen to this." Reverse psychology. Just kidding, I'd say it's some soul sample/bars/real life/smooth/politicized rooftop music.
Ander Other: Once this fantastic debt is paid to my most patient teacher I must learn from my mistakes and will a joy celestial into existence for you.
DJ Just Nine: "It's the best thing since the internet."
Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: I think our tagline says it well: West African Drum and Dance with a Black American Twist!
We loved your single "Crazy Ways." When will we get to hear more?
Shiro Dame: We are about to jump in the studio to finish recording the rest of our EP and will be dropping it late fall 2014. We promise it will be worth the wait.
Future Memoirs was a big deal this summer, but you're known for making lots of music in very little time. Should we be looking forward to something?
Allan Kingdom: Yes, always look forward to something because I'm always looking forward to share something new. Even when I can't talk about it.
You're very active in the local music scene and involved with other projects. How did get started with Tiny Deaths in the midst of everything else? What does this project offer that Chalice doesn't?
tiny deaths: I got started with Tiny Deaths because I met Grant Cutler and was really inspired by his work and wanted to make songs with him. I think Tiny Deaths allows me to stretch my songwriting muscles in a totally different way, and it's fun to sing all the time instead of just 1/3 of the time, too.
You dropped your debut full-length earlier this year. You describe the project as a stream of consciousness – what can listeners expect? What do you hope they take away from the mixtape?
Manny Phesto: People can expect to hear my thoughts on everything that crosses my mind. You'll definitely get a feel of who I am through this project, the environments we're in and the struggles and dreams we share. Everyone takes something different from music, and interprets it differently. I just hope people find some sort to connection with it, if so it's a mission accomplished.
You've only been in the Twin Cities since 2009. What initially drew you to the Twin Cities and Doomtree? What do we have to offer that California didn't?
Ander Other: The Twin Cities offered a change of climate and enough growth to stunt. Through Doomtree I found sounds that were thoughtful but less equivocating. Minnesota seems to want to be right all the time, and I'm working on dealing with being wrong all the time. Minnesota has grey ducks, California had geese.
You have been touring with I Self Devine for the past five years. What have you taken away from this experience?
DJ Just Nine: Too many things to list really. I learned a lot from my experiences from working with the legendary I Self. Some of the main ones are consistently work hard to achieve your goals, be humble, and never under any circumstance stop at a small taco shop in the middle of the desert.
Can you tell us a little more about how you put your West African-based art to work as a vehicle for social change in the Twin Cities?
Voice of Culture Drum and Dance: My mission in life is to transmit cultural and technical knowledge to my people through our children. Voice of Culture is interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and all about providing a space for Blackness to be the dominant culture. The change we want to see is an end to white supremacy that oppresses Black people for being who we are, when the way we talk, the way we dress, our music and dance, and our spirituality becomes the foundation for everything passed off as 'American culture'. We make music and beats, and we engage with members of my community in creating this art that makes us strong and helps us change our community for the better. This is the reason the drums were taken from us. Voice of Culture brings our drums back to the Black community.