This Week at the Turf Club - Oct 6, 2015


Chad Valley’s last album, Young Hunger, was a bucolic exercise in beachside ’80s jams that featured kindred spirits like Twin Shadow, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Glasser, a Bermuda Triangle of artists that the singer and synth-master (real name Hugo Manuel) settles comfortably within. He’s following that up with his sophomore LP, Entirely New Blue, which arrives October 2 via Cascine. It’s a bit more of an introspective effort this time around, written between Manuel’s time in London with his girlfriend and his move to Oxford after they broke up. “True,” the first single off the record, shades his voice with a little Auto-Tune. A thumping four-on-the-floor beat pulses brighter than his earlier work, as if freedom from relationship blinders has opened his already neon-hued genre palette. [SPIN]

Sounds like: Tanlines, Craft Spells, Kisses


A thoughtful lyricist taking his poetic inspiration, songcraft ideas, and even a few fashion cues from Bob Dylan, Ezra Furman sings in a nasally style similar to the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano while making unpretentious indie folk/indie pop that's raw, deep, and achingly sentimental. As students of Tufts University, guitarist Jahn Soon, bassist Job Mukkada, and drummer Jordan Kozer formed the Harpoons as Furman's backing band in 2006 and self-recorded Beat, Beat, Beat in their dorm rooms with the help of engineer Dave Kant of Outtake Records. After self-releasing a limited run of the album and taking their first tour of the States, producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) took notice and pulled the band into the studio to record. The result was Banging Down the Doors, a sincere, awkward, and moving debut released by Minty Fresh in August of 2007. Only a year later, despite extensive touring, Furman found time to write another album's worth of material and the second Ezra Furman & the Harpoons record, Inside the Human Body, was released in October of 2008. Mysterious Power followed in 2011 before Furman released his first solo album, Year of No Returning, in 2013. By 2014, his reputation in the indie world had grown considerably, especially in Britain, leading to his signing with the London-based Bella Union label later that year. His second solo release, Perpetual Motion People, was released the following summer in June 2015. [All Music]

Sounds like: Courtney Barnett, Father John Misty, The Decemberists


Nuns, the enigmatic solo project of multi-instrumentalist Hank Hanewinkel III, sprang to life in a flash of songwriting inspiration on a cold December 2012 night in Nashville, TN. As it turns out, the 24-year old had no plans whatsoever to begin writing a solo record that night. But when the muse speaks, it’s usually best to listen carefully. That’s exactly what he did. It’s not that Hanewinkel was unprepared for such an occasion…most of his life has been immersed in music. It started early for the Broken Arrow, OK, native. Growing up in a tight-knit family of performers, Hanewinkel received years of solid rock’n’roll training from his father, a music producer. He was introduced to drums at the ripe old age of two. By 10, he took an interest in guitar. Soon after, he started writing his own songs. Several years later, Hanewinkel formed a power trio, The Red Alert, with his sister and uncle. They eventually went on to win the national John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the Bands, which landed them a slot on the Warped Tour. After enduring The Red Alert’s untimely demise in 2011 and experiencing some life-altering relationship woes, Hanewinkel stopped writing songs for an entire year. He opted instead to keep his head down and play drums for several Tulsa area bands…letting music and life come to him at its own unpredictable pace instead of chasing it down. His songwriting sabbatical ended, however, during a much-needed vacation to visit some friends in Nashville. As Hanewinkel describes it, a guitar found its way into his hands and his creative floodgates simply re-opened…with a vengeance. It was a true “out of the blue” experience for him. The music flowed like a torrent. By the time Hanewinkel entered his father’s recording studio in Feb. 2013 to begin tracking what would eventually become Nuns’ gorgeous, psychedelic 10-song debut release, Opportunities, most of the record was already written. During mixing sessions for the release, Hanewinkel passed some early demos to Tulsa label Passive Recordings, who eagerly signed Nuns to their roster. Passive released Opportunities on vinyl and digital formats in May 2014. [Jarrod Gollihare]

Sounds like: Swmrs, No Noise, Daddy Issues


The Joy Formidable are an indie rock band formed in 2007 in North Wales, United Kingdom, currently located in London, England. The group members are Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), and Matt Thomas (drums). Their music has been described as "primal epic grunge rock à la The Breeders, Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeahs". Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd originally played together as part of indie rock band Tricky Nixon, which later reformed into a new wave/post-punk band Sidecar Kisses. In 2007 they regrouped on returning to Mold, Wales and formed The Joy Formidable, with Justin Stahley now on drums. The Joy Formidable released their debut single, "Austere", on 7" through Another Kitchen Records on 18 August 2008. "Austere" was followed with a second single, a limited edition double 7" physical release of "Cradle" on Try Harder Records on 2 February 2009. In 17 February 2009, the band issued an 8-track mini album A Balloon Called Moaning on Pure Groove Records. In support of the record the band appeared at several notable festivals, including Latitude Festival, Reading Festival and Leeds Festival during which time Justin Stahley was replaced on the drums by Matthew Thomas. In May 2009, they issued the single, "Whirring", on 7" through Friends Vs Records, which was BBC Radio 2's Radcliffe and Maconie Show's Pick of the Week for the week of 11 May 2010. At the end of 2009, The Joy Formidable released a free digital-only single "Greyhounds in the Slips", produced by and featuring ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper and a limited edition live album entitled First You Have To Get Mad on 30 November 2009, which had been recorded at their headline London Garage gig two months previously. The band also notably toured the UK with Editors and Passion Pit. On 26 June 2010, they supported Paul McCartney at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium. The very next day, the band performed an opening set on the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival 2010. They also toured as part of the 2010 NME Radar Tour, supported by Chapel Club, Flats and Wilder. Another single entitled "Popinjay" was released through iTunes Store on 21 February 2010, ahead of a physical release on 5 April 2010. In 11 October 2010, The Joy Formidable issued the single "I Don’t Want To See You Like This". In 24 January 2011, The Joy Formidable released their debut studio album The Big Roar on Atlantic Records. The album was very favorable received by critics. The Big Roar was preceded by the re-issue of the single "Austere". []

Sounds like: Big Pink, Tokyo Police Club, We Were Promised Jetpacks

SATURDAY: THE SURF DAWGS “Album #6 CD Release Party”

The Surf Dawgs are a Rock Instrumental band (despite the word Surf in the band’s name) from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have been performing in the upper Midwest area since 2001 featuring Zippy Caplan of the Cult garage band The Litter on Lead Guitar and, when available, Bob Spalding of The Ventures also on Lead Guitar. Following the 2001 release of Zip’s solo CD Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands “Monsters and Heroes”, the co-producer of the CD, Bernie "Bombers” Bomberg, joined with Zip to form a vintage style instrumental group that paid tribute to the Rock instrumental classics of the 1950’s and 1960’s in addition to their own interpretation of other classic Rock songs from that era and beyond. []

Sounds like: Martin Cilia, The Challengers, Urban Surf Kings

SUNDAY: BAUMHAUS V - A Night of Improvised Minimal Techno with tiny deaths + friends

tiny deaths is poised to be the next breakout act from Minneapolis, a city rich in talent (having birthed the likes of Polica and Gayngs in the past few years). Sounding simultaneously almost familiar and yet like nothing else, Grant Cutler (Lookbook, Wolflords) and Claire de Lune (The Chalice) have joined forces to create a fresh take on the dark, brooding electropop movement currently dominating indie rock. After almost crossing paths time and time again, it was a chance meeting two years ago at a show Cutler’s band was playing in an underground art loft in Minneapolis’ warehouse district that began the symbiotic musical relationship that would become tiny deaths. “I stumbled upon the first song of their set and I was completely blown away,” de Lune recalls. “Grant’s style was just the kind of music I’ve been dying to make forever—I just didn’t know there was anyone in this city making it.” [...] Cutler, having relocated to Brooklyn after making the record and ever the prototypical reclusive producer, prefers to stay behind the scenes, so the pair amassed an all-star band to bring the songs to life. Accompanying de Lune on the vocals at the live shows are Jared Isabella and Aaron Baum of Night Moves (Domino Records) on drums and guitar, respectively, and renowned Twin Cities stalwart Ben Clark of Votel on bass. The result is a sexy, shimmering collage of color and texture, a refreshing blend of the electronic and the analog, the peripheral and the tangible. In this way, tiny deaths’ live show is a dichotomy. It’s something you can move to, with bass that pulses through your whole body. But lyrically it’s delicate and introspective, and the vocals are so arresting, you could just as easily wind up so awestruck you’re motionless. Challenging yet accessible, veering into experimental with both feet planted firmly in pop sensibility, tiny deaths, though influenced by its Minneapolis roots, has all the makings of something bigger than this little “city of lakes” can contain.

Sounds like: Rose Quartz, Break Fast, New Shack


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Ben Caplan’s voice is to song as smoke is to bourbon: perfectly coupled. He is a songwriter and performer who is bold in both range and ferocity. The music is fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism that sets Caplan apart from his peers. Either solo or backed by his band, The Casual Smokers, Ben Caplan has captured the attention of music fans and media across Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe. Ben Caplan is supported by upright bass, drums, Eastern European inspired strings, and occasionally horns. Ben himself moves between guitar and piano, marking his place in the world’s music landscape with an outrageous musicality and a growling spirit. Besides writing and recording, Ben Caplan is almost perpetually on tour, having played more than 1000 shows since the release of his debut album in late 2011. His songs, his voice, his humor, and his charm collude to create a rhapsodically energetic live show – an elegant cacophony drawing fans in ever widening circles. On the strength of his debut album, In The Time of the Great Remembering, Ben Caplan won numerous Canadian awards, including Nova Scotia’s 2012 Entertainer of the Year and the East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year for 2013. He’s shared stages with acts ranging from Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors to The Staves and Blondie. In addition to his 1000+ club shows, He’s played major festivals around the world including the UK’s Glastonbury in 2013. In 2015, Ben Caplan will continue to break new ground with dates planned across North America and around the world. His highly anticipated second album, Birds with Broken Wings, is prospected to be released internationally in late spring/early summer of 2015.

Sounds like: Steve Smyth, Willie Stratton, I Am Oak

Blog by Gina Reis

This Week in the Entry: Oct 5, 2015


Born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1991 and raised in the south side of Chicago, MC/poet Mick Jenkins (whose real first name is Jayson) made an impact in the early 2010's Chicago hip-hop scene with his socially conscious, intelligent lyrics and tough yet unforced delivery over acid jazz-influenced backing tracks. Affiliated with hip-hop crew Free Nation, Jenkins began releasing online mixtapes in 2012, starting with The Mickstape in January and followed by The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage in August. Trees & Truths, an ambitious 17-track mixtape filled with Biblical imagery and demonstrating Jenkins' remarkable growth as a lyricist, appeared in April of 2013 and significantly raised his profile within the Chicago rap community, and later in the year, Jenkins collaborated with Chance The Rapper and Von a single called "Cross Roads." Jenkins received national attention for The Wave(s), his 2014 mixtape which featured guest appearances by Statik Selektah and Joey Bada$$. This led to a support slot on a fall 2014 tour with Method Man, Redman, and Cypress Hill's B Real, followed by tours with Kirk Knight, Joey Bada$$, and STWO in 2015. Jenkins signed to Cinematic Music Group in 2015, releasing an EP titled Wave(s) in August while working on his official full-length debut, The Healing Component. [All Music]

Sounds like: Action Bronson, ProbCause, Isaiah Rashad

STWO (pronounced 'Stew') is a 21-year-old producer from Paris, France who has joined taste making Los Angeles label Soulection. He first wowed us his original track, 'You', then followed it up with a three track debut EP, Moans that has garnered hundred's of thousands of plays, and attention from taste making blogs across the internet. With only a short time of producing under his belt, he has now impressed his quickly growing fan base with the newest masterpiece, his EP Beyond via Live For The Funk. The EP has collectively received almost half a million plays, and has proven to listeners that STWO has some real talent. Not only can STWO please our ears from his SoundCloud account, but also has a live set that will leave you with your hands in the air and your jaw on the floor. STWO plans to take his smooth sounds to fans all over the world. []

Sounds like: Atu, Branchez, Omn


The duo behind the budding group, Jeremy Lloyd and Gongol, creates something undeniably sexy, combining hard-hitting, minimal beats with the saxophone that recalls the playful seduction of the 1920s. Perhaps if Ella Fitzgerald, James Blake, Banks, Wild Belle and Jay Gatsby somehow had a collective baby, that child would be Marian Hill. [...] Llyod's background in music theatre from Yale University and Gongol's in music business from New York University provide them with the technical skills they need to differentiate themselves from the quickly saturating pool of electronic R&B artists. They understand the mechanics of weaving together sounds from different generations. The result is as delicious as it is refreshing. "At the core of it, for Sam and I, we're always making sure that there's this really solid song at the center of it," Llyod said. "Basic chords, melody, lyrics but there's a song there that stands on its own and could be covered and exists as a song which is basically ... the crux of what I was studying in school." [Huffington Post]

Sounds like: Alina Baraz, Anna of the North, Oh Wonder


Shamir Bailey (born c. 1994), better known by his stage name Shamir, is an American singer and songwriter from Las Vegas, Nevada. His début EP, Northtown (June 2014) was followed in 2015 by a full-length album, Ratchet. Shamir is known for his androgynous countertenor voice. wrote that his singing voice, "like Joplin's, stops you in your tracks." Shamir has said that he doesn't mind having his voice described as androgynous, but notes that 'countertenor' is the correct term: "It's not feminine, it's not masculine. It's a happy medium … I feel like if the world was more like that, our problems would be gone." Critic Jamieson Cox, writing for Pitchfork Media, wrote: "With a piercing countertenor somewhere between Prince masquerading as Camille and the cracking adolescent soul of the teenage Michael Jackson, the 19-year-old North Las Vegas native dismantles the expectations maintained for vocalists based on their gender, demanding instead that the focus be placed on his agile, fluttering performance." Shamir's style has been described as a distinctive mix of disco and funk with hints of pop "laced with old skool house". Life & Soul has described him as "a dynamic young artist who successfully adopts the craft of his musical heroes Michael Jackson and Prince." []

Sounds like: Hannah Diamond, Braids, East India Youth


Montreal quartet Ought began in 2011, taking heavy cues from their city's thriving scene of underground politics, loft parties, and D.I.Y. culture. Composed of singer/guitarist Tim Beeler, bassist Ben Stidworthy, keyboardist Matt May, and drummer/violinist Tim Keen, the band melded unlikely influences from both high-energy mid-'90s emo bands and airy, early college rock acts like The Feelies and Talking Heads. The bandmembers all lived together in a shared apartment/practice space, self-recording their first EP, New Calm, in 2012. They played frequently in Montreal, eventually catching the ear of indie label Constellation, which released their debut full-length album, More Than Any Other Day, in the spring of 2014. They returned with a four-track EP, Once More With Feeling, released in October of the same year. The group's second album, Sun Coming Down, appeared in September of 2015.

Sounds like: Viet Cong, Ex Hex, Speedy Ortiz


"We were never happy just making music on acoustic guitars," says Tom Howie of the organic-electronic sound of Bob Moses, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Canada duo he formed with partner Jimmy Vallance. "Our live show combines what a DJ does with a rock band," Vallance adds. "Everything flows together in a continuous mix for the dancefloor, but it's all our own original music, with live vocals and guitar. Then again, we came out of a scene that was trying to change what dance music is – that pushed beyond the expected sonic spectrum." That scene grew around the Marcy Hotel – the revered venue that, in its half decade of existence, proved as important for New York's contemporary underground dance/electronic music world as CBGBs was for the ‘70s punk era. The acclaimed likes of Soul Clap, Wolf + Lamb, and Nicolas Jaar all gravitated around Marcy's infamous parties, reimagining dance music in their own groundbreaking image. [...] Bob Moses received its oddball moniker from Francis Harris in homage to Robert Moses, the urban planner behind iconic New York landmarks like Shea Stadium and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But while NYC is definitely in Bob Moses' DNA, its members actually met as high school students in Vancouver, Canada. The pair reunited randomly years later when, bumping into each other in a Lowe's parking lot, they discovered they had studios across the street from each other in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. Howie had arrived there after a stint at Boston's Berklee College of Music, on a partial scholarship as a singer-songwriter. Vallance, meanwhile, had found some success as a producer/engineer/DJ creating commercial dance music – his remix of Sia's "Buttons" brought him some early attention – but "I'd fallen out of love with making cheesy big-room tracks," he laughs. "We booked a couple days to write at my studio for fun, and by the end of the week, I told Tom, ‘Come live at my place and let's do this every day.'" Bob Moses is currently crafting its debut album for the group's new label, Domino. That's preceded by a new EP, First to Cry: taking its title from Bob Moses' blues-meets-deep-house take on "I Ain't Gonna Be the First to Cry" by R&B legend Bobby ‘Blue' Bland, it marks Bob Moses as a characteristic addition to Domino's maverick stable. "We're massive fans of Domino artists like Four Tet, Caribou, Hot Chip, and Animal Collective, so it just seemed like a natural home for us," Vallance says. "We feel lucky to be starting this relationship – it's a big new world." 

Sounds like: Frank & Tony, Desert Sound Colony, Francis Harris

Caleb and Will Chapman, sons of contemporary Christian pop superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, began making music with friend Scott Mills in 2009, forging a bright indie rock sound influenced by alt-rock legends like U2 as well as more contemporary influences such as Cold War Kids. The trio initially went by the name Caleb, but changed their handle to Colony House in 2013, borrowing the name from an apartment complex in their home of Franklin, Tennessee, where all three musicians had lived at one time or another. Colony House worked feverishly to self-release three EPs before the 2014 issue of their debut full-length, When I Was Younger. [All Music]

Sounds like: Paper White, Young Rising Sons, Knox Hamilton

COIN proudly call themselves a “product of the ’90s”. A borrowed nostalgia for the decade that isn’t uncommon among Nashvillians. COIN hasn’t adopted the detached smugness and angst often associated with ’90s alt acts and contemporary ’90s alt revival acts. They are entirely devoid of ironic, tongue‐in-cheek rock n’ roll posturing or odes to the joys of slackerdom. Instead, lead singer, keyboardist, and lyricist Chase Lawrence opts for earnest songs about actual human emotions: falling in (and out of) love, worrying about the future, and missing the past. It’s the same brand of wide-‐eyed sincerity found on Pet Sounds—just replace the theremin with a microKORG and the harpsichord with guitarist Joe Memmel’s crisp Telecaster lines. Their songs are hopeful, but behind the spring reverb and airy synths, there’s subtle regret and even morbidity. They’ve recently released their debut album, recorded in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Little Big Town). The album is guitar driven and sonically mature, but still true to their synthpop sensibilities.

Sounds like: Cheerleader, CRUISR, Wild Party


With his violent shock of vertical curls, three-piece suit and excitable roguish charm, Fraser A Gorman cuts a striking figure. Similarly, the music the 23-year-old Melbourne-based singer-songwriter makes stands out amidst any scene or sound. Fraser was born in Torquay, a suburban outpost of Geelong, the large coastal city an hour’s drive from his relocated Melbourne digs. The high-school year below his pal Stu Moore from King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Geelong is the sometime home to much of Australia’s motor industry, and like its American cousin Detroit has become something of a hot-bed for talented young ne’er-do-wells without much else to keep them out of trouble. Like most aspiring Geelong creatives, Fraser eventually migrated to Victoria’s cooler capital city. In Melbourne, Fraser signed to Courtney Barnett's label Milk! Records and later joined her at London-based label Marathon Artists. A limited edition vinyl of single 'Book Of Love' will be released between both labels in 2015. []

Sounds like: Best Girl Athlete, FOSSA, Little Mountain

Blog by Gina Reis

Tickets on sale this week: October 1, 2015

Red Bull Sound Select Twin Cities presents
The Joy Formidable
Turf Club NOW
Metalachi Turf Club NOW
Shakey Graves Mainroom NOW
Insane Clown Posse Mainroom NOW
Family of the Year Fine Line NOW
Gogol Bordello Mainroom NOW
Gogol Bordello Mainroom NOW
Nikki Lane Fine Line NOW
Wildhoney 7th St Entry NOW
The Ike Reilly Assassination Mainroom NOW
Aero Flynn | Halloween, Alaska Turf Club Fri 10/2
at noon
Punch Brothers State Theatre NOW
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades | Dead Man Winter Mainroom Fri 10/2
at noon
Mason Jennings Mainroom NOW
Jared & The Mill 7th St Entry NOW
36th Annual John Lennon Tribute
ft. Curtiss A with a little help from his friends
Mainroom Fri 10/2
at noon
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders 7th St Entry Fri 10/2
at noon
Vince Staples Fine Line Fri 10/2
at noon
The Jayhawks Mainroom NOW
Happy Birthday Janis:
A Tribute to the life and music of Janis Joplin
Mainroom Fri 10/2
at noon
Galactic Mainroom Fri 10/2
at noon


Subscribe to First Avenue Blog