First Avenue, Etix, Gimme Noise and 89.3 The Current present SXSW Day Party (Austin, TX)
For the second consecutive year, First Avenue is teaming up with Gimme Noise to showcase some of the most high-profile Minnesota artists at a SXSW day party down in Austin, Texas. And this year, First Avenue's ticket partner Etix and 89.3 The Current are joining in on the fun. From fiery string band Trampled by Turtles to hip-hop heavyweights Doomtree, Brother Ali, and Prof, to recently signed Domino indie rockers Night Moves, our party will show festival attendees just how energized and talented the Minnesota music scene is in 2012. Plus the Get Cryphy DJs, fresh off their big four-year anniversary bash in the Mainroom, will be on hand to keep the party banging between sets. The party is going down at Swan Dive, a relatively new venue off Red River and 6th St. in the heart of downtown. The event is 21+ and free, here are set times:
1:30pm Night Moves
2:30pm Brother Ali
4:30pm Trampled by Turtles
Get Cryphy DJs (between sets)
On April 10, 2012 Thirty Tigers/RED released Trampled by Turtles’ highly anticipated album Stars and Satellites. The band’s 2010 release Palomino (Thirty Tigers) garnered critical acclaim from NPR Music who praised both the band’s “impeccable dexterity” and “charm and melody to the songs.” AOL Spinner called the record “hard-charging music…infectiously raucous,” while Paste Magazine admired the band’s “punk ethos” as well as “virtuosity and energy” while naming the band as one of the Top 25 Live Acts of 2011.
Since forming in Duluth, Minnesota in 2003, Trampled by Turtles always felt they were able to attain an energy on stage that can’t be found in the studio. They were so comfortable playing on the road that they treated their previous albums’ recording processes like tours. For Stars and Satellites, however, Trampled by Turtles didn’t want to simply try to recreate a live show. “We wanted to make a record that breathes,” explains Dave Simonett (guitar/vocals), “musically we wanted to step out of our comfort zone.” “This record is all about going inward,” Erik Berry (mandolin, vocals) adds, “building a focused bond as players and friends, and bringing a different mindset to the sounds Trampled by Turtles can make.” With the help of engineer Tom Herbers (Low, Jayhawks) the band moved into “Soleil Pines,” a log home outside of Duluth, to record. “You know how sometimes they say ‘less is more,’” notes Berry, “that’s what Stars and Satellites is about. “
Trampled by Turtles is Dave Simonett, Tim Saxhaug (bass, vocals), Dave Carroll (banjo, vocals), Erik Berry and Ryan Young (fiddle). Within the contained music scene of Duluth, the members of the band did their own time in punk and rock bands, brandishing their electricity proudly before switching to acoustic instruments. While they never set out to be a “bluegrass” band, Trampled by Turtles employs many of the same traditional techniques of the genre, but their differences in influences, attitude and attack make for their unique sound.
Wings and teeth. No two symbols could’ve been better chosen to represent Minneapolis rap stalwarts Doomtree. The endlessly innovative crew/label has defied categorization from the start, leaving behind convention for what’s best described as aggressive transcendence. Through a tireless work ethic, take-noprisoners production, lyrics that never shy from truth, and an always shifting stylistic mix, this family has carved out an elevated corner unto itself. And like most families, as well as the imagery this one employs, Doomtree is as defined by its internal differences as its similarities: Seven artists whose diversity of tastes and consistency of character combine to make the team an unstoppable, honest, creatively vicious whole.
It’s unsurprising then that Doomtree’s origins are a decade deep, dating back to 2001 when a handful of friends fresh out of high school hatched a plan to make a life out of the passion that’d carried them that far. Handmade CD-Rs (the start of their cult-beloved False Hopes series) and local shows (echoed by the annual Doomtree Blowout festival today) evolved into a proper business and respectable home base. In the time since, P.O.S., Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger have become stars in their own right, but no matter where their careers take them (poetry books, the Gayngs super-band with Bon Iver, records with Rhymesayers, Strange Famous and Frenchkiss), they always come home.
While 2008′s full-crew album Doomtree functioned as a group manifesto and (re)introduction to each member’s particular charms, 2011 was all about claiming what was already theirs. As rap, flush with new blood, began to get wild again, Doomtree reminded us that they’ve been doing it for a decade, fusing punk’s explosive energy with hip-hop’s heady swagger. The WUGAZI mixtape 13 Chambers, mashing Fugazi classics with Wu-Tang bangers, was a perfect palate cleanser for the group’s strikingly ambitious No Kings LP. Ready to break new collaborative ground, they stocked up on booze and sandwich fixings, retreated to a Wisconsin cabin and stayed there till they’d created something bold, beautiful and hard.
The title of the record is both a call for rebellion and respect: Obey no kings, seek no thrones. Indeed No Kings displays a gang of friends who are fearless in each other’s company and beholden to none. At times musical and lush (“Beacon”) and at times dark and clanging (“Bolt Cutter”), the beats project the radical power of P.O.S., the inventive classicism of Cecil Otter, the moving moodiness of Paper Tiger and the face-melting heat of Lazerbeak. Meanwhile, Mike Mictlan and Sims trade lithe lines with much swagger over smashing drums on “Punch-Out,” Otter and Dessa get bluesy on top of the mournful guitar of “Little Mercy,” and P.O.S. leads the amped-up charge for “Bangarang,” which celebrates “ten years in our lane.” Both fun and fierce, blade-flashing and uplifting, unpredictable and unapologetic, No Kings is the sound of seven people who look different, talk different and listen to different music coming together and simply going full-tilt on an album from start to finish. Wings and teeth—it’s the Doomtree way.
Fully recharged and inspired by his eye-opening first trip to Mecca, the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East, and the world wide Occupy movements, Brother Ali is prepared to unveil his fourth full-length offering Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. Created during a self-imposed two-month exile in Seattle and helmed by platinum-selling producer Jake One (50 Cent, T.I., Wiz Khalifa), the album presents a scathing yet honest critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities.
In an age of hip-hop where the paradigm of swag over substance reigns supreme, few emcees are willing to use their platform to tackle the hot-button topics and pressing social maladies of our time - but it’s apparent that Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali is one of those few. Over the course of 14 tracks with assists from esteemed author/ professor Dr. Cornel West, revered Southern hip-hop icon Bun B, and Def Poetry Jam poet Amir Sulaiman, the album brazenly holds a mirror to the idiosyncrasies of American life while simultaneously painting a vibrant portrait of its wondrous potential. Actualizing hip-hop’s full range of motion as a gage for the times, Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color asserts itself as the definitive soundtrack of a disenchanted, disenfranchised, and wildly optimistic citizenry during a landmark period in American history. In a moment of artistic preemptive strike, Brother Ali recognized this prime opportunity to examine and address the underpinnings of the burgeoning stance of mass opposition:
“This is not just a new album, but a new chapter. There’s a kind of democratic reawakening in people at this point in time. I was really looking to take these topics and really hit them hard. To try to open ears and hearts and invite people to take some action and feel empowered. To be engaged and take some agency and responsibility for what’s going on in the world.” Melding the zeitgeist of classic works such as Ice Cube’s critical 1991 album Death Certificate and Marvin Gaye’s 1971 sociopolitical opus What’s Goin’ On with his keen observations on topics such as race, the Occupy movement, and the hypocrisy of war, Brother Ali has crafted a fresh lyrical approach and dynamic new sound - the result is a stunning collection of hard-hitting lyrics and beats. Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, in all its sonic and lyrical glory, promises to be both the voice of a burgeoning new critical American consciousness and the beacon of hope for those that hold fast to its ideals and potential.
For such a patently American locale, the Twin Cities have lacked a remarkable group that evokes the American rock canon in a classic manner for a long time. Enter Night Moves. Formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist John Pelant, bassist Micky Alfano and multi-instrumentalist Mark Ritsema, Night Moves is a distinctly original concoction. Their honey-dipped sound seethes with a kind of down-home tenderness - and like the best glittering music - the arrangements are colossal in shape. Night Moves’ powerful debut Colored Emotions is this Minneapolis group’s first album.
The three core members of Night Moves first met at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Following the tangential fits and starts typical of early music projects (including a detour to college and back), the ensemble took definite shape as Night Moves and is the crowning achievement to the long-standing collaboration between John Pelant and Mark Ritsema, who first met as freshman. Pelant’s taste for Dylan, Blind Lemon Jefferson, et. al, would prove most propitious for their future work together in Night Moves. Ritsema describes himself as being into electronic music at the time – a Daft Punk fan – when he met budding folknik Pelant. Pelant throughout high school would write some solo material but hadn’t been keen on sharing. Whatever musical differences there were between them faded as the motivation to play music together persisted over the next years.
In 2009, with the group at last solidified with the addition of bassist Micky Alfano, Night Moves began the long, astounding odyssey that was recording their meticulous debut album Colored Emotions. Nearly two years in the making, the debut exudes the craft and professionalism of a seasoned band. It was these painstakingly self-recorded tracks Night Moves prepared themselves that attracted interest from Domino, further developed with the appointment of studio guru Thom Monahan to take the album and set it free, so to speak.
Pelant’s tone-perfect vocals on Colored Emotions serves Night Moves not just as its lyrical core but also its glittering adornment. With an extensive vocal range, his voice ventures where lone guitar solos cannot. Hence, there’s no cornball guitar hero antics in Night Moves. Instead, they carefully built their songs around strong acoustic and rhythmic grounds, the clarity of crystal-clear production, and Pelant’s deft howl. The reverb of hollow-body guitars, the bright wash of crash cymbals, the haze of harmonica and organ tremolo – this is the album’s bedrock and it shines like gold. The songs of Night Moves conjure a spiritual energy only twenty-somethings dislodged by adversity and isolation could produce. An album like Colored Emotions seems intent to turn inward to create a joyous universe within its own boundaries. Certainly, the group’s musical abilities are innate without ever being too self-conscious about it. It’s as if Colored Emotions came second nature to them and the arrival of the rest of us took them by surprise. [Anthony Atlas]
Forged from a history of hardship and partying, Prof’s music and career reflect the dichotomy that his life has been. His music documents everything he has experienced; from adversities as a child, like his father setting fire to their home or sleeping on a bean bag growing up, to his adult diversions, like his love affair with whiskey and women (in that order). Much the same, his career has also seen this duality. After grinding on the Minneapolis hip-hop scene for over ten years with little to show besides a small ravenous fan base, Prof has recently begun to make serious national traction on the back of his unique recordings and must see live shows.STOPHOUSE
Frequently billed with rap mainstays like Atmosphere, Yelawolf, Tech N9ne, POS, Brother Ali, Doomtree and Killer Mike, Prof has shown his talent can hang with the best. This talent has been well documented by his critically acclaimed Kaiser Von Powderhorn mixtape series, three full length albums, recordings with Brother Ali, Slug and Yelawolf, and a guest appearance on the Atmosphere track “Minnesota Nice”.
Prof’s most recent LP, 2011's King Gampo, is proof that he’s only getting better. Thanks to help from friends like Brother Ali, Ant of Atmosphere, and MTV Riff Raff (SODMG), King Gampo expands upon Prof’s previous works detailing his worst memories and best parties, making sure the listener bobs their head and shakes their ass the entire time. To support the record, Prof joined Atmosphere and Grieves on national tours in fall of 2011, headlined sold-out King Gampo Tour dates in February 2012, and was Andre Nickatina’s direct supporting artist during his national tour in the Spring of 2012. Prof released Kaiser Von Powderhorn 3, the third volume of his widely popular, Kaiser Von Powderhorn mixtape series with features by Yelawolf, Slug and guest production from Doomtree’s Lazerbeak on September 25, 2012.
In five years, Get Cryphy has grown from a 300-person Record Room experience to a full-fledged Mainroom extravaganza at First Avenue, and for good reason. The famous local foursome composed of Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy 2 Times, DJ Fundo, and LAST WORD are not only slick DJs and producers, they're also all best friends, and it comes across behind the booth. On the first Friday of every month, the storied checkered dance floor fills to its edges with kids looking for a hyped-up rap party, and that's exactly what Cryphy delivers. No drama, no fuss, no pretense — just a fun atmosphere to get wild for a night.
Swan Dive is the beautiful illegitimate child of East Side Show Room and Barbarella. All the class and taste of East Side Show Room with floor space adequate enough to encourage proper dance shenanigans.