THE MISSING LETTERS: Rock n Roll has deep history in the Twin Cities. Many hallowed bands have emerged from the snow covered neighborhoods of Minneapolis and St Paul. Even the clubs have an honored tradition - No band climbs rock’s ramparts without a stop at First Avenue or The Fine Line. Maybe it has to do with the cold outside that keeps generation after generation of kids fostering the instinctual drive of alternative rock … Whatever it is, the music continues to stay hot, and now, that heat embodies itself in The Missing Letters. Two years after forming, these 4 twenty somethings have come charging through the ranks. The band also took upon the daunting task of reimagining fellow Minneapolis rock outfit, Soul Asylum’s 90’s anthem, “RUN AWAY TRAIN”, and released a video that honors the original. Bryan Murphy (Guitars, Vocals), Shannon Drymalski (Drums), Matt Whitaker (Bass) and Josh Ripley (Guitar) have redefined alternative rock with an honest Mid-western grittiness that has been capturing ears across the US. Their music is based in honest guitar driven rock n roll. However, they have sonically painted it in their own style to create a truly original, yet familiar sound that they can truly call their own.

KICK: Supersonic guitars are cranked, booming bass is punched, and the drums are cracked like the rolling thunder. It’s a Kick show. It’s about the energy, the passion, the music, the show. This young power trio is out to rock the world.


Teenage Moods’ G-rated songs are chock-full of stories about cats and bunnies and flowers, and revel in power chords and sugary pop hooks. Each of the members plays in other bands as well — Byrd and Drummer Taylor Motari in the Toxic Shrews, and bassist Jillian Schroeder in the Velveteens — but none of them channel quite the same energy as the Moods. (A third band of Byrd’s, Regal Treats, also played on his birthday.) “It’s been fun being in a band that’s not even trying to be badass,” Byrd says. Then, as if to correct himself, he adds, “I think it’s actually the most badass thing I’ve been in. There’s no front about being tough or pretending like we even want to think about kicking someone’s teeth in.” Part of the band’s childlike charm and simplicity can be traced back to how they started. The future bandmates worked retail together about five years ago (Motari and Schroeder knew each other from high school in Burnsville), and formed after Schroeder drew a flyer for a fake concert. With Schroeder still learning to play bass when the Moods began writing music, they developed a primal style that suited their lo-fi, low-cost sensibilities. Recording occurred in friends’ attics, and Schroeder created the album artwork herself. “I think I was 27 before I bought a guitar that was more than $200,” says Byrd with a laugh. For the Moods’ new record, Grow — released on cassette fall of 2012, they booked studio time and created as a live ensemble. “Those [previous records] were us learning how to record,” says Motari. “We put more effort into getting this one to sound like a live album. Then we went way overboard, like, ‘Let’s have vibraslap and tambourine and get really kooky,’ and had to take it back a little bit.” [City Pages] Teenage Moods shred perfect pop gem songs with such honesty and ease that you can’t help but grin until it hurts. Their smart yet ramshackle rhythm section propel skeletal guitar melodies that you think are off-the-cuff until you realize they’re classic. Garage without the stupidity, twee without the preciousness, pop with no pretension. Rock and roll straight from the heart.

Sounds like: The Pharmacy, King Tuff


Big hair, big smiles, and a whole lot of love: international singer-songwriter Dustin Thomas is making waves from Australia to Moscow and everywhere in between with his unique blend of folk storytelling- hip-hop delivery backed by beatbox rhythms and an acoustic guitar. Hailing from the cold winters of North America, and raised under the southern sun, Dustin Thomas began his journey around the world in Hilo, Hawaii in 2012 and has been running circles around the world ever since.While Solo, Dustin’s journey is one of social and environmental justice, of heartache and healing, and ultimately returning to oneness by honoring our planet and each other by realizing our responsibility as citizens of a global community. Alongside his band- Dustin blends roots, rock, reggae tunes with mighty drum and bass influence to charge audiences with a fire and frenzy most comparable to “the great Bob Marley” and “a haunting soulful voice reminiscent of Tracy Chapman."Known for his ability as a solo performer to captivate audiences of thousands, Dustin Thomas brings a show full of life and energy with a call and response charm that brings something for everybody. Be it a corporate crowd, a rowdy nightclub, a distinguished theater, or a festival, Dustin Thomas has and continued to capture the hearts of audiences worldwide on his mission of love, joy, and peace.

Chazin Entertainment presents Boofsquad & Frankie Bash, with special guests Eli The Prophet + Sushiboilux. Sounds by Vante The Hippie.


Blog by Gina Reis