THURSDAY: BLOODNSTUFF | Tyte Jeff | What Tyrants | Panther Ray

BLOODNSTUFF is a high energy dynamic rock duo from Minneapolis, MN. For being a two piece this group really sounds like a massive wall of fuzz and great melodies! Ed Holmberg and Dylan Gouert have been playing in various local groups for over decade. In 2010, BLOODNSTUFF was formed. The group did not appear publicly until the summer of 2011. After an onslaught of shows, hype started to grow and the group's live performances kept audiences coming. At the end of 2011, BLOODNSTUFF was voted "best rock band of 2011" in the Minneapolis City Pages. In April of 2012, they independently released a long awaited full length album, the self-titled Bloodnstuff. Ed and Dylan spent the next year opening for national acts as they came through town. In April 2013, BLOODNSTUFF went on a US tour as direct support for Fu Manchu. Shortly after, they did a five show tour opening up for Alice in Chains, on their "The Devil put Dinosaurs Here" tour. Since then, BLOODNSTUFF has been writing and opening for such bands as Bush, Deerhoof, Japandroids, Royal Blood, Truckfighters, 400 Blows, Cloud Nothings, and more.

Sounds like: Indian Handcrafts, American Sharks

TYTE JEFF: Jeff Allen tasted modest indie-rock stardom in his early 20s with the Plastic Constellations. The high-wired punk band—which he co-led with future Doomtree producer Aaron “Lazerbeak” Mader—stormed out of Hopkins High School in the late 1990s on its way to New York’s French Kiss Records in the early ’00s. When the band went on “indefinite hiatus” in 2008, Allen got a good job and started a family. “But I never really stopped thinking up songs in my head,” he said. He was finally pushed into properly recording all his “crappy basement demos” by drummer Matt Johnson, one of two recording engineers and former Me & My Arrow band member now playing in Tyte Jeff, also counting guitarist Jeff Marcovis (bassist Aaron Ripplinger rounds out the lineup). The resulting six-song eponymous Tyte Jeff EP was named one of the best albums of 2014 in our Twin Cities Critics Tally. Tyte Jeff is one of the most exciting new bands in town, period. Allen has maintained the big, chant-like hooks and muscular, angular guitar work he created in TPC, but he’s grown up as a songwriter, quite literally so in the case of the EP’s lyrical subject matter. “The cruel hands of time turned all those kids into mortgagees,” he sings of his own lost, wild youth in “Imagine This Before Irony,” one of several tunes that look at today’s hipsters and suburban punks through wiser, wearier eyes and Craig Finn/Stephen Malkmus rocker irony.[The Current]

Sounds like: VAYNS, Origami Bones

WHAT TYRANTS: From the moment No Luck kicks on, its apparent What Tyrants are on a mission to pack as much relentlessly paced riffage into their 13-track debut album as humanly possible. And they succeed wildly in doing so. The power trio, made up of brothers Sean and Kyle Schultz and Garrison Grouse, have distilled touchstones from noise pop, skate-punk, and surf into short, fuzzed-out sonic outbursts, freakouts that go down easy and beg repeating. The songs are also an opportunity for Sean Schultz to lay down some hard truths. But while Schultz may deliver wallops of unblinking cynicism in telling stories of best friends, life's tribulations and the occasional neighborhood bank robbery, he’s always quick to balance it with a dose of self-reflection... and sometimes even self-loathing. In the end, and above all else, No Luck is really about letting it all hang out and having a good time. When life gets you down and you can't catch a break, just remember not to sweat it.

Sounds like: Divine Sins, Kartoon

PANTHER RAY: “Instruments and vocal mics trade hands regularly as the multi-instrumentalists celebrate a poly amorous cacophony of junk psychedelia, youth-powered garage rock, exuberant pop weirdness, and experimental studio wizardry. What at first seems amateurish or slapdash, quickly unfolds as fully-intentioned execution of precise tone, technique, and texture that haven't seen the light of day since 1968, if ever. Sounds appear for a few notes and disappear just as quickly, serving their purpose before making room for the next. Is that Deerhoof being played by the members Elephant 6? Or Deerhoof as envisioned by Jeff Mangum? Or is it something different entirely? Yes. This is a band that knows the history behind their influences with an unusual depth. And unsettling depth. Deeper than most are willing to go. Then they take it to some place we've never seen before. And that's what makes their noise so fucking exciting.” -Chris Tures

Sounds like: Teenage Moods, Lucy Michelle


Al Church's solo LP Next Summer is a suite of pop confections conjuring up carefree days of his youth. His summers were filled with driving around with the windows rolled down bumping Dr. Dre's The Chronic and R.E.M.'s Monster. "My album is like [Monster], but with saxophone and keyboards instead of Peter Buck's guitar tremolo," the Duluth-raised multi-instrumentalist exclaims when the Athens alt-rock legends' "Strange Currencies" hits the speakers. He's with City Pages at Mackenzie Pub on a frigid night in downtown Minneapolis. Actually, Next Summer is more reminiscent of Beck's funky soul circa Midnite Vultures. But there are even more chill Yacht Rock flourishes with the aforementioned saxophone, played by Cole Pulice, who performs with Sonny Knight and the Lakers as well as Black Market Brass. "Cole is a genius sax player," Church says. "He basically took the role of lead guitar on the record. When I think about lead guitar, and all the solos and stuff — that was all replaced by Cole. It was super organic, and he just flowed over everything." Pulice's wailing sax and Church's retro synth strains on "Next to You" have a Billy Ocean flavor, but they don't overshadow the vocals. Just as powerful as Fitz & the Tantrums vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick, Church's treated falsetto is always in control, even amid an over-the-top story of drunk, text-messaging ex-boyfriends. On the piano-laced title track, he sounds more like Queen's Freddie Mercury. Church's affable personality soaks into the endearing Next Summer like suntan lotion on the neck. He freely speaks about music, sports, and Minnesota living over beers for nearly an hour before getting around to the record. Like much of his past work, Next Summer has plenty of heart beneath the gloss of the dance-party jams. Up until this point, Church had more of a rep for guitar-centric work in BBGUN, Dear Data, Al Church and State, Clustercuss, and Private Oates (a Hall and Oates cover band). He's also been a sideman with Haley Bonar, Pink Mink, Frankie Lee, and Actual Wolf, among other local acts. "All of these other projects, I've been hiding behind something in a way," Church says. "I wanted this to be more naked and revealing. I'm treating this more as my rock band — or my solo rock band. I gave myself a lot of time to do this. I didn't have any deadline, really. And that freed me up to try anything." Church's many projects kept Next Summer percolating for the past two years. After starting out modestly, the songs grew with guest vocalists Mina Moore ("The Clock") and Gabe Douglas ("Birthday Party," "The Clock," "S.A.T.J.") along with producer/synth player Matt Sandstedt during recording at the Hideaway studio in Minneapolis. The key players on the album frequently drew inspiration from a secret Google doc filled with lyric snippets and random song notes. To match the album's joviality, Church's release party will have a middle school carnival theme, and will feature a dance party, karaoke, and a cake walk. "It's going to be a really fun party," Church says animatedly. "You've got to prepare for summer, even in March." [Erik Thompson, City Pages]

Sounds like: Twinsmith, Little Fevers

SATURDAY: The Annual Blowout with the Blind Shake | Birthday Suits | Ripper

THE BLIND SHAKE: "The Blind Shake is at once spacey, primitive futuristic, and brutal: a kind of backyard extraterrestrial minimal surf-punk party. One guitar, one baritone guitar, a fuckload of reverb, and a drummer who deserves an Olympic medal." [SF Weekly] Fronted by brothers Jim and Mike Blaha, with friend Dave Roper on drums, the trio have been tunneling through the underground since before telephones could talk. Having six full length albums to their credit, several singles, three collaborations with psych legend Michael Yonkers and another with downstroke warrior John Reis, the band continues to push the sliding scale between catchy punk songs and pitch red noise. They have a brand new EP on Slovenly Records as well as a full-length LP on Goner Records.

Sounds like: Coachwhips, Cheap Time

BIRTHDAY SUITS: Since their debut in 2005, the Minneapolis-based duo of Matthew Kazama and Hideo Takahashi has excelled at tossing elements of late-‘90s mathcore and classic Reagan-era punk against the wall with disarming power and impressively fresh results. Their latest release, The Minnesota: Mouth To Mouth (Nice and Neat Records), sticks to that formula, but with a smidge more spit-polish shining up their succinct sense of melody. The Birthday Suits’ biggest asset remains the way their blurry-but-brilliant mix of sharp edges and curvy hooks matches up neatly with their dark-humored lyrics and stage presence that feels as gleeful as it does dangerous. Fans of Future of the Left and No Means No will not be disappointed. [Seattle Weekly]

Sounds like: Lover!, Mind Control

RIPPER: With Danny Holden on vocals and guitar, Jeff Brown on drums, Sean Levine on guitar, and Noah Paster on bass/vocals, Ripper is a Minneapolis/Saint Paul punk rock who know how to make some noise.


IN THE AM: It's a good 'ole country brunch, featuring The Federales on stage, and breakfast tacos on your plate. We make a darn good Bloody Mary, and can cook up some serious huevos rancheros, so swing in y'all.

THE FEDERALES: Classic country for the modern world. We’re not from the Black Hills, the Texas Panhandle or Appalachia. We’re from the Twin Cities. Damn proud of it, too, but we play country music, because it’s one of America’s native languages. We use it to tell our stories of love, good times, Grain Belt & friends. Some are fact. Some are fiction with the truth hiding in there somewhere. All of them are heartfelt. We’re pickers, fiddlers, groovers & harmonizers. We’re ready to make you sing along, get up and dance or just sit and tap your toes. We’re The Federales.

IN THE PM: Charlie Parr plays original and traditional folk and Piedmont-style blues, accompanying himself on National resonator guitar, 12-string guitar and sometimes a banjo. He was raised in Austin, Minnesota, in a household that prized traditional American folk music and his style bears the influence of hours spent listening to country blues records and Smithsonian/Folkways field recordings; often in the garage. He currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota. []

Blog by Gina Reis