The sold out show filled First Avenue with hundreds of fans eager to celebrate 89.3 The Current’s 12th birthday on Friday evening.
Local Minneapolis band Tiny Deaths’ dark and dreamy pop sound with catchy beats that’ll compel you to dance has not gone unnoticed. Several of their songs, including their single “Ocean”, have played on 89.3 The Current and Radio K, and with the recent release of their second EP Night Flowers, Tiny Deaths will be playing a show in Duluth at The Current’s Launch Party with Babes in Toyland, Astronautalis, and more.
But, Tiny Deaths isn’t another electro-pop group without substance. Lead singer and songwriter Claire de Lune injects thoughtful and deeply emotional lyrics to the mix, giving a slice of her life and smoothly guiding you along with her ethereal vocals.
I had a chance to sit down with Claire over coffee and talk about her journey as an artist, what her struggles are, and where she is taking Tiny Deaths in the future.
Playing a stripped down set, Gentry Schweiger and Colson Wabshaw of Boy on a Bike appeared on The Garage stage like two men born to be rock stars. Their unique and eclectic style showed as the white projector screen lifted. In the middle of the stage sat a thirteen-inch RCA television playing static with their band name in hot pink on the screen. Gentry, the lead singer and guitarist with long blonde hair, a black leather jacket, a black shirt, black skin-tight jeans, and white shoes, invited the audience to pull in a little closer to the stage.
Opposite him, Colson sat on a stool, his long brown hair and beard resembling a man of Biblical proportions come to jam on his electric guitar. On the outset, it’s hard to guess what style of music they’d play, but that’s the allure. They mix alternative rock, pop, synth, and dance all into one, bringing together their own sound, style, and voice.
Award season is here and what makes them more exciting is when one of Minnesota’s own is up for multiple Grammy’s. Allan Kingdom (real name Allan Kyariga), 21, isn’t the first from Minnesota who has been up for a music nomination and he certainly won’t be the last.
For those who don’t know, Kingdom is an up and coming rap artist who is also connected to the Electronic R&B group Stand4rd. His other aliases he goes by are “Peanut Butter Prince” and “The Northern Gentleman.”
The artist who got Soundset 2015’s Fifth Element stage thumping early was a new face from a familiar place: SET THE SMITH. After wrapping up his performance he gave us a sneak peak at his new extended play Places which features a song of the same name (available in music video form too).
Minnesota Connected then got a chance to converse with SET THE SMITH, the man himself:
Soundset’s perennial success might come as a surprise to the casual onlooker, but anyone digging deeper knows the stalwart power of what it means to those who keep attending. Minnesota would seem like an odd place for one of the world’s top hip-hop festivals, yet Rhymesayers (our local label) has found the terrain quite fertile. Soundset year upon year keeps springing forth a complete ecosystem of hip-hop that’s seemingly unhindered by setbacks or the elements.[Continue Reading]
The music scene today is impossibly vast.
The sum total of radio stations, even more open-minded ones like The Current and Radio K, cannot absorb the sheer magnitude of cult favorites, local secrets, and promising upstarts that flood the orgy of blank stimulation known as the Internet.
As such, a band like The Mountain Goats can excel both critically and commercially enough to headline a show at First Avenue last Sunday (April 19), while many will have no idea who they are.
Cleveland-based duo mr. Gnome are a perfect example of the paradox of modern music. Listening to their albums before their show at the Nomad World Pub Sunday, my mind conjured images of sprawling stage shows and cult-sized bands like Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and the Twin Cities’ Cloud Cult. What I found was real-life married couple Nicole Barille and Sam Meister, hanging out in the bar before the show, talking to patrons, and helping their crew set up their own merch table. They even took a few moments before the show to chat.
Twin Cities native John Rosensteel just released his self-titled John Rosensteel last month, and has received a lot of local support for the finished product.
“It’s a fun album, and I’ve been encouraged by all the positive feedback thus far,” John Rosensteel says of his debut album. “My goal was to write well-rounded songs; I think it resonates well with people not only musically, but because the lyrics are very relatable as well… And hopefully they’re fun songs to listen to.”
Nobody embodies all the myths of the singer/songwriter better than Sufjan Stevens. On the one hand there’s the genius: the multi-instrumental prodigy who seems to have been born to effortlessly, even naively conjure sheer Orphean beauty through noise. On the other is the recluse. The few glimpses he allows into his private world, including a role on his church’s worship team, are as unremarkable as his orchestrations are impossibly grand. Equally important the enigma. Stevens conforms to no audience or expectation besides himself and his own. One moment he’s singing solemn hymns to Jesus. The next he’s shouting F-bombs in a neurotic frenzy. Either you keep up or you don’t. He doesn’t seem to care.