Typsy Panthre's Allison Labonne talks Korda Records and tastes holiday cocktails at Gather
We'll be drinking buddies at the Walker's Gather restaurant for the afternoon, and we'll discuss the multiple musical projects Allison and her friends are currently working on with their recently founded label.
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With a big smile on his face Gather bartender, Josh Reigert pours us something for Winter, something blue: "Usually with this one I put in a rock candy garnish."
Allison takes a sip of what is aptly called Anti-Freeze and speaks contemplatively of the blue curaçao, vodka and pear cider delight: "This goes down real easy. It's a complex flavor though. Has some sort of botanical taste."
Reigert nods, "When I first came up with it I thought 'vodka and pear cider?!' Then I thought, 'Why not!?'"
After another sip Labonne elaborates, "It tastes like nighttime to me. Maybe it's the blue color."
It's musical equivalent: "Hmmm, It really feels electronic. I keep thinking of the Stranglers Feline." she says sounding satisfied.
Being part of the local electronic duo Typsy Panthre with the ever elusive musical mastermind of John Crozier, Allison sings and also stars in all the videos for the handful of songs featured on the pair's debut self-titled release that just came out on Korda Records this Fall.
"It was so cold when we filmed that we almost cancelled the shoot. We were all there so we went for it. Phil Harder had the idea of filming straight up or straight down. You don't see too much of the landscape." Allison explains. "Phil thought of animating it. Someone called the cops when we were out there and they came down to get us off the but then the cop car got stuck on the ice."
With a unique style for a Twin Cities band, Typsy Panthre's sound mixes an almost-European electronic pop sound that's cute and clever on some tracks, and dark and morose on others. Filled with strummed guitars, electronic ambiance and plenty of cooed vocals, Typsy Panthre's record works as a perfect vehicle in building on a lineage of musical projects under Crozier's belt that continues to mystify and promises more of a audio and visual approach than a typical bar band has to offer. "Live performances will be rare if not non-existent" Labonne offers.
"That's white chocolate!" Reigert tells us as he slides a couple more cold weather cocktails towards the two of us at the bar.
Of the Stoli Ohranj, Baileys, cold pressed coffee and yes, white chocolate sauce we both marvel at the results of Reigert's Snow Day cocktail: With a bit of a bitter taste I wince, "This definitely tastes like coffee, I hope this is decaf?!"
Allison interposes with a musical equivalent: "It is kind of a morning drink because of the coffee. Like Belle and Sebastian. You know like that really big record of theirs. What's it called? Why can't I remember?"
"The one with the girl on it." Labonne insists.
"That's like all of them," I shudder.
"You know, red cover. If You're Feeling Sinister!"
Of Reigert's next drink, Santa's Little Helper: "This is like drinking a candy cane!"
The musical equivalent: "My favorite Christmas song is 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' by Judy Garland. Johnny Mathis of course. I really love that Pretenders Christmas song '2000 Miles.'" she says thinking back and taking a repeat sip of the Stoli Strasberi, White Creme de Menthe and Cranberry juice drink.
"How is the infamous Legendary Jim Ruiz band these days?" I ask Allison while taking a look at the new CD called Mount Curve Avenue she'd sent me. "You are called the Jim Ruiz Set now?"
"Yeah! It was all recorded here in this house on Mount Curve Avenue. That's the title and there it is on the cover." she points out. "It was a magical time. Crazy getting a record done that quickly. Allen Clapp came to town and set up the studio. Everyone came in to do their part. It came together naturally. It is like 14 years of Jim's songs. It's a really good batch of songs. So great to have him active again."