Your Guide to the Best Music During Art-A-Whirl Weekend

Photo by Alexa Jones
Retribution Gospel Choir will be playing at 331 Club.

Can you believe Art-A-Whirl has already been around for 20 years? As the Northeast arts festival grows, the surrounding community and venues have jumped at the opportunity to show off their own goods during the art-centric weekend, from music to beer and everything in between. The festival is strictly centered on visual arts and crafts made by NEMAA artists, but there are plenty of other unofficial events this weekend including live music, block parties, and more.

The sprawling schedule of events is a lot to take in over the course of the weekend. So we're providing a handy guide to the music taking place during Art-A-Whirl weekend. Check out the general information, musical lineups, and schedules below, and have some fun in Nordeast this weekend.

Art-A-Whirl 2015 takes place Friday May 15-Sunday May 17.

See also:
The music of Art-A-Whirl, 5/17/14

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Why Nine Inch Nails' Fierce "March of the Pigs" Video Rules

Screengrab via YouTube
Doesn't it make you feel better?

When people ask me which music video is my all-time favorite, Nine Inch Nails' "March of the Pigs" immediately comes to mind. The lead single from NIN's 1994 opus The Downward Spiral was as abrasive, noisy, and emotionally battering as it was popular.

There was a more-elaborate version in the works involving, among other things, a cave and a little person. Frontman Trent Reznor abandoned this idea for simply shooting the video in front of a white backdrop and playing the song live -- a truly '90s thing to do. It was perfect in it's non-idea of "film us playing and breaking shit, yeah, let the stagehands get in the shot if they have to" and has the overall feel of a snuff film without a death at the end of it. Let's take a trip back together.

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331 Club Posts 2015 Art-A-Whirl Weekend Lineup

Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash
The Blind Shake at Are You Local? 2015.

As the symptoms of winter subside, Art-A-Whirl weekend approaches. In recent years, the NEMAA-organized showcase of some of the best local visual art talent has become a time for unofficial AAW block parties that conveniently coincide with the official events.

The biggest of the batch has historically been the 331 Club, which turns its parking lot into a garden of delights, including the outdoor stage, food trucks, and art vendors. This year, 27 performances are scheduled at the northeast Minneapolis club, led by the Blind Shake, Retribution Gospel Choir, MaLLy, and Mixed Blood Majority.

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Kanye West Soundtracked Kevin Garnett's T-Wolves "Homecoming"

Screengrab via Fox Sports
Kevin Garnett shows his emotion during his homecoming press conference.

For those among us who thrive on athletic competition's unadulterated emotion, there will never be enough players quite like Timberwolves superstar forward Kevin Garnett. At the height of his Hall of Fame NBA career, watching him toast victory and shoulder defeat was as riveting as Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, or Kanye West and Jay-Z performing "N*ggas in Paris" a dozen times in a row live.

Even if Garnett's numbers have diminished, his heart is right where it was when he rose out of Farragut Academy back in '95. When KG suited up as a T-Wolf earlier this week, the team gave him an emotional welcome back. On paper, some highlights set to Kanye's "Homecoming" -- featuring Coldplay's Chris Martin singing the hook -- might not seem like much. But nostalgic sports fans should watch it sitting down. It's devastating.

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Kanye West Just Introduced Allan Kingdom to the World

Screengrab via The Brit Awards
Kanye West just debuted "All Day" featuring Allan Kingdom (right).

Amid a season of creative activity with Paul McCartney and Grammys controversy, Kanye West just debuted his blistering new single "All Day" on the Brit Awards. After being introduced by wife Kim Kardashian, West and a mob of black-clad dancers tore up the stage as flames towered above them.

West had a surprise guest known quite well in the Twin Cities. Yep, as the photo above clearly shows, that's St. Paul rapper Allan Kingdom, who performs the hook on the new track. Taylor Swift was way into it.

See also:
The Best New Minnesota Musicians of 2014: Allan Kingdom

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See Your Favorite Rappers Drawn With 8-Bit Pixels

Art by A. Mulli/
The Bawse Rick Ross, rendered in 8-bit, eating healthy and drinking fancy.

It's gonna be a movie Nintendo game.

Famous rappers love to boast about their x-rated, violence-addled, billion-dollar blockbuster lives, as if every day were a supersexy summer action epic.

But rather than the Hollywood treatment... Maybe their flashy, larger-than-life, often ridiculous celebrity existences might be more adequately captured via candy-colored 8-bit portraiture?

A.Mulli seems to think so. Over the last two months, he's "pixeled," as he says, about 150 of rap and pop culture's most outlandish characters, from Miami's own Ricky Rozay to the fabulously cartoonish Kanye West and the only man on Earth with an ice-cream cone tattooed on his face, Gucci Mane.

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Six Videos of Hozier Before He Was Famous

Screengrab via YouTube
Hozier in 2011 -- playing to almost no one.

Love Hozier or hate Hozier, but don't say the 24-year-old didn't work hard to get to where he's at. The Irish singer's got stubble on his face these days because there's been no time to shave over the past three years.

Well before "Take Me to Church" surpassed 100 million YouTube views -- back when he was still known as Andrew Hozier-Byrne -- the man who just did a duet with Annie Lennox on the Grammys diversified his musical gifts for a variety of musical pursuits. Did you know he was even a backup singer for '80s pop star Billy Ocean?

Without spoiling the surprises, some of the blue-eyed soul singer's choices proved more admirable than others. Here are six videos, in chronological order, that tell the story of Hozier's musical life before he was famous.

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Inside Koo Koo Kanga Roo's Trashy Dumpster Show

Via Twitter
Koo Koo Kangaroo entered their Dumpstaphunk Era this past weekend.

Props to musicians like Koo Koo Kanga Roo who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty in the name of promoting their craft. The kid- and adult-friendly rap duo of Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad -- basically if you took Chris Pratt's Johnny Karate persona on Parks & Rec and cloned him twice -- dove into a Dumpster outside the offices of Zeus Jones on Lyndale Avenue for a Sunday afternoon performance.

Viewing much of the internet is already like watching people frolic in garbage anyhow, so what better way for the Koo Koo guys to raise some awareness about their new Gross EP?

See also:
Koo Koo Kanga Roo hop up to the big time

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Jack White's Letter to Music Journalists Is Amazing

Photo by Erik Hess; Lollapalooza 2012 slideshow here.
Jack White: "I can't even make Kool-Aid let alone cook any real food enough to have a 'recipe.'"

Holy guacamole! For both Jack White acolytes and those among us who gave up not long after De Stijl-era White Stripes, this is an entertaining read. The musician, producer, and Third Man label/studio owner (and Detroit Tigers fan who tends to not grin when some stranger sticks a camera in his face) just dropped a passionate, breathless essay about media etiquette.

The letter circulated Sunday has as many typos in it as a Fifty Shades of Grey thread on Reddit, and White is known for his "promotional inclinations." Still, his words are avocado pits jammed up the nostrils of careless media outlets that ran (and ran and ran) with rumors about White's leaked tour rider. Many didn't check the facts of a story about a recipe that was never more than de-veined and chopped gossip in the first place.

Here is the letter in full:

dear journalists and other people looking for drama or a diva,

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Behold the Least Metal Video Ever Made

Thumbnail image for chrisholmesletitroar.jpg
Screengrab via YouTube
We're not impressed.

If you don't remember Chris Holmes from his stint as lead guitarist in W.A.S.P., you are forgiven. The band was, after all, just another hair-metal act, and not one whose work has particularly stood the test of time. On the other hand, if you don't remember Chris Holmes from his interview in the Penelope Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, then you might have brain damage.

Who could ever forget Holmes floating in a swimming pool on an inflatable chair, swigging vodka from three separate bottles and babbling incoherently as his mom looked on, worried? It's arguably the greatest interview in music-documentary history.

His latest video is the music-video equivalent of that interview. Oh. My. God.

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