Reina del Cid Turn Dark on New Album

Categories: Album Release

Reina del Cid

"I used to write a lot of love songs, because I used to play the uke, and that's what comes out of the ukelele," Reina of Minneapolis band Reina del Cid shares about the band's new album, The Cooling. "At a certain point, I had this realization that I just had to open the door to a darker side."

On The Cooling, the quartet dig deeper than they ever have in sound and emotion, a depth the band seems to have woven into their being in the three years they've been working on the album.

Gimme Noise caught up with lead singer Reina del Cid and guitarist Toni Lindgren before the band's album release at the Cedar Cultural Center on Thursday night.

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The 4onthefloor go 'All In' to Typify Minnesota Rock 'n' Roll

Sara Montour
The 4ontheFloor
One speed -- full speed. One way -- all the way.

This is the working philosophy behind the latest album from the 4onthefloor, possibly Minneapolis's last­-standing rock band. It's been six years since frontman Gabriel Douglas and his kick drum­-thumping foursome roared their way into the Minneapolis music scene, winning the title of's best new band in 2011. Since then, it's been a maelstrom of touring and recording -- 443 shows and five albums, the fifth of which, All In (out May 26), was designed to capture the blue­-collar rapture of happy hour in their home state.

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Charlie Parr Finds a Band and a Label for His Personal New Album

Photo by Peter Lee
Charlie Parr | Varsity Theater | Friday, May 1

The timelessness of Charlie Parr's folk, country blues, and spirituals is not an attempt to be archaic. It occurs naturally. "It does feel contemporary to me, maybe just because I'm doing it now," Parr says via phone from a California wayside on a recent drive to Berkeley.

Parr's scratchy vocals are filled with the haunting echo of a century-old musical bard rising from a dusty country crossroads. Add his eccentric picking on 12-string guitar, dobro, or banjo, and Parr seems to have stepped off some ancient 78 with Blind Lemon Jefferson, or away from a campfire after swapping songs with Woody Guthrie.

See Also:
Charlie Parr: With this job, there's no way to retire

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Birthday Suits: Celebrating New Album and 10-Year Anniversary at Turf Club

photo by Erik Hess

Birthday Suits | Turf Club | Saturday, May 2

In an era of ProTools and Bandcamp, sometimes bands saturate the market before they are any good, or even know what they are doing. Birthday Suits do it the right way: honing their craft, touring, and putting in sweat equity.

The April 28 release of their new album, Spin the Bottle: Adult Party, isn't just a reason to celebrate their third full-length record. It also marks the rowdy rock band's 10th birthday, and they are throwing a raucous party at the Turf Club on Saturday, May 2, to mark both grand occasions.

See also:
Swami John & the Blind Shake Are a 21st-Century Surf-Rock Supergroup

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How Hot Date Fell in Love and Accidentally Formed a Band

Categories: Album Release
Photo by Benny Moreno
Hot Date | Bedlam Lowertown | Friday, February 13
"I remember thinking, 'Oh, god,' the first time I saw him, but he was talking to my friends, and I noticed him because he was gorgeous," Nora O'Brien of the St. Paul duo Hot Date is sharing the particulars behind her introduction to bandmate Eric Carranza..

"He beelined for me and said 'hi,'" she continues. "That same night, we broke into the basement of an empty building and sang Erykah Badu, and he smelled my hair. That was weird, but I let it happen." Hot Date's debut album, For Lovers, traces lines of jazz and soul and mixes it with infectious pop. Gimme Noise sat down with the duo before their album release at Bedlam Lowertown on Friday.
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Jonathan Rundman Embraces Taylor Swift-Level Pop on Look Up

Categories: Album Release
Photo via artist
The world can change a lot in 10 years, as Jonathan Rundman is finding out. Back in 2004, the singer put out Public Library, a solo album that landed on many "Best of" lists. Soon after, Rundman took some time off to be a stay-at-home dad. When he came back to music, the scene had changed a lot -- to the point where an artist can be completely DIY and building their career at their own pace.

His new album, Look Up, which is out this week, has Rundman learning the keys and polishing what he did as a singer-songwriter to reveal the inner pop star that had been in hiding.
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RONiiA Build a Dreamy Fantasy World Within New LP

Categories: Album Release
Graham Tolbert

RONiiA | 7th St Entry | Friday, December 12
Several years ago, Dark Dark Dark's Nona Marie Invie attended a showing of Ronia the Robber's Daughter in uptown Minneapolis. Invie was so taken by Ronia's plight that she eventually decided to adopt Ronia's name as a moniker for her latest musical endeavor: RONiiA.

Ronia the Robber's Daughter is a children's fantasy book, published in 1981 by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren and was repurposed into film several years later. Ronia, a young girl growing up amidst a clan of robbers, finds herself reaching out to an opposing clan of robbers, befriending one and finding means of bringing him food through the harsh winter. Watching the film, Invie saw herself in Ronia's character. The young girl's struggle for peace stayed with her.

"I've experienced lots of loss lately," Invie says. She and bandmate Fletcher Barnhill (Joint Custody, FUGITIVE) check in with us from the road, in a van headed back to Minneapolis after a spate of West Coast performances. Their counterpart, Mark McGee (Father You See Queen, Marijuana Deathsquads) chimes in from home. The three are in good spirits, preparing for their release show with Marijuana Deathsquads and Bliss U.K. at 7th Street Entry.

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Pony Bwoy's när-kə Is a Dark, Potent Acid Trip

Categories: Album Release
Jacque Clark

When we checked in with Pony Bwoy last year, the duo were living and recording in their cold, cramped studio in northeast Minneapolis. Semi-homeless and grappling with the demands of musicianship, Jeremy Nutzman and Hunter Morley were more inclined to instruct readers to just sit down and listen to their music, rather than try to sell it with their words.

This week, Pony Bwoy release när-kə, a digital 13-track album that sprawls hesitantly out of a rumbling wall of bass, traveling through the murky veins of Nutzman and Morley's shared creative body -- two bodies, one mind. There is really only one appropriate word to describe the sound: acid. The kind you hold under your tongue.

After playing several local shows and modest touring dates for their self-titled effort, Pony Bwoy are waiting to play live again until their spring tour with Poliça, and a Twin Cities performance on Valentine's Day with Tickle Torture.

"We just have to step back and look at it for what it is, and not try to get ahead of it or make it into something that it ever was," Nutzman says. He is unsure if Pony Bwoy's music translates into a live setting.

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We Are the Willows Turn Love Letters Into an Orchestral Folk Masterpiece

Categories: Album Release

Photo by Graham Tolbert
L-R: Peter Miller, Hilary James, Leah Ottman, Stephen Lindquist, Travis Collins, and Jeremiah Satterthwaite

We Are the Willows | Turf Club | Saturday, December 13
We Are the Willows' second full-length album, Picture [Portrait], is like a period film — dreamy, lush, and filled with nostalgia and yearning. Concept albums are always ambitious, and this one is no exception. Within, the Minneapolis indie folk act's lead singer, Peter Miller, has pieced together the story of his grandparents' courting days based upon 350 evocative old letters.

Miller lived with his grandparents while he was in college. His grandmother Verlie would sometimes speak of the letters her eventual husband Alvin would write. His interest piqued, Miller asked to read them, but she insisted they'd be of no interest. Finally, when Miller graduated from college, she gave them to him as a gift.

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Moonlight Grammar Is the Punk-Turned-Rapper Handing You a Tallboy

Categories: Album Release
Photo by Shane Schlosser
Moonlight Grammar | 7th St. Entry | Wednesday, December 3
"I was at the Mall of America buying a bull horn for my album release show, and I stopped off at Hooters for some shots of whiskey this afternoon, so I'm a little..." Alan Fashbaugh a.k.a. Moonlight Grammar trails off as he rocks his hand back and forth in a so-so gesture to indicate his tipsy state. "Have you ever been drunk in the afternoon with a mall full of people? It's trippy."

The hip-hop artist, set to release his newest album, The High Tide Recordings, is at times playful and at others as intense as his lyrics during a conversation at an Uptown coffee shop in late November.
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