RONiiA Build a Dreamy Fantasy World Within New LP

Categories: Album Release
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Graham Tolbert
RONiiA

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
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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

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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
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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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Sweetz P. Stays Aggressive on Life Behind Barrrs

Categories: Album Release
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KCP Visuals
Chicago-born, Minneapolis-bred rapper Sweetz P.

"People that were born there are still there, or died there," Amber "Sweetz P." Hill tells us of Altgeld Gardens. The rapper is carefully inspecting a chicken wing over her plate at Muddy Waters, looking up seriously from beneath a dark ski-hat and curtain of dreads."That's the type of place it is."

Altgeld Gardens is a housing project on the South Side of Chicago. Built for returning African-American WWII veterans, it is both a historic landmark and an ongoing prison cell of sorts -- the bars of which are formed metaphorically by both inside and outside forces.

Though Sweetz P. and her extended family have called Minneapolis home for many years now, those formative days spent in the Gardens are what so decisively shape her sound and aesthetic on Life Behind Barrrs, the full-length she will release as the final act of a trilogy this Tuesday. Much like her previous work, Life Behind Barrrs is rife with trippy trap-induced beats, laden by Sweetz's throaty vocals combining artful storytelling with an ample dose of braggadocio and swag.


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Hardcore Crayons Return Triumphant With Zozzled

Categories: Album Release

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Sharolyn Hagen
Minneapolis trio Hardcore Crayons

Hardcore Crayons | Triple Rock Social Club | Friday, November 21
Gimme Noise recently bro'd out with Minneapolis experimental rock trio Hardcore Crayons over some Hamms in the hopes of uncovering the secret to their staying power.

What we found was surprisingly simple: drummer Jake Kirkman, guitarist/vocalist Dan Chizek, and bassist/vocalist Dominic Hanft have built a band on a solid foundation of friendship and their shared laissez-faire, don't-give-a-fuck approach to maneuvering any aspect of being a musician -- other than actually making the music itself.

Rather than burning out on their own ambition, Hardcore Crayons has turned their band into what Jake sees as a "sanctuary." In anticipation of Friday's Zozzled release show at the Triple Rock, here's more from our conversation.


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Prince Hosting Online Listening Party from Paisley Park Tonight

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The release of one new Prince album is enough to make major waves throughout the music industry. But when the Purple One decides to release two records on the same day, you know he's going to officially command the headlines. Today, Prince's solo record with producer Joshua Welton, Art Official Age, and his full-band album with 3rdEyeGirl, PLECTRUMELECTRUM, are released. But you know that the musical festivities won't end there.

Prince is hosting a listening party from Paisley Park tonight, which will be live-streamed online beginning at 9:30 p.m. Central Time.

See Also: 53 Things You Might Not Know About Prince


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Claire de Lune Breaks Down Tiny Deaths' Debut EP

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Photo By Zoe Prinds-Flash

For nearly two years, Claire de Lune has poured her creative energy into her new musical project with Grant Cutler, Tiny Deaths. Today, their self-titled new EP has finally been released to the music world. To celebrate the grand occasion, we not only have a stream of the captivating album for you to enjoy, we also have an insightful track-by-track breakdown of the EP by Claire herself. She candidly shares the inspiration behind her new songs, how they were transformed in the studio by Cutler's deft production, and how losing a love in your life is similar to the dead of winter.

See Also: Claire de Lune on Tiny Deaths: I made songs I would listen to


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What Tyrants are the definition of high-energy rock 'n' roll

Categories: Album Release

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Photo courtesy of the artist
What Tyrants | 7th St. Entry | Tuesday, August 26
One of the more important aspects of being in a band together is trust. It's something that the brothers in What Tyrants have had a lifetime to develop. "Kyle and I have been playing together since second grade," says lead vocalist and guitarist Sean Schultz of his brother Kyle, the band's drummer.

The two are lounging with bass player Garrison Grouse in the basement of his South Minneapolis home, the band's de facto practice space and recording studio during so many all-night sessions. They are taking a break from assembling sleeves for their new 7-inch Hanging Out in Havana, which they will release Tuesday evening at the 7th Street Entry, to talk to Gimme Noise about everything that has led up to this moment.

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Phantom Tails: We're fascinated by violence

Categories: Album Release

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Courtesy of the Artist

Phantom Tails | Triple Rock Social Club | Friday, August 22
"Rides Battalion has a few different meanings," explains singer and guitarist Orion Treon. He and the other members of deep-space doom-funk quartet Phantom Tails are kicking back around midnight on the porch of Thug Mansion, the rambling south Minneapolis property that each of them has at some point called home, and that currently hides their practice space in its catacombs of a basement. Each cradles a beer in their palm. We are discussing their upcoming full-length release, Rides Battalion.

"The main thing is that the songs come at you one after another," he continues. "It's an army of songs connected that keep coming at you. All of the songs have pretty elaborate changes that really come into one flowing piece. That's the battalion part." There is a militaristic theme to the album as well, and references to violent incidents. "We're fascinated by violence, but who isn't?"

Keyboardist Sergio Hernandez cuts in. "What do you mean we?" He grins jokingly, laughing. Treon and Hernandez are still friends from when they met years ago, back when both lived in Texas. Treon claims to have played music with Hernandez for the past 20 years. Their close friendship is easily noticeable. Hernandez sits on the couch beside Treon and holds a cigarette with one arm draped casually over the back of the couch by his shoulder, almost as if moving to embrace his skinny frame. All four of the men have been a tight-knit group for many years, and their bond shines through in the sounds on Rides Battalion.

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