The Velveteens Shed Poppy Past on New Album Sun's Up

Categories: Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of the artist
L-R: Kiera Coonan, Jonny Holupchinski, and Jillian Schroeder

The Velveteens | Hexagon Bar | Saturday, December 6

It's a bitterly cold Monday night for November, but the Velveteens' practice space is warm and full of life. A handful and a half of punks are milling around, doing the things punks do in their spare time. Tonight, that appears to be an intersection of board games and petting cats. In the midst of the semi-domestic milieu, a curse-filled cross-stitch pattern hangs over the stovetop on the way to the basement.

Downstairs, piles of half-functional equipment crowd the corners of the room and Christmas lights dangle around homespun sound baffling made from styrofoam coffee cups. Without all of the spilled beer and the press of bodies, it's easy to forget there were a couple of rowdy shows hosted here just a couple of days ago. The kids have a nickname for the place that sort of rhymes with "Shrimp Triscut," but for bassist Jillian Schroeder, casually flipping her laundry, it's just called "home."

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 12/1-4

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Photo by Dan Burn-Forti
Nick Lowe (and Los Straitjackets) -- see Wednesday!

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts Over Thanksgiving Weekend

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Photo courtesy of Blessed Press
Lucinda Williams -- see Saturday and Sunday!
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Hippo Campus Are Waking Up Twin Cities Indie Rock

Photo by Peter Jamus
L-R: Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton, Jake Luppen, and Whistler Allen

Hippo Campus | 7th St. Entry | Saturday, November 29
"What did somebody tweet at us today?" Hippo Campus singer/guitarist Jake Luppen polls his bandmates. Luppen, guitarist Nathan Stocker, bassist Zach Sutton, and drummer Whistler Allen are draped in winter garb and gathered around a table at Kopplin's in St. Paul. The collective goal at the moment is getting warmed up and caffeinated ASAP.

No one responds, so he quickly answers himself. "'Hippo Campus makes me want to do ratchet things on a rooftop.' That's the feeling I want people to feel."

The tweet in question actually reads: "your songs make me want to do hoodrat things on train tracks and on rooftops. i feel like i could take over the world." Close enough, and perhaps true enough. Within the Woodbury-based indie rock instigators' Bashful Creatures EP -- featuring The Jungle Book hooks alongside The Bad News Bears mischief in lyrical form -- lurks the unadulterated core of youth.

See also:
The Best New Minnesota Musicians of 2014: Hippo Campus

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Here Are the Perfect Thee Oh Sees Albums for Every Occasion

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Tell All Your Friends PR
There's no wrong time to listen to Thee Oh Sees.

Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer's garage-freakout art-noise bonafides are ironclad (see also: The Coachwhips; Pink and Brown), and it usually takes only one album-length dose of his most enduring and best band to start craving more.

And more there is. The San Francisco-based act has released nearly 20 full-lengths in the past dozen years. Picking out the best stuff from such a massive discography relies on a simple-enough hierarchy: here's the weird demo stuff, here's the one the blogs went nuts over, here's the experiment that shook off the bandwagon fans, and so on.

Thee Oh Sees are coming to the Amsterdam this Friday -- just in time to knock you out of your post-Thanksgiving turkey coma. Once you've done your civic duty of picking up their most recent record, the slickly produced yet still vertigo-inducing Drop, you might want a next step. So here are the best records for specific life situations, preferably ones where you have no idea how they'll end.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 11/24-27

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Courtesy of Windish Agency
Flosstradamus -- See Tuesday!
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The Best Twin Cities Concerts This Weekend: 11/21-23

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Photo By Laura Partrain
Robyn Hitchcock -- See Friday (Two shows)!

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 11/17-20

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My Brightest Diamond -- See Monday!

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FKA twigs: "Emotion in Music Is All So Subjective"


FKA twigs' LP1 album art by collaborator Jesse Kanda

FKA twigs | Fine Line Music Cafe | Friday, November 14

Update: The Fine Line show is sold out, but details for twigs' Paisley Park appearance are on the next page.

Curlicues of baby hair snake around baby-smooth temples and disappear into spiral plaits. Perfect cupid's bow lips coo at a microphone. A voice both angelic and sultrily impish floats into the air. This is FKA twigs.

The FKA stands for "Formerly Known As" -- an acronym tacked on to her nickname twigs, which refers to the way her bones crack as she dances (she's particular about that lowercase "t"). Her original moniker "twigs" proved too similar to another musical group, so she added a few letters. Christened Tahliah Barnett in rural in Gloucestershire before making her way to London as a teenager, the now-26-year-old has been captivating music fans in-the-know since releasing EP1 2012.

The petite performer is touring across the pond now, selling out shows around the States, and for good reason. She's a damn good performer. Earlier this year, twigs played at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, giving discerning Midwestern fans a taste of the hype they'd only seen in fever-dream videos. Clad in matching patchwork pants, a midriff-baring top, and carefully coiffed pigtails, the singer crooned at the crowd over her blue-tinted sunglasses. The audience was in love.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts This Weekend: 11/14-16

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Photo By Eliot Lee Hazel
Interpol -- See Friday!

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