Devo's Bob Casale remembered with Energy Dome urns

Categories: Farewell

Publicity photo
Bob Casale is second from the left at the top
Earlier this year, the world lost a truly brilliant, beloved, and subversive musician -- Devo's Robert Casale, or Bob 2. Known for his work as Devo's guitarist, keyboard player, and audio engineer, Casale passed away unexpectedly of heart failure on February 17 of this year. Leaving behind no will or insurance, the recent 11-date "Hardcore Devo" tour (which was intended to include Bob 2 performing the band's early work with the remaining founding members of the group) was turned into a fundraiser to support his family and final expenses.

As the collective of Spudboys continue to mourn the loss of such an important figure in the fading realm of genuinely radical rock 'n' roll, fans can take solace in the fact that his ashes have been preserved in a particularly fitting and beautiful fashion.

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Cause Spirits & Soundbar: In memoriam

Categories: Farewell
Black Diet's Jonathan Tolliver at Cause

Jonathan Tolliver is the lead singer for Twin Cities rock 'n' soul band Black Diet. When he heard the Lyn-Lake club Cause Spirits & Soundbar was closing later this month, he was inspired to write this farewell essay.

Cause has always been a very cliquey place. Walking into the bar side on any given night is an exercise in trying not to get stuck hovering next to a large group of friends who've commandeered the bar, or next to a couple having a post-date drink. I blame the layout. Those two-seater high tops right in front of the bar make it impossible to drink and hover. If you're there alone, and there are no seats at the bar, you're left in the lurch, thirsty and adrift.

It makes sense, then, that folks bunch up. A couple of large groups dominate the side of the bar closest to the entrance. Slightly older regulars dodge the malaise and sit closer to the kitchen, making small talk and drinking slowly. If you didn't come in with a group, or early enough to grab a spot at the end of the bar, your best bet is to hit the venue side. There is typically no cover. If there is a cover, it's tiny and probably worth it. Unlimited standing room, much easier to get a drink, Pacman, an ATM. The benefits are endless.

See also:
Cause Spirits & Soundbar is closing

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City Pages' Jeff Gage is the new Dallas Observer music editor

Categories: Farewell

After nearly five years at City Pages, Jeff Gage is moving to the hotter pastures of Dallas. Next week, he'll join the staff of our sister paper, the Dallas Observer, as their new music editor.

For regular Gimme Noise readers, this development should come as no big surprise. Jeff has contributed to the editorial and spiritual tone of our music coverage for a long time. He takes just as great care with his words as he does with his hair.

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Gary Burger of the Monks has died

Categories: Farewell
Photo By Steve Cohen

Gary Burger, lead singer of the seminal '60s rock band the Monks, died earlier today at the age of 72, following a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Burger led the feedback-laden garage-rock sound of the Monks, a distinctive sounding -- and looking -- band who helped lay the musical groundwork for the harder edged punk sound that would eventually materialize a decade later.

Burger was elected mayor of Turtle River, Minnesota, in 2006, and in recent years, he delighted local fans with some truly scintillating live shows featuring raucous cuts from the Monks' landmark first and only studio album, Black Monk Time.

See Also: The Monks' beat goes on with pair of unsettling but fascinating reissues

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KS95 overnight host, Tim Dunbar, has died

Categories: Farewell
Tim Dunbar, overnight radio host at KS95, passed away at his West St. Paul home on Sunday night. Dunbar, 52, was on medical leave at the time of his death, and was undergoing radiation treatments after recently being diagnosed with throat cancer. According to medical examiners, he died of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that reached his lungs.

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Electric Fetus store in St. Cloud closing in May

Categories: Farewell
Facebook/Electric Fetus St. Cloud

The St. Cloud location of the Electric Fetus will close its doors in May after 27 years in business. The closure will leave the chain's Minneapolis and Duluth stores.

The Fetus made the announcement Friday, and cited the store's lease expiring as the reason behind deciding to consolidate their efforts to two stores.

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Pete Seeger has died, but "Turn! Turn! Turn!" lives on

Categories: Farewell
Photo Courtesy of Econosmith

The legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger died Monday at the age of 94. He left a legacy of indelible music and social change. His memorable songs and his unifying spirit course through the heart of modern music, and influenced the current nu-folk movement straight through to arena rock stars like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Wilco, and countless others.

Seeger's songs were often simple but carried enduring, hopeful messages of togetherness, tolerance, resistance, and change that spoke to one generation after the next. A celebrated number like "Turn! Turn! Turn!" -- which Seeger adapted from Bible verses drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes -- served as a counterculture activist anthem (and a No. 1 hit for the Byrds) in the '60s, but the song still resonates today.

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DJ Sovietpanda's Too Much Love to end seven-year run in February

Categories: Farewell
Photo by David Eckblad
Underground dance music in the Twin Cities is losing a titan night as Too Much Love is ending. An event inspired by an LCD Soundsystem song, DJ Sovietpanda's weekly parties pushed genre boundaries and thrilled the psyches of its attendees for the past seven years. "It's time to move on," he says in a statement.

On February 1, this run of Saturdays at First Avenue will wrap up one chapter and begin another. Sovietpanda, a.k.a. Peter Lansky, has already announced his next venture, a name change, and when the next event will occur.

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Toki Wright and Big Cats release "For Amiri Baraka" tribute

Categories: Farewell
Photo courtesy of the artist

The world's community of thinkers lost an amazing individual on Thursday with the passing of Amiri Baraka, born LeRoi Jones. He was 79. With uncensored and unrelenting poetry, essays, plays, music criticism, and other written works, he captured an underrepresented side of American life. From the racial tension captured in his play Dutchman to the dissection of music history amassed by black Americans in Blues People, his writing had academic weight and endless possibilities.

Toki Wright and Big Cats, who will release their Pangaea collaboration this year, felt the loss especially heavy, and decided to create a song to remember Baraka. "He was a huge influence on both of us," Big Cats says.

See Also: Toki Wright: Pangaea is the best music I've ever made

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R.I.P. Benjamin Curtis

Categories: Farewell
Photo By Benjamin Grimes

This past Sunday, Benjamin Curtis, the guitarist for School of Seven Bells and onetime member of Secret Machines, died at the age of 35 after a year-long battle with cancer. Curtis was an inventive, original musician who not only helped form the core of Secret Machines' dynamic sound, but he was able to stylistically switch gears when he left the band he founded with his brother Brandon to form the ethereal School of Seven Bells with Alejandra and Claudia Deheza.

This past February, Curtis announced that he had been diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a somber revelation which caused musicians from all over the country to pledge their support during numerous fund-raising events over the past year. Sadly, Curtis lost his courageous battle against cancer on Sunday night, leaving behind a stellar musical legacy that regularly touched us in the Twin Cities, as well as a community of musicians and fans who will miss him dearly.

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