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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The Myth of the 27 Club

Categories: History
Wikimedia Commons/Borinot bcr
An Amy Winehouse mural in Barcelona; she died July 23, 2011.

Part I (September 2014):
I've just traveled down some dark search engine tunnel to where Lana Del Rey declared that she wants to join the 27 Club. This idea is so often romanticized in the vacuum of culture. Live fast, die young; rock 'n' roll will kill me before it dies; punk is dead, and so are all of my favorite rock stars.

Have we inherited this impending sense of doom because being a real rock star is like killing yourself over and over in front of an audience? It's the money. It's the drugs. It's when those two roads diverged in a yellow wood and you took the darker one.

I refuse to join the 27 Club. I just need to make it through the next five months.

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Bridge Is Not Where You Think It Is

Categories: History
Photo by Timothy Norris
Anthony Kiedis
One of the most hotly debated songs is Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge," which, ever since its release in 1991, has prompted countless investigations as to the location of the infamous bridge in question.

That mystery was purportedly solved in 2012, when Vulture writer Mark Haskell Smith claimed he'd found the bridge where RHCP singer Anthony Kiedis nearly gave his life away shooting heroin: in MacArthur Park.

But after doing our own research and consulting with countless drug and gang experts in Los Angeles, we found enough evidence not only to prove Smith wrong -- but to definitively state where that bridge is.

Yes, we said it. We know where "the bridge downtown" is -- and it's not where you think. More »

Year in Music 2014: A Twin Cities Rock 'n' Roll Yearbook

Photo by E. Katie Holm; design and layout by Emily Utne; special thanks to the University of Minnesota Bell Museum; wardrobe provided by Rewind Vintage.
Jeremy Messersmith had a royal year.

Sifting through every Vine, every Facebook invite, every opinionated 140-character review, and every impassioned show during a year -- hell, even a single day -- in the Twin Cities music community would be impossible. But plenty of us can't help but watch the familiar cycles of creative growth and decay with anticipation for what is yet to come.

Before Gimme Noise closes a chapter and starts a new one for 2015, here are the stories that were particularly uplifting, strange, sad, or a bit of all three from the past year.

See also:
The 20 Best Twin Cities Concerts of 2014

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Rage Against the Machine's The Battle of Los Angeles: Still Relevant 15 Years Later

Categories: History
Fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy.

It was no coincidence that Rage Against the Machine released The Battle of Los Angeles on what's traditionally observed as Election Day in the United States in 1999. The 2000 election season was already in gear, with Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore setting up to spar -- but Rage struck first.

The band's third studio album claimed the top spot on the charts, and burned with unbridled rebellion fueled by Zack de la Rocha's radical rhymes and Tom Morello's experimental mastery on guitar.

In many ways, the world hasn't changed nearly enough in the past 15 years. Here's why The Battle of Los Angeles feels as urgent now as it did when it was first unleashed.

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How Steve Albini convinced Nirvana to record In Utero in MN

Categories: History
While music fans mark the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's In Utero -- either by comparing it to Nevermind or Counting Crows' August and Everything After -- the historical documents of the time have emerged. One of particular interest to locals is the original 1992 pitch for working on the album that producer Steve "If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up" Albini sent to the band.

In it, we get Albini's recommendation that they record at the rural enclave that is the ever-overhauled Pachyderm near Cannon Falls. A ton of artists of local and national concern have occupied the space, but Nirvana are the best-known clients to this day.

See Also: Nirvana's In Utero vs. Nevermind: Which is better?

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Urban Lights celebrates 20 years of record store madness in St. Paul

Photo by Lars Larson
If these walls could talk. Urban Lights is one of the longest-running -- and underrated -- music shops in the Twin Cities, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Saturday at Nomad World Pub. That's a pretty big deal; anything lasting 20 years in these ADHD days is nothing short of a miracle, especially in the record-selling business. 

So how did a small record shop in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul last 20 years in one of the most fickle and shady of industries? Good stories and good people.

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Top 10 CC Club stories submitted by readers


With Olivia Lavecchia

In honor of last week's cover story, an oral history of the CC Club, we asked readers to submit their own stories from the landmark south Minneapolis bar. You did not disappoint. We ended up with a couple dozen tales of booze-fueled shenanigans, ranging from dates gone awry to bar fights and projectile vomiting. Here are the 10 best (in no particular order):

Cover: An oral history of the CC Club
Extra: An oral history of the CC Club jukebox

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An oral history of the CC Club jukebox

Categories: History, Nostalgia

The bar back in the 1950s, when it was still the CC Tap and offered live music and dancing.
With Andy Mannix

When David Prass bought the CC Tap in 1974, it was a 3.2 beer joint that had live music and a stage. Prass re-named the bar the CC Club, and transferred the liquor license over from his father's old bar. Along with the booze came new restrictions on the kind of entertainment the CC could offer, including no more bands. But the bar could still have a jukebox.

Over the next decade-plus, as the CC Club became the center of Minneapolis's rock scene, its juke became legendary. The employees at the record store across the street would walk over with new records, and the bands who hung out there, including the Replacements and Soul Asylum, would drop off their singles to be added into the rotation. The juke became symbolic: If it was still playing, the bar was still swinging (several stories begin with some variation on, "It was like 1 o'clock, the jukebox hadn't been turned off yet..."). And if a local band's CD showed up in the juke, it was a sign they had made it.

About two years ago, the CC traded its carefully curated old jukebox for a digital one that can play thousands of songs. The greater catalog has meant increased revenue for the bar's owners, but also the feeling that, as Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner puts it, "That era is gone."

See Also:
- COVER: Here Comes a Regular: An Oral History of the CC Club
- Slideshow: Behind the scenes: The CC Club, an oral history
- Best Jukebox 1998 and 1999

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The Micranots: 10 Years after Return of the Travellahs

Categories: History
Nick Wosika
The Micranots
This season marks a monumental occasion for seminal Twin Cities hip-hop duo the Micranots. Along with the announcement of a one-night-only reunion show at 7th Street Entry this March, as well as the upcoming digital release of their 2000 album Obelisk Movements, it also marks the ten-year anniversary of their first Rhymesayers offering, the re-release of their Return of the Travellahs album, which originally dropped in 1996.

Gimme Noise spoke to members I Self Devine and DJ Kool Akiem about looking back on the project a decade later and what exactly made the Travellahs return.

See Also:
Micranots Break Up

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