Who in God's Name Is Lecrae?

Categories: Interview
Photo Courtesy of Reach Records

Lecrae | Skyway Theatre | Friday, October 24
Lecrae is what we call a Christian rapper. A supremely successful Christian rapper.

His album, Anomaly, recently reached the top spot on the Billboard charts. That's right, the same Billboard 200 chart that Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna eviscerate every time they release an album. And he did so by selling more first-week copies (88,000) than mainstream star Big Sean's latest album, Hall of Fame, which only sold 72,000.

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Ani DiFranco at First Avenue, 10/18/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Youa Vang

Ani DiFranco
with Jenny Scheinman
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday night, singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco joked about the friendly service she got from the staff the first time she played at First Avenue. "That's Minnesota for you -- being nice without having to be," she quipped.

Between her quick-witted banter, the 44-year-old connected old material with new songs. All the while, her portrait of artistic integrity was simultaneously fierce and tender.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 10/20-10/23

Categories: Concert Preview
Photo by Dan Monick
Rhye -- See Thursday!

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

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Iggy Azalea at TCF Bank Stadium, 10/17/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson

Iggy Azalea
with Walk the Moon
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Friday, October 17, 2014

One strange thing about an Iggy Azalea concert is that while it pulls from hip-hop, it also skips blithely past it. The Australian rap sensation puts on what is essentially a pop concert, grabbing genre tropes to toy with along the way. 

There's levels to this shit, and the University of Minnesota students celebrating homecoming at TCF Bank Stadium was a wholly different subset of ticket-buyers than Azalea's last Minneapolis appearance. Two years ago, she performed alongside local female rap acts like BdotCroc, the Lioness, and the Chalice ('member them?) at the Fine Line. The key to making such a huge venue jump is the level of pop leanings and radio presence to keep mega-hit "Fancy" atop the Billboard Hot 100 longer than any female rapper in history. These necessary components are rarities among rap acts -- period.

See also:
Slideshow: Iggy Azalea Wows at the U of M's Homecoming Concert

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The Cassette Tape Is Alive and Well in Minneapolis

Categories: Interview
Emily Eveland
Franklin, Neudorff, Max "Hearbreak," and Wilkinson

All hail cassette tapes, the durable rectangles of years past. While most people were transitioning from tapes to discs to digital media, a small subset of DIY musicians were still clinging tightly to the cassette tape. Minneapolis is home to a number of labels that focus almost exclusively on cassette releases, including MJ/MJ, No Problem Records, and Cat People.

Walker Neudorff, Colin Wilkinson, and Simon Brooks of local noise-rock group Tree Blood have just launched a new tape distro -- a hub for artists to sell their local releases -- called Milk Wax. Starting November 1, they will have several sections showcasing local, national, and international cassettes set up within Dead Media in Seward. 

Gimme Noise chatted with Neudorff and Wilkinson about cassette tape culture and the local cassette-loving community.

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Life Lessons From Bob Dylan, in Illustrated Form

Categories: Bob Dylan
Jena Ardell; Quotation via cbsnews.com.

The answers to many of life's great questions, my friend, are lurking in the wisdom of Bob Dylan. Over his long, fruitful life he has said and sung a great many things to inspire the mere mortals following along.

Sure, you can spend $200 this November to pick up The Lyrics: Since 1962, a book that catalogs every lyric Bob Dylan has ever recorded, and go see the Bard at the Orpheum during his three-night residency. But getting closer to Bob is a lifelong process to be nurtured daily. 

Thus, here are some life lessons learned from the poetic pessimist. 

See also:
Bob Dylan's 2014 U.S. tour dates -- Minneapolis in November

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Sound Unseen Reveals 2014 Film Festival Lineup

Categories: Festivals, Film
Heaven Adores You
Elliott Smith on on tour, circa 1998

The festivities for Sound Unseen's 15th annual Film+Music+Art Festival kick off in grand -- if a bit bittersweet -- fashion this year.

Leading the impressive slate of films just announced is the Minnesota premiere of Nickolas Rossi's film, Heaven Adores You. It's an intimate look at both the life and music of Elliott Smith. Rossi and producer Marc Smolowitz will be in attendance at the premiere.

Sound Unseen is set to take place between November 12-16, with films screening at McNally Smith College of Music and the Bedlam Theatre in St. Paul, and the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis. The full schedule is below.

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The Best Twin Cities Concerts This Weekend: 10/17-19

Categories: Concert Preview
Photo by Dan Monick
King Tuff -- See Saturday!

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

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The Lazy Kids Get Weird on New Album, Tunnel Visions

Categories: CD Release
Photo by Miki Abeler

The Lazy Kids | 7th St Entry | Monday, October 20
The Lazy Kids' rough and ready indie rock songs are intensely satisfying. Their attitude, their lyrics, and their cello (!) bring their new album, Tunnel Visions, straight up to the edge.

Gimme Noise caught up with the band before their album release at the 7th St. Entry on Monday to chat about how the music has evolved since the band met on Craigslist, and saying goodbye to their long-time cellist at the album release show.

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Keith Ellison's Get Out the Vote Concert 2014 Lineup

Categories: Just Announced
Photo by Nick Wosika
Sims leads a packed lineup for the congressman's Get Out the Vote show.
Local congressman Keith Ellison -- a noted Prince and Woody Guthrie fan -- is taking his message to the club this election season. Just like he did in 2012, he's assembled a fundraiser aimed directly at his youthful constituents.

Ahead of Election Day, First Avenue will stage a night of hip-hop (and Gabriel Douglas) this November hosted by Ellison.   More »

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