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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New Century Sessions announces fall music lineup

Categories: Just Announced
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Photo By Erik Hess
Mark Mallman is one of the artists set to perform during the fall season of the New Century Sessions

Beginning with a series of intimate shows late last year, the Hennepin Theatre Trust's New Century Sessions helped usher in a new music venue to downtown Minneapolis. The New Century Theatre is a modern, 250-capacity room in the heart of City Center, which provides a unique, personal concert experience for fans and artists alike.

To build on the success of their past seasons, the New Century Sessions have just announced a string of three new shows, which all feature talented local musicians.

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Top 10 concerts to see at the MN State Fair

Categories: Concert Preview
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Photo by Erik Hess
We love you, Joan Jett.

The Minnesota State Fair begins this week! End of summer and all that, sure. But it means the beginning of a barrage of outdoor shows, fireworks, and beer-flavored gelato. Between the Grandstand and the myriad free stages, there's enough entertainment to make a fan feel like she's consumed one too many orders of walleye mac & cheese. (We kid. That would be impossible.)

As a helpful service to the busy fair-going public, here's our top 10 shows at the 2014 get-together.

See also:
Minnesota State Fair: Cheap and free things to do

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Passenger: I didn't feel the pressure then and I don't feel it now

Categories: Q&A
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Photo by Shervin Lainez
Passenger| First Avenue| Sunday, August 24

The meaningful lyrics from Passenger's hit single "Let Her Go" only took Mike Rosenberg 45 minutes to write. So far, the breakup song has over 363 million views on YouTube, and has allowed the folk singer-songwriter to go from playing small pubs in England to world tours. In June, his new album Whispers was released, and it's just as full of thoughtful lyrics bashing social media as All the Little Lights but with a more upbeat tone.

Ahead of Sunday's First Avenue show, Gimme Noise talked with Rosenberg about his new album, social media, and his love for lyrics.

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Which version of your favorite band is worth seeing?

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Courtesy the artist
There's always room for another Mike Love joke
At some point in the career of a band, the original members often reach an impasse and go their separate ways. Of course, there's still money to be made, so separate parties involved often hit the road and play their hits anyway. As a result, there often end up being multiple acts playing the same songs under the same name. Oops.

In recent years, as the stadium-sized egos of classic-rock bands and old-school rap groups have passed into their golden years, this has become an ever more frequent issue. Sadly, it often leads to mass confusion for fan bases who don't know which group they should be loyal to and fork over the cash to see. Lucky for you, we have five sure-fire tips to help you make your decision.

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How Tek wrote over 70 songs in prison

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
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St. Paul rapper and producer Tek was released from prison in June, and dropped a brand new solo album just a month later, handling production and recording duties himself. ...Like I Never Left is Tek's first fully individual musical statement since his collaborative effort with JessListen.

Gimme Noise caught up with Tek to ask about jumping back into music, and how he created so much material without any beats to listen to.

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Jeff Bridges: In music, I'm finally able to realize my teenage dreams

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Photo by Danny Clinch

Jeff Bridges and the Abiders| Pantages Theatre| Sunday, August 24
The week before his new sci-fi film The Giver is set to come out, actor Jeff Bridges exits a plane that has just touched down in New York. His assistant warns, "We are heading towards a tunnel, so if we lose you, we'll call back," before handing the phone off to the 64-year-old star. His deep, booming voice -- one that we've all come to know as it's filled out so many characters over the years -- carries across the miles between Minneapolis and New York. In those characters, Bridges is a man who has lived a hundred lives in his one. He laughs, "Isn't that weird? Isn't that funny? Making movies, I feel each movie is a little lifetime in itself -- a little incarnation of a different person."

This time the character he is looking to redefine is himself -- as a musician. It was surprising to see Bridges fill the role onstage after his Academy Award-winning role as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, yet those who are close to the actor saw it coming, since he's been performing music since his teenage years. In the veins of country/folk-rock, Bridges's songs communicate as sagaciously as the characters he plays on camera.

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Cause Spirits and Soundbar launches $25,000 crowdfunding campaign

Categories: Venue Spotlight
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Photo by Erik Hess

The next couple of weeks prove to be crucial for the long-term survival of Cause Spirits and Soundbar. The Lyn-Lake venue closed in mid-July after five years in business, but earlier this month owner Mike Riehle said they'd fight for their right to stay open and be back by early September.

Part of the plan to get the club back on its feet is an Indiegogo campaign to the tune of $25,000. "We are willing to work harder than ever to restore what we had," it reads. "And to make it even better so that we can continue to earn your business and faith, and never have our backs to the wall again."

See also:
Cause Spirits and Soundbar is not dead


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Shonen Knife to play 1,000th show at Turf Club

Categories: Gimme News, Music
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Shonen Knife are hitting a major career milestone later this year when they return to the Twin Cities. The garage rockers from Osaka, Japan, have a September show at Turf Club marking their 1,000th since forming in 1981. They plan to celebrate with a special set list with founding member Atsuko Yamano re-joining the band.

See also:
Shonen Knife at the 7th St. Entry, 11/11/11


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Nicki Minaj revives Mystery Science Theater 3000 in "Anaconda" video

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
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Nicki Minaj: Big McLarge Huge

Nicki Minaj has always been unpredictable, but this is possibly her most surprising surprise. Recently, the rapper took a break from her nonstop ode to her backside during the roll-out for new single "Anaconda" to celebrate a cult TV show with Minnesota ties. Yes, somehow Mystery Science Theater 3000 ended up in the new song's lyric video.

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