Top 10 Must-See Minnesota Music Videos This Week

Categories: Local Frames
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Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.

A premiere of the fresh new Heiruspecs video kicks things off this week. We've also got new clips from Doomtree, RONiiA, Whatever Forever, Dan Israel, GÜSTO, Four Letter Lie, Ecid, and a fitting holiday-themed vid from Eric Mayson. We're also featuring a special Bob Dylan performance for a lucky audience of one. Enjoy!

See Also:
Top 10 Best Minnesota Music Videos of 2014

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Even Death Row Records Has a Christmas Album

Categories: Holiday
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Death Row Records
You better watch out...
If you grew up an outspoken hip-hop fan around the holidays, chances are some well-meaning Secret Santa stuffed your stocking with a little holiday compilation called Christmas on Death Row. Yes, this album exists.

Christmas on Death Row is an album that's puzzled used CD store clerks since its release in 1996. It's still baffling that the label that gave us The Chronic, Doggystyle, and nationwide gangsta rap hysteria devoted its resources to a full-length album of Yuletide tunes.

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The 30 Highest-Paid Musicians In 2014

Categories: Lists
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Photo by Sayre Berman
Miley is smiley 'cause she made $36 million in the last 365 days.

Glitz. Glamour. And obscene, seven-figure weekly paychecks.

Such is the life of the rich and famous pop tarts, rock stars, rappers, and superstar DJs who enrich our lives with their inspiring music, spectacular tours, semi-nude Instapics, and endless drug-taking, DUI-ing, sex tape-ing antics.

Can you imagine making $100,000 a day? Well, even the poorest among Forbes' highest-paid musicians of 2014, like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, pull down that many greenbacks every 24 hours.

Others, meanwhile, mint that much moola in 60 minutes. All day. All night. All year.

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The "Save Big Money at Menards" Jingle: A History

Categories: Television
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Screengrab via YouTube
"Menards Guy" Ray Szmanda

Certain homegrown songs get played quite a bit in the Midwest. While we've undoubtedly heard Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" for decades, there's one song that seems to explode across our airwaves more than any other. It's been a hit on every terrestrial radio station within the state's limits and is instantly identifiable by anyone who has ever spent time with their television or radio on.

Of course, I'm talking about The Menards Jingle.

See also:
The "Save Big Money at Menards" Jingle Singer is Revealed!

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The Best Minnesota Albums of 2014

Categories: Year-end blitz

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Big Hassle

A handful of records always change the course of local conversation each year. It could be a new production technique or a very old one. Sometimes there's a thematic breakthrough, the capturing of a well-honed live aesthetic, or the stars just align during a concentrated writing session, but the finished songs hang together like they've always belonged that way.

Here are our favorite albums to rise up from the Minnesota community from this past year.

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


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Pallbearer Is a Doom Metal Band That Loves Prog Rock

Categories: Interview
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Diana Lee Zadlo
Pallbearer loves Kansas. What's next -- does Taylor Swift like Queensrÿche?

Pallbearer | Triple Rock Social Club | Wednesday, December 17
Being the torchbearer of the modern American doom metal movement can be a tough job, especially when you list Kansas as one of your favorite bands. But it makes sense, according to Pallbearer bass player and vocalist Joseph D. Rowland, who says the band's progressive tendencies are just as important as its metal roots.

"I think we are just as much a prog-rock band as we are doom metal," says Rowland from the band's recently repaired van as he drives it from Lexington, Kentucky, to the band's home base in Little Rock, Arkansas. "We're huge fans of King Crimson, Yes, Kansas... bands that pushed the envelope. We like telling a story through the music as well as the lyrics."


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The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Metalheads

Categories: Holiday
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Vans.com
Your best bet for a limited-edition pair of metal Vans is to check eBay.

I've received some killer heavy metal gifts in my day -- Pantera Chucks, Zeppelin vinyl, a miniature model of Dimebag Darrell's Razorback lightning bolt guitar, Jimmy Page's memoir, spike-bedecked high heels that would make a dominatrix envious, a stripper pole courted with a handle of whiskey. Oh, and a vintage typewriter. You might not think that's very metal -- but it is badass to this heavy metal journalist.

So here's a list of gifts for the shredder or thrasher in your life, whether it's your significant other, father, sister, friend... or if you just want to scare the hell out of someone. Trust me, if you want to get that annoying chick to stop calling you, nothing says "red flag" like a documentary on satanic black metal.

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The Current's 10th Anniversary Celebration Is Rather Large

Categories: Just Announced
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Photo by Erik Hess
Atmosphere will headline the second night of the Current's 10th Anniversary Concerts at First Avenue.

It has now been just about a decade since 89.3 the Current hit the Twin Cities airwaves. To celebrate, the public radio station's yearly birthday festivities are now officially too big for their previous britches.

In past years, the two-night birthday bash at First Avenue has been a fixture each mid-January, but this time it's a 10-day marathon of events. The itinerary, including lineups for both nights in the mainroom, is below.

See also:
89.3 the Current: An oral history


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Spooky Black Is Going By His Real Name Now

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
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Photo by Mike Madison
Corbin, a.k.a. Spooky Black, at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in November.

Yesterday afternoon, teen social media was dealt a mind-splitting blow. With the release of new track "Worn," Spooky Black decided to attach his given name, Corbin, to the project.

A flurry of comments followed, and many folks wondered whether their loyalties should be with one moniker or the other. Some even begged him to reconsider, and he gave an immediate reply (see below). 

See also:
The Unveiling of Spooky Black Can Wait


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The Year in Drew Ailes

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Artwork by Dave Watt
This is Drew Ailes.

I don't honestly know why I am allowed to do anything in this world. I don't know why I'm allowed to write for this paper when all I do is make fun of things and sometimes get drunk at Xcel Center concerts that I don't belong at. I don't know why people let me book shows when I still honestly don't know how to plug in a PA system or the difference between instrument and stereo cables. I don't know why my band is able to play anywhere when I have kicked mic stands into audiences, broken things, and dived into crowds while wearing nothing but a tie-dyed shirt.

It's not that I'm particularly insightful, a great writer, or some sort of brilliant performer. Most of my ideas are trite and better constructed by others. My writing suffers from poor syntax and grammatical errors. I even had to look up the word "syntax" to make sure I was using it correctly in a sentence. And my abilities as a performer? I'm certainly not athletic; it's mainly the product of alcohol multiplied by a lack of concern for my well-being -- something my doctors and therapists are entirely unamused by.

All I can figure is that I'm kind of interesting and everyone is completely fucking bored. So here I am.

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