The 4onthefloor go 'All In' to Typify Minnesota Rock 'n' Roll

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Sara Montour
The 4ontheFloor
One speed -- full speed. One way -- all the way.

This is the working philosophy behind the latest album from the 4onthefloor, possibly Minneapolis's last­-standing rock band. It's been six years since frontman Gabriel Douglas and his kick drum­-thumping foursome roared their way into the Minneapolis music scene, winning the title of Vita.mn's best new band in 2011. Since then, it's been a maelstrom of touring and recording -- 443 shows and five albums, the fifth of which, All In (out May 26), was designed to capture the blue­-collar rapture of happy hour in their home state.

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Torres: 'I Wanted it to Sound Like the Voice of God'

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Shawk Brackbill
Torres
Torres | 7th Street Entry | Wednesday, May 20

It's a rock 'n' roll tradition to be flippant about death. But on her sophomore effort under her Torres moniker, Mackenzie Scott fashions the subject into a revered opponent. On this month's Sprinter, the Brooklyn-via Nashville-via-Georgia singer-songwriter takes the thick-veined guitars of '90s rock and slingshots that period's typically navel-gazing worldview toward the heavens. Scott's questions are big, and there's deliberately little in the way of resolutions.

And that's OK, because Scott and the musicians at work on Sprinter made a record that's a lot more fun to hangout with than it sounds. Contributors such as Rob Ellis and Ian Olliver of PJ Harvey fame and Portishead's Adrian Utley have a history of working in the shadows of iconic female voices, and they've built a jungle gym for Scott's elastic vocal range. Catching up with Gimme Noise by phone before her show Wednesday at the Entry, Scott was equally dynamic in conversation.

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Breaking Down France Camp's New Album, Purge

Categories: Interviews

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Lisa Persson
France Camp, from L-R, Kyle Kimm, James Wolfeatens, Jay Simonson and Dylan Rosebringeth

France Camp | 7th St. Entry | Friday, May 15

The overwhelming need for an intense creative catharsis has fueled many of rock 'n' roll's greatest maniacs. Iggy Pop ground his body into shattered glass to escape the stifling boredom of his trailer park existence in Upper Michigan. Pete Townshend smashed his equipment into smithereens as an effigy to his turbulent childhood. And Patti Smith worked herself into shamanistic conniptions while exploring the dark corners of her spirituality.

Local garage-punk quartet France Camp has an Iggy-archetype of their own in their eponymous frontman, a rail-thin dynamo prone to cross-dressing ensembles and an utter disregard for his own personal safety during the confines of a live show.

When we caught up with the group offstage, Camp (aka Jay Simonson) and bassist Kyle Kimm are a decidedly low-key pair, relaxing with a cup of chamomile on Simonson's porch and joking about their need for a full-time bongo player. But the darkness that fueled much of the songwriting on their new album Purge is never too far from the conversation.

See Also:
France Camp capture ramshackle antics on debut EP

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Camp Dark Turn Travel Pains into a Work of Art on Moody New Album

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Photo design by Paige Guggemos
Camp Dark | Icehouse | Friday, May 15

Adam Svec wrote the soundtrack to his latest project, Camp Dark, in the break from his Minnesota life while he was living in South Carolina. Svec's expansive and exploratory musical path runs parallel to that of his friend and Camp Dark collaborator Graham O'Brien.

The two have been working on projects together for some time now, including on Camp Dark's debut album, Nightmare in a Day. Their creative partnership began when Svec contributed to O'Brien's first solo record, and continued into Coloring Time, an improvisational group that includes many musical friends.

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Tech N9ne Opens Up Both Lyrically and Musically on Special Effects

Categories: Interviews

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Adam DeGross
Tech N9ne on the stage at Myth

Tech N9ne | Myth | Thursday, May 7

Tech N9ne has spent his career bridging gaps between different genres in hip-hop. "I'm trying to show people that it's about good music and togetherness, not about separation and genres," he says. Tech called us from the road yesterday before his big show tonight at Myth to talk about his new album, Special Effects, and what defines him as an artist.

See Also:
Tech N9ne Found Inspiration in an Instagram Comment

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Former Go-Go Kathy Valentine Returns to Twin Cities with the BlueBonnets

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Press photo
The BlueBonnets | First Avenue | Thursday, May 7

"We're a rock 'n' roll band," Kathy Valentine stated plainly about her current group, the BlueBonnets, from her Austin studio last week. "Some of our songs might sound like pop, some like soul, maybe there's Motown and punk, too, but we're a rock 'n' roll band, straight-out."

Valentine and her revamped BlueBonnets are currently in the midst of a 10-show run as openers for the elegiac and celebratory UK/Irish band the Waterboys. The latest stop is Thursday at First Avenue. "While it's not new to me, it is new to us in its present state," Valentine said of the band she founded some years ago. "It's an evolving thing."

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The Nocturnal Notes of Mumford & Sons' Wilder Mind

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Photo by James Minchin III
"It was kind of lovely, wasn't it?"

Mumford & Sons know how to revel in surprise. On April 5, the English folk-rock quartet announced that they'd be playing Le Poisson Rouge the following evening. The gig would serve as a run-through of their third record, Wilder Mind, nearly a month before its May 4 release.

The fact that the show sold out immediately wasn't the shocker, nor was the choice to play a room a mere fraction of the size of the arenas Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, and Winston Marshall have grown accustomed to headlining since Sigh No More, the debut LP that launched them out of West London in 2009. Small club shows have served as sound laboratories for this introduction to Wilder Mind, and have taken place in London and Los Angeles already. Something was up, but the approach was appreciated, even if not entirely unexpected.

See Also:
On Mumford & Sons' Unceremonious Split With Banjo

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Hurray for the Riff Raff Infuses Folk with Punk

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Photo by Sarrah Danzinger

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Cedar Cultural Center | Friday, May 1

The enigmatic Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff sings indie-folk songs with the heart of a punk rocker. The Bronx-born New Orleans resident of Puerto Rican descent juxtaposes her lilting voice with assured lyrics that give her spare songs a rough edge. It's hard to pinpoint what kind of artist she really is, and Alynda is okay with not having a category assigned to her.

Before their show at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday night, the singer talks about why she had to leave New York to be able to make the kind of music she wanted, and why she leaves all of her emotions in her songs.

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Krill Bring Their Peculiar Cult Appeal to the Entry

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Joe Difazio via BDCwire
For some reason, people are bonkers for Krill and their anxious garage rock.

Krill | 7th St. Entry | Saturday, May 2

KRILL FOREVER.

These are perhaps the most galvanizing words a person can utter in Lower Allston, Boston's scum-rock haven. It's a slogan used as both a battle cry and a salutation. Yes, KRILL FOREVER is a rebel yell for sweaty basement moshers to unleash in the feedback between the band's songs, but it could also stand for punctuation in the everyday speech of the citizens of Allston Rock City.

With the trio (which consists of Jonah Furman, Aaron Ratoff, and Ian Becker) coming to Minneapolis on Saturday in support of fellow Bostonians, Speedy Ortiz, its time to figure out what exactly about the whale-food-named anxiety rockers has the kids from Beantown going bonkers.

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A Chat with the Mysterious Lagbaja: The Real Truth About the Man, the Music, and the Mask

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Courtesy of the Artist
Lágbájá

Lágbájá | The Cedar Cultural Center | Tuesday, April 28

Rumors continually swirl around Lágbájá. One common one is that Lágbájá has never been seen without a mask, even by his own wife. Some believe that the award-winning Nigerian musician is able to appear from nowhere, and often does so at his performances. In anticipation of his show at the Cedar Cultural Center this Tuesday, we caught up with Lágbájá himself to hear the real truth about the man, the music, and the mask.


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