Ex Hex's Mary Timony: "We Don't Have Anything to Prove"

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Jonah Takagi

Ex Hex | 7th St. Entry | Friday, October 24
Mary Timony isn't convinced that rock 'n' roll is dead. She's living, shredding proof that it's not. It was alive in the strange verve of Autoclave. It was alive in the unaffected sincerity of Helium, and it was all but kicking and screaming through each and every throaty Wild Flag riff. Now, for anyone still eager to refute her faith, she's dropped her best, most undiluted rock record to date with her new band, Ex Hex.

Ex Hex's RIPS (Merge) teams Timony with drummer Laura Harris (Aquarium) and bassist Betsy Wright (Chain and the Gang) on a 12-track tour-de-force that's both straightforward and daring. It's a blast, and it would appear that Timony and her bandmates/friends are having the most fun they've ever had playing music. Ahead of Ex Hex's debut Minneapolis show with Speedy Ortiz and Buildings, Gimme Noise spoke with the influential D.C. axe-wielder herself about life after Riot Grrrl and playing to play.


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Some People Think Iceage Are Assholes

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Isabel Asha Penzlein

Iceage | Triple Rock Social Club | Thursday, October 23
Synthesizing the raw energy of hardcore with the moodiness of post-punk, Denmark-based Iceage is an electrifying live act that started playing in the U.S. over three years ago. The group courted controversy with the 'zines its members produced and the selling of knives as merchandise.

It was claimed that the imagery in one of the old 'zines referenced the Ku Klux Klan -- an allegation easily dismissed because the Klan really doesn't have foothold in a place like Denmark. And there weren't a spate of knifing injuries at the shows. Their debut full-length, 2011's New Brigade, was one of the most exciting punk releases in years.


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The Black Keys' Patrick Carney: "The Way LeBron James Came Back Was Classy"

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Photo by Danny Clinch
The Black Keys: Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach

The Black Keys | Target Center | Friday, October 24
For a modest-sized Midwestern city mostly known for cranking out a staggering amount of rubber, Akron has a lot to be proud of. Three of their native sons are currently sitting more or less at the top of the world in their respective fields, with LeBron James returning home like King Richard from the Crusades and the Black Keys landing hit after unlikely hit on the Billboard charts.

While LeBron might as well have been anointed a hero from birth, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney never really thought of themselves as star material. Building their success with a down-to-earth attitude and years of scrappiness and tenacity, the duo began their slow march to the top in 2001. Despite major label money and a move to Nashville, they've retained all of their affable outsider charm. We reached out to Carney to talk about his outside work as a producer and being a good loser.


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Who in God's Name Is Lecrae?

Categories: Interview
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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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The Cassette Tape Is Alive and Well in Minneapolis

Categories: Interview
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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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Deicide: Aligning With Satanism and Positive People Since 1987

Categories: Interview
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Publicity Photo

Deicide | Mill City Nights | Thursday, October 16
"How do you hide an upside-down cross burned into your forehead?" No, the query is not the setup for a joke, it's an actual concern for singer Glen Benton when he attends his teenage son's school functions. Nonetheless, the (true) punchline is: "A large hat collection."

It's been 25 years since the Deicide frontman/bassist has had a day job (floor coverings, if you must know), so obfuscating his music stratagems, i.e., the aforementioned cross, or song titles like "Death to God," "Homage for Satan," and "Godkill" is not a big concern. (After all, the band name does mean "the killing (or the killer) of a god").

Plus, controversy -- health department inspectors at early Deicide gigs due to raw meat being thrown into the crowd, a more recent feud with Chicago band/tour mates Broken Hope -- can only help when you're a death metal band. Indeed, Deicide, along with Cannibal Corpse, are the genre's two biggest sellers.

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Rusko: "Getting Kicked Out of School Was the Best Thing for Me"

Categories: Interview
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Jesse DeFlorio
Rusko

Rusko | Skyway Theatre | Saturday, November 11
Born Christopher Mercer, the 29-year-old producer and musician known as Rusko was one of the first English pioneers of dubstep to bring the European trend across the pond to Los Angeles. Having already released three full-length albums and countless dancefloor singles, Rusko is on track to release the third part of his ! EP by the end of this year -- a body of work unlike anything he's ever created, relying on his own intuition rather than looking to make club tracks.

Tomorrow Rusko's ! tour will bring him to a stop here in Minneapolis, where he will be performing alongside local dubstep heavy-hitter Vaski at the Skyway Theater as part of the Zombie Pub Crawl. Gimme Noise spoke to the man about ! and his newly developed creative formula -- one which may manage to surprise, satisfy, and disappoint fans all at the same time.

See also:
Zombie Pub Crawl announces 2014 music lineup


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The Pixies' David Lovering: "Older and Wiser Means You'll Put Up With More Shit"

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Photo by Michael Halsband
Black Francis, David Lovering, Joey Santiago
The Pixies | State Theatre | 10/11/14
You can't talk about '90s indie rock without mentioning the Pixies -- even if they broke up early in the decade. The band left an influential ringing in everyone's ears that has lasted to this day. The band will be marking 10 years since they got back together -- which launched in Minneapolis at the Fine Line in 2004 -- with a return to the Twin Cities. This time, they will be armed with new music from their latest album, Indie Cindy.

Gimme Noise caught up drummer David Lovering in Los Angeles as he was prepping for the tour to talk about growing up and getting wiser and how they have adapted to the changes in the music industry.
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Adam Degross Showcases 10 Years of MN Punk in Photo Exhibit

Categories: Interview
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Courtesy of Adam Degross

Shot at point-blank range with an uncanny knack for timing, Adam Degross's photos are visceral documents of a fascinating community in all of its chaotic glory. He's visible at nearly every show under the punk umbrella in town, craning above the crowd to snap a wide shot, or driving straight into the pit for the closeup. Despite these work conditions, Degross has never had a camera broken. Well, not at a show anyways. One fell off of a table once, and he's not too proud to admit that he cried a little.

Completely self-taught and consistently humble about it, he honed his craft through years of trial and error. Winner of the City Pages music photographer poll, Degross loves all things heavy, and he's been neck-deep in the Twin Cities counterculture since he began booking street punk and hardcore shows in St. Paul 10 years ago.

Degross's MN Subculture Photography exhibit will run Friday and Saturday at the Abstracted gallery off Northeast's central drag, with musical performances from groups like Claps, L'Assassins and Buildings. We met up at his home base of the Triple Rock to talk about his decade-plus love affair with the scene and the hard reality of holding down a day job.

See also:
Best Twin Cities music photographers 2014 finalist: Adam DeGross


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J Mascis Would Always Rather Play Loud

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Justin LaPriore

Indie-rock guitar god J Mascis has a load of side projects, including a solo joint under his own name. Yes, the Dinosaur Jr. frontman still shreds on Tied to a Star, and his wry sense of humor is on display in the cult-themed video for the lead single, "Every Morning," starring Fred Armisen.

Ahead of Thursday's performance at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Gimme Noise lucked into an interview with Mascis. It had been postponed due to him having a sick child -- never a good sign, especially when dealing with a tight-lipped subject.

"I think he's faking it," Mascis dead-panned when we eventually touched base. What followed was a very subdued chat about playing loud, First Avenue, and Grateful Dead covers.

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