Ibeyi Connect With Love Through Music


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Photo by Flavien Prioreau
Ibeyi | The Cedar Cultural Center | Monday, March 30

During every performance, Ibeyi light two small candles on stage--one for their late father and one for their late sister. It's a way for the duo, comprised of twin-sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, to honor their lost loved ones, and also a part of their Cuban traditions. Their father was conga master Miguel 'Angá' Díaz of Irakere and Buena Vista Social Club, and they grew up with Santería, the Afro-Cuban religion based on West African Yoruba culture. In their self-titled debut released in February on XL, they build on their Yoruba roots, mixing in elements of soul, jazz, electronica, and hip hop. Lisa-Kaindé sings lead vocals and plays piano, while Naomi sings and plays percussion--cajón, batá drums, and beats.

Ibeyi (Yoruba for "twins") have taken the music world by storm these past months, appearing everywhere from the New York Times to BBC 1, to Havana Cultura. Coming off their first South by Southwest, the sisters are now on a full U.S. tour. In advance of their March 30th show at the Cedar, Gimme Noise spoke with the twins via Skype during a photo shoot in Paris, where they spoke openly about cultural identity, religion, their love of film, and their music.

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Walk the Moon Brought Positivity and Face Paint Back to Rock 'n' Roll

Categories: Interview
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Publicity photo

Cincinnati's jubilant Walk the Moon, named for a Police song, gained national exposure in 2012 when their single "Anna Sun" received extensive airplay on modern rock radio, as well as some top-40 stations. Their third album, It's Hard to Talk, released this past fall, contained the top-30 hit "Shut up and Dance."

The band is currently in the midst of a North American tour to promote the album. Gimme Noise reached Walk the Moon's Eli Maiman by phone in Boise, Idaho. The guitarist talked about the band's '80s influences, face paint, and the fun of playing festivals.


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ECID Lets His Fur Show on New Album Pheromone Heavy

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Daniel Soderstrom
ECID

ECID | Triple Rock Social Club | Saturday, March 28
Jason McKenzie doesn't cut the archetypal figure of a rapper with 10 years of experience in the underground game. For one, he's on time for a meet-up at a hip East Lake coffee shop. He also has an enthusiastic preference for the honey-sweetened café miel, and a cheerful and gregarious demeanor. "I look so young your neighbors think I'm dating the babysitter," he raps on his new record, and it's uncannily accurate.

McKenzie, better known as ECID, has paid his dues as a broke rapper long enough to remember recording his first rhymes onto a double-barreled tape deck.


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Inside Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield's Elliott Smith Album

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Photo by Crackerfarm
Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield | Fitzgerald Theater | Sunday, March 22
For decades now, the late Elliott Smith's music has shaped people's lives. Among the converted are Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield. Three years ago, the duo got together to record an album of Elliott Smith songs to celebrate what they felt was one of the under-appreciated collection of music that helped define '90s alternative rock. The album, simply named Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, takes his songs and reworks them into new but still familiar forms.

The duo will be at the Fitzgerald Theater on Sunday evening to show the care and detail they put into their interpretation of songs conceived long ago.
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A Conversation with the Ubiquitous, Enigmatic DJ TIIIIIIIIIIP

Categories: Interview
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Jerard Fagerberg
The Twin Cities' busiest DJ slows down to chat about his recent rebrand.

Taylor Madrigal is the beast with 10 I's.

The 24-year-old DJ/producer/Basil Presents promoter was once the mastermind behind local collective Audio Perm, but he's since rebranded as DJ TIIIIIIIIIIP. In the year following his re-christening, Madrigal has planted himself on just about every hip-hop bill in the Twin Cities, manning the tables for everyone from Travi$ Scott to First Ave's weekly DEQUEXATRON X000 hip-hop night to, uh, Shaggy en route to becoming the hottest warm-up act in the scene.

Even so, the admittedly timid northeast Minneapolis native is still something of an enigma. TIIIIIIIIIIP is only billed for about half the sets he actually plays, and he often shows up on the 1s and 2s without even announcing himself. "I'm not a normal motherfucker," he tells Gimme Noise during a recent sit-down at Uptown's Caffetto, "I don't like to get on the mic and talk at my shows." Still, we got the up-and-coming party starter to open up about being the go-to DJ for the Stand4rd, his rumored involvement with Kanye West, and the origins of his odd, flyer-hogging moniker.

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Greg Grease's Born to Lurk, Forced to Work Poetically Fights the Power

Categories: Interview

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Photo by Sarah White
Greg Grease

Greg Grease | Public Functionary | Friday, March 20

The specter of death lingers in Greg Grease's otherwise convivial sophomore full-length, Born to Lurk, Forced to Work. "Originally it was just gonna be a mixtape... but then I started liking some of the songs a lot. It took a life of its own," says Grease. The concept was simple: the dichotomy of lurking and working, celebrating the nightlife of a young, grimy creative while scorning returning to a job the following morning.

"But while I was working on it more, I started learning about these different things like lurk ordinances [and] I was like, man, this is a little bit deeper," he says during an interview with City Pages at Nicollet Diner. "It kind of took a bigger meaning."

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Robert Christgau Opens Up About His Memoir -- So Shut Up and Listen

Categories: Interview
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Robert Menzer for The Village Voice
Robert Christgau at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

"There is nothing [in my book] that is going to produce sexual arousal in anyone, I don't believe -- unless you're really turned on by good prose."

Robert Christgau is over talking about sex. More specifically, he's over talking about the scenes in his memoir, Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man, that involve hard-ons, bodily fluids, masturbation, and the language that traces the curves of the women he has been with, if the conversation won't progress past these intimacies.

You can't blame him. Going Into the City is hardly a volume chock-full of mattress romps -- and yet the sex seems to be getting the most attention. Spin mentions the book's "explicit sexual detail" before the intro of its interview. Grantland's writeup is titled "Maximum Bob: The Dean of American Rock Critics' Memoir Is Revealing, Rewarding, and Full of Copulating," and cracked that he "likes to fuck and review records, and at some point in each chapter he runs out of record-reviewing anecdotes." Newsweek: "Stop Being So Squeamish About Sex, and Other Wisdom From Robert Christgau."

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Strange Relations Redefine Confessional Songwriting on -Centrism

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Photo by Katie Essick

Strange Relations | Kitty Cat Klub | Saturday, March 14
There is a boundless sense of freedom that permeates -Centrism, the debut full-length from the Minneapolis indie-rock trio Strange Relations. Core members and longtime friends/bandmates Casey Sowa and Marisa Helgeson invited guitarist Nate Hart-Andersen to join the band just a few months before they went into Humans Win! studio to record the follow-up to 2013's debut EP, Ghost World.

Strange Relations' music echoes the sonic expansiveness of Blonde Redhead and Foals, the buoyant guitar-fueled pop of Velocity Girl, and the untamed edge of Sleater-Kinney and Fugazi. You better believe such an unsettled musical dichotomy played a key role in the band's creative vision.

Gimme Noise asked Sowa and Helgeson about the wintry inspirations for these songs, and the meaning of "diary rock."


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Al Church Dives Into Pop on New Solo Album Next Summer

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Graham Tolbert and Torey Erin Hanson
Al Church and the collar of the century.

Al Church | Turf Club | Friday, March 13
Summer's coming early this year if Al Church has his way. His new solo LP, Next Summer, is a suite of pop confections conjuring up carefree days of his youth. His summers were filled with driving around with the windows rolled down bumping Dr. Dre's The Chronic and R.E.M.'s Monster.

"My album is like [Monster], but with saxophone and keyboards instead of Peter Buck's guitar tremolo," the Duluth-raised multi-instrumentalist exclaims when the Athens alt-rock legends' "Strange Currencies" hits the speakers. He's with City Pages at Mackenzie Pub on a frigid night in downtown Minneapolis.


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Mod Sun: "Hip-Hop Is Ready for Positivity Again"

Categories: Interview

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Photo by Eric Gorvin
Mod Sun will never quit.
Minnesota-born rapper Mod Sun has released a ton of mixtapes and EPs since 2009 under the self-described genre "hippy-hop." Now, he's on tour in support of his just-released debut album Look Up on Rostrum Records.

An outspoken proponent of self-love in his music, he's continuing his trajectory with this new batch of upbeat tracks. Ahead of the release show tonight at First Avenue, Gimme Noise spoke to Mod Sun about the journey leading to his new album, and how he fits (or doesn't fit) within Minnesota's music community.

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