The Body: People's egos are insane sometimes

Categories: Interview

Megan Holmes
Chip King and Lee Buford of the Body

"Chip and I don't like most people," says the voice on the other end of the line, calmly. Its even tone and audible remnants of a childhood spent in the South belong to Lee Buford, Chip King's other half. The two are a striking pair, both tall and burly with substantial beards and dark stares, shown casually posing with shotguns in press photos. Together they make up the Body, a musical manifestation of the past 15 years worth of friendship.

Buford has agreed to a phone chat with Gimme Noise before their return to Minneapolis tonight, where they will play a set at the Hexagon alongside local bands Buildings, False, and Prostate. He is very matter-of-factly explaining his interest in cults, a subject that stemmed from discussing his band's use of field recordings in their material, particularly the looping chant found in their song "All the Waters."

"Trying to distance oneself from society is interesting," he says of cult life. "It's interesting when people come at it from a different way. Mostly it's religious, but that kind of 'done with the world' thing is kind of fascinating."

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Tree Blood: We haven't played too many shows in above-ground venues

Photo by Holly Newlin

It might seem a bit anachronistic in the age of the cloud, but Tree Blood have really kicked the door in on the Twin Cities indie and punk communities thanks to their hand-to-hand DIY practices. Starting with an intriguing (and award-winning) name and a challenging two-piece setup, the duo of guitarists Colin Wilkinson and Simon Brooks added drummer Walker Neudorff of Solid Attitude to the fold this year, allowing Brooks and Wilkinson to follow the noisy rabbit trail that the band has been on since its inception even deeper. Drifting further away from the more traditional melodic punk of their first two tapes, Tree Blood have been carving out a territory all their own during their summer tape series, adding a level of unhinged ferocity with more explosive, unpredictable songwriting than ever.

We caught up with Tree Blood at the end of a marathon 10-hour rehearsal at their practice space in northeast Minneapolis to talk about their slot as the opener for our 10 Thousand Sounds Festival and how their band sometimes acts as group therapy.

See also:
Tight-knit noise rockers Tree Blood are going all out

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Frankie Teardrop: We got to play for a lot of different people and we didn't kill each other

Photo By Erik Hess

Frankie Teardrop remains one of the most exciting characters to emerge from the local music scene in the past year, largely due to the fact that he's just that -- a character. Conjured by the twisted mind of songwriter and guitarist Jordan Bleau, Frankie has grown into a larger-than life persona, characterized by his monochromatic tall-tees, omnipresent Ray-Bans, gold chain, and cocky slacker attitude. But while the Frankie Teardrop identity once stood for a nihilistic rejection of basically everything, he's evolved in the wake of the band's recent tours to become a people's champion for the underground indie-rock community.

Teaming up with photographer Alex Uhrich, Frankie/Bleau is launching a record label called No Problem in an attempt to give some shine to the hardworking and talented bands they surround themselves with. We caught up with Frankie and his band before their release show for his new EP, Raiders, behind the Triple Rock to discuss the recent tours and their plans for our upcoming 10 Thousand Sounds Festival.

See Also: Frankie Teardrop: All of my songs are deadly serious

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Tropical Depression: I recorded a bunch of songs because I was on a yacht

Cover photo via artist
When you hear the name Tropical Depression, it may not sound like something joyful to let loose on your ears, but in all honesty, the Minneapolis band's self-titled debut is a wonderful treat. Their sound is sunny, blissed-out guitar synth-pop that has plenty of neat, slo-mo hooks. The album and band don't seem to take themselves too seriously either, which is such a rarity nowadays. 

The new project is something hatched from Vicious Vicious' Erik Appelwick with the help of Martin Dosh, James Buckley, and Adam Krinsky and tells of Applewick's adventures recording on a yacht. Via his Facebook page he shares, "The album is mostly an autobiographical account of the travels and tribulations, wanderings and meanderings, islands and beaches, party people, and paparazzi I encountered along the way from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Cape of Good Hope, Straits of Magellan to Micronesia."

Before the band's album release at Icehouse on Saturday, we caught up with Erik to chat about his adventures on the water and what influenced the sound on this album.

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Allan Kingdom: I stuck to what I like instead of what everyone else was doing

Categories: Interview

Photo by Jason Swenson
Allan Kingdom doesn't quit. Less than a week after dropping his first full-length album, Future Memoirs (produced primarily by Kingdom, with help from Jonathan Kaslow and Plain Pat of Kid Cudi fame), he was on his way to Canada to record with the Standard, his supergroup with St. Paul's Psymun, Spooky Black, and Bobby Raps. Kingdom's sound comes as a breath of fresh air in a local scene dominated by Rhymesayers Entertainment, due in part to his transient upbringing and the resulting familiarity with a variety of people, places, and ideas, as well as a refusal to let his music stagnate.

If you've followed Kingdom over the past few years, this compulsive drive to create should come as no surprise. The 20-year-old Winnipeg native was producing at the age of 12, releasing music videos with local legend Ben Hughes at 16, and sealing a management deal with Plain Pat at 17. On July 26, he'll perform along with Polica, Sylvan Esso, and a cast of other talented musicians at the second annual 10 Thousand Sounds Festival in downtown Minneapolis.

Gimme Noise touched base with Kingdom to chat about Future Memoirs, his working relationship with Plain Pat, and the meaning of "colorful" sounds.

See also: Allan Kingdom's ambitious hip-hop vision

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Michael McDonald: Working with Grizzly Bear pulled me out of my own little world

Photo by Danny Clinch
When you've collaborated with Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Prince and crushed it in the Doobie Brothers, can you hang up your hat and call it a day? Even if Yacht Rock, Family Guy, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin will never forget you, the legendary Michael McDonald believes there's always work to be done.

On Sunday, Michael -- or Mike, as he likes to be called -- returns to the Twin Cities to share an evening of songs that span his musical career. Before his show at the Mystic Lake showroom, McDonald shares with Gimme Noise the story behind his Grizzly Bear collaboration and a tale of the star that stopped him in his tracks.

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Courtney Barnett: I guess I'm still kind of lost

Photo by Leslie Kirchhoff

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett developed a fast following through clever words and a casually indifferent demeanor. Anticipation since she unloaded the ingenuity of the slacker-noire hit "Avant Gardener" last summer and The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas had its U.S. release in the fall.

The former art-school student has been playing music in different capacities since she was ten years old, most recently psych-folkers Immigrant Union with Brent Deboer of the Dandy Warhols. She never thought her own rambling inner thoughts would travel outside the culture of Melbourne, Australia, but now -- embarking on a huge tour to promote the album in America -- her career has markedly taken off.

Before tonight's show at Varsity Theater, Barnett chatted with Gimme Noise about her narrative approach to songwriting and why she loves David Byrne so darn much.

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Nick Cave: Songs are memory machines

Categories: Interview
Photo by Bleddyn Butcher

Over nearly four decades, Nick Cave has been far from a typical rock star. His ever-changing artistic whims have colored music -- from the Birthday Party, to Grinderman, to his work backed by the Bad Seeds -- that is only tied together by its brooding passion. His last couple years have been focused on the 2013 studio album Push the Sky Away, and a new live album, Live From KCRW.

Before Saturday's show at State Theatre with the Bad Seeds, here are some of the highlights of Nick Cave's recent teleconference interview -- including two of Gimme Noise's questions -- answered thoughtfully and a touch acerbically.

See Also:
Grinderman at First Avenue, 11/23/10

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Extreme Noise's Bryan Alft: If you want to meet people in the punk scene, this is the place

Categories: Interview
Portland's Mean Jeans are in town to celebrate Extreme Noise's 20th

If you're passionate about punk and haven't visited Extreme Noise, it's time to reevaluate your life choices. The volunteer-run record store, tucked under a red awning on a busy stretch of Lake Street, is home to a jaw-dropping collection of punk, metal, and hardcore music, as well as patches, T-shirts, zines, and books. Long story short, it's punk rock heaven.

Throughout 2014, Extreme Noise is celebrating 20 years of business by holding a series of three weekend-long anniversary shows. The first, held at the Triple Rock in April, featured bands from the '90s, many of whom reunited for the weekend. For this weekend's shows, Extreme Noise focused on hosting their best-selling bands that don't often play in the Twin Cities, flying in acts from as far away as Japan.

Earlier this week, Gimme Noise sat down with Bryan Alft, one of around eight volunteers who played a fundamental role in setting up the anniversary shows, and talked about what to expect this weekend.

See also:
The Strike reunite for Extreme Noise's 20th anniversary

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Kurt Vile: Sometimes our shows are charming train wrecks

Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Kurt Vile is finally rolling through the Twin Cities in support of his terrific 2013 record, Wakin On A Pretty Daze. The record is a psychedelic exploration with an emotional foundation rooted deeper than his previous work. The Philadelphia singer/songwriter/guitar virtuoso is part of Sunday's stacked lineup at Rock the Garden.

During Gimme Noise's chat with Vile, we discussed the writing and recording process for his new album, how those songs have evolved in the live setting, how fatherhood has affected his touring schedule, and just what exactly is in the water in Philly that keeps generating such brilliant guitar players.

See Also:
Rock the Garden 2014 lineup

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