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

Categories: Interview
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
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
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
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
Jesse DeFlorio

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"

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
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
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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Merchandise: "The Nature of the Beast Is Just So Intense"

Categories: Interview
Photo by Timothy Saccenti
Merchandise | Triple Rock Social Club | Thursday, October 9
Tampa Bay band Merchandise are isolated from their indie rock cohorts by a vast reservoir of influence stemming from deep underground-leaning roots. This isolation isn't a bad thing. It's a reminder to the band that they're making music for themselves. As evidenced by their massive-sounding new record After the End, they continue to succeed in this realm. Ahead of their show at the Triple Rock tonight, Gimme Noise spoke with the band's contemplative front man Carson Cox about their knockout new album and working with a bigger label.
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How Steve Aoki Created EDM's Bright, Neon Future

Categories: Interview
Courtesy of the Artist

Seven years ago, Avril Lavigne had the best-selling album globally. Electronic music was just starting to wobble its way into the mainstream, still fueled primarily by DIY start-up record companies like Los Angeles' Dim Mak, which was notorious for throwing great parties and releasing a seemingly endless repertoire of club music. Its creator and main man, Aoki, was busy with a weekly event at Cinespace and still learning to cope with the demands of his growing popularity. Not many of us knew what "dubstep" was.

At the Justice-led Coachella that year, this future Gimme Noise writer played sober cab for Aoki. At 4 a.m. in the Indio desert, our SUV was stopped at the side of a deserted highway. Aoki had to pee. Fueled by adrenaline and drunken enthusiasm, he ran off into the dark that loomed beside us. "Steve!" we screamed, not willing to face the consequences of losing a celebrity DJ in the middle of the desert. It was a weird night, needless to say.

Seven years after we delivered Aoki to a house party gig that early morning, many things have transpired. On September 30, he released Neon Future Part I, the first of two full-length albums chock-full of collaborations with artists like Will.I.Am, Afrojack, and Waka Flocka Flame. And this weekend, Aoki will be in Minneapolis co-headlining the Zombie Pub Crawl along with Juicy J. Catching up with Aoki can be like catching up with a freight train.

See also:
Zombie Pub Crawl announces 2014 music lineup

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