I Self Devine and MN musicians join Cuban artists in new documentary

Categories: Interview
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A still from Closer Than You Think
I Self Devine and Yrak Saenz

With the intention of creating cultural dialogue and social interchange through collaborative art, the US Cuba Artist Exchange is in the midst of an ongoing mission to bring together local and Cuban artists from a variety of mediums. As documented by 612im for an upcoming film about the project, titled Closer Than You Think, Minnesotan artists I Self Devine, Malamanya, Sarah White, and more join up with Cuban songwriters, rappers, and visual artists locally and in Cuba to create new work that aims to break down the barriers between the countries.

Gimme Noise sat with Mariesa Ryan, the executive director and co-founder of U.S. Cuba Artist Exchange, and program coordinator and featured artist Rafael Gonzalez, a.k.a. Tufawon, to talk about the project, which you can contribute to through Kickstarter.

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Ben Weaver: I'm doing things on my terms

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Photo by Austin Aho
Singer-songwriter Ben Weaver has teamed up with his long-time friend Charlie Parr to put together a 7-inch vinyl that has each of them telling their own folksy-bluesy tales. Titled Ramblin' Bones Outlastin' You is their way of sharing something and giving each other a nod of approval -- although both are the most unassuming, humble musicians you could ever meet.

Before his release show at Bryant Lake Bowl on Thursday, Weaver spoke with Gimme Noise about how he's been getting to his gigs via bicycle and how Parr has influenced his musical career.

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Kyle Geiger: Sometimes you have to close a door before another one can open

Categories: Interview
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This Sunday, Intellephunk's celebrated Sunday evening techno event Communion returns to Sound Bar in downtown Minneapolis for its opening party. Since 2007, Communion has played host to a vast array of local and international artists alike. For this year's opening party, Indiana-born and Berlin-bred DJ and producer Kyle Geiger will be bringing his unique brand of techno soundscapes to the patio.

Geiger has been quite busy lately, between the creation of his own label, Cubera, and working on his yet to be released debut album. He will be returning to Minneapolis on the heels of his performance at last week's Movement Festival in Detroit. While catching up with friends back in the states, Geiger spoke to Gimme Noise about the very beginnings of his interest in electronic music, and how his career has evolved from DJing at high school dances to writing and releasing his own music and performing on an international stage. Here's Geiger in his own words.

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Metronomy: I was desperately trying to make something that felt like the summer

Categories: Interview
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Photo By Gregoire Alexandre

The U.K. electro-pop outfit Metronomy has already charmed much of the music world. Their sun-drenched ode to a leisurely life, The English Riviera, was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2011. Those shimmering numbers -- along with an impressive array of popular remixes by founder Joseph Mount -- helped the group make quite a name for themselves within their native England and well beyond.

Metronomy are back with a new album, Love Letters, and return to Minneapolis for the first time since the band's highly enjoyable dance party in the Entry in 2012. Ahead of their show at First Avenue tonight, we had an amiable chat with Mount from a tour stop in Lille, France, where he shared how the new songs came together initially, what it was like recording in London's legendary Toe Rag Studios, and what first led the band to wear LED lights while performing on stage and why they have given that up on their current tour.


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Radkey: We put some balls on the sibling band thing

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Shawn Brackbill
Left to right: Dee, Solomon, and Isaiah Radke

The states have long been subjected to a subpar lineage of brothers-based bands. The Hanson brothers had everyone singing gibberish through the '90s. The Jonas Brothers inspired rage in most folks over the age of 13 in the mid-2000s. Now, Dee, Isaiah, and Solomon Radke are taking back the brotherly trio with their aptly-named punk rock band, Radkey.

The Missouri-born brothers are rarely apart. They were home schooled together, they sleep in the same room, and these days, they spend most of their time traveling across country and abroad in the same tour van. But the family affair doesn't stop there. Their father, Matt Radke, is the band's manager and initial source of musical inspiration, thanks to the vast collection of punk and rock albums he shared with his kids.

Radkey has released two EPs -- Devil Fruit and Cat and Mouse -- and expect to release their full length early next year. Gimme Noise chatted with bassist and middle brother Isaiah Radke about the failures of X-Men 3, his trademark mustache, and the intricacies of dropping out of homeschool before tonight's show at 7th Street Entry.


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Two Harbors: We made this record so I could tour Abbey Road

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Most bands don't dare book studio time at Abbey Road before they've even written a song for their new album. But for local Anglophile indie-rock quartet Two Harbors, working in that hallowed venue was a longstanding dream. So frontman Chris Pavlich booked the studio time well in advance, figuring that the songs would come in due time. And the new material did eventually come together in a major way on their inspired new album, The Natural Order of Things, a confident, guitar-fueled collection that is the best work of the band's career.

Ahead of their celebratory record release show at Cause tonight, we were able to chat with the group -- singer/guitarist Pavlich, guitarist Kris Johnson, drummer Shawn Grider, and bassist Jeremy Bergo -- about how these new songs coalesced, what inspiration they draw from the Britpop era, how they got the striking artwork for their new album, and whether they got their picture taken in Abbey Road's famed zebra crossing.

See also:
The 10 most anticipated albums from Minnesota artists

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Animal Lover: We're a one-take band, it's a lot cheaper that way

Categories: Interview
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Lars Knudson

Animal Lover have it in them to be a cult name in the Midwest. Thanks to a staunch commitment to their gloriously chaotic post-hardcore sounds, the Twin Cities by way of Fargo band have already netted a small but loyal national following and critical attention. After tying for the #10 slot on our 2013 Picked to Click poll last year, the group went back underground to put the finishing touches on their Guilt EP over the long and brutal winter.

Solidifying their wholly unique approach while adding inflections of riff-rock, swing and even toying with ambient clips, Nate Fisher, Evan Bullinger and Addison Shark (yes, that's on his driver's license) have created another weird and wonderful offering of local noise. Partnering with Minneapolis punk-powerhouse Learning Curve Records for the release, Animal Lover will be heading out on the road on their longest jaunt yet after tonight's release show at Turf Club.

Gimme Noise caught up with Animal Lover after practice at their new space to talk about how they changed their ambivalence to music videos and their spirit animal identities.

See also:
Picked to Click 2013: #10 (tie). Animal Lover


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Edward the Confessor: We revolve around morose themes

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Sometimes after a long night of drinking, a few musicans can grow closer and define themselves as a band. This is the case for punk-infused indie rockers Edward the Confessor. Every Monday evening is set aside to rehearse, and this blustery day is no exception. After a hard night's work, practice always concludes with chicken wings and Brandy 7s at neighboring restaurant, Eli's in Northeast.

Singers/guitarists Rob Burkhardt and Sean Hancock, drummer Nick Larsen, and bassist Dillon Marchus (who was jokingly renamed "Derek" after a misunderstanding) have called it an early practice in order to sit down with Gimme Noise. 
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J. Roddy Walston: We basically got in the van and haven't gotten back out

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

Unless you've been living off the grid somewhere far, far away from a terrestrial radio signal, you've probably already been hooked by J. Roddy Walston & the Business' catchy update on '70s Southern-fried boogie rock. With a couple of huge singles in the form of "Take it As it Comes" and "Heavy Bells," the Baltimore-by-way-of Tennessee four-piece has rocketed up from road dogs with a cult following to playing Conan and Coachella. Their infectious sound blends just the right amount of soulful intent with touches of glam and arena rock, and makes for a potent cocktail live.

Gimme Noise spoke to Walston ahead of Thursday's show with Cage the Elephant and Foals at Myth.

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Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner: The choice was between making this record or no record at all

Categories: Interview
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Shervin Lainez

Baltimore duo Wye Oak might not have ever made it to a fourth album at all. After career-boosting success on 2011's definitive Civilian, guitarist/vocalist Jenn Wasner and bandmate Andy Stack felt inspired and grateful for opportunity and a real audience, yes, but also more-and-more dimmed by a seemingly insurmountable creative stalemate. The tried-and-true formula of sonically nuanced folk-rock began to feel uninspired and, with no clear solution, the future of the band was gravely uncertain. But after swapping her guitar for a bass, Wasner felt the smoldering ember of her ambition reignited. And in a manner as cathartic as its title suggests, Shriek was released, along with it, her pent-up reservations.

Ahead of Wye Oak's headlining slot with Braids at the Fine Line this Thursday, Gimme Noise chatted with Wasner about paralyzing self-doubt and the band's new synth-centric sound.


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