Kent Hrbek: I had tears watching them blow the Metrodome up

Categories: Interview
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Publicity photo
Kent Hrbek in 1981

Seasonal thaws and spring training starting up in Florida are plenty to get Minnesota Twins fans giddy for the sights and sounds at Target Field. Music plays a huge role in baseball, so events like Rock N Jock Expo can feed urges for all sorts of fans this weekend. The now-annual event brings together records, music memorabilia, and a documentary on Twin Cities scene vet Grant Hart.

Gimme Noise spoke to former Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek ahead of his appearance at the event about some of his favorite music and what's in store for Minnesota Twins fans.

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Get Cryphy: Our theme this year is "Game Six"

Categories: Interview

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Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
L-R: Fundo, Jimmy 2 Times, Plain Ole Bill, and Last Word

Twin Cities DJ crew Get Cryphy had a pretty huge 2013. A year ago, DJs Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy 2 Times, Last Word, and Fundo's triumphant five-year anniversary party at First Ave cemented their reputation as the reigning kings of the Twin Cities nightlife. Drawing on the skills they've honed backing Atmosphere, P.O.S., Brother Ali and Prof, Cryphy's white-hot sound blends the very best in uptempo, club-banging rap tracks and turntablism. 

Gimme Noise caught up with the gentleman of Cryphy after a late-night cramming session to finish their mixtape in promotion of this weekend's 6th annual party, which will feature national names like Spank Rock and Big Freedia for the first time.

See Also: Get Cryphy tap Big Freedia and Spank Rock for 6th anniversary


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Lil Debbie: I would never let someone put my name on bad weed

Categories: Interview, Q&A
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Courtesy of the artist
Lil Debbie

Lil Debbie is an enigma. Bullied into a solo rap career by RiFF RaFF after leaving White Girl Mob, she blazed her own fierce trail with no help from a label and no vision but her own. Her music videos for songs like "Ratchet" and "Bake a Cake" have garnered millions of YouTube views, and she is gearing up to release her album California's Sweetheart next month.

All this love means that there's plenty of room for haters. Gimme Noise had the opportunity to get real with Lil Debbie before her show this Saturday at the Fine Line so she could set the record straight.

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The Sonics: We were average guys trying to do an above-average job

Categories: Interview

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ML Sutton

Every once in a while in the rock 'n' roll timeline, a band comes along and blows the lid off the conventional definitions of "loud" and "fast." Most folks remember names like the Ramones, the MC5, and the Stooges but the legendary Tacoma, Washington, garage band the Sonics predated all of them. In the early '60s the Sonics were college-aged guys playing a mix of '50s rock 'n' roll standards, but their hardscrabble background gave them a distinct edge. Here, the bones of punk rock are beginning emerge in the slashing guitar of Larry Parypa and the wild-armed drumming of powerhouse Bob Bennett. The soulful screams of frontman Gerry Roslie and Rob Lind's saxophone kept things thoroughly anchored in the blues tradition.

Since 2007, the Sonics have played occasional festival dates and European tours, but now they're back on the attack with a wide ranging world tour to whet appetites for their forthcoming LP. Gimme Noise reached saxophonist Rob Lind before Saturday's show at First Avenue to talk about that new material, as well the band's enduring legacy.


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The Federales: This group has basically been a crash-course in country history

Categories: Interview
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Photo By Dan Zimmermann

Like any good alt-country rock band, the Federales came together over their shared love of Townes Van Zandt and Old Overholt. Six veterans of the Twin Cities music scene formed a new creative outlet in 2012, and their harmony drenched, pedal steel driven sound reflects not only a knowing nod to music's past, but the fresh vibrancy of a group who came together at the right time.

The Federales are set to celebrate the release their debut full-length, Blues, Bourbon, and Burritos, tonight at Icehouse along with Reina Del Cid & the Cidizens. And ahead of their big night, we were able to catch up with James Gould (electric guitar), Kark Wahoske (banjo, acoustic guitar, vocals), and Ben Miller (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals) to discuss the origins of the band, how their live show has helped shape and refine their songs and their sound, as well as their love of burritos of all kinds.


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Michael Ray & the Nasty Notes: Nashville is such an industry town

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Photo by Cory Miller
Michael Ray & the Nasty Notes' moniker sets expectations for their music before you even hear it. Their new record The Higher You Climb has the listener sifting through stories that cobbles together patches of sound to make an alt-country album out of the remains. It's raw and will stay with you after the first listen.

Before the band's album release at Lee's Liquor Lounge, lead singer and writer Michael Ray spoke with Gimme Noise about why he prefers the Cities over Nashville and the tale behind his album.

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Web of Sunsets smooth out, slow down on Room of Monsters

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Graham Tolbert

In Web of Sunsets, three self-described "wallflowers" have created an informal support group for one another. It's a necessity for music that lingers on intimate moments, shared in turn by each member: Sara Bischoff, with a wool cap pulled down over her hair; Sarah Nienaber, with her long bangs and well-worn cowboy boots; and Chris Rose, his hands tucked in his pockets and a slight smirk fixed on his face. Together, they can huddle closely around the microphone to share their secrets.

"There's something about all three of us, our personalities. If any one of us is being overly exposed out on our own, it feels weird. So we kind of buddy up," says Bischoff with a giggle. "If you're playing a song that's really personal and it's quiet and really vulnerable, it's nice to be like, 'Okay, now your turn.' If I had to do that every song, I couldn't do that."

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SCRNS: We're going to try and make it happen

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Publicity photo

SCRNS have existed under the radar thus far. They have only one track available to listeners and they've performed a grand total of three times. Yet for vocalist Erin Ross and producer Max Petrek, the goal of their new music venture is palpable: to sign with a major label.

So go the pipe dreams of the earnest and creative. But SCRNS have a sly secret: they're sitting on a fortune of dynamite unreleased tracks that--once let loose-- have a totally plausible shot at carrying those aforementioned "pipe dreams" into fruition. 


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Stephen Malkmus: My "jammy" guitar parts are actually pruned down like a French garden

Categories: Interview
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Photo By Leah Nash

As Pavement's literate, sardonic frontman, Stephen Malkmus redefined indie rock in the '90s with a lo-fi, slacker sound. After the band dissolved in 1999, he turned his creative attention to a quasi-solo career with his trusty band of Jicks. During this second act, Malkmus has never appeared bothered by any expectations for Pavement 2.0, and his six albums with the Jicks are relaxed, playful affairs filled with guitar and lyrical heroism.

Before Malkmus's stop at the Cedar Cultural Center on Tuesday, Gimme Noise caught up with him during his lunch at a European tour stop in Copenhagen -- which he affectionately referred to as "the Minneapolis of Europe." The conversation detailed the Belgian recording sessions for his new album, Wig Out at Jagbags, how his approach to his lyrics has evolved, the Pavement reunion tour, and the NBA title chances for his beloved Portland Trail Blazers.

See Also: Pavement at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 9/12/2010


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Arctic Monkeys: Next one to tell us Purple Rain was filmed at First Avenue gets punched

Categories: Interview
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Photo courtesy of Arctic Monkeys' Facebook

On the strength of their live energy and polished rock chops, Arctic Monkeys have grown into one of the biggest bands in the world. They're now regular festival headliners on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Sheffield, England, quartet's recent album, AM, was nominated for this past year's Mercury Music Prize. At long last, the lads return to Minneapolis, once again eschewing a larger venue to instead play First Avenue.

Gimme Noise chatted with bassist Nick O'Malley during his band's tour stop in Missouri during the first leg of their current jaunt through the U.S., which includes their long sold-out show at First Avenue tonight. We talked about the recording sessions for AM, what making music with Josh Homme is like, and the inevitable conversation every single time they play First Avenue.

See Also: Arctic Monkeys and the Vaccines at First Avenue, 5/28/2011


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