Bands Can No Longer Afford to Practice in NYC

Categories: Interview
Photographs by Robert Menzer
Sylvana Joyce & the Moment

When Josh Copp moved to 248 McKibbin Street, he joined what the New York Times called "an instant artistic fraternity that is all but extinct in New York." That same 2008 profile made the building in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, briefly famous as a post-graduate animal house where residents partied non-stop and "people honk saxophones and bang drums at 3 a.m."

Today, dirty, dilapidated factory lofts are being renovated into expensive units that have attracted a different kind of tenant, professionals who value a good night's rest over music and mayhem. "Now it's a real apartment building," Copp says. "In the past, everyone would be rehearsing. In more recent years, we had to make agreements with our neighbors: If you let us make noise during the day, we won't make noise at night."

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Magic Castles Tap Into the Psychedelic and the Spiritual on Sky Sounds

Categories: Interview

Emily Utne
Magic Castles | Hexagon Bar | Saturday, November 8
While psychedelic music may have become momentarily trendy, you can always tell the true freaks from the kids who just want to name-drop Spacemen 3. Minneapolis's Magic Castles are emphatically in the former camp. Fronted by free-spirited songwriter Jason Edmonds, the five-piece won a devoted local following thanks to their envelope-pushing shows that can swing from punishingly heavy drone trips to sunny Laurel Canyon harmonies in the blink of a dilated eye.

Their sound streches far beyond our cities' borders, however. Brian Jonestown Massacre mastermind Anton Newcombe, a friend and supporter, invited Magic Castles to tour with BJM and co-released their newest LP, Sky Sounds, on his 'A' Records imprint. They just wrapped up a strong year that involved some heavy touring, including a gig at the landmark Desert Stars psych fest, a split EP with BJM for Record Store Day, and the release of Sky Sounds. We caught up with Edmonds at Caffetto, and he's not ashamed to admit that he's gotten at least one great song from a '70s children's novel.

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K.Raydio and O-D Bond Raw, Soulful Emotion Together on One Drop

Categories: Interview

Publicity Photo
K.Raydio is already back with another project.

K.Raydio | Icehouse | Saturday, November 8
This week, Minneapolis R&B singer K.Raydio dropped a follow-up to her excellent LucidDreamingSkylines, the collaborative album with producer Psymun released earlier this year.

This time around, she teams up with producer O-D, whose distinctive funk-driven beats give their project an entirely new energy. We caught up with K.Raydio and O-D to talk about how they achieved their sound and the timelessness of soul music.

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Sun Gods to Gamma Rays: Taking the Middle Way to A Ghost to Find

Photo By Joe Johnson

Sun Gods to Gamma Rays Record Release Show | Icehouse | Friday, November 7
Following the release of Sun Gods to Gamma Rays' debut EP, The Water, The Wave, in late 2013, it didn't take long for the Minneapolis dream-pop quintet to start thinking about recording a full-length. The results of those creative aspirations can be found on their intoxicating new LP, A Ghost to Find, out today. The band is celebrating with a record release show at Icehouse on Friday night with Votel.

Ahead of their big show, Gimme Noise asked them how live performances shaped their studio sessions, the language barrier they had to overcome to get the rights to their cover art, and the balance between light and darkness that permeates their new material.

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Amanda Palmer on Jian Ghomeshi: The Drama Has Hit a Fever Pitch

Categories: Interview
Photo by Stacy Schwartz
Amanda Palmer at First Avenue in 2012.

Musician, artist, former-eight-foot-bride statue Amanda Palmer is getting ready to release her TED-talk-inspired book The Art of Asking in just a few short weeks. This afternoon, we had the chance to chat with Palmer about her new book while she was rehearsing for a collaborative show with students at Bard College.

We'll save the rest of our chat with Palmer until a little closer to her tour stop here in Minneapolis, but she had some insightful thoughts on the current controversy concerning former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

See also:
Amanda Palmer on crowd-sourced musicians, Emily White, and kerfuffles

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Mike Mictlan: "I Was the Aztec Ancient Interstellar Galactic Traveler"

Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash

Mike Mictlan | 7th St. Entry | Saturday, November 1
Doomtree MC Mike Mictlan dropped his latest project HELLA FRREAL this week. It's a powerfully crafted combination of the abstract, hardcore, and inspirational parts of the rapper's brain. As grimy and hard-hitting as his last project, SNAXXX, Mictlan again advances his sound by effectively blending harsh realities and positive forward momentum.

Gimme Noise caught up with the rapper at Palmer's for an enlightening conversation about his process and his upcoming album release show at 7th Street Entry this Saturday.

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Reigning Sound: "I would love to work with Bobbie Gentry"

Categories: Interview
Kyle Dean Reinford
Reigning Sound's current lineup, with Cartwright center.

Reigning Sound | Triple Rock Social Club | Wednesday, October 29
Greg Cartwright is the kind of niche genius that sends hearts fluttering with his every move -- albeit hearts belonging to a small but dedicated following of rock nerds. His work as a journeyman songwriter took began in the Memphis garage-punk scene, where he performed in the infamous Oblivians before forming several mellower offshoots to showcase his increasingly nuanced knowledge of soul, country, and other roots music.

His enduring Reigning Sound flips through styles and interests with each record, but the ragged lonesome heart of Cartwright's songs has remained intact. After taking a few years off to spend time with his wife and kids, Cartwright rebooted with a hot young band and indie powerhouse Merge Records. Their new album, Shattered, adds some traces of modern soul influence to Cartwright's charming perspective. Gimme Noise spoke to Cartwright before tonight's show.

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The Person & the People: "We Have a Truly Stupid Sense of Humor"

Photo via the Person & the People

The Person and the People | Triple Rock Social Club | Sunday, October 26
Less than a year after the Person & the People released Big Whoop, the St. Paul quartet are set to release another album of taut, catchy power pop, What a Drag. The crisp riffs and plentiful harmonies drive the songs forward.

Ahead of their record release show, Gimme Noise spoke with vocalist/guitarist Nick Costa. He detailed the new album's recording process, how their collective sense of humor colors their music, and the reason why he was the only one who didn't clap while recording What a Drag.

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Ex Hex's Mary Timony: "We Don't Have Anything to Prove"

Categories: Interview
Photo by Jonah Takagi

Ex Hex | 7th St. Entry | Friday, October 24
Mary Timony isn't convinced that rock 'n' roll is dead. She's living, shredding proof that it's not. It was alive in the strange verve of Autoclave. It was alive in the unaffected sincerity of Helium, and it was all but kicking and screaming through each and every throaty Wild Flag riff. Now, for anyone still eager to refute her faith, she's dropped her best, most undiluted rock record to date with her new band, Ex Hex.

Ex Hex's RIPS (Merge) teams Timony with drummer Laura Harris (Aquarium) and bassist Betsy Wright (Chain and the Gang) on a 12-track tour-de-force that's both straightforward and daring. It's a blast, and it would appear that Timony and her bandmates/friends are having the most fun they've ever had playing music. Ahead of Ex Hex's debut Minneapolis show with Speedy Ortiz and Buildings, Gimme Noise spoke with the influential D.C. axe-wielder herself about life after Riot Grrrl and playing to play.

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Ex Hex

Some People Think Iceage Are Assholes

Categories: Interview
Isabel Asha Penzlein

Iceage | Triple Rock Social Club | Thursday, October 23
Synthesizing the raw energy of hardcore with the moodiness of post-punk, Denmark-based Iceage is an electrifying live act that started playing in the U.S. over three years ago. The group courted controversy with the 'zines its members produced and the selling of knives as merchandise.

It was claimed that the imagery in one of the old 'zines referenced the Ku Klux Klan -- an allegation easily dismissed because the Klan really doesn't have foothold in a place like Denmark. And there weren't a spate of knifing injuries at the shows. Their debut full-length, 2011's New Brigade, was one of the most exciting punk releases in years.

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