How Greg Dulli's Beatboxing Shaped the Afghan Whigs' New Album

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Piper Ferguson
Greg Dulli is second from the right.

The Afghan Whigs | First Avenue | Saturday, October 11
Since slithering onto the scene with 1988's Big Top Halloween, the Afghan Whigs have made a science of dredging the darker sides of the human psyche. Frontman Greg Dulli has entertained devotion and derision from his shadowy and often disturbing narratives -- any number of which could be construed as autobiographical in nature.

With a new release, Do to the Beast, in the bins and a U.S. tour hitting stride, one would think that Dulli's plate was plenty full. However, he also found time to contribute photographs to the soon to be released I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I'm Gonna Do, a music lover's dream, which also features haiku from Danny Bland (Dwarves, Best Kissers in the World), calligraphy by Exene Cervenka (X), all designed by Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven). Plus, the group will release a deluxe 21st anniversary version of Gentlemen later this month.  In advance of the band's First Avenue appearance on Saturday, the dark prince of deviance was good enough to chat about the unintended consequences of beatboxing, and stealing from Phil Spector.


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Banks: "Being a Goddess Is Being Both Fragile and Strong"

Categories: Interview
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Photo by Williams Hirakawa

Banks | First Avenue | Wednesday, October 8
In just a year, singer-songwriter Banks has gone from relative unknown, producing music behind closed doors, to underground favorite and rising star.

Her first live performances ever were opening a national tour with the Weeknd. Now she has hit the road for her first headlining tour, in support of debut album, Goddess.

We caught up with the soft-spoken artist to learn more about her ever-evolving sense of self and how goddesses are sometimes vulnerable even when they are strong.


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The Ericksons craft the album of their career on Bring Me Home

Categories: Interview
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Publicity photo
The Ericksons: Jenny Kapernick (left) and Bethany Valentini

The Ericksons | Cedar Cultural Center | Friday, October 3
"How beautiful do you want this song to be?"

Jenny Kapernick -- one half of the folk-rock duo the Ericksons, along with her sister Bethany Valentini -- is reflecting on the recording process for Bring Me Home, their electronics-tinged fourth album.

"The whole electro-pop thing was just super fun. Bringing in these new elements was a lot of fun for us," says Kapernick over early-evening drinks at Icehouse after an in-studio session at the Current. "We are so influenced by folk music, but I'm not listening to folk music right now. The stuff that we listen to and things we respond to are way more ambient, electronic, and beat-driven."


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Lykke Li: Every Door That's Closed Opens Another Door

Categories: Interview
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Photo By Josh Olins

Lykke Li | First Avenue | Sunday, September 28
Throughout three visceral albums and the course of six years, Stockholm singer Lykke Li has consistently revealed intimate parts of herself through her songs. Since her 2008 debut, Youth Novels, she's used her music to display undiluted details tracking her own (very personal) victories, failures, actualizations and frustrations. Although her confessional interpretation of pop music has gained her an international following, at the root of it all, Lykke Li's music is first and foremost a tool for herself.

This spring's heartbreaking new album, I Never Learn, utterly bared her most pained soul. But through the anguished beauty of the songs, Lykke Li has found both perspective and the means to keep moving. Ahead of her stop in Minneapolis on Sunday with fellow Stockholm artist Mapei, Gimme Noise chatted with Lykke Li about life after heartbreak and the freedom of letting go.

See Also: Lykke Li and First Aid Kit at First Avenue, 11/13/2011

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Twin Peaks Expand Their Musical Reach

Categories: Interview

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Tyler Brooks

Twin Peaks | 7th Street Entry | Thursday, September 25
The Midwest, and Chicago in particular, has been cranking out a slew of precocious young talent around the intersection of garage, power pop and punk in the past few years. The City of Broad Shoulders gave birth to groups like The Orwells and Twin Peaks, who all share a good-natured, class-clown camaraderie and a knack for releasing fully-realized albums before any of their members have reached the legal drinking age. Twin Peaks just dropped their new LP, Wild Onion, last month, and the record's bound to keep your summer good times rolling long after Minnesota goes all tundra on us. We caught up with guitarist Clay Frankel to talk about debilitating tour injuries and their ties to the Midwest.

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Creepoid: "We Haven't Killed Each Other Yet"

Categories: Interview
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Courtesy of the Artist

Creepoid | The Garage | Wednesday, September 24
The noisy, psychedelic squall of Creepoid is unmistakable. Digging into '90s shoegaze and alternative rock, the four-piece from Philadelphia encapsulate angst, melancholy, and a ton of raw expression. Earlier this year, they released a self-titled album and the Wet EP, and both are loaded with roaring guitars and Sean Miller's vocal frustrations.

"People can use their imaginations, and not compartmentalize and instantly envision, okay, Nirvana, or grunge, or My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, whatever, shoegaze," he says. "We, for the most part, consider ourselves to play rock music, experimental rock music, psychedelic a little bit. The best way to summarize that without falling into the cubby hole thing is saying 'noisy rock.'"

Here's a bit more of Gimme Noise's conversation with Miller via phone from their tour van. The rest of the band, road-weary from many nights in many cities on different stages across the country, occasionally are heard chiming in, in the background along with the cell-phone static of the long distance phone call. They arrive in Minnesota Wednesday to perform with Seahaven at the Garage in Burnsville.


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The War On Drugs' Adam Granduciel: "The Idea of Success Freaked Me Out"

Categories: Interview, Q&A
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Dusdin Condren

The War On Drugs | First Avenue | September 22-23
It's been been a stellar year so far for Philadelphia's the War On Drugs. The band, helmed by songwriting wiz Adam Granduciel, will deservedly top many year-end Best Of lists with their third LP, March's Lost in the Dream. It's a lush, cohesive masterpiece, yet disparately, the album was written during an intensely dark period of the bandleader's life, as he battled crippling anxiety and self-doubt. Ahead of the group's sold-out First Avenue show on Monday, the guitarist opened up to us about the making of Lost in the Dream and his ongoing journey in self-maintenance.


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The Time King Khan Shotgunned Beers at Eat Street Social

Categories: Interview

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Miron Zownir

King Khan & BBQ Show | First Avenue | Wednesday, September 17
While Arish "King" Khan is probably best known in the Midwest for his barnstorming soul-punk band King Khan & the Shrines, he's enjoyed a fruitful 20-year partnership with fellow Quebecois-turned-Berliner Mark Sultan, a.k.a. BBQ, dating back to their days in the Montreal psycho-delic garage-rock band Spaceshits. Originally an outlet mostly featuring Sultan's ragged but sweet doo-wop songwriting with an amphetamine-addled Link Wray kick, the duo has grown into a powerhouse draw thanks to age-honed chemistry and a knack for outrageous outfits and behavior.

After releasing three albums under their current moniker, and a brief hiatus, Khan and Sultan have decided to reunite and release a new album as Bad News Boys, ringing in the switch with their old pals in Black Lips. We talked to Khan to discuss the new tracks and find out more info about their upcoming "eat and greet" event at Eat Street Social on Thursday, the day after their show at First Avenue.

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Inside the Persian Leaps' Divine Noise

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Photo By Drew Johnson Photography

The Persian Leaps | 331 Club | Friday, September 12
Building on their catchy 2013 debut EP, Praise Elephants, the Persian Leaps return with another collection of radio-ready tunes, Drive Drive Delay. The trio experienced some lineup changes in the interim, but that didn't derail their hook-laden, noise-pop sound. The new EP is filled with five taut, guitar-fueled songs with vocalist/guitarist Drew Forsberg delivering gritty riffs and melodic verses.

Ahead of their record release show tonight at the 331 Club -- where the Persian Leaps will play with the Person and the People and Queen of France -- Gimme Noise caught up with Forsberg, and he shared his thoughts about what went into the new EP, where he derives many of his influences, how he's fine with the full-length format dying out, and what the future holds for his talented trio.

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Holly Muñoz: For a long time, I hid behind my band

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Photo by Marie Cameron
Holly Muñoz | Cedar Cultural Center | Friday, September 12
Maps and Lists are what most people take when they go on a road trip, but it is also what Holly Muñoz is bringing in song form when she comes to Minneapolis. She will debut songs off her first solo project, a collection of indie rock songs that resemble Suzanne Vega with a tinge of old school Tegan & Sara. Produced by John Vanderslice, Maps and Lists is a collection of tracks that are positively drowning in hindsight, reflection, and musings which bleed seductively into lyrics that are lost in time, but still affect the heart. Lyrics have a way of doing that.

Before her show -- which will also be her album release show -- at the Cedar Cultural Center, Gimme Noise caught up with the singer to find out about her connection to Dave Eggers and Anders Nilson and what took her out of Minnesota.
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