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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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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