10 reasons you are so underground

Categories: Lists

Popular culture these days is like a black hole, sucking up all elements of the underground and spitting them back out in a more easy-to-swallow format. It's getting harder and harder to retain true underground status with Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic trying to make a buck off it.

Here in Minneapolis, various factions of underground subcultures fight tirelessly to remain largely ignored. Suburban kids throw on a Leftover Crack shirt, drive 45 minutes into the Cities to a basement show, and cry when someone makes fun of Vice Magazine. Facebook blows up like the old mnVibe boards when the word "rave" is mentioned. Discussing local hip-hop can be like walking through a minefield. Who is the most underground old-school raver? Who is the most punk? Who has the most street cred?

Only you can decide if you are the most underground person in Minneapolis, but Gimme Noise will make it easier by compiling a list of sure signs that you just might qualify for the title.

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Six reasons employers should hire touring musicians

Categories: Lists


In 2014, you should've already figured it out by now: Your dumpy, forgettable band with few fans should be touring. The need to turn your local bar band into a mobile poverty-stricken disaster unit is of utmost importance. It's your chance to see beautiful rolling landscapes, fall in love with people you'll only talk to on the Internet and learn how to comfortably carry yourself onstage. Tour is where baby takes his first steps -- gaining a new, elevated perspective and examining the world with awe while still shitting his pants.


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50 best fake musicians of all time

Categories: Lists
Artwork by Tatiana Craine

Movies, TV shows, comics, and even music-makers are constantly coming up with story lines that involve artists who do not exist. That is, until they exist as "real" fictional musicians in some form. Some, like the Monkees and Miley Cyrus, go on to behave exactly like actual performers. Others could never hope to live up to the hype of their imaginary worlds.

April Fool's Day has become the holiday of sorts when everything on the internet is even more suspect than usual. With all the fake news clogging our social media, Gimme Noise decided to focus on some of the realest fakes around. Here are our top 50 fictional musicians and bands.

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Minnesotans love buying sappy Christian music

Categories: Lists
Photo courtesy of NewSong's Facebook

Amidst the recent flurry of lists documenting the popularity of bands and songs by each respective state, comes an odd but distinctive list that breaks down the most favored songs of each state based upon sheet music sales.

Musicnotes created a list that they are calling, "Uniquely Popular Sheet Music by State (plus D.C.)," which draws from the best-selling sales figures of sheet music titles by the nation's top digital music e-retailer and sheet music publisher. And, the results for Minnesota will certainly surprise you.

See Also: Metric is the most distinctively popular band in Minnesota

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Top 10 best albums recorded at Pachyderm Studio

Categories: Lists
Publicity photos
The secluded Pachyderm Recording Studio in Cannon Falls has seen some of the most celebrated groups of the past 30 years roll into town and bash out some of the best records of the modern rock era.

As the studio enters a new era with Duluth's Trampled by Turtles recording their latest album there with Low frontman Alan Sparhawk, it's high time for a look back at past music made in Pachyderm's hallowed halls that still has plenty of life of its own. Here, we rank the 10 best albums that were created at one of Minnesota's most famous recording studios.

See Also: Pachyderm Studio wants to save the world, but can it keep the lights on?

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Top 10 Christian hardcore bands from Minnesota

Categories: Lists
From Household's "Reservoir" video

Hardcore is destined to psych up antsy punks in any given dingy basement. Picture the heads nodding, the pit forming, the beverages spilling on already-dirtied shirts as bodies thrash into one another... and then the lyrics kick in.

Imagine these words belted with a raw throat and intensity beyond compare: "I am set apart by holiness to love and to give / To observe how Jesus lived and to follow in his footsteps!" This is the message of Minneapolis group Watchmen. It's all hardcore as usual until someone drops the big G.O.D., and they're far from the only band doing this.

A strong scene formed around similar beliefs and musical approaches has cropped up around the state. Here are 10 of Minnesota's best Christian hardcore bands.

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The top 15 African hip-hop tracks

Categories: Lists
Ghana's FOKN Bois

Let's get one thing clear: Africa is a continent made up of 54 sovereign states, more than one billion people, and upwards of 3,000 languages. If we had more room, we'd dedicate a blog to every African country where hip hop plays a role. Here's a condensed introduction to the wide world of African hip hop, spanning from Tanzania in the east, to South Africa, to Senegal in the west.

Hip hop as we know it now spread to the African continent in the early '80s, shortly after American hip hop took shape. Though it's true that many African rappers have been heavily influenced by Western styles, it's important to look at Africa's role in shaping hip hop as a whole. According to an All Africa article from 2007, "Rapping in African music and culture is a tradition that was carried to the new world in the 1400s." In the end, the early African musical traditions borrowed by the New World made their way back to Africa in the form of modern day hip hop and quickly spread amongst African youths.

Today, African hip hop styles range from American-inspired beats and rhymes, to bongo flava and kwaito, to the satirical hip hop of groups like Die Antwoord and FOKN Bois, and to the politically and socially conscious rhymes of Positive Black Soul and Black Noise. For our list, we tried to encompass a wide range of styles from various countries to bring you a small sample of the continent's best hip hop.

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Top 10 rules of the rave: A guide to underground dance party etiquette

Categories: Lists
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

Electronic music's recent surge in popularity comes with serious side effects for underground party aficionados. Suddenly, Daft Punk is winning Grammys, and drunk girls (and guys) are ruining life at 4 a.m. in a warehouse somewhere.

Take this recent incident: Under a haunting pink hue Dustin Zahn tended to his machinery, hands poised above the knobs. My body was carried by the sound, hips oscillating, hair in my face, arms outstretched, at worship. I was in ecstasy, but I opened my eyes to someone shrieking, "Can you take a picture of my tits?" She pushed her smart phone onto a bewildered onlooker. Much to my dismay, he aimed its lens directly at her protruding cleavage and snapped a series of photos. Her drunken friend laughed, peering into the phone's screen and haphazardly sloshing half of her drink onto the dance floor. In short, the magic was gone.

I could spend time being mad at these random people, but that would ultimately lead to nothing but more bad vibes. After talking to friends and other musicians who experience the same tribulations, I have assembled ten rules for proper underground dance party etiquette.

See Also: Top 10 Twin Cities dance venues

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Six people who make the worst bandmates

All Ilustrations by Dave Watt

Being in a band is hard. Assembling a band is almost impossible. As anyone who's been through a few bands can tell you, meeting a self-proclaimed "musician" should instill about as much enthusiasm in you as meeting someone who is going to college for a career in law enforcement. You're either about to talk to a caring, compassionate, intelligent person or a psychotic, self-serving demon. By the analogy, you can probably guess which is more common.

See Also: Top 20 signs you've been in Lyn-Lake too long

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Top 20 signs you've been in Lyn-Lake too long

Categories: Lists
Photo by Kendra Sundvall

The intersection of Lyndale and Lake in Minneapolis has spawned not just a whole geographic district, but a way of life. And the longer you've been a part of it, the more it's a part of you. Sure, there's a segment of Lyn-Lake population who might get slurred with that dreaded "h-word" for their fashion choices, but there's a hell of a lot more to it than that. It's how you interact with the food, the bars the shows, the attitude, the mode of transportation, and the lay of the land.

Here are 20 signs compiled by Gimme Noise and friends that you've been in Lyn-Lake too long -- or 20 signs you'll never be in Lyn-Lake long enough, depending on how you look at it.

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