The 30 Highest-Paid Musicians In 2014

Categories: Lists
Photo by Sayre Berman
Miley is smiley 'cause she made $36 million in the last 365 days.

Glitz. Glamour. And obscene, seven-figure weekly paychecks.

Such is the life of the rich and famous pop tarts, rock stars, rappers, and superstar DJs who enrich our lives with their inspiring music, spectacular tours, semi-nude Instapics, and endless drug-taking, DUI-ing, sex tape-ing antics.

Can you imagine making $100,000 a day? Well, even the poorest among Forbes' highest-paid musicians of 2014, like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, pull down that many greenbacks every 24 hours.

Others, meanwhile, mint that much moola in 60 minutes. All day. All night. All year.

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The Best Minnesota Punk Albums of 2014

Categories: Lists
Tell All Your Friends PR
The Blind Shake, people!

2014 has been one hell of a year for Minnesota Punk. Extreme Noise turned 20, Amphetamine Reptile got the documentary treatment, Adam Degross put together a whole exhibit of scene photography and won the City Pages photographer poll, somebody finally bought the Medusa and, as always, about eight billion bands formed, broke up, reunited, and then broke up again. Oh, and some really cool groups made some really cool records, and it's time to celebrate that.

So whether you're a hardened DIY venue rat or just a "fraudulent piece of shit in neon green pants using artistic culture as an accessory," this list is for you. It's a list of records you really ought to buy. It's an article about punk. Let's try not take it too seriously, shall we?

Like last year's list, the 2014 edition is in alphabetical; not ranked, order. In order to qualify as an "album," the recording had to have at least 5 songs. Check out the end for a listing of some great EPs, singles, and demos as well.

See also:
The Best Minnesota Rap Albums of 2014

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Ponx, punk

How to Craft the Ultimate Winter Album

Categories: Advice, Lists
Baby, it's cold outside.

It's a tradition for Minnesota bands to buckle down in the studio during the depressing months of our bipolar weather cycle. When the world outside offers nothing but sub-zero temperatures, black ice, and nearly constant darkness, you start to run out of excuses to cancel band practice.

Like perennials waiting to bloom under a pile of dead-leaf fertilizer, our scene uses brutality outside as fuel for the muse. Come spring, you've got an album, and a reason to live. Think of all the fun you've been missing -- until now.

Here's our step-by-step guide to transforming your winter from a snot-filled disappointment into a creative goldmine.

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10 Things I Learned From the New R.E.M. Documentary

Categories: Lists

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe didn't know Peter Buck's first name for quite a while.

This week, R.E.M. put out a massive, six-DVD box set called REMTV, the latest in a steady stream of archival releases the band has offered fans since "calling it a day" in 2011. It includes the 110-minute documentary R.E.M. by MTV, which is the first film to tell the entire story of a group of Athens, Georgia 20-somethings who started as a party band and finished as one of the most revered groups in music history.

Using archival interviews and live clips instead of a narrator, it's a linear trip through this classic "local boys make good" tale that, despite a lack of hardcore drugs and inter-band lawsuits, should have any music fan on the edge of his/her seat.

I have read six books about R.E.M., listened to every song available from the band and, on a recent trip to Winnipeg, dropped my grocery money for the week on a box of magazines that featured R.E.M. on the cover. Going into REMTV, I thought I had an Encyclopedia Brittanica-level knowledge of the band, but perhaps I was more like a Wikipedia page that hasn't been updated in a few months. Here's a list of 10 things I learned watching the new R.E.M. documentary.

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The 20 Best Drummers of All Time

Categories: Lists
Photo by Jim Summaria via Wikimedia Commons
Keith Moon circa 1975.

As anyone who's ever started a garage band knows, you can get away with only knowing three chords and two basslines -- but if your drummer can't keep a beat, you're never making it out of that garage. Behind every great band lies an even greater drummer, and hidden away behind all those cymbals and high-hats, many of the greatest ones never get their due.

So in the words of the immortal James Brown, let's give the drummer some! Here are our picks for the 20 greatest drummers of all time, in any genre.

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The 10 Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock

Categories: Lists
Asylum Records/Wikimedia Commons
Joni Mitchell: One of history's most underrated guitarists.

While traveling a few weeks ago, I could not stop listening to Mutiny on the Bay, the searing collection of '80s Dead Kennedys performances released in 2001; East Bay Ray, it occurred to me, is one of the most underrated guitarists in the history of rock.

To me, being underrated doesn't mean that a musician has missed out on accolades and commercial success. It means that, for whatever reason, millions of music lovers probably haven't been exposed to a certain musician's talents and thus haven't had the chance to enjoy him or her. So here -- up for potential enjoyment and probably heated discussion -- are ten guitarists I believe are history's most underrated.

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10 Reasons St. Paul Is an Underrated Music City

Categories: Lists
Photo by Steve Cohen

When you're trying to assert yourself as a premier Midwestern city that celebrates music, it's not ideal to have a shouting match with the folks just across the river. The case for Minneapolis's musical greatness is nothing new -- First Avenue, Prince, Paul Westerberg, etc. -- but don't count out St. Paul.

Minneapolis has stolen much of St. Paul's musical thunder ever since this Twin Cities storm started brewing, leading many to assume that our capital is all politicians, hockey, Keillor, and minor league baseball. St. Paul is for music lovers, too. Here are 10 reasons St. Paul is an underrated music city.

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10 Things We Love About the New Turf Club

Photo by Hannah Sayle

After letting the new Turf Club sink back into the grand scheme of the music scene here, we decided to take a look at what really is great about the new space. Yes, everything, still, kind of, but some of the new stuff is still really, really great, while the other stuff has been relinquished to the "pretty good to great" category.

If you haven't been to a show (or just gone to hang out) since the grand reopening in August, do it ASAP. Sure, it's not going anywhere, but you're missing out and it's fun to see a space that was transformed into something fantastic. Here are 10 reasons why.

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Six Reasons Bands Break Up

Categories: Lists
All illustrations by Curtis Tinsley

While Aerosmith still flail around in a body without bones, propped up by the hot air of their backward-cap-wearing fanbase, most sensible bands know when to call it quits.

Sure, reunion tours are still a thing, but those tend to happen on the stinking fumes of nostalgia, and they serve to fuel the now-meager drug habits that were once respectable addictions.

Everyone calls it quits at some point. Being in a band is hard work -- coordinating schedules, dealing with flakes, and actually hammering out a tolerable song or two is a damn near miracle for some. But those who break through are still destined to quit at some point, and here's why.

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Here Are 10 Products for Sneaking Alcohol Into Concerts

Categories: Lists
The Wine Rack bra
It's easy to drop serious cash on booze at shows -- especially if you're buying several rounds. What's even more frustrating is that many venues don't have the best selection, either.

But there are multiple products that will help you get around this issue. While we would never condone violating venue policies to avoid paying $12 for a beer, we present here, for your amusement and edification, 10 of the best items for sneaking booze into a concert.
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