Da Rich Kidzz Rap About Weird Weather in HBO Documentary

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HBO sure picked the perfect time to air their environmentally focused documentary, Saving My Tomorrow. The Da Rich Kidzz track that was featured in the film, "Weird Weather," took on added significance in a week that saw temperatures in the Twin Cities go from 50 degrees to 10 degrees in a matter of a day.

The young north Minneapolis hip-hop group -- featuring members of Y.N.RichKids of "Hot Cheetos & Takis" fame -- augmented a segment on how a warming Earth will generate more extreme weather events with a two-minute track that illuminates just how harsh and unpredictable the weather can be here in Minnesota.

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Life of a House Band: Trailer Trash

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Lynn Richter
"Other guys were looking for record deals, I was looking for a bar deal."

The holiday season is upon us once again. Sweaters, eggnog, mistletoe... and so goes the generic list of items we see every year. But then there are some special events outside of the ordinary celebration. One of those, the Trashy Little Xmas Show created by house band Trailer Trash, is dedicated to celebrating Christmas throughout the month of December until Christmas day.

On these nights inside Lee's Liquor Lounge is a crowd done up in their ugliest sweaters, flashing lights, sequins, and of course Santa hats. Imagine Uncle Eddie from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

As soon as the first Christmas song starts, the dance floor at Lee's erupts and people of all ages get into the spirit. The band's frontman, Nate Dungan, leads the charge.

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Hippo Campus Are Waking Up Twin Cities Indie Rock

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Photo by Peter Jamus
L-R: Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton, Jake Luppen, and Whistler Allen

Hippo Campus | 7th St. Entry | Saturday, November 29
"What did somebody tweet at us today?" Hippo Campus singer/guitarist Jake Luppen polls his bandmates. Luppen, guitarist Nathan Stocker, bassist Zach Sutton, and drummer Whistler Allen are draped in winter garb and gathered around a table at Kopplin's in St. Paul. The collective goal at the moment is getting warmed up and caffeinated ASAP.

No one responds, so he quickly answers himself. "'Hippo Campus makes me want to do ratchet things on a rooftop.' That's the feeling I want people to feel."

The tweet in question actually reads: "your songs make me want to do hoodrat things on train tracks and on rooftops. i feel like i could take over the world." Close enough, and perhaps true enough. Within the Woodbury-based indie rock instigators' Bashful Creatures EP -- featuring The Jungle Book hooks alongside The Bad News Bears mischief in lyrical form -- lurks the unadulterated core of youth.

See also:
The Best New Minnesota Musicians of 2014: Hippo Campus


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Jeremy Messersmith Decides to "Ditch Christmas"

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
Messersmith at Rock the Garden 2014.

The Twin Cities' own songwriting chestnut Jeremy Messersmith is back with a couple catchy lumps of coal for the holiday season.

Ever the mischievous contrarian, Messersmith packages some bah humbug in irresistible crooner-era schmaltz. The two songs, a semi-morbid reworking of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and an original called "Let's Ditch Christmas," both slide in like classic Christmas tunes, but then they twist the carving knife.

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Babes in Toyland Announce Reunion Show

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Michael Lavine
Maureen Herman, Kat Bjelland, and Lori Barbero are baaaaack.

After teasing a comeback earlier this year, Babes in Toyland have announced their first live show with the Fontanelle-era lineup in 18 years.

The Minneapolis-bred heavy rock trio of Kat Bjelland, Maureen Herman, and Lori Barbero will take the stage together for a show in Los Angeles in February.

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Music Is at the Core of My Ideal Community

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Jerrod Jordahl
Hello. My name is Christopher Ford.

Everyone likes music. Every. One. Music has the capability to unify people -- two strangers who might hate each other if they knew the other's inherited beliefs can nod along and even dance together to the same song on the jukebox.

I know a few things about this because I am an artist. I make music. I also serve at the Des Moines Music Coalition, a nonprofit with a mission to support the music economy of Central Iowa. I help run a record label that releases music solely from Iowa artists, Maximum Ames Records. I read a lot of stuff. My experience ends there.

An ideal community is a place where equal opportunity exists for everyone, and this can happen when music is present and integral.

See also:
Guess What? Your Band is Boring


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Hear the Stand4rd's Debut Album [DOWNLOAD]

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Mike Madison
The Stand4rd's first-ever show was Sunday at Amsterdam Bar & Hall.

"We're just some kids with computers," Allan Kingdom raps on the Stand4rd's debut album. Even if true, the St. Paul cloud rap supergroup featuring Kingdom, Spooky Black, Bobby Raps, and Psymun have proven how much can be done with just each other, some technology, and some buzz.

After getting DJ Khaled to do the official announce of the album, they debuted several songs during their Amsterdam show on Saturday. The 11 tracks arrived via the Stand4rd's SoundCloud account on Tuesday evening. Stream it and download below.

See also:
Review: The Stand4rd at Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 11/1/14


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Hear an Unreleased Trip Shakespeare Track from 1988 [PREMIERE]

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Greg Allen

Back before John Munson graced the stage with the New Standards, Dan Wilson was spinning gold for the likes of Adele and the Dixie Chicks, and even before the definitive paean to closing time, there was Trip Shakespeare. Marrying love beads and loud guitars, these kids made some of the most danceable, erudite, and humorous ("Toolmaster of Brainerd" anyone?) pop music ever churned out of these parts.

This December, their first two albums are getting the deluxe reissue treatment with lots of unheard gems. We've got one of them streaming below.


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Pert Near Sandstone: One Decade In, and More to Come

Categories: Local Music
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Photo by Graham Tolbert

Pert Near Sandstone | First Avenue | Friday, October 24
It's hard to believe Pert Near Sandstone's Kevin Kniebel once almost gave up the banjo.

Everything fell into place when he had his first clawhammer-style lesson with regional folk musician Bill Cagley. By the next week, Kniebel started playing the banjo on stage, and for most of the past decade his banjo has traveled across the country alongside his closest friends. These friends hatched upon a style of string band music that hits hard with acoustic instruments.

Before Pert Near Sandstone celebrates their 10th anniversary with special guests the Big Wu and "Spider" John Koerner, Gimme Noise got the band to look back at what got them here.

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Inside the Neon Soul of Shiro Dame

Categories: Local Music
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Elliot Light-Chaser Malcolm
Sarah White of Shiro Dame

Shiro Dame | Mill City Nights | Saturday, October 18
"I feel like there's some weird, magical thing that happens when we're together," says vocalist Sarah White of her five-piece band Shiro Dame. "Once we start playing, we just fall into this really good pocket where we can make all different styles of music."

Just sitting with three-fifths of the band -- White, Rico Simon Mendez, and Ry Dill -- at Peace Coffee reveals multiple strings of influence and identity, reflecting numerous passions unbound by borders. You can tell from their global fashion sense alone there was a myriad of ideas at play.


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