The Current's 10th Anniversary Kicked Off In Style With Cold War Kids

Photo by Mark N. Kartarik
Cold War Kids frontman Nathan Willet got fierce for the occasion.

The Current's 10th Anniversary, Night One
Featuring Cold War Kids, Dead Man Winter, Hippo Campus and Allan Kingdom
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Friday, January 23, 2015

Booking Billy Idol for the Turf Club wasn't the only sign that 89.3 The Current was going all-out for its week of 10th Birthday Party festivities. The taste-making local radio station also sprang for a national act, California indie rock group Cold War Kids to headline the first night of its annual First Avenue birthday bash.

The mainroom birthday show began when the Current turned five years old in January 2010 (P.O.S., Mason Jennings and other Minnesota music heavyweights were featured on the bill) and eventually turned into a two-night affair. The birthday party has grown in popularity and size in the past half-decade, but had exclusively sported local musicians until Cold War Kids' set Friday night. The Current clearly isn't hanging this event up to dry anytime soon.

See also:
Slideshow: Rocking Out at the Current's 10th Birthday: Night One

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White Boyfriend Are Now Known As B.O.Y.F.

Categories: Local Music
Photo by Mark N. Kartarik
L-R: Dan Hansen, Katharine Seggerman, and Nicky Leingang
One of the premiere young acts in the Twin Cities broke up with their band name last Friday. Say goodbye to White Boyfriend, and hello to B.O.Y.F.

The experimental pop trio of Katharine Seggerman, Dan Hansen, and Nicky Leingang made the announcement in front of an exuberant 7th St. Entry crowd during the release show for their (no longer self-titled) full-length debut, White Boyfriend. After unfurling a banner featuring the acronym, Seggerman said, "It stands for something really true and great. It stands for Before Others Yourself Forever. "

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First Avenue's Best New Bands Represented the Twin Cities' Bold Future

Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
PaviElle getting it done and then some at Best New Bands.

Best New Bands of 2014
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Saturday, January 17, 2015

So many story lines, songs, and artistic promise were packed into First Avenue's five-hour Best New Bands showcase Saturday night. Hippo Campus, PaviElle, and Sam Cassidy represented voices that are just starting to be heard by larger numbers, but Suzie, Warey, Tiny Deaths, and ZuluZuluu all featured lead vocalists with familiar faces -- albeit for different projects.

Official numbers aren't yet in as to which acts brought the most friends and family members along to cheer them on, but only one artist came to the gig with actual cheerleaders.

See also:
Slideshow: Best New Bands 2014 Rock First Avenue

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Watch the Lowertown Line This Winter When You're Stuck Inside


Stop staring angrily at the thermometer this winter and turn on TPT. Even if the temperatures are keeping some of us from our regular rounds at the local clubs, the Lowertown Line can simulate the experience in our homes. Bonus: no coat check.

TPT has just announced its broadcast schedule for the second season of the Lowertown Line, with episodes featuring recent performances from the 4onthefloor, Black Diet, the Blind Shake, and Doomtree, with a rebroadcast of Har Mar Superstar's highly entertaining set thrown in the mix as well.

See also:
MN Original leaps forward: New Lowertown Line series takes a closer look at live local music

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Da Rich Kidzz Rap About Weird Weather in HBO Documentary


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

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

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
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
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
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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