Patrick Watson drops new video, free download ahead of his Cedar show Saturday

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Photo By Brigitte Henry

Insightful Canadian singer/songwriter Patrick Watson rolls into the Cedar Cultural Center Saturday night on the strength of his excellent new record, Adventures In Your Own Backyard, an album filled with a studied blend of subtle instrumentation and profound lyrics. Watson has long since captured the attention of music fans with his Polaris Award-winning Close To Paradise, and his riveting new songs only build on that promise.



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Craig Finn performs "Western Pier" on WTF with Marc Maron

Categories: Music
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Photo By Tony Nelson

On the surface, Marc Maron and Craig Finn literally seem like world's apart. But in the most recent episode of Maron's immensely popular podcast WTF, the two get a chance to explore some familiar personal terrain together.

For those who are unfamiliar with the podcast, Maron tends to facilitates his interviews in a more colloquial manner, and what unravels feels more like a therapy session than a talk-show. And the interviews are typically nothing short of revelatory and engaging.





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Craig Finn's debut solo album 'Clear Heart Full Eyes' is streaming in advance of its release date

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Thankfully, Clear Heart Full Eyes, the debut solo album from the Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, doesn't signify a fracture between him and his regular bandmates. It just represents a temporary musical diversion for Finn from the wild, late-night hi-jinks that are prominently featured in his celebrated main band. And while Finn's familiar talk/sing vocal style remains the focus of his solo songs, the musical makeup of the tracks are quite a departure for Finn. The new tracks sway from restless blues, to plaintive, countrified Americana, to relaxed, keyboard-laden pop songs. Some of these new numbers certainly work better than others, but Finn's dedicated fans are unquestionably excited about the prospect of hearing him play these solo songs live, as his upcoming Triple Rock show in February sold-out weeks ago.

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The Shins release new track, "Simple Song," and reveal new album plans

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James Mercer has had no shortage of creative outlets over the last few years. But his main band, the Shins, have kept remarkably quiet since 2007's Wincing The Night Away, other than announcing that they were leaving their longtime label Sub Pop in '08. Mercer has now formed his own record label, Aural Apothecary, which will release Port Of Morrow on March 20, the first album from the Shins in nearly five years. Mercer plays most of the music found on the record, assisted by former Shins members Dave Hernandez and Marty Crandal (who no longer feature in the touring aspect of the band), Janet Weiss of Wild Flag, Eric Johnson of the Fruit Bats, and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse. Mercer just made the first track from the album available, the plainly titled but still evocative "Simple Song." Give it a listen after the jump. More »

Oneohtrix Point Never crafts musical ode to Ricky Rubio

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It seems like Ricky Rubio is not only rapidly capturing the attention of fans of the NBA, but also the affections of musicians as well. While the Spanish point guard tries to eventually work his way into the Timberwolves starting line-up (as well as the hearts of Minnesota basketball fans who have been yearning for excitement), the experimental musician Oneohtrix Point Never has delivered an ode to the young ball handling virtuoso, simply titled "Rubio." It's a slick, ethereal track, much like the smooth play which Rubio has exhibited on the court so far during his emerging rookie season.

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A musical guide to surviving the holiday week

Categories: Music

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It's Christmas and Hannukah week, and we all know what that involves: the mad scramble at the mall, the in-depth combing of the internet for holiday recipes to impress your friends, and selecting the highest proof scotch to get you just where you need to be by the time family dinner arrives. For many, such pressures would cause the epic sort of holiday breakdowns that are the making of those awful, corny holiday flicks that pop up around this time (cough New Year's Eve cough)--but not for you, savvy reader. You are made of mettle, and you have a solid week of music to get you through.

We've highlighted a couple shows this week, just in case you need an excuse to skip out on decorating the eighth batch of holiday cookies to be gifted to your shitty neighbors.


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Replacements Archives: Pow! Go the Replacements

Categories: Music
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Following last Friday's yearly tribute to the Replacements at First Ave--this year's headline featured a star-studded performance of the Replacements' debut album, Sorry Ma, I Forgot To Take Out The Trash--we thought it would be interesting to dig through the CityPages archives and look at some of the historical Replacements coverage during their early years.

The following article originally appeared in the February 18, 1981 issue of City Pages (then called Sweet Potato).

By P.D. Larson

Boy, are we lucky to live in this deep-freeze of a state! We've got a thriving arts and music scene, a relatively high st andard of living, clean air, the North Stars.

When analyzing Minneapolis' bustling local music scene, two characteristics are quickly evident: size and diversity. There are literally dozens of bands of all shapes, sizes, and musical inclinations--from the Teenage Boat People to Safety Last to Willie and the Bees, and all areas in between; there really is something for everyone.

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Replacements Archives: Twin Tone Madness, Garage Rock Mania

Categories: Music
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Following last Friday's yearly tribute to the Replacements at First Ave--this year's headline featured a star-studded performance of the Replacements' debut album, Sorry Ma, I Forgot To Take Out The Trash--we thought it would be interesting to dig through the CityPages archives and look at some of the historical Replacements coverage during their early years.

The following article originally appeared in the September, 1981 issue of The Twin Cities Reader

By D.L. Mabery

Like cinnamon on tapioca, independent record labels (from Bomp to Ze) have always played a vital part in the history of rock 'n' roll. Both Elvises, for example, started recording their music for independents (Presley on Sun, Costello on Stiff) before being snatched up by the mega-labels. Serving an audience the Warner Brothers and Columbia's choose to ignore, the independent labels market bands that have developed a strong local following--popular bands which don't seem to ahve whatever pizzaz it takes to woo the major labels' interest. By being gutsy enough to record seminal bands like the Velvet Underground, the indies generally strike upon the talent while it is fresh, innovative and, most importantly, hard working. Some independents have the distribution muscle of major labels (IRS has A&M's support; Planet records has Elektra; Takoma has Chrysalis). Yet, the bottom line in the philosophy of the small companies is music for the enjoyment of it. And to hell with profit.



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Phantogram's First Avenue show filmed by Vice

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Photo by Erik Hess
Phantogram at First Avenue last month
Vice magazine's online video channel Noisey has been deploying journalists throughout the country to capture live footage of their favorite acts, and their newest video will be very familiar for local concertgoers: It's a feature on Phantogram's stop in town, and it features First Avenue and downtown Minneapolis almost as heavily as it does the rising dream-pop duo.


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Dawes, Dylanophilia, and the Twin Cities' love affair with touchy-feely folk rock

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Photo by Kevin Hays
L.A. Americana band Dawes are so cavalier about their draw in the Twin Cities that they announced their plans to play a New Year's Eve show at the Varsity before they even rolled into town to perform their sold-out show at First Avenue this Friday -- and in his interview with City Pages this week, lead singer Taylor Goldsmith casually mentions that they might add another show on December 30.


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