80/35 Festival reveals 2014 lineup

Photo By Tony Nelson
Conor Oberst is one of the acts set to play this year's 80/35 Festival

Each summer for seven years now, our music-loving neighbors in Iowa set their sights on the 80/35 Festival, which routinely assembles one of the better lineups of bands in the area. The inspired assemblage of groups regularly attracts area fans and bands to Des Moines for the two-day music festival, which features nearly 50 acts spread out over three stages.

A majority of this year's lineup has just been announced, and once again the folks at 80/35 have put together a festival aimed at music fans throughout the Midwest over the celebratory July 4 weekend.

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Grading Nirvana's Hall of Fame lead singers: Lorde, St. Vincent, Joan Jett, and Kim Gordon

Categories: Music News
Credits, clockwise from upper left: Tony Nelson, publicity photo, publicity photo, Steve Cohen
Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Joan Jett, Lorde, and Kim Gordon

Ahead of Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night, rumors swirled about the band's frontman for the ceremony. Any vocalist they chose would inevitably -- and unfairly -- face comparisons to Kurt Cobain, but a curveball flew in as four frontwomen took the mic.

Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent's Annie Clark, and Lorde all brought their own distinctive vocal talents to the four-song set that closed down the induction ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The choice was an affectionate nod to Cobain's career-long dedication to women's rights and causes, and shook up the night.

But how did these women fare singing four Nirvana anthems that in many ways defined a generation of music fans? We graded the results.

See also:
Kurt Cobain's suicide: Why it's time to move on

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Two new record stores open in St. Paul on Saturday

Categories: Music News
Photo By Erik Hess

With so much bad news coming out about the struggling music industry, it's gratifying to get some good tidings every once in a while to confirm that there is indeed still hope for musicians and their fans.

To that end, the recent announcement that two brand new record stores are opening in St. Paul is something that local music fans can certainly rejoice in. On Saturday, Barely Brothers Records and Agharta Records will both be hosting music-related festivities to celebrate their big openings.

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RIP the Goondas

Categories: Music News
Photo by Alexander Uhrich
Earlier today, bluesy bad-boy rockers the Goondas announced on social media that their upcoming show at First Avenue, opening for Run Westy Run on December 27, will be their last as a band.

Though it hasn't been made explicitly clear whether this will be a permanent breakup for the four-piece that first started playing together in Chanhassen five years ago, it looks as though this will be the last we'll hear from the Goondas.

See Also: The Goondas engineer the Dog Show

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The Current volunteer suffers severe head injury in bike accident

Categories: Music News
Photo courtesy David Briscoe.
Shaina sustained a traumatic brain injury during the accident.

A bicyclist sustained a severe head injury after colliding with a car during a race in downtown Minneapolis Saturday.

Shaina Briscoe, 28, an avid cyclist and volunteer for 89.3 The Current, has been unconscious and in intensive care since the accident. Shaina is a loud advocate for bike safety, and was wearing a helmet -- which remained intact -- at the time of the crash, says her father, David Briscoe.

"In that community, she is known as the safest and most clear-thinking cyclist among them," says David. "She criticizes everybody else for taking chances and for not wearing helmets and for drinking and riding."

Minneapolis bike crash rate drops as riders increase

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SoulPancake releases Zach Sobiech documentary

Erik Hess
Sobiech at the Varsity earlier this year.
SoulPancake released a short documentary Friday on Zach Sobiech, the terminally ill, ever-optimistic Stillwater teenager whose song "Clouds" has been viewed by millions on Youtube.

Sobiech was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, more than three years ago. After learning his condition was terminal, he wrote "Clouds" and other songs as goodbye letters to his family and friends, and has since signed a deal with BMI and played to a packed house at the Varsity.

Zach Sobiech: I hope a music career doesn't change who I am
Review: Zach Sobiech at the Varsity

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The Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis shines spotlight on '60s Greenwich Village folk scene

Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac in the titular role of a folk musician with a cat

Locally bred Oscar-winning auteurs Joel and Ethan Coen have never shied away from drawing inspiration from their Minnesota upbringing to use in their films. Both Fargo and A Serious Man candidly reflect all-too-familiar aspects of life around these parts as well as lasting impressions that the creative filmmakers gleaned from their childhood spent in St. Louis Park.

The duo have also used music to great effect in their films, with the success of O Brother, Where Art Thou? spawning a resurgence of interest in classic American folk music, as well as a blockbuster soundtrack that resulted in a live concert and corresponding DVD that perhaps outshines the lasting impact of the film itself.

Now the Coens are back with a new forthcoming film, Inside Llewyn Davis, that blends their love of music with the legendary folk scene of Greenwich Village in the '60s that helped spawn and nurture the early career of one of Minnesota's favorite sons, Bob Dylan.

See Also:
Bob Dylan's most memorable Minnesota performances (1998-2008)
Mumford and Sons on Austin City Limits, a play-by-play of sorts

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Dawes announces indie record store tour with stop at Electric Fetus

Categories: Music News
Photo by Noah Abrams
It has never been a secret that Los Angeles-based Dawes has called the Twin Cities a second home, and that the locals get a little touchy-feely about it. With the April 9 release of their third album Stories Don't End quickly approaching, the group will support local record stores on an intimate tour, which takes the band to Austin for SXSW, and includes an anticipated stop in Minneapolis at Electric Fetus in April.
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Brother Ali set to perform and present at Nobel Peace Prize Forum

Brother Ali Nobel.jpg
Photo By Daniel Yang

After the sold-out success of last year's socially conscious Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Augsburg College will once again be hosting the three-day event geared around raising awareness and understanding within the areas of human rights, business and economics, health and science, as well as the arts. The overriding theme of this year's Forum is "The Power of Ideas: People and Peace."

One of the clear highlights of this year's Nobel Peace Prize Forum will take place on Saturday, March 9, as a special evening is planned featuring presentations and performances by the acclaimed Minneapolis MC Brother Ali, as well as Syrian-American rapper/activist Omar Offendum. Both artists will give Ted-style talks on the subject of "Hip-hop and Peace," (akin to Dessa's enlightening presentation and Q&A last year on the topic "Ethics & Hip-Hop") prior to each of them performing short sets alongside a live band, followed by a moderator-led discussion as well as an audience Q&A .

See Also:
Cover Story: Brother Ali in His Own Words
Brother Ali: The day I met Dr. Cornel West
Dessa's Nobel Peace Prize Forum presentation at Augsburg College, 03/02/12
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The Current hosts its first Public Music Meeting tonight

Categories: Music News
Chastity Brown performing with a familiar logo behind her.

There's no question that since it's arrival on the local airwaves eight years ago, the Current has changed the musical landscape here in the Twin Cities. With their adventurous playlist, top notch in-studio performances, and sharp focus on Minnesota music, there would be few who would argue that the area's music scene isn't better off with their involvement and influence.

But rather than dig in their heels stubbornly now that they have established a solid foothold in the Twin Cities, the Current has continued to work hard at keeping the lines of dialogue open between the station and their listeners/members. And that sense of community and level of discourse is about to get even more enhanced by the Current's first ever Public Music Meeting tonight at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, where the staff from the radio station will be on hand encouraging its listeners to provide opinions and ideas about what new music should be added to their playlist.

See Also:
The Current's 8th Birthday Party, Night One, 1/18/13
The Current's 8th Birthday Party, Night Two, 1/19/13

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