Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner Is Embracing Change While Trusting His DIY Instincts

Photo by Michael L. Smith

"It's bleak," jokes Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner, referring to the release of his band's upcoming untitled record. The album is nearly ready, but needs more funding to get it out the door. As a result, the band is trying their hand at PledgeMusic, selling band nostalgia, original art, and unique deals such as a "lifetime guestlist" to help get the record out of the studio and onto your iPod.

Pirner is up front about the perks and pitfalls of crowdsourcing a record, but he's excited for the new music to get to fans. The band has seen a lot of change in recent years. With the death of original bassist Karl Mueller and other member turnover, it's a new start for the group, and Pirner is beginning to embrace those changes.

Gimme Noise spoke with Pirner, who now lives in New Orleans, as he returned to Minnesota for a tour of mid-sized Midwest cities with John Mark Nelson, American Scarecrows, and Carnage the Executioner.

See also:
First Avenue at 45: Our First and Favorite Shows

More »

We Need Sleater-Kinney Now More Than Ever

Categories: New Releases
Photo by Brigitte Sire
L-R: Janet Weiss, Corin Tucker, and Carrie Brownstein

Is the music world ready for a riot grrrl revival?

The underground, feminist, post-punk movement saw the return of rock royalty when Sleater-Kinney released their first record in a decade, No Cities to Love. Passion-charged vocals, riff-heavy guitar, bashing drums, and political lyrics gave birth to the group's eighth studio album. Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums) have already managed to release one of the most innovative and authentic rock records of the year.

More »

Eyedea Lives On in New Then and Now DVD

Categories: New Releases
Crushkill Recordings
DJ Abilities and Eyedea

Twin Cities music legend Michael "Eyedea" Larson's gifts as a performer will be missed. Fortunately, several of his concerts were recorded, and some of the footage makes up the recently released Then and Now DVD.

Compiled by Eyedea's mother, Kathy Averill, and released on Eyedea's label, Crushkill Recordings, Then and Now boasts two discs. Then features four complete Eyedea performances, each from a different stage of his career, and Now contains performances from each Eyedea birthday memorial taking place in the years following his death.

Gimme Noise spoke to Averill about putting the DVDs together, and she revealed some previously never-before-heard Eyedea tidbits.

More »

Always Human Tapes prepares for its first showcase

Categories: New Releases
Courtesy of Always Human Tapes
Matthew MB self-titled cassette release

"Tapes move; they are real," says Always Human Tapes label artist Ian Lehman. "When I bought my first car, I had a high-end tape deck installed. I made mix tapes for the car all the time instead of always shuffling through CD's looking to hear a couple of songs." Indeed, it's hard to deny the nostalgic value and cultural relevance of the mix tape.

Still in its infancy, the Minneapolis-based Always Human Tapes label will be hosting its first label showcase at First Avenue this Thursday. Its creator Ryan Wurst is thrilled for the opportunity to bring the label's artistry to life in the form of live analog electronic performances accompanied by visual and video elements. "I feel so lucky that these people have put their trust in me," he says.

More »

Bobby Vee covers Bob Dylan on new album, The Adobe Sessions

Categories: New Releases

When Bob Dylan praised Bobby Vee during his performance this summer at Midway Stadium -- right before covering Vee's first hit single, "Suzie Baby" -- it was significant for a couple of reasons. First of all, Dylan rarely says that much during his live shows, so anything that he does offer up on stage takes on an added significance. And Dylan's heartfelt admiration of Bobby Vee hopefully introduced many music fans in the sold-out audience to the talents and legend of an oft-overlooked musician who helped Dylan get his start.

On February 3, Vee is set to release a new collection of original and cover songs that he recorded with his family in his garage in Tucson, Arizona, called The Adobe Sessions. The 18-song collection will feature some original material along with some covers of artists who have influenced Vee.

See Also: Bob Dylan at Midway Stadium, 7/10/13

More »

Soul Asylum announce EP series featuring their favorite covers

Photo by Steve Cohen
Following one of the busiest years they've had in a while, Soul Asylum are starting to make some noise in 2013. Last year marked the entry of Delayed Reaction, their first new studio album in six years, but it also signaled the departure of founding guitarist Dan Murphy. Now, with frontman Dave Pirner carrying the torch, the band will debut a new EP titled No Fun Intended later this July.

For fans who have seen the band live in recent years -- or been listening closely to 89.3 the Current recently -- these songs will be familiar. It's a selection of covers featuring some SA favorites, including Joy Division, the Suicide Commandos, and MC5 for the first round -- just in time for the guys' appearance at Target Field for the Skyline Music Festival with Big Head Todd, Matthew Sweet, and the Gear Daddies.

See Also:
Skyline Music Festival 2013 at Target Field lineup unveiled
Soul Asylum guitarist Dan Murphy leaves the band

More »

KPT: Dubstep just hurts my head after a certain amount of time

Categories: New Releases, Q&A
Clarence Reed

Throwing a David Lynch-themed dance party, but have no idea what to play? Wonder no more, massive Twin Peaks fan KPT, pronounced "kept," crafts the perfect tracks for the occasion. KPT is a genre-bending dark electronica producer based in Minneapolis. His music, at once sparse and complex, has a distinct element of unpredictability. It's professional, polished, fresh, and just the right amount of weird.

KPT works his magic live at Honey tonight at his event EDM IT THEN. Billed as an evening of intimate, innovative electronica, it showcases artists from a range of worlds within EDM and features Phenetik, Trouble Lights and Elevated States. Whatever your flavor you'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot for electronica on a Tuesday night.

Ahead of the show, Gimme Noise caught up with KPT to talk the local EDM scene, getting love from Linkin Park, and why dubstep makes his head hurt. Plus, check out the exclusive premiere of his newest track, "Fine," below.

See also:
Four reasons Lollapalooza needs EDM
EDM showcase Electrovember to nurture local dance music's next generation

More »

Rachael Kilgour: I can make an impact through my music

Categories: New Releases


Rachael Kilgour doesn't immediately seem like the kind of girl who would take on the social injustices of the world in a song. She's sweet-faced, fast with a bright smile and sunshine energy. A few minutes into knowing her, though, and it's suddenly impossible to see her in a role besides activist. The Duluth-based folk singer-songwriter has a lot of ideas, and she speaks animatedly, as though she's in front of a classroom or heading up a meeting.

As she talks with Gimme Noise about her brand new EP, Whistleblower's Manifesto: Songs for a New Revolution, out today, Kilgour focuses on the role her music plays.

More »

Brynn Andre on her Christmas EP Let it Snow, out today

Categories: New Releases
Photo by Athena Pelton

Thanksgiving is a mere 48 hours away, and if you aren't already in the holiday mood, we have just the thing to get you there.

Local singer-songwriter Brynn Andre releases a Christmas EP today called Let it Snow, featuring Andre's take on the classic title track, plus two original holiday jingles, the sweet up-tempo "Everything On My List" and the New Year's Eve ballad "Chandelier." Let it Snow listens like a sugary guilty pleasure, as Andre's folk-pop voice sticks like glittery frost to the holiday scenes she sings about. 

Gimme Noise caught up with Andre on the ideas behind Let It Snow, recording with some notable Twin Cities musicians at the Library Recording Studios, and what's next on her list.

See Also:
Brynn Andre sings her heart out for Kids Against Hunger tonight

More »

Big Quarters on Somos no Joke EP, out Friday

Photo by Thomas Dunning

Since releasing their third disc last year, Big Quarters have taken their message to new levels, opening for Atmosphere on the "Welcome to Minnesota" tour and maintained their monthly showcase for aspiring producers, the Last of the Record Buyers.

Brothers Brandon "Allday" and "Medium" Zach Bagaason have been as passionate about mentoring young artists as they have been about promoting their own work. Their new EP, Somos no Joke, captures the duo as full of pride and passion as ever. They'll celebrate its release on Friday at the Icehouse. Gimme Noise met the brothers in their south Minneapolis neighborhood to talk about the past year.

See Also:
Big Quarters change things up: Brandon Allday and Medium Zach release best album yet
Rap duo Big Quarters make big waves: It's self-distribution, hard work, and hustle, all day, every day

More »