RIP, Tommy Alsides of Paradox and John Eller & the DTs

Categories: Obituary

Neza SG

Thomas "Tommy Gunn" Alsides, best known to the Twin Cities as the drummer for Paradox, John Eller & the DTs, the Bowie-themed Rock For Pussy benefits, passed away earlier this month on March 6.

In his lifetime he was an animal on the skins, a fixture of his beloved neighborhood of St. Paul's West End, one hell of a bartender and cook, and a beloved husband and father. His 52 years weren't nearly enough time for the man's warmth and vitality to grace this earth, and he will be dearly missed.

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RIP, Pachyderm Studio Owner John Kuker

Categories: Obituary
Photo courtesy of Darren Jackson
John Kuker at Pachyderm Studio in early 2015
John Kuker, owner of Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, has died. According to his family, Kuker passed away peacefully in his bed in Los Angeles. The producer, painter, humorist, and father was 40 years old.

In recent years, Kuker was credited with rejuvenating the rural studio outpost where early '90s alternative classics like Nirvana's In Utero were recorded. Prior to purchasing the studio out of foreclosure in 2011, his energies were focused on operating Seedy Underbelly in Minneapolis. After he was evicted by the building's owner to make room for an apartment complex, the studio later expanded to New York and Los Angeles.

See also:
More on Seedy Underbelly's move to L.A.

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RIP, Joe Cocker, First Avenue's First Headliner

Categories: Obituary
Here's Joe Cocker's star at First Avenue.
The legendary gravel-voiced singer Joe Cocker has died following a battle with small cell lung cancer, the New York Times reports. Known for hits like "You Are So Beautiful" and his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help From My Friends," Cocker had a career that spanned more than 40 years. He was 70.

The Sheffield, England, vocalist kicked off one of the great Twin Cities venue stories with a Minneapolis performance on April 3, 1970. He was the first headlining performer at the building now called First Avenue, and his name is celebrated with a star at the club commemorating the night.

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RIP, Jordan Leininger, Big Lake Bassist

Categories: Obituary
Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash
UPDATE: Visitation will be Monday, December 8 from 5:30-8:30 pm. Funeral will be Tuesday, December 9 at 10:30 am. Both visitation and funeral will be held at Unity Christian Reformed Church. Donations can be sent to: 307 Cedar Ave., Prinsburg, MN 56281    

Minneapolis musician Jordan Leininger died early Thursday morning at St Cloud Hospital from complications related to congestive heart failure. Originally from Prinsburg, Leininger played bass and shared his musical talents in Big Lake, Lost Shepherds, and Minneapolis 1989. He was 29.

After a three-year wait, Big Lake released their first full-length album earlier this year, which was characterized as "a collection of shadowy and sharp mid-tempo rock that neatly straddles alt-country and indie pop in a manner reminiscent of classic Whiskeytown." The album followed a 2011 EP and featured a captivating single, "Eight Weeks." Between music, Leininger worked as a sales manager at Zen Gluten Free.

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ZVEX Effects Team Remembers Departed Friend Andy Richardson

Categories: Obituary
Photo courtesy of ZVEX Effects

Last week, the local community mourned Andrew Richardson's life of creativity and caring coming to an early end. The musician, sound engineer, husband, and father was only 36.

Aside from his family and bandmates, among those hit hardest by his death were his coworkers at ZVEX Effects, a boutique company specializing in high-end guitar pedals and other accessories. There, Richardson was an integral part of the team, who brought humor and expertise to work every day. Here are some tributes from the staff.

See also:
RIP, Andy Richardson, member of "a bazillion" Twin Cities bands

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RIP, Andy Richardson, member of "a bazillion" Twin Cities bands

Categories: Obituary
Via Facebook

UPDATE: A memorial auction has been set up to help benefit Andrew Richardson's family, including memorabilia and signed items from musicians like Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the Black Keys, and Spoon. The auction will run until October 12, 2014.

Twin Cities musician, sound engineer, and devoted family man Andrew Richardson has died. He was 36.

The longtime ZVEX Effects employee was reported missing by his wife Marisa "Moe" Richardson, and his body was found the next day.

Born February 24, 1978, Richardson grew up in Minnetonka, and moved to Minneapolis right out of high school. His talents as a guitarist, vocalist, and bassist were spread all over the local scene. "He played in a bazillion bands," says Moe. Included were the Crush, described by City Pages' David Hansen as "pop punk with a heart, a rapier wit with searing chord work, a forceful jangle that owes as much to broken strings as to impassioned strumming." His other projects included the Book of Dead Names, the Dirty Hits, Infinity Dive, Start:Destruct, and many more.

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Remembering Tom Hallett, Twin Cities music writer extraordinaire

Categories: Obituary

Courtesy of Paul Dickinson
L-R: Tom Hallett with friend Paul Dickinson
Tom Hallett was a true rock 'n' roll writer. He lived the rock 'n' roll life like the Twin Cities' own Lester Bangs, and wrote about it in great detail. For decades, Hallett avidly attended innumerable shows, and celebrated our scene hard. Hallett's recent passing after a struggle with diabetes shocked many. He was 50 years old.

His friends include cohorts at publications featuring his writing (The Squealer, Pulse of the Twin Cities, 'Round the Dial) and innumerable musicians, but his reach could never be contained. As Gimme Noise gathered stories of Hallett from the people in his life, a consistent thread emerged. These folks spoke about his passion for writing, making mix-tapes, radio, and having good times with his friends at all hours. It's said by all that Tom was a sweet, funny guy who was well-loved by all. Here's a lengthy collection, they way he'd like it, of memories from some of the people who knew him best.

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R.I.P., Run Westy Run founding member Kyle Johnson

Categories: Obituary
SST Records/File
Run Westy Run, L-R: Kraig Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Terry Fisher, and Kirk Johnson

Kyle Jason Johnson, who played bass and rhythm guitar for Minneapolis rock band Run Westy Run, died among family and friends on Friday. Born September 1, 1959, he was 54.

He is survived by his two beautiful children. "He was a very creative and talented artist and musician, and he was loved and supported by many family members and close friends," says his sister, Kelly (Johnson) Abernathy.

The band initially featured three St. Louis Park-bred Johnson brothers -- Kirk, Kraig, and Kyle -- as well as close friend Terry Fisher. Run Westy Run packed a furious punch during the band's late-'80s and early '90s heyday. Their loud, uproarious sound incorporated elements of the blues and punk, and could always whip up a crowd. They released three full-length albums. Hardly Not Even (1987) and a self-titled release (1988) came out via SST Records, and Green Cat Island followed on Twin/Tone in 1990. R.E.M.'s Peter Buck was regularly enlisted for production work.

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Gwar's Oderus Urungus dead at 50

Categories: Obituary
Photo by Erik Hess
RIP, Oderus Urungus a.k.a. Dave Brockie
Gwar founder and frontman Dave Brockie, who terrorized stages as Oderus Urungus, has died. According to StyleWeekly, the 50-year-old was found dead Sunday in his home in Richmond, Virginia.

Over the past 30 years, the thrash metal band and its frontman pulverized its audiences with bodily fluids, political fury, and one of the most elaborate stage setups in the history of rock 'n' roll. 

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Minneapolis rapper Dodi Phy has died

Categories: Obituary

The Twin Cities hip-hop community is mourning the loss of rapper Dodi Phy (given name Mohamed Turay), who died at the age of 31 on February 21.

The Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider, in a poignant tribute to the fallen MC, reports that Turay committed suicide following a lengthy battle with depression, leaving behind two young sons, Jabarri and Khalil.

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