Passenger: I didn't feel the pressure then and I don't feel it now

Categories: Q&A
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Photo by Shervin Lainez
Passenger| First Avenue| Sunday, August 24

The meaningful lyrics from Passenger's hit single "Let Her Go" only took Mike Rosenberg 45 minutes to write. So far, the breakup song has over 363 million views on YouTube, and has allowed the folk singer-songwriter to go from playing small pubs in England to world tours. In June, his new album Whispers was released, and it's just as full of thoughtful lyrics bashing social media as All the Little Lights but with a more upbeat tone.

Ahead of Sunday's First Avenue show, Gimme Noise talked with Rosenberg about his new album, social media, and his love for lyrics.

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Inside OK Go's songwriting magic

Categories: Gimme Songs, Q&A

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Photo by Gus Powell
OK Go| Fine Line Music Cafe| Saturday, August 16
In Gimme Songs, musician Mark Mallman talks songwriting with his peers and heroes. This week, a conversation with OK Go bassist Tim Nordwind before Saturday's show at the Fine Line.

It's rare, but possible for an artist to bring two equally compelling components to the table. Nobody ever says Woody Allen's screenplays outshine his directing capabilities, and I feel the same way about OK Go. If the band had never released a single video, they'd still have a collection of albums better than most bands out there. I spoke with bassist Tim Nordwind about something other than inventing groundbreaking online content. We simply talked about writing super good music.


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Welcome to Chris Strouth's giant dollhouse

Categories: Q&A
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Self-portrait by Chris Strouth
Safe as Houses | New Century Theatre, Minneapolis | September 4-6

You might already know that Chris Strouth often Makes No Sense at All with his contributions to Gimme Noise. But he also makes interdisciplinary art and music under the handle Paris1919. His latest performance piece, titled Safe as Houses, is an ambitious gathering of creatives for the purpose of exploring what security truly means and where to find it, and continuing from where his Antarctica piece left off.

The Kickstarter-funded multimedia performance turns the New Century Theatre into an enormous dollhouse, and masked dancers are dolls directed by choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer. With vocals by Blue Sky Blackout's Christian Erickson, Wits' Janey Winterbauer, Mayda and Alan Subola (the Vibro Champs, the Bad Companions), Paris1919's ensemble will score the 40-person, interdisciplinary mélange. Gimme Noise pointed a few questions at Strouth and he shot a few entertaining answers back.

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Remembering DJ Man-X: Three friends pay tribute

Categories: Q&A
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Via Facebook
DJ Man-X

Thomas Spiegel, AKA DJ Man-X, was one of the originators of house music in Minneapolis. His famous House Nation Under a Groove party series began in New York City, and when he moved to Minneapolis in the late '80s, he continued the events at the 7th Street Entry. At the time, this kind of music was really only played in Chicago, Detroit, and New York, but Spiegel and his collaborators helped start a large underground scene here in Minneapolis, which still carries on today.

Sadly, Spiegel passed away in late 2012, but his musical legacy lives on today, both literally and in spirit. In the literal sense, local techno DJ DVS1 acquired his entire collection of more than 25,000 records, which have worked their way into his sets in all corners of the world. In the spiritual sense, his take on what made a good party good are still important parts of the house and techno scenes here today, 25 years later.

To pay tribute, several of Spiegel's favorite local house DJs have come together to throw a party in his memory. On August 9, the Entry will become the House of Spiegel once again. No expense will be spared to bring in a ridiculous amount of speakers and to properly decorate the venue, which were trademarks of any party Spiegel threw. To get an idea of what Spiegel meant to Minneapolis, Gimme Noise spoke with stalwarts of the underground dance music scenes.

See also:
RIP DJ Man-X, founder of House Nation Under a Groove


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Off With Their Heads' Ryan Young riding bike to Denver for charity

Categories: Gimme News, Q&A

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Erik Hess
Off With Their Heads at the Triple Rock in 2013

Off With Their Heads' Ryan Young likes to challenge himself. That's why he scheduled a 900+ mile bike ride from Minneapolis to Denver where the musician is betting that his stubbornness will overcome his conditioning.

Young and fellow musician Brad Lokkesmoe (Dear Landlord/the Gateway District) first planned the trip on a whim, later deciding they should help out a good cause while they push their limits. The two have launched an Indiegogo project to raise the funds, using only a minimal amount for their own travel expenses (food and lodging) and donating the lump sum remainder to save.org, a local suicide awareness organization.

See also:
Off With Their Heads return home

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Sylvan Esso: Kendrick Lamar was on constantly while we made this record

Categories: Q&A

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Photo by Elizabeth Weinberg
Sylvan Esso are zipping down the interstate toward New York City in a Prius. There, vocalist Amelia Meath and beatmaker Nicholas Sanborn will perform on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon with the Roots' bandleader ?uestlove adding live drums. They opt for "Coffee," a glitchy, bells-strewn track with a coda referencing Tommy James and the Shondells, but virtually anything off their self-titled debut could spread their organic synth-pop to the masses.

Sanborn's past musical allies include indie stylists Decibully and bearded porch-rockers Megafaun (more on all of his bands here) and in Meath's background are Mountain Man's room-filling Appalachian harmonies and the ambient-folk collective BOBBY. She also has harmonized live with Feist, and he has produced beats solo under the Made of Oak moniker.

On Saturday, Sylvan Esso will warm up the stage for Polica at the second annual 10 Thousand Sounds Fest in downtown Minneapolis. Gimme Noise Spoke to Sanborn about the band's early success while Meath was behind the wheel.

See also:
10 Thousand Sounds: Behind the Bands


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Carroll: Recording is like having a baby

Categories: Q&A

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Leah Garaas

This past January, local indie group Carroll recorded their debut full-length album over a period of two and a half weeks in the Philadelphia studio of acclaimed producer Jonathan Low, who has worked with the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Local Natives and the National. Carroll are in the midst of a very busy summer with Saturday's 10 Thousand Sounds Festival just around the corner, followed by more local fest appearances and a First Avenue mainroom show with Strange Names, Tickle Torture, and Two Harbors this August. Plans for a fall tour are underway as the band continues to seek label backing, and the still-unreleased album hangs delicately in the balance.

Gimme Noise recently joined front man Brian Hurlow and guitarist Max Kulicke for coffee at Urban Bean, to talk about the much-anticipated new album and to learn more about the band who, with just one EP under their belt (last year's Needs) have left such an indelible mark on the Minneapolis music scene.


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Poliça's Channy Leaneagh: You can't ignore north Minneapolis forever

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Photo by Emily Utne

Poliça frontwoman Channy Leaneagh is one of the Twin Cities' most iconic performers of the moment. Blessed with a voice that can encapsulate humanity's softness and jaggedness in a single stanza, she has come into her own over two albums of synth-fueled soul, and this year's EP, Raw Exit. Each song from the band -- featuring bassist Chris Bierden, drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, and producer Ryan Olson -- pulls untapped emotion to the surface to writhe and gasp for air. It's a live experience unparalleled anywhere.

Ahead of Saturday's headlining performance at City Pages' second annual 10 Thousand Sounds Fest, Leaneagh met with Gimme Noise for some iced beverages at Spyhouse. She traveled from the home she keeps with Olson in north Minneapolis to discuss Raw Exit, her punk influence, and views on censorship, which she experienced with last year's Shulamith cover.

See also:
Cover Story: 10 Thousand Sounds 2014 -- Behind the bands

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Harbor and Home: The quiet places can sometimes have the loudest messages

Categories: Q&A

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Courtesy of the artist
Harbor and Home's latest album, Dark Days, traces the edges of Americana before settling in a pool of calming guitars and lyrics. It's deeply lovely: a frosty sunrise of an album that signals happiness, holism, and mystery for fans of the Avett Brothers and Frank Turner.

Gimme Noise caught up with Kaleb Williams before the album release at the Fine Line on Saturday to talk about the change in their sound and their thoughts on Christian rock.

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Claire de Lune on Tiny Deaths: I made songs I would listen to

Categories: Q&A

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Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash
Claire de Lune first showed up on the local music radar as a vocalist in the soulful hip-hop trio the Chalice. Those vibrant ladies caught Twin Cities listeners' rapt attention as well as the top spot in our 2012 Picked to Click poll.

Claire has shifted her creative focus to an electro-pop group she formed with producer/musician Grant Cutler, called Tiny Deaths. The bands is set to release a self-titled EP sometime very soon, and poised to play a show at the 7th St. Entry on Friday night along with Glass Animals and Maids. Gimme Noise asked de Lune about how her new project came together, the current state of the Chalice, and the band she's assembled to help bring these songs to life now that Cutler has moved to New York.


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