Sunday, December 16, 2007


Yeah. I've been bad about keeping up with my blog since the semester started, and things continue to get more messed up in my non-musical life. As such I'm going on hiatus until the new year.

Keep warm. Dress well. Check back in January.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Awww how nice!

Merry Christmas early to us!

Okkervil River recorded a bunch of cover songs while on tour this year, and they decided that these lovely songs should be put into a compilation. However, the also were kind enough to decide that they should be given free to their listening public!

Here's the track listing:
Recorded live on tour, 2006-2007
1. APRIL ANNE (John Phillips)
3. I WANT TO KNOW (Charles F. Olsen/Ed Sanders)
4. DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO (Jimmy Webb)
5. I CAME HERE TO SAY IM GOING AWAY (Serge Gainsbourg/Trans. by W. Sheff)
9. SOLO (Sandy Denny)

Thanks to Okkervil River for the FREE album of cover songs. You can get the free album by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

HOW does he do it? Deal with the devil. I swear.

Seriously. You can't tell me that Zach Condon is of this earth. He just can't be.

I keep meaning to post these on here, and then I forget. My apologies for not gracing your life any earlier with these utterly fantastic videos.

Enjoy. Breathe. Live. Love. Sigh... SWOON.

You can check out all the videos here. They were recorded in Brooklyn and in Paris and really show off the talent of the entire band. There is no need for Pro Tools here folks. Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it music.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tick tick boom!

Usually I don't post stuff like this, but I find myself merrily humming along while at work when the video's not even on. Gah! EARWORM!

So... yeah, I'm behind on this one 'cause it's a little old, but I still find it funny. Enjoy the show!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Clapperclaw Festival Debuts in Minneapolis

Following in the footsteps of festivals like SXSW and Pitchfork, Minneapolitans Matt Perkins, Carl Atiya Swanson, Jeremey Catterton, Dom Davis and Jacob Mullins, along with many other spirited souls, decided this amazing city of music and art needed a helping hand. Hence the emergence this weekend of the First Annual Clapperclaw Festival.

The festival encompasses all the things I love about Minneapolis. Art, fashion, drama, and of course, music. The schedule is impressive for a start-up festival and includes more than just locals. Headlights, a band I've been repeatedly impressed with (most recently passing through Minneapolis with the awesome Page France), is from a 'burb in Illinois. Brighton, MA and Lacona are from Chicago,IL, Dearling Physique is coming to brave the recent blast of cold from Phoenix,AZ, and Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, along with Pale Young Gentlemen, hail from my nemesis city of Madison, WI (really, any city in WI is my nemesis after living there for a year).

Saturday features a dramatic edge, with "The Ongoing Saga of Clapperclaw" presented by Lambs Lays with Lion Company. You'll recognize quite a few faces from the successful run of local band Fort Wilson Riot's rock opera Idigaragua. Also on Friday and Saturday you can check out fashion shows by amazing local designers, including Jenny Olson of Pomije (, who you probably saw at this year's Voltage show at First Avenue. This, along with a bout of crazy art (photography, sketches and more), means that the boys really covered their bases when putting this thing together.

The best news is that tickets are reasonably cheap, with a 2-day pass retailing for only $20.

The Schedule:
Friday, November 9th (21+)
at The Sound Gallery - 414 Third Ave. N.

7-7:50 – SMAK 10,000
8-8:50 – Talk Radio
9-9:50 – Jonathan Ackerman
10-10:30 – The Guystorm
10:50-11:40 – Headlights (Champaign, IL)
12am-12:45am – Mystery Palace
1am-2am – Soviet Panda

Saturday, November 10th (18+)
at The Bedlam Theatre - 1501 S. 6th St. (west bank)

1:00 – 1:45 – We Became Actors
2:05 – 2:50 – Brothers Quetico
2:55 – 3:05 – Part I: The On Going Saga of Clapperclaw
3:10 – 3:40 – Dearling Physique (Phoenix, AZ)
4:00 – 4:40 – Kill The Vultures
5:00 – 5:45 – Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, WI)
5:50 – 6:00 – Part II: The On Going Saga of Clapperclaw
6:05 – 6:50 – Spaghetti Western String Co.
7:10 – 7:55 – Mean Beap and Robot Skeleton
8:15 – 9:00 – Lacona (Chicago, IL)
9:20 – 10:05 – Screamin’ Cyn Cyn & The Pons (Madison, WI)
10:10 – 10:20 – Part III: The On Going Saga of Clapperclaw
10:25 – 10:55 – Estate
11:15 – 12:00am – Brighton, MA (Chicago, IL)
12:20am – 1:05am – Fort Wilson Riot

For more information:

Clapperclaw's Official Website

Download mp3s:
An Imagined Civil State - Fort Wilson Riot
TV - Headlights
The Cowboy Song - Screamin' Cyn Cyn & The Pons
Merton's Woods - Spaghetti Western String Company

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Love Stook!

It's ok to admit it, because it's a universal sentiment. You love Stook!, don't you? Stook! broke his way into your heart with the sing-along-ability of "A Song is More Than Just a Song" off his first release "The Soundtrack to My Minneapolis." He weaseled his way into your subconscious with his threats to sing AC/DC repeatedly at the Hootenanny if you didn't shut your pie hole... and that yellow hat, oh the yellow hat. Seriously tell me, how can you not love Stook!?

Lucky for all you Stook! lovers out there, Stook! has a new album out called "When The Needle Hits The Wax." It's a combination of good old school folk rock mixed with a country twang. It's a solid album and a good follow up to the first album, which you can't say of every band. Standout tracks like "Hennepin Avenue," "Diggin' On You," and "How Long We Gonna Dance?" make this one helluva enjoyable trip. Stook! sings from the heart and you can't have a Stook! album without a few heart wrenching lyrics. "Seasonal Affective Disorder" is one song I think everyone who lives in the land of winter can identify with, while "Sound of Lies" chronicles the situation some people seem to find themselves in when dealing with members of the opposite sex. Overall it's an enjoyable album and it's spun through my CD player more than a few times in the short time I've had it.

Stook!'s official CD release is slated for Friday, October 26th at the Varsity Theater. It's a joint CD release with Minneapolis favorite Dan Israel and promises to be a ton of fun. Come early and bring your friends!

Download mp3s from Stook!'s first album:
When It All Comes Crashing Down
Deliverance From Your Eyes

Buy the new album :

Stook!'s myspace for more information

Stook! on Minneapoliscast talking about the CD release & a live performance

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh Brandi

Brandi Carlile is one talented woman, no doubt about it. It really doesn't matter if you like country, rock or pop, because you'll get a little bit of those and everything in-between. Carlile also packs a powerful punch of a voice in a tiny little body. She can wail (in a good way) like few singers I've seen. Her whole heart is out there for her audience, and it translates into hordes of screaming, singing, and weeping fans.

It also translates into a quickly sold out show at First Avenue tonight. Tickets bascially don't exist and I've heard more than one person begging anyone they can for entry to the show (including me). Carlile seems to be more underground than her rabid following would indicate, and I'm sure that those fans hold onto that like a closely guarded secret... while at the same time internally exploding for want to spread her music like wildfire to everyone.

You can hear streams of Carlile's most recent album "The Story" on her site at: She's also recently released a very cool acoustic EP that you can find supposedly at any indie record store. I'll have to pick one up tonight if they have any, or hit up the Electric Fetus soon.

Stream Brandi's May 2007 Concert in Boston
The Story mp3

In Case You Live Under A Rock...

Dan Wilson's solo album "Free Life" is finally out! It came out on Tuesday, October 16th and it's really a great sort of retrospective where all the songs are new, yet there's just something about them inherantly Dan Wilson. I was lucky enough to attend one of Wilson's CD release shows at the Bryant Lake Bowl, and it was amazing to see him in such an intimate venue.

CD Track listing:
1. All Kinds
2. Free Life
3. Breathless
4. Baby Doll
5. Come Home Angel
6. Sugar
7. Cry
8. Golden Girl
9. Against History
10. Honey Please
11. She Can’t Help Me
12. Hand On My Heart
13. Easy Silence

You can see Dan Wilson for yourself at the Electric Fetus tomorrow (10/19) for a free in-store performance. It starts at 7pm, but I would be more than a little early for this one. Word has it there's a one-of-a-kind free poster by local concert poster god Adam Turman for the first few hundred CD purchasers too, so get them while they last.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Things Are What You Make of Them

It's official. This has become a monthly blog... or something. I've been overrun with work, school, and shows. It's truely ROCKtober here in Minneapolis and there's so much good music coming to town (or just did) that I gotta have a breakdown in responsibility somewhere. Unfortunately this blog has been the first thing to go.

Rocktober in Minneapolis brings bands like Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Girl Talk, White Rabbits (omgwhiterabbits!*&!), Tokyo Police Club, Spoon, Voxtrot, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Regina Spektor, Ted Leo, Final Fantasy, New Pornographers, Architecture in Helinski, Brandi Carlile, The Polyphonic Spree, and Bishop Allen. Oh, and that's just a smattering. Can you see why my head threatens to explode?

To give you a starter taste of my concert attendance, I decided to begin with a band I saw and fell in love with at SXSW this past March, and just again at The Entry on Monday.

Bishop Allen is one of those bands that most people don't love or hate. They're sort of in the middle somewhere. They make enjoyable music for all people. It's low key, it's intelligent, and it's poppy. It's great background music with a smattering of tracks that I have to have in my listening rotation. There's never been a Bishop Allen track I haven't liked, and there are a few I'm in love with. "Things Are What You Make of Them," "Click Click Click Click," "The News From Your Bed," and "Little Black Ache" are all must-haves for me. Luckily, I have a few of my favs, along with a few tracks from their newest album, Bishop Allen & The Broken String, for free downloading at the bottom of this post. Check it out... and keep going to shows!

Download mp3s:
Click Click Click Click
Things Are What You Make of Them
The Bullet and Big D

Buy their new album!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Back to Beirut

On October 9, one of my favorite bands will release their new album "The Flying Club Cup." Beirut has that sort of sound that literally you can't wait to hear again, and so to make things a little easier on us all, they've graciously made a track off the new album available for free downloading. It's called "A Sunday Smile," and even though today is technically Monday, this Labor Day is feeling to me like Sunday (insert "Every Day Is Like Sunday" by Morrissey here)... I have the windows open, a warm breeze blowing through the house and I'm sitting here pretending to study, while I enjoy this wonderful track.

As usual, the sound comes straight from France, with visions of romance and simple times. However, if you want to see them live (which I HIGHLY recommend), you'll have to head to Chicago on October 4, because that's as close as they're getting to Minneapolis.

Here are a few more pics from when I saw them in March at SXSW and a beautifully shot video of "Elephant Gun." Enjoy and commence swaying along. You know you can't help it.

Download mp3s:
A Sunday Smile

Friday, August 31, 2007

An Unintentional Accident

So they've been around the Twin Cities scene for a while, so much so that they rarely play anymore, but how the hell did I miss Accident Clearinghouse? They slipped past my ears for far too long, and it's about time I remedy that. I also need to redeem myself by allowing these sweet alt-country boys to regale you with old-timey rock-tinged tunage.

I think you'll find your toes tappin' along even if you don't usually like this sort of thing. Believe me when I tell you that you will be singing along to these catchy lyrics in no time. Every person I know can relate to "That's The Way It Had To Go," in which lead Quillan Roe sings about someone he's currently obsessing over. She likes him too, but unfortunately, she's already taken. I was on you, like a vulture in the sky, hovering, waiting for your love to die. We were lovebirds, but our love could never fly. That's the way it had to go.

As I write this note, I see that Accident Clearinghouse is performing at Lee's Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis tonight. There are no other dates on their calendar, but keep your eyes peeled for future performances. If their recorded music is any indication, they are well worth seeing.

Download mp3s:
That's The Way It Had To Go
She'll Take Your Name
Pink, Not Blue
If I Said You Were A Nurse
Flamin' Hair

UPDATE (9/3/07): Accident Clearinghouse will be playing the Revival Show on September 16th at the Turf Club... Let's Go!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

White Rabbits

Sometimes there are bands people rave about, but for some reason or another you brush them off. Why this happens I don't know. For me, I brushed off White Rabbits. I'd heard how great they were and blah blah, but didn't really make an effort to listen to their music.

Fate intervened, however, and White Rabbits played an afterparty I was lucky enough to attend at Lollapalooza this past weekend. I think my jaw literally hit the floor after about 30 seconds of watching this band perform. There are two drum kits, two guitarists, a bassist and a keyboard wielding madman... of course, none of the members of White Rabbit seem tethered to any one instrument so maybe it's pointless to tell you what they do - it might be easier to tell you what they don't do... accordion?

The best song they played was "Sea of Rum," which started with Steve Patterson hitting up a drum instead of piano keys. It continues with wonderfully free vocals by the other lead Greg Roberts. You can't help but be enthralled with the movement and the lyrics. My other favorite off their new album Fort Nightly, is "Kid on My Shoulders," which begins with a beat you can't help but feel the need to do some sort of ballroom partner dance to. It's reminicent of Beirut or We All Have Hooks for Hands. They boys are a joy to watch and when you get home from the show, you have their album to look forward to. Go pick it up now. DO IT.

Download mp3s:
The Plot
Kid On My Shoulders

Daytrotter Session - including 3 free downloads:

Click Here

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day of Fratellis

Yup. This past weekend found me rolling on the ground, swooning. Ok, that's not totally true... just mostly true. The boys that do this to me are again, from Glasgow, but they're a little more well known thanks to a commercial for a device called the iPod.

I was lucky enough to be able to see The Fratellis down at SXSW - in fact, that's one of the reasons I went to SXSW in the first place. They were ok, but I found them to be less than stellar as far as performers go. I was a bit disappointed. Music is easy to forgive, however, and I found myself getting more and more amp'd to see them play here in Minneapolis. They had two shows scheduled, one an in-store at The Electric Fetus, and the next a full concert at the Varsity Theater.

The in-store was what I was most excited about since I love the acoustic tracks I've been able to get from The Fratellis website and EPs. It's a bit easier to muscle through the accents and it shows that they actually have talent. The in-store was wonderful and they played some great versions of songs like "Ole Black 'n' Blue Eyes" and "Flathead." I got to meet the boys and had them sign a CD for me... I'm such a geek.

Next was the full-on rock 'n roll show and I found them to be much more (whew!) entertaining than I had in Austin. Probably because they played somewhere around 8000 shows in four days back then, and only had 2 today. One would think there's actually a bit more time for relaxation this go 'round. The set was tight, upbeat, and well choreographed. I don't say that to mean that it seemed stiff, because it didn't, but it did leave me wondering if they really meant it when they said "we haven't played this in a while" before "Creepin' Up the Backstairs." Regardless, it was an upbeat, Scot-pop (yup, new word) extravaganza and I can't wait to see them this weekend at Lollapalooza. Wheeee!!!

The rest of my photos from Sunday can be seen here:
Fratellis on my Flickr

For more information on the band:
Official Fratellis Website

Download for Windows (boo):

If you sign up to be a member on The Fratellis website, there are nine free downloads - really great stuff:
Members Page (FREE)

The View

I know... it's been a while since we've talked. I've been a busy girl with my "other" gigs and so this has unfortunately fallen by the wayside. Hopefully I will rescue you from the gloom with this band. They're called The View and I'm sure it will shock you to know they're from Scotland. I don't know what my deal is, but I seem to have unnatural obsessions with Scottish boys and bands. Weird.

Anywho, their music is garage punk pop. If you removed all the "noise," from their music that constitutes the garage punk part, you'd probably have a band that rivals The Monkees in terms of catchy pop-ability. This mix, of course, leads to a new found obsession for me.

Here's an example of why I'm obsessed:

See what I mean?

You can listen to/stream free audio here - just scroll down once you hit the page:
The View Streaming Music

For more information on The View, check out:
The View's Homepage
The View's Myspace

Wednesday, July 11, 2007!

This is just a short note to let you know that I have photos featured on from the Polyphonic Spree show at the Fine Line last night! Jen Paulson and I attended. She wrote, I clicked. Check it out! :)

Stacy's photos on!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

From the Funky Front Line

As most of you know I also write for As I'm running out of battery, please check out my most recent post there, as I wait in line for Prince tickets at First Avenue tonight. ROCK the FUCK ON. "From the Funky Front Line"

Monday, July 2, 2007


Romantica has become one of those Minneapolis bands we expect great things from. They continutally pump out music I can play for my friends or my mom and get a similar reponse of "oh they're so good." Singer-Songwriter Ben Kyle was born in Belfast, Ireland and that upbringing is reflected in their music. Romantica combines pastoral themes with love songs and home life. Their newest album, "America," is a diverse album that appeals to the masses. I can see myself swinging in a hammock in the backyard, this CD cranked up and a fine breeze blowing across my cheek. This is the kind of images and hopes this album produces.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to have Romantica play at the Stone Arch Festival. In under an hour the band sold through their CD inventory and had numerous people asking me where they were from and when did they play in the Cities? I chuckled as I informed the happy concert-goers that Romantica lives here in Minneapolis, and yes, they sort of play all over. I had to actually start refering people to the Electric Fetus, just so they could go pick up an album of their own. Old and young, preppy and punky, it doesn't matter what walk of life you come from because Romantica has a universal appeal you only find in rare instances. Their musical genius stems from life events we all run across at some point, and that is what makes Romantica great.

I've attached a few mp3s from their first album "It's Your Weakness That I Want," and also a link to listen to their newest album. Enjoy the sun on your face folks.

Download mp3s:
On My Mind

Listen to 'America' here

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Saving the album at a time.

Yeah, yeah... late to the party, not jumpin'on the bandwagon, etc. I have to be honest and admit it took me a while to really get into Seymore Saves the World. I can't really pinpoint why I didn't like them prior to the release of the new CD, but for some reason I just wasn't interested. One night, I was listening to local radio station 89.3 The Current. There was this nerdy, poppy, upbeat song that spoke to me. As often happens when listening to 89.3, I ran to my computer to see what was being played. Son of a gun! Seymore Saves the World!

The song that was playing, "Love Song," comes from their new self-titled album. I feel like I'm listening to young teenagers in their basement. They wanna record, they're gonna record, but it's just for them. Maybe no one will hear it, but that's ok. It's all for fun and self-gratification. There aren't too many bands that lead me to that conclusion, but Seymore's gentle, geeky lyrics just put me in that "awwww" mood. I'd actually seen them perform live at the Minneapolis Take Cover event at the Varsity in February, but didn't really get a great vibe from them. Now I find myself really excited to see them on 7/7/07 when they open for Zibra Zibra and Har Mar Superstar at First Avenue. It promises to be a very solid, danceable show. So start preparing your self with this little ditty.

Download mp3:
Love Song

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First Post!

As I'm now officially a staffer over at, I thought I'd throw up a link to my first real post.

White Light Riot CD Release - June 23, 2007

Hope you don't mind some shameless self promo... like you have a choice.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Villains of Verona

The big show this weekend here in Minneapolis was the White Light Riot CD Release. This concert will go down on my list as one of the Best Of 2007. The Alarmists played their usual solid set and White Light Riot definitely put on a show for the massive sold out crowd. The best part came at the end when lead Mike Schwandt literally flung himself into the crowd while singing "My Generation." It was almost too much to handle.

I always love finding new obsessions, and this party at the Fine Line left me with one. The Villains of Verona is a band from the outskirts of Chicago, but their sound has a universal appeal. They mix some classic bubblegum pop with heavier rock riffs, which creates a need to kick off your shoes in order to get down and boogie. Lead singer Rachel Verona's vocals will bring you back to the beginnings of Blondie... if she'd sung more poppy tunes. Think "The Tide is High" without the ska... wait, is that possible? As for the other band members, I hesitate to call them a "backup band" as this quintet seems to contribute equally to the sound being blasted forth.

The sold out crowd at the Fine Line seemed to appreciate the VOV and there was dancing to be had. I saw more than one ass shaking out there. This new discovery is a reminder to you. Show up for opening bands. You may find something wonderful you weren't even looking for.

Stream some music:
Villains of Verona on PureVolume

For more on the Villains of Verona, check out these links:
Official Website (must have Flash)
Villains of Verona MySpace

Friday, June 22, 2007

Frightened Rabbit

God. Another freakin' Glasgow band I'm obsessing over. This happens quite a bit. This newest obsession is a "keep it in the family" band called Frightened Rabbit. They say there's no one else in the band "because we don't have any other friends who are awesome." Yes, I love these boys already.

Also, look how cute they are... are you kidding me? So it's time again for some indie-pop-punk to groove to in the car. ...or when I just can't stand work anymore and need a pick me up. Well, I can just play a few Frightened Rabbit songs and feel a bit better for having done so. Their rousing beats and upbeat vocals lend me to the happier side of my musical life. It's one of those bands where the accent gets me, and the music just fills my heart with a happiness for having listened.

Unfortunately, there are no US tour dates currently scheduled. Although, if you're lucky enough to live close to Dublin (Peter), you could check them out at the Oxegen Festival in July.

Download mp3s:
An Incident
The Greys
Be Less Rude

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Sorry I've been AWOL. That whole Stone Arch Festival thing really did me in! You should see my ridiculously burned feet, knees and head. Yes, I wore sunblock... 60 spf! But to no avail.

New posts will resume tomorrow, June 21st. Be patient. I'll be back with plenty of new stuff for you.

Cheers -

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stone Arch Festival of the Arts

The Stone Arch Festival of the Arts has been my pet project since January. I have booked three of the four stages at the festival and believe the lineup is pretty amazing for a first-timer putting all this together. If you're anywhere near the Minneapolis area on Saturday and/or Sunday this weekend, please stop on by. It's FREE!

June 16/17
10am - 6pm each day
Car Show, Live Music, Food, over 250 fine artists, a Youth Arts Quarter and more.

It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend so please come on by!

Click Here for the full music schedule

Download and stream mp3s from Stone Arch artists:

Stream Aviette's Album here
Stook - When It All Comes Crashing Down
Stook - Deliverance From Your Eyes
Bill Mike Band - Secure
Stream Jonathan Delehanty's music here
Jeremy Messersmith - Novocain
Jeremy Messersmith - Snow Day
Jeremy Messersmith - 7:02
Beight - Listen to album here
Eliza Blue - Little Bird
Eliza Blue - Northshore
Eliza Blue - Turnstile
Catchpenny - If I Fall
Catchpenny - Leave the Light On
Romantica - On My Mind, Honey, and Mexico via PureVolume
Bellatrex - A Wink and a Smile
Bellatrex - I Got Rhythm
Andra Suchy - Fall Away
Spaghetti Western String Co. - Merton's Woods
Spaghetti Western String Co. - Chitarra Romana (Live on 89.3 The Current)
Justin Roth - Shine
Justin Roth - She Dances
Listen to clips from High on Stress here

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Long Winters...

A few months ago a friend made me a mix CD which included the song "Teaspoon" by The Long Winters. It was instantly one of my favorites on the mix and I've since begun picking through some of their older albums, finding them quite delightful.

The Long Winters hail from that grunge-tastic city of Seattle, Washington. Their sound, however, will leave you thinking of more sunny skies. They've been compared to R.E.M., but I find their sound to be a bit more fresh and poppy, but maybe that's just because R.E.M. has been around so long. This is no "Shiny Happy People." In fact, lead singer/songwriter John Roderick explained his music in this way, "I'm just writing songs for the people who are missing somebody, or are angry at somebody, or who otherwise might take issue with someone telling them that love is a precious flower that only needs a little water and a little sun." I believe that pretty much says it all.

Link to Download ZIP file which includes the songs: Pushover, Stupid, Blue Diamonds, Carparts, and Scent of a Lime:
The Long Winters ZIP file

More information on The Long Winters:
Official website
The Long Winters MySpace

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sad Saturdays: Katrina and the Waves

Now I know you're thinking... Katrina and the Waves? Really?

Yup. Really.

It's supposed to be beautiful here in our fair Twin Cities. 80 degrees, sunny. Perfecto! God, I'm even having a big freakin' BBQ with some of my favorite people.

So I'm online, looking for the perfect upbeat summery mix. "What better song," I think to myself, "than Walking on Sunshine!?" ...and then, I find this:

Walking On Sunshine (Live at the Borderline, London - 2006)

'nuff said.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I've been obsessing lately about cookies. So I thought you might enjoy a little tune from the past.

Download mp3:
C Is For Cookie

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hustle It Baby

Because I missed a day, I'm posting twice today. Like it.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "I wonder what would happen if the Beastie Boys or Aerosmith kicked it 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' style?" Well, even if you haven't, you're about to find out.

A Night in the Box is another band I was introduced to at the Afternoon Records Anniversary Party this year. They trio played a few old-timey folk songs acoustically in-between sets at the party, but they really kicked into high gear and knocked me out when they went on for their full set. I didn't expect too much except for maybe a nice nap. Hey, I'd been at the Varsity since 3pm so cut me some slack. I was assuming it'd be me, getting too comfy in a chair, starting some head bobs. Instead I got slapped upside the head and told to hustle it on over to the stage.

...and hustle I did, for these 3 guys made me stand up, shut up, and pay attention. It's rock and roll mixed with back-porch folk tossed in the air and infused with old school rap. That's a hard-to-find balance, but A Night in the Box pulls it off well. Their newest album, The Hustle, The Prayer, the Thief is a bit ridiculous. It's an album for those times when you don't know what you want to listen to. But it's gotta be uplifing, then completely insane, then plummet you back to earth and throw you onto the chain gang, where you can sing along with your fellow prisoners. If that sounds like a good time, well then you've just found your new favorite band.

Download mp3:
The Thief

For more information please check out:
A Night in the Box MySpace


Honestly, can you ever not enjoy a band with dual drummers? Especially when they share a bass drum? ROCK! Start your feet a-tappin' boys and girls. We All Have Hooks for Hands is in the house.

We All Have Hooks for Hands is a fairly new discovery for me, but I have to say they are already one my favorite bands to watch. There are times when I've been watching a band on stage and they are so into their own goodness, that they are unable to convey that feeling to an audience. This creates audience apathy, and it can be really sad. There's just no spark. Other times, I'm bored because the band is bored. You can just tell they're not enjoying themselves and it makes the whole experience of attending a live show disheartening.

Thank god that this never happens with We All Have Hooks for Hands! Besides the fact that they have a great band name, WAHHH is one of those bands that from the get go pull you into their world of kick-ass grooves. To be totally old school, they really "kick out the jams."

The only bad part about WAHHH is the fact that they live in South Dakota. That means less shows for me, and that's something I'm very unhappy about. The nine musicians (violin, 3 guitars, 2 trumpet/key players, 1 bassists and 2 drummers) rock any stage's face off, creating an experience that you won't soon forget... in fact, you'll walk out asking yourself when they play next. The poppy music reminds me a little of Bishop Allen with a hint of The Shins and a touch of Apples in Stereo. Regardless, it's a party, and you're invited.

So when do they play next? Well, in Minneapolis we have to wait until July 24, when they hit the 7th Street Entry with labelmates Mouthful of Bees.

Download mp3:
Hold On, C'mon

For more information, check out:
WAHHH's MySpace
Afternoon Records

Monday, June 4, 2007

DW where is your new album?

Pretty much everyone who knows me is also aware of my love of all things Dan Wilson. Trip Shakespeare? check. Dan solo? check. Semisonic? Not as good, but still - check. Super nice and friendly guy? check.

Wilson's voice is one I grew up with all through high school and college. Trip Shakespeare's album "Lulu" has always been one of my favorite albums of all time. I have used the song "Down my Block" to describe the way I was feeling to more than one guy, and the song "Bachelorette" to start off every bachelorette party I had to attend in the post-college years. One of the things on my dream checklist was to see TS play live, but I thought it'd never happen. Happy me... Dan Wilson, Matt Wilson and John Munson played a short set at the benefit for Conrad last year in the First Avenue mainroom. I pretty much had a tiny heart attack, but managed to stay alert for the entire set. OH MY GOD. wheee!

Wilson, if you didn't already know, is also an accomplished songwriter. He recently won a Grammy for writing the song "Not Ready To Make Nice," which was recorded by the Dixie Chicks. Another song written by Dan, but recorded by Rachael Yamagata, is "I Want You." I have to tell you that this is definitely worth the 99 cents you'd have to pay iTunes to get it. It's sultry, it's sexy, and it says exactly what one feels when you can't have what/who you want... in other words, everyone can relate.

The good news is that Wilson has a solo album coming out "soon." However, this mantra has been repeated every time I've run into Wilson at a show, or seen him play. It's always soon. Well Dan, we are sick of waiting. I want my DW and I want it NOW.

If you hit up Wilson's myspace, you'll find a few of the tracks off his "soon-to-be-released" solo album. "Breathless" leaves ME breathless, and "All Kinds" will make you weep a bit into your pillow. Check them out. Until this solo album actually comes out, check out a few older DW mp3s. It'll have to do for now.

Download mp3s:
Everything I Own (Bread cover)
What A Year for a New Year

For more information on Dan Wilson:
Dan Wilson's MySpace

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sad Saturdays: Hem

This is a new recurring feature of my blog. Sad Saturdays are days of self-torture where I actually have time to hit "repeat" on a song and sit and sob if I need to. It sounds probably worse than it is, but there are days where it just makes me feel better.

The first installment comes from the band Hem. Hem merges luscious orchestration with amazingly simple lyrics. What results is an emotional release that reminds us all that pastoral folk music really isn't dead. It's just waiting for rediscovery. Hem's music is comforting and somehow reassuring. It allows the listener time to just be. There is no heavy thinking, just an allowance for enjoyment of the music presented.

Sally Ellyson's clear and lush voice can literally take my breath away and give me that "I'm just about to cry" feeling. Couple that with the other seven members of the band's various instrumentalities and we have something very special. The song "Carry Me Home" is a sadly hopeful song and creates a sense of longing within me. I've had some personal things happen lately that more than once have caused this particular song to occupy a large chunk of my listening time. So please, enjoy.

Hold On, I know you'll carry me, and carry me, and carry me home.
Tell me nothing's wrong here

Download mp3:

MPR In-Studio performance (128k mp3)
MPR In-Studio performance (RealAudio)

For more information on Hem, please check out: Hem's Homepage

Friday, June 1, 2007

You Heartless Bastard!

Everytime I mention the Heartless Bastards to someone, I can't figure out if I like the music more, or if I just saying their name out loud. But then I throw the record on and I realize that even though I do enjoy saying their name more than many bands, it's the music that does it for me. Singer-Songwriter Erika Wennerstrom is one of the few female artists who can actually capture my attention for extended periods of time. Her smokey low-toned vocals make me swoon as the bass lines of Mike Lamping provide a subtle undertone that fits in exceptionally well. A few tracks off their new album "All This Time" saw extended bouts of the repeat button via my ipod, and that just doesn't happen very often.

The Heartless Bastards play the 400 Bar tonight in Minneapolis. Tickets are $12 - this one will sell out folks, so come early. 8pm doors.

Download mp3s:
Into the Open
All This Time

For more information on the Heartless Bastards:
Heartless Bastards Official Website

Thursday, May 31, 2007

RECOMMENDED: Best Dance Alliance at the Hex tonight

Never seen Dance Band? What the hell is wrong with you?! Go! Tonight!

Dance Band with Best Friends Forever and Samwell
Hexagon Bar
Directions to the Hex
Thursday, May 31

After all, where else will you see as sexy a man as this?

More Info: Dance Band's MySpace


This is a band I ran across while perusing eMusic. Yeah, yeah, no flack please for using eMusic. I find that with 40 downloads at 25 cents each I am ok with downloading a song a I think I like, rather than I know I like. I've actually gotten a few great bootleggish-type songs from there as well. So shut it.

But back to brakesbrakesbrakes. The band is made up of Marc Beatty, Alex White, Eamon Hamilton and Tom White. I'm adding these boys to my ever-growing list of bands from the UK I can't get enough of. They actually are just called "Brakes" in the UK, but because there was already a US band with that name they had to switch it up a little for those of us on this side of the pond. I'm ok with that as I just like to say it. Try it... brakesbrakesbrakes... It also reflects their music, which at times reminds me of a pop punk band with non-threatening Tourettes, stuttering about with their ridiculous accents. Sometimes you find a band and it seems as if they could be Americans... the accents have magically disappeared! In this case their vernacular is peppered with what you've come to expect from stereotypical English pop punk bands. So far, the track "Hold Me In the River" is my recommended starter track, although I am also enjoying "Cease and Desist."

If you like their music enough to think you may want to check them out live, you are in luck. brakesbrakesbrakes hit the 400 Bar in Minneapolis on June 9.

To preview the entire album, click here: Preview album

Hold Me In the River

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

R.I.P. Nick Mancini 1926 - 2007

Yeah, this has nothing to do with music, but my heart is sad.

The founder of one of my favorite places in the world died Tuesday night of respiratory failure. Nick Mancini owned Mancini's Char House on West 7th in St. Paul and his sons own it now. If you've never been there, it's high time you check it out. Great food, wonderful hospitality and feeling of family... even if you're not a Mancini.

To read more on Nick and the Mancini family, there's a nice article in the Pioneer Press today:
He made his steakhouse, and himself, St. Paul icons

We'll miss you Nick!'s 5th Anniversary Party!

Great lineup! Here's the details for those of you too blind to read the poster:
June 9, 2007 at 9pm
Turf Club
$5 / 21+

Featuring local bands:
Mouthful of Bees
Jeremy Messersmith
The Slats
First Communion Afterparty

Here is the fantastic poster created by Steve McPherson (thanks Steve!):

Why the tree you ask? Because the traditional 5th anniversary gift is wood. I expect a pencil or ream of paper gift from each of you attending.

Locksley is Coming! Locksley is Coming!

Thanks to Jake from Transmission, it's pretty much confirmed that Locksley will hit our fair city on June 16 at the Triple Rock. That's all the detail I know right now, but after the Stone Arch Festival you will all want to jet on over to the T-Rock.

I've been waiting for these boys to head back to the Midwest (they're originally from Madison, WI) after their move to Brooklyn a few years ago. Their newest CD 'Don't Make Me Wait' is a rollicking funfest of Beatles-esque dance tunes. Your feet WILL move. You will be helpless. Don't believe me? Check out this video of Locksley playing the first track off their album, "Don't Make Me Wait," on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Also, check out some of my pics of Locksley playing at this year's SXSW:

If you don't have a concert calendar right now, you'd better start one. Enjoy!

For more information on Locksley, check out
Locksley's Official Site