Saturday, April 30, 2011

Post #159: White Light Riot - "Midway Souvenirs"

Post #159: After living in limbo over the last handful of years, with record label issues, the local band White Light Riot are back.

Tonight they are having a CD release show at the Varsity, with Rogue Valley supporting, which I posted HERE on April 1st.

Unfortunately I couldn't find this song anywhere on Youtube, so I had to upload it myself.  I hope they don't mind.

Having had gone to Robbinsdale Cooper High School myself, normally I should feel some sort of rivalry between us, as they attended Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.

I'm willing to let that slide...this time.

Check out their write up in the music section of this week's City Pages.

White Light Riot, "Midway Souvenirs"
0 views on Youtube

Friday, April 29, 2011

Post #158: Ben Kyle of Romantica - "Simple Life"

Post #158:  Last night, after experiencing another Twins loss at the new stadium, my cousin Brian and I walked across the street to Kieran's Irish Pub.

What's great about Kieran's is that they have live music most nights, and last night was no exception.

Ben Kyle, frontman for Romantica and originally from Belfast, played a solo acoustic set.  He was amazing!  And super nice to boot.  I introduced myself and gave him my card, and to my surprise, today he sent me an email offering to send me his CD.

I already have It's Your Weakness That I Want, and America, Romantica's two studio albums released in 2004 and 2007.  Hopefully he will be sending his new release from February called We Still Love Our Country, which consists of duets with Carrie Rodriguez.

Ben plays often in Minnesota, both with Romantica and by himself.  I encourage everyone to catch a show.  Check the 'Upcoming Concert' page for dates and locations.

Ben Kyle of Romantica, "Simple Life"
246 views on Youtube

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Post #157 (Hip Hop Thursday #15): Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine - "Baby Got Back"

Post #157 (Hip Hop Thursday #15):  A few days ago, I was out with friends playing darts at a sports bar, waiting for trivia to begin, and this song came on.

Richard Cheese and his band Lounge Against the Machine, take popular rock, pop, and rap songs, and turn them in to what he calls 'crap', by singing them in the lounge/swing style similar to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

With 10 albums released since 2000, and 2 more slated for this year, he has covered quite a few:  Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed, Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Radiohead, just to name a few.

"Baby Got Back" just got a little classier.

36,436 views on Youtube

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Post #156: Joe Pug - "Nation of Heat"

Post #156:  I love the story behind Joe Pug.

The day before his senior year at the University of North Carolina, he packed his bags and headed to Chicago to begin a career in music.

Working as a carpenter by day, most of the recording was done with the help of a friend who would sneak him in to a Chicago studio, using time slots that had opened due to cancelations by other musicians.

After recording the Nation of Heat EP, he began offering unlimited copies of a 2 song CD sampler to his fans, with the idea that they would pass it on to his friends.

To this day, he still offers the free 2 song CD and will send it to you upon request, and with each one he includes a personal note of gratitude.

To do this, email your name, address, email address and how many copies you want to

To date, he has sent out over 15,000 copies to all 50 states and 14 different countries.

Unfortunately, I will be missing his show this Saturday at the Turf Club, a great, small venue, perfect for this show.

PLEASE!  PLEASE!  Buy the EP on itunes, request the 2 song sampler, and spread the word.

Joe Pug, "Nation of Heat"
25,565 views on Youtube

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Post #155: The Airborne Toxic Event - "Changing"

Post #155: I was introduced to The Airborne Toxic Event today by my friend and fellow music fanatic Crystal.

Coincidentally, their second full length album, All At Once, hits stores today.

This song comes from the album.

They will be stopping by the Varsity Theater on May 17th.

Thank you Crystal!

The Airborne Toxic Event, "Changing"
61,948 views on Youtube

Monday, April 25, 2011

Post #154 (Metal Monday #16): Memphis May Fire - "Quantity is Their Quality"

Post #154 (Metal Monday #16):  I had the opportunity to see these guys open for The Chariot (posted HERE on March 28th) in March of 2010 at the Triple Rock in downtown Minneapolis.

Concerts that have opening bands, start with the least popular and least experienced band.  With each subsequent act, typically the experience and popularity levels will increase.

When I saw them, they were the second band, out of 5 to play.

Now a year later they are headlining a tour that will hit St. Paul's Station 4 on May 31st.

Their second full length album, The Hollow, hits stores tomorrow.

This song is from their first full length, Sleepwalking, which was released in 2009.

Another show I'm hoping to make.

Memphis May Fire, "Quantity is Their Quality"
16,369 views on Youtube

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Post #153: Welcome Wagon - "But For You Who Fear My Name"

Post #153:  Today I chose a song revolving around what this day is all about.

Easter.  The day Jesus rose from the dead.

Welcome Wagon is a band from Brooklyn, New York, which is made up of a Presbyterian minister Vito Aiuto and his wife, Monique.

For those of you Sufjan Stevens fans, whom I posted HERE and HERE back in December, this first, and only full length album from the Welcome Wagon, was produced by Sufjan.  And in this song, you can hear him harmonizing with Vito.

A beautiful song from a beautiful album.

Happy Easter!

Welcome Wagon, "But For You Who Fear My Name"
30,691 views on Youtube

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Post #152: Antony and the Johnsons - "Hope There's Someone"

Post #152: This coming Tuesday, Antony and the Johnsons release Swanlights EP, a follow up EP to the 2010 release Swanlights.

As Wikipedia puts it, Antony and the Johnsons is a music group presenting the work of Antony Hegarty and his collaborators.

I first came across Antony when I bought his second release, I Am a Bird Now, from 2005.

I was blown away by this song.

Shortly after, I would read a review of the album, which has always stuck with me.  I don't remember the reviewer, or the publication, but the jist of it was that the reviewer was listening to this as he was walking through the grocery store, and when this song came on, he felt like it melted his face.

It melted mine, and I hope it melts yours too.

Antony and the Johnsons, "Hope There's Someone"
2,232,161 views on Youtube

Friday, April 22, 2011

Post #151: Joe Purdy - "Canyon Joe"

Post #151:  Every time I peruse the upcoming concerts taking place in the Minneapolis area, part of me gets frustrated, because it brings to light how many good shows I don't have time to see.

Well I especially felt this as I compiled my 'Upcoming Concerts' page.

It seems that there are always a few concerts a week I would enjoy attending, and sometimes multiple shows in a single evening.

This causes me to be pretty particular in the shows I attend.

It is safe to say that Joe Purdy, at the Varsity on May 16th, is on my list of shows I will be attending.

Being only $15, and being at the Varsity, I highly recommend this show if you are looking at taking a chance on an artist you aren't familiar with.

He has been a busy guy releasing over 10 albums in the last 8 years.

This is from his 2007 album Canyon Joe.

Right now, you can buy each of his albums on itunes for $7.99.


Joe Purdy, "Canyon Joe"
137,126 views on Youtube

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Post #150 (Hip Hop Thursday #14): Jay-Z feat Swizz Beatz - "On To The Next One"

Post #150 (Hip Hop Thursday #14):  This last weekend in Kansas City, I got reconnected with a good friend from High School.  It had been over 15 years since we had seen each other.

Throughout the evening, certain instances brought back a lot of memories:  him calling me and leaving a message as Lou Diamond Phillips, talking about Ralph, and listening to hip hop as the passenger in his car.

He put on some Jay-Z, which no doubt, if he had been around in 1994, would have been a big part of our High School soundtrack.

It was great to see you Brian!!  Thanks for making the drive, and taking the time to hang out with us.  And thanks for making it a great night!

This is from Jay-Z's 11th album, The Blueprint 3, which was released in 2009.

A lot of really cool imagery in this video.

Jay-Z feat Swizz Beatz, "On to the Next One"
18,301,615 views on Youtube

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Post #149: A Perfect Circle - "Fiddle and the Drum"

Post #149:  Two new additions to the blog yesterday were 'active' lists of upcoming concerts as well as album releases, both of which I will update on a regular basis.

Within the concert list, there are a handful of shows I already have tickets for, and there is one I desperately want to add to my list:  A Perfect Circle.

Started in 1999 by Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist of Tool, it has been more of a side project for it's members in the past.  But with this tour comes promises of new music, and rumors of a possible 4th album.

This is a cover of a Joni Mitchell song off of their third album, eMOTIVe.  It contains 12 politically charged songs (10 covers and 2 originals), which is what lead it to be released on election day, November 2nd, 2004.

The same album also includes a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine".

A Perfect Circle, "Fiddle and the Drum"
35,680 views on Youtube

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Upcoming Album releases

Upcoming concerts of note

This is an abbreviated list of upcoming shows happening in the Minneapolis area, which I will update as needed.  (If you are not be from Minnesota, chances are they will be swinging through your town too).
If you are interested in tickets, I suggest one of the following:
1)  Go to the venue itself to purchase tickets (or if a First Avenue show an outlet like Down in the Valley or Electric Fetus).  This avoids fees, which often times can save you as much as $10-$15.
2)  Ticketmaster
3)  Stubhub.  You often times will end up paying more than face value, but if it is a show you really want to see, it might be worth it.
Here is a list of links to the more common venues/vendors/outlets:
                                The Cedar       Cabooze     
            Fine Line Music Cafe              First Avenue/7th Street Entry            
                 Mill City Nights                    Orpheum/State/Pantages 
   Roy Wilkins Auditorium       Station 4       Triple Rock Social Club
          Turf Club             The Varsity Theater

     Ticketmaster     Stubhub     Down in the Valley     Electric Fetus

Post #148: Revis - "Caught in the Rain"

Post #148: I realize that aside from Metal Mondays and Hip Hop Thursdays, a lot of the music I have posted has been a little more on the lighter side, so starting today I am going to make a point to post some more 'rock'.

Revis released their first album, Places for Breathing, in 2003. This song got some radio play, but unfortunately, the rest of the album didn't.

From beginning to end, I loved and still love this album. Based on how much I liked the album, I knew this was a band I'd like to see live. But as luck would have it, they broke up in 2005.

So the other day, as I was flipping through the City Pages, I was excited to see that they will be playing a show here in Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry, a smaller venue connected to the famous First Avenue.

They are touring in support of their upcoming second album Do We Have to Beg?, slated for a May 20th release.

Revis, "Caught in the Rain"
22,758 views on Youtube

Monday, April 18, 2011

Post #147.5 (Metal Monday #15.5): Demon Hunter - "Descending Upon Us"

Post #147.5 (Metal Monday #15.5):  So many good songs to choose from, I just decided to go with the opening track off of their new album, The World is a Thorn.

This is more indicative of their overall sound.


Demon Hunter, "Descending Upon Us"
60 views on Youtube

Post #147 (Metal Monday #15): Demon Hunter - "My Throat is an Open Grave"

Post #147 (Metal Monday #15):  This last couple of weeks, I have been on a Demon Hunter kick.

A Christian band formed in Seattle by brothers Don and Ryan Clark, they have been one of my favorites since I came across their second album, Summer of Darkness, in 2004.

Out of my entire library, this is my most listened to artist with 15 of their songs in my top 50 most played songs.

For all of you that are giving metal a try on Mondays, I have posted an acoustic rendition of a song from their self titled debut album from 2002.  A little lighter than their 'typical' stuff, so I will post a non acoustic song next.

They just released their 5th album, The World is a Thorn, this last year.  In my opinion one of the best albums of 2010, and one of my favorite of all time.

Demon Hunter, "My Throat is an Open Grave"
17,899 views on Youtube

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Post #146: Cake - "The Distance"

Post #146: Last night I learned a few things here in Kansas City.

#1 - You should always walk away from the craps table once you have doubled your money. If you don't, you will proceed to give it all back.

#2 - There is such a thing as too much barbeque. Unfortunately, you don't find this out until after you stop eating.

#3 - I love dueling piano bars!

We spent the evening at a place called Howl at the Moon. A dueling piano bar that was comprised of 5 musicians who would rotate and not only sing and play the piano, but the guitar, bass, and drums as well. I couldn't believe how talented this group was.

A big part of our fun was meeting one of the performers, Kevin, whom happened to be from Plymouth, Minnesota. A great guy, great musician, and a great taste in music. He handled most of my requests: Ben Folds, Snoop Dogg, and Fastball to name a few.

And although it wasn't one of my requests, this was my favorite song of the evening.

Nobody sounds like Cake...nobody.

This is off of their second album, Fashion Nugget, from 1996. Since then they have released four more with their most recent, Showroom of Compassion, coming out earlier this year.

Thanks for a great night Kevin!!

Cake, "The Distance"
3,097,306 views on Youtube

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Post #145: Aidan Hawken - "Pillows & Records"

Post #145: One thing I love about my ipad is that it allows me to make "genius" playlists.

While I am playing any given song, I can hit the 'genius' button and it will create a 25 song playlist based on other music within my library similar to that artist. And then I can choose to save that playlist in order to listen to it again.

About a year ago I created one of these playlists based on this song. It pulled artists like Emerson Hart, Rosie Golan, Matt Duke, and Peter Bradley Adams. All artists I love and ones whom I'll be posting at some point.

This has become a playlist I return to often, and every time I put it on 'shuffle', playing the songs in a random order.

But I always start with this song.

This is from his first release from 2006, Pillows & Records.

Aidan Hawken, "Pillows & Records"
728 views on Youtube

Friday, April 15, 2011

Post #144: The Steve Miller Band - "Wild Mountain Honey"

Post #144: Yesterday, I hopped a flight for Kansas City so that I could attend an all day meeting today.

To my surprise, one of the speakers was Steve Miller. No...not THE Steve Miller, but he did make sure we knew he had the same name. About 4 to 5 times.

It got me thinking about the Greatest Hits album, which is pretty much a requirement to own if you have been through High School.

Obviously a lot of great songs, but for those of you yet to be in High School, that don't own this album, this was always one of my favorites.

The Steve Miller Band, "Wild Mountain Honey"
63,936 views on Youtube

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Post #143 (Hip Hop Thursday #13): Diddy feat. Skylar Grey - "Coming Home"

Post #143 (Hip Hop Thursday #13): Whether you call him Puff Daddy, Puff, P. Diddy, Puffy, Sean John, or now just Diddy, I think we can agree that he is a talented guy. I especially like the name Diddy, as that is the nickname that my two boys have given me.

Recently, he released a new album called Dirty Money.

I haven't had a chance to listen to this album yet, but yesterday on the way to lunch, this song came on the radio in my friend's car.

This song has made me want to check out the whole album. As well as Skylar Grey. Love here voice!

Diddy, "Coming Home"
46,562,047 views on Youtube

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post #142: Brett Dennen - "Sydney I'll Come Runnin"

Post #142: Going in to this blog, one of my goals was to keep repeating artists to a minimum.  With that in mind, I had no expectation of ever posting the same artist two days in a row, but then I got an email with a link to this video from my friend Crystal.

This is from Brett's new album Loverboy, which was released yesterday.

What a unique voice!

Can't wait for this show!

Brett Dennen, "Sydney I'll Come Runnin"
9,826 views on Youtube

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Post #141: Brett Dennen - "Ain't Gonna Lose You"

Post #141: A lot of great new music came out today for another new release Tuesday.

Atmosphere (posted HERE in January), Bell X1, Foo Fighters, and Low.

But I thought I would go with Brett Dennen, as I was recently able to get tickets to see him at the Pantages Theater this June.  Today, he released his new album, Loverboy.

I had the opportunity to see Brett at the Varsity Theater a couple of years ago, and he puts on a great show.

What is going to make this show even more enjoyable is that Dawes, one of my favorite live acts that I posted HERE back in November, is opening.

This is my favorite Brett Dennen song, which was on his last release from 2008, Hope for the Hopeless.

Brett Dennen, "Ain't Gonna Lose You"
6,420 views on Youtube

Monday, April 11, 2011

Post #140 (Metal Monday #14): Sepultura - "We've Lost You"

Post #140 (Metal Monday #14):  I was excited to see that Sepultura is coming to Station 4 in St. Paul on May 18th.

How often do I get to see amazing metal bands from Brazil?  Not often.

Formed in Brazil by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in 1984, their following is mainly outside of the U.S., selling 3 million albums here, but over 20 million worldwide.

Max (vocals) and Igor (drums) have since left the band, starting bands such as Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, however the band carried on with a new vocalist from Ohio.

This is from their last album A-Lex, which was released in 2009.  It is a concept album based on the book A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.  The title, A-Lex, coming from the lead character's name, Alex, which in latin means 'without law'.

Their previous album, Dante XXI was also a concept album, based on Dante's The Divine Comedy.

I think metal heads are often times smarter than people give them credit for.

Sepultura, "We've Lost You"
245,894 views on Youtube

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Post #139: The Rural Alberta Advantage - "Stamp"

Post #139: As promised yesterday, here is The Rural Alberta Advantage.

"From where?", you ask. Canada of course.

Their first release Hometowns came out in 2008.

This is from their new album Departing which was just released in March.

20,019 views on Youtube

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Post #138: James Vincent McMorrow - "Early In the Morning, I'll Come Calling"

Post #138: I typically ignore the advertisements I see on Facebook. I lump them in the same category as any other banner ad I would see online. Most of the time they are a waste as they are touting something I have absolutely no interest in.

Well the other day, I started to notice that some of the ads to the left of my Facebook wall, were actually advertising artists and their new albums.

I've started to see phrases like, "If you like Ben Harper" or "Damien Jurado" or "Iron and Wine", all artists I like.

I'm assuming this is happening because I made a point to start 'liking' bands so that I can get updates on their music and tours.

This is how I came across James Vincent McMorrow. I am so glad I clicked on that ad, and will start doing so from now on.

However, some sadness came with this as well, finding out he was just here at First Avenue opening for another band I like, Rural Alberta Advantage, which I will post tomorrow.

I continue to be amazed at how much good music there is out there. We all just need to be willing to look for it.

James Vincent McMorrow, "Early in the Morning, I'll Come Calling"
5,401 views on Youtube

Alphabetical Index of Artists with links

Click on the artist, and it will take you to the week in which it was posted.
A number in parenthesis means that artist has multiple posts.  
Example '(2)' means a second post.
Artists in BOLD are local to Minnesota, or have strong Minnesota ties.

a lull 
aesop rock 
the accidental
the airborne toxic event
alberta cross
alcoholic faith mission
alice in chains
alice mudgarden
alter bridge
antony and the johnsons
joseph arthur
atomic tom
august burns red
avett brothers
band of horses
chris bartels
chris bathgate
dave bazan (2)
beastie boys
the beautiful girls
becoming the archetype
the beta band
alyssa bicking and jake manders
andrew bird
black crowes
black label society
blind pilot
blitzen trapper
bon iver
haley bonar
bonnie prince billy
boy & bear
tom brosseau
brother ali
brothers of a feather
chastity brown
richard buckner
bullet for my valentine
steve burns
doug burr
johnny cash
the chariot
childish gambino
clem snide
cory chisel
graham colton
cotton jones
city and colour
chris cornell
cival wars
cold war kids (2)
copenhagen collaboration
the cure
danger mouse & daniele luppi with jack white
daniel & the lion
the daredevil christopher wright
das racist
dawes (2)
kimya dawson
dead man winter
the dear hunter
death cab for cutie
deer tick
delta rae
delta spirit
demon hunter
brett dennen
the devil wears prada
madi diaz
mike doughty
down like silver
drowning pool
dry the river
elizabeth & the catapult
missy elliot
sully erna
aaron espe (2)
the far east movement
farewell milwaukee
father john misty
first aid kit
fistful of mercy
william fitzsimmons
fleet foxes
flight of the conchords
ben folds
foo fighters
foreign slippers
jon foreman
fort frances
fort york
robert francis
frightened rabbit
fruit bats
g. love and special sauce
gary go
laura gibson
god forbid
great lake swimmers
greater alexander
green river ordinance
ha ha tonka
ben harper
harper blynn (2)
aidan hawken
colin hay
the head and the heart (2)
heartless bastards
keaton henson
hey rosetta!
greg holden
hoots and hellmouth
horse feathers (2)
house of pain
how to destroy angels
ben howard
the ike reilly assassination
imaginary cities
imogen heap
the indians
iron and wine
gregory alan isakov
joshua james
mason jennings (2)
brian just
hayden karcher & the pistols
kid dakota
chris koza
ben kyle
lake forest
langhorne slim
matt latterell
led zeppelin
john lennon
jenny lewis
linkin park (2)
living sacrifice
scott lucas & the married men
the lumineers
tim mahoney
manchester orchestra (2)
jeff mangum (2)
margot and the nuclear so and sos
matt pond pa
matthew mayfield
shawn mcdonald
james vincent mcmorrow
me and my arrow
memphis may fire (2)
natalie merchant
jeremy messersmith
metallica (2)
middle class rut
milk carton kids
the steve miller band
mount carmel
mount moriah
the mountain goats
mumford & sons
alexi murdoch
mychildren mybride
the mynabirds
nada surf
john mark nelson
neon trees
neutral milk hotel (2)
the new frontiers
new pornographers
night beds
noah and the whale
norma jean
justin nozuka
one day as a lion
one eskimo
other lives
ozzy osbourne
wyatt overman
a perfect circle
perfume genius
peter wolf crier (2)
pink floyd
robert plant & the band of joy
public enemy
puddle of mudd
joe pug
joe purdy
josh pyke
radical face
ben rector
lou reed
retribution gospel choir
richard cheese and lounge against the machine
dax riggs
josh ritter (2)
rock plaza central
rogue valley
carina round
xavier rudd
the rural alberta advantage
safety suit
trapper schoepp & the shades
secondhand serenade
brad senne
ed sheeran
shovels & rope
sick puppies
sigur ros
paul simon
sleep study
sleigh bells
the spinto band
sufjan stevens
straight line stitch
the submarines
tapes n tapes
theory of a deadman
these united states
j. tillman
tv on the radio
tyler the creator
the usual things
brian vander ark
eddie vedder
joey verskotzi
the verve pipe
holcombe waller (2)
m ward
warren g & nate dogg
roger waters
patrick watson
we are the willows
weaver at the loom
matt wertz
emily jane white
the white buffalo (2)
white light riot
white rabbits
white stripes
white zombie
the wilderness of manitoba
william elliot whitmore
the who
denison witmer
wooden wand
donovan woods
yellow ostrich
pete yorn & scarlett johansson
you won't
youth lagoon