tUnE-yArDs is the moniker and musical project of Merrill Garbus. Influenced by her experience and travels in Africa, she became interested in Afrobeat. Combined with her new Sony ICD-TK digital voice recorder and a new laptop, Garbus began recording melodies, noises, and lyrics which led to the release of her first album BiRd-BrAiNs, which she recorded on recycled cassette tape.
Major contributors to the roots-based musical hotbed that is the Twin Cities, Pert' Near Sandstone fuels the flame with their high energy old-timey tunes.
In terms of cultural anthropology, the Liminal Phase is the transitional threshold between two existential planes in one's life. In terms of the Twins Cities music scene, Liminal Phase is Adam Levy's latest experimental project. Leaving behind traditional song structure and form, Liminal Phase creates instrumental soundscapes blending together jazz, psychedelia and improvised works.
Buffalo Moon's sun drenched sounds have moved off of the coast and into the jungle on their sophomore release "Selva Surreal." Appropriately translating into "Surreal Jungle," Buffalo Moon steps away from the breezy and dreamy sound found on their debut "Wetsuit" and dive into a psychedelic forest where laser sounds grow like palm trees.
Named the Citypages Best Jazz Artist of 2011, Atlantis Quartet have garnered the attention of jazz fans and critics alike, fitting right into the sweet spot where complexity and accessibility meet.
What started as a demo project for Andrew Jansen turned into a full band named after the content of the songs he was writing about, Crimes. The original demos, with all parts performed by Anderew, were about a seedy action, jealousy, or crime. The songs were posted online and paired with links to Minneapolis Crime Statistic.
Hailing from Foley, MN, the county seat of Benton County, Matt Latterell has been crafting songs for the past 13 years. Now a resident of Northeast Minneapolis and a regular performer at the 331 Club, Matt has honed in on his country-meets-indie sound.
Members of Fog, Lateduster, and Dosh have joined forces under the name The Cloak Ox. After taking a three year break from songwriting, Fog front man Andrew Broder started writing songs that he knew his friends Jeremy Ylvisaker (Alpha Consumer), Mark Erickson (Fog), and Martin Dosh could help bring to life.
Folk rocker Mason Jennings, alt-country darlings the Jayhawks and electro-pop project Halloween, Alaska all have new CDs out this month.
Villa Rosa is the recent collaboration of longtime friends Maria Isa and Muja Messiah. Maria Isa, The local Latin MC, singer, and actress had lent her vocals to Muja Messiah's 2008 "Adventures of BBoy DBoy," and 2010 "M-16's" releases.
Since forming in 2002 Halloween, Alaska has become one of the most beloved electro art-rock outfits in the Twin Cities. Their latest album "All Night The Calls Came In," out on Amble Down Records, is their most stripped down offering to date.
With the exception of the amateur talent contest and our own Garrison Keillor, it's all national acts playing the Grandstand at the State Fair this year. But there are plenty of opportunities to catch local music at the fair. And if you don't count the cost of admission to the fairgrounds, they're all free!
When Dave Simonett, Ryan Young and Tim Saxhaug are not playing at break neck speeds in Trampled by Turtles they can be found with electric instruments in tow performing as Dead Man Winter. Joined by country blues guitarist Erik Koskinen, and drummer Noah Levy, Dead Man Winter takes the tempo down a few notches from Trampled by Turtles and adds a bit of country charm.
Mystery Palace is the local electronic project from the former 12 Rods member, Ryan Olcott, jazz bassist James Buckley and drummer Joey Van Phillips. Olcott, who also fills his time producing bands in the Twin Cities, produced their latest effort, Nervio.
Too visceral? Yep. Bad grammar? There's no other way to say it. Haley Bonar and her mighty, musical companions have created something marvelous indeed.