The Welsh indie-pop septet Los Campesinos! have been cranking out smart, charming and richly emotionally textured rock songs for nearly five years at this point. On the heels of their third and most recent record, "Hello Sadness," they stopped by The Current studios to chat with Mary Lucia and play a few songs.
A gifted young guitar player and singer-songwriter with a distinctively lovely voice, Bhi Bhiman is poised for major success in 2012. Though he's been billed as "a Sri Lankan Woody Guthrie," Bhiman has more American roots than that title suggests, having grown up on '90s alt-rock in St. Louis before moving to San Francisco, where he is currently based.
British indie duo the Big Pink emerged in the late 2000s with a noisy electro-pop sound that fit perfectly with the electro-influenced strains of indie rock that have been increasing in popularity in recent years.
Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has been making sturdy, smart music for nearly a decade now. In September, he released his third full-length album, "Oh Fortune."
In the seven years they've been together the Portland, Ore. (by way of Wasilla, Ala.) psych-rock quintet Portugal. The Man have continued to crank out tranquil, lush indie rock inflected with hints of psychedelia, prog and folk. The band sat down with Mary Lucia to discuss growing up in Alaska, their songwriting process, Sesame Street and more.
With their debut album In Heaven, which was released on September 27 by Domino Records, the group make good on the hype. Twin Sister have hit upon a compelling, spacious sound that blends indie rock songwriting with a lush instrumental palette that drawns upon influences as wide-ranging as '70s AM-radio-style soft-rock and '90s-esque trip-hop.
Brooklyn band The Drums serve up a master class in wired guitar-pop. Their infectious music is sourced in everything from '60s garage-rock to '70s power-pop and '80s post-punk and new-wave.
Although cellist Joe Johnson may have spent the last few years playing for a far-flung range of ensembles such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Opera and the Honolulu Symphony, he honed his remarkable talent with over a decade in the Twin Cities classical music community. He recently returned to the Twin Cities to record a CD of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich cello sonatas at Hamline University's Sundin Music Hall, where he will perform on Friday night.
Onetime Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark made her debut under the recording name St. Vincent four years ago with 2007's "Marry Me." But it was her sophomore effort, 2009's "Actor," that propelled her to critical acclaim and widespread popularity in the indie-rock community. Now, two years later, she has returned with her third album, "Strange Mercy."
When San Francisco band Girls burst onto the indie-rock scene in 2009, they were heralded with a huge amount of hype and buzz, thanks to their infectious, messy garage-rock sound and to singer Christopher Owens' bizarre and fascinating life story (short version: it involves cults).
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, better known by their acronym OMD, began their career in the UK in 1978, trading in synth-pop, new wave and experimental post-punk sounds for nearly two decades before lead singer and bassist Andy McCluskey (at that point the only remaining original member) called it quits. The original line-up reunited in 2005, and have been touring and recording ever since.
The best songs on "Father, Son, Holy Ghost" hit all the right notes, perfectly balancing and taming the chaotic and emotionally fraught brattiness that made "Album" stand out.
The ultimate internal contradiction in Maus' work, the irresolvable, mysterious conflict that catalyzes and animates his entire aesthetic, is its the ineffable way it draws so heavily on the pastwhile also opening up unfamiliar and potent new musical landscapes.
Classical MPR is proud to announce that violinist Chad Hoopes will be our 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence. Hoopes has racked up a remarkable resume, having performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and more. He's also appeared at several European festivals and received substantial media attention. It's an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades for anyone -- and it's made even more astonishing by the fact that Hoopes is 17.
Thurston Moore is an indie-rock icon who founded and continues to play in the legendary Sonic Youth, and has also dabbled in solo work, racked up an impressive list of collaborations in the experimental classical and noise scenes, founded a record label and still found time to raise a family with Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon. 89.3 The Current was thrilled to welcome Thurston Moore to MPR's UBS Forum for a special solo session.