After a hiatus, Voltage: Fashion Amplified returned to First Avenue, Minneapolis. The combo of up-and-coming local bands crossed with up-and-coming local fashion designers was the brainchild of Minneapolis fashion maven, Anna Lee. While Anna is no longer involved with this project, the fashion committee she gave birth to, MNFashion.org, hopes to carry on the 8th installment in the tradition of runway fashion show crossed with a rock concert. [Read more…]
This info all taken from their official press release:
Phantom Tails – City Pages Best New Band of 2011, Phantom Tails formed in early 2009 as Orion Treon, Logan Kerkhof, Sergio Hernandez and Dave Dorman naturally came together out of their previous projects. They wield analog synthesizers, fuzz bass, and surf guitar while brandishing electronic drum beats sampled from vintage 808 machines, and sonar whale recordings.
Fort Wilson Riot – the Minneapolis- based duo of Amy Hager and Jacob Mullis have no shortness of ambition, having put out two EPs and two full-length records in five years. Amy\”™s soprano floats over Jacob\”™s growl and yelp, but there is nothing easily classifiable about the Fort Wilson Riot sound. From the crashing guitars and keys, to the blasting uplift of trumpet and harmonica lines to the dancing thump of electronic drums, Fort Wilson Riot are an energy that grabs hold and takes you on a journey.
The New EPs
- Flotsam & Jetsam
- Dressed Wounds
- Onward & Awkward
- Young Rapture
- Glacial Drumlins
These songs don\”™t stray far from the gritty mix of heavy drum samples, spacey keyboards, and unexpectedly catchy hooks featured on their 2010 debut, Songs of the Hunchback Whale, but go further to establish their \”˜deep space doom funk\”™ sound. The new songs draw from apocalyptic landscapes and natural disasters as depicted in film and art and then mixed with rhythmically dynamic negative space and Latin polyrhythms. Recorded and mixed by Ross Nueske and mastered by Greg Reierson of Rare Form Mastering.
- For All The Little Things
- The River Song
- The Appendix Song
- Generation Complex Pt. 1 (Diamonds In Your Eyes)
- Generation Complex Pt. 2 (A Night Alone)
- Song for Sympathy
Live versions of For All The Little Things and the Generation Complex songs were released previously as part of Fort Wilson Riot’s Daytrotter session, and all the tunes have been developed and honed through two years of touring. Generation Complex was recorded in borrowed houses and friends’ basements, including Phantom Tails’ home and was mastered by Rob Schlette.
One Vinyl To Pull Them Both Together
Take the two new EPs from these two great bands and put them back-to-back on vinyl, and you get one awesome double-EP. Phantom Tails The Armageddon Experience on one side, and Fort Wilson Riot’s Generation Complex on the other. This natural pairing offers up two sides of the Twin Cities’ best core-shaking, hard-dancing, guitars-and-electronic-drums-driven rock n’ roll in one incredible package.
The “Phantom Riot” Event (and how to get Free Beer!)
The split vinyl will be released at ‘Phantom Riot’, a double-headliner all-out party at the Triple Rock Social Club on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011. The first 24 fans to buy the vinyl at the show get a free Pabst Blue Ribbon!
WHERE: Triple Rock Social Club
WHEN: 9PM, Saturday, December 3, 2011
HOW MUCH: $5, 21+
Phantom Riot is sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon and 89.3 The Current.
The Second Chance
- Dec 5 @ High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
- Dec 6 @ Borg Ward – Milwaukee, WI
My magic 8-Ball tells me that there will be a Steampunk Themed Burlesque and Fashion Show at Station 4 in St. Paul, MN on Wed, 14 July 2010.
I suggest you pay attention around 10:15 to catch the fashion portion of the show, but if the 8-ball is correct, there should be plenty of steampunk a go-go to feast your goggles on.
If you know something about this event that the 8-Ball doesn’t, please drop it in the comments.
Not sure if anyone told the Phantom Tails that there is no such thing as a Hunchback Whale, but then again, there’s no such thing as a Phantom Tail either. (Then again, how would you know whether you had a phantom tail or not?)
You can decide for yourself on July 6, 2010 when their CD Sounds of the Hunchback Whale lands in stores.
Then, on Friday, 9 July 2010 the Phantom Tails take the stage at the Hexagon Bar in Minneapolis, MN for their CD Release Party.
If you can’t wait, just drop in on the Phantom Tails MySpace page and give a listen to some mid-fi, electronic-spiced, grungy-guitar goodness. There’s also some Phantom Tails stuff on youtube.
Touting itself as “The Largest One-Day Festival in the Midwest” Grand Old Day is best described as miles and miles of bands, art, beer and fair fare…and nowhere to park. My suggestion is to go there NOW and find a parking spot and hold it until the festival on Sunday. If you’re the entrepreneurial type, grab several parking spots and auction them off when Grand Old Day kicks into high gear.
Plenty of great Minnesota acts to catch here: Chooglin, Mark Mallman, Doomtree, Red Pens, Hookers & Blow, Jeremy Messersmith…and a bazillion unknowns.
The great thing about Grand Old Day is you can’t get lost. Just stay on Grand Ave and walk until you find something you like. I’d be surprised if you could make it the entire length of Grand Ave and back by the end of the festival. I’ve tried it before. BAD IDEA.
Admission is free.. BUT… To get into the “festival gardens” (read: areas where adult beverages are allowed) requires a $10 wristband. There might be a charge to get into some of the clubs along Grand Ave, but there’s so much going on outside the only reason to go inside is if it’s raining.
For those looking for a pdf of the event schedule to print out, some idiot thought it would be a good idea to place the pdf at some sucktasticly slow third-party website where you can’t download it without registering. I know. You’d probably be wiser to download the exact same pdf right here: Grand_Old_Day_2010_Event_Guide Looks like some kind of print sideways and fold it over thing. Don’t blame me, I just hack here.
And here’s list of social media hipster usuals:
The Sound Unseen 2010 International Film and Music Festival
This year’s Sound Unseen International simply must be seen. Five days of film and music starting today, June 2nd and runs through the 6th.
Cool bands. Cool films. Cool films about cool band. Cool films about cool bands with cool band members hanging out in the lobby, scarfing all the free beer and apps.
I fear this much coolness in Minnesota in such a short period of time might cause it to snow in June. Good thing they’re holding it in Duluth.
A search for Sound Unseen online was frustrating. At first blush you might think the website soundunseen.com has been mostly abandoned. That’s until you discover the correct website is http://soundunseenduluth.com. They also have the requisite Facebook and Twitter pages. Or you can download the program and music schedules right here:
World Premiere of Low Film Experience
A hypercool event going on at this year’s Sound Unseen is the world premiere screening of an experimental film by Philip Harder. It’s a kind of documentary about the local band Low…. wait a minute. It really isn’t a documentary… Well, they seem to sum it up best as a “Low Experience”:
Low Film by Phil Harder
Since Low’s debut in 1994 Philip Harder has been shooting cinematic 16mm films for the band: a boat on frozen Lake Superior, Baron Von Raschke with red balloons, a room collapsing in slow motion around the band… Several music videos and film shorts later all Harder’s raw footage of Low, 1994 to 2010 has been re-edited into a film with original on-camera sounds. Rarities, banned clips, and unfinished Low films were unearthed. This is not a compilation, not a documentary- but it definitely documents the Low experience. Perhaps Low’s version of a musical- of sorts… June 6th, closing night of Sound Unseen Duluth, NorShor Theater will once again be turned over to cinema for the “Low Movie”: a sneak preview in Low’s hometown! Maybe you can help us find a title for the film.
Just accept that it’s going to be amazing, and you might want to take the better part of next week off from work to contemplate it after you see experience it.
7:30PM Sunday, June 6th.
SACRED HEART MUSIC CENTER
201 West 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55806-2719
Beyond Low – The Gala After-Party of Coolness (+4)
After the show, (around 9:30) make sure to check out the gala after-party:
Following the film, please join us at the Historic Greysolon Plaza – this time downstairs in their unique Moorish Room. Festival guests will be treated to a feast for the eyes courtesy of featured director/filmmaker Philip Harder\”™s film/art installation, in addition to complimentary appetizers from Black Woods Catering and free Schell\”™s beer and drink specials all evening. Entertainment for the evening comes from a band that has helped define the Twin Cities music scene, with 10 studio releases and over 16 years under their belt, we are more than proud to announce our special musical guests of the evening: The Honeydogs.
9:30PM Sunday, June 6th.
Greysolon Moorish Room
231 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802-2165
For the Low film/gala event, I’m told prices are $20for Film and Gala, $15 for Gala Only, and $10 for Film Only
A Warning To Those Pure Of Heart
The program doesn’t warn you, but be careful – Gay Witch Abortion’s music KILLS angels and incapacitates those pure of heart. You just might not be evil/wicked/cool enough to listen to them. If you think you are, then you probably aren’t.
Its kind of like pointing out that Water = Wet, but in a sea of singer-songwriters, Suzanne Vega is the best by far. There’s very very few people on this planet who deserve to be called a ‘musical genius’, and fewer still who would dare to make a stop here in Minneapolis, but Suzanne Vega is coming to town next week for 3 shows at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant. Aug 24 through the 26th.
Watch the video below and you’ll understand why when I die, I want to come back as Suzanne Vega, just to experience how her brain works.
Whether you are an ASPCA-er or not, you won’t want to miss tonight’s Benefit to Fight Animal Cruelty at the 7th Street Entry. There’s a great lineup of bands for a good cause, but mostly you will want to see Revolver Modele. This is Revolver Modele’s last show. So come and say goodbye to one of the best bands Flyover Land has to offer:
7th Street Entry – 701 1st Avenue North, Minneapolis.
Thursday, August 20th, 8:00pm
Tickets : $8
Ages : 18+
An impossibly amazing set of performances by the female-fronted bands attending the second Flight of the Valkyries show at Station 4.
It seems that every time there’s an event at Station 4, I get to the event late. The only exception was the Jagged Spiral show a couple months ago, which is a good thing, because I was in it. Here, I thought the event started at 6PM, but it actually started at 3PM, and so I managed to miss Aria Sharp, Something to Fear, Earthen and Dendura. My loss.
However, I did get to meet Nathan Block, also known as ‘The SwordLord’ and the promoter of much of the harder edged music that comes to town. It was an honor to meet him and shake his hand. There was enough free stuff handed out by the bands that the $20 cover was well worth the price. I only wish I had gotten there sooner. Station 4 is a great venue for gigs like this, the only thing better would have been an outdoor show with awesome weather! Maybe next year???
Here are the bands from FotV I did get to experience:
Visideon played the First FotV in 2007, and were invited back for this year’s show. They’re a great band, definitely worth hearing, I especially liked the vocals. Many metal bands (especially female-fronted ones) push vocals down into dog-barking obscurity or up into piercingly high-pitched screams, both of these techniques are spices to me, best used sparingly, and Visideon understand that. They call their music, “Classical Chording meets Heavy Guitar”, add in some Angelic singing and synth-playing and you’ve got Visideon. Keep an eye on this band, and get out to see them while you can, they might not remain local for long!
The highlight of the evening, Benedictum (San Diego, CA) really stole the show for me. Their power and energy were set to ‘Uber’ and their lead singer, Victoria Freeman channelled and focused all of it. She really pulled the audience into the show, running into the crowd, even taking her wireless mic to the other side of Station 4 to make people watching from the “safe seats” feel like they were in the front row! And any band that can pull off a cover of Accept’s ‘Balls to the Wall’? Wow, these guys are really amazing!
South American Female Fronted Power Metal? Hell yeah! Shadowside was astonishing and beautiful onstage. Check out their myspace page to hear a band that pushes all the power, energy, and intensity of Iron Maiden into their music.
This year’s headliner was Unexpect, a seven-piece band from Montreal. Now lots of bands use the term ‘progressive’ in their band descriptions, and I’ve pretty much crossed that word out of my dictionary, since it’s been misused into meaninglessness. Everybody who writes a song with a bridge or a time-change in it calls themselves ‘progressive’. But I might have to pull that word back out, because Unexpect is really, truly avant-garde. The SwordLord had this to say about them:
“Think Cirque de Soleil goes black metal amidst an acid-trip version of The Dark Crystal”
I can’t think of a better description. The nine-string bass guitar was a trip! I have to admit, their music was a bit over the top for me, chaotic and hard to get ahold of, the same way I feel about ‘System of a Down’. Each member of the band is hyper-talented, but I think they are trying too hard to be different. For me, it was like listening to three bands at the same time, but check out their myspace and hear for yourself.
All in all a great festival, Minnesota is lucky to have an event like this here, and The SwordLord enjoys pointing out that it is the ONLY festival of this kind in the United States! Hopefully he will bring it back again, and it will grow in popularity.
It was about ten years ago that Anna Lee and her sister moved in next door. Xtina and I were living in South Minneapolis at the time, and I remember looking out the window, and seeing these two young and industrious former Fargoians hauling furniture into their new place. I helped them with the bedframe as Xtina put together some kind of neighborly gift for the “new kids on the block”. Candles so they would always have light, Wine so they would always have drink, and Bread, so they would always have food, Condoms so they would…well, I don’t remember exactly, but something like that.
Well, that was ages ago, and now look, our little Anna, all grown up…on the cover of the Star Tribune and Vita.mn…[sniffle]… I proclaimed Anna Lee as Fashion Maven of Minneapolis long ago, and its high time the rest of the world found out. But since no one reads my blog, at least now she’s finally getting the press she deserves.
Now, before any of you mock my rock-hard hard-rock sensibilities because I’ve attended every Voltage fashion show…don’t be fooled. Voltage is a mash-up of a fashion show and a ‘best new bands’ night, and I’m mostly interested in the bands, but I’m all for Anna’s vision, and I want to see her succeed, so color me supportive. Just keep in mind that my own wardrobe hasn’t changed much since the 90’s so I’m not really any kind of fashion authority, and my opinion should be considered more Proletariat than Bourgeoisie.
The bands that played at Voltage 2008:
ZibraZibra – Listening to this band was like being trapped inside an Atari 2600 that was run by the Village People. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Their outfits were designed by Ivan Idland, and were an accurate representation of the band’s music: gaudy, stunning, and outlandish.
The Haves Have It – Impressive. Think Jagged Spiral crossed with Heart. Three-piece band with female lead guitar/vocals, female bass player and male drummer. Catchy, punchy pop. Their new release “Friction” just came out last month, and I Have to Have it. I voted The Haves Have It as my pick for “Audience Choice Awards”. Maybe they’d be interested in playing a show with Jagged Spiral down the road… Their outfits by EM/MA were cut as high as the price of gasoline, and smokin’ hot.
Bella Koshka – I’ve seen Bella Koshka a few times before, and purchased their aptly named debut, Slow Dancing on the Ocean Floor, so I already knew they were good. Technical problems with computer loops during the show taught them the hard way what Greazy Meal meant when they said, “…get on stage and push Play? No Way!” Funny thing is, the Owls learned this same lesson at the first Voltage show when their drum CD skipped and completely wrecked their song. Aside from the glitch, their show was top-notch. Strangely, their outfit design by Ann Alyse Clothing was kinda boring. What happened to the cool outfits they were wearing on the cover of Vita.mm?
MC/VL – I think it’s poetic justice that the Beastie Boys get ripped off like this, since they made a career of ripping off others. Lots of fun N-R-G and running around, including running into the audience. Xtina even got to participate in one of the songs! Their outfits by Erin Smith were a nod to the Licensed to Ill era just like the music; Members Only Jackets?!! Ha! and oversized fake ‘bling’ before it was even called that. Good times. If you didn’t like Early Beasties, you won’t like MC/VL. I thought they were great fun.
White Light Riot – The Minneapolis Darlings who made the “Best New Bands of 2006“. I hadn’t heard from WLR since they held an industry party for the record labels to come paw at them. They were by far the Best Dressed Band of the evening, looking quite dapper (and warm) in Olde English Velvet outfits designed by Elizabeth Chesney. A trip-up stole some of their energy about 5 sec into their set, but they got it back towards the end of their set. A good show. I’m told their CD recordings are better…have to check that out.
Birthday Suits and only “Birthday Suits”, not “The Birthday Suits”. A two-piece band; drummer and guitarist playing minimalist pseudo-punk. While Birthday Suits guitarist made better use of the stage than Gay Witch Abortion, the guitarist’s tone and singing voice were both tinny. When you choose not to have a bass player in the band, you need something on the bottom end to hold it together. Gay Witch Abortion know this, and dial in some wicked tone on the guitar (Check out “Action Cop” on their myspace), Birthday Suits provide some overdubbed bass on their recorded works (check out “Cherry Blue” and “Flying Man Y2K” on their myspace) but their live show doesn’t, and suffers for lack thereof. I can’t recall their outfits by Dan Patrick, other than they truly were wearing clothing and not their birthday suits….
Overall, the band choices were all pretty safe, a good mix of musical styles to go with the various fashions. I would say this was the best production for Voltage yet, but since there’s only been three of them, that’s not high praise. The honor is that Voltage is still going strong, and still turns a crowd and a ton of sponsors. Anna Lee knows that Voltage on it’s own isn’t enough to shake the foundations of the local fashion industry, so she’s been quick to tie it to other MNFashion events: the “Fashion Weekend” and the “MNFashion Flash” contest. Voltage is a stepping stone to an even bigger vision from the fashion maven, and it should be interesting to see how it all pans out.