This is the most bumpin’ tune I’ve heard come out of Minneapolis in a while! Can this be a summer jam on the radio stations? LOVE IT. Lizzo, Sophia Eris and Manchita, who are all local musico phenoms who constantly work on a BUNCH of different projects, comprise this new group amazingly titled GRRRL PRTY (vowels are SO last season). Their debut release is a single titled “Wegula”. I’m taking a stab in the dark and guessing ‘wegula” is a lil wordplay on people in bars/parking lots/literally anywhere trying to act superior or simply being a rude dude by claiming a “regular” status. If not, then they’ve added a word to the English language and we should be awaiting Webster Dictionary official status any day now.
Their video above is part of a series called “Lights and a Backdrop” (check out season 1 and season 2) ingeniously crafted by a production company called Evil Ice Cream Pictures. It’s a really cool series that has local musicians perform their tracks in front of-WHAT!- lights and a backdrop. It’s simple and a great way to showcase and spread the word about local talent. Cuz there’s a shit ton of local talent in MPLS/STP. Seriously. Everyone is in a band. It’s amazing.
In case you didn’t know, girl groups are fuckin IN in the MPLS scene. Lizzo and Sophia are also in an R&B girl trio called The Chalice with Claire de Lune. They’ve had a bunch of buzz and success this year. More power to the ladies. It’s refreshing! Plus girl groups were due for a pop culture resurgence anyways. There’s just something about a bunch of women tellin’ it like it is that gets everyone excited. Strong talent, strong opinions, strong style. FUCK. YEAH.
Har Mar Superstar is a local Minneapolis craycrayawesome performer who has been around the block a few times. He now lives in Brooklyn AND is touring + promoting his new album “Bye Bye 17” like a madman. I just started getting into him from seeing him at my internship’s launch party at the end of March. He showed up after 3 AM at the Sound Gallery and played an impromptu set with who I’m assuming was his band from his show earlier that night. Or they were his really talented friends. Anyways, I LOVE his new single. It’s soulful, really well produced and a refreshing new retro sound to hear on the radio. The video just dropped and it’s got a lil soulful style to it as well. CHECK HIM OUT FO REAL.
NOW Toronto (a magazine and online cultural publication) is doing this really, really cool project called 50:50. It consists of 50 bands in Toronto covering 50 tracks from Toronto’s greatest albums. It is an insanely great project to celebrate music born out of an amazingly musical city. Not only do new, up and coming bands gets exposure on a grander stage than the usual local hangouts, but accomplished stars get honored with covers of their hits. Plus, fans of music get reworked version of their fave songs. It’s a win-win-win. (Someone in Minneapolis should set this up for us ASAP!)
The video above is of The Autumn Stones covering Feist‘s “One Evening”. It’s a really cool horn-infused cover of her song that you would love to hear in a small jazz club, preferably drinking wine with someone who can pull off wearing a fedora. Dreams! Plus The Autumn Stones are cute dudes with probable Canadian accents ready to woo you with smooth tunes and whatever pickup lines are hot in Toronto. Rad.
Check out all the videos so far including covers of Drake, Barenaked Ladies and Neil Young, and check back for upcoming covers of my personal faves from Canada-Peaches and Crystal Castles! (There are bruises all over my legs still from the Minneapolis Crystal Castles show last week. I spent 30 minutes in the mosh pit. Awesome show!)
And just for fun here is Feist performing “One Evening” live:
This girl Nika aka Zola Jesus went to high school in Wisconsin with some of my friends in college. This video is rad as fuck. It’s not that often that I gravitate towards the local-ish music scene with actual intrigue, since I am obsessed with pop/electronic/experimental music (the two most popular genres in Minneapolis music scene are hip-hop and 4-piece rock/jam/indie rock bands). Also fuck yeah for a woman makin’ it big from around here. The mpls rock music scene is over-saturated with a lot of dudes who think they deserve the world for owning an instrument. Ew.
I feel very proud of her because this is really cool and unique work done with style. A lot of my issues with the local rock bands who are trying to make it bigger is their lack of style, or lack of good style. People like to see new things, enter new territories when it comes to music and new stars. Zola Jesus is definitely that person around these Minnesconsin parts.
Unfortunately I’ve seen waaaaaay too many jam bands (for work I swear! There are a surprising disappointing amount of them EVERYWHERE. Thankfully these communities keep to themselves because drugs). Granted said jam bands are definitely playing and dressing for a certain sub-culture who love acid, but making it bigger is going to be verrrrry difficult if they aren’t doing anything new or fresh that will catch the attention of people outside of their target audience. Not to say there can’t be era-inspired music around- on the contrary. But it seems that many of these bands are missing out on the “inspired” part, i.e. take something old, give it your fresh new spin, and see what happens.
Bonus: I really liked this video of Zola Jesus shopping at Amoeba and going through records that she loves.
One of my favorite bands of all-time (probably my favorite but commitment is frightening) Rilo Kiley is releasing an archival collection of songs amazingly called Rkives. When news first broke of their new release, I and everyone else who keeps a close and hopeful eye on Jenny Lewis and the gang were wishing for a new record, despite quotes by lil rascal Blake Sennet that the band had broken up. I hadn’t experienced a musical break up of this sort since I heard on the radio, in the back of my moms Dodge Caravan, that Geri had left the Spice Girls. (I still remember laying down and crying in the backseat so my brother couldn’t tease me as much!)
With the release of Rkives, us megafans get an amazing rarities and a sort of documental view into the history of Rilo Kiley. Despite having all of their records now, I became aware of Rilo Kiley when they released their 3rd studio album More Adventurous. It was a holy shit musical, soul-reaching moment in life. I was 16, had just gotten my driver’s license (after 3 failed attempts but that’s another story) and was going through the general malaise involved in being 16. But there was something about this album, and the words that came out of Jenny’s mouth that I connected with. Sort of an “oh well, that’s life” attitude about most things. I’m not sure if it shaped a part of who I was or if I was attracted to the album because of who I was. Either way, it spoke to me.
Here is the official video for a song off of their new compilation titled “Let Me Back In”. I love seeing the old footage of them touring. Dolly Parton even makes a cameo! If you want, you can pre-order Rkives here!