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Posts about Minnesota musicians

Set times and lowdown for Trampled by Turtles' Festival Palomino

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: September 18, 2014 - 12:31 PM
Members of Trampled by Turtles before they took the stage at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Ky., in July. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Members of Trampled by Turtles before they took the stage at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Ky., in July. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Saturday’s Festival Palomino at Canterbury Park is the first of what organizers hope to be many years for the Trampled by Turtles-led, day-long strummer fest. It also happens to be the first big concert held inside the Shakopee horse track in many years. The last big music events we remember there were the Clear Channel Radio festivals of the early-‘00s (KDWB, Cities 97, K102), which were usually good-time, cozy affairs despite Sheryl Crow always seeming to be at them.

As is recounted in a Q&A with the Trampled fellas in this week’s Vita.mn, the festival was more the idea of First Avenue, which has had good luck working with the band on their multi-genre Bayfront Park concerts in Duluth. First Ave also brought in frequent partner Rose Presents (We Fest, Warped Tour, Soundset) to help handle logistics of the big show. This was all good news to Trampled, which had long been interested in starting a fest but lost money in the mid-’00s partnering on the Log Jam Fest in Ely.

Members of Trampled by Turtles before they took the stage at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Ky., in July. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

“It seemed perfect: We’d help curate the music, and [First Ave] could do all the hard work,” TBT singer Dave Simonett said. “Them and Rose Presents, they know this stuff. Now, I don’t have to Google how to rent port-o-potties in Shakopee myself.”

The lineup predictably wound up being heavy on rootsy, stringy, old-timey and/or twangy kind of bands such as Spirit Mountain Family Reunion and Hurray for the Riff Raff (one of this writer’s personal faves from this year’s SXSW). But it also includes Florida soul man Charles Bradley, Seattle folk-rockers the Head and the Heart and TBT’s longtime Low, playing to their first 10,000-plus-sized Twin Cities crowd since last year’s legendary/notorious Rock the Garden set.

“These are all bands we’ve played with before,” Simonett explained of the Palomino lineup. “It ranges from Charles Bradley, who we only played with once but loved, on up to Erik Koskinen and Low, who we’ve played with and been good friends with for a long time. It’s all familiar faces, which seemed like a fun way of doing it.”

This will be Trampled’s first big Twin Cities show in support of their seventh album, “Wild Animals, not counting their live Current broadcast from the Cedar Cultural Center the week of release. They left town right after that, playing everywhere from David Letterman's set to the Newport Folk Festival (where they were joined by Mavis Staples and Norah Jones) to a sold-out headlining gig at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver last month. Read our chronicle of the band’s chaotic mid-July run here.

The Canterbury gates will open at 1 p.m., and the music will run from 2-10 p.m. – mostly nonstop, thanks to the use of two stages. Tickets ($34, or $87 for VIP) are reportedly selling well but probably won’t sell out (it’s a big place). All the FAQ info can be found on the fest's site. Here are the newly announced set times:

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley

STARS STAGE

  • (2 P.M.) Field Report
  • (3:10) Hurray for the Riff Raff
  • (4:25) Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires
  • (5:45) The Head and the Heart
  • (7:45) Trampled by Turtles

SATELLITES STAGE

  • (2:40 P.M.) Erik Koskinen
  • (3:55) The Apache Relay
  • (5:10) Spirit Family Reunion
  • (6:45) Low

See the BBC's profile of Twin Cities rap alum M.anifest

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: September 16, 2014 - 9:37 AM
Photo by  Bob Pixel Photography

Photo by Bob Pixel Photography

How’s this for transatlantic exposure? Twin Cities-weaned rapper M.anifest is featured in a new video profile from London’s BBC, which filmed him in Ghana.  

The real-life Kwame Amet Tsikata, who still maintains local ties after a decade as a Minnesotan, is back living in his native country and generating quite a buzz as a music maker there. He has won several trophies at the Ghana Music Awards and has been working with other African musicians of note, including Donzy and HHP.

In the clip posted below, M.anifest tells the BBC’s “Africa Beats” that he finds Ghana to be “a ridiculous place, and so that has ridiculously inspired me. It provokes everything that you can imagine in me.”

Performing for the BBC with a live band led by reputable Ghanaian musician Kwame Yeboah, he shows off two of the tracks he has dropped since relocating, “Debi Debi,” and “Someway Bi,” both of which come off his EP "Apae: The Price of Free" and are available via iTunes. He explains their meaning in the clip. He also has an evocative video for “Someway Bi” that shows off his new/old surroundings.

Ex-Aviette singer Holly Muñoz returns with Vanderslice-produced album

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: September 11, 2014 - 11:55 AM
Photo by Marie Cameron

Photo by Marie Cameron

Formerly the frontwoman of ambient Minneapolis rock outfit Aviette and originally from El Paso, Texas, Holly Muñoz struck indie-rock gold after moving to the Bay Area to work with the San Francisco Symphony. She raised $50,000 via crowdfunding to make a solo album and landed one of her musical heroes, acclaimed tunesmith John Vanderslice, as producer.

The result is “Maps and Lists,” a deep, ornate, dark vs. light collection with lots of strings layering and moody guitar work that variously recalls Throwing Muses and Sharon Van Etten. Billed simply as HOLLY, she’s returning to town to promote the record Friday at the Cedar Cultural Center with a cast of friends including Dosh and the Starfolk (8 p.m., $15-$18.)

Fresh off performing with Posies co-leader (and R.E.M. sideman) Ken Stringfellow and his new FM Collective project last weekend in Seattle, Muñoz humorously recounted how, just a few months after moving to the Bay Area, she somewhat stalkerishly sought out Vanderslice.

“I went to one of his shows and was like, "Hey, John. I'm Holly. Do you want to produce my next record?," she recounted. His initial response was a polite, “No, but I know lots of people who can help you with that, and I'm happy to give you a tour of the studio.”

A week after handing off her demos, though, Vanderslice called her and told her it was on. She booked dates in December at his Tiny Telephone studio and went all in to make the record.

“I left my job with $2,000 in savings and launched that crazy ambitious Tilt campaign,” she said. “And now it's September and I'm playing with Dosh, going on tour, and getting ready to head back into the studio with John again? Pretty wild.”

Here’s the title track of the new album, which you can stream in full via Soundcloud.

Replacements bring one good dose of thunder to 'Tonight Show'

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: September 9, 2014 - 11:53 PM

They didn't get to jam with Keith Richards, but at least they got to raise the ghost of Alex Chilton on national TV.

The Replacements hit "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday night for their first TV gig since reforming with a new lineup a year ago August. Richards was also on the set earlier in the show plugging his new children's book but never mingled with the 'Mats on air.

Introduced by a genuinely excited-looking Jimmy Fallon as a "massively beloved and influential rock band in the midst of their first tour since 1991," the Minneapolis legends tore through their classic 1987 tribute to the late leader of Big Star, "Alex Chilton." Word is the band also played a second song that wasn't aired but will hopefully be posted on Fallon's site later Wednesday.

While bassist Tommy Stinson wore a slick pinstripe jacket and guitarist David Minehan stuck with the kind of plaid suit of Replacements lore, frontman Paul Westerberg looked like he was headed to school with his 16-year-old son Johnny the next day in a plain red T-shirt. He and Stinson exchanged several devilish smiles throughout the performance that suggested they were either having a blast or couldn't wait to be done (50-50 odds).

Having Richards on the set the same night added excitement and speculation among Replacements fans, especially those who remembered that the Minneapolis rockers opened for the British rock legend at his birthday bash with his side band the X-pensive Winos in 1988. Odds weren't good that Keith remembered, though. The musicians did at least get some hang time together backstage.

The build-up to the appearance was peppered with Instagram pics and tweets from the 30 Rock earlier in the day Tuesday, including an excited selfie from the Roots' drummer/bandleader Questlove with Tommy Stinson. It read: "Friggin Tommy Stinson! #TheReplacements return to NBC!!!!! #NewEra! #Legends"

The "Tonight Show's" music booker Jonathan Cohen -- who tweeted last week that he had been following around the 'Mats for a year trying to book them on the show -- sent out this photo of them with Richards. It read, "Keef and the Mats in the hallway after @fallontonight. I am a very happy and lucky fellow."

We're still looking for Westerberg to set up his Instagram account but can't hardly wait.

SPCO names new principal cellist

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: September 9, 2014 - 11:06 AM

Julie Albers has been named Principal Cellist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Albers officially takes the position next season (2015-16) but will play eight weeks of the season that starts this weekend. Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth Symphonies are on the program.

Albers will not be unfamiliar to SPCO audiences. She has performed as guest principal many times recently. She is the sister of Rebecca Albers, a violist with the Minnesota Orchestra. With their sister Laura, they perform as the Albers Trio.

Julie Albers was the unanimous choice of the musician’s audition committee. She replaces Ronald Thomas, who left the SPCO in June 2012.

“She is an extraordinary artist and a seasoned professional who will be able to hit the ground running as one of the key musicial leaders of the SPCO,” said Kyu-Young Kim, the orchestra’s Principal Second Violinist and Senior Director of Artistic Planning.

Albers lives in Atlanta with her husband. In a statement, she called the SPCO “a unique and inspiring ensemble.”

The orchestra also has appointed seven guest musicians who will play the 2014-15 season. The SPCO currently has 18 permanent musicians on the roster (including Albers) and an authorized complement of 28. The guests, who are committed to the full season, may or may not become permanent members of the orchestra.

They are: Zachary Cohen, bass, on leave from Milwaukee Symphony; Barbara Bishop, oboe, on leave from Kansas City; violist Shuangshuang Liu and violinist Luosha Fang, both graduates of Curtis Institute; violinist Kayla Moffett from the New World Symphony; Jonathan Cohen, clarinet, a graduate of Juilliard and Sycil Mathai, trumpet with the Knights Chamber Orchestra (New York).

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