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Taylor Swift adds third show at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center

Posted by: Tim Campbell Updated: November 21, 2014 - 4:10 PM



Taylor Swift, performing last month in New York. (photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

She's nowhere near Garth Brooks territory, but Taylor Swift now has three shows scheduled at Xcel Energy Center next fall.

Swift had announced two concerts Sept. 11-12, but when tickets went on sale Friday morning, demand was heavy enough that promoters added a Sept. 13 date.

Tickets for that show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 at the arena box office or via Ticketmaster. Limited seats remain for the two earlier concerts.

Xcel Center has been Swift's Twin Cities home ever since she opened for Rascal Flatts there in 2008. Since then she's headlined the arena five times, with two-nighters in 2011 and 2013. All were sellouts.

While Brooks set a North American single-city sales record with his recent 11-show run at Target Center in Minneapolis, he is no match for Swift on the record-sales front. His new record "Man Against Machine" made its debut at No. 4 on Billboard's albums chart Thursday while Swift's latest, "1989," held the No. 1 spot for the third week in a row.

Brooks' album -- his first studio release in 13 years -- sold just 130,000 compared with 312,000 for Swift, bringing total sales for "1989" to 2 million. While Garth's disc did top the country chart, he was outpaced by new discs from the Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd (!).

Foo Fighters taking "Sonic Highways" to St. Paul on Aug. 22

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: November 18, 2014 - 4:21 PM

The Twin Cities didn’t make the cut as one of Dave Grohl’s “Sonic Highways,” but it will be one of the stops on his tour next summer. His Foo Fighters have confirmed an Aug. 22 date at Xcel Energy Center. Tickets go on sale Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office for $35, $55 and $75. The opening band will be England's riff-ramming hard-rock duo Royal Blood, who also warmed up for the Pixies here last month.

The St. Paul date comes a week before the band’s special Wrigley Field concert on Aug. 29, featuring all Chicago area bands Cheap Trick, Naked Raygun and Urge Overkill (now sold out). Chicago was one of the eight music scenes spotlighted in the Grohl-directed HBO series “Sonic Highways,” which shows the band recording one song in each town for the new album of the same name. Other cities featured included Austin, Texas, Nashville, Los Angeles and Grohl's native Washington, D.C.

Ike Reilly gives thanks with free 18-song download

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: November 18, 2014 - 9:13 AM

With his annual Thanksgiving Eve gig just around the corner, Ike Reilly has prepared a feast for his Twin Cities contingent and anyone else who wants to get in on the party. The Irish-eyed workingman’s indie-rocker and his Libertyville, Ill.-based band the Ike Reilly Assassination have cooked up an 18-song collection and made it available as a free download today.

Titled “Am I Still the One for You?,” the bulky set features four new songs off the IRA’s overdue follow-up to 2009’s “Hard Luck Stories.” The other 14 tracks hail from their prior records, including an alternate version of “Hip-Hop Thighs #17” off the group’s classic 2001 effort for Universal’s Republic Records, “Salesmen & Racists” (newly dubbed “Hip-Hop Thighs #16” for the 2010 outtakes set “Poison the Hit Parade”).

 “The four new songs will hopefully tide fans over who’ve been waiting for them, and the rest will maybe attract new fans,” Reilly explained by phone from Libertyville last week. Among his other going-ons of late, Reilly performed at a rally for striking teachers in nearby Waukegan and played a gig with a new trio, Cops and Clergy.

However, his priority has been finishing off the new IRA album, “Born on Fire,” which is due out on vinyl in April and digitally in May.  “We worked hard on it, and obviously I think it’s very good,” he said. The record features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine shredding on one song, “Paradise Lane,” and the IRA’s Twin Cities-based women back-up singers, the Assassinettes, are heard throughout.

Among the new songs heard on the free set available today is the vaguely ominous, organ-infused “Hangin’ Around,” a video for which debuted last year with footage from the Turf Club’s Clown Lounge. The other three free new tunes include the sly, slide-guitar-laden rocker “Upper Mississippi River Girl,” the moodier “Good Looking Boy” (full lyric: "It's a hard time to be a good looking boy") and the opening title track “Am I Still the One for You?”

Reilly and Co. return for their 12th straight holiday warm-up/blow-out Wednesday at First Avenue with local openers American Scarecrows and Sam Cassidy (8:30 p.m. Wed., $15, tickets here).

Twin Cities rockers Babes in Toyland will finally reunite – but in L.A.

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: November 17, 2014 - 11:14 AM
Babes in Toyland in the mid-1990s. From left: Lori Barbero, Kat Bjelland and Maureen Herman. / Photo by Bill Phelps

Babes in Toyland in the mid-1990s. From left: Lori Barbero, Kat Bjelland and Maureen Herman. / Photo by Bill Phelps

The news that Babes in Toyland fans have been waiting for since June – though not exactly the news hometown fans were hoping for – the grunge-era punk queens have finally announced their first reunion show at the Roxy in Los Angeles on Feb. 12. Any plans for a Minneapolis gig or further dates are under wraps for now.

In a press release announcing the Roxy gig – tickets for which go on sale Friday – frontwoman Kat Bjelland expressed her excitement about getting to play for a new generation of fans who grew up on the Babes’ widespread influence. This will be their first performance in 18 years.

“It was brought to my attention that not only do we have a lot of diehard fans from back in the day, but also a whole new generation of kids -- my son Henry included -- that were eager to see us live,” Bjelland said. "I felt some kind of obligation for them to see us, too. But mainly, I just missed my girls and the feeling that comes from playing with them -- visceral live therapy."

The band members, also including drummer Lori Barbero and bassist Maureen Herman, did an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone that is expected to be posted on Tuesday. Herman also talked with a blog she writes for, BoingBoing.net, which has a photo of the trio rocking out in a rehearsal space.

Bjelland and Herman first hinted that plans for the reunion were taking shape in June when they did an interview at a college radio station in Pasadna, Calif. Barbero then added her approval with a hint of hesitency. She and Bjelland, the band's co-founders, had a falling out in the mid-'00s when Bjelland improperly used the band name with other musicians on a U.K. tour. Thankfully, though, that seems to be old news now.

Coincidentally or not, Barbero just moved back to Minneapolis earlier this month after several years residing in Austin, Texas. Bjelland also still lives here. Herman now calls Los Angeles home, and it was from there where the band posted rehearsal photos this fall, adding to the reunion buzz.


The Decemberists will play Northrop in March

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: November 17, 2014 - 10:22 AM
The Decemberists' new album arrives Jan. 20. / Photo by Audtumn de Wilde

The Decemberists' new album arrives Jan. 20. / Photo by Audtumn de Wilde

Last seen in town the same night as Super Bowl XLV in 2011 –  few other bands could’ve gotten away with that scheduling conflict -- the Decemberists will make Minneapolis the first stop outside their native Portland, Ore., on their U.S. tour next spring, playing Northrop Auditorium on March 24. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon for one (reasonable) price, $36, through the University of Minnesota's ticket system or by phone at 612-624-2345.

The poetic folk-rockers’ first album since 2011, “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World,” will drop two months before the gig on Jan. 20. Frontman Colin Meloy -- who memorably told his non-jocky crowd, “I think it’s time they go for a free-throw,” as the Super Bowl played out off stage last time – worked on many projects outside the band during its hiatus, including a children’s book, Kinks cover album and a fun spot in a Bob Mould video.

A co-vocalist on the band's 2009 "Hazards of Love" tour, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond is in town tonight to perform at the Cedar Cultural Center (click here for our interview with her). Worden and fellow Diamond gal Becky Stark were the ones who belted out "Crazy on You" when the Decemberists headlined Rock the Garden that year.

Here's the first track issued from the new Decemberists album, "Make You Better."


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