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Posts about Minnesota musicians

Slim Dunlap, Replacements vinyl coming for Record Store Day 2015

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: March 13, 2015 - 1:28 PM

Here’s some Record Store Day news that will probably excite Replacements fans more than the recently announced CD boxed-set of the band’s studio albums: Slim Dunlap’s two cult-adored solo albums of the mid-‘90s, which followed his five-year run as the ‘Mats' guitarist, will be issued for the first time on vinyl as a double-LP package. Rhino Records is also putting out a limited-edition 10-inch vinyl reissue of the Replacements’ four-song “Alex Chilton” EP from 1987, with the “Pleased to Meet Me” album cut “Nightclub Jitters” and the B-sides “Election Day” and “Route 66.”

These are just some of the many items on the giant master list for Record Store Day, which lands this year on April 18. Other highlights include the Jack White-curated reissue of Elvis Presley’s first-ever recording, Metallica’s cassette demo, plus random items from Bob Dylan, D’Angelo, David Bowie, Mumford & Sons and the Foo Fighters, whose Dave Grohl is the official RSD 2015 ambassador.

The Dunlap records, 1993’s “The Old New Me” and 1996’s “Times Like This,” include many of the songs that would later be covered by the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle in the “Songs for Slim” benefit series, to help fend off the widely beloved Minneapolis rocker’s health-care costs after his severe stroke in 2012.

Among the tunes are “Busted Up,” “Partners in Crime,” “Hate This Town,” “Cozy” and two of the best songs of all time about the woes of playing rock ‘n’ roll, “Ballad of the Opening Band” and “Not Yet/Ain’t No Fair (in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Affair).”

You can bet all our local indie record stores will try to get as many copies of these as possible. Click here for the list of Minnesota shops participating.

Hear NY-via-MN popsters Strange Names' "massive summer jam"

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: March 12, 2015 - 1:31 PM

They were already on a pretty good trajectory in Minneapolis, but modern dance-pop trio Strange Names appears to be doing even better since relocating to New York last year.

Their first record for French Kiss Records – home to indie stars Local Natives, the Antlers, the Drums and the first two Hold Steady records – is due to arrive May 19. The first single, “Ricochet,” just premiered via Entertainment Weekly’s site, and it’s pretty damn infectious. Check it out below.

“Odds are they’re going to become a Big Thing by the time summer hits,” EW writes, “especially since their new single ‘Ricochet’ has ‘massive summer party jam’ written all over it in big day-glo letters."

Best known locally for the single “Potential Wife,” Strange Names co-founders Liam Benzvi and Francis Jimenez and their drummer Fletcher Alexson recorded their new album, “Use Your Time Wisely” with producer/enegieer Andrew Maury, who has worked with Ra Ra Riot, Milagres and Tegan and Sara.

Minneapolis contestant Mark Andrew eliminated from "Idol"

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: March 11, 2015 - 9:35 PM

The latest Twin Cities entrant on “American Idol,” Mark Andrew, was eliminated from the show Wednesday night as voters whittled down the top 16 contestants to 12.

Known locally by his full name, Mark Andrew Pudas, the Minneapolis-based singer made it through several weeks of competition, impressing the judges with versions of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” and the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” following his winning audition with Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” He got a lukewarm reception last week, however, with his interpretation of the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin' Stone” during an all-Motown episode.

“It wasn’t really connecting with me,” Jennifer Lopez said. Harry Connick Jr. seemed to better appreciate it but warned, “It felt kinda like a jam band arrangement. I'm not sure if you string too many of those jam band charts together how high you're going to get in the competition.”

Connick was right, it seems. The brother of White Iron Band co-leader Matt Pudas, Mark cut his teeth playing guitar and singing backup with the rowdy, jammy country-rockers at the Cabooze and other area venues. Like fellow W.I.B. alum Nicholas David, Mark was also a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice” before “Idol.”

He told us back in January he believed he had a better chance on “Idol” because of his prior TV experience: “The cameras don’t make you as nervous, and you aren’t as intimidated by the famous people in the room,” he said, which proved true -- but only to a point.

Mark offered a lighthearted reaction to being eliminated on Twitter, where he posted a picture of his infant son Hank with a pouty-looking face.

Prince's U.S. Hit and Run Tour kicking off next weekend in Louisville

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: March 6, 2015 - 12:47 PM

Since when does Prince let his drummer’s hometown come before his own?

The Funk Assassin of Chanhassen has announced that his Hit and Run Tour -- which popped up all over Europe last summer -- will now be rolling across the United States. For the first date on the trek next weekend, he and his band 3rdEyeGirl will run to Louisville, Ky., home of drummer Hannah Welton. There’s no word on where they’ll go next. There’s not even confirmation on which Louisville venue (or venues?) will get them.

Sort of a more extreme version of normal procedure for the former Bryant Junior High baller, the details of the Hit and Run shows are being kept under wraps even as tickets are scheduled to go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. During the European run, he would wait and announce the location of the gigs via Twitter and Facebook. That seems fine, except for one little problem: Prince has since taken down his Twitter and Facebook accounts and apparently sworn off social media. So maybe fans can expect the news via carrier pigeons (or doves?).

The Purple Faithful will jump on the tickets regardless. Set lists on the European Hit and Run Tour – technically titled Hit and Run Part II, since he did a similar trek in 2000 – featured many old classics not often played in recent years (click here for a sample list from Paris).

Photo: Prince's London performances in February 2014 were the first of many across Europe last year. / Associated Press/NPG Records

The Replacements' first boxed set coming out April 14

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: March 6, 2015 - 8:36 AM
The Replacements' remaning co-founders Tommy Stinson, left, and Paul Westerberg will have new product to shill -- sorta new, anyway -- when they hit the road in April. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

The Replacements' remaning co-founders Tommy Stinson, left, and Paul Westerberg will have new product to shill -- sorta new, anyway -- when they hit the road in April. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

It’s not the album announcement Replacements fans were hoping for, but it’s overdue news: The Twin Cities rock legends will issue a CD boxed set April 14 featuring all seven of their original studio LPs and one EP. The collection, which lists for $59.98, won’t feature any music that hasn’t been issued before.


Rhino Records announced the boxed set this morning with an old-school print press release that was purportedly “edited” by the band members. Among the doctored tidbits marked in red marker on the release were a change of the line, “Rhino will release an eight-disc boxed set” to, “Rhino will profit from ... ,” and a subbing in of Midway Stadium for a brag about them headlining Coachella. There’s also a nice nod to latter-era guitarist Slim Dunlap written in the margins next to a mention of the band’s original four members. See the press release posted below.


Aside from the fun P.R., though, the boxed set seems to be rather basic and bare-bones. The albums – from 1981’s Twin/Tone debut “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash” to the 1990 Sire Records swan song “All Shook Down” – will be issued in their original format, not the expanded reissue editions with outtakes and other bonus tracks. There’s no mention of a vinyl version of the collection coming out.

“The Replacements: Studio Albums 1981-1990” will arrive just in time for Record Store Day (April 18). It’s also nicely timed to the new Replacements’ first full-fledged tour since they first performed in August 2013. They begin their 14-gig U.S. run April 9 in Seattle and come closest to Minneapolis on May 2 at the Eagle’s Ballroom in Milwaukee.



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