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There’s a dark backdrop to some of the other tracks, too, including the S&M-themed “Don’t Make Me Hit You” and the lightly bobbing desperate-wish anthem “12:12.” Tillmann will revive the songs on stage with a band that includes Omaha bassist Denver Dalley (also of Desaparecidos) and Minneapolis’ own Lizzo from the Chalice, who is singing backup as well as opening the shows with her new Lazerbeak-produced solo project.
“She’s incredible, and adds a sexy element, too,” he said.
While he has gotten more and more serious in his music, Tillmann maintains plenty of comedic work on the side, including a “Nocturnal Emotions” podcast. He is very seriously developing a TV comedy show with prior tour mate Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, wherein the two singers play “a country music duo past our prime,” he said. He also will be back in town Dec. 13 to perform on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Wits” series with David Cross.
For this return to Minnesota, Tillmann will receive an official proclamation Friday declaring it Har Mar Superstar Day in Minneapolis. Among the causes for celebration, the document signed by Mayor R.T. Rybak praises him for working “across multiple mediums of performance art,” and for 2013 being “the strongest musical year of [his] career.” No, it doesn’t say anything about his knack for stripping.
“It definitely means a lot to me,” Tillmann said. No hint of irony there, either.
When he won $25,000 in a band contest last year sponsored by the website ArtistSignal.com, blues-rock stomper Alex “Crankshaft” Larson promised to use the money to make music videos, including one in which he’d fill a Cadillac with cement for his song “Fill It Up.” He made three videos in the end — one boasting an $800 inoperable Cadillac that gets a messy makeover — and is premiering them Saturday for Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders’ gig at Famous Dave’s Uptown (9 p.m., free, all ages). … Musical nonprofit Vega Productions co-hosts a fundraiser Saturday at the Ritz Theater with local rock vets the Honeydogs, burgeoning high schoolers Bomba de Luz and moody folk-rock band Fairfax, AK. Proceeds go toward the Instruments in the Clouds project, Vega’s new cloud-based database documenting donated instruments for students in need. (8 p.m., $12-$15, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls.) …
A composers-oriented label known for issuing everything from Vietnam field recordings to Talking Drums albums, St. Paul’s Innova Recordings is issuing the latest effort by ex-Lookbook sonic innovator Grant Cutler this week, a vinyl record with Innova staffer Chris Campbell called “Schooldays Over.” Based on an Irish folk song, it features meditative instrumental suites, with string work by local MVPs Joey Van Phillips, Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan. … Ex-Lookbook singer Maggie Morrison’s old band Digitata (featuring Ryan Olson and Poliça’s Drew Christopherson) will reunite Sept. 28 for the Totally Gross National Product Party at Icehouse, also with Marijuana Deathsquads, Lizzo, Moonstone Continuum and more. …
Some multi-night December gigs to look forward to: Mason Jennings will return to First Ave Dec. 5-6, gearing up for the release of a new album produced by Iowa guru Bo Ramsey, who will also be playing with Pieta Brown as an opener for those shows. Also, Cloud Cult will stretch out for three nights Dec. 6-8 at the underused Southern Theater in Minneapolis, the culmination of an acoustic tour that the band plans to record for a live album. … And yes, you can also look forward to the annual Replacements tribute at First Avenue on the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29), details of which are still TBA. And no, the Replacements themselves probably won’t play in town anytime before then. Word is they’re not making any further plans until after the last of the three RiotFest gigs in Denver on Saturday.
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