Two former members of the artier/weirder band Economy Team, singer/guitarist Ed Holmberg and drummer Dylan Gouret, go for broke -- as in busted eardrums -- in this punky sludge-metal duo.


Call them the female Har Mar Superstars, minus the stripping. Singers/strutters Megan Charles and Hannah von der Hoff deliver sexually fueled, party-driving electronic R&B with help from synth-plunking musicmaker Garrett Neal. Their song titles tellingly include "Electric Hypz" and "Sexpot."


Call them the mellow Marijuana Deathsquads. Fort Wilson Riot singer Jacob Mullis and members of Me & My Arrow dabble in moody, hypnotic electronic grooves in this all-improv all-star band, anchored by two drummers (including Night Moves' Isabella) and former Solid Gold member Shon Troth's trippy slide-guitar work. You can hear them live Friday on Radio K's "Off the Record" at 4 p.m. (770 AM, 104.5 or 100.7 FM).

Fire in the Northern Firs

Singer Carin Barno -- one of the best things about onetime baby buzz band First Communion Afterparty -- is out front more here, and echoing the '80s instead of the '60s in a psychedelic group that's inspired by the likes of Siouxsie & the Banshees and Dead Can Dance.


One of the scene's harder-hustling rappers for several years, Minneapolis-reared, University of St. Thomas-educated, Nas-channeling MC Malik Watkins, 25, broke bigger last year with his "Fifteenth of the Month" download series. Last month's single, "Cloud Culture," was one of the highlights. He's working on a full-length album to follow the boost he's sure to get as an opener on Atmosphere's Welcome to Minnesota Tour next month.

Gramma's Boyfriend

Singer/songwriter Haley Bonar cuts loose in this lighthearted, heavily rocking, New Wavey all-star band featuring her omnipresent guitar-wiz sidemen Jeremy Ylvisaker and Jacob Hanson along with Rogue Valley drummer Luke Anderson. Their chemistry is built in, but the musical elements are wildly different from their other bands -- part of what makes this such a fun side project.