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Pennyroyal

Heather Kraft,

BNLX play at Cause in September. Photo by Leslie Plesser.

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Ecid's "Post Euphoria, Vol. 2" EP

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Local music notes: Pennyroyal, BNLX, Ecid release parties

  • Article by: CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
  • Star Tribune
  • November 14, 2013 - 10:05 PM

“Hey, where have you been?” Angie Oase asks in the opening line of Pennyroyal’s sophomore album. She seems to be singing that to a lover who’s MIA, but the mohawk-haired, Norse-goddess-looking frontwoman could be asking that of local music fans, who have been relatively slow to recognize Pennyroyal as one of the Twin Cities’ most likable and straight-up powerful rock bands.

That might change with this new record, “Baby, I’m Against It.” The quintet turned to Ed Ackerson (Polara, BNLX) to produce, lending a bigger, cleaner touch to their raw power. That opening track, “M List,” kicks things off with a Velvet Underground-ian blast of frayed guitars and pounding beats, and highlights from there include a bongo-laced dance-rocker that might fit on the new Arcade Fire album (“Record Machine”) and a couple of Chrissie Hynde-style rock ballads (“Did You Really Mean It,” “Last I Had”). Guitarist and co-writer Ethan Rutherford also coolly steps up to sing the harrowing piano epic “Dallas.”

Pennyroyal’s release party is Tuesday at Icehouse with an opening set by former bar-scene staple Scott Laurent, who has been making a name in Nashville (9:30 p.m., $10).

Speaking of Ed Ackerson: He and his wife, Ashley Ackerson, had enough fun a year ago hosting the inaugural BNLX Fest to mark their fuzzed-out pop trio’s long-awaited full-length that they’re doing it again this weekend. They curated a fun two-night lineup with Wiping Out Thousands, Blue Sky Blackout (their final show) and Gloss on Friday, and then Pink Mink, Flavor Crystals and Two Harbors on Saturday, plus a surprise or two. To go with the party, they compiled tracks from their well-received, eight-volume EP series onto a vinyl/CD set dubbed “Produit Collecté.”

 

Random mix

With its between-song chewing sound bites, Eminem-like creepy-guy montages and critic-bashing lyrics — yeah, ewww — the second installment of Ecid’s “Post Euphoria” EP series is often as annoying as an episode of “The X-Factor.” But it’s also quite entertaining, especially the madly whirring, Eyedea & Abilities-echoing track “You’re Really Something.” His release party is Friday at the Triple Rock with Wide Eyes & Phillip Morris, who are also issuing a new EP, “The Sick & the Dead” (10 p.m., $5-$10). … The Triple Rock has all-star improv electro-rock ensemble Dream Crusher performing every Monday in November (9 p.m., $5). …

A folkie troubadour who has moved around more than former Twin Nick Punto since leaving Minnesota — of late, he’s residing in Boulder, Colo., and Austin, Texas (poor him) — Luke Redfield returns Saturday to tout his new album at Icehouse with Murzik opening (11 p.m., $7). “East of Santa Fe” boasts atmospheric, horizon-gazing songwriterly epics reminiscent of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Pines, with musical support from the likes of Jeremy Ylvisaker and Sleep Study’s Ryan Paul. …

Still raising lots of money for cancer research with Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds,” Rock the Cause issued a new charity single last week by Sobiech’s A Firm Handshake bandmate Sammy Brown, “How to Go to Confession,” which was inspired by her late friend. It’s available at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more sites. … After his autobiography and a sci-fi hip-hop novel, local rap vet Zach “Big Zach” Combs of Kanser has a third book of short stories and assorted bits called “Livin’ in Lyrics.” He’ll have copies to promote Saturday at the Cabooze on a show with Mankato-reared hippie soul-rock band Useful Jenkins (9 p.m., $10). …

The local support cast for the Nov. 23 tribute to concert promoter Sue McLean at First Avenue with headliner Eric Hutchinson has grown to include Soul Asylum, the all-star X-Boys, Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers, Haley Bonar and Rogue Valley. Tickets and details at SueMcLean.com. … Ex-Minneapolitan Willie Wisely is hosting a webcast performance from Los Angeles with a new collaborator, Kelly Jones, at 10 p.m. Friday our time. See WiselyLive.com. …

In addition to the “Songs for Slim” double-CD set, Trampled by Turtles’ “Live at First Avenue” CD/DVD combo and Mason Jennings’ new album, Tuesday also saw the release of Chicago reissue label Numero Music Group’s sprawling, two-CD or four-LP set “Purple Snow,” a compilation of ’70s R&B, funk and soul from the Twin Cities featuring the likes of Alexander O’Neal, Haze, Flyte Tyme, MLF, Herman Jones and Prince-accompanied acts 94 East and the Lewis Connection. Hey, at least somebody is putting out Prince records this year.

 

chrisr@startribune.com • 612-673-4658 • Twitter: @ChrisRstrib

 

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