After they all went off to "see what more there was to life" in 2012 following seven years of steady touring and recording, the members of Twin Cities band Tapes N' Tapes now ironically have one of their day jobs to thank for bringing their high-wiry rock band back together for a don't-call-it-a-reunion reunion gig Saturday at Dual Citizen Brewery. "It seemed like as good an excuse as any," frontman Josh Grier said of the fact that bassist Erik Appelwick now works at the St. Paul brewery, whose Blocktoberfest party Saturday will also feature Heiruspecs, Alex Rossi and more (11 a.m.-7 p.m., free). There are much heavier circumstances for the timing, too: Grier's wife, Keri Wiese, who manages the band, has battled leukemia in recent years, which "took away the focus and energy I'd need to get the band up and running again," he said. She's doing great now, and apparently so is the band: "The weirder songs were a little hard to remember again, but it's been all smiles and fun," raved Grier, who plans to play a few new tunes at the brewery, too. So it is more than just a reunion gig.
The orchestra's new voice
When Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts the opening program of the Minnesota Orchestra's 2019-20 season Sept. 20, a new voice will be behind the microphone. Melissa Ousley has been chosen to fill the seat vacated by Classical MPR managing director Brian Newhouse, who stepped down in June after hosting the regular Friday-evening live relays for more than 25 years. "I love the idea that you're taking the listener into a space and letting them hear and even 'see' what's going on," said Ousley, who has served as a backup to Newhouse. Ousley started her career as a classical host and producer at Radio Kansas. Before joining MPR, she worked at WCAL in Northfield — the classical station that MPR bought in 2004 and turned into adult-alternative 89.3 the Current. She will continue her work as fill-in host for both Classical MPR and the Classical24 service.
Hints about 'The Beautiful Ones'
The co-author of the highly anticipated — and predictably mysterious — Prince memoir "The Beautiful Ones" has written a piece for the New Yorker detailing how he got the gig, and offering a few hints of what to expect when the book comes out at the end of October. Dan Piepenbring said Prince cited Miles Davis' autobiography, John Howard Griffin's "Black Like Me" and the free-form, philosophical Richard Linklater movie "Waking Life?" as influences he would like the book to emulate. "He offered only one formal guideline: It had to be the biggest music book of all time," writes Piepenbring, who hung out at Paisley Park — including a trek to see "Kung Fu Panda 3" — and accompanied Prince on the Australian dates of his Piano & a Microphone Tour. Then came the tragic news on April 21, 2016. "Prince had always embodied dualities," Piepenbring tenderly writes. "Here was one more: He had told me that he was OK, and he was not OK." The story doesn't detail how much of the book Prince wrote himself. One passage is quoted in the piece; the singer recounts talking his dad, jazz pianist John Nelson, into seeing the movie "Woodstock" in 1970: "The bond we cemented that very night let me know that there would always b someone in my corner when it came 2 my passion. My father understood that night what music really meant 2 me. From that moment on he never talked down 2 me."C.R.
A lion that's ready to roar
The next Prince reissue is a big one: 1982's pivotal "1999," his first double album and commercial breakthrough. With the hits "Little Red Corvette," "Delirious" and the title track, it was an exciting prelude to "Purple Rain," which made him an international superstar. The "super deluxe" version of the reissue, due Nov. 29, will feature 35 unreleased tracks, a concert recording and a concert DVD from the 1999 Tour, remastered iterations of the original record and a booklet featuring photos by Minneapolitan Allen Beaulieu and liner notes by Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, Guns 'N Roses bassist Duff McKagan and 89.3 the Current host Andrea Swensson. Or fans can simply buy the remastered album (one CD/two LPs), or a deluxe version (two CDs/four LPs). Downloads and streaming will be available for each.
Revisiting Tiny Tim's last bow
Tiny Tim's final concert in Minneapolis was anything but a tiptoe through the tulips. When he died in 1996, shortly after performing at the Woman's Club, the press emphasized how sweet it was that he went out doing what he loved best. But a new book, "The Show Won't Go On: The Most Shocking, Bizarre, and Historic Deaths of Performers Onstage," suggests the evening was full of missteps. According to authors Jeff Abraham and Burt Kearns, the singer was so dizzy that he almost fell while climbing into the limousine hired to take him to the venue. The leader of the backup band claimed he was unaware that Tiny Tim had been hired and refused to perform with him. The singer took the stage alone, with an out-of-tune ukulele and a mostly empty room. The book, released last week, also looks back at how Nick Lowe "died" of electrocution on stage in 1969. The "Cruel to Be Kind" singer was, of course, revived. He'll perform Friday at First Avenue.
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