Rolling Stone debuts Howler video

Any Twin Cities music lover still unaware of Howler might have been surprised to see a clip on RollingStone.com Monday prominently featuring Minneapolis as a backdrop. The magazine's site premiered the clip for "Back of Your Neck," the first single from the young quintet's full-length debut album on Rough Trade Records.

Not only does the video prominently feature the band's hometown -- the skyline, the Grain Belt sign and Hennepin Avenue bridge, First Ave's stars -- it also shows off the extra, heavier production value heard throughout the new record, titled "America Give Up" and scheduled to land Jan. 17. Two more songs from the album can now be heard on Spotify.

Last seen at First Ave opening for tUnE-yArDs (footage from that show also made it into the new video), the band will play a hometown release party Jan. 14 at the Triple Rock and then take on the world, starting with four different shows around New York City and then another trek across the pond to England, where the group already has a following thanks to its NME exposure.

  • Chris Riemenschneider

'Yo, Bemidji ... ' Atmosphere gets back on the bus

You Bemidji fans really must have made a good impression on Atmosphere. For the second February in a row, Minneapolis' hip-hop kingpins -- yep, the title is still theirs -- will perform in the First City on the Mississippi (so says Bemidji's letterhead) and four other smaller cities around the state, a reprise of their "Welcome to Minnesota Tour."

The outing will kick off Feb. 20 at Mankato's Verizon Wireless Center Ballroom with stops at Bemidji's Sanford Center Ballroom Feb. 21, Duluth's Clyde Iron Works Feb. 23, Rochester's Mayo Civic Center Feb. 25 and St. Cloud State University's Atwood Center Ballroom Feb. 26. The group also will also squeeze in one (and only one, it looks like) concert at First Avenue Feb. 22, the first Atmosphere show there in more than a year.

Like last year's tour, Slug & Co. are bringing along some excellent, lesser-known Twin Cities acts: Kill the Vultures, Big Quarters (both of whom have gigs in town this weekend) and MaLLy, along with Brother Ali's old turntablist BK-One. Tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Tickets for the Minneapolis, Duluth and St. Cloud dates are also available in-person at Fifth Element.

Atmosphere's winter tour plans include the first-ever winter concert at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado and a jazz festival in South Africa.

  • Chris Riemenschneider

Full Boar at Triple Rock

The Gastro Non Grata guys succeeded once again in their mission as a "chef-driven, alcohol-fueled music machine" by combining vittles from Jack Reibel's much-anticipated Butcher & the Boar with fabulous Fulton brews and gently marinating them in the glowing indie alt-country of Silverback Colony and the smooth hypnotic jams of Dream Crusher last Sunday at the Triple Rock. Herbaceous and creamy green chili soup was served with crisp, elegant Lonely Blonde. Lip-smackin' sweet and spicy wild boar sausage was perfectly paired with Sweet Child of Vine, a bright and drinkable IPA. And a remarkable venison summer sausage slider with thin, briny pickles and doused in sweet mustard sauce on a lil' glazed bun was offered with a rich and complex red ale, the Libertine. If only my poor grandma (R.I.P.) could have known that venison could taste this good, then maybe she wouldn't have felt the need to hide it in the meatloaf.

  • Kat Kluegel

Magnolias get Kicked

Thanks in large part to Kickstarter -- and their fans in and outside the Twin Cities who contributed to their fund -- John Freeman's pop/punk band the Magnolias finally found the means to make their first album in 15 years, "Pop the Lock." The release party is not until Jan. 14 at the Ritz Theater, but it's already widely available via local shops and online retailers -- and is highly recommended.

  • Chris Riemenschneider

Tap in the Valley

Here's an update on the Valley Tap House, sister restaurant to the Lyndale Tap House. The Apple Valley location opens Monday in a former Major's. Owner Gene Suh, whose gastropub is known for its pit beef and beer-drinking atmosphere, says he is expanding the menu and the craft beer list for his first foray into the suburbs. He said chef Phil Dvorak will add more entrees -- including homemade pasta with lamb meatballs -- plus a kids' menu. The tap list will grow to 35-plus beers. "We're bringing in a lot of craft," Suh said. "Beers that hopefully a lot of people in Apple Valley haven't tasted yet."

  • Tom Horgen

Motion denied

Motion City Soundtrack's second annual Popsickle festival, which was supposed to take place Saturday at First Avenue with Low and more of MCS' favorite bands, was canceled last week for rather mysterious reasons. "Scheduling conflict" was the best excuse we could get. Meanwhile, we hear Motion City's recent partners in a split charity single, Trampled by Turtles, will soon join MCS as a Minnesota band signed to one of the few surviving major record labels. So that makes two of them.

  • Chris Riemenschneider

Light (rail) drinking

Yep, it's true: The light rail is good for something more than just going to work or a Twins game. It's the biggest sober cab there is. On Saturday, bargoers will jump aboard for the eighth annual LRT Bar Hop. The pub crawl sticks to bars along Hiawatha (forget downtown). Look for early evening stops at the Fort Snelling Club, Sunrise Inn, Cardinal Bar and Schooner Tavern. Final stop is 10 p.m. at Whiskey Junction, with a costume contest and live music by the Belfast Cowboys. Check the LRT Bar Hop's event page on Facebook for updates.

  • Tom Horgen