By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
THIS YEAR'S LOCAL music compilation to beat is here. Shuffle This (Mohog) is the semi-delayed labor of love from those multitasking staffers at scene zine The Squealer. The 20-act CD begins with a live 1977 Suicide Commandos track and ends with a Run Westy Run shortie. Along the way we hear February, The Vibro Champs, John Casey, June Sunday, Perfect, Cows, the now-defunct Magnolias, a live Nova Mob cut, jazz from The Bill Lang Trio, and some off-kilter Dr. Sphincter spoken-word stuff from the Revolution Radio studio. The quality is solid, and some bands turn in their best recorded output yet. Own's "Lips, Obsessed," for example, exceeds even the multi-stringed beauty and pop rapture of their own fine album. Another standout is "Try 2 Be Raw" by Phull Surkle/Casino Royale (the first new track from that collaboration in a couple of years) on which the backbeat and the rhymes are more propulsive than ever. (By the way, Casino's own album, Hank Mobley's Sound of Love, released in September on cassette, is now available on CD.) Then of course there's the much-hyped Soul Asylum cut "Painkiller": It's a pretty cool X105-ready rave-up, with vocal help from Jayhawks Gary Louris and Kraig Johnson...
Advance cassettes of The Honeydogs' big-label debut Seen a Ghost are already in limited circulation--much earlier than we would've expected. Recorded at Pachyderm and produced by Nick DiDia (whose credits include Pearl Jam, STP, and Matthew Sweet), Seen will feature 12 new songs plus reworkings of old reliables like "Your Blue Door" and "Those Things Are Hers." It's coming out in August on Debris Records, a Mercury subsidiary, and personally I can't wait to hear the featured string section (with Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO members) arranged by Semisonic's Jake Schlicter. As part of their two-month pre-release tour, the Honeydogs will showcase some of the new material at 7th Street Entry on Friday and Saturday ($6; 8 p.m. doors; call 338-8388).
In other CD news, Sukpatch's Haulin' Grass and Smokin' Ass is set for release in Europe and beyond by the critically correct Mo' Wax label, birthplace of DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, and Money Mark, so the 'patch can expect their overdue widespread acclaim any minute now. The bad news (for Twin Citians anyway) is that grad school is over for the boys, and they return to greener, rainier pastures in Seattle in just a matter of weeks. Say it isn't so!... 12 Rods' new international benefactor, V2, plans to re-release last year's EP gay? to the world in September (with a jewel box this time, I assume)...
RELEASE PARTIES:Guilt-Ridden Pop, a province of the TRG record empire, is one of the more aptly named labels out there, specializing in moping, hoping, angst-relieving guitar pop best heard inside a locked bedroom. This week GRP celebrates two new releases: Recently Okay, the second disc by St. Paul soundscapers Dwindle, and Non-Fiction, the debut EP by Mollycuddle. Both bands play a double release party Thursday at the 400 Bar. Command Module opens; $2 at the door... Also from the TRG mansion, do not miss Magnatone celebrating their self-titled No Alternative debut of post-rockabilly breakup rock. The fuel-injected trio is led by ex-Speedway guitarist Tom Rosenthal, backed by Rank Strangers' Jacques Wait and Bostonite bassist Johnny O'Halloran. The release concert is Friday at the Turf Club in St. Paul; free 8-tracks and 7-inches will be given away at the door, and we're told the concert will double as a baby shower. No, Magnatone's not having a baby, but nobody we talked to seems to know for sure who is. It's a metaphor, I guess. (Simon Peter Groebner)