By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
The Birdie Four
Singer Elizabeth Pyper is too shy for the stage. So she hides behind a very large voice. These are roots that aren't dyed.
--Bill Sullivan, the 400 Bar
This DJ put himself on the map last year when he promoted a show titled Resurrection that attracted 3,000 people to a St. Paul junkyard. Then he backed it up with his skills as a producer: You can strip his music down to each individual sound and then build them back again to reveal the genius of his mix.
--Paul WonSavage, Ricochet Kitchen
He DJs, he writes, he produces, he plays instruments. Alexander East sweats music. And he exploded over the past year, with releases on the Chicago-based house label Afterhours, a spate of DJ gigs (including appearances at Miami's renowned Winter Music Conference in March), and performances on bass guitar at events such as First Avenue's DJ-musician get-together, "Musicos y DJs."
--Alan Freed, Beat Radio
The Hundred Flowers
Finally, a band that plays the glam card without going camp on us. They recall that bygone era of tragic beauty, flash, and trashy elegance better than some of the progenitors of the genre. Glitter and butch never looked so good together.
--J. Free, freelance writer
What is the future of local music? We'll strap on our jet packs so that we can fly to the 400 "Bar and Heliport" to rehash the times we saw the Hüskers back in the day. The opening of the animatronic Replacements exhibit at the TC Punk Wax Museum, located in the old Planet Hollywood at the Mall of America, will outdraw Camp Snoopy at its peak. The First Avenue National Historical Landmark will thrill the faithful by being accurate in every detail, right down to the filthy bathroom in the Entry. Jim Walsh will still be going through his midlife crisis.
I am pissed about the sound in many of the clubs around town. Is it the rooms, the equipment, or the men behind it all that is the problem? I don't know. What I do know is that loud and muddy seems to be the status quo. ARTISTS! Demand quality, or your fans will stop showing up.
--David McCall Campbell, KQ Homegrown
I'm glad the scene is now supporting hard rock. The Quest is drawing large numbers for local shows every Friday night, slowly becoming the hard-rock venue. American Head Charge is done with their album and will head out on the Ozzfest tour this summer. They're the first to be signed to a major label from this scene in quite some time. And because of them, other labels are checking out our hard-rock scene.
--Patrick Olsen, 93X Loud and Local
Last year: Musicians in their mid-20s show creative capability only grows with age. This year: Youth returns! Atmosphere goes global. Less and less shiny pieces of shit.
--David McCall Campbell
All sides--musicians, industry folk, and consumers--have something to gain and lose in digital-music technology, but it's obvious not all sides are working in the best interest of music itself. Microsoft has already announced that their new Windows XP will severely limit the quality of MP3 recordings by harnessing recording speeds to lower than 56 kilobits per second, ensuring a slightly muffled sound. To quote David Farber, former chief technologist at the Federal Communications Commission, "The industry doesn't want [MP3] pushed, and Microsoft and RealNetworks don't want it pushed. The consumer is going to eat what he's given."
When I first moved here from Michigan ten years ago, I picked up a little freelance work from this here paper. My first assignment from Jim Walsh was to cover the first installment of a new monthly local band showcase at First Avenue. Honestly, I was blown away that there could be a monthly local band showcase at First Avenue. Ten different bands every month. Where did they come from? Whittier, mostly. And, for a while, North Dakota. I concealed my awe by enthusiastically making fun of every one of the bands I wrote about. For a while it seemed like everybody was in a band. And then they were. And that sucked. And now that "alternative" is, well, alternative again, the local popscape is bursting back into disorderly bloom. Once again my friends talk excitedly, almost incredulously, about new local bands, singer-songwriters, MCs, and DJs. For the first time in years I can rattle off the annual Top Five but still feel like I missed more than I hit.
--Patrick Whalen, promoter