Twin Cities Music Yearbook 2013

Low taught us how to drone, Prince brought back breakfast, and there were a million reunions

Twin Cities Music Yearbook 2013
Photo by Emily Utne. Lighting by Justin Guenther.


• A mysterious presence on Twitter called @3rdEyeGirl emerges with cryptic tweets. Little did we know. A week later, Prince hastily announces six intimate performances — dubbed "Rehearsal," "Jam," and "Surprise" — January 16-18 at the Dakota Jazz Club. No cell phones allowed. The rocking final night introduces Donna Grantis, Ida Nielsen, and Hannah Ford as his new all-female backing band, 3rdEyeGirl. Meanwhile, Fun. — y'know, "We Are Young" — rehearse at Paisley Park.

• After officially closing in December 2012, West Bank music venue the 400 Bar auctions off everything from its red piano to the actual bar. Eventually the building's new owners paint over the exterior, and a lengthy chapter of live music history closes.

The Suburbs
Anna Gulbrandsen
The Suburbs

The Replacements' five covers on the Songs for Slim EP, their first new recordings since 2006, are released.

• A fire seriously damages the duplex in northeast Minneapolis where Astronautalis, Spyder Baybie Raw Dog, and La Manchita reside. Astronautalis then crashes at Sims's place. They lay down tracks, eventually performing a headlining show together at First Avenue, and Harley Davidson gives Astro a motorcycle.

• RIP: House Nation Under a Groove's DJ Man-X; the Wallets frontman Steve Kramer


Zach Sobiech, a teen singer-songwriter from Lakeland, plays uplifting EP release show featuring viral hit "Clouds" at Varsity Theater. The benefit helps others afflicted with osteosarcoma, the bone tumor Sobiech developed in 2009. Sobiech dies on May 20.

• The Get Cryphy DJ crew — Plain Ole Bill, Last Word, Jimmy Two Times, and DJ Fundo — ring in five years as the Twin Cities' biggest hip-hop dance party in the First Avenue mainroom. Slug, Brother Ali, MaLLy, Lizzo, Haphduzn, Sophia Eris, St. Paul Slim, and Rapper Hooks are among the many jumping onstage.

• The embattled Twin Cities Hip Hop Awards gets the plug pulled again. This time, it's reportedly Myth getting cold feet before the event.

The Okee Dokee Brothers' Can You Canoe? wins the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Children's Album.


Har Mar Superstar debuts the most soulful single of his career, "Lady, You Shot Me." His Bye Bye 17 arrives via the Strokes' Julian Casablancas's Cult Records in April. Later, on the night of Har Mar's headlining First Ave show, Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak declares September 20 Har Mar Superstar Day.

Jeremy Messersmith signs with Glassnote Records, home of Mumford & Sons and Phoenix. Later, he releases "Tourniquet" and sets Heart Murmurs' release date for February 2014.

Low are backed by Trampled by Turtles members for rapturous The Invisible Way release show at Fitzgerald Theater. Not a dry eye in the house.

• RIP: Cabooze manager Jason Aukes


• A female fan manages to briefly perform oral sex on Detroit rapper Danny Brown during a concert at Triple Rock. OMGross. After initially calling it a rumor, Brown admits that Minneapolis is one of his "favorite cities to play... and I think you all know why," and tells Complex magazine, "I just felt embarrassed because I wasn't all the way hard yet."

Trampled by Turtles mark their 10th anniversary with three shows, which are taped for a live album and DVD called Live at First Avenue.

• The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra ends its six-month musicians lockout and reaches a new contract. As for the Minnesota Orchestra, the musicians-vs.-board war continues, and music director Osmo Vänskä adds a deafening exclamation point to his farewell concerts in October by refusing applause for the final piece, Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius.

• RIP: Rock journalist and A&R man Tim Carr; Phantom Vibration guitarist Henry Mackaman


The Suburbs' "Love Is the Law" becomes the unofficial anthem of marriage equality. After Governor Dayton signs the Freedom to Marry Bill, a concert downtown featuring Chan Poling and co., P.O.S., Zoo Animal, and more marks the occasion. In August, the Suburbs release their first album in 27 years, Si Sauvage, and single "Turn the Radio On" rules the airwaves.

Snoop Dogg headlines biggest Soundset in history with a reported 28,000 fans at Canterbury Park. Mac Miller, Tech N9ne, Atmosphere, and a surprise set by Prof (Busta Rhymes was a no-show) warm up a chilly day.

• Experimental troupe Marijuana Deathsquads perform five themed shows during a May residency at Icehouse. The events culminate with the release of EPs Music Rocks 1 & 2, which dots a busy year for label Totally Gross National Product. Releases by Pony Bwoy, Lizzo, Moonstone Continuum, and the Cloak Ox follow, along with a full-length from MDS. Their Totally Gross National Party returns to Icehouse in September featuring a Digitata reunion and coming-out party for emerging rapper Allen Kingdom.

• RIP: Basilica Block Party and Music in the Zoo concert promoter Sue McLean


• At the Walker-Current concert Rock the Garden, Dan Deacon and Low nearly steal the show from the headliners Metric. First, rain prompts Deacon to move his show to the underground parking garage, and an indoor dance explosion follows. Back outside, Low's entire set is a 27-minute version of "Do You Know How to Waltz?" to a half-delighted, half-befuddled crowd. "Drone Not Drones" enters the cultural lexicon.

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