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2011 Stories by Ian Traas

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  • Wilco

    published November 30, 2011

    Wilco is a little like baseball—you probably know the rules, but the diehard fans see skill and nuance that are impossible to convey to the... More >>

  • Foster the People

    published November 30, 2011

    At this point it's pretty safe to say that "Pumped Up Kicks" is the crossover smash of the year. Foster the People's debut single is omnipresent... More >>

  • Beirut

    published November 30, 2011

    Five years ago, when Zach Condon rose quickly through the indie ranks, he was just 19 years old. A hugely talented multi-instrumentalist with a... More >>

  • Foster The People at First Avenue, 12/4/11

    Foster The People at First Avenue, 12/4/11

    published Dec 05, 2011

    ​Foster The People might be the biggest band in America right now.  There's no better marker of the evident crossover between indie and pop than the massive popularity garnered by the young ban... More >>

  • Austra, Young Galaxy

    published November 23, 2011

    Too many current synth-pop bands pride themselves on sounding cold (I'm looking at you, Ladytron), so a shift toward humanity is a welcome change.... More >>

  • Tech N9ne

    published November 16, 2011

    There aren't many acts that can bridge the gap between Rock the Bells and the Gathering of the Juggalos, but Tech N9ne is not your average rapper.... More >>

  • M83

    published November 16, 2011

    Anthony Gonzalez (the lone musician behind M83) is cursed with being both meticulous and ambitious. While his sound is huge in both sentiment and... More >>

  • Lykke Li

    published November 9, 2011

    Lykke Li has said in interviews that her art is about escaping reality, but that's hard to believe given that her music looks to document the... More >>

  • Method Man and Curren$y at First Avenue, 10/28/11

    published Oct 31, 2011

    ​This Halloween we found out that Method Man is a monster. His intensity on Friday night at First Avenue for the local leg of the Smoker's Club Tour entirely made up for numerous disappointments -- ... More >>

  • Ladytron at the Fine Line, 10/3/11

    Ladytron at the Fine Line, 10/3/11

    published Oct 04, 2011

    ​LadytronOctober 3, 2011Fine Line Music Cafe, MinneapolisOver the course of the past decade, Ladytron have fashioned an ice-cold persona out of beats and synthesizers that gleam with mechanized cool... More >>

  • James Blake

    published September 28, 2011

    No one could tell when James Blake burst onto the scene with intricate, sample-heavy compositions that he would morph into such a convincing... More >>

  • Japandroids

    published September 21, 2011

    If the name Japandroids conjures up images of, say, Voltron, you're only slightly off the mark. The Canadian duo doesn't really look like a... More >>

  • Toro y Moi

    published September 21, 2011

    Chillwave is enjoying its time in the sun right now, but Chaz Bundick (a.k.a. Toro Y Moi) seems most at home when he's confined to some dim... More >>

  • The Horrors

    published September 21, 2011

    In 2006, the Horrors seemed like the tardiest latecomers to the new garage-rock boom, but their macabre attitude (and buckets of eyeliner) turned... More >>

  • Electric Six

    published September 21, 2011

    Maybe it's best to start with a short list of things that Electric Six are not: measured, restrained, self-serious. If you're looking for those... More >>

  • Braids

    published September 14, 2011

    Just as the coldest, most unbearable part of winter grabbed us all by the throat, Braids' Native Speaker (thankfully) popped up on the... More >>

  • Black Moth Super Rainbow

    published September 7, 2011

    It's kind of a shame for Black Moth Super Rainbow that "acid" was a genre of music before they came along. Their vocoder-and-synth approach feels... More >>

  • TV on the Radio

    published August 24, 2011

    The untimely passing of bassist Gerard Smith put TV on the Radio's tour on hold as the band mourned their dear friend and bandmate. The... More >>

  • Peter Bjorn & John

    published August 24, 2011

    Indie pop as a genre isn't known for its adventurousness (maintaining a polite atmosphere and crafting immaculate hooks seem to be its only... More >>

  • Adele

    published August 24, 2011

    There were a number of disappointed fans turned away from First Ave when Adele canceled her June show (enough to fill the entire venue), but there... More >>

  • George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

    published August 17, 2011

    At an age when most artists are winding down (or retired for good), George Clinton is still active, still hitting the road, and still bringing the... More >>

  • Lollapalooza: Day 3 at Grant Park, Chicago, 8/7/11

    published Aug 08, 2011

    ​When you've spent your entire weekend at Lollapalooza, the third day is exhausting. A few fresh faces with single day passes milled through the crowd, but the vast majority of party people were obv... More >>

  • Lollapalooza: Day 2 at Grant Park, Chicago, 8/6/11

    published Aug 07, 2011

    ​If the first day of Lollapalooza is marked by enthusiasm, the second day is marked by hitting limits.  The Day 2 crowd was more pronounced and did not wait until late in the day to show up, an... More >>

  • Lollapalooza: Day 1 at Grant Park, Chicago, 8/5/11

    published Aug 06, 2011

    ​Even before entering this year's Lollapalooza festival, the Grant Park grounds were littered with reminders that this year's event is supremely sold out. There were scalpers, signs, massive lines, ... More >>

  • Wiz Khalifa

    published June 15, 2011

    It's a good thing that Wiz Khalifa's outdoor showing at the summer-standard Cabooze Plaza is an all-ages event, since the rapper has an... More >>

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