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2011 Stories by Rob van Alstyne

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  • Kid Dakota transforms on Listen to the Crows...

    published December 28, 2011

    A fixture on the Twin Cities music scene for nearly a decade, Darren Jackson made an abrupt exit in the fall of 2010, returning to his tiny... More >>

  • Valet

    published December 14, 2011

    My pick for the most criminally overlooked Twin Cities band of the early 2000s, melodious mid-tempo indie-rockers Valet never quite got their fair... More >>

  • Wilco at the State Theatre, 12/6/11

    published Dec 07, 2011

    ​Wilco December 6, 2011 State Theatre, Minneapolis At their best, Wilco have always effectively straddled the line between dour art-rock and party-starting power pop. The trio of landmark albums m... More >>

  • Rob van Alstyne

    Mason Jennings on Minnesota

    published November 23, 2011

    Mason Jennings's debut album was the first local music I discovered after moving to the Twin Cities in the fall of 1999, my curiosity piqued by... More >>

  • Chuck Klosterman

    published November 2, 2011

    While still best known as a pop-culture pundit with roots in the prairie, North Dakota native Chuck Klosterman has been gradually increasing the... More >>

  • Bethany Larson & the Bee's Knees transform heartbreak

    published November 9, 2011

    For most people, heartbreak leads only toward paralysis, marathon cushion-cradling crying sessions, or, at best, an uptick in unproductive... More >>

  • Talking Volumes: Colson Whitehead

    published November 2, 2011

    The current zombie craze has already spawned awesomely undead bar bashes (including Minneapolis's own Zombie Pub Crawl) and a flesh-eating... More >>

  • Rob van Alstyne

    Megafaun's evolution

    published September 28, 2011

    North Carolina-by-way-of-Wisconsin trio Megafaun know a thing or two about sonic reinvention. Formed in the wake of the dissolution of... More >>

  • Talking Volumes: Jennifer Egan

    published September 14, 2011

    Minnesota Public Radio's Talking Volumes author series is getting a serious injection of hip this season, focusing on edgy, fictional narratives... More >>

  • Emot leave the city to Make You Electric

    published September 14, 2011

    After eight years of the urban grind, Matt Leavitt gladly left the Twin Cities behind to embrace a simpler life in rural Minnesota, settling... More >>

  • Halloween, Alaska get a makeover

    published September 7, 2011

    Fans may think they have Twin Cities talents Halloween, Alaska all figured out, now that the band is already three albums and nearly a decade... More >>

  • Ghost in the Water want you to dance

    published August 3, 2011

    After nearly a decade as somber songsmiths in local folk-rock band Fitzgerald, the husband-and-wife team of Nathan and Mandy Tensen-Woolery had... More >>

  • Joey Ryan & the Inks

    published July 27, 2011

    Recent advances in home recording technology have turned album-making into a surprisingly affordable endeavor for millions of musicians who... More >>

  • Okkervil River go from Dunn Bros. to First Avenue

    published June 8, 2011

    Okkervil River are one of the most critically acclaimed acts on the indie-rock circuit, subject of laudatory New York Times profiles and scads... More >>

  • Al Church and State release mini-album Matter

    published June 1, 2011

    Considering the scads of bands with best-laid recording plans whose albums nevertheless fall flat, perhaps more musicians should follow the... More >>

  • Paul F. Tompkins

    published May 11, 2011

    Comedian Paul F. Tompkins has been a staple of the alt-humor circuit for nearly 20 years. During that time he's flexed his laugh-inducing muscles... More >>

  • White Light Riot ready to rebound after record label dispute

    published April 27, 2011

    The early chapters of White Light Riot's story read like an indie-rock fairytale. The group was formed by melodic brothers-in-arms/life Mike... More >>

  • Haley Bonar moves back to Minneapolis

    published April 20, 2011

    Portland has a lot of things going for it: a rich arts and culinary scene, enviably mild winters, the possibility of bumping into relocated... More >>

  • Wits: Chuck Klosterman

    published April 13, 2011

    The first installment of this year's season of Minnesota Public Radio's Wits at the Fitzgerald Theater kicked off the rapid repartee radio program... More >>

  • Usonia have big-time sound and ambitions

    published April 6, 2011

    Ross Vander Werf was tired of being a hired gun. After years working as a musician in Iowa in gigs both covetously cool (he toured as the... More >>

  • Wits: Patton Oswalt

    published March 23, 2011

    Those enamored of daredevil digressions and boisterous banter were bowled over by the premiere season of Minnesota Public Radio's "Wits" in the... More >>

  • Wishbook using to fund their debut

    published February 16, 2011

    A lucky few bands lead a charmed life. They come together quickly, post a few singles online, and find the blogosphere worshipping at their... More >>

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