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2012 Stories by Rob van Alstyne

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  • The Old 97s

    published October 17, 2012

    The Old 97s were alternative country's great commercial hope. Their 1997 major-label debut, Too Far to Care, was rightly hailed as a... More >>

  • Frightened Rabbit

    published October 10, 2012

    Easily sporting the thickest Scottish brogue ever signed to a major label in America, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison doesn't appear to... More >>

  • Nick Waterhouse

    published October 10, 2012

    Californian Nick Waterhouse's sweaty sax-driven R&B is so decisively retro in sound that those listening to his debut album without the benefit of... More >>

  • Neil Halstead

    published October 10, 2012

    A critically esteemed veteran in the long line of sad-eyed British troubadours, Neil Halstead has a new solo album, Palindrome Hunches,... More >>

  • Picked to Click 2012: #6. Actual Wolf

    Picked to Click 2012: #6. Actual Wolf

    published Oct 16, 2012

    #6. Actual Wolf: 58 pointsAfter getting busted for selling pot, Eric Pollard penned some 70 songs in the anxious months before his court date. Though Pollard had spent his 20s drumming for indie lumi... More >>

  • Ben Folds Five

    published September 26, 2012

    Ben Folds's piquant piano-pop has always been at his best when balancing snark and sincerity in equal measure. His standout records, like 2005's... More >>

  • Kathleen Edwards

    published September 26, 2012

    The lion's share of the press surrounding Kathleen Edwards's latest album, Voyageur, has been preoccupied with her romantic ties to our... More >>

  • Mission of Burma

    published September 26, 2012

    After essentially inventing post-punk with a series of jagged and jittery buzz-saw-blast albums in the early '80s, Massachusetts's Mission of... More >>

  • Alt-J

    published September 19, 2012

    Buzzed-over British newcomers Alt-J manage to overcome their truly horrific band name by dint of sheer melodic excellence on their just-released... More >>

  • Sloan

    published September 19, 2012

    While ranking among Canada's biggest rock bands throughout the latter half of the '90s, Sloan never took off in the States, likely because their... More >>

  • Matthew Sweet

    published September 12, 2012

    Now coming up on 21 years since the October 1991 release of his seminal album Girlfriend, Matthew Sweet comes to town for a victory lap in... More >>

  • Conor Oberst at Fitzgerald Theater, 9/20/12

    Conor Oberst at Fitzgerald Theater, 9/20/12

    published Sep 21, 2012

    Conor OberstFitzgerald Theater, St. PaulThursday, September 20, 2012Still a relatively youthful 32 years old, pride of Omaha Conor Oberst has already clocked roughly 14 years as a working musician. Du... More >>

  • Wild Nothing

    published September 12, 2012

    Thanks to wildly successful European imports like M83 leading the way, the big and shiny synth-rock sounds of the Reagan administration have come... More >>

  • Minus the Bear

    published September 12, 2012

    Though they started life a decade ago as decidedly cheeky math-rock maestros, Seattle quintet Minus the Bear gradually shed their sophomoric sense... More >>

  • Metric

    published September 5, 2012

    Picking up the slick New Wave torch from forebears like Blondie, Metric have been a big deal in their native Canada since the early 2000s, but... More >>

  • Ben Kyle CD-release show

    published September 5, 2012

    Five long years after the last full-length album by his elegant alt-country band Romantica hit shelves comes Ben Kyle's self-titled solo debut.... More >>

  • Why?

    published September 5, 2012

    Arguably indie-rock's number one oddball, Yoni Wolf's been cranking out unclassifiable, genre-hopping tunes under the Why? moniker for more than a... More >>

  • Bob Mould is rock-solid

    published September 12, 2012

    Now 51, Bob Mould is at peace — but still amped up. After several records throwing the former local's rock, folk, and electronic sounds... More >>

  • The Evening Rig CD-release show

    published August 29, 2012

    The Twin Cities music scene has long boasted a reputation for ragged-but-right country-rock even as the number of actual bands in the Land of... More >>

  • Mary Bue

    published August 15, 2012

    It's been five long years since Duluth talent Mary Bue released her excellent third album, Boat With No Oars. That's a long enough span... More >>

  • My Morning Jacket/Band of Horses

    published August 8, 2012

    Tonight's solid triple bill at the Somerset Ampitheater boasts the rare musical talents capable of exciting both granola jam-band fans and... More >>

  • Bethany Larson & the Bee's Knees

    published August 8, 2012

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

  • Rob van Alstyne

    Sleep Study debuts with bold pop-rock

    published August 15, 2012

    Despite two well-received solo releases of low-key folk-rock on the local scene under the moniker Ryan Paul & the Ardent, by early 2011 Ryan... More >>

  • Animal Kingdom

    published August 1, 2012

    Once a fount of inspiration for American bands, major-label British rock today consists primarily of amiable but lifeless Coldplay imitators too... More >>

  • John Mark Nelson channels folk-pop sophistication

    published August 8, 2012

    The Twin Cites seems to always have a fresh crop of musicians too young to buy beer, but precocious enough to make an impact. While the Plastic... More >>

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