Here are the 92 best quotes gathered by City Pages music writers in 2016.
“What is the price? To live, to succeed, whatever. What’s the price for a young black man’s life? What do I gotta do to live? Is there an actual number? Am I supposed to pay something? Is this a rhetorical question?” -- Greg Grease reflecting on the title of his Picked to Click-winning band ZULUZULUU’s debut album, June's What’s the Price?
“Doing the first print, and seeing the print come up in the developer, was seriously magic. It was like the waters parted before me. It changed everything -- completely changed everything.” -- photographer Daniel Corrigan reflecting ahead of the release for his October book, Heyday
“Sometimes [pursuing your passions] can make you feel like you are playing a game for your soul against all of your worst psychic demons on some kind of hellish basketball court.” -- Michael Voller of indie-rock band Chalk on chasng your rock 'n' roll dreams
“That place is just magical. The thing about art and music that’s a little mystical is that collective energy. That energy doesn’t all go away.” -- drummer JT Bates on the recently restored Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, where Babes in Toyland, PJ Harvey, and Nirvana recorded in the ’90s
“We were the epitome of lame. That’s really kind of the narrative of our band.” -- Joshua Burkett, Twin Cities-based former Christian-rock bandmate of viral presidential debate star Ken Bone
“Don’t try to define me.” -- singer-songwriter Haley Bonar's advice to music writers
“First impressions are everything in this business. And they started with a horrible first impression with the Brick and the Jane’s Addiction show. You’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole — at that point it’s a canyon.” -- Chris Olson, former general manager of Minneapolis concert venue Mill City Nights, which shuttered last month after four years in business
“Going out on tour, and living in a van and driving everywhere — that is not a very common thing for people with disabilities because the accessibility is so poor. I want it to be more normal, so people can go out and pursue these dreams that they have.” -- Duluth musician Gaelynn Lea, who won National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Contest in March
“It’s also really good to remember that we’re in a room right now, talking about music. And that is both ridiculous and amazing. It’s so unnecessary, and so necessary.” -- Justin Vernon, mastermind of Eau Claire, Wisconsin band Bon Iver
“I bring my passions, anger, hopes, anxiety, and every other emotion to my art. It doesn’t bother me to be defined as a transgender musician, because that’s who I am. What bothers me is when people let out their own bigotry and accuse my friends of using me as a gimmick.” -- Natalie Grace Krueger, frontwoman of punk band Naïve Sense
“He’s the eccentric ghost that haunts my mind in high heels and a black thong, chasing me down a smoky sewered ’80s alleyway with a phallic Flying V guitar spraying confetti on me that only reminds me of my mortality.” -- L.A.-via-Minneapolis electro-sex artist Tickle Torture (aka Elliott Kozel) on Prince
“Why not Fargo? It’s cold half the time, I’m surrounded by elderly Christian Republicans, half the drugs suck, and there’s a cop on every block. It’s perfect. Take all these ingredients and throw them together, and you’ve got a recipe to inspire me to make loud, ugly shit.” -- musician Chris Hoffman (Professor Whiskers, Geyser Brain) on Fargo, North Dakota’s noise-rock scene
“Kurt always told me, ‘I don’t think any DJ is worth more than a thousand dollars.’ I always thought that was a good way to operate, keep things real.” -- DJ Woody McBride on booking Daft Punk’s first U.S. show in 1996 -- for around $700
“‘Got an ass like I’ve never seen’ … Yes, that was weird. However, I did have an ass like he’d never seen. I was known for that back in the day, I’m sorry to say that.” -- Mi-Ling Stone Poole, Prince ex-girlfriend and the inspiration behind “Little Red Corvette”
“No. I’m not a developing artist. I’m not an artist they have to give a story to or paint a picture. When you get me, you get what you see.” -- rapper/singer Lizzo on whether she had concerns about creative control upon signing to Atlantic Records in March
“At the end of the day, I don’t give a fuck what we get paid. I just went on a two-and-a-half-week vacation. Does Katie [Crutchfield] from Waxahatchee have a job? I think she does. And if she does, and the girls in Tacocat do, then we will all have jobs, forever.” -- Kitten Forever’s Corrie Harrigan on the financial realities of being a touring musician
“Beyoncé’s career arc reminds me of a presidency. The first year in office you have to play the game, then you build and build and build, and by the end you have your middle fingers up — you’re going for it.” -- R&B singer Mina Moore-Foster reflecting on the power of Beyoncé
“Honestly, we got a shit-load of Hamburger Helper. Before we even signed on there was a cart full of like every flavor. And they gave us these little hands for inspiration. I would see that hand at my place and it was like a reminder — ‘Don’t forget. Finish that song.’” -- DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip on making a viral hit song, “Feed the Streets,” with General Mills brand Hamburger Helper
“There’s a lot of pseudo-mythologizing about what can happen at [South by Southwest]. It’s over-the-top and kind of unrealistic. We’re just hoping to eat good food.” -- Max Kulicke of Minnesota-launched band Carroll on whether the annual Austin, Texas, music convention is still worthwhile for local acts
“Everything about the Replacements — all those myths and legends — the reality is: Some of it was true, some of it was instinctive, some of it was calculated, but all of it was true, you know what I mean?” -- Replacements biographer Bob Mehr talking about his definitive ’Mats bio, February’s Trouble Boys
“Man, every day’s busy when you’re as pretty as I am. You’ve got to remember, I’m already big. I’m bigger than anything you can imagine. This makes Taco Bell big because they got the best-known, most loved, charismatic personality in Minnesota to sell their product.” -- beloved local pitchman “Fancy Ray” McCloney on his Super Bowl ad for Taco Bell’s Quesalupa that took place inside Treehouse Records
“The most shocking part was when [Hillary Clinton] came out and thanked everyone for coming out, then looked at us and said, ‘And thank you to General B and the Wiz.’ So, if people are wondering if she is a smart candidate, she was able to remember one of the dumbest band names.” -- Seth Duin of General B and the Wiz, who played for free beer at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in Iowa in January
“[I] damn near lost a toe” -- Tony Garfield, St. Paul metalhead, remembering the less-than-sanitary conditions of former venue Station 4
“You don’t have to leave Atlanta if you’re in Atlanta; you don’t even gotta go to Cali -- We don’t really got our own pot of gold yet [in Minnesota]." -- rapper Taylor J on his aspirations to help make Minnesota a nationally relevant entertainment hotbed
“I had to live that life to be happy with who I am now. I look back, and I think, ‘I don’t understand what I was looking for so much [with alcohol and drugs].’ It was right around me this whole time. You want to hear that there’s some magical thing that will change your life -- you just have to live it.” -- Communist Daughter frontman Jonny Solomon on how sobriety informed his band’s latest, October's The Cracks that Built the Wall
“Shouting until you’re red in the face can be really therapeutic." -- Alex Uhrich, singer for Picked to Click finalists Royal Brat, explaining the benefits of his vocal style
“I want to build an empire." -- 18-year-old Picked to Click finalist Dizzy Fae
“I go out of my way to let people know I don’t take myself too seriously -- my life is fun as hell." -- Picked to Click finalist Finding Novyon
"Lin-Manuel Miranda lives up to -- and exceeds -- his reputation as a generous, funny, approachable guy. We went to the Aesop Rock show in New York and all of us rapped along in our best Aesop voice." -- rapper/poet Dessa on the creator/star of Broadway mega-smash Hamilton, who included one her song’s on the play’s official mixtape
“I got invited to the hottest eighth grade Catholic [school] party going on in south Minneapolis because I owned [Jimmy Buffet’s 1978 album Son of a Son of a Sailor]. I got to bring it, and she could play ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ at the party, so that there was enough to make me a fan for life." -- Jeff Hage, card-carrying member of the Parrot Head’s Minnesota chapter
“I’ll always miss you. Because we love you." -- Sheila E. addressing the memory of Prince at her tribute show in October
“You could be doing the same shit I’m doing if you worked. Anyone could do it if you work your ass off." -- hard-grinding rapper Dwynell Roland
“The only real emotion I wanted to convey, other than the disintegration of your focused, rigid mind, was that heart-exploding moment of something finally taking off." -- Sean Chaucer Levine of Ghostmouth on what he wanted to accomplish with his new album, August's Grow
"Thank you, Prince, for all that you’ve done. You’ll be in hearts forever." -- video message from President Barack Obama at Xcel Energy Center’s “Official Tribute to Prince” in October
“How crazy is it that this tour is actually named after this city? In Spanish? Welcome to Saint Pablo. Moments like this show you that even today you can be a real artist and still make it to the top. That you don't have to get politically correct, to change all your lyrics up and shit to make people happy. You can just say how the fuck you really feel." -- Kanye West during the St. Paul stop of his Saint Pablo World Tour in October
“I can understand why it’s jarring to some people or people are taken aback, but I’d rather it elicit some emotion, even if it’s sadness." -- Foreverence CEO Peter Saari, whose company designed the custom urn holding Prince’s ashes on display at Paisley Park.
“I’m the spice!” -- throwback R&B/soul ace Sonny Knight on what part of the (metaphorical) sausage he represents.
“I feel like it’s not enough respect for the music [in Minnesota], period." -- rapper Rocky Diamonds on our state's music scene
“The record reflects a lot of who we wanted to be as a band -- dreamy, groovy, and skronky." -- Semisonic drummer Jacob Slichter on the band’s 1996 debut Great Divide, which they’ll reunite to play January 7 at First Avenue.
“I just sort of crapped my pants because when I was 13-years-old, I was that kid that someone through a bass at. We are kindred spirits, I guess." -- Ohio alt-country star Lydia Loveless on receiving praise from one-time Replacements child bassist Tommy Stinson.
“J. Edgar concluded there was no crime for the FBI to investigate in the Two Virgins cover. He did the right thing!” -- historian and journalist Jon Wiener on Lennon’s FBI paper trail, which stemmed from a prude Minnesotan who wrote his congressman about the nude album art of 1968’s Two Virgins.
"Minneapolis is the reason I am who I am. This is the place to get your training wheels on, and I'm ready to take them off." -- Sophia Eris on launching her solo career and moving to join her musical partner Lizzo in L.A.
"If I was the North Stars I never would have left you, not in a million years." -- Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus reassuring the crowd at Xcel Energy Center in September.
“I love playing First Avenue. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places ever; I like it more than Red Rocks [laughs]. I really fuck with that place." -- rapper Dem Atlas on his love for the Minneapolis venue
“The U.S. has over 60 football and baseball stadiums that seat more than 70,000 people. There’s intense competition for those things, and audience for them is declining. So it’s not a good bet if you’re going to be the 61st stadium,” Roger Noll, a Stanford sports economist, when asked whether U.S. Bank Stadium is a solid investment for taxpaying concertgoers.
“I realized, ‘Damn, I’ve got all this stuff, money, a nice place, a nice car -- but I don’t feel good about it.’ That’s not because I hadn’t earned it, I just didn’t feel proud about it. Now if I make $100 playing music I feel proud of that money." -- South Dakota-born country musician Sam Outlaw on quitting a high-paying gig in advertising to pursue music.
“Songwriting is too important to me to be frivolous, and you only get a few chances in your life to make art that matters, so I take it seriously.” -- Batteryboy frontman Cobey Rouse on his songwriting process.
“It’s part of the DNA of the Viking Bar, and one of its greatest assets." -- Viking Bar co-owner Patrick Johnston on his bar’s storied place in the West Bank music scene.
“My guitars are, in fact, all female and they are randy, uppity, sexy, take-no-crap bitches. We are all hopelessly in lust/love." -- Detroit rocker and general yahoo Ted Nugent on what kind of women his guitars are
“I used to do slam poetry, and in slam poetry you have a sacrificial poet that spills the blood on the stage. In my music, I was the sacrificial lamb that wasn’t afraid to say what I wanted, to do what I wanted, to sound how I wanted." -- rapper Lucien Parker on his approach to music
"It's like breaking up with five girlfriends at the same time. It's like changing elementary schools and your new first-grade art teacher gives everyone in the class an "S" for satisfactory for making a mediocre potato stamp painting, just like at your old school. It's like growing a beard for five years and shaving it off." -- former Sleeping in the Aviary frontman and current Tickle Torture honcho Elliott Kozel on what it’s like when bands break up
“People think that just because they wear punk jean jackets with patches that they’re above bros who play lacrosse" -- Nate Hart-Andersen, guitarist of Minneapolis band Strange Relations, on what he sees as shitty behavior within the rock scene
“Maybe through the Afrobeat we can bring about peace." -- second-generation Afrobeat royalty Femi Kuti ahead of his tour stop at the Cedar in July
“I can’t not eat that -- I don’t even have time to poo on my own." -- Adele on Burger King’s then-new Mac n' Cheetos during her July concert at Xcel Energy Center
“Songs first. Image and all that other bullshit second." -- Minnesota-rooted Americana singer-songwriter Frankie Lee on music-biz priorities
“I know for sure in Minneapolis we’ll probably be a weepy mess, being the hometown and all. I can’t think about what the future is,” Motion City Soundtrack frontman Justin Pierre ahead of his band’s farewell show in June at the Varsity Theater.
"There's just not enough time left in my life to listen to all this stuff." -- mega-collector on James Gillespie on slowly selling off his 20,000 records
“I remember our manager had this huge stack of our CDs, and walked over to the security guard, and handed him our CDs [to give to Prince]. Then another hour goes by, the security guard comes back and says, 'Prince doesn’t want these.' It was hilarious. I’ll never forget that." -- Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne on getting snubbed by Prince at an award show in 2006
"In a lot of ways, you can say this is my religion. I've found a rock in the self-reliance, independence, and hard work of individual human beings. And I feel almost obligated to share this with people." -- rapper Astronautalis on the spirit of his new album, May's Cut the Body Loose
“We have a long way to go in hip-hop and society in general in terms of our relationship with women. We need to allow women to speak their truth without influence from society and without fetters controlling the narrative. I feel like it's an important step that I'm signing to Rhymesayers." -- freshly signed Rhymesayers rapper Sa-Roc on criticisms that the label had only signed one woman rapper in 20 years
“MOUNTAIN ALWAYS ADMIRED KEANU REEVES. PRESENCE, GRAVITAS." -- Doomtree’s anthropomorphic tour van, MOUNTAIN, when asked about its influences
"I've always walked between worlds, and the gay and the trans community didn't really know what to do with me. And on top of that, we make really aggressive music. I have this weird, twisted need to be accepted in Minneapolis." -- rapper K. of Moodie Black
"We're kind of like shamen. We don't really play what people want to hear. We give 'em what they need." -- DJ Christian James of long-running daytime dance party Communion
“Us and hologram Prince." -- Doomtree rapper Mike Mictlan on his dream Minnesota State Fair grandstand lineup
“If your group of friends is being lame, desert them! Make some new friends — everyone is there to have fun. You paid $60, don't let anyone squander your investment." -- one of DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip's tips for enjoying May's Soundset festival
“That concert was like ... freedom." -- overheard in the crowd at Beyoncé’s concert at TCF Bank Stadium in May
“I did some soul searching and I agreed that now, more than ever, is the time where it’s needed." -- Tommy Chase, leader of Chase & Ovation, the only Prince tribute band personally sanctioned by Prince
“[Friends will] see that we got 100,000 views on YouTube. Back home, we all drink beers together and laugh. We like Benson a lot." -- Dylan Mattheisen of Tiny Moving Parts, the sneakily big band outta tiny Benson, Minnesota
"A few years ago, there was nothing. Now, oh my fucking god, it's exploding. It's getting big." -- Elena Erofeeva, co-host of KFAI’s legendary Root of All Evil program, on the state of the Twin Cities metal scene
“It didn't seem right just to sit at home alone. At times like these, people need to be around other people." -- Prince fan Tahira Darling at First Avenue’s all-time dance party on the night of Prince’s death
“Back when we were young, he’d say stuff you weren’t supposed to say, and he’d do shit you weren’t supposed to do. He was cool, sexy, hot." -- Prince fan Tina Evans while mourning outside of Paisley Park hours after Prince’s death on April 21
“The amount of work I, as a Minnesota hip-hop musician and mainstay, have put in, I feel like I’m treated like I don’t bring what I bring to the table. When you put in the work I have, and you don’t get the recognition and opportunities as someone hasn’t been doing it as long or isn’t as skilled, then I believe it’s time to start asking some questions." -- veteran rapper Carnage the Executioner on his “MN Mean” movement
“Music is like this magic language that people all over the globe speak. What better way to communicate what’s most important to you? Music has been on the forefront of every social movement there ever was." -- New York City folk icon Ani DeFranco on the importance of protest music
"All I could think about was the sophomore slump. You don't wanna make the same record and have it come out two years later, because people will be like, 'What the fuck were you doing that whole time?’” -- Night Moves frontman Jon Pelant on his band’s sophomore LP, February’s Pennied Days
“What I’ve been doing lately is watching a lot of Justin Bieber videos. I have an idea for a Justin Bieber video based on the trailer for the new Ben-Hur. I’d like to have Justin Bieber in there as Spartacus with Jesus on the cross, except Jesus has Justin’s tattoos and Justin’s tattoos are gone. I’d like to paint it … I feel the image." -- Minnesota-born artist Dan Lacey, whose surreal nude painting of Justin Bieber was purchased by Macklemore in March
"I think this time around I’m not feeling anybody’s nostalgia. Nobody is saying, ‘There’s nothing that sounds like 'Runaway Train' on this record.’ There isn’t, which is great." -- Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner on his band's latest album, March’s Change of Fortune
"This record is my Guernica, it's my master work. It's a work about a terrible, sad thing that happened, where people were hurt, but [Picasso] felt compelled to paint it. He didn't have a choice... I had to make this album." -- Mark Mallman on his new record from March, The End Is Not the End
“I think I made two people throw up off our music so far. It’s warped. It gives you that nauseatic feeling of like, ‘Ugh, I can’t tell if I’m getting sick, or if I’m just euphoric.'" -- musician Ryan Olcott on the sound of the sampler issued by his Pytch Records imprint
"An epic rumination on post-graduate confusion and an indicator of things to come from one of our great modern lyricists." -- Patrick Stickles, leader of New Jersey punk outfit Titus Andronicus, offering high praise for Minnesota-born Craig Finn when describing his favorite Lifter Puller song ("Nassau Coliseum")
"The jukebox used to represent the people that came here. Nobody [could] play shitty music, because there [was] no shitty music. It's like coming to my house and looking through my record collection." -- CC Club patron Jeff Sorenson on the loss of the bar’s cherished jukebox
"The Oregon militia guys got written in the news as just being protesters. While black protesters get written up as thugs and violent." -- Channy Leaneagh of Poliça on the inspiration behind her band’s politically charged “Wedding” video
"Are you ready to be entertained? Are you ready to be transformed?" -- Bruce Springsteen at the onset of his three-hour concert at Xcel Energy Center in February.
"People have seen me play basketball at such a high level, so they have this image in their head. They've never seen someone take all that work they did as an athlete and put it into music." former Gophers basketball star turned rapper Mac Irv
“In Defence will still be playing. Whether or not I show up to wrestle them or throw people off stage depends on how I’m feeling that day. Maybe it’s a greater thing for me to cancel a farewell show than to play a farewell show, maybe that’s more punk rock." -- Ben Crew, frontman of beloved hardcore band In Defence, on whether he’ll show up to his own group’s farewell show in February.
“Subtle hints are so 2015. Send this song to a timid hottie." -- Melissa Jones of the band Tony Peachka on why “Flower” by Liz Phair is her favorite Valentine’s Day song
"David Bowie wasn't supposed to die. I still need him. [He’s] gone, but he's still here. And he left me another map. One which shows how to finish a life. I am already studying it." -- musician Venus DeMars on the legacy of David Bowie, who died in February.
"There's so much working in the world that feels overwhelming and shitty and drives people apart. To be a part of those things that do the exact opposite of that is really important to me. That's what I'm always chasing after — to find creative solutions to problems in the world, and to hopefully create more opportunities so we can sit back, play mini-golf, and listen to music." -- Modern Radio Record Company founder and mini-golf ambassador Tom Loftus
“I always feel a bit like I have amnesia. Obviously, I'm honored to be asked to do such covers, but nothing has really changed since I was at Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Minneapolis. I still just have a camera, a window, and a subject. The only difference is now the subjects are famous,” Minnesota-born photographer Erik Heck, reflecting on recent TIME and New York Times Magazine cover shoots featuring Adele and Niki Minaj, respectively.
“It was just me building it up in my head and not wanting to let down fans. I just wanted to do the songs justice." -- Clara Salyer, 23, on joining local ‘90s grunge-punk heroes Babes in Toyland
"People who are committed to art and creativity and expression are people who run labels. Punks do. Artists do. Creative-heads do. People who don't particularly give a shit if they make a ton off what they believe in or their art form or their expression. That's who does a label in 2016." -- Ian Smith, owner of local indie-rock label 25 Diamonds, on the current state of indie labels
“The guys, you can take what you want from it. You can learn how to treat your girlfriend better, or learn what's going on inside of a girl's head. I'm so honest, you know what I mean, and I really put the guys on the spot. I just say stuff that every girl goes through, and they just can't say it. I just wanna make the guys better, too." -- teen rapper Lexii Alijai on the message of her music
"I just wanna be the voice for the voiceless. Coming from where I'm from, none of my people had chances with something like that. If they see me doing it, maybe I can spark something on my rez." -- Ojibwe rapper Baby Shel on representing his tribe's reservation