I have exactly two commercially manufactured CDs in my car, and both are by Garth Brooks. I have his 1989 eponymous debut and the seminal No Fences. When nothing else sounds right, Garth always does. Garth Brooks retired from the music business in 2001. After touring relentlessly for years, he want ... More >>
Inspired by Garth Brooks' recent announcement of his world tour, we thought we'd take a minute to look back on our favorite era of Garth-ness: the invention of Brooks' alter-ego, Chris Gaines. Alter-egos help an artist feel free to express sides of their persona that might make their fans uncomfort ... More >>
This blog recently ran down the "10 Biggest Douchebags in Country Music." That's all well and good, but it only tells half the story -- country is far from a moribund, cheesed-out genre. In fact, there are countless up-and-coming country craftsmen and women who are worthy of your attention. ... More >>
In Gimme Songs, musician Mark Mallman talks songwriting with his peers and heroes. This week, a conversation with Matt Johnson of Matt & Kim before their performance at Rock the Garden on Saturday. Matt and Kim have a lot of good karma coming back to them. The indie punk duo have been whipping ... More >>
If there's such a thing as a music nerd equivalent to total nuclear apocalypse, then Saul Austerlitz's recent New York Times Magazine piece on the detriments of "poptimism" was a DEFCON 2 alert. (That's the one just below "hope you've seen Mad Max a few times.")To condense a confused, under-sou ... More >>
KDWB Jingle Ball With Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Fall Out Boy, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida, Fifth Harmony, and Austin MahoneXcel Energy Center, St. Paul December 10, 2013Miley Cyrus somehow failed to transform your daughters into MDMA-addled porn stars or hasten the downfall of the Rep ... More >>
Without knowing Lorde, I'll admit that she seems likeable. On paper, a 16-year-old riding a hit single and already getting to share her artistic dreams to a huge audience is inspiring. Adding to that, the New Zealand native often mentions in interviews that her poet mother put lots of good books in ... More >>
Megan and Liz Mace are like your two best girlfriends from back when you were still an innocent young thing, able to cure your broken heart with a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a girls'-night-in screening of Titanic. The 20-year-old fraternal twin sisters and former high school cheerleaders have bee ... More >>
It's the last week of April, and the snow is finally melting away. Wednesday, local favorites Poliça play a show in the First Avenue Mainroom, while songwriter Josh Ritter plays a set the next night. Mill City Nights also welcomes Mindless Self Indulgence as new local band Ginkgo plays a set at the ... More >>
Ryan Bingham with honeyhoney First Avenue, Minneapolis Sunday, March 17, 2013Ryan Bingham has one of the best voices in music today. It's full of originality and character, roughened by years on the road and with a heartbreaking edge to it. It's Bingham's voice that made "The Weary Kind" the powerfu ... More >>
It's almost closing time at the Roller Garden in St. Louis Park. A disco ball overhead spins, flashing colors around the room, where banners with snowflakes and valentines on them hang from the high, arched ceiling. There's a big, green dinosaur standing in the far corner, and as the DJ switches thr ... More >>
If the Grammy Awards are indeed 'Music's Biggest Night,' then it's no wonder that the industry itself is in so much trouble. Despite the Academy's best efforts in recent years to draw the "alternative" music fan into the mainstream self-congratulatory love fest that is the Grammys -- even going so f ... More >>
Lady GagaXcel Energy Center, St. PaulWednesday, February 6, 2013Even before she was famous, Lady Gaga's career was a pop commentary on being famous. Now that The Fame is more a given than just an album title, the effect of the stardom she created has taken its toll, though not necessarily to the det ... More >>
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals with Langhorne Slim First Avenue, Minneapolis Friday, January 25, 2013 "Guys, I did a bad thing today," announced Grace Potter halfway through her set on Friday night to the sold-out crowd at First Avenue. She was in her element: center stage, dressed to the nines i ... More >>
By Alan Scherstuhl This list of the year's best country albums is assembled with two important premises in mind: First: If the people who record and listen to these records consider them country, than they're damn well country. Purists who argue that country should still sound like '68, '76, '84 or ... More >>
Beach House duo Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand might be the darlings of the indie rock world, but they enter that realm unconsciously and perhaps a little unwillingly. The pair's recent fourth album, Bloom, is a lushly arranged dreamscape, full of the roaming synth-pop that Beach House fans have c ... More >>
See Also:Night Moves members say goodbye to Flying Dorito Brothers on Friday (INTERVIEW)Pleasure Horse is a new local '70s outlaw/cosmic country style outfit. Four of the six members of Pleasure Horse grew up in South Dakota and attended college there -- which lends to their affinity for, and the qu ... More >>
The country music world's been abuzz all week with Idol chit-chat about - cue Ryan Seacrest voice - Who will be... the next American Idol judge. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have vacated their seats, with Mariah Carey joining tenured judge Randy Jackson for the program's twelfth season, and rumor ... More >>
Weird Al YankovicState Theatre, MinneapolisThursday, May 3, 2012Can anyone make the accordion look sexy? One man certainly can. With a production crew, band, and a collection of songs that spans 30-plus years in tow, Weird Al Yankovic shared with Minneapolis his comedic brand of parody music after s ... More >>
Howler, Astronautalis, Pink Mink, and more
It's been a rainy start to our summer so far, but that hasn't stopped Twin Cities fans from busting out their ponchos and going outdoors to take in live music. Between Rock the Garden, Soundset, the Warped Tour, and shows at the Minnesota Zoo's amphitheater, concertgoers have had plenty of chances t ... More >>
It seems like pretty much every pop star on the Top 40 charts is planning to make their way to the Twin Cities this summer to play one of our two arenas, and this new date comprises a handful of high-profile stars: Lil Wayne will steer his tour toward St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on August 9 wit ... More >>
Two-and-a-half unforgivingly short months away, Owl City will be in the nation's faces again.
Photos by Steve CohenErik KoskinenReal-Phonic 8th Commandment Revival February 8th, 2011 First Avenue Erik Koskinen is deliciously under the radar as far as Twin Cities music is concerned. He is best known for his roles as a producer and engineer for Trampled By Turtles and guitarist for Mol ... More >>
Photo by Nikki MillerDave King Trucking Company January 15, 2011 Loring Theater, Minneapolis Saturday night, the Dave King Trucking Company not only inaugurated the Loring Theater's return to its roots of cinema, theater, music and variety performances, but also taught us what that one reall ... More >>
In the past decade, Minus the Bear has become akin to an indie-cult kool-aid; with the release of their fourth full-length album Omni, this under-the-radar band is now up in our faces, and apparently not going anywhere. They're no longer just holding down a subliminal group of fans, they've offic ... More >>
What's that you say? All you want for Christmas is to not be Travis Barker? That's easy; wish granted! Unless, of course, you are Travis Barker, in which case: too bad, so sad. You're always gonna look like a skate rat ghoul. Anyway, let's take a gander at what happened in the world of music last ... More >>
How do you know when you're really, really, really ridiculously famous? When a tweet you compose about how you're not going to appear on a morning talk show gets picked up and reported by every news outlet in the country.
Kanye West gave a rapper's in-flight delight.It's there on video: Kanye West got a hold of the public address system on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to New York and treated passengers to some high-altitude rap. But for privacy and security reasons, Delta won't confirm that Taylor Swift's ... More >>
Somewhere, right now, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez are listening to some Glee-adoring teenage outcast absolutely slaughter a Lady Gaga standard and wondering - maybe not so much Jackson, but definitely the other two - "what am I doing here, and what the hell happened to my bril ... More >>
Two opinions crossing my mind at the moment: Kanye West is ridiculous, and Twitter is dumb. Highly unoriginal opinions to be sure, but still, I possess them. Hey, remember when Kanye pulled that stunt with Taylor Swift at the VMAs like a year ago? Of course, we all do. Is it worth talking ... More >>
Photo by Nikki MillerThis week, The Country Music Association announced the last of its nominations for the 2010 CMA Awards, set to air live on Wednesday, November 10th on ABC with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood returning as hosts for the third consecutive year. The awards, voted on by ind ... More >>
Photo by Nikki MillerI'm sorry, Ronnie Dunn. :(For those of you who have been following the latest drama in my life, here's your update; for those of you who have not, first, a synopsis.
Garry Marshall's foray into cupid's holiday is a total pass
Many sites are offering free, exclusive music in exchange for Haiti donations.
We're countin' em down, end-of-decade style.
Bob Dylan to debut music on NCIS, Taylor Swift sets 2010 TC date & Motion City Soundtrack announce trio of Chicago shows.
Today I head back from my hometown's county fair; cheap Sparks and heckling Blake Shelton made for a rough three nights.