Music

Reviews of concerts, musical performances, and both new release and older albums.

The Bad Man and SofCapone Are Two New Twin Cities Bands Perfect for Your Summer Soundtrack

The Twin Cities are a hotbed for music of all genres and styles, blending together in a beautiful cornucopia. There is so much that the lists of performers can be quite daunting, but I want to call out two in particular that are worth following. The Bad Man is a tour of rock genres from the basics of Mississippi rock and roll to the Ramones and the Stones, with heavy guitar and shrieking vocals that are as much at...

Zelda Concert Charms Minnesota Fans But Struggles on the Technical Elements

The Legend of Zelda series has never been known for complexity or depth. The story lines are very simple: an eternal battle of the ultimate good versus the ultimate evil. This is not a criticism—in fact, a cartoony, formulaic underdog-hero-saves-the-world has often been a welcome respite from the current world of gritty reboots and hyperrealism for many. And if the series has always been about fluffy, uncomplicated fun, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses firmly followed suit. Presented by Jason Michael...

Minnesota Orchestra Concert Shines the Spotlight on Underplayed Pieces

Not all classical music is well known. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms represent the top 40, if you will, of classical artists, and even within their repertoire there are pieces that are better known than others. (Can anyone hum “Wellington’s Victory,” Beethoven’s Op. 91 work?) Some works are played less often because they require a very large orchestra, or a very small one; some are played less frequently because they require a very expensive score. Still others are rarely performed...

Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, and a Darker Chapter of Hip-Hop

This year is kicking into high gear with tunes that are more and more suited to the rainy bleak weather that’s been hanging around most of this spring. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn and Gorillaz’ Humanz exemplify this move into a darker, more self-aware theme that is emerging with artists of the hip-hop genre delving into deep emotional places. Spinning songs out of depression, rage, and the questioning of one’s place and legacy in the world. Damon Albarn of Gorillaz dances...

The Northside Celebration from Capri Theater and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Is a Joy to Behold

Last night, in the auditorium at North Community High School, a gospel choir sang. A spoken-word poet recited a piece. A woman told a story. In between, a string quartet strummed their instruments, a woodwind quintet performed a couple of pieces, and a high schooler read a poem by one of his classmates. These disparate parts all came together as a wondrous whole to form the Northside Celebration, a collaboration between the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis and the...

Monique Powell Revives Save Ferris From the Ashes in Minneapolis Show

It took over a decade, but after a series of departures, new arrivals, and some legal haggling, Save Ferris has found new life with a recently released EP and an extensive North American tour. The band entertained an enthusiastic crowd at Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis on Saturday night, showcasing their new sound and look. A ska-punk group from Orange County fronted by Monique Powell, Save Ferris took audiences by storm in the late 1990s after the success of their cover...

Music Is Coming in the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

I’ve got to make a confession: I was never particularly wowed by the Game of Thrones score. And since I’m already about to get sent down the streets of King’s Landing to a chorus of “Shame! Shame!” for that fact, another confession: I was never particularly wowed by Game of Thrones in general. See, A Game of Thrones has been a prominent element of my life for a long time now, not via fandom, but via business. I am connected...

Music and Magic Come Together Again for Harry Potter in Concert with the Minnesota Orchestra

Fifteen years ago, Pottermania was still on the rise; the first Harry Potter movie had just been released, and we were in the interminable wait in between the fourth and fifth books. When the fifth, sixth, and seventh books came out, bookstores held midnight release parties, where people stood in line, waiting with bated breath for the countdown to end, so they could race home and start reading. But before the explosion of boxes and paper, there was the...

Punk Rock Explodes with FIDLAR for One Night in Dinkytown

FIDLAR, a garage-punk group notoriously known for putting on amazing live shows, headlined Varsity Theater this past Saturday with support from punk rockers the Frights and from SWMRS, a band impossible to lump into a single genre. The sold-out “Too Much” tour stop in Dinkytown presented the perfect opportunity for punk fans of all ages to unplug from recent events and embrace live music in an environment that was both safe and stimulating. While the Frights and SWMRS were...

Soundtrack Sunday: Before the Flood

Recently, I bragged on my personal Facebook account that I had a good day. That I only cried once, and since it was about the fact that supergroups never work out, it didn’t really count. Many supergroups, too pure and precious to ever grace this cruel, broken world (looking at you, Tapeworm), dissolve into nothing but broken dreams. So when I hear the siren call of “Alt-rock icons, assemble!” I instinctively brace for failure and disappointment. The climate-change film Before...
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