Music

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

Sanctuary Festival Milwaukee Was Three Days of Close Encounters of the Musical Kind

Over the first weekend in June, in a small bar called Club Anything in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sanctuary Festival played host to a staggering number of bands, artists, clothiers, and a jovial gathering of goths of all stripes. Club Anything, also known as the Local, has two rooms and a back patio, two bars, and a small intimate stage. At first glance it seems limiting, especially considering the sheer volume of bands that were set to work their way through over...

Covenant Calls the Goths to Port

A band like Covenant hits the Twin Cities once in a blue moon, and thanks to Kilted Farmer Koncerts, those who enjoy their synthpop and dark ambiance were given a treat. On April 4, 2018, the Amsterdam Bar and Hall was filled with excitement and some nostalgia. Along for the ride were three local and semi-local opening acts: Le Hearse from Minneapolis, the Sweat Boys from La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Endless Blue from West Bend, Wisconsin. Covenant is on...

The Rhye Project Debuts a New Album at the Fine Line

Concertgoers endured the cold while waiting in line outside the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis Friday night for the sold-out show featuring Mike Milosh and his band Rhye, but once they got inside, they were able to warm up and enjoy new tracks off the group’s sophomore album, Blood—at least for the first hour of the show. But disruptions in the final half hour were a spectacle of bad crowd behavior that made the first two-thirds of the...

Step Rockets Deliver with a New Trilogy of Songs in an Intimate Studio Performance

It’s not often rock fans get to take a peek behind the curtain and see how the music is made when a band goes into the studio to do a recording, but a small group of listeners got just such a unique experience with Step Rockets at the storied Hideaway Studios in Northeast Minneapolis on Thursday night. The band sold just 30 tickets to their fans, invited their closest loved ones, and then added a film crew to capture...

Capturing the Natural World, Elephant Fire Aims to Blaze the DIY Indie-Rock Scene

There’s a growing do-it-yourself movement among artists, which has led to some great stuff to experience but also means there’s a lot of noise to cut through. Filtering through all the choices to find what you want can be daunting, but there are those rare times you discover a gem that really finds purpose and captures the imagination, like an anthem of sorts. New Jersey–based Elephant Fire’s debut LP, Natural Heart, is one of those gems, and it’s come...

The Marriage of Figaro Is a Modern Story of Class Struggle, Dressed in Wigs

Overdressing, cross-dressing, undressing, and a healthy dose of social critique are just a few of the delights offered by the Minnesota Opera’s production of classic opera The Marriage of Figaro. Figaro, our charismatic hero and the personal valet to Count Almaviva, just wants his wedding day to go smoothly. However, his capable fiancée, Susanna, senses trouble afoot. Their boss wants to claim his droit du seigneur: the master’s right to sleep with a servant on her wedding night. To make things...

La Femme Brings Mystère, Visceral Set to Midway

When Clémence Quélennec took the stage with her psychedelic pop group La Femme on Friday night, it was impossible to miss the raw energy and emotion she carried in her eyes. Joined by her French bandmates, who are currently on a North American tour to promote their second LP, Mystère, which came out a year ago, the musicians hailing from France entertained Turf Club in Midway, which was packed with Francophiles. Opening with “Sphynx,” which is the first track...

Whosah Tour Comes Home to Make a Move

For Whosah, it probably felt like old times to return to Dinkytown and headline at the Triple Rock Social Club on Thursday night. With their roots firmly planted in the Twin Cities area, brothers Spencer, Dave, and Mack Grimes combined forces with Nate Flynn and Dallas Erdahl to bring their polished indie-pop sound and growing catalogue of music, which has evolved and matured since playing Student Sound on the University of Minnesota campus. For me, the Triple Rock set...

Three Reasons Minnesotans Can Be Optimistic about Rock Music for the Remainder of 2017

When Dan Reynolds first sang, “Your love is always dangerous, and now I’m lost in us,” in the new song “I Don’t Know Why” by Imagine Dragons, he probably didn’t realize how on the nose he would be when it came to the outlook of 2017 after music fans had to deal with recent tragedies that shook the rock world. Evolve, Imagine Dragons’ third studio album, was released on June 23, which was just over a month after Soundgarden’s...

Soundtrack Sunday: Vagrant Story

Vagrant Story is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated video games to date. It was an action RPG released by SquareSoft (now Square Enix) in the spring of 2000, and there were a couple of remarkable things about it. First and foremost was the localization, specifically the dialogue: Vagrant Story takes place in a pseudomedieval setting, and the writing follows suit. Instead of being a straightforward translation from the original Japanese script, it was heavily and thoughtfully...
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