Music

​Helping Kids rock out with Make a Riff

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 21st, 2017

Pursuing a hobby, much less a career in music is more difficult than just picking up an instrument. Though the passion may be there, the cost of equipment and lessons can be prohibitive.

Of course this is something that Fargo-Moorhead rock star Nathan ‘Natanic’ Pehler, of Brutalur among other projects, realized and has decided to do something about with his Make a Riff Foundation.

Pehler, who currently resides in Moorhead, obviously took some inspiration for the name of his new…

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​Egypt and Ghost knock ‘em dead at the Civic

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 21st, 2017

Every so often in rock and roll history, a new act comes to sonically and aesthetically shock and stimulate us. Ghost is one of those acts. The band consists of five “anonymous ghouls” wearing well-tailored black costumes and expressionless gargoyle-like silver masks. Last Saturday the Swedish metal band Ghost made their Fargo debut at the Fargo Civic Center with Egypt--Fargo’s favorite rock n’ rollers.

Though their masks were expressionless, their energy was electric as they…

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​Michael Beatrez: new band, new album

by Jack Stenerson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 14th, 2017

Michael Beatrez is no stranger to the Fargo music scene. For the past few years, his bands Bear North and Sound made a name for themselves with the local college audience. Now, Beatrez has something new to offer. This is The Weeping Covenant.

I had a chance to ask Beatrez some questions about the new project in anticipation of their debut album You’re All I Need being released this weekend.

High Plains Reader: You have been in other bands in town before. How did The Weeping Covenant…

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20 years after the afterglow

by HPR Staff | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 14th, 2017

Everclear anniversary tour: from Portland to Moorhead to Honolulu

By Sabrina Hornung and Tom Bixby

It’s been 20 years since Everclear released their greatest album, the classic So Much for the Afterglow. It had a huge impact and has influenced many bands and more than one generation of musicians. We recently had a relaxed conversation with Everclear’s frontman Art Alexakis.

High Plains Reader: Have you started your tour yet?

Art Alexakis: The 11th is the first show, in Portland, Oregon.…

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​Yield up the Ghost

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 14th, 2017

An anonymous ghoul on metal anonymity and Satan

The band Ghost gained notoriety for their highly visual theatrical nature, satanic lyrics and imagery, as well as a mysterious presence in which the band members remain masked and anonymous. All but Papa Emeritus, the lead ghoul on vocals leading his congregation as a skeletal “anti-pope” adorned with mitre-inverted crosses and all.

The High Plains Reader recently had the opportunity to chat with an anonymous ghoul from the Swedish metal…

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​It’s in their blood

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 7th, 2017

Surfer Blood’s 4th album, now with backup vocals

“I was making fun of Tyler our drummer for having a really goofy surfer backpack with a little pouch for his surf wax and stuff like that. He told me I wouldn’t understand because I didn’t have surfer blood.” says Surfer Blood frontman John Paul Pitts, on how the band got its name.

Pitts surfs occasionally but insists that his passion for surfing isn’t as deep as that of half of his band.

Though Surfer Blood may have their hands…

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​A crash course on America

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 7th, 2017

BJ Barham on Rockingham and the decline of the American dream

Photo by Jillian Clark

BJ Barham is a busy guy. He plays around 250 shows a year with his band American Aquarium, but he says this solo tour is his most ambitious venture yet.

“53 shows in 59 days. At least one show in all 48 states plus DC so it’s a crash course on America. It’s pretty much a stay a day.” he said. His native North Carolina, Texas, and California are the only states with multiple shows, the latter two…

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Magic City Homegrown

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 1st, 2017

Wild Hands, is a Minot-based bluegrass-Americana band with strong North Dakota roots. Their sound is rootsy with compellingly honest lyrics, that praises and hails the plains of North Dakota. The lyrics and instrumentation are as breezy and whimsical as the album artwork created by lead singer/guitarist Max Patzner.

Currently the three-piece is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign designed to fund their most ambitious project yet. They plan on releasing three 10-inch records on three…

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​For the record: the latest album from Tigers Jaw

by Jack Stenerson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 31st, 2017

Tigers Jaw can do no wrong. Guitarist/vocalist Ben Walsh and keyboardist/vocalist Brianna Collins have been making a huge impact in the underground music scene since 2006.

In 2008 they released a self-titled album that became the soundtrack for indie and punk kids everywhere. I thought there was no way they could ever top an album that good. In 2010 they released Two Worlds, that failed to recapture the magic of their previous album, but it was still a better record than most bands can…

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Tony Bennett welcomes the butterflies

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 31st, 2017

HPR chats with a legend

With a jazz career spanning nearly 70 years and a 91st birthday coming up in August, Tony Bennett is a true renaissance man. In that time he’s made a name for himself in the art world and has also gained notoriety for his humanitarian efforts.

The man himself took a moment to chat with the High Plains Reader about his early life and career, the MTV generation, and how he became friends with Frank Sinatra and Lady Gaga.

High Plains Reader: According to…

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Gadfly

Crazy like a fox

by John Strand

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Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

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Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to…