Music

Top 10 underdog albums of 2014

by Stephen Anderson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 11th, 2014

In a year marked with monstrously popular and impossibly creative albums from indie newcomers (Sylvan Esso, Perfect Pussy), breakout novices (tUnE-yArDs, Angel Olsen, The War on Drugs) and stalwarts (Ariel Pink, Real Estate, Caribou) alike, some gems inevitably get buried in the hubbub. I’ll be wrapping up this year in music with a special list of 2014's most deserving underdog albums. 

10. Nikki Lane, “All or Nothin’”

An all-killer-no-filler collection of rocking outlaw country,…

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​A sit-down with Ben Hill of S0und

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 10th, 2014

Photo by Claire Fiedler

By Rod Hadland

In a house in Moorhead sit some amp stacks, a PA and a drum kit. The basement is the base camp where S0und, a band featuring Ben Hill on guitar/vocals, Michael Beatrez on bass/vocals, Alex Johnson on guitar and Frankie Maxwell on drums, came together. Breaking off from the group Bear North, S0und ultimately became for Hill, 20, a group that he had long wanted to form. Suave and Lennonesque, he sat down with me, and we discussed the group.

HPR: Let’s start at the very…

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All about that Twinkie Jiggles

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 5th, 2014

Photo by Meredith Westin

It’s OK, you can call him Twinkie Jiggles, Sean McPherson says. The bassist for Minneapolis hip-hop acts Dessa and Heiruspecs says he got the nickname while handing out Twinkies at baseball games in high school, and he wore a shirt that said jiggles on the back. He was the game’s DJ/emcee.

He likes the name. So much so that he titled his own project after it: Twinkie Jiggles Broken Orchestra. A four-piece arrangement of the band, which will include vocalist Linnea Mohn of Rogue…

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​A river wild

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 3rd, 2014

Wild Hands’ debut album a North Dakota gem

North Dakota music has reached a new level of wild. A four-piece Americana band from Minot, Wild Hands, has just released its debut album, “Oh, River.” And it’s oh so good.

Perhaps Wild Hands is a response to the polished, clean-cut country/rock groups that are popular in North Dakota – groups like Tigirlily and 32 Below. Though even if the guys of Wild Hands didn’t start the band to rebel against the popularity of Tigirlily, they…

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Basement’s Best: ​“When You Land” a return to the Shins’ roots

by Stephen Anderson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 28th, 2014

Seven years before Natalie Portman averred their life-changing capabilities in the soundtrack-reliant indie sleeper “Garden State,” The Shins were five basement-shaking slackers united under the moniker Flake Music, quietly releasing their one and only record, “When You Land Here, It’s Time to Return.” In the 17 years since, The Shins sharpened their literate jangle to a precise point, James Mercer went space-disco for Broken Bells and, most tellingly, the iPod, that…

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Basement’s Best: ​TV on the Radio

by Stephen Anderson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 19th, 2014

What’s really in a name? In an age when music is consumed à la carte, listeners dragging and dropping their earworms of choice into infinite playlists, what value does an album title hold? With the passing of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011, as well as the weight of expectations driven by the group’s excellent string of albums previous, the title of TV on the Radio’s fifth album is worthy of rumination.

Suggesting rebirth and promise, a fresh beginning borne of familiar roots,…

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Later, G

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 12th, 2014

Photo by Raul Gomez

*Adult language advisory

Where would ND hip hop be without Kipp G? We’ll soon find out.

This Saturday, Nov. 15, North Dakota rapper/promoter Kipp G will put on his last show ever.

This “big deal” event at The Aquarium will include a Love Connection game and performances by local rappers and Minneapolis-based group The Crest. It will be one big last hurrah for the well-connected, well-versed (pun intended) Kipp G.

“It’s bittersweet for me for sure,” he said to HPR. “And I am…

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Basement’s Best: ​New Basement Tapes

by Stephen Anderson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 12th, 2014

New Basement Tapes, same “old, weird Americana”

Masterminded by Americana champion and curator extraordinaire T Bone Burnett, the New Basement Tapes, an appropriately Traveling Wilbury-esque supergroup, shake the dust from lyrical scraps salvaged from Bob Dylan’s infamous 1967 Woodstock retreat. In the spirit of Billy Bragg and Wilco’s “Mermaid Avenue” records, the ensemble, comprised of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Rhiannon Giddens…

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Basement’s Best: Flaming Lips

by Stephen Anderson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 5th, 2014

Flaming Lips get high marks with a little help from their “fwends”

With the same kill-your-idols exuberance displayed on their handful of previous collaborative tribute albums, the Flaming Lips and their sizeable stable of “fwends” dare to tackle one of the most acclaimed albums of, well, ever. A song-for-song rebuild of the album that arguably changed the course of modern music, the Lips and their band of merry pranksters’ take on the Beatles’ monolithic “Sgt. Pepper’s…

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Far East to Fargo

by Jack Dura | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 5th, 2014

MJoy Photography

Variety is the spice of life and also of the symphony. For its second concert of its Masterworks Series, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra is continuing its trek across the globe with “Along the Silk Road.”

After a South American-styled opener to its 84th season this September, the F-M Symphony’s next stop with its “Embrace the World” theme is the Far East. “Along the Silk Road” rounds up contemporary composers as well as some older works for a specially styled concert.…

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