Music

​Ukulele, redefined

November 7th, 2013

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

Jake Shimabukuro performs at the Fargo Theatre

Why become a virtuoso ukulele player?

Strangely enough, perhaps the world’s greatest ukulele player, Jake Shimabukuro, in part, became one because of a comedian: Bill Cosby.

“One of the things I realized is music is just like comedy. It’s just about connecting with your audience — and Bill Cosby is a master at connecting with people,” Shimabukuro said from his home in Hawaii.

“There is just something about (Cosby’s) performance, his…

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Q&A with Grieves

October 31st, 2013

Phenomenal hip-hop artist Grieves returns to the area on Wednesday, Nov. 6 as part of his Back on My Grizzly tour. Accompanied by Vancouver hip-hop collective Sweatshop Union, Minneapolis-based DJ Fundo and local legends Kipp G and Tony the Butcher, this is a show not to be missed. HPR had the honor of catching up with Grieves front man Ben Laub, who’s quite a talented and funny guy.

HPR: What’s it like being signed to the Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers? Is it hard not living…

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Blitzen Trapper’s new gooves

October 3rd, 2013

By Diane Miller

One of Portland’s most popular bands, Blitzen Trapper, is heading to Fargo this Thursday, Oct. 10. It’s expected to be one of the bigger shows at The Aquarium this year.

Since the releases of their highly acclaimed albums “Wild Mountain Nation” and “Furr,” Blitzen Trapper have consistently become less indie-Americana rock only to become more country roots. The band’s new sound is at times quirky and slightly uninviting. Other times they sound cool, collected…

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A babbler in your ear

September 19th, 2013

HPR chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine

In 2004, Sam Beam released what would become one of the most influential folk albums of the 21st century to date.

That special album is Iron and Wine’s “Our Endless Numbered Days.” It features gritty primitive tracks like “Teeth in the Grass,” genuine and gentle acoustic numbers like “Sunset Soon Forgotten” and pleasant, reminiscent numbers like “Sodom, South Georgia.” All 12 songs on this album are in fact perfect in their own…

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Riesage tapes “Anon”

August 22nd, 2013

Fargo folk rockers Riesage are releasing their very first album, “Anon,” on cassette tape this August 31 at The Aquarium.

“Anon,” a five-song EP, includes years-old songs written by lead vocalist/guitarist Mike Barnum, who originally played music and toured as a solo artist. It wasn’t until early 2010 that he started forming what is now known as Riesage.

“I’ve been touring by myself since 21,” Barnum says. “It’s really hard to tour by yourself. You get sick of people…

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A true R&B ‘old schooler’

August 22nd, 2013

76-year-old Andre Williams to perform at The Aquarium

Andre Williams is sort of mysterious legend. The 76-year-old Chicago/Detroit R&B musician has written songs for Stevie Wonder, Ike Turner and even Parliament-Funkadelic. He’s even had a few mega-hits – “Bacon Fat” and “Jail Bait” – among the hip R&B crowd in the 50s.

More than 50 years down the road, he still continues to record, perform and write. And believe or not, music fans and critics everywhere almost unanimously…

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​Q&A with Nina Grollman

August 8th, 2013

Photo by Kensie Wallner

Moorhead singer/actor Nina Grollman kindly interviewed with the High Plains Reader on the day before her big move out to New York City to study acting at Juilliard.

Find out what it was like for her to audition for one of the most prestigious music schools in the country, how she reimagined Grease’s “Beauty School Dropout,” how YouTube changed her life and much more.

High Plains Reader: First of all, your performance in “Grease” was astounding. How did you prepare yourself for…

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​Wimps, please and thank you

August 1st, 2013

Photo by Victoria Holt

This Sunday, The Aquarium will host an authentic, raw, rough and quirky Seattle-based indie-punk band. They are called Wimps.

This could quite possibly one of the most purely fun non-locally fronted indie shows in Fargo this year. With rock-energized tracks like “Stop Having Fun,” “Grumps” and “Nap,” Wimps’ songs are short, banging and humorous, in a quirky sort of way.

There is plenty of calling and responding, shouting and repetition that could entice crowd participation.…

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Heartless Bastards show no mercy

July 25th, 2013

As far as we know Erika Wennerstrom isn’t a Heartless Bastard. Perhaps it just reflects in her singing in split-second increments. Her voice is incredibly dynamic.

Truly, Wennerstrom’s voice is one of the Heartless Bastard’s most enthralling features. Often times it’s clear and easy to follow, other times it loops, looms, floats and blooms. She sounds like a girlish Marc Bolan (T. Rex) or a boyish Zooey Deschanel.

Wennerstrom said her vocal style derives from her influences –…

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O brothers, where art thou?

June 23rd, 2013

Avett Brothers to perform in Fargo for the first time

The Avett Brothers of North Carolina are heading farther north.

This popular modern Ameriana/folk outfit will perform in Fargo for the first time ever this Thursday at the The Venue at the Hub. Concert-goers should expect a packed house. The Avett Brothers are one of the most sought-after folk acts in the country.

In 2011, the band joined the stage with Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons to perform “Maggie’s Farm.” Their latest album,…

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