My partner says I have a type when it comes to music. He’s probably right. Look at some of the artists I’ve blogged about: Haley Bonar, Zoo Animal, Lucy Michelle. I can’t deny it. I like female singer-songwriters, especially those who write folky indie pop. For the record, I’ve also blogged about totally different music (See Bloodnstuff, M83, and GY!BE), so I’m not completely stuck in a genre bubble.
I bring this up because Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps is so my type. The recent documentary about the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, My Way Back Home: Caroline Smith, highlights Smith’s evolution as a songwriter, her relationship to her family and hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and finding her voice.
I’ve been listening to the Local Current radio stream lately, and I’ve been thinking about how long I have to live with things to give them a chance. Low, Local Current’s Featured Artist of the month, has been around for 20 years, and I’ve known of them for at least 10-12 of those years. I never really gave them a chance until they released The Great Destroyer in 2005. It was a departure for them, and I loved it immediately. More than that, though, it put their backlist into context for me. Everything clicked. The songs that had been in the background for years weren’t background anymore. They were the ground, and they have been ever since.
I didn’t get it for a long time, and now Low is a band I will always come back to. Their latest record, The Invisible Way, will be released in March.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. A portion of purchases from these links may benefit this blog. Thanks for your support! :)
Welcome to Thursday! I decided to take a page from one of my favorite kidlit blogs and use Thursdays to feature three things that relate to each other in some way. It won’t be every Thursday, and it’ll probably be mostly books, but this week I have some music for you. It may not be new to you, but it was new to me in 2012.
It feels right to start the Thursday 3 feature off with music I discovered in 2012 because it was a year of re-discovering music. I don’t know if it is getting older (only in my early 30′s!) or busy or what it was that distracted me from music, but I was thoroughly distracted. One of my goals for 2012 was to pay more attention, to seek out new music the way I used to, and write about it on this blog. Perhaps you noticed?
In any case, here are three Minneapolis bands I discovered and liked in 2012:
- Prissy Clerks – I was late to the party on this one. When they were chosen as a Picked to Click band, I was clueless. I also found myself going back even further in time to discover Clara Salyer’s previous band, Total Babe.
- A. Wolf and her Claws - Aby Wolf is a singer-songwriter with a powerful voice and a diverse set of influences. With “Her Claws” she creates minimal electro-pop.
- Now, Now – Okay, I’m cheating a bit on this one because I’d heard of Now, Now for a couple of years at least. But I’m including them anyway because this year, I actually paid attention to them. Of course, a lot of people are paying attention to them these days, including Jimmy Fallon. Here is the video for “The Pull”:
What new music have you discovered recently? How do you find new music?
I’ve written before on this blog and in this zine of the creative block I experienced upon becoming a mother. People have always said that having children changes you, but I didn’t expect that I would have to fight to keep my identity as a writer just because I had a baby. It used to be easy to put words to paper, and I thought it would always be easy. I’m a different person because I had to decide to keep creating myself as a writer.
One of my favorite local artists, Haley Bonar, spoke of her transition to motherhood in this interview:
“She’s a really amazing baby, and she’s so sweet and smart, and I do everything because of her — including that time I have to myself. I use it very constructively, and I write songs way more than I did before I had a baby — which sounds insane — and I’m so inspired by it, because there’s so much joy and so much pain and so much everything that goes into that first year. Everyone that has a kid goes through that, and it’s not anything new, but you kind of grieve yourself a little bit, and you have to get over that, and you become the most strong and powerful and confident version of yourself, because you are essentially caring for this other person. Yeah, motherhood is amazing.”
I can relate to that. It is pretty amazing, and so is Ms. Bonar’s music. Here is a video of a song from Golder:
A portion of purchases made from Amazon.com links on this site benefit Proper Noun Blog. Thanks for your support!
Minneapolis band Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles have a new video. Folk-rock fans, this one is for you.
An NPR segment has people reminiscing about their parents’ record collections, and it is probably not a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I am feeling nostalgic.
My parents didn’t have a record collection, but country radio played in the background of my childhood. I know the stereotype of country music is something about heartbreak and dead dogs, but that isn’t what I remember. I remember songs about small towns, tractors, and farming, and family. It didn’t mean much to me as a suburban kid, but it meant something to my parents who stuck to their small town roots despite being forced to live closer to the city for their jobs.
They say you always have a soft spot for the music of your family, and for me, it is certainly true. I find myself strangely drawn to songs that speak of my parents’ past, that mysterious time in their lives before they were mine.
The latest video from Communist Daughter, a Minneapolis indie-folk band, takes me to the country. It’s not quite what my parents would listen to, but I wonder what they would think of it.
Here is “Speed of Sound.” Enjoy.
Disclosure: Amazon.com links are affiliate links. A portion of purchases made via these links earns a commission for this blog. Thanks for your support!
There are only two hiding spots in our apartment that my four-year-old acknowledges: under a blanket and behind a door.
With these limited options, hide and seek gets old pretty quickly. For me, anyway. Of course, she’s still at the age when the delight is in being found.
Games change as you do, I suppose.
Here’s local band Hardcore Crayons with their version of hide and seek:
Edited to add: You can purchase the newly released Hardcore Crayons album Just for Grins here.
It is a lovely name for a band, isn’t it? That’s what MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer said about Bloodnstuff last Friday when she checked in with David Campbell, host of the Current’s Local Show, about new music in the Twin Cities. I got the impression it wasn’t really her thing. ;)
It is a lot of people’s thing though, as evidenced by the sold out show at the Triple Rock a few weeks ago for their CD release. The show happened to fall on a kid-free weekend for me (yay for grandparents!), so I found myself crowded in with everyone else for what promised to be (and was) a great rock show. Maybe their your thing? Check them out:
My weekend had an unexpected baby-sitter for my kiddo, which meant I was able to go to the 274 Music Fest at Nick and Eddie. I had listed it as one of my local music highlights of the fall, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go. It turned out to be a beautiful night for an outdoor concert and a beautiful night for Ladybug to go to Grandma’s house.
Gimme Noise had some great things to say about the headliner, Skoal Kodiak, and they did put on an intense performance as usual. But my personal highlight of the show was Gospel Gossip. They recently appeared on Break Through Radio TV, who described them as “a noisy, shimmering brand of post shoe-gaze rock and roll.” Does it get better than that?
Me & My Arrow was another personal highlight with its orchestral pop that fills the stage with people and sound. Check it out in this video from a show at the Turf Club back in January:
I attempted to tweet the fest, so see #274musicfest for more highlights. I’m sad to see festival season go, but this was a great way to say good-bye to a great year.