SALES @ 7th St Entry 09/05/18

SALES and I go way back, not in a one-on-one, friendly sort of way, but in the way that their music has been the soundtrack to so much of my conscious, music-seeking/listening part of life. I remember hearing “Chinese New Year” way back during my junior year of high school and thinking, “wow, this sounds like summer.” Still today, it’s one of my favorite songs to play when the weather starts getting warm.

“Renee” and “Getting It On” is the beach in Florida, “Jamz” is community college, “For You” is a summer romance, “Thurs 6-25” is starting at the U, “Off and On” is last winter, and “You Look Well” is finishing finals last spring.

I’ve waited ages to see this band it seems and I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t hold up live just because of the pedestal they’re on inside my head, but boy did they. What a good night. Wow.

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Beach Bunny, Unturned, Why Not @ Fallout Urban Arts Center 08/21/18

Boy howdy, Beach Bunny finally had another MPLS gig before they embark on a west coast tour opening for Remo Drive. Super proud of Lili and the boys, and it was really warming to hear all those people singing along to her songs, brought tears to my eyes! Why Not opened the show with high energy as always even though they had just gotten back from their second tour of the summer only hours before. (They released a new single that night also, listen to it below!) Unturned is a band I’ve heard a lot about but hadn’t seen yet nor had I ever listened to their music, and if you’re thinking, like I was, “wow, Unturned sounds like an emo band name,” you would be correct! Think Retirement Party-ish – lots of fun. Here are some photos!

Why Not

 

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Unturned

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Beach Bunny

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Cigarettes After Sex @ Grenada Theater 3/25/18

All words and photos by Mia Smith.

As a teen girl who loves to cry about love and things of that sort, Cigarettes After Sex is a great band to listen to for that pastime. Their beautiful songs about love and romance really remind me of that “sad girl leaving on a train” type of movie scene. Each song tells a story and they leave space for everyone to interpret it in their own way.

Seeing them live was just as amazing as I thought it would be. My friend and I got there super early and waited and waited, and it was so worth it. We were in the very front row. It almost seemed unreal – I just looked up and they were right there. Seeing the people behind the music you listen to so often is a cathartic experience, in a good way.

When it hits 8:30 the lights go down, and then they walk out and grab their instruments. No opening acts, no visuals, no colored lights. Just some smoke, plain low white lights, and good music. The simplicity of the band and how they present themselves makes the music come alive even more. The instruments and lyrics paint a vivid picture more than any lights or effects ever could. They don’t need anything flashy, just the good, simple stuff.

Their ambient pop tunes are so smooth and easy going. From the steady bass lines, the dreamy keyboard, the drums that fill in those empty spaces, and the extra dreamy vocals, Cigarettes AfterSex puts on a perfectly understated show that lets the music stand on its own.

They opened with “Sweet” and then played through most of the songs from their EP and album, and then end with “Apocalypse.” But that wasn’t the end, we demanded an encore and we got one. The actual end was “Dreaming Of You.” Then they bowed, thanked us, and walked off stage.

It’s impossible to stand still during this concert. You just have to sway. You have to. If you listen to the band, you know what I mean. If you don’t, check them out. You’ll be swaying. The atmosphere is full of so many wonderful things. There’s the sound of everyone singing along, the soft movements of everyone swaying along, and the tender moments of young couples.

Not only did Cigarettes After Sex deliver an amazing performance, they went next door to the Sundown at Grenada and had a signing. They happily signed a whole line of posters, vinyl, and took pictures with everyone who wanted one. They are very genuine people, and you can tell they’re just having a good time doing what they love to do.

Words and photos by Mia Smith (Twitter: @miamsmithh)

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Fill your Valentine’s Day void with indie pop: “Valentine” // August Hotel

Don’t have a sweet heart this year? Don’t want a sweet heart this year? In either situation, seeing those who have sweethearts being overly affectionate in public on Valentine’s Day is super annoying; after walking across campus this morning, I seriously considered starting a campaign to make hand-holding illegal on Valentine’s Day next year.

That said, the internet and streaming sites seem to be spilling over with anti-Valentine playlists (223 public playlists on spotify searchable under the name “anti valentines”). So where do you start?! How about with a brand new tune fittingly titled “Valentine” from Chicago band August Hotel.

“Valentine” brings that signature jangly twinkle of 2010-2013 indie pop heroes full force – I’m talking about literally anything by TDCC and Passion Pit, and both Foster The People’s and Walk The Moon’s first albums; the original indie kids know. That first “woo!” in the beginning is like being transported into a “fun-time-with-friends” montage in a coming of age movie.

While the lyrics are admittedly kind of heartbreak-ish, something in the optimistic sonic elements of the song and the snide delivery of the lyrics, makes this a really fun “hey remember that time you hurt me? Well I’m fine and honestly you missed out.” “Valentine” is the first single off their second EP to be released this summer, so if you like it there is more on it’s way!

The ease and dance-ability of “Valentine” made me feel like I was 15 again, and hopefully it’ll spark some dancing in you too because once you go in all the way, there’s honestly no escaping your teenage indie-pop days.

Diet Cig with The Spook School and Great Grandpa @ The Whole 2/3/18

Last night was truly a celebration of friendship and crushes, so shout out to all the bands, shout out to all the friends, and shout out to all the crushes :’)

The Spook School

Real good for those of us that have been missing some quality indie pop in our lives but have outgrown listening to the The Naked and Famous’ first album and TDCC on repeat. For fans of Radiator Hospital, The Maccabees, and Remember Sports. Songs to listen to: “Still Alive,” “Keep in Touch,” and “Body.”

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Great Grandpa

I’ll say this a million times over, again and again until I’m dead, then I’ll haunt everyone I know in the afterlife and still be saying this, but ladies who scream on stage are SO cool. The coolest. For fans of Charly Bliss, Bully, and Cayetana. Songs to listen to: “Teen Challenge,” “28 J’s L8R,” and “NO.”

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Mid-Post Friendship Appreciation

Hi Margie. Hi Syd. I love you both a lot.

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Diet Cig

They hold a special place in my heart. The first gig review for Got Any Tunes, the first interview for Got Any Tunes, led by a kick-ass lady who loves glitter just as much as I do. Their tunes are empowering and cathartic and perfect for scream-singing  and dancing all your feelings away. For fans of friendship and love and crushes and everything good and wholesome and fun in this world. Songs to listen to: Literally all of them, but especially “Pool Boyz,” “Scene Sick,” and “Bite Back.” Diet Cig, Alex and Noah (plus Anna and Karli), you are so loved.

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Alvvays with Jay Som @ First Ave 11/02/17

Another late one, woo! Ms. Hannah, Got Any Tunes’s Alvvays expert, shared a notebook dump of observations and below are some photos I shot – Enjoy!

  • Alvvays is the type of band you’d bring home to your mom– cordial and collected with a sprinkling of comedy.
  • If you can believe it, “Archie, Marry Me” actually sounds better when it’s accompanied by a singing audience.
  • With Molly in her jazzy janitor suit and Kerri in her teacher-y plaid trousers, the two ladies tag-teamed the Grade School Faculty™ look. If you know me, you know I ate it right up.
  • The lights really corresponded with the mood of every song, especially “Party Police” (a personal fave). Emotion is so raw in color.
  • Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties during their set, but watching how they worked through them and supported each other was extra heartwarming.
  • Definitely saw Monica Laplante as I was waiting in line! Always fun to get an idea about what inspires our very own local scene here in Minneapolis.
  • What was that cover they closed with?! Such a fun song for them. Tried and failed to find it on the Internet though. Wondering if it came from friends of theirs?
  • Jay Som gave us a beautiful introduction to an overall fantastic night. I walked in right as they started “I Think You’re Alright.” Check them out if you haven’t!

 

 

Jay Som

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Alvvays

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