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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Wolf Alice with The Big Pink @ First Ave 3/27/18

Words by Hannah Hubbell, photos by Maia

After having seen Wolf Alice once in a tiny theater with an even tinier audience and once as a quick opening act, I had justifiably high expectations this time around. First Avenue is one of Minneapolis residents’ most coveted privileges, and I was ready to dance. Since the last time I saw them, the band had nearly doubled their discography and I had reached the legal age of 21. There were new songs and new adult beverages in my future.

Wolf Alice opened with “Heavenward,” one of their dreamiest tunes yet. The group looked suave and steady, with bassist Theo in his vintage black and white suit and frontwoman Ellie rocking leopard print. Their set featured angelic ballads like “St. Purple and Green,” and loud, sharp numbers like “Fluffy.” In between, there were some real emotional highlights. Remembering long drives and post-breakup nights listening to “Silk.” Cuddling up to Maia during “Bros:” “Oh, I’m so lucky, you are my best friend.” Shouting all the words to “Your Love’s Whore.” The night was a perfect meeting place for nostalgia and euphoria.

Cliché as it may be, the sounds and stories of the first Wolf Alice record comprise much of my soundtrack for all the years leading up to the release of their second album. They make music about simple things: love, friendship, and the heartbreak that comes from both. Somewhere in the mess I believed I was living in, I found poetry and emotion and realness, and it was Wolf Alice.

I’ll remember this show for a few reasons, the first being that it reminded me how genuinely happy it makes me to be in a room full of people with a genuine love for rock and roll. The second reason is that I’m convinced there will never be a more badass closing song than “Giant Peach,” though I wish they would’ve played it all the way to the end. And the third reason is that the whole time I knew both Maia and I were thinking about how much our dads would’ve enjoyed the show, which is just funny.

Wolf Alice at First Avenue was one for the books. If you love a band that can make you cry as quickly as they can have your head banging, be sure to catch them on their next tour (and buy their records!).

The Big Pink

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Wolf Alice

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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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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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Angus and Julia Stone with Luke Sital-Singh @ Fine Line 11/22/17

Hope ya’ll enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving with your families! I was lucky enough to kick off the holiday break with cancelled classes and a free ticket to see Luke Sital-Singh and  Angus and Julia Stone, some of my favorite singer-songwriters.

I’ve been following Angus and Julia since the end of middle school – I would listen to Down The Way on repeat on those long, small town, school bus rides. And Luke was introduced to me in high school by a friend who’s “friend, [I] wouldn’t know him because he goes to a different school, but he has this really good spotify playlist that [I] should listen to.” (Sophie and Zach, I’m talking about you).

Before the show, talk in the crowd seemed to be mainly and excitedly about Angus and Julia, but London’s sadboy, Luke Sital-Singh definitely wooed everyone with those hauntingly beautiful songs. I’m pretty sure I hear everybody’s heart’s crack open just a little bit, love and pain spilling out and consuming us all for the rest of his set and for a little bit afterward. He ended with “Nothing Stays The Same,” the first of his I ever heard, and everything seemed to wrap up really nicely, coming full circle.

So I’ve been seriously over-listening to Angus and Julia’s new album, Snow, since it’s release. So. Good. (you can watch the cutest music video ever for the title track below, also Dacre Montgomery is in the video for “Chateau”) The Australian sibling duo were accompanied by musicians from all around the world as Julia later told us, and they put on one of the most honest shows I’ve seen in a while. They exuded humbleness and kept telling us how thankful they were to be where they are, “Angus and I consider ourselves pretty lucky kids,” Julia said. They played quite a bit of new music, but also touched enough of their older hits to satisfy everyone in the crowd – I was just as excited to hear it all.

Maybe it’s where I was standing, but unfortunately, Angus’s vocals were a little drowned out by the guitar in a many songs. I thought I was a pretty big fan, but seeing and hearing some of the craziness up by the stage, I was definitely one-upped, or possibly just very sober compared to everyone else. They came back for an encore, playing “Yellow Brick Road” and “Santa Monica Dream” much to the audiences enthusiasm, making us all fall in love with them all over again.

Luke Sital-Singh

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Angus and Julia Stone

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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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