My internet was temporarily out so there is a noticeable gap between this post and my last one, but now I’m back online!
I’d quickly like to pay respect to some Minneapolis legends, The Replacements. This video, for the song “Bastards of Young” from the album Tim, is a perfect statement that the band was unwilling to change to please anyone. Instead of making a commercially marketable video, the band made a video that consisted of one black and white, continuous shot of a speaker in a room where someone listens (and reacts) to the song. The Replacements never gained big commercial success, but they have been hugely influential to alternative rock musicians and members of the Minneapolis music scene. Please enjoy this classic video.
If you’re not familiar with The Whigs you can stream their new album, Enjoy the Company, right now at Paste Magazine. The album is the band’s fourth, and the first with New West Records. The Whigs have a fun, garage rock sound and are known to put on a great, intimate show. If you’re in the Twin Cities on Saturday I wouldn’t miss it. Tickets are available in advance and at the door for $15.
On November 12, 1945 rock legend Neil Young was born in Toronto, Ontario. What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said about Neil Young’s 50+ years making music? So rather than tell you that I’m the expert on Neil Young (which would be a lie), and copy+pasting his Wikipedia bio, I’d instead like to talk about his 2010 album Le Noise and the profound effect it had on me.
I discovered this album while attending music production school in Minneapolis, and experiencing my first year living in the city. The first thing that stood out to me was the production by Daniel Lanois. I couldn’t believe that Neil Young’s voice and one guitar could sound so full and intriguing. I spent many long bus rides through the city with my headphones on, losing myself in the lush wall of sound. It was as if Neil Young was singing directly to me, but miles (or even decades) away.
However, the reason why I hold this album so near and dear to me is because of Neil Young’s storytelling. Lanois did many things to add a modern twist to Young’s sound, but it does nothing to diminish the power of his words and delivery. In a time when every song on the radio is about partying, money, clothes and all else, songs like “Love and War” and “Hitchhiker” are signs that there are still musicians putting their heart and their pain into their songs.
While this may be the thirty-third studio album by Neil Young, do not make the mistake of overlooking it.