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Hippo Campus

Hippo Campus

Every band clamors for every inch of traction when they’re first starting. The confident, jangly pop of Hippo Campus is doing much of the work for the St. Paul-based band. A performance by the quartet earned the respect of local hero Alan Sparhawk of Low, who signed on to produce their EP, Bashful Creatures. The […]

Happyness

Happyness

Chances are, if you’re reading about the band Happyness, you’re also reading a list a Who’s Who of the Indie ’90s. That’s not a band thing when you’re a buzz band looking to break out, which is exactly the South London trio is doing now — playing 13 times at South by Southwest in Austin […]

Sean Watkins

Sean Watkins

I’ve seen Sean Watkins perform twice over the last two years without ever seeing Sean Watkins, Performing Artist. Last year, the Nickel Creek reunion tour brought the talented songwriter and guitarist to the Ryman, and the previous year, the Franklin Theater hosted Sara Watkins with her brother in tow. But it’s been a long time […]

Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery

Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery

Joshua Powell has always aimed high. From high cultural influences to a high musical standard, there’s a reason Powell teaches classes as an adjunct professor in his mid-twenties while making electric folk records steeped in Russian literature. Yet the barrier has never been there between Powell and his audience, as the Indiana resident has worked tirelessly to […]

Sinkane

Sinkane

Sinkane enjoyed a tremendous year in 2014, yet the beauty of his album Mean Love (DFA) should have garnered much more acclaim in our opinion. An imaginative, soulful amalgam with a guest list to die for, Mean Love was one of the year’s most enjoyable releases for any mood in any setting, front to back. But Ahmed […]

The Dodos

The Dodos

There’s no separating the last two records from The Dodos, Carrier and Individ. Though Individ is the band’s sixth and latest album, they were recorded very close together and in the same season in which everyone was grieving the loss of touring member Christopher Reimer (Women), who died unexpectedly in 2012. Through it all, Meric Long says […]

Cold Specks

Cold Specks

“My life tends to crumble halfway through a tour,” Al Spx says during our pre-interview pleasantries. The artist known as Cold Specks in the studio and on the stage is taking a respite from such activities early in 2015 after dropping her celebrated Neuroplasticity last August, but in April she’ll step out with Sufjan Stevens to […]

Murder By Death

Murder By Death

If you’ve given Big Dark Love a few spins, you’re already clued into just how good Murder By Death sounds these days. So when Adam Turla tells me he feels more confident than ever in the music the band is making, I’m not in the least bit surprised. If you’re new to Murder By Death, you’re […]

Chadwick Stokes

Chadwick Stokes

Chadwick Stokes is not a household name. Not yet anyway. However, his first project with a little group called Dispatch left an indelible fingerprint on youth culture that bookending the millennium. Original fans are a bit older now, and some even sheepishly admit to an unfounded fondness for the band during their youth. The hesitance […]

Viet Cong

Viet Cong

Nanaimo, British Columbia, is a relatively small town located a ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia from metropolitan Vancouver. The allure might be limited for some, but it didn’t take much for Matt Flegel. Any way to escape another winter in the Canadian prairie was enough for the Viet Cong vocalist. “My girlfriend got […]