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Archive for May, 2010

The Burning Hotels Interview

Author: Skelly May 31st, 2010

The Burning Hotels of Fort Worth, Texas are in the midst of a Midwest / East Coast tour, slated to play Sauce Spirits and Sound Bar in Minneapolis this Wednesday evening, June 2. Lead singer Chance Morgan spared a few moments in his busy schedule to field some questions for Borangutan readers and listeners.

burning hotels 450 x 300 The Burning Hotels Interview

SkellyThe Burning Hotels have a new album out called Novels.  Was there a concept to this album?  Are you fans of great literature, or is there something else to the name?

Chance Morgan:  We love playing music and the outlet that it affords us. Novels isn’t a stepping-stone to get out some hidden agenda, but more of a diary to our lives; individual and collectively.  We have all had pretty turbulent lives from age 21-25, and I think Novels turned into an open discussion about aging and mortality.  Those universal questions like, “what does it all mean?” tend to happen during those years and staying out way too late only intensifies that.  It’s our first attempt into examining and entreating the idea that there are answers to such broad questions.  We feel each song is like a chapter, creating a novel.

“To Whom It May Concern” by: The Burning Hotels

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posted May 31st, 2010 at 5:23 pm Interviews

Moving Castles Theater, Girl – mp3 Download

Author: Skelly May 29th, 2010

MovingCastle 450 x 338 Moving Castles Theater, Girl   mp3 Download

There is a little band out of Tyler, Texas called Moving Castles with less than 5K profile views on their Myspace page and a song that refuses to exit my head!  That song is “Theater, Girl,” and it got dropped in my mailbox several days ago.  Most of the time I’m willing to give a new song a listen if a direct  link is provided, and most of the time I make my decision as to whether I dig it or not in the first thirty listening seconds (I know, gracious by industry standards).

So, if through this process a song ends up hitting this page, I suspect the best music readership in town (that’s you!) will find something valuable and time well spent.  Press play below, but be forewarned: this will be stuck in your head!  Moving Castles just released a new EP, and you can download the whole shebang for free by following this link.

Happy Memorial Day all!

“Theater, Girl” by: Moving Castles


Moving Castles – Website / Myspace

posted May 29th, 2010 at 11:29 am Download

Tracks: Communist Daughter and Brad Senne

Author: Skelly May 26th, 2010

(Tracks is a feature on Borangutan that showcases local artists and their recent album. Many local artists generously donate their music to Borangutan writers, and part of our mission is to take that music and place it in your ears. Voila! Each feature offers a free, limited-time mp3 download (one track) from the highlighted artist’s album, and links to where you can listen to or purchase more.)

Soundtrack to the End: Communist Daughter

Sountrack To The End 450 x 450 Tracks: Communist Daughter and Brad Senne

Ready for a special Grain Belt Records edition of Tracks?  We hope so, since some of the hottest bands coming out of the Twin Cities seem to keep on popping up on this new(er) label.  Did you know Grain Belt Records is now just over a year old?  For those who keep close tabs on our local scene, Communist Daughter is likely met with familiarity.  After a sojourn away from the scene, Johnny Solomon (formerly of Friends Like These) has returned with this newest project – more promising than ever!

Soundtrack to the End is an album full of melodious alt-folk rock tunes, each sounding more modestly honest-to-good than the next.  About a month ago I had the opportunity to catch the band before a packed house at Sauce Spirits and Sound Bar.  The band couldn’t seem to go wrong, and it was refreshing to witness a local band with a fan base who really seemed to believe in the power of the songs laid bare before them.

If you haven’t already, it’s about time you got into Communist Daughter.  You can connect up with them on either their Myspace or Facebook pages, and it’s worth swinging by their Pretty Kids Collective page and checking out some of their chums too.  Your next chance to see them?  Try Taste of Minnesota on June 2 July 2.  Grab an oversized turkey leg and do-it-up Minnesota style!

It might be in good measure to pick up a copy of Soundtrack to the End ahead of time too. 😉

“Not the Kid” by: Communist Daughter

Aerial Views: Brad Senne

Aerial Views Tracks: Communist Daughter and Brad Senne

It must have been several months ago that I stopped into the Bedlam Theater and caught a Brad Senne performance.  I’m a fan of Minnesota folk, and I don’t just mean Bob Dylan.  Charlie Parr and Bill Isles are two others that I tend to favor as well.  But Brad Senne is something a little bit different.  He presents a youthful twist to a traditional style.  As a former student of classical guitar I can say with some kind astonishment that Senne’s finger picking is something to marvel at, and his songcraft is no slacking matter either!

Just listen to the first track off Aerial Views entitled “Weighted Wings.”  I have a front porch attached to my house with a CD player that can face outwards to where I sit on a warm, breezy summer day.  Aerial Views makes me think “just in time for summer.”  Just kick back with a gin and tonic and forget about the daily drivel that appears on the pages of your life.  Aerial Views is an escape!

Brad Senne keeps an active Myspace page, probably the best place for you to listen to more from Aerial Views.  But for you staunch supporters of local music, why not just go ahead and pick up a copy now?  Why wait?  Especially since Brad Senne’s next local show date is quickly approaching on June 11 at Cafe Maude in Minneapolis, and you want to hum along don’t you?

“Weighted Wings” by: Brad Senne

posted May 26th, 2010 at 2:59 pm MN Rock, Tracks ,

The Envy Corps Talks Iowa Super Groups, “Screen Test”

Author: Chris V. May 20th, 2010

Envy Corps 12 682x1024 The Envy Corps Talks Iowa Super Groups, Screen Test

The Envy Corps headlines Friday at the 400 Bar with It’s true and Textonka (8 p.m. doors, $8, 18+).

I prepare the traditional set of questions for my interview with Luke Pettipoole of Des Moines’ The Envy Corps: influences, stories from the road, personal demons, etc.

But when I catch a video on the band’s Facebook page in which lead-singer/songwriter Pettipoole and his bandmates taste-test corndogs and funnel cakes at the Iowa State Fair using a rating system of “buttered Shawn Johnsons,” (i.e. Olympic gymnast from West Des Moines), I opt for the off-grid questions.

“So, who’s in your Iowa super group?”

There’s a pause on his end of the line, he debates the parameters (does The Killers’ guitarist and Pella-native David Keuning count?), an obligatory mention of his “own band” is made, and then he goes for the deep ball: “I’d love to have Joey Jordison…”

Background: Jordison is co-founder/drummer for Des Moines-based Slipknot and the guy who drums while wearing a hockey mask the color of turkey grizzle. My instinct is to localize Slipknot and their macabre scene mostly to junior high locker rooms circa 1999. But, Pettipoole makes it sound like the death metal renaissance had at least a good year or two of sustained fury and hell across the shelterbelts of Iowa.

“I was really into Norweigan Black Metal back then—mostly to annoy my parents.”

Pettipoole’s musical taste has evolved. A couple winters ago in Omaha he was burrowing through thrift stores when he found an old Hammond organ for $25. He plugged in the organ at practice and started messing with the accordion-like pushbutton chords. The rest of the band picked up and the Ouija-board like result was “Screen Test,” the electro-buzz-rock anthem that the Current rightfully kept playing last fall.

“Screen Test” by The Envy Corps

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posted May 20th, 2010 at 2:43 pm Concert Announcements, Interviews, Music News, Uncategorized ,

Little Man Plays the Big Leagues at Target Field

Author: Skelly May 19th, 2010

LittleManPress Little Man Plays the Big Leagues at Target FieldI always smile when I hear of a local institution paying its due respect to one of our local artists.  This isn’t a congratulatory smile so much as a visible sigh of relief – a sort of, “oh, thank God one more business possesses some civic sense”!  See, while I don’t promote anyone’s individual sense of entitlement, I do take a position that institutions, both private and governmental, have a level of civic responsibility to promote or support cultural communities.   More specifically, the local arts!  We could all go back and forth I’m sure on to what degree this is a responsibility, but I know many in the arts community think there should be more public opportunities to showcase their art, and I tend to agree.

So how thrilled was I to hear through the grapevine that one of the little guys got to take a swing in the majors!  St.  Paul’s Chris Perricelli (aka. Little Man) scored a playlist slot recently at the new Twins’ Target Field Stadium.  As indicated on the Little Man Blog, Twins baseball music director Kevin Dutcher got his paws on Little Man’s “Lifted Me Like A Curse” and decidedly had to place it in rotation.  Score one more for the little force!

“Lifted Me Like A Curse” by: Little Man

Thank you Target Field for stepping up to the plate and taking a swing for local culture, and since we’re on topic, how about a little dirt kicking to dust some shoes?  What other local businesses or institutions could do a better job of providing some opportunities for local artists?  I think I’d like to see a Best Buy commercial with a home-grown musical backdrop.  C’mon Best Buy, just shoot me an email – I’ll connect with some stellar local artists.  If ESPN could do it, you can do it!  About four months ago I witnessed Sick of Sarah being synched during Sport’s Center.  For those of you familiar with Sick of Sarah, I’m sure the irony isn’t lost here. 😉


Little Man – Website / Myspace

posted May 19th, 2010 at 4:16 pm MN Rock, Music News ,

“The Morning Sun” Video – Andy Elwell

Author: Skelly May 18th, 2010

I have this guilty secret that I keep because it’s not very manly.  In fact, in many ways it’s altogether childish, but it has been with me for a long, long time.  I’m getting rid of it now.  You know that 1987 animated movie of Transformers?  The one where Hot Rod becomes Rodimus Prime by opening up the Matrix?  Yeah, well, I get teary eyed every time during the scene where Optimus Prime dies.  I just can’t help it.  I got teary for it the first time when I was 7 years old and I haven’t escaped it since.  Knowing this, though, I should add that it is one of the few scenes in any film or video that has this sort of effect on me.

Alright, so the cat’s out of the bag, but here’s the segue.  Andy Elwell’s new video for “The Morning Sun” nearly brought on an Optimus mortem moment (but not quite).  It wasn’t Andy Elwell or Margaret Lane of Hildur Victoria that caused this, at least not specifically.  Instead, it was the setting.  I’ve hiked nearly every micro-ecozone of the Upper Midwest (believe it or not, there are quite a few), and when I see depictions or enactments of real life on the landscape I love, well, let’s just say it’s why I can never leave here.

If you’re a true Upper Midwesterner, this video is for you (cheers Northern Outpost), and the song will make it all the more meaningful, I think.  Well done, Andy Elwell – I’m move, well done.


Andy Elwell – Website / Myspace

posted May 18th, 2010 at 6:54 pm MN Rock, Video ,