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MN Rock Archives – Borangutan


Archive for the ‘MN Rock’ Category

Red Pens on City of Music

Author: Skelly November 23rd, 2010

Yesterday MPLS.TV released a live video they recorded of local rockers Ren Pens.  It’s the latest from their City of Music series.  Very nice. 😉


Red Pens – Myspace / Facebook

posted November 23rd, 2010 at 8:34 pm MN Rock, Video ,

What Is/Is What is This Happening?

Author: Skelly November 19th, 2010

IsIs What Is/Is What is This Happening?

What is happening around Borangutan?  Things have been pretty slow around here over the last few months, and chances are, you haven’t noticed (except for maybe a few of you).  A little inactivity has revealed some things about this music blog.  Some of these might elicit a “duh,” while others are perhaps not so obvious.  They are in no particular order:

  1. If a site is SEO’d well and in the good graces of the search engines that be, search traffic is static regardless of whether you publish or not (at least in a short-term / 3-month period).
  2. Referral traffic drops when no publishing occurs.
  3. Referral traffic rises exponentially when publishing does occur.
  4. Direct traffic comprises only a small fraction of overall traffic.
  5. Search traffic comprises the lion’s share of traffic (except during publishing days).
  6. People really like to see news and blog updates via Twitter and Facebook, and if they don’t see them there, then they tend to never visit.

“So Long” – Is/Is

None of this comes as too much of a surprise to me.  With special emphasis on point 6, everyone (loosely) is using social media and social networks these days, and frankly, no one has time to follow a website anymore, let alone 50!  Instead people expect that if you want their attention you had better go to them with what you got, because they’re not coming to you.  From my perspective, it’s nothing to kick and scream about, it just is.

For all you time stressed bloggers out there, there is one profoundly positive aspect to all of this.  If you, like me, receive your highest value readers from social networks, then chances are you needn’t feel so stressed about the lack of time you sometimes invest in your blog.  Search traffic is transient, but once kind folks on social networks decide to give you the time of day, they’re willing to do it often… provided you let them know, and so long as your blogging is passingly decent (I’m proof that not all audiences have super high standards!).  They’ll come twenty times a month for twenty articles, or they’ll come once a month for one article, and if you feel as if you’re slacking, they’ll probably cut you some slack.

That, or in all likelihood, they just won’t notice.

In my unique position, however, there is a particular kind of person who may not cut me some slack who almost certainly notices when I’m inactive.  These are the local artists who are generous enough to send me their music and materials.  The generosity is not in the giving so much as it is in the inclusion.   These people think well enough of me to send a package that likewise is sent to people who move and shake far more things in this local scene than I do.  On occasion I feel that I fail these artists, becoming too caught up trying make ends meet, and having no time to share their work with others.

What I resort to is that old adage “better late than never.”  I actually believe in this statement quite strongly and apply it to the work of others (contextually, of course) as well as to my own.  In the case of Borangutan “better late than never” takes on more potency since A) most people in the Twin Cities really don’t much of anything about the local music scene, and B) there are few who actually do who can keep up with it all anyway.

The result?  Music that is one month, three months, six months, or even two years old is still new to most people, and that being so, still well worth writing about.  The irony is that to be effective as a music blogger writing isn’t even that necessary.  Just post a picture, a video, or a song.  Create a link for the artist and let people know you like the music.  Then call it good.  It’ll be short, sweet, and minus all the boorish and nonsensical embellishments of pop music journalism.  (Hmm… well that was uncharacteristically anti-establishment sounding.)

By the way, did I mention Is/Is’ new EP This Happening is a good listen?  Check this band out at Cause Spirits and Soundbar tonight!


Is/Is – Myspace / Purchase This Happening

posted November 19th, 2010 at 5:42 pm Concert Announcements, MN Rock ,

“Love Is Stronger Than Pride” Video – Halloween, Alaska

Author: Skelly October 22nd, 2010

Do you suppose there was a timely strategy behind the release of Halloween, Alaska’s video for “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”?  It is, after all, in keeping with the season!  “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” features the gentlemen of Halloween, Alaska playing live in what appears to be an attic with a vaulted ceiling.  Pretty straight forward stuff, but what’s up with the little dude in the wolfman outfit?  Must be a shout-out to the season of the witch. 😉

Rumor has it that one can pre-purchase a copy of Halloween, Alaska’s forthcoming Album #4 for $5 via their kickstarter page.  Offer is good through Oct. 31.  Sounds like a deal to me.


Halloween, Alaska – Website / Myspace

posted October 22nd, 2010 at 2:44 pm MN Rock, Video

“Down Down Down” Video – Peter Wolf Crier

Author: Skelly October 22nd, 2010

I’m no film expert, but the production of Peter Wolf Crier’s new video for “Down Down Down” appears plucked directly from the 60’s, sensu intro to the television show the Wonder Years.  Nice song, and nice creative effort on the part of our friends at Northern Outpost.  “Down Down Down” is off Peter Wolf Crier’s latest album Inter-Be, available on Jagjaguwar Records.


Peter Wolf Crier – Myspace / Facebook

posted October 22nd, 2010 at 1:23 pm MN Rock, Video ,

Lost Shepherds Make Music for Transitions

Author: Skelly October 18th, 2010

Lost Shepherds 225 x 225 Lost Shepherds Make Music for TransitionsWell, Indian summer is gone and here comes the cold.  You didn’t seriously think it could last forever did you?  Hopefully you have your frigid gear ready to go.  I’m not one of those people that experiences cold depression at the outset of winter, but I’m also not one of those people who enthusiastically welcomes it either.  Usually at this time of year I find some sort of soundtrack to navigate my way through the rapid changes going on outside, and usually that involves an old Smashing Pumpkins album or something similar.  This season though I have something new.

I’ve been cooped up a lot recently, and unlike others who may feel like tearing confining walls down, I instead get driven toward introspection and self-inflicted seclusion.  It’s just not the best time for rock ‘n roll.  A couple months ago I received an album from a local Minnesota alt-folk band named Lost Shepherds.  Through no force outside of my own somber preference (and perhaps a small bit of laziness) this album has maintained a long tenure in the CD player.

You heard me right – CD player.  Indeed, some of us still use them!

“Unwanted” – Lost Shepherds

When the leaves were green I liked Lost Shepherds’ self-titled record, and as the leaves turned brown I loved it.  Sometimes we take to records for a singular purpose.  Some music is party music, other music is driving music.  Still other music is used as background filler, while others yet capture an instantaneous memory of the first time heard.  Lost Shepherds’ music has been transitional music this season.  While everything outside changes their record stays constant beginning to end.  It’s relaxing, comforting, and holds an elegance that not too many records that cross my desk can translate.  Each song is unique and finely crafted, but all seem at their best when listened to one after the other in the order their makers intended them to be received in.

So if the onslaught of winter has you at the shakes, then pick up a copy of Lost Shepherds, curl up in a blanket, and cut out the worrying!  After all, you’re a Minnesotan, right?  You have the constitution to make it to next summer, and you have Lost Shepherds.

Lost Shepherds’ next show will be at the Kitty Cat Klub on Saturday, October 23 at 9:00PM.

“Calling from the Valley” – Lost Shepherds


Lost Shepherds – Myspace / Facebook / Bandcamp / iTunes

posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm MN Rock, Reviews

“Just Got Paid” Video – BNLX

Author: Skelly October 12th, 2010

BNLX’s new video for “Just Got Paid” is chock-full of subliminal images meant to help you answer that weekly question (or bi-weekly question, as it were) of “I just got paid, what should I blow it on”?  Should I blow it on a condo?  Should I blow it on a bling-bling motorcycle?  How about some cigaweed?

Aw screw it – think I’ll just go plundering failure with some Vikings.  🙁

0 Just Got Paid Video   BNLX


BNLX – Facebook / Myspace

posted October 12th, 2010 at 3:02 pm MN Rock, Video