From the Hood. January.
So I'm going to try my best and make this a monthly feature. The twin cities is more than just corn-fed girls and too many lakes -- we've got a kicken' music scene, jack. Ever since those first settlers mistook this place for whatever they were looking for, we've been plucking strings and taking names and penning songs about freezing weather. Here are a few local bands that warm me up on these January nights. I don't know where Duplomacy came from, but I know that I like them. I saw them a few times over at Big V's and once at the Turf, and they always deliver. Their soft-stated indie-bars are well-written and infectious, and they regularly appear wearing the requisite hooded sweatshirts. Plus, "Coppertone" is a cool title for a song. If "The Hold Steady" sound familiar it's because they probably are. Lifter Puller was a minnesota staple for around a decade and then lead-man Craig Finn up and moved to NYC to either follow his habit, or seek fame and fortune. Their new record Seperation Sunday cuts deep and the writing is incredible. It's steeped in this drug-addict-reborn-jesus-freak vibe, but I'm not smart enough to figure out what that means. Most people get turned off that the guy can't really sing or do anything but sort of shout brilliant lyrics. I can't think of another current band that prints all the delicious words on their website and in the liner notes, but that is really what these songs are all about. So Mr. Kinstler is sort of a mystery to me. I've been following his music for about a year, but I have yet to hear his LP or see him live. I've got a few scratchy mp3s of unknown origins, but I like his song-writing, like his voice, and would love to see his Monthly slot at the 400 bar. Chris Koza is a recent NYC transplant. Rumor has it that he heard me say that the Minnesoa scene was about to break, and he hopped a Sun Country jet. He's got a weekly gig somewhere in NE and seems to have positivity flowing in his direction. Enjoy. So this band is no longer known as the Olympic Hopefuls -- they were sued by the Olympics and now they are just "The Hopefuls". They still perform in warm-up track suits, and they still play fun indie-pop. Kid Dakota and John Hermanson bring something for everyone. This is a silly, fun, I-like-you-song.