James Murphy DJ set @ First Avenue

LCD Soundsystem are no more, but that doesn’t mean their front man James Murphy, has retired.  The DFA record label co-founder is still performing, as a DJ.
He stopped by First Ave to spin a 3 hour set, which by most measures, is pretty lengthy.  Truth be told, I only made it an hour.  Having just come from another concert and needing to get up to go to work the next day, I was intent on seeing 2 AM from my bed.  Sadly, I wish I could have stayed the entire time, because I’m not sure when I’ll get that atmosphere again.
Continue reading at MinnesotaConnected.com.
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Kings of the Mic Tour @ Target Center

Kings of the Mic Tour @ Target Center

Walking into the Target Center to hear the Kings of the Mic tour, 3 security guards ran by saying concernedly “it was either a knife or an iPad”. You’d think those 2 things would be easy to tell apart, but more importantly, it perfectly describes what the Kings (and their fans) were, and are now.

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The Bloody Beetroots (w/ Valentino Khan) @ Skyway Theatre

How can less people attend a Monday night show you might wonder? Simple, make that Monday night a holiday. Toss in an extra late night set time, and it becomes painfully obvious why the Skyway Theatre was empty for The Bloody Beetroots. Lucky for the few in attendance however, the performances that night weren’t reflective of the small crowd.

To continue reading the rest of the review go to MinnesotaConnected.com.

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The Presets (w/ Dragonette) @ First Avenue

Two bands with similar sounds, but very distinctive stage shows. This was the scene at First Ave for Dragonette and The Presets.

For the full review, head to MinnesotaConnected.com.

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Black Moth Super Rainbow (w/ The Hood Internet) @ Fine Line Music Cafe

For a Monday night, this was a really great show to see.

First up was The Hood Internet. These guys have been around since 2007 releasing some really awesome mixtapes. They've even been through Minneapolis a number of times, but I've missed them every time, so it was great finally catching them live.

Tonight manning the decks was just one half of the Hood Internet team, Steve Sleeve. Starting right on time at 9:45 with a pretty unenthusiastic "Ok, I guess I'll start now", Steve blasted through 45 minutes of great dance-able mash-ups. As the set built up, the crowd got more and more lively, cheering louder with each new song. He told the crowd how crazy they were for a Monday, which is true, although calling them a crowd was being generous considering their actual numbers. It was still a Monday after all.

The crowd got noticeably larger or at least they all gathered on the floor around 10PM for Black Moth Super Rainbow. I was able to get a pretty good spot right upfront, but realized my view might be blocked by the giant mixer/briefcase/laptop setup. As it turns out, the lead singer hides behind it. So I ended up having a great view of a guy that clearly didn't care to be seen. His hat and hoodie didn't help matters either. This briefcase held his mixer and microphone which allowed him to alter his voice for each song as it was performed.

There were some obvious fans in the crowd, with someone in the middle yelling "People in the front row, what the fuck is wrong with you". He obviously felt they weren't into the show as much as he thought they should be. Whether he moved up, or they got into the game, it eventually got rowdier as the hour long set progressed. At one point a small attempt at a mosh pit was made.

The set ended exactly at 11 o'clock. Although they never once addressed the crowd, or really even acknowledged we where there, it was an interesting show to attend. If you were high, it was probably an out of body experience. The music was great and was a perfect soundtrack to a somewhat weird and awkward stage show.

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Marijuana Deathsquads @ Icehouse

The 2nd night of a 5 night Marijuana Deathsquads residency at Iceshouse was a who's-who of local Minnesota music, and I didn't even know who everyone was. The Icehouse Twitter said the show would kick off at 10ish. In reality it was almost 11:30.

Lizzo (ft Cliff Rhymes and Lazerbeak) blazed through a quick and energetic 30 minute set called LIZZOBANGERS. And bang, it did.

Next up, the main event, Marijuana Deathsquads performing something dubbed SLAM DUNK. Although their equipment had been setup the whole time, and Lizzo finished before midnight, MDS didn't start until after midnight. But hey, who needs sleep on a Wednesday night.

The set starts out with a video of Dee Brown's Pump-Up Slam Dunk, but just the part of him pumping up his shoes, over and over and over. Then the "Oh!" from EMF's "Unbelievable" starts to get mixed in, timed with video of a different NBA player slam dunking. Finally the pair of drummers started and everyone else joined in. Slam dunk, I get it now.

This wasn't the typical MDS show though, this time around all the vocals were done by a rotating cast of MCs. Two at a time, they would take the stage, rap, and get the MDS remix treatment in the process all while video rolled of well timed slam dunks. The cast of MCs included Lizzo, Sophia Eris, Mike Mictlan, POS, Manchita, Cliff Rhymes and Spyder Baby, and that was only half of them. They carried this through for the next hour and never once let up.

I thought previous MDS shows were a sight to see, but this one tops them all. There are still 3 more shows this month, ending with the debut of their two new EP's "Music Rocks 1 and 2".

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DJ Shadow @ Mill City Nights

Last December DJ Shadow was booted off the stage at Mansion Miami after only playing 20 minutes. He has since gone on tour promoting that mix called the 'All Bases Covered' tour.

He stopped at Mill City Nights this time around to do a traditional DJ set, as oppose to the last time he was here at First Ave for the 'Live from the Shadowsphere' tour which had some pretty impressive production.

He started off the night by letting the audience know that he's basically going to play what he thinks is good music and that he's recently been experimenting with bass music. Later, he mentioned that those in the back probably aren't sure why they're here, but hope they learn something anyway. Midway through he pointed out the fact he was doing this all sans laptop. I'm a huge DJ Shadow fan, but man, he really sounds like he's got a chip on his shoulder. Mind you, the 2nd floor was closed off and there was plenty of room to move. We get it, you're not a mainstream DJ and you're not going to conform to the current EDM world just to make a quick buck. It was clear because that's all you seemed to talk about. In other words, he was "too future" for most people.

The show itself was good otherwise. If you've been to an EDM show of any sort and wondered what exactly the DJ is doing up there or if they're doing anything at all; it was obvious at this show. Not only did you hear/see all the regular DJ Shadow tricks (mixing, sampling, scratching), but you also saw him drum live on a drum machine. He's just not up there appearing to adjust the volume and twist some knobs he's doing what you'd expect a DJ to be doing. The music was good and got most of the crowd to move almost the whole time. My only gripe (other than his griping) was the bass. It was so overwhelming it was almost a distraction. In fact, it was a bit of a relief when he'd let up and you could actually hear the music.

He ended the show with a live rendition of the his classic, Organ Donor. Since I got hooked on DJ Shadow with Endtroducting, this was the highlight of the night. Based on the reaction of the rest of the crowd, I imagine it was their highlight as well.
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