Tune-Yards @ First Avenue



I have a confession. For the longest time I assumed Tune-Yards was fronted by a guy. It wasn't until I finally heard them being discussed that I heard the lead singer referred to as a "her". That's not to say her, who is Merrill Garbus, voice is bad, far from it actually. Seeing her perform live not only provided an opportunity to hear her unique and distinctive voice in person, but also showed how amazing it was and the incredible range it's capable of.

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Basilica Block Party

Basilica Block Party

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Cut Copy @ First Avenue



The last time Cut Copy stopped by the mainroom at First Avenue, it turned out to be one hell of a dance party, and this time around was no different. Three years and another album later, the Australian four piece dropped into Minneapolis in support of their new album 'Free Your Mind', and brought their entertaining brand of dance music with them.

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Jungle @ Fine Line Music Cafe


Given the limited or non existent appearances of the band Jungle up to this point, it came as no surprise the confusion the audience had when first seeing Jungle. The band from Britain, has only released a handful of songs, along with a few videos. Those videos and promo pictures definitely insinuate who the band is, when in fact they are 4 white guys and a girl (at least that's who showed up in Minneapolis last week). I over heard a couple different, "that's not who I expected to see at all" and a "is that them" from people around me. However, after the initial unexpectedness wore off, the audience fell right into the groove of the music. 

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Cher @ Target Center



It'd be difficult to write about Cher's performance at the Target Center without mentioning her age. So let's just get it out of the way. At 68, she looks and sounds great, and I hope when I'm that age I'm in that good of shape. Obviously she's letting the dancers do all the heavy lifting, but that doesn't mean she's just sitting there doing nothing. She did have at least 11 costume changes in 90 minutes, after all.

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Kishi Bashi @ Fine Line Music Cafe



Friday, the Fine Line Music Cafe hosted Kishi Bashi, a violinist, songwriter, and beat boxer, who put on one of the most musically diverse and interesting shows you'll see. Real name Kaoru Ishibashi, he's toured and performed with the likes of of Montreal and Regina Spektor

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Soul Food Festival



This was to be a fun and casual opportunity to see some live music while on vacation, and with the wife. A handful of old funk bands, should have been a fun night at an amphitheater near the water in Palm Beach Florida. It was a joke.

Although it had start off 2 hours late, it still seemed like they were on time. Lakeside and Confunkshun sounded great. The older, seated crowd seemed to like it, but never go out of their bag chairs. Then the slowdown began. 

We thought Cameo was next, but then all of the sudden Morris Day and the Time came on stage, and played all of 4 songs. Then we waited, and waited. We were then asked to vote on who should play next, Bootsy, or Cameo. Everyone wanted Cameo. We were losing time, and it was a shitshow.

Eventually, Cameo came out and played 3 songs. 3 SONGS. The band said they wished the could play every song they knew, but that would be hard to do given they waited until 10:45 PM to take the stage. It. Was. A. Joke.
Pictures:
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Haim @ First Avenue

Haim @ First Avenue


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Chromeo @ First Avenue



"This is what a Tuesday night looks like in Minneapolis" Dave 1 pleasantly realized at Chromeo's mid week stop at First Avenue. He and P-Thugg, his quiet vocoder loving partner, burned down Minneapolis while out on their tour promoting their new album "White Women", which is due May 12th. 

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Tycho @ First Avenue

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Live Portlandia Viewing with Fred Armisen @ The Cedar Cultural Center



Tuesday night, a sold out Cedar Cultural Center was treated to a live viewing of the 4th episode of Portlandia's season 4, titled 'Pull-Out King'. Fred Armisen was on-hand to introduce the episode and then stuck around afterwards to do 90 minutes of Q&A with the audience.

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Arcade Fire @ Target Center



Almost anytime I'm asked to wear formal attire or the like, the party I'm attending is a bit stiff or trying too hard. Thankfully not all parties are like that. Saturday night Arcade Fire proved that a controversial suggestion to wear formal attire can actually create a party atmosphere in an arena sized venue.

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Cibo Matto @ The Turf Club



18 years ago, in 1996 I would drive around Lake Harriet with my girlfriend and her little brother and sister who were 7 at the time.  We would roll the windows down and scream the lyrics to 'Know Your Chicken' from Cibo Matto's first full length album, 'Viva La Woman'.  To this day my now 24 year old brother and sister in law ask what the name of that song was about chicken.  If they felt so inclined, they could have gone to the Turf Club Tuesday night to put some faces with names.  Unfortunately, they would not have heard "that song about chicken" but a lot of other good food related songs. 

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Atmosphere "Welcome to MN" tour @ First Avenue



Monday night at First Avenue saw the conclusion of the 2014 Welcome to MN tour. Though some may have had off Monday for Presidents' day, they likely didn't have off Tuesday, but that reality didn't dampen the party vibe one bit. By the time Atmosphere took the stage around 10:30, the mainroom was drunk, figuratively and literally.   

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Neutral Milk Hotel @ First Avenue



There are two camps when it comes to Neutral Milk Hotel; those who are deeply in love with the band and those who have never heard of the band (I'm part of the latter).  Neutral Milk Hotel are a band from the mid to late nineties that released 2 albums and then disappeared for the next 16 years, until in late 2013 when they announced a string of dates, which ultimately brought them to do 2 sold out nights at First Avenue.  Jeff Mangum, the band's singer, songwriter, and guitarist had essentially packed it all in shortly after the release of the final album in 1998 becoming somewhat of a recluse, which he dressed the part perfectly as, last Tuesday night.

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St Lucia @ Fine Line Music Cafe



As the lights went down last Sunday night, signalling the impending arrival of the St Lucia to the stage at the Fine Line, David Bowie's "Let's Dance" played. Almost as much of an invitation it was a suggestion and preview of the next 75 minutes. When Jean-Philip Grobler arrived he crowned Minneapolis the coldest city in the universe, which on that night, wasn't far from the truth.

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89.3 The Current's 9th Birthday Party @ First Avenue



Last Friday night, First Avenue hosted the first of two nights celebrating The Current's 9th birthday party. Most of the Current DJs and staff were on hand to fulfill hosting duties throughout the weekend, which gave it a real happy birthday vibe. If you weren't lucky enough to get tickets, which were offered to MPR members first and sold out days before the shows, you could have listened to the live broadcast on the radio. Friday night showcased the talents of Actual Wolf, Strange Names, Lizzo, and Har Mar Superstar.

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Darkside @ First Avenue



Darkside stopped by First Ave on Saturday night for what was a very exciting, and also boring (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) show. If you have listened to their music before, it was exactly what I thought it would be and more. In the end, it was a 90 minute concert that could have easily been 60 minutes.

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Marijuana Deathsquads @ Triple Rock Social Club



Before heading off to Europe with Polica this week, the Deathsquads hit up the Triple Rock for a final send off last Thursday.  This being my fourth time seeing MDS perform, it was easily their most polished.

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Koo Koo Kanga Roo @ Minneapolis Institue of Art



I can safely say that I was more excited to see Koo Koo Kanga Roo at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) on Sunday, than my 4 year old.  Going to a concert with Dad (and Mom) really sounded exciting to her, but I'm not sure she knew what to make of the band once we finally arrived.  

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