Minnesota’s Most Famous Singing Trio: The Andrews Sisters’ inventive harmonies buoyed a nation at war and topped the charts

What comes to mind when you think of the Andrews Sisters? Maybe holiday classics like the Bing Crosby collaborations “Jingle Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” You might remember the Andrews Sisters’ appearance in the comedy “Buck Privates” or the World War II-era hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” You might even know that the Andrews Sisters spent … [ Read more]

Voices in the Wilderness: Bands (other than Bon Iver) that chased the muse into the woods

I n 2008, when Justin Vernon debuted his Bon Iver alias with the release of “For Emma, Forever Ago,” the music world was forced to grapple with a project so far-flung from indie music at the time that it was soon shrouded in myth. Soft, sparse, and smoldering with emotional intensity, “For Emma” led curious … [ Read more]

Musical Minnesota: Visiting 8 destinations around the state immortalized in song

Planning a Minnesota road trip? Check a local landmark off your bucket list—specifically, one of these places made immortal by shout-outs in song. Get your playlist and your map app ready! Red Wing “Kelly’s Bar,” Trampled by Turtles Our musical road trip starts on Old West Main Street in Red Wing, Minnesota, where a particular … [ Read more]

The Genre Rebel: With fluidity, confidence, and company, Bailey “26” Cogan shirks genre and makes music for joy

Listening to the music of Bailey “26” Cogan—songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of the Minneapolis-based group 26 BATS!—is not a passive experience. While listening to the band’s latest album, “Onyx,” on the Green Line recently, the sharp rays of sun bouncing off windowed office buildings and fresh puddles mirrored the album’s vocals and bright notes … [ Read more]

The Sound and the Money: 3 ways musicians support their dreams of making music

While some musicians are financially successful enough to focus exclusively on music, most aren’t quite so lucky. For the average musician, making a living can be a difficult puzzle to figure out. “It’s not going to look the way a lot of people think it will. It’s not glitzy and it involves a lot of … [ Read more]

The Replacements vs. Hüsker Dü: Four decades on, which local band looms larger?

Two of the most influential rock bands in Minnesota history just happened to hit the scene at the same time. Hüsker Dü exploded out of the Macalester College campus, while the Replacements crawled up from South Minneapolis. Formed in 1979, both groups became legends with international cult followings. Lots of people were fans of both, … [ Read more]

The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 2

Four local artists on collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State This is part two of a two-part conversation with three up-and-coming Minnesota-based hip-hop artists—Kamilla Love, booboo, and Student 1—and Medium Zach, an artist with two decades of experience, about Minnesota’s hip-hop scene. Read Part 1 here. I’m Sean … [ Read more]

The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 1

Four local artists discuss collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State I’m Sean McPherson and I’ve been playing bass in Twin Cities hip-hop groups for 20+ years now. I went to St. Paul Central, and I started a band that’s still active today called Heiruspecs, and I met a … [ Read more]

Liquid Music: Former ballet dancer’s alt-classical series is on point

Curatorial dynamo Kate Nordstrum launched The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series—now in its seventh season—to international acclaim. From her years training as a dancer to curating concerts across the country, music inspires Kate Nordstrum to action. “As a dancer, you relate to music viscerally,” says Nordstrum. “You think about how it feels in your … [ Read more]

10 Notable Minnesota Albums of 2018

Low ■ “Double Negative” If you were to stand on the shores of Lake Superior in February, you might be able to imagine how Low’s “Double Negative” came to be. Like the tumultuous stacks of ice that grow and break as waves crash onto the North Shore, the 12th studio album from the Duluth-based trio … [ Read more]

Masters of Arena Rock: Why sound engineers are to thank for the ultimate concert experience

There are few experiences as memorable as attending your first concert in an arena. You enter the doors of a cavernous dome and squint to find the section and row of your seat on your ticket. You take your seat, the lights dim, and the rumble of bass being pumped through a dozen loud speakers … [ Read more]

Why the Smell of Locker Rooms Trigger Panic Attacks in Musicians: An essay by Rob Morgan  

I’m told your sense of smell is linked more closely with your memory than any other sense, and I’ve never wished that that wasn’t true more than I do right now. I’m sitting backstage in Yokohama, Japan, listening to the muted sounds of the opening band finish their set before we go on, and my … [ Read more]

Painting the Court Purple: Looking back on the sportier side of Prince

Prince loved a good pair of heels. He was often found sporting them on stage or in public, along with his famously outlandish wardrobe. But occasionally he preferred sneakers over heels—so as not to scratch up the gym floor. During his time at Bryant Junior High and into his years at Minneapolis’ Central High School, … [ Read more]

Freddie For A Day

To commemorate what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 72nd birthday, Hard Rock Cafe at the Mall of America is hosting a Freddie For A Day Tribute event on Wednesday, September 5. This free event is open to the public and will feature a performance by The Crown Jewels—A Tribute to Queen. Additional activities will include … [ Read more]

Not Just a Happy Apple: Mike Lewis on John Prine, Bon Iver, and his very own music

How the hell can a person go to work in the morning and come home in the evening and have nothing to say?”  That’s singer/songwriter John Prine. Well, that’s Mike Lewis quoting Prine’s song “Angel From Montgomery” while sitting next to me at a countertop. We’re nearing the end of an hour-long conversation, and I’ve … [ Read more]