Tina and the B-Sides: Barricade
Once fixtures of the Minneapolis New Wave circuit in the 80s, Tina Schlieske and her backing band the B-Sides—or “the B-Side Movement”—have spent recent years leaning toward roots rock and Americana. Now, in 2014, five years after the release of their Best Of in 2009 and 14 years after their most recent studio release as a group, Tina and the B-Sides present Barricade, a stripped-down yet hard-rocking addition to Tina’s impressive discography, out today. The title track opens with deliberate acoustic guitar strumming, builds with gorgeous vocal harmonies, and bursts into the chorus as Schlieske and company wail, “surrender this barricade.” It sees the band, sonically and conceptually, at an intersection of strength and vulnerability, and the album is sure to please TBS fans old and new. Tina and the B-Sides will celebrate the release of Barricade with a release show in the First Avenue Mainroom on Saturday, May 10, with special guests Patrick Tanner and the Faraway Men.
Heiruspecs: Night Falls
When you imagine the components of an album about to be released by a veteran Twin Cities rap troupe, the first things you think of probably aren’t live drums, crunchy guitar riffs, and a guest appearance by the lead singer of Trampled by Turtles. However, that’s exactly what listeners can expect from Heiruspecs’ sixth studio album, Night Falls, and, luckily, the band have meshed and sculpted these idiosyncratic elements into an innovative and compelling final product. The instrumentals on Night Falls are delightfully unexpected, as ambient synth and twinkling pianos suddenly shift to funk organs and aggressive guitars, and vocalists Midway Felix and Muad’dib are at the top of their lyrical game. Night Falls is a smorgasbord of sound, and an exciting ride throughout. Night Falls is out today, and Heiruspecs will celebrate the release with a release show at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, Saturday, April 26. In the meantime, check out the band’s recent performance in the Current’s studios.
Big Lake: Big Lake
The cover of Big Lake’s forthcoming self-titled release, out April 25, sees the tops of two city skyscrapers obscured by gray fog. The image is fitting for Big Lake’s echoey breed of indie rock: moody but optimistic, contemplative but occasionally huge. The record is a bit like Frightened Rabbit meets the Foshay Tower, with ambitious choruses and vocal harmonies carrying the songs to an emotional height. “January Second Election” commands attention right out of the gate while “To Survive”’s old-school doo-wop pop riffs gently bounce along, all making for a rich little record. Big Lake will release Big Lake with a release show at the Turf Club on April 25, with performances by Joey Ryan and the Inks and the Small Cities.
Bonus—Girls in Uniform: “.”
Girls in Uniform is an experimental project based in Brooklyn, but its musical mastermind is a familiar face to Minnesotans: Nicole Brenny, known to Gopher State music fans for her work as Vague-à-Bonde and as the frontwoman of Waxx Maxx, a band that also featured Mark Mallman as well as Brenny’s younger sister Alyssa. Girls in Uniform is a collaboration between Brenny and visual artist Danica Olders, and their new release “.” (Full Stop) is out today as both a digital download and—wait for it—a VHS tape.
KT Lindemann is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Morris, pursuing studio art and Spanish. She is a native of the Twin Cities and is a wannabe musician, artist, and music writer.