Local Current Blog

Friday Five: Mint Condition, Meme, Kevin Bowe, and more

It’s been an especially fertile week for new music, at least as far as my desk was concerned; I seemed to open one package after another stuffed with promising new CDs. (Yes, people still send us those. How quaint. And if you want your tunes considered for airplay you should too.) 

That new music rush should carry me through the next few weeks of this busy fall, and keep an eye on the blog for interviews with a few of my favorite acts from the stacks. And for a preview of what’s to come, I’ve included a couple new discoveries below.

1. Meet Meme

Composer Danny Burke and vocalist Lizzie Brown spend their days making music for television; Danny won an ASCAP Film and TV Music Award for his work on the theme to Alaska: The Last Frontier, while Lizzie’s voice has been heard on everything from Jersey Shore to The Real World. But their real passion lies in creating original music together as Meme. They just released their debut album last week, and have been posting a series of mesmerizing stop-motion and animated music videos to the web. Here’s one of my favorites, “Young.”


2. Katy Vernon finds her voice

A year ago, folk artist Katy Vernon recorded her first song in her bathroom, accompanied by only her ukulele. She wasn’t happy with the quality of the recording, but it was enough to win the support of a small troop of fans and raise enough Kickstarter money to record a proper album. That record, Before I Forget, comes out next month, and you can see Katy this weekend when she performs at Uke-Fest 2012 and learn more about her backstory in the video below.


3. Mint Condition want you to believe in them

And now for something completely different. Did you know Minnesota’s biggest R&B act has a new album out this week? Music @ The Speed of Life is being distributed by Target and features guest appearances by Brother Ali and DJ Jazzy Jeff, among others. You can catch them celebrating their album’s release at First Avenue on Friday, September 28 (the same night The Chalice releases their debut EP in the Entry).


4. Kevin Bowe is In Too Deep

Recent Local Show interviewee and longtime scene staple Kevin Bowe (who has collaborated with musicians ranging from Etta James to Paul Westerberg and Chuck Prophet) released his star-studded album Natchez Trace earlier this year. In this video, he performs with only an acoustic gutiar and harmonica as his accompaniment and proves that he has the chops to hold it down alone.


5. Surprise! Prince fans had more fun in the ’80s

A glimpse into the oh-so-romanticized era of Prince’s heyday, via a very random clip of a Prince look-a-like contest that was held in Washington, D.C. in 1985.