Local Current Blog

Retribution Gospel Choir, Actual Wolf prepping new full-length releases

Credit: Publicity photo

If you’ve ever been to a Retribution Gospel Choir show, you know there’s typically a point about two-thirds of the way through the show when the band switches from playing their punchy, hooky heavy rock songs and unravels into an extended jam. And if you’re in the mood for an extended jam, it’s typically a high point of their show, as frontman Alan Sparhawk leads the band through feedback-laden peaks and valleys. The band decided to capitalize on their ability to improvise with one another by recording two of their longest and jammiest songs for a new full-length album, which is due out on January 22 on burgeoning Duluth imprint Chaperone Records. As Alan Sparhawk of RGC and Low tweeted last night, the album will be “2 songs, 42 minutes.” 

Retribution Gospel Choir drummer Eric Pollard has also been quite busy with his solo project, Actual Wolf. On the heels of last night’s announcement from RGC, Pollard added that he’s also heading into the recording studio to record his first Actual Wolf full-length LP. The recording will take place at Sacred Heart, which is housed inside a converted church in Duluth, and will be helmed by Sparhawk. As Pollard puts it, “there is a lot of music coming out in 2013 from the northern crew.” Catch Actual Wolf live (and maybe hear some of those new songs?) when he performs as part of First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase on January 11.



Philidelphia-based party-rock quintet Free Energy (which is now almost entirely comprised of Minnesota natives) have released another track off their sophomore album. Love Sign is due out January 15, 2013, on the band’s own Free Energy Records, and today they announced that anyone who pre-orders the record will receive a free download of the track “Street Survivor.” The band will be in town promoting the new release on January 26 at the Turf Club.

Stream the track right here. Dudes have that whole “anthemic” thing on lock.



In national news, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held a ceremony this afternoon in L.A. and announced its 2013 inductees: Canadian prog pioneers Rush, groundbreaking female-fronted rock band Heart, songwriter and pianist Randy Newman, hip-hop legends Public Enemy, late disco queen Donna Summer, and blues guitarist Albert King have been chosen along with influential producers Lou Adler and Quincy Jones



In addition to releasing a five-disc collection of original Christmas tunes and launching the cumbersome “Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice” tour (which comes to Mill City Nights tomorrow!), Sufjan Stevens has unveiled a new Christmas rap mixtape. Why does this make me feel really, really awkward? The mixtape is titled Chopped and Scrooged and includes tracks from Heems of Das Racist, Kitty Pryde, Nicky Da B, and Busdriver, with production by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, Fol Chen, and Son Lux. Download it for free here. [Pitchfork]



Depeche Mode will release a new album in March of next year on Columbia Records to coincide with their recently announced European tour. Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore says of the new album: “The music has a similar vibe to Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion and I think the songs on the album are among some of the very best we’ve done.”

A North American tour is expected to follow in late 2013.



And a few more notes:

  • The internet pretty much decided that Solange (Knowles, a.k.a. Beyonce’s sister) is SO HOT RIGHT NOW and should be awarded a blue ribbon for her performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Better watch what everyone’s talkin’ bout here.