Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Gramma’s Boyfriend, Alison Rae and Negative Beach

Album artwork for Gramma's Boyfriend's "The Human Eye."


Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

Gramma’s Boyfriend

Many of you may already know Gramma’s Boyfriend, a band that has played regularly in the Twin Cities since 2010 and features an all-star local cast of musicians: Haley Bonar, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Jacob Hanson, Luke Anderson and Mike Lewis. Their weird mish-mash of punk and glam rock, bolstered by their stage costumes, has made the band one of the more electrifying live acts in the metro since the turn of the new decade. It’s refreshing to also see Bonar taking on a persona so different than what she’s known for.

Their debut album The Human Eye has been on Bandcamp for a while (and since taken down), but the news is that they are getting a re-release on Graveface Records out in Savannah, GA. The label is well-known for its one-off releases with artists such as Black Mother Super Rainbow, Dosh, Serengeti, Jason Molina and many others. On February 12, it will get the vinyl and digital treatment, and a release show is also being planned. “We R Ctrl” is one of my favorite songs off the album and the accompanying City Of Music video for it is still an unhinged piece of genius.

  1. Listen Gramma’s Boyfriend – “We R Ctrl”


Alison Rae

The local team has been getting a lot of tips from the Northfield area on Alison Rae, and while I don’t get much of a chance to go down there, it seems that she’s one of the more sought-after musicians in town. Her new EP I Wrote You A Letter went up on Bandcamp on Wednesday, and it’s like we have our very own Marissa Nadler in Minnesota. In fact, she gives Nadler a run for her money in lead single “Hide and Seek.”

My introduction to her was a gorgeous contribution she gave to a Counterfactuals demo last year (by the way – when IS that Counterfactuals record coming out?). Her voice adds a great layer to really anything, and I would love to see this unfold in a live setting. A release show may be in the works for sometime in April, but for now, indulge in it digitally.

Fun facts: recorded at home, co-produced by her cousin Peter Miller (We Are The Willows) and Jeremiah Satterthwaite and artwork by Katie Vernon.

  1. Listen Alison Rae – “Hide and Seek”


Negative Beach

This band is a recommendation from Nicole Brenny, also known as Vague-A-Bonde. They recently shared a bill together at Cause, and I had no idea who or what Negative Beach was. Preliminary investigation led me to some Soundcloud songs that were very promising. Brenny gave me the low-down.

Negative Beach is two guys: Christopher Sexton and Riley Farrell. They met in middle school and have been making music since then. This incarnation began in 2012 as just a home-recording project, but Jared Isabella (Night Moves, Dream Crusher, Sexcat) helped them make the transition into a live setting. A debut EP is coming in the spring.

Their sound is a little difficult to pin-point. A few key phrases come to mind: minimal and slow at one moment and then pop electronica the next, like on the song “Vacant Home.” The duo is still young, but I think good things are on the horizon for them as they begin to play out more often.

  1. Listen Negative Beach – “Vacant Home”