Local Current Blog

Purple Snow, Actual Wolf, Frankie Lee, and more: Minnesota record releases this week

Various Artists, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis sound

Before Prince broke to the top of the pop charts in the 80s, a group of progressive and like-minded artists were already heating up the Twin Cities music scene through the end of the 70s. Specializing in funk, sex, and technological advancement, these artists—from Andre Cymone to Sue Ann Carwell to Flyte time and many more—contributed to the development of the Minneapolis Sound, and are now celebrated in Numero Group’s stunning compilation, available on two CDs or four vinyl discs. Marking Numero Group’s 50th mainline release, the reissue also includes a hardbound book detailing the rich musical history of the era. Purple Snow will make music fans everywhere want to party like it’s 1979. Purple Snow is now available; the official listening party will be held at the Depot Tavern on December 5.

The Cactus Blossoms, Live at the Turf Club

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In 2012, country brother band the Cactus Blossoms began their year-and-a-half long residency at the Turf Club, finishing up in summer 2013 with the recording of a live album. Loaded with twangy instrumentals, vocal harmonies, and old-school aesthetic, the Cactus Blossoms’ sound is captured in action at their old stomping grounds. The band will also be returning to the Turf Club for a CD release show on December 5.

Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir, Bummer Songs

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Melodic young punk Dan Mariska’s forthcoming Bummer Songs is a hot pink LP full of catchy, gritty pop-rock tunes with titles like “Getting Down with the Frown” and “Stay Inside.” It’s a pity party with emphasis on the party: idiosyncratic and high-spirited. Mariska’s album is already available for download on Bandcamp, and will be available on vinyl December 5. Mariska and the Boys Choir will be performing a co-release show at the 7th Street Entry on the 5th alongside Faith Boblett, whose impressive album Oil and Water was released earlier this fall.

Frankie Lee and Tara Fox, East Side Blues/If I Want To Split 7”

A unique voice producing gorgeous, slow-burning alt country, singer-songwriter Frankie Lee presents a split 7” with Los Angeles artist Tara Fox. The record features Lee’s track “East Side Blues” from his beautiful debut EP Middle West, as well as Fox’s “If I Want To.” Available only on 300 vinyl copies, the record will be released at Frankie Lee’s dual vinyl release show with Actual Wolf at the Turf Club on December 7. Lee and Fox will then head out to the southwest for their Desert Sands tour.

Actual Wolf, Actual Wolf

Evolving from Eric Pollard’s one-man band to an act featuring the talents of Steve Garrington, Jacob Hanson, and Jeremy Hanson, Americana rockers Actual Wolf present their debut self-titled album, produced by Alan Sparhawk of Low. The first single, “Kerosene and Spark,” rings with rich guitar and deliberate percussion, setting the stage for the album. Actual Wolf will also be released, alongside Frankie Lee’s split record, at the dual vinyl release on December 7 at the Turf Club. (Hear Actual Wolf’s “Hydrant Eyes” on Spotify.)

Glow Mechanics, Schmo Mechanics

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After earning a fair amount of play on college radio with their debut EP Introducing…, up-and-coming hip-hop group Glow Mechanics—comprising emcees Ghostmeat and BEV with producer Es El—return with their first full-length album, Schmo Mechanics. Carried by thoughtful lyrics and listenable, back-to-basics production, Schmo Mechanics fits right in with the Twin Cities’ populous canon of hip-hop records. The album will be released at the group’s CD release show at the 7th Street Entry on December 8, and attendees will receive a free copy with admission.

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.