Local Current Blog

Piñata, “Pony,” Glean, and a GRRRL PRTY sneak listen: This week’s Minnesota record releases


Piñata Records: Hit Parade Sampler

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The latest compilation by Piñata Records proves that this local label is aptly named, since Hit Parade Sampler is a mixed bag of sweet treats, so full of energy that you’d think it’s about to burst. Out February 15 and streaming now on Bandcamp, Hit Parade features nine tracks by Southside Desire, Narco States, Black Diet, Mr. Hide, and Mystery Date, and will be distributed free on CD at the Saturday release show—while supplies last. The sounds on Hit Parade Sampler range from the lighthearted, nostalgic soul-pop of Black Diet and Southside Desire to the crunchy rock of Mr. Hide and Mystery Date to the jagged surf-punk of Narco State. Hit Parade Sampler never suffers a dull moment, which is a testament to the talent and enthusiasm of Piñata Records’ up-and-coming acts. Hit Parade Sampler will be released at a release show at the 331 club, featuring performances by four out of the five acts (Southside Desire, Narco States, Black Diet, and Mystery Date) on the record.

Doug Keith: Pony

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Doug Keith was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in the Minnesota music scene, and although he currently works on the East Coast, it’s clear that he hasn’t shaken that Midwestern work ethic. “A pony will work, nonstop, until it physically cannot work anymore. I’m like that.” Hence, Pony: Keith’s latest record. While he garnered attention as a guitarist and bassist touring with folk-rock songstress Sharon Van Etten, Keith’s solo sound on Pony includes drone, Americana, and arena rock influences, all topped with Keith’s gravelly baritone. “Pure Gold in the 70s” explodes into a gigantic climax, while “Harvest Home” opens the album with dreamy harmonies. Pony is out today and available for digital download and on CD via Keith’s Bandcamp page. Read Gabby Coll’s Local Current feature on Doug Keith here.

Glean: EP-1: Echoes and Waves

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To get an idea of Glean’s sound, imagine Lana Del Rey as a theatrical goth-rock ghost haunting a sunken ship. Brooke Aldridge’s emotive alto register croons, whispers, and wails as liquid strings and effects paint a dark underwater landscape. As it were, the sinking of Titanic served as a major source of inspiration for Echoes and Waves, and the band embarked on musical pilgrimages to the dock where the ship set sail and to the hometowns of victims to record some of their sounds. The final product is an impressive debut effort by Glean: an ambitious conceptual undertaking executed to chilling effect. Echoes and Waves is set for release on February 15 and is streaming now on Bandcamp. Glean will celebrate the release of Echoes and Waves with a release show at Cause Spirits and Soundbar on February 15, with performances by the Melismatics and the Beatifics.

BONUS: GRRRL PRTY Listening Party

While GRRRL PRTY’s long-awaited debut TNGHT hasn’t yet been officially released, the women of GRRRL PRTY are offering fans an exclusive first listen with a listening party tonight at Muddy Waters. (For background, read Andrea Swensson’s Local Current post about GRRRL PRTY and our increasingly fluid local hip-hop scene and her interview with GRRRL PRTY’s Lizzo.)

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.