Local Current Blog

Black Diet, Alpha Consumer, Little Man, and more Minnesota record releases this week

Black Diet at First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase in January (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Alpha Consumer: Meat

On their first release with fearless local powerhouse Totally Gross National Product—home to Lizzo, Poliça, and Marijuana Deathsquads—three-piece rock outfit Alpha Consumer present Meat, a dark, retro-futuristic full-length, out today. The record sounds a bit like 80s art rock for a new generation, with lyrical themes relating to mental health and overmedication. Imagine if David Byrne’s spasms and Fred Schneider’s affected vocals banded together to take down big pharmaceutical companies (the record assertively calls out to “the brain doctor” and a “Miss Positron,” and narrates the goings-on in “a circular room”). Meat is manic and biting, but crazy fun; challenging, but highly listenable. Even its inconsistencies are thoughtful, as the guitars shift from new-wave chorus to distortion to the Americana finger-picking style of “shadowless.” With Meat, Alpha Consumer have crafted a danceable breed of weird, and have pulled off a conceptually and sonically ambitious record. Be sure to check out the band’s video (above) for “The Eat,” directed by Chuck Statler, who is known for his work with Devo, one of Alpha Consumer’s clear influences. SPIN called the video “Devo-licious.”

Little Man: Original Face

The Little Man that the Twin Cities know is actually the second incarnation of the band, which was originally formed by frontman Chris Perricelli in Chicago in 1998. In that time, Perricelli has worked hard to develop his sound, which harkens back to 60s psychedelia and the might of classic rock (heck, he even kind of looks like Let-It-Be-era George Harrison). Perricelli is an experienced guitarist and exuberant bandleader, and Original Face, out April 18, sees the group taking risks with composition and sound, completed to the stunning rock effect that fans have come to expect from Perricelli and crew. Little Man will release Original Face with an April 18 release show at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, with performances by Pink Mink and Fury Things. Get to know Perricelli better in his long interview with the Current’s Andrea Swensson.

Taylor Robert: Down With It

Formerly Taylor Baggott, singer-songwriter Taylor Robert has found himself at the intersection of many genres throughout his career—including pop and country—and now is set for the release of Down With It, a soulful pop single. The single was co-written by Ryan Liestman and Michael Bland, who, between them, have resumés that include Prince, Soul Asylum, and the Jonas Brothers. Taylor Robert—featuring the Humanizers—will release the single with a show at the Dakota Jazz Club on Friday, April 18, with performances by G’Beau, Young Ry, and Ladyboi.

Tyte Jeff: Tyte Jeff EP

As he sings, “Watch these Apple Valley girls, they’re dancing on table tops,” the opening line of “Loose Crowns,” Jeff Allen, formerly of Plastic Constellations and now the frontman of Tyte Jeff, sounds something like the Craig Finn of the outer-ring suburbs. Allen’s lyrics are observational an honest, and that, mixed with his evocative, stylized vocals, makes him an cynical fly-on-the-wall narrator to youth and millennial party culture. The record also features no-nonsense percussion and old-timey piano riffs that bounce under Allen’s deliberate acoustic guitar strumming. Tyte Jeff is a raucous six-song record with a uniquely contemporary sense of humor. The band will release the EP with a release show at the Turf Club on Saturday, April 19, with performances by Valet and the Ronnie Buxtons.

Black Diet, Find Your Tambourine

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Piñata Records, Minneapolis’s retro-inspired micro label, has been busy as of late, releasing a compilation record, last week’s Mystery Date single, and finally, Find Your Tambourine, the debut full-length from the soul-rock crew of Black Diet. The band has already established a big presence in the local circuit, playing—and slaying—March’s “Are You Local?” showcase and January’s Best New Bands showcase, so expectations are certainly high. Luckily, Find Your Tambourine is an energetic ten-song dance party: big, warm, colorful, and setlist-worthy from start to finish. Frontman Jonathan Tolliver shows off his brassy, warbly vocals and seemingly impossible range, backed up by fellow vocalist Mugsy’s elegant, sassy lilt. The record’s single, “Unbroke,” is impossible not to shake your hips to, as hand-clap percussion and funk organ carry the song to its delightful, earworm chorus. Find Your Tambourine will be released on CD and digital format on April 19, and the band will celebrate the release at Hymie’s Vintage Records’ Record Store Day Block Party, which features ten hours of performances beginning at 11 a.m.

Porcupine and Buildings Double EP release

Both anticipating releases by California’s Riot House Records, Twin Cities rock outfits Buildings and Porcupine, releasing the EPs It Doesn’t Matter and I See Sound, respectively, will take the stage at Icehouse on Friday, April 18 for a one-two punch of fuzzed-out Twin Cites punk. Both EPs are available on vinyl, with Buildings’ official release set for May 13 and Porcupine’s for April 19—Record Store Day!

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.