Corbin and Bobby Raps: Couch Potato
Half of thestand4rd, Corbin (formerly known as Spooky Black) and Bobby Raps, have joined forces for a surprise EP called Couch Potato, just released on SoundCloud and Bandcamp (where it’s available for download). Bobby Raps produced the EP, which features Izell Pyramid on one track. There’s even an appropriately creepy video for opener “Welcome to the Hell Zone,” which finds Corbin rising—as he does on other tracks as well—into a full-throated, husky roar that expands the expressive range of the typically understated vocalist. New territory indeed for these two rapidly-evolving performers, who will appear with thestand4rd at Rock the Garden in just a couple of weeks.
Rich Mattson & The Northstars: Rich Mattson & The Northstars
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Rich Mattson (Glenrustles, Ol’Yeller, the Tisdales) is continuing his long-running career with Rich Mattson & The Northstars, and they’re releasing their second effort this Saturday at the Turf Club. No tracks off the new self-titled album have been released as of yet, but the self-described “cosmic folk” release This Town (Ghost Town) will provide a sense of their sound in the meantime. (Read about how that song was inspired by the changing situation in Sparta, Minn.)
Calamity and the Owl: Wicked Splendor
It’s taken a couple of years to put all the pieces together, but Calamity and the Owl are finally able to present their debut album Wicked Splendor to the world. The Americana six-piece is a nice slice a of modern story telling infused with a back-in-the-day country kind of feeling. The band’s Tiny Desk submission “For Whom is the Way” is a great way to get ready for their release show at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday.
Cantharone: Sons of the Crow
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Cantharone will be at the Triple Rock on Saturday to release their second EP Sons of the Crow. The classic sound Cantharone are able to channel seems to come with a major Pantera influence, but they take a new direction with their tracks that build to anthemic climaxes. Saturday’s release show is sure to be heavy.
Ancient Mariner: Ancient Mariner
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Colorado transplant Gabriel Jorgensen decided to scrap all of his songs he had written as Ancient Mariner in his hometown of Aurora and make the move to Minneapolis. After arriving with a clean slate, he put out In Solitude, a musical stir-fry carried by Jorgensen’s wispy vocals. Now that he has rooted down, Jorgensen is ready to release his self-titled EP this weekend. The single “Deep Space” hits you with pulsing waves of synths that creep into the fore before receding back into the ocean of atmospheric sounds. The release show is at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday.
Aaron Bolton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. Currently he is a co-host on Radio K’s Off The Record and is the music reporter at Radio K. He hopes to continue a career in music journalism.