Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Darners on "Live From Studio 5!"

by Brian P. Rubin

The Darners helped celebrate “Darnsgiving Eve” on Wednesday’s episode of “Live From Studio 5!” The Minneapolis-based four-piece played some great blues-fused-rock tunes, and joined guest host Cher Dial for a solid two hours of darned good rock music (and “darn”-themed puns, of course). 

Bassist John Schwarzkopf

Bassist John Schwarzkopf and guitarist Jake Juusola sang some great harmonies, while Robb Lauer and Adam Luoma held it down on the drums and keys, respectively. The foursome had a tone reminiscent of the Black Keys, but with a bluesier edge. The Darners’ influences of musicians like Jack White, Band of Skulls, and Paul McCartney were clear for all to hear from one song to the next, and they played tunes like “That’s What You Do,” “Rock and Roll Man,” and “All I Need,” many of which having come from their recently released self-titled EP. 
Guitarist Jake Juusola

The first song the band ever wrote, “Armadillo Man,” was extremely memorable, with a solid, slow groove that took hold of your ears and wouldn’t let go. The guys also explained that the band formed through buying a used amp off of Craigslist, showing that sometimes magic can happen in the most unexpected places. 
The Darners closed out the evening with a faithful and rollicking cover of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” a fitting end to a super-solid set. 

Adam Luoma on keys

Robb Lauer on drums

Be sure to check out the Darners’ Facebook page, and check the band out at Brady’s Brewhouse on Saturday, December 7 at 9 p.m., and at Big V’s Battle of the Bands on December 14 at 8 p.m.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Breakfast Anytime on "Live From Studio 5!"

By Brian P. Rubin

Guest host Cher Dial in Studio 5

Breakfast Anytime swung by KFAI’s “Live From Studio 5!” last night and brought its own shoegaze-inspired synth-pop to the Twin Cities airwaves. Led by lead singer and songwriter Garrison Dakota Grouse, the five-piece band played a great set with tunes from its self-titled EP like “Whatever” and “Again and Again.” The group wore its influences on its sleeves, with sounds akin to Muse, Joy Division, and what sounded in some spots like Modest Mouse. Guest host Cher Dial chatted with the group and learned about the band's beginnings and kept the night of great music rolling along.

Lead singer-songwriter Garrison Dakota Grouse manned the keys for most of the night.

Breakfast Anytime didn’t stop at originals, though. The group played a couple great covers too, like a song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, featuring Gretchen Edholm taking center stage on vocals, and “Changes” by the legendary David Bowie with guitarist Ryan Bergeron grabbing the microphone. Despite how disparate those two songs’ styles are from each other, Breakfast Anytime managed to make it all sound solid and natural.

Guitarist Ryan Bergeron and vocalist Gretchen Edholm

One of the best parts of the band’s sound was the tight interplay of bassist Dan Dolan and drummer Josh Gotlieb, the latter of whom was a relatively recent addition to the group. Before Josh joined up, Breakfast Anytime relied on a drum machine, which makes sense considering the synth-heavy sound and its focus on danceable grooves. Adding Gotlieb, and letting him and Dolan work out their rhythms with human soul, had a great effect on the band’s sound in studio. Let’s hope they keep the drums live going forward.

Bassist Dan Dolan

Drummer Josh Gotlieb

Overall, it was a great night on “Live From Studio 5!” Breakfast Anytime can be found on Facebook and Reverb Nation, so hopefully their fans will get an update as soon as they schedule their next show.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Royal Veil on "Live From Studio 5!"

By Brian P. Rubin

DJ Lizzy Rain in the studio.

The Royal Veil came by KFAI’s "Live From Studio 5!" last night and played a superbly heavy and proggy set. The three-piece says it’s influenced by bands like Tool and Muse, and that was evident from the first note, as they rocked out to songs like “Circle of Violence, “Waters,” and “Into the Sun.”

Alex Rohling on guitar.

The band’s full-length album, Kind of the Ocean, took about six months between the first placement of the microphones in the studio to being sent off for mixing and mastering—and considering how detailed and intricate their songs are, it’s not surprising. It came out this past summer, and can be found on the group’s Bandcamp site.

Andy Klockow on bass.

The band was joined in-studio by guest co-host Lizzy Rain, who interviewed the band and shared her fondness for the band’s harmonies, emotions, and frequently shifting time signatures. It was impossible not to be fascinated by what the band was doing in the studio, whether it was with heavy distortion or acoustic guitars.

Steve Bergquist on drums as Doug the Thug watches from behind the glass.

The band is hitting the stage tonight at Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis at 9 p.m., though there are surely more gigs to come soon. Be sure to keep track of their upcoming events on their Facebook page. What a great set!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

MetaForte on "Live From Studio 5!"

By Brian P. Rubin

Guest Host Cher Dial, hugging the Thug.

During last night’s appearance on KFAI’s "Live From Studio 5!", local indie rock band MetaForte swung by to play a great set and chat with guest host Cher Dial, as well as DJs Doug the Thug and DewGlass. The group played songs like “Come at Me Bro,” “Earworm,” and “Bark Bark Bark,” a tune actually inspired by drummer Aaron’s dog.

Eric Anderson

While the group labels itself as an indie rock band, that only tells part of the story. MetaForte clearly has lots of alt rock influences, though there are definitely also elements of the three Ps: pop, punk, and prog. Indie though they may be, it’s tough to pin them down into one specific genre. As their set revealed last night, the band’s ability to change and shift from one genre to the next in each song is one of its greatest strengths. The fact that the group is super tight doesn’t hurt either. Each musician is ridiculously talented, but what was most impressive was the band’s ability to hang together with a tightness that most bands take years to achieve. The fact that these guys have done it in only a few months is incredible.

Alex Francois

Towards the end of the broadcast, guitarist Nathan Kinney spoke for a bit about his other band, Cantankerous Folk, which labels itself as “Gypsy Americana,” while drummer Aaron Silverstein talked about his other band, the loud rock band Battlefish. Overall, MetaForte managed to kill it pretty hard at Studio 5 last night, despite getting called into play at the last minute. These guys were pros all the way through.

For me—Brian P. Rubin, a new blogger with the show—it was a great introduction to "Live From Studio 5!", and I can’t wait to check out what’s coming next Wednesday. Tune us in!

Nathan Kinney (L)
Aaron Silverstein played the drums.