Friday, January 31, 2014

The Jelly Project Returns to “Live From Studio 5!”

By Brian P. Rubin
The Jelly Project made their second visit to KFAI’s “Live From Studio 5!” this week, and proceeded to play a raucous set of rough and tumble rock music. The four-piece is comprised of Eric Mitchell on guitar, Christopher Reifsteck on bass, Paul Solem on drums, and the eponymous Angelica “Jelly” Thomas fronting the band with powerful vocals. They were joined by Doug the Thug, Dewglass, and guest host Liz Molland on her second stint as guest host on the show.

The group was also joined by the ladies behind the “Twin Cities Chicks Who Rock” calendar for a few minutes. But once they split, the group got back to rocking pretty hard. Liz put it best when she said to Jelly, "you have a powerful, awesome voice." Tough one to argue, that.

Throughout the set, the band blasted out songs like “Fireside,” “Ginger Love,” “Legends Die,” and “Ugly Dirty,” the title track of the band’s last album. The group also played tunes from its most recent album, Debaucherous. With driving rock grooves and heavy distortion, the Jelly Project plays music that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. So if you want to give it a listen, it can be downloaded for free on 
(with each track linked on this Facebook page) until this Sunday.

If you want to see the Jelly Project live, they’ve got two shows in St. Paul this Saturday: first at the Winter Carnival in downtown Saint Paul, and then later that night at Wild Tymes. If you want to get more Jelly Project, don’t forget to scope out their Facebook page.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The High Crimes on “Live From Studio Five!”

By Brian P. Rubin

It was another cold and blustery night in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis, but the vibe in KFAI’s Studio Five was plenty hot thanks to the High Crimes. The five-piece rock band belted out tune after tune on “Live From Studio Five!” and thrilled hosts Doug the Thug, Dewglass, and the ever-reliable Cher Dial.

The group—comprised of Ben Marker on vocals, Riggs Kessler on lead guitar, Miles Adams on rhythm guitar, Matthew Fox on Bass, and CJ Vanderpoll on drums—offered up a tight set, with high energy rock songs that had their hard rock and southern blues influences on display for all to hear. Even though the genre was decidedly “rock,” it was clear that each of the guys of the High Crimes brought their own influences to bear on the overall sound. 

Both guitarists came from North Wisconsin, while bassist Fox and drummer Vanderpoll come from the south, Georgia and Louisiana, respectively. Vocalist Marker splits the difference of north and south, hailing from Nebraska, and the combination of these three regions is apparent in every song the band plays.

The High Crimes played songs off of their upcoming album This Place is Under Arrest—tunes like “The Shakes,” “Lay Your Body Down,” and “Guns in the Attic.” The High Crimes also hit a few covers, including “Mountain Song” by Jane’s Addiction, and “Non-Fiction” by the Black Crowes. And they also debuted “Mother Mary,” a song which they had never played live before, giving “Live From Studio Five!” the exclusive on that one.

One aspect of the High Crimes’ performance that was noteworthy was something that just couldn’t be seen because of the nature of radio. At one point, Cher complimented Marker on his dancing.

“If I don’t dance when I sing,” Marker replied, “I’m never in tune.”

The band is working on writing and recording their next record, but are set to appear at Foodstock in March, an annual event in the Twin Cities where entrance to the music festival is granted after concert-goers bring some non-perishable food that can be donated to local food pantries. Be sure to keep up with the High Crimes on Facebook to keep up with all their upcoming rock and roll goodness.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Eclectic Ensemble on "Live From Studio 5!"

By Brian P. Rubin

This past Wednesday, the Eclectic Ensemble made their way to KFAI to play a memorable show on “Live From Studio Five!” Even though only four musicians were in attendance—Brian Schumann on guitar; Eddie Estrin on wave drum and chaos pad; John Vance on program synth; and Tim Donahue on electronic percussion, bass, and electronic dulcimer—the Eclectic Ensemble has been made up of many, many more people throughout its years of existence.

Originally having grown out of Donahue’s late-90s project called the Minneapolis Improv Group, the Eclectic Ensemble has seen something to the tune of 20 or so members at one time or another. Interestingly, this was actually the first time the foursome who came to KFAI had ever played all together. Despite the newness of the arrangement, the four-piece group set about bringing their ambient, improvisational sounds to the studio, much to the delight of Doug the Thug, DewGlass, and guest host Liz Molland. And Molland—sister-in-law of Joey Molland from the legendary band Badfinger—had a first of her own on Wednesday, enjoying her first evening of hosting duties of “Live From Studio Five!”

When Molland asked Donahue about the name of one piece, he offered up a succinct explanation of the band’s mission:

“We don’t really have names for our pieces. It’s more about creating an emotional atmosphere—that’s what it’s all about.”

Molland also asked about what kind of response the Eclectic Ensemble gets from listeners at shows.

“We seem to inspire movement, especially in public performances,” explained Donahue. “We don’t arrange it or anything, but suddenly some dancer in the audience decides that this is the kind of soundtrack that they want to move to.”

At one point, Doug the Thug noticed that while the four men were the ones making much of the music, the group had some digital help as well. An iPhone, of all things, was adding to the sounds.

Donahue explained the iPhone’s role in helping shape the Eclectic Ensembele’s soundscapes:

“That is the device that is playing sound effects. So throughout the course of this set, you’ll hear recordings from all over the world. That’s what I’m using to play those back. Anytime you hear a festival in Thailand or maybe a tropical beach, or a soccer game in a Columbian bar, that’s what the phone’s doing.”

The Eclectic Ensemble can be found next during the Art Shanties event on White Bear Lake, which goes from Saturday February 1 through Sunday, February 23. The group will be playing on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on sunny days—the catch is that the music will all be solar powered. And if you want more of the Eclectic Ensemble, check out their page right here.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Demolition Means Progress

dmp1 copy (1)
Sometime Everything is in Need of a Little Urban Renewal
Members        BJ Bonin - jangles, shoutin'
Mike McCloskey - booms, yellin'
Grant Martin – bottom
Amy Waller -  electric cello. 
In the past this did not bode well for the poor and the unconnected, however, when you’re talking musical urban renewal, it’s a whole different thing.
These guys did “Live From Studio 5!” like you're supposed to.
Well practiced, tight, smooth and entertaining, I found myself having to restrain the impulse to dance.
Only two problems during the performance,  We had some problems with the vocal mics, and our headphone setup was, shall we say, crap and the show was over before we knew it.  I could have gone on for another hour, but “In Your Ear” would have been upset with us.
The vocals and the music were clear and bright, and as I said, I was hard-pressed to avoid dancing.
One member was unable to attend, and would have made for an amazing sound.
Amy Waller plays electric cello.  It's actually an acoustic cello with a pickup into a bass amp.  She uses guitar and bass effect stomp boxes (distortion, delay, octave) like a guitarist which adds a lot to a song in terms of both sheer sound and lots of vibe.  She also plays with her instrumental band "Not From Here" and has another project going too.
So if you want to fill your hall with a group who is dedicated to bringing a way cool grove, invite 'em to the next big show.
Below is borrowed from their Facebook page:
Demolition Means Progress is a jangly indie rock band based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Demolition Means Progress is an indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. Having played together in some form or another since 2000 (as The Underthings), BJ Bonin and Mike McCloskey became Demolition Means Progress in late 2011. To help resolve a revolving door lineup (that included members of No Man’s Land, The Persian Leaps, and Red Shadow Chorus),
Their EP "Destroy as Directed" has song topics that range from politics to silly road trips to relationships, each with a different musical theme (punk, Americana, rock). "Destroy as Directed" has been described as REM meets the Pixies, or Billy Bragg meets Sugar. Think Teenage Fanclub with a cellist, or Murder By Death with shoegaze pedals.
“The melodies are memorable and captivating, the songwriting is solid, and the lyrics are warm. If you love alternative or indie rock, or anything with great melody and energy, this is a must-have" --Jamsphere, Nov 11, 2013
Record Label  Go Forth Records, Crony Records
Release Date  Destroy as Directed, October 15, 2013
Check out the music here…
Check out the performance on “Live From Studio 5!” here
And the video here
Let us know how we are doing, and like us on facebook here
The Live From Studio 5! Blog
Also follow on twitter
Sorry for the delay, this blogger has been ill.
If you are interested in blogging, social media, music news reporting and reviews, contact me at dewglassproductions@gmail,com
We also need photographers, videographers, on the fly audio production and more.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Turn Back Now on “Live From Studio 5!”

By Brian P. Rubin

The band Turn Back Now swung by KFAI to play on “Live From Studio 5!” and were joined by Doug the Thug, Cher Dial, and Dewglass. The five piece band labels itself as “apocalyptic lounge rock’n’roll”—and as strange as that description is, it fits the group’s sound surprisingly well. Turn Back Now is telling a story with its songs, documenting the life of a man with a tenuous grip on reality—who breaks out of an asylum just as the world is ending.

The music complements the lyrics by combining elements alt-rock’s hard edges and lounge’s swingy rhythms. Songs like “Piranha Prima Donna,” “A Lady Always Knows When to Leave,” and “Looking for Pliers” all have vastly different feels to them, but can all definitely and definitively sound like the work of Turn Back Now. The story they’re telling is dark and strange, and they’ve got the musical stylings to back that up.

So who’s in the band? Justin Johnson is on the bass, while Nate Shroud is on guitar—though the two like to switch from song to song. Meanwhile, Rachael Guertin also slings a guitar while providing backup vocals to Claude Culotta’s lead vocals. Matt Jarvi rounds out the group on the drums. And comic artist Colby was also in the studio to talk about the comics he’s putting together based on Turn Back Now’s story.

The band also took a moment to discuss where the name “Turn Back Now” came from. Said lead singer Claude:

“There’s a scene where John Ritter is in the back of a taxi or something, and this balloon floats up next to him, and it slowly rotates to the camera, and it says ‘Turn Back Now.’”
When he saw that there weren’t any bands called that, his group changed its name from Dog Named Sorry to Turn Back Now, and the rest is history.

In addition to their originals, Turn Back Now also gave their renditions of Reba McEntire's "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," and Nirvana's "In Bloom." You can listen to music from Turn Back Now’s EPs Before Things Get Too Weird and Surrealestate on their artist page on ItMusic. You can also find them on Facebook and ReverbNation. Be sure to check those pages for upcoming dates—and watch out for the end of the world while you’re at it.