Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve In Minneapolis

Pert' Near Sandstone and Trampled By Turtles play at the Orpheum Theater. Tickets are $25 for an 8 p.m. all-ages show. Al Franken will M.C. the New Year's Countdown.

Buy tickets here.

Download: Pert Near Sandstone - "Fly Around"
Download: Trampled By Turtles - "Arming Of Infants"

Pert' Near Sandstone
Trampled By Turtles MySpace Page

Brother Ali

Brother Ali rings in 2008 at the 7th Street Entry for a 9 p.m., 21+, sold out show. Opening are Ali's tour DJ BK One and Toki Wright.

Download: Brother Ali - "Original King"
Download: Toki Wright - "Kyendi Kyendi"

Brother Ali MySpace Page
BK One MySpace Page
Toki Wright MySpace Page

Vampire Hands


Vampire Hands, who will be performing at the concert as Fun House-era Stooges and STNNNG, who will be doing their best ZZ Top, are playing a 21+, 9 p.m. show at the Turf Club. Thunder In The Valley, playing as themselves, open the show. Definitely the most unique way to celebrate 2007 leaving and 2008 arriving. Tickets at the venue.

Download: Vampire Hands - "Opium Typhoon"
STNNNG - "Manic Mechanic" (ZZ Top Cover)
Download: Thunder In The Valley - "So The Story Goes"

STNNNG MySpace Page
Vampire Hands
Thunder In The Valley MySpace Page

Solid Gold

Solid Gold, Mark Mallman and The Alarmists* all play at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. Tickets are $18 dollars for the 8 p.m. 18+ show. Buy tickets here.

Stream Solid Gold's music at their MySpace Page
Download: Mark Mallman - "Deathwish"
Download: The Alarmists - "Hired Gun"

Solid Gold MySpace Page
Mark Mallman MySpace Page
The Alarmists MySpace Page

Happy New Year From MFR!

PS - For another New Year's related goodie, check out Casiotone For The Painfully Alone's just-released 4-track version of his song, "New Year's Kiss", here.

(Jonathan Graef)

*Full Disclosure: A writer for this blog has recently worked publicity for The Alarmists. Their mention in this blog is in no way due to favoritism, nor should be viewed as an endorsement, per se.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tonight: The Umbrella Sequence At The Uptown Bar

Download: The Umbrella Sequence - "At The Great Lake"
Download: The Umbrella Sequence - "Urban Lull (At Once Charmed)"

It's an Event anytime that Minneapolis-based propulsive, genre-hopping group The Umbrella Sequence play a show, to be sure, but tonight's show at the Uptown is extra special. Not only is the Umbrella Sequence's show tonight their penultimate show of 2007, but it's also their last show in MPLS before the group starts out 2008, Events with a tour of the UK.

The Umbrella Sequence released their album, Events, this past summer and it was not only an expert execution in the psychedelic, synth-driven, pop music that The Flaming Lips have been making since the late 90s. The difference between the two bands is that The Umbrella Sequence also include bursts of guitar-rock, which help to ground the more ethereal keybord sounds by creating an awe-inspiring juxtaposition of dream and reality. And judging by the blood-drenched pictures up on their MySpace page, the live show should have a bit of a conceptual edge.

Doors are at 9 p.m. for the 21+ show. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at the venue.

MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Pet.s EP Release Party at the 7th St. Entry Tonight

Download: To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie - "Lovers and Liars"
Download: Daughters Of The Sun - "Light As A Feather"

Wes Statler's noisy-ish new band Pet.s takes a sharp turn away from the pop-savvy Melodious Owl that he once fronted. When Pet.s played at the Beat this summer, Statler's stage performance incorporated victorious moments of catching a touchdown pass in slow motion and rushing the crowd. Should definitely be an interesting set of shows, especially the late show; just check out that awesome bill.

Early Show:
Zibra Zibra
obchod na korze
5pm - All Ages

**Late Show:
To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie
Daughters of the Sun
Zibra Zibra
9pm - 21+

Pet.s on MySpace

(Ian Anderson)

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Minneapolis Fucking Reads: City Voted Most Literate In America

Download: The Hold Steady - "Stuck Between Stations"
Download: William S. Burroughs & Kurt Cobain - "Quiet Waters"
Download: The Books - "Read, Eat, Sleep"
Download: Jayber Crow - "What Poets Know"
Download: Jason Anderson - "The Library"
Download: Joanna Newsom - "The Book Of Right-On"
Download: Belle And Sebastian - "Wrapped Up In Books"
Download: The Magnetic Fields - "The Book Of Love"
Download: Pedro The Lion - "Magazine"
Download: Low - "Medicine Magazines"
Download: Atmosphere - "Smart Went Crazy"

Via City Pages and USA Today comes the news that Minneapolis has topped a poll of the most literate cities in America. Furthermore, St. Paul is ranked third. This is a significant because at the poll's start five years ago, the city was at the number 11 spot.

You can read the article in its entirety by clicking here. Up top is a playlist with songs about books, magazines, authors and anything else related to the written word. Enjoy!

And quit slacking off, Chicago!

(Jonathan Graef & April Wright)

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tonight: The Nina, The Pinta At The Turf Club

Minneapolis-based art punk quintetThe Nina! The Pinta! are playing tonight at Turf Club. The group, who've earned comparisons to Pretty Girls Make Graves and The Hives, released their first full-length LP at a show two weeks ago at Big V's after many years of touring around the Twin Cities area.

Judging from the songs streaming at the band's MySpace page, the wait will have been more than worth it. Songs like "Blind Children Marching" combine the urgent yell-sing of post-post-punk bands such as the aforementioned Pretty Girls Make Graves with the straightforward fuzzy guitars redolent of the neo-garage rock bands who starting making noise around the early aughts. That's a lot of revivalism, but the hooky, angular nature of The Nina! The Pinta!'s songwriting still easily can capture one's attention in the right setting--sulking in your bedroom, with your headphones on, for example.

Opening for The Nina! The Pinta! will be slack-pop MPLS band Little Sister, synth trash-punkers Buildings and jangly indie-rockers We Became Actors. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show is 21+

Stream all of the band's music at their respective MySpace pages:

The Nina! The Pinta! MySpace Page
Little Sister MySpace Page
Buildings MySpace Page
We Became Actors

Buy tickets for the show at the venue.

(Jonathan Graef)

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Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

That is all. Watch the preview here.

(Jonathan Graef)


Casiotone For The Painfully Alone Release Exclusive Download In Honor Of New Year's

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "New Year's Kiss" (New Download)
Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Young Fields" (from Etiquette)
Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Cold White Christmas" (from Etiquette)

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, a Chicago-based electronic indie-pop band, have posted an exclusive four-track version of a previously released song titled "New Year's Kiss". The The original rendition of the song is available on CFTPA's last effort, 2006's Etiquette. The song itself tells the tale of a walk-of-shame--the song's narrative details include the narrator walking past a beauty shop in what he wore last night--with the song's protagonist telling the story of how he pursued what was ultimately an anti-climatic new year's kiss--received "on the balcony/with champagne lips."

The music is, appropriately enough, slightly melancholic, with a bevy of distorted instruments, though that may just be the fidelity of the recording, laying the foundation for the synth-heavy track. That the song ends on an abrupt note (literally and figuratively) is fitting given that the song is all about the mild, but palatable, disappointment of a bad new year's kiss. But hey, a bad kiss is better than no kiss at all, yes?

Download "New Year's Kiss" at CTFPA's A/V Page or listen to it at the top of the post, along with two other songs from Etiquette.

Buy Etiquette here

MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

MFR's Top 10 Lists for 2007

Hello dear readers! The MFR Staffers have voted, tallied, and posted! It looks like we agree with most of our readers, however, as usual, we have a few curveballs in there too. Enjoy, and be sure to let us know how right or wrong we are!

The Ten Best Records Of 2007, Songwriting/Listenability:

1. The National – Boxer (26)
Download: The National - "Start A War"

2. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (13)
Download: Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go"

3+4. (tie)
Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala (10)
Download: Jens Lekman - "Night Falls Over Kortedala"

Interpol - Interpol (10)
Download: Interpol - "No I In Threesome"

5. Pharoahe Monch – Desire (9)
Download: Pharoahe Monch - "Free"

6+7. (tie)
Okkervil River – The Stage Names (8)
Download: Okkervil River - "Hand To Take Hold Of"

Tegan and Sara - The Con (8)
Download: Tegan and Sara - "Back In Your Head"

8+9. (tie)
The 1900s – Cold & Kind (7)
Download: The 1900s - "Cold & Kind"

Belaire - Exploding Impacting (7)
Download: Belaire - "Don't Delay, Participate!

10-13. (tie)
Gospel Gossip – Sing Into My Mouth (6)
Download: Gospel Gossip - "Shadows Are Bent"

Iron and Wine – The Shepard’s Dog (6)
Download: Iron and Wine - "Boy With A Coin"

St. Vincent – Marry Me (6)
Download: St. Vincent - "All My Stars Aligned"

Voxtrot - Voxtrot (6)
Download: Voxtrot - "Firecracker"

The Ten Best Records Of 2007, Innovation:

1. M.I.A. – Kala (19)
Download: M.I.A. - "Bamboo Banga"

2. Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam (15)
Download: Animal Collective - "Choices"

3. Battles – Mirrored (14)
Download: Battles - "Atlas"

4. LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver (12)
Download: LCD Soundsystem - "North American Scum"

5+6. (tie)
EL-P – I’ll Sleep When Your Dead (10)
Download: El-P - "Run The Numbers"

Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta! (10)
Download: Golgol Bordello - "Wonderlust King"

7. To Kill A Petty Bourgeiosie – The Patron (9)
Download: To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie - "The Patron"

8. Dan Deacon – Spiderman Of The Rings (8)
Download: Dan Deacon - "The Crystal Cat"

9. Zelienople – His/Hers (7)
Download: Zelienople - "Parts Are Lost"

10+11. (tie)
Gospel Gossip – Sing Into My Mouth (6)
Download: Gospel Gossip - "Shadows Are Bent"

Radiohead - In_Rainbows (6)
Download: Radiohead - "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"


Staff Lists:

Ian Anderson

1. Interpol - Interpol (10)
2. The National - Boxer (9)
3. Tegan and Sara - The Con (8)
4. Belaire - Exploding Impacting (7)
5. Voxtrot - Voxtrot (6)
6. Menomena - Friends and Foes (5)
7. The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour (4)
8. Feist - The Reminder (3)
9. David Vandervelde - Moonstation Band (2)
10. Andrew Bird - Aprocrapha (1)

1. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (10)
2. Battles - Mirrored (9)
3. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (8)
4. Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice (7)
5. Radiohead - In_Rainbows (6)
6. Beirut - Flying Cup Club (5)
7. Menomena - Friends and Foes (4)
8. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (3)
9. M.I.A. – Kala (2)
10. Mother Goose - S/T (1)

1. Belaire - Exploding Impacting
2. Voxtrot - Voxtrot
3. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band
4. Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
5. Menomena - Friends and Foes

1. Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala
2. Feist - The Reminder
3. Black Kids - Wizard Of Ahhhsss
4. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
5. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga


Jon Graef


1. The National – Boxer (10)
2. Pharoahe Monch – Desire (9)
3. The 1900s - Cold and Kind (8)
4. Gospel Gossip - Sing Into My Mouth (7)
5. St. Vincent - Marry Me (6)
6. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna (5)
7. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (4)
8. Feist - The Reminder (3)
9. Office - A Night At The Ritz (2)
10. Mouthful Of Bees - The End (1)

runner-up: Apples In Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder

1. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead (10)
2. Battles – Mirrored (9)
3. MIA – Kala (8)
4. Zelienople - His/Hers (7)
5. To Kill A Petty Bourgeiosie - The Patron (6)
6. Burial – Untrue (5)
7. Parts And Labor – MapMaker (4)
8. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (3)
9. Bird Names - Wooden Lake/Sexual Diner (2)
10. Deerhunter - Cryptograms/Flourescent Grey EP (1)

runner-up: Jennifer Gentle - The Midnight Room

1. Old Time Relijun - Catharsis In Crisis (5)
2. The Eternals - Heavy International (4)
3. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band (3)
4. The Show Is The Rainbow – Gymnasia (2)
5. The Race - Ice Station (1)

Runner-up: Bobby Conn, King For A Day

1. Iron And Wine - The Shepard's Dog (5)
2. Menomena - Friend And Foe (4)
3. Black Kids - Wizard Of Ahhhsss (3)
4. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (2)
5. Stars Of The Lid - And The Refinement Of The Decline (1)

runner-up: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters


April Wright

1) Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala (10
2) Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (9)
3) Okkervil River – The Stage Names (8)
4) The National – Boxer (7)
5) Iron & Wine – The Shepherd's Dog (6)
6) Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (5)
7) Wilco – Sky Blue Sky (4)
8) We All Have Hooks For Hands – The Pretender (3)
9) White Williams – Smoke (2)
10) Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (1)

1) Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta! (10)
2) M.I.A. – Kala (9
3) Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings (8)
4) LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (7)
5) Gospel Gossip – Sing Into My Mouth (6)
6) Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam (5)
7) Beirut – Flying Club Cup (4)
8) To Kill A Pretty Bourgousie – The Patron (3)
9) Liars – Liars (2)
10) Of Montreal- Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (1)

1) Feist – The Reminder (5)
2) The Black Kids - Wizard Of Ahhs(4)
3) Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight (3)
4) Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2)
5) Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (1)



Tonight: The Bad Plus Starts Four Night Stand At Dakota Jazz Club

The Bad Plus

Download: The Bad Plus - "Iron Man"
Download: The Bad Plus - "This Guy's In Love With You"

The Bad Plus, the Minneapolis jazz trio famous for creatively rearranging pop standards (including Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and Burt Bacharach's "This Guy's In Love With You", both of which you can listen to at the top of this post), starts a four-night stand at Minneapolis' Dakota Jazz Club.

The group, who earlier this summer put out (on their own imprint no less) their fifth studio album Prog, will be easily the hardest working group in Minneapolis as 2007 comes to a close. For each of the four nights (Dec. 26th-29th) that TBP is at the Dakota, the group will play two shows - one which starts at 7 p.m. and another which starts at 9:30 p.m. The 7 p.m. show is all-ages and the 9:30 p.m. is presumably for older concertgoers. Tickets for both shows fall on the expensive side with prices being twenty-eight dollars at the minimum. Buy those here. But seeing as the likes of Billboard has referred to the band's studio output as "a gourmet 10-course meal of the sublime, the rowdy and the eclectic", imagine what The Bad Plus' live show will be like.

Actually, you don't have to imagine at all. Check out this YouTubed performance of "Anthem For The Earnest", a track from their album Suspicious Activity?:

Show and ticket information here.

MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Atmosphere Gives Away Free Album Online, Coins 2008's Best Album Title

(via Rhymesayers)

Download: Atmosphere - "Don't Stop" (from Sad Clown, Bad Winter 11)
Download: Atmosphere - "Full Moon" (from Strictly Leakage)
Download: Atmosphere - "The Things That Hate Us" (from Strictly Leakage)

Those of you who may have been disappointed with your Christmas presents can still count on the kindness of strangers (or, in this case, a well-known Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo) to help chase away your "winter doldrums". As a Christmas present to their fans and supporters, Atmosphere have pulled a Radiohead, giving away an entire album's worth of material for free on the group's webpage.

The group is calling the album Strictly Leakage and states, in typically self-deprecating fashion, that "(Leakage is) great for first dates, crappy houseparties, or to play in the backround while you google yourself again." Download Strictly Leakage here.

In addition to releasing new material for free, the band has, and will, put out music using more traditional means. Ant and Slug released EP Sad Clown, Bad Winter 11 last week, and you can listen to "Don't Stop", a track from said release, at the top of the post. But the news that is most exciting is that Atmosphere announced the title and release date for their new LP. When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold is due out on Rhymesayers on April 22, 2008. How awesome is that album title?

No word on a tracklist or any downloads from the upcoming release, but as soon as one hits, we'll let you know about it. Up top is the aforementioned Sad Clown download, a video of the duo playing chess by a fireplace, and two excellent, furiously funny tracks from Strictly Leakage.

Once again, download Leakage here.

MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Lupe Fiasco: Live In Chicago EP

Download: Lupe Fiasco - "Superstar" (feat. Matthew Santos) from Live In Chicago EP
Download: Matthew Santos - "December Ghosts (Live)"

After stopping by Reckless Records to purchase Lupe Fiasco's just-released second album The Cool, I noticed that the album came with a bonus EP titled Live In Chicago. The three track set, which includes Cool highlights such as first single "Superstar", "Dumb It Down" and Food And Liquor classic "Kick, Push", was recorded in the Windy City, though the venue and time it was recorded is uncertain.

All three tracks on the EP are flawlessly executed and passionately performed. The breakdown of "Dumb It Down" is a hilarious highlight, particularly Lupe's reply when the mock record exec finishes explaining why the Chicago-based rapper should dumb down his music.

But to hear that, you have to go to your local record store and purchase Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. I'm not sure whether or not Live In Chicago is solely available at indie outlets, but you probably have the best shot of obtaining it when you shop at your locally-owned, friendly neighborhood record outlet.

Up top is an MP3 of extended live version of "Superstar" being performed live in Chicago by Lupe and fellow 1st and 15th colleague (and Chicago/Minneapolis artist) Matthew Santos.

Lupe Fiasco MySpace Page
Matthew Santos MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

PS - Happy Holidays! We won't be publishing again until the 26th, due to Christmas and seasonal fun in general. Thanks for reading.

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Christmas Offerings From R.E.M, Camera Obscura


Camera Obscura

Download: R.E.M - "Merry Xmas Everybody"
Download: Slade - "Merry Xmas Everybody"
Download: Camera Obscura - "Little Donkey"

Camera Obscura has added their voices to the ever-growing Christmas chorus with a live version of "Little Donkey." I hadn't heard this particular carol before, but the song is about the donkey that carried Mary (and therefore Jesus) to Bethlehem. The recording is a little more lo-fi than I'm used to with Camera Obscura, but it's still a sweet little song. The guitar solo and the slow build with trumpets really boost the song from middle-of-the-road to indie pop Christmas classic.

Additionally, every year, R.E.M. sends out a CD, card and other assorted goodies to their fan club. After a disappointing showing last year (live tracks and Tin Cup Prohette's cover of "Tongue), the boys made with goods this Christmas. Included on the single was my personal favorite holiday song ever, "Merry Xmas Everybody." Up top is R.E.M.'s cover, along with the Slade original. Hope you're feeling working class this holiday season!

Camera Obscura MySpace Page
R.E.M. MySpace Page

(April Wright)

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This Weekend In Minneapolis


Soul Asylum at First Avenue. Tickets for the 18+ show are $16 dollars in advance and $18 dollars at the door. Buy those at Ticketmaster

Download: Soul Asylum - "Tied To The Tracks"

Dosh, Alpha Consumer and Dark Dark Dark all play tonight at the 7th Street Entry. It's Alpha Consumer's CD Release party, so definitely be sure to catch the Minneapolis newgazers. They will no doubt showcase the best from Gary Victorsen's, the album whose release is being celebrated.

Read more about them over at More Cowbell.

Tickets for the 18+ show can be bought here. Eight dollars at the door, ten dollars advance.

Download: Dosh - "Um, Circles and Squares"
Download: Alpha Consumer - "Unicorn Uniform"
Stream Dark Dark Dark's music at their MySpace Page. Watch a Dark Dark Dark video over at More Cowbell


St. Paul hip-hop group Heiruspecs play both an all-ages show and a 21+ show at the Turf Club on Saturday, the 22nd. They will be celebrating the release of Ten Years Strong, their aptly titled newest release. Read the ten-year history in the "About Heiruspecs" section of their MySpace Page and you'll get a pretty good sense of the agony and the ecstasy that is working in a touring hip-hop band.

Doors are at 5 for the all-ages show and at 9 for the 21+ show. But tickets here. MFR favorite The Show Is The Rainbow opens both shows, along with San Franciso-based rapper Power Struggle .

Download: Heiruspecs - "I Know"
Download: The Show is the Rainbow - "Do The Skinny"
Download: Power Struggle - "Keep It Going Now"

To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie plays at the Hexagon. Doors are at nine and the show is 21+.

Download: To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie - "Lovers and Liars"

Guerilla Warfare and Cadillac Kolstad And The Flats play the Uptown Bar. Show is 21+ with doors at 9 p.m. Tickets are 5 dollars.

Download: Cadillac Kolstad And The Flats - "Matchbox"

(Jonathan Graef)


Thursday, December 20, 2007

MFR's First Annual Readers Poll: 2007

Thanks to all of you readers who participated by sending in your polls! You responded in exactly the way we hoped you would. In many cases, we were pleasantly
surprised by the results. Especially noteworthy is the hometown love for acts such as alterna-rapper Brother Ali and Replacements disciples The Evening Rig. Furthermore, LCD Soundsystem being voted both one of the most innovative and overpraised albums is definitely worth pointing out (Ditto Arcade Fire). Unexpected entries from Ted Leo, Pissed Jeans, and MPLS-based Skoal Kodiak were results that were met with chagrin and delight.

Here now are the records of the year in terms of innovation; in terms of songwriting/listenability; the 5 overlooked records of the year; and the 5 overpraised records of the year. Tomorrow, we'll have our staff picks for all of these categories. In the meantime, here's the list, along with MP3s from each selection. Enjoy!

The Ten Best Records Of 2007: Innovation:

1. Animal CollectiveStrawberry Jam
Download: Animal Collective- "Chores"

2. RadioheadIn Rainbows
Download: Radiohead - "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"

3. Panda BearPerson Pitch
Download: Panda Bear - "Take Pills"

4. Aesop RockNone Shall Pass
Download: Aesop Rock - "None Shall Pass"

5. BattlesMirrored
Download: Battles - "Atlas"

6. LiarsLiars
Download: Liars - "Freak Out"

7. LCD SoundsystemSound Of Silver
Download: LCD Soundsystem - "North American Scum"

8. Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men
Download: Pissing Jeans - "People Person"

9. Skoal Kodiak - Three People Are Keep Having Grape Emergency's
Stream songs at Skoal Kodiak's MySpace Page

10. Brother AliThe Undisputed Truth
Download Brother Ali - "Truth Is"

Runner-up: Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings
Download: Dan Deacon - "The Crystal Cat"

The Ten Best Records Of 2007: Songwriting/Listenability:

1. The NationalBoxer
Download: The National - "Apartment Story"

2. The White StripesIcky Thump
Download: The White Stripes - "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)"

3. Ted Leo And The PharmacistsLiving With The Living
Download: Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - "The Sons of Cain"

4. Kanye West - Graduation
Download: Kanye West - "Can't Tell Me Nothing"

5. Arcade FireNeon Bible
Download: Arcade Fire - "Intervention"

6. Andrew BirdArmchair Apocrypha
Download: Andrew Bird - "Heretics"

7. Jens LekmanNight Falls Over Kortedala
Download: Jens Lekman - "A Postcard To Nina"

8. New PornographersChallengers
Download: The New Pornographers - "Unguided"

9. Tegan And Sara - The Con
Download: Tegan and Sara - "The Con"

10. The Evening Rig - Never Been'Er
Download: The Evening Rig - "Playing House"

Runner-up: Feist - The Reminder
Download: Feist - "I Feel It All"

The 5 Most Overlooked Records Of 2007:

1. Lamps - LampsLampsLamps
Listen to songs at the band's MySpace Page

2. Nicole Atkins - Neptune City
Download: Nicole Atkins - "The Way It Is"

3. Cinematic OrchestraMa Fleur
Download: Cinematic Orchestra - "Breathe" (feat. Fontella Bass)

4. Explosions In The Sky - All The Sudden I Miss Everyone
Download: Explosions In The Sky - "Welcome Ghosts"

5. Blockhead - Uncle Tony's Coloring Book
Download: Blockhead - "Cheer Up, You're Not Dead Yet"

Runner-up: Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth
Download: Brother Ali - "Take Me Home"

The 5 Most Overpraised Records Of 2007:

1. Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Download - Deerhunter - "White Ink"

2. MIAKala
Download: MIA - "Bamboo Banga"

3. Arcade FireNeon Bible
Download: Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go"

4. InterpolOur Love To Admire
Download: Interpol - "Pioneer to the Falls"

5. LCD SoundsystemSound Of Silver
Download: LCD Soundsystem - "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"

Runner-Up: Kanye WestGraduation
Download: Kanye West - "Stronger"

Buy all the albums mentioned here at your local brick-and-mortar record stores.

(MFR Staff)

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Against Me - "New Wave" Video

There is always a spot in my heart for Against Me, and I guess they're huge now? Yes.

(Ian Anderson)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Britney Spears' 16-Year-Old Sister Is Pregnant

Somehow, we don't think that Spears the younger's pregnancy will be as heart-warmingly bittersweet as Juno's will be. Also, where is that YouTube clip of the opening to Idiocracy when you need it?

: Here is that clip of the opening to Idiocracy, thanks to reader B. Drew!

(Jonathan Graef)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pitchfork Releases 2007 Best Of List (And A Playlist For The Top Ten)

Download: Burial - "Archangel"
Download: The Field - "Sun And Ice"
Download: Battles - "Leyendecker"
Download: Spoon - "The Underdog"
Download: Animal Collective - "Peacebone"
Download: Of Montreal - "Suffer For Fashion"
Download: Radiohead - "Nude"
Download: M.I.A - "Jimmy"
Download: LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"
Download: Panda Bear - "Comfy In Nautica"

Earlier today, P4K posted their Best-Of List For 2007. Read the Fork's thoughts about their 50 favorite albums of 2007 here, and or see what they were by looking below:

50 Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water Is Life
49 Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English
48 Robert Wyatt - Comicopera
47 Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
46 Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird on the Water
45 Ricardo Villalobos - Fabric 36
44 Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
43 Stars of the Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline
42 Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab
41 Life Without Buildings - Live at the Annandale Hotel
40 Beirut - The Flying Club Cup / Lon Gisland EP
39 The White Stripes - Icky Thump
38 Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
37 Grizzly Bear - Friend EP
36 Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
35 Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil
34 James Blackshaw - The Cloud Of Unknowing
33 King Khan & the Shrines - What Is?!
32 Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance
31 Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
30 Caribou - Andorra
29 Bon Iver, For Emma - Forever Ago
28 Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
27 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
26 Various Artists - After Dark

25 The Tough Alliance - A New Chance / New Waves EP
24 Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings
23 Studio - Yearbook 1
22 Okkervil River - The Stage Names
21 Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
20 Liars - Liars
19 Feist - The Reminder
18 Kanye West - Graduation
17 The National - Boxer
16 Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
15 Justice - †
14 Deerhunter - Cryptograms / Fluorescent Grey EP
13 Jay-Z - American Gangster
12 No Age - Weirdo Rippers
11 Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
10 Burial - Untrue
09 The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
08 Battles - Mirrored
07 Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
06 Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
05 of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
04 Radiohead - In Rainbows
03 M.I.A. - Kala
02 LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
01 Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Up top is a playlist consisting of one song from each of Pitchfork's top ten albums of the year.

What I found to be interesting were the omissions. For example, the 'Fork heaped praised on the likes of St. Vincent,(and rightfully so), who nonetheless was excluded from the top 50. Furthermore, Forked hyped bands such as The Twilight Sad, Menomena, and The Black Kids, aren't anywhere to be found. Even more interesting is that the scribe of the glowing Black Kids review, Marc Hogan, didn't even put Wizard Of Ahhhs on his best-of 2007 list. Very interesting, indeed.

Up top is a playlist of one track from the Pitchfork's top ten albums of the year.

(Jonathan Graef)

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Of Montreal Covers Prince

Download: Of Montreal - "I Would Die 4 U " (Prince Cover)
Download: Of Montreal - "Baby, I'm A Star" (Prince Cover)

You Ain't No Picasso recently posted two MP3s of Of Montreal covering Prince.

I've never been a huge Prince fan (I also hate fun, rainbows and sunshine, too!), but hell, how can you not smile at Kevin "Ayn Rand" Barnes belting out the chorus to "I Would Die 4 U"?

Of Montreal MySpace Page

(April Wright)

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Beach House Announces Tour Dates

Download: Beach House - "Gila"

Beach House is hitting the road starting the end of Feb. 2008, and are hitting all the key markets. The most key ofcourse are Mpls and Chicago. Here is "Gila," a new track just released.

02/28 Baltimore, MD Gspot
02/29 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
03/01 Atlanta, GA The Earl
03/02 Birmingham, AL BottleTree Cafe
03/03 Memphis, TN The Hi Tone Cafe
03/05 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
03/06 Houston, TX Walter's on Washington
03/07 Austin, TX Emo's
03/08 Denton, TX Hailey's
03/10 Tucson, AZ Solar Culture
03/11 Phoenix, AZ Modified
03/12 San Diego, CA The Casbah
03/13 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
03/14 San Luis Obispo, CA Steynberg Gallery
03/15 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
03/17 Portland, OR Holocene
03/18 Seattle, WA The Crocodile Cafe
03/19 Vancouver, BC Media Club
03/21 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
03/22 Denver, CO Hi-Dive
03/24 Omaha, NE The Slowdown
03/25 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
03/26 Chicago, IL Schubas

03/27 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
03/29 Montreal, PQ Casa del Popolo
03/31 Cambridge, MA The Middle East
04/02 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
04/03 Philadelphia, PA The Barbery
04/04 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel

Beach House on MySpace

(Ian Anderson)


Merry Christmas To You Too, Sufjan!

Download: Sufjan Stevens - "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"

The Sounds Familyre blog has been giving away free tracks, for the past thirteen days, of beloved indie-rock artists covering classic Christmas carols. Songs included are "Christmas Eve Nite" as covered by Danielson and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" as interpreted by one Sufjan Stevens. Take a listen to his punchdrunk, but still immaculately layered, version of the holiday classic at the top of the post.

Go to the Sounds Familyre blog to read more.

Read more about Sufjan's Christmas song contest here.

MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Video: MIA - "Paper Planes" (Plus MTV Censorship Controversy)

(YouTube via Stereogum).

Download: M.I.A - "Paper Planes"

Looks like MIA has something in common with acts as diverse as Pearl Jam, Eminem and Missy Elliot: being censored on MTV. MIA details all in her MySpace page. Long story short, MTV edited out the gun shots from the "Paper Planes" video and MIA is obviously not too happy about it. Stereogum has its take on the events here.

(Jonathan Graef)

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New Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - "Baltimore"

Download: Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - "Baltimore"

Real Emotional Trash, the forthcoming album fro Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, arrives via Matador in March. While that's a whole season away, Matablog was so kind as to post the first single from the Jicks' fourth album, a track called "Baltimore".

The song starts out waltzing rocker with a folk-flavored melody with some ethereal effects on the vocals and keyboards, before engaging in style and tempo changes that suggest someone developed a little musical crush on the Fiery Furnaces. When people described band who play music with extended instrumental interplay (that's a pretentious way of saying "lots of jamming") as being "jam-band-for-people-who-don't-like-jam-bands", they could probably point to this track as defense Exhibit A. The end of "Baltimore" actually has some unironic dual guitar harmonies, though they obviously filtered through the indie-rock aesthetic. Which is to say, the harmonies are not screaming. Based on "Baltimore", maybe Real Emotional Trash will be more like Pig Lib, in the sense that Malkmus will show off his underrated guitar chops.

Listen to "Baltimore" at the top of the post.

(Jonathan Graef)

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The Official Trailer For The Dark Knight (Batman Begins Sequel)

Thanks to both Cable and Tweed and Superhero Hype for the scoop.

Watch the trailer in higher quality (read: Quicktime) at the official website.

(Jonathan Graef)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Minneapolis In Chicago: Dillenger Four, Birthday Suits Tonight At Beat Kitchen Saturday Night

Download: Dillinger Four - "Fuzzy Pink Hand-Cuffs"
Download: Birthday Suits - "Slowly Motion"

Our Chicagoland (sounds like an amusement park, no?) readers who are curious about Minneapolis punk may want to check out the bill tonight at Beat Kitchen, an excellent place in Chicago for food and music if there ever was one. Beloved Minneapolis pop-punkers Dillinger Four are stopping by the Lakeview live venue to play 2 shows. Ever the ones to be the populists, one an all-ages show starting at 5 p.m., and the other show is a 18+ show starting at 10 p.m.. Maybe if you're lucky, they'll play material from Civil War, the album that the Star-Trib reported as finally seeing the light of day in 2008.

That would make War the band's first release in six years. Hopefully, their fans will think that the album has been worth the wait. Joining them at the later show will be fellow Minneapolis punk duo Birthday Suits. The duo's last record was 2005's Cherry Blue. Hearing both the Suits and D4 in the same building will undoubtedly make your legs sore from all the pogoing. But at least you're ears will be ringing with the sound of two distinctive punk rock voices from the Twin Cities.

Buy tickets for both shows here.

Dillinger Four's MySpace Page
Birthday Suits' MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Top Ten Tracks On The Elbo.WS Chart Reviewed In 50 Words Or Less (12/14/07)

Bi-monthly, MFR reviews the Top Ten tracks on music-blog aggregator Elbo.WS in 50 words or less. For the weeks of November 30th through December 14th, here are the ten most popular songs:


Destroyer - "Foam Hands"

After the relaxed, sinuous arrangements which characterized the best parts of 2006's Rubies, one might be a bit hesitant to embrace the more direct, Dylan-incorporates-doo-wop, melancholy of "Foam Hands". However, even the most benumbed listener would melt once the song ascends to its triumphant conclusion. Stunning, indeed.
Grade: B+

Download: Destroyer - "Foam Hands"

Destroyer MySpace Page

Beach House

Beach House - "Gila"

Beach House's "Gila" positively recalls both the gentle harmonies of The Beatles Sgt Pepper-era and the hazed out atmosphere of Lou Reed when he's mellow. Ultimately though, the song's soft wistfulness and faint electronic beats only inspire faint palpitations. That's only disappointing because Beach House promised Devotion.
Grade: B-

Download: Beach House - "Gila"

Beach House MySpace Page

Black Mountain

Black Mountain
– Tyrants

After two weeks, "Tyrants" still sounds like a clusterfuck of 60s psychedelic and rock influences, despite the impressive, Sabbath-esque opener. Like Mr. Burns' diseases on "The Simpsons", the heavy riffing, spacey keyboards and the folk intimacy all sort of cancel each other out, quality-wise. The grade remains the same.
Grade: C+

Download: Black Mountain - "Tyrants"

Black Mountain on MySpace

The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes – Aly, Walk With Me

As the listens of "Aly, Walk With Me" increase, the anticipation for The Raveonettes forthcoming effort grows higher and higher. Here's hoping that the album is bathed this much in washed-out white noise and trance-inducing sexiness. I know why Lust is used three times. Like hearing this track, once is nearly not enough.
Grade: A-

Download: The Raveonettes - "Aly, Walk With Me"

The Raveonettes on MySpace

Bob Mould

Bob Mould - "The Silence Between Us"

For his first record on Anti-, the legendary Husker-Du songsmith attempts to return to his power-pop Sugar days. Mould isn't breaking new ground, but one can always appreciate a well-penned melody, a few of which "The Silence Between Us" possesses. The gratuitous electronic flourishes don't do the song any favors, though.
Grade: B-

Download: Bob Mould - "The Silence Between Us"

Bob Mould MySpace Page


Yeasayer - "2080"

Lord knows what will be going down in the year "2080". However, the soothing indie-melodicism and David Byrne-esque anxiety should provide enough stimulation for listeners engaged with the world as they know it today. Who knows how we'll all feel then, but judging by this track, Yeasayer's 2008 should be just fine.
Grade: B

Download: Yeasayer - "2080"

Yeasayer On MySpace

The Dodos

The Dodos - "Fools"

The Dodos put together bouncing vocal melodies, manic guitar strumming on a single, guitar drone chord, and a pulse that would make a freight train cower. This makes one feel like they are being whisked through a delirious journey that, at the end, you'll comprehend barely at best. I say: on with the ride.
Grade: A

Download: The Dodos - "Fools"

The Dodos' MySpace Page

Robbers On High Street

Robbers On High Street - "Seasons Greetings"

There's a vague Van Morrison quality to this track which, along with kitschy sincerity of Fountains Of Wayne, makes "Seasons Greetings" somewhat appealing. This track is pretty unremarkable, but the sentiment is appreciated all the same. 'Tis the season, after all.
Grade: B-

Download: Robbers On High Street - "Seasons Greetings"

Robbers On High Street MySpace Page

Louis XIV

Louis XIV - "Guilt By Association"

Speaking of novelty, a band whom names itself after French royalty is probably bound for a chuckle or two. But even the Bon Scott-inspired talking orchestral breakdown (complete with harpsichord) can't save a song riddled with neo-garage-rock clichés. Meh. At least I don't have to feel guilty about anything.
Grade: C

Download: Louis XIV - "Guilt By Association"

Louis XIV MySpace Page


Evangelicals - "The Last Christmas On Earth"

If you plan on spending the holidays tripping on acid and sitting near a lava lamp, then this is your soundtrack. Evangelicals obviously worship at the church of shoegaze, and "The Last Christmas On Earth" is a pleasant enough amalgamation of Christmas Carol and Funeral Dirge. It's a Very Slowdive Christmas, Charlie Brown.
Grade: B-

Download:"The Last Christmas On Earth"

Evangelicals MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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CD Release Party - Batteries At The Turf Club Tonight

Download: Batteries - Childproof
Download: Batteries - "Recording The Stuff" (Via Reveille Magazine)

Opening for Vicious Vicious and Jeremy Messersmith tonight at the Reveille Magazine sponsored show at the Turf Club is a group called Batteries. When the Duluth/St. Paul quintet, whose sedate and mellow alt-rock recall a soulful hybrid of The Zincs and The Narrator, takes the stage tonight, you may recognize singer/guitarist Dave Frankenfield. That's because Frankenfield plays the drums and bass for Minneapolis alt-country chanteuse Haley Bonar (who, full disclosure, is on the record label that Ian runs).

Batteries doesn't sound anything like countrypolitan. Which is fine, because the swinging, shuffling beat, and rumbling bartone sax lines of "Childproof", (along with its folksy chord progression and subtle Hammond organ lines), should appear to anyone with one foot in vintage 60s garage/surf-rock and the other in 90s slack-rock like Pavement. The latter is especially the case in jangly rocker "The Offer", when Frankenfield best approximates Stephen Malkmus' sharply lackadaisical sense of melody and drive during the song's rousing chorus. If those two tracks are indicative of the rest of 11 song LP That Great Grandsuck Of The Sea, then one can expect a record whose subtle assets reveal themselves over time.

Show is tonight at the Turf Club and is 21+.

Read a feature about Batteries at Reville Magazine.

Batteries MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Liars Announce Tour Dates

After conducting a rather awkward national tour with Interpol, Liars are coming through most towns (except Mpls oddly enough) again.

Fri 1/25 @ Slim's - San Francisco CA
Sat 1/26 @ Club Underground - Reno NV
Mon 1/28 @ Wonder Ballroom - Portland OR
Tue 1/29 @ Showbox - Seattle WA
Wed 1/30 @ Neuroiux - Boise ID
Thu 1/31 @ Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City UT
Fri 2/1 @ Marqis Theatre - Denver CO
Sat 2/2 @ The Bottleneck - Lawrence KS
Mon 2/4 @ Grinnell College - Grinnell IA
Tue 2/5 @ Metro - Chicago IL
Wed 2/6 @ Dionysus Club - Oberlin OH
Thu 2/7 @ The Tralf - Buffalo NY
Fri 2/8 @ Paradise - Boston MA
Sat 2/9 @ Warsaw - Brooklyn NY
Sun 2/10 @ First Unitarian Church - Philadelphia PA
Tue 2/12 @ 9:30 Club - Washington DC
Wed 2/13 @ Orange Peel - Asheville NC
Thu 2/14 @ The Earl - Atlanta GA
Sat 2/16 @ The Mohawk - Austin TX
Sun 2/17 @ Hailey's - Denton TX
Tue 2/19 @ Launchpad - Albuquerque NM
Wed 2/20 @ The Clubhouse - Tempe AZ
Thu 2/21 @ Casbah - San Diego CA
Fri 2/22 @ El Rey Theater - Los Angeles CA


(Ian Anderson)

A.V. Club Announce Worst Band Names of 2007, Featuring Many Mpls Bands

It's true. Us Minneapolitans think up weird band names. So what? Wanna fight about it?

Here are a few locals that got mentioned, and here is the entire article.

Sing It Loud
Coach Said Not To
Mel Gibson & The Pants
Gay Witch Abortion
We All Have Hooks For Hands

Unicorn Basement + Gay Witch Abortion, Babyguts, Bri Entering The Bratmosphere: Triple Rock Social Club, 9pm, free


(Ian Anderson)


Reminder: Reader's Polls Are Due On Monday

So far, exactly none of you have sent in your submissions to our first ever reader's poll. Ouch, baby. Very ouch. But that's alright, because you still have the weekend, which is plenty of time to participating by sending your top ten lists to (though it's the holidays, so not even the fact that you have Saturday and Sunday off is a guarantee for free time).

ANYWHO, here are the rules once again: Take your favorite 25 records of the year, and split them into three categories. Ten albums that you thought were the most innovative, creative, and challenging records of the year; ten albums that you thought displayed the best songwriting/craftmenship, or were the best in sheer listenability; and the 5 albums that you thought were underrated. Lastly, list 5 records that you thought were overrated.

Polls are due on this Monday. The day after we tally the votes, we'll put up or one poll. Sounds good?

Once again, the email is

(MFR Staff)

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Playlist For Camel Cigarettes and Rolling Stone

Download: Jens Lekman - "The Opposite Of Hallelujah"
Download: The Mountain Goats - "Fault Lines"
Download: Built To Spill - "Strange"
Download: Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)"
Download: Nirvana - "Heart Shaped Box"
Download: Devendra Banhart - "This Beard Is For Siobhan"
Download: Wilco - "Jesus etc."
Download: Wolf Parade - "You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son"
Download: Pixies - "Here Comes Your Man"

A couple weeks back, I posted a review of Rolling Stone magazine. In the review, I noted that the issue contained a sleazy fold-out ad by Camel Cigarettes. The ad was a tour of the "Indie Rock Universe" where everyone wears black Chucks. It was designed and drawn to look like the inside of a teenager's notebook.

Stereogum then reported that not only was the ad sleazy, but it was illegal. Back in 1998, Camel (owned by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.) signed an agreement not to use cartoons to promote their products. Nine states took the "Indie Rock Universe" ads to be a violation of that and have brought suit against the company. The fine for this infraction could be as high as $100 million. Wow!

To add insult to injury, none of the bands featured in the ad were asked if they wanted their names on the ad. A full list of bands who were used in this ad and associated campaigns can be found here. The site also has a link to the original ad.

As it turns out, some of the labels whose artists were wrongfully represented by Camel are taking up arms against the cig makers. When the labels confronted the magazine, they were told that the section was an editorial, which is completely and utterly unbelievable given the spread's layout and content. Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go and several other labels sent out an open letter to the magazine highlighting the poor taste of the ad and RS' deceptive conduct following its publication. You can view the letter here.

The labels don't want any money, just an apology. I hope they get it.

Up top is a playlist of artists who were taken advantage of by R.J. Reynolds.

(April Wright)

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