Beirut at First Avenue!

posted by Mojo Marshall

Touring in support of one of this year’s better albums, The Rip Tide.

Friday, December 2
First Avenue Mainroom
8 PM | $24 | 18+

Tickets go on sale at noon tomorrow.

Ticket Giveaway: Wild Flag at the Varsity

posted by MP Johnson

Wild Flag is being called a supergroup by bloggers everywhere. I guess that’s because it features members of such household-name hitmakers as: Helium, Sleater Kinney and that band the other lady was in. Maybe the definition of supergroup changed after Chickenfoot was founded. Anyway, this show will likely be awesome.

Thanks to the Varsity Theater, one lucky winner (and a friend) can go for free. To enter, send an email with the subject line “Mary Timony Rules” and I’ll randomly pick a winner Thursday afternoon. Good luck!

Anticipated TV: Luck

posted by Andrew Cross

Luck is a new show created by Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) and David Milch (Deadwood) that’s centered around the surprisingly dangerous world of horse racing. Who would have thought that? It stars Dustin Hoffman, in a role that appears to me much more ferocious then anything we’ve seen him in for the last few years.

Luck premiers on HBO sometime in January.

Twin Cities Day of Dignity with Brother Ali and Freeway

posted by Mojo Marshall


Saturday, October 1
Masjid An-Nur (1729 Lyndale Ave. N.)
11-6pm | Free

Rescheduled: Michael Ian Black at the Varsity Theater

posted by MP Johnson

You remember that Michael Ian Black show I mentioned a while back? Well, it was cancelled because MIB forgot to pack enough underwear or something, but now it’s been rescheduled.

Wednesday, November 2
Varsity Theater
7 PM | $20 | 18+

Favorite Local Acts: The Word Party

posted by Toddd

The Word Party - photo by Ben Hughes

The Word Party are a five-piece band from Minneapolis made up of Nick Harrison-Strot (Vocals, Guitar), Luke Darger (Vocals, Keys, Guitar), Sarah Mevissen (Guitar, Keys), Alex McCormick (Bass), and Austin McLaughlin (Drums).

Still in high school, they have that charm and determination common of most youngster groups—yet, in a lot of ways, already have a better grip on what they’re after than more seasoned acts. They now wield a five-song EP titled So Sick Of, which showcases the band’s quick knack for weaving complex tunes well beyond what’s generally expected of kids these days. It may sound a little rough in spots, but overall it’s an excellent start for a band I’m definitely rooting for.

Tours: Ryan Adams

posted by Richard Gill

On the heels of his new fantastic album, Ashes & Fire which comes out Oct. 11, Ryan Adams is mounting his first U.S. tour since disbanding The Cardinals in 2008. Check it out, Minneapolis is on the list. Sweet.

Ryan Adams 2011 Tour Dates:

10.11 – San Diego CA – Balboa Theater
10.13 – Big Sur CA – Henry Miller Library
10.14 – San Francisco CA – Herbst Theater
10.15 – Napa CA – Uptown Theater
10.17 – Santa Cruz CA – The Rio
10.18 – Sacramento, CA – Crest Theatre
10.20 – Eugene OR – The Shedd
10.21 – Seattle WA – Benaroya

12.02 – Philadelphia, PA – Academy of Music
12.04 – Baltimore, MD – Lyric Opera House
12.06 – New York, NY – Carnegie Hall
12.08 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
12.10 – Toronto, ON – Winter Garden Theatre
12.11 – Chicago, IL – Cadillac Palace
12.13 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre

Late 2 The Game – Dead Island

posted by Andrew Cross

After finishing Dead Island and having a stiff drink, I’m baffled by how it found a publisher. Could it have been the zombies? Well, they aren’t dying out in popular culture anytime soon, so that’s a +1 marketing point. People can’t seem to shut up about the islands in Papua New Guinea (wait, what?), so dump trucking a small army of zombies onto one of them is all aces. Meleeing in shooters is always a satisfying way of delivering a kill. So it follows that a whole game designed around that would be awesome!? In fact, why not just borrow a mishmash of concepts from Borderlands, Left 4 Dead, and Grand Theft Auto, and see what happens? Sure, Dead Island has a leveling system, hundreds of side-quests, a variety of zombie types, and a massive island that is open for you to explore freely (kind of). The problem is all of these elements are either broken or ham-fisted into the game.

On the broken side of things, you have enemy types that are either too easy to kill, or frustratingly overpowered. The sprinting, hands-flaying zombies are so fast, that you can’t react quick enough to kick them away, but then again that doesn’t matter because your kicks either barley faze ‘em or glitch through them anyway. Don’t even bother going for their heads, as “aiming” is more of concept of luck then actual skill. They can also kill you in three hits, but that’s OK. Failure in Dead Island doesn’t matter. You just re-spawn a few feet away from where you died, lose some cash (that can be gained back easily), and begin where you left off, because the zombies retain all the damage you did to them before they clipped you. There is no sense of threat in Dead Island. I never felt on edge or scared. The game is predictable in its enemy placement, you can just run around the undead, and failure doesn’t mean anything. The zombies in Dead Island aren’t frightening; they are annoyances getting in the way of you accumulating more experience points.

Other aspects of Dead Island feel thrown in. Leveling up sucks and I on no account felt like I was getting more powerful. The zombies level up with you too closely, so I never got that sense of accomplishment that comes with grinding to higher levels. You’re always on an even playing field, similar to how it would be in any standard action title instead of an RPG. It’s like Techland put the leveling system in at the last minute and didn’t have time to refine it. The side quests could have used more imagination also, as very few of them varied from the standard, “Get my shit and bring it to me” type. Dead Island doesn’t seem to make much of an effort to hide the fact you’re doing the same mission over and over again. You just get one survivor’s boring plight after another thrown at you to solve. The people are also unintentionally eerie looking. Women in Dead Island have the bodies of 22-year-old swimsuit models and the faces of strung-out heroin addicts.

I could continue to rant about how terrible it looks, the flimsy melee combat that has no weight to it, and the dreadful voice acting, but at this point the game has already shipped one million copies, so the damage is done. Dead Island is a game with a brilliant concept: an immense, free-roaming zombie game with an emphasis on survival. It takes a studio with some serious balls to approach a design concept this daunting and when creating a game this massive, you’re going to have problems. Fallout 3 – a Bethesda game that Dead Island digs inspiration from – has enough glitches to make a typical 10-hour game unplayable. Bethesda counteracts those problems though by having vision and dynamism in the experience they want the player to have. With Dead Island, Techland dropped some zombies into the tropics and thought it would design itself, coming away with a game as dead as the walking corpses it depicts.

Developed by: Techland
For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC

Michale Graves at Crypticon

posted by MP Johnson

Here’s a strange phenom: There are people out there who would be more psyched about a reunion of Graves-era Misfits than Danzig-era Misfits.

Who are these crazy people? They’re the ones who were kids when American Psycho and Famous Monsters came out, the ones who weren’t old enough to be jaded by the “It’s not the Misfits without Danzig” original lineup bullshit that had me ignoring the reformed Misfits for a long time, the ones who caught the band on tour with Gwar and realized they were watching something fucking awesome and didn’t give a fuck about Ol’ Glenny. Smart kids, listening to music with their ears and their hearts instead of their nerd-brains.

Fact: “Dig Up Her Bones” is one of many amazing Misfits songs. Why break it down into new vs. old? Fact: Michale Graves will be at the Crypticon, acoustic guitar in hand, ready to play his heart out whether the room is full or only two people trickle in. Fact: He’s now the leader of Marky Ramone’s band. He might throw some Ramones tunes into the set, but don’t expect any Danzig-era Misfits.

Saturday, November 5
Crypticon at the Bloomington Double Tree
7 PM | $20 | All Ages

The Southtown Avengers EP Release at The Hexagon

posted by Jason Lynn Mitchell

I’ve been a fan of The Southtown Avengers since the beginning, seeing their first show at the Triple Rock a few years ago when they began as a trio. Since then, they’ve put out a full length, Big Night Out, and expanded to a four-piece with former drummer Derek Sandbeck switching to lead guitar. They also now share a practice space with my band Complexes, so it’s easy for me to keep up with them.

This Friday at the Hexagon, we’ll be sharing a bill for the release show for their new Death Rock Pony Ride EP. The release marks a step forward for the band, being their first with their new expanded lineup and sound.

STA has always been a punk band with a pop sensibility, but Death Rock Pony Ride sees them bringing a more prominent melodic element, and the addition of a second guitar adds more leads and texture. Headlights crashes out of the gates with a driving urgency to lead things off. Damn Yes is full of catchy hooks that would fit right in on the Current’s playlist. And personal favorite Little Texas shows a more dynamic side of the band with a slow burn that reaches a great climax.

Pick up the new EP this Friday at the Hexagon. The Southtown Avengers have Complexes, All the Way Rider, and The French Kiss of Bel Air rounding out the bill for the release show, and there’s no cover.

Get Star Wars: The Old Republic On December 20th

posted by Andrew Cross

LucasArts and BioWare’s new Star Wars MMO has finally gotten a drop date of December 20th on PC. You’ll get 30 days to play the game online for free. After that, you’ll need to pony up some cash to continue playing.

1 Month Subscription: $14.99
3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month or a full payment of $41.97
6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month or a full payment of $77.94

More details HERE.

Coliseum – “Waiting (Too Late)”

posted by MP Johnson

COLISEUM “Waiting (Too Late)” Music Video from Coliseum on Vimeo.

This band’s combination of emo and metal is intriguing. It really comes out in this new song. A bit too wienery for my tastes. Last time I saw them live though, they were more straightforward and crushing. I wonder what they will sound like at their upcoming show at the Varsity Theater?

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