An Interview with Ego Likeness

I had the opportunity to interview Steven Archer and Donna Lynch of Ego Likeness for Kilted Farmer Koncerts ahead of their upcoming Minneapolis show on November 17 at Ground Zero. Check it out here:

An Interview with Ego Likeness.

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An Interview with Ayria’s Jennifer Parkin

Had the opportunity to interview Jennifer Parkin of Ayria recently (with some help from friends on the Kilted Farmer Koncerts team). Check it out.

Kilted Farmer Koncerts

Ayria Logo

We are pleased to welcome Ayria back to Minneapolis on May 23 with Project Pitchfork at the Triple Rock. Click for full event details and pre-sale tickets. We hope to see everyone at the Triple Rock on May 23!

Ayria is the one-woman electronic music project of Toronto’s Jennifer Parkin. Now on the verge of releasing her 4th full length album, Plastic Makes Perfect, and launching a US tour with Project Pitchfork, Jenn took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about the upcoming tour, the new album, dubstep, roller derby names, managing burnout and more.

Kilted Farmer Koncerts:
You’ve toured with Project Pitchfork before and we’re excited to have both Project Pitchfork and Ayria back in Minneapolis on May 23. What are you most looking forward to on the upcoming tour?

Jenn:
Getting back out on the road, getting to play the new…

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New Radio K In Studio Performances

For those who aren’t from around here (i.e. the Twin Cities), the University of Minnesota has a pretty cool radio station called Radio K. They just posted a ton of recent in-studio performances. Since I was on the site and looked through the entire list anyway, I figured I may as well save you some trouble and post the ones I’ve bookmarked for a listen.

  • The Alpha Centauri
    Fairly experimental band that features one of my favorite vocalists, Linnea Mohn, also of Coach Said Not To, Rogue Valley, The Dale Hush Hush, Skirt and probably others.
  • Dessa
    I’ve been hearing a lot about Dessa lately and have been meaning to check out her work. She’s a writer, poet and spoken word artist who seems to have stumbled into hip hop. But you probably knew all that because I know I’m behind the curve here.
  • Doomtree SXSW 2011 | 2008-08-01
    Hip hop collective from Minneapolis and I know I’m totally behind the curve here as well. Dessa is a Doomtree member, along with Atmosphere, P.O.S. and more.
  • Funeral and the Twilight
    Check these guys out on episode 30. They’re a little bit out there musically fusing about a bazillion different genres and sounds together and that’s why I like them. Great live act, as well.
  • Gospel Gossip 2008-05-23 | 2008-06-25
    Gospel Gossip is a fun pop/rock/electronic (and somewhat quirky) band out of Northfield, MN. Caught a live set when they were on the bill with either Best Friends Forever or Dance Band and really liked what I heard.
  • Malachi Constant
    Heard a lot about these guys when I was DJing in college. Figured I should check out their live set.
  • P.O.S.
    Hip hop artist and member of Doomtree and Atmosphere. He was a panelist for a songwriting forum at Minnesota Public Radio that I attended back in 2008. I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on the topic and have been meaning to check out his work more closely for a very long time.
  • School of Seven Bells 2008-11-22 | 2011-01-24
    My good friend Lucy introduced me to School of Seven Bells about a year ago. I’m still in the discovery phase with their work.
  • Spaghetti Western String Co.
    Saw these guys play at Patio Nights at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Patio Nights were, quite possibly, the best part about summer in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, the museum had to move out of their space and they no longer have the super kick ass patio (or any space right now), thus, no more Patio Nights *sniffle*. Spaghetti Western String Co. are no longer active, but I enjoyed their music and you can find some tracks available for free on their website.

Record Store Day Purchases

April 16 was Record Store Day 2011. I celebrated by hitting up Cheapo Discs in St. Paul with a few friends. Here’s my list of purchases (all used):

  • Blondie – The Best of Blondie
  • The Crow City of Angels OST
  • Deftones – Adrenaline
  • INXS – Greatest Hits
  • REM – Eponymous (this one was only $0.95!)
  • REM – Out of Time

Emilie Autumn at Station 4 2011-02-19

I hadn’t heard much of Emilie Autumn‘s music, but I did know that she’s a violinist and that was enough to get me to see her live. It was questionable whether she’d be able to perform, as she had to cancel the past few dates due to a throat infection and no voice. The show went on and despite being under the weather with a voice less than 100%, she gave the performance her all.

It was an interesting night. Even though most of the music was pre-recorded (minus the vocals and an occasional keyboard or violin part), Emilie Autumn and her merry band of Bloody Crumpets put on a very visually interesting and entertaining show. The performance was quite theatrical in the burlesque style and definitely had what I’d call a musical theater feel to it. The venue, Station 4, wasn’t the best place for Emilie Autumn to play, as it’s a bit of a dive with a small stage and support posts down the middle of the floor and stage in contrast to the gorgeous costumes and Victorian themes of the performers and the show, but whatcha gonna do?

I was disappointed that there was not a lot of live violin, but as a fellow violinist, I understand how hard it would be to do much singing and playing at the same time. It’s nearly impossible to do so with proper violin technique and Emilie Autumn definitely has a very textbook playing style.

Some interesting moments during the evening included the Crumpets throwing freshly licked tea cookies out at the crowd, a bit called the “Rat Game” whereby a female audience member who has never kissed a girl before is brought on stage to kiss Crumpet Veronica, and one of the Crumpets did an extended crowd surf and then later donned stilts.

Even if you don’t like Emilie Autumn’s music, it is definitely worth seeing her live show, as she is a true entertainer.

On an somewhat unrelated note, after I got home from the show, I checked out Emilie Autumn’s Twitter page and saw this rant about people asking for freebies…free tickets to shows, free VIP passes, free whatever:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/8smcuu

Her post struck a chord with me, as I have made it a point for the past 10+ years to support independent artists. It started by my decision to boycott the RIAA in 2000 (RockBand tracks are one of very few exceptions) and seek out music by independent artists and labels. Today, I not only spend my hard earned money on independent music, but I also attend a large number of concerts, help spread the word about the indie artists I find interesting via my podcast (of which I fund entirely out of my pocket), and also promote concerts. I put a lot of time, money and energy into supporting independent music and while I don’t expect everyone to put in the same amount of effort, freeloaders who just don’t get it do really annoy me.

Autumn writes:

“To all those asking for free tix, free this, free that, kindly permit me inform you that the amount of $$$ I have lost on touring during the past five years is nothing short of astronomical, is far more than an upper class American’s yearly salary, and could in fact purchase a small city.”

It is abundantly clear that Emilie Autumn takes her craft very seriously and I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be as a struggling artist to be constantly bombarded with requests from people who claim to be fans yet who are not willing to shell out a small amount of money for a concert ticket, music, whatever to help support the art they enjoy. It’s a small price to pay to help ensure the artist is able to continue making art and to continue touring. I understand that we are in an economic crisis right now, but if you’re really as big of a fan as you say you are, plan ahead, save up and get yourself to the show. If it’s not possible to for you to buy a ticket, don’t go begging to the artist for a free ride. That’s just rude.

Autumn’s post isn’t all negative. She says at the end:

“On the lovely side, fuck the major (and minor) labels of the world who claim that nobody is paying for music anymore, because there is ONE thing and one thing only from which I derive any income at all, and that is digital downloads bought via my own website and iTunes by honest, fair, and incredibly kind Plague Rats around the world who know very well that they could easily download pirated copies for free, but choose not to. For this I thank you endlessly and wholeheartedly, as do Basil, Sir Edward, and the other hundreds of Asylum ratties who get to eat because of you:).”

In response to Autumn’s tweet and after having purchased a hard copy of Opheliac at the show, I also purchased a digital download of the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & Bohemian Rhapsody EP and Laced/Unlaced (Double Disc). While I enjoy Autumn’s music, I wouldn’t consider myself a big fan. So why spend my money on 3 albums and a concert ticket in the span of 24 hours? Because promoting creativity and supporting truly unique and talented artists is important to me. Thank you, Emilie Autumn and all the other artists out there who choose make the sacrifices necessary to devote your lives to your original art.

Kilted Farmer Presents Street Team

In an effort to make sure the Twin Cities continue to bring in great music in the electronic/industrial/ebm/synthpop/etc. genres of music, I’ve joined the Kilted Farmer Presents street team. I go to a lot of concerts and it seemed like it was time to step up and help.

At present, there aren’t very many people in the Twin Cities promoting the industrialish types music and Trace, the Kilted Farmer himself, has done a fantastic job with the shows I’ve been to. He promoted the August Unter Null show at Ground Zero and since I purchased a VIP ticket for that show, I got to see a little of what goes on behind the scenes. He really seems to have his act together and treated the bands well.

No one promoting these types of bands is in it for the money – they’re in it for the love of music. Promoters take more than their fair share of losses and often just strive to break even. It sure would be a shame to see a guy like Trace retire when there are few willing to pick up the slack right now. And since I have neither the time nor the resources to book bands myself, here I am, doing what I can do to help.

Sor far, my contributions have been setting up and maintaining a website and Twitter account. I don’t really know what the web site is going to develop into, but if nothing else, I hope it gets the name Kilted Farmer out there and ultimately helps to bring bodies in the door at shows. Bodies in the door means the venue keeps doing live music, the bands get paid, the promoter keeps booking bands and the fans get to see some great music. Sounds like a winning combination to me and I look forward to working with the other street team members. So far, it seems like this is a pretty cool group of people who are passionate about music.

To make a long story short, please check out www.kiltedfarmer.com, follow @kiltedfarmer on Twitter, Like Kilted Farmer Presents on Facebook, and if you still use the once mighty MySpace, add Kilted Farmer as a friend and help support great live music.