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Have I Really Not Written About Prince at All Yet for Racket?

Plus a lovely new Humbird album, Cindy Lawson no longer clammed up, and the mystery of Blossom.

Hey, that's not Prince, it's Humbird!
Dahli Durley

Demo, Baby

Prince’s Controversy turns 40 years old this year, and it sounds so fresh in some ways it could have been recorded yesterday, except that people would be a little confused by how worked up this guy is about Reagan and Abscam. (Also, Prince is dead.) In advance of the album’s re-release, Prince Incorporated (or whatever you want to call the interests that control his estate) has made available a demo version of the very sexy “Do Me, Baby.” For those unfamiliar with the song, it’s about Prince wanting you to do him. The demo is not as good as the album version, which is why it’s a demo, but it’s always educational to hear Prince work out his ideas. Me, I’m just amazed that I’ve made it through almost two months without mentioning Prince once. Unless I’m forgetting something? Had to end sometime.

I’m Bad at Describing Humbird

Whenever I try to write about the music of Humbird, a.k.a. Siri Undlin, I come up with drippy nature metaphors—you know, “delicate yet sturdy, like a willow branch” kinda stuff, and that’s not fair to the music, which, while delicate and sturdy, isn’t drippy at all. Humbird’s third album, Still Life, which comes out today, is arranged with placid care (the brass is as gentle as the woodwinds), allowing Undlin to caress meaning from a simple couplet like “Charlotte/You’re gettin’ the hang of it” And though Undln’s not as much for jokes as the singing mailman, “Pink Moon for John Prine” does nicely inhabit that bit of the Venn diagram where the two songwriting greats that its title references overlap. Humbird’s doing a month-long residency at Icehouse in November.

Cindy Lawson Birthday Benefit Ahoy

Back in the days when there were so few women in rock bands that people were constantly writing articles called “There Are Women in Rock Bands Now! What Does This MEAN?” whenever they found a few, Cindy Lawson formed the Clams, and later Whoops Kitty. Now Lawson’s turning 60, and her birthday party Saturday night at the Eagles Club is doubling as a benefit for Afghan refugees, with all proceeds going to the International Institute of Minnesota, and tripling (trebling?) as a release party for the terrific new EP, New Tricks, Lawson’s first new music in very many years. (I got to hear her perform these songs at a little backyard party this summer, he said insiderly.) The Mighty Mofos, Hypstrz, and Kinda Kinky will also perform. And so will another Lawson project, Les Detachables, which features Renee Bracch (the Blue Up?), Jodie Tanaka and Xenia Sandstrom McGuire (Morticia), Laurie Lindeen and Coleen Elwood (Zuzu’s Petals), Barb Brynstad (Speed of Rain), Kristal McKay (the Green Pyramids), Reba Fritz (Muskellunge), Dawn Kuehl Miller (SMUT), Georgia Conley Ramin (the Short Fuses, Bernie Sarazine the Trailer Park Queen), Emily Ruiz (Walter Kong and the Dangermakers), Jill Krimmel Connelly (the Wahinis), and Jenny Case (Hester Mofet). I copied that from the Facebook event so if you’re name’s misspelled it’s not my fault.

Blossom? What’s Blossom? Someone Please Explain Blossom to Me!

“Blossom is a newly-created arts and advocacy program in Minneapolis helmed by the band Hippo Campus, founded to give back to the broader Twin Cities area both financially and creatively.” Thank you, press release, but I need a little more detail. “Blossom will share creative resources, online and IRL platforms for up-and-coming artists, and also curates in-person events for the community.” Still not clear? Well, I’d email the band to find out more but I’m on deadline so you’ll just have to go to the Fine Line on Tuesday for “Hippo Campus presents Blossom” (with DNM, Gully Boys, Raffaella, Ivers, and “special guests”) and yell “What is Blossom?” until you’re satisfied with the information you’ve acquired. (Please do not do this.) Proceeds go to Juxtaposition Arts & Crown Shepherd’s Black Boy, Black Boy book drive.

And here are some local shows worth checking out.

Friday Oct. 15

Amsterdam & Nitrowave TC Presents: PSYK, System96, BadNRad @ Amsterdam

Ginger Commodore & GCQ presents: The Tributes Concert @ Dakota

Mary Bue @ Landmark Center

Barbaro with Good Morning Bedlam @ Parkway Theater

bugsy, drey dk, EVV, Blue Venus @ Part Wolf

Glam Toyota (album release) with ET and Ross aka Longfront @ Part Wolf (Upstairs)

Landon Conrath @ 7th St Entry

Saturday Oct. 16

Darkened Infinity (album release) @ Amsterdam

Pert Near Sandstone with Mae Simpson and Brotherhood of Birds @ First Avenue

Harlow, Hyooman, Jonny Darko @ Part Wolf

Sunday Oct. 17

Willy Wisely @ Icehouse

Getting By, Rigby, Shush @ Part Wolf

Monday Oct. 18

Jake Baldwin Residency: Quartet Album Release @ Icehouse

Tuesday Oct. 19

Accordo @ Icehouse

Wednesday Oct. 20

Jenny Klukken @ Icehouse