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Local Music Puzzle: How Many Words Can You Make from the Letters in ‘Muskellunge’

Plus Halloween music picks, Dua does best, and an orange surprise.

It's giant face day here at Racket: Dua Saleh, Reba Fritz
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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to look back at the week of local music that was and look forward to the weekend that will be.

Let’s Talk Halloween Music, People

Boo! Don’t be scared—it’s just me, here to tell you all about some ways you can make a spooktacle of yourself this weekend. There’s so much afoot that singling out specific events feels silly: There are themed events (Skalloween at the Turf, Pop Punk Halloween at Mortimers), cover bands (ELnO and Ready Freddie at the VFW, We Are Revo at the Driftwood) and dance parties everywhere from Pimento to the Hook and Ladder. For even more options you can scroll wa-a-ay on down to the listings below. (Not all of these shows are “costume parties” per se, but it’s a pretty safe bet that no one will be shocked if you dress up in a spooky, sexy, or spookysexy way for any event this weekend.) Stumped about what to wear? You could always buy a Racket T-shirt and then when someone asks what you’re dressed as you can say “The coolest person in the room.” 

Dua Saleh Crosses Over

We shared the video for “fitt” a few weeks back, and now Dua Saleh has released their full third EP. Like its predecessors, Crossover has its own musical identity: It’s a dance album, yes, but it’s Dua’s dance album, which means none of its seven tracks sticks to a single discrete style and, even at its most direct and propulsive, there’s a woozy sway to the rhythms. The opening track, “focal,” is clubby, heavy on bass throb and twitchy house drums, an ideal setting for Saleh’s promise that “I can see the future in the fire and the fodder.” Downpitched to a haunting bass, bent up to a chirp, flaunting a gorgeous vibrato while singing in Spanish, Dua’s voice sets the tone regardless of what’s happening around them. 

Muskellunge Is Back from the ’90s

In the ’90s—no, wait, don’t go, I swear I’m not gonna talk about the blizzard. It’s worse—I’m gonna talk about ’90s music! But actually I’m gonna talk about new music from a band that formed, peaked, and then disappeared in the ’90s: the some-spellcheck-required Muskellunge. Last month the band released their first new track this century,  “Still Learning,” with John Crozier’s teletype guitar and Bryan Hanna’s jittery drums vibrating in tandem as Benji Boyd’s bass holds it down, and Reba Fritz’s voice seeming to comment on the action from the sideline with her slightly aloof vocals. They’ve followed that up with the slightly shoegazier “Dutch Elm,” and you know the old proverb: Where there are two songs, there’s often an album on the horizon. And that’s the case here. In a Mess, In a State, and a Second Too Late comes out on November 18, and the Muskies (did anyone call them that? should anyone?) have an album release show at the Hook and Ladder with the Hang Ups the next day. Perhaps we will have more to say about them before then. Perhaps!  

Orange Is the New Goodness

Now that’s a lazy Friday morning subheader if ever I wrote one. Truly unforgivable. But don’t hold it against the Orange Goodness, the trio that’s the subject of this particular blurb. Born out of a 2017 Mike Michel solo project, with a rhythm section of Ian Allison and Reese Kling, the band dropped a 2020 track, followed by a post-lockdown single “Love Life Lies,” complete with video (below). Released a scant two days ago, the full album Flying Under the Radar of Chaos features jumbo riffs, ziggety-zag runs, funketty rhythm chunks, group chorus vocals, and all sorts of starts and stops. In other words, it’s power pop that tries out some new tricks instead of proving that it knows how to follow the rules. As Michel told me, “We’re trying to debunk the theory that session dudes can’t write great songs themselves and make the whole world sing.”

And here are those concerts listings you ordered:

Friday, Oct. 29

All Hell Broke Loose Halloween Party with Witchden, Blue Ox, Cobra Czar, Rad Enhancer @ Amsterdam

The April Fools @ Aster Cafe

Jay Young and the Lyric Factory @ Dakota

Tragic Hands, Barker @ Driftwood Char Bar

Birth Order, Sass, Mal, Controversial New Skinny Pill @ Eagles 34

Halloween Spooktacular with Hot Pastrami, The Swangos, Surf Zombies, & Black Widows @ Eagles 34

Mischievous Underworld feat. Shannon Blowtorch and MplsAdonia @ Hook & Ladder

Peter Thomas @ Icehouse

Gothess Halloween Dance Party @ Mortimers

Dracula Party with Butter Boys, Super Flasher, and Serious Machine @ Palmer’s

LFABE record release with Closet Witch, Nothingness, DJ Desert Storm @ Part Wolf

Friday Night Halloween Dance Party @ Pimento

The Jeffertons, The Soft Light, Call Of The Hallows and Jack Swagger @ Terminal Bar

Skalloween ft. Space Monkey Mafia, the Von Tramps, the Prizefighters, and Runaway Ricochet @ Turf Club

Saturday, Oct. 30

Leo Presents…Reflections, By The Thousands, Soulkeeper, Waste, inflict @ Amsterdam

Tina Schlieske @ Aster Cafe

Jamecia Bennett @ Dakota

We Are Revo @ Driftwood Char Bar

7th Annual Rockin Charity Event for Kids, with Unkle Daddy, The 241s, Impaler, Fret rattles, Supermodified, Die Ghost, & Kinda Fonda Wanda @ Eagles 34

Off The Hook Halloween Festival feat.Venus DeMars & All The Pretty Horses, Big Salt, Red Eye Ruby, Mad Mojo Jett, Papersleeves DJ @ Hook & Ladder

Flip Phone XXL: Halloween starring Kylie Sonique Love @ First Avenue

Jenny Klukken and Daniel Volovet @ Icehouse

Grammas Boyfriend, Diane @ Icehouse

Turn Turn Turn @ Keg and Case Market

Honky Tonk Halloween @ Mortimers

Fright Night feat. Scary Black, KANGA, Rare DM, Pixel Grip @ Part Wolf

VIAL and Early Eyes with 26 BATS! and Alien Book Club @ 7th St Entry

The Miami Dolphins, Birth Order, Din Din @ 331 Club

ELnO @ Uptown VFW

Sunday, Oct. 31

Sanctuary Fest MN @ Amsterdam

Tina Schlieske @ Aster Cafe

Halloween Party and Costume Contest @ First Avenue

Jerry Rau Celebration: A Musical Tribute @ Hook & Ladder

Mother Banjo Duo Halloween Brunch @ Icehouse

Nightchurshh feat. Velvet Negroni @ Icehouse

Pop Punk Halloween @ Mortimers

MURF, Moodie Black, Morticia, and ECID @ Turf Club

Kiss the Tiger & Readie Freddie @ Uptown VFW

Monday, Nov. 1

Cody McKinney Residency with John Keston + Mike Hodnick, Anthony Cox + Brandon Wozniak @ Icehouse

Wednesday, Nov. 3

Rhythmically Speaking @ Amsterdam

MN Songwriter Showcase with Nick Henby @ Aster Cafe

Moors & McCumber with Mother Banjo @ Bryant-Lake Bowl 

Trailer Trash @ Driftwood Char Bar

Humbird Still Life Release Residency with guest Courtney Hartman @ Icehouse

Cole Diamond November Residency with Becky Kapell and Boots & Needles @ Mortimers

Terence Blanchard: Absence featuring The E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet @ Parkway Theater

KFAI Houseparty @ 331 Club

Thursday, Nov. 4

Rhythmically Speaking @ Amsterdam

Minneapolis Songwriter Rounds feat Scott Woodridge, Kristen Mastantuono, Liam Moore. Hosted by T.J.D. @ Aster Cafe

Mike Sopko, Ryan Long, Martin Dosh @ Icehouse