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Music

New Local Music Friday: Elle PF, Green/Blue, PARISHES, Fruit Bats

Plus the most extensive weekly concert listings in the Twin Cities.

Speedy motorcyclist Ranelle LaBiche of Elle PF; pot enthusiasts Green/Blue
YouTube; publicity photo

This week in the ol’ nameless music column we’ve got nothing for you but new local music. No “local music news” for us, thank you very much. What do you think this is, a “local music newspaper” or something? Listen up and enjoy! 

Elle PF’s I Woke Up Today Laughing Is Exc-elle(pf)-nt

Renelle LaBiche, the songwriter who fronts Elle PF, currently lives in Los Angeles, the westernmost suburb of the Twin Cities Metro, but we won’t hold that against her. The band’s seven-song new album, called I Woke Up Today Laughing, their first lengthy release in three years, is rooted in Labiche’s keyboards, whether piano or synth, and animated by her coolly observant vocals. The mononymous Doc’s guitar jabs rhythmically, leans into full-on power chording, or melodically augments the arrangements (as, on occasion, does Alex Gale’s viola) and the rhythm section of bassist Jenessa LaSota and drummer John Acarregui shifts along smoothly from the off-kilter “Punk Song” to the disco-adjacent “Think Too Much About It.” The effect is broadly theatrical without being needlessly over-the-top. And super-catchy too. (Full disclosure: Jenessa cuts/styles the hair of 75% of the Racket staff. Who’s the exception? We’re no snitches.) 

Offering Accepted

While I was getting used to this whole “2022” thing, a new Green/Blue record snuck past me in early January. Offering‚ released on Chicago’s HoZac Records, is the latest from Jim Blaha of Blind Shake, Annie Sparrows and Dan Henry of Soviettes, and Hideo Takahashi of Birthday Suits, and I’m sorry to abbreviate the members’ extensive rock resumes (rock-sumes?) like that, but if I didn’t limit my ID’ing to one band apiece, we’d be here all day. Anyway, with Offering they show they deserve to be ID’d now as members of Green/Blue. Once more the prickly, staccato treble guitar leads of postpunk, the unshakable melodies of power pop, and those distantly echoey m/f vocals of shoegaze combine without strictly delineating the bounds of their style. The title track, for instance, reminds me of Sonic Youth more than a bit. 

Funky Pandemic Blues Rock (Taylor’s Version)

You may know Taylor Carik from his hard rockin’ band Whiskey Rock and Roll Club MPLS, or for his invaluable events newsletter Secrets of the City, or for terrorizing poor Radio K children on Twitter who mispronounce zillion-year-old new wave bands. But this week Carik’s got a solo album out as PARISHES, Bring on the…, one of those “pandemic projects” that the industrious among us crafted while the rest of us dozed and panicked. The album builds slow, with vocals and guitar on the early tracks hushed, ominous, moody, seething, and all those other good adjectives, then his deftly programmed drum tracks kick in with more force. The whole album is blues-tinged without making a fuss about roots or nothing, and it’s quite quar-relatable, from “Big Belly” through “Thin Blurred Line,” an instrumental with news reports of the 2020 unrest murmuring in the background. However you want to complete the title’s ellipsis, it is… brought on.

Fruit Bats Are Not Trainable and Do Not Make Good Pets

That’s what Google has to say about the leathery mammals for which Eric D. Johnson’s two-decade project is named. If you’ve spent the 21st century otherwise occupied, the newly released and lengthily titled Sometimes a Cloud Is Just a Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs (2001–2021) is a good place to start catching up on the Fruit Bats. The first disc (should you invest in the physical medium) moves, Benjamin Button-like, in reverse chronological order, beginning with an excellent new track, and you can hear the consistency of Johnson’s songwriting as you trace it back to its embryonic core. The second disc, available to preview here, is a more scattered but still enjoyable collection of outtakes and whatnot, including a nice take on Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” We know what you’re thinking: Johnson has been spending plenty of time in Minneapolis in recent years, but does that make him “local”? What am I the local music cops? The U?You want me to start requiring proof of residency? 

And now, your local music listings for the week.

Friday, Jan. 28

The Issue with Airship Caravan and The Only @ Amsterdam

Dan Israel with Chickaboom and Troglodyte @ Aster Cafe

Socaholics @ Bunkers

Bobby Rush & Jontavious Willis @ Dakota

Irie Minds with Push & Turn @ Day Block

The Soul Trustees @ Driftwood Char Bar

Dorian Electra with Siouxxie and Lust$ickPuppy @ Fine Line

Chicken Wire Empire featuring Chris Castino (of The Big Wu) @ Hook and Ladder

New Primitives @ Icehouse

Chassi @ The Loft

Partial Traces with Serious Machines @ Palmer’s

​​Meeting People Is Easy: A Radiohead Celebration @ Parkway Theater

Dreamboat and the Way Back Yard Boys @ 331 Club

DecaDance @ Uptown VFW

PSYPL @ White Squirrel

Saturday, Jan. 29

The High 48’s Bluegrass Brunch @ Aster Cafe

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky @ Bunkers

Bobby Rush & Jontavious Willis @ Dakota

Kim Mosford and Pitch Blue, Freefol @ Driftwood Char Bar

Mother Banjo Brunch Trio @ Icehouse

Miguel Hurtado Trio @ Icehouse

Nightchurch @ Icehouse

Wuki @ The Loft

Walker Hayes with MacKenzie Porter @ Palace Theatre

Super Flasher, Goodbye Mordecai, and Floodwater Angel @ Palmer’s

Koo Koo Kanga Roo @ Parkway Theater

Brother Moses @ 7th St Entry

JRD & The Big Mistake and Wild Horses @ 331 Club

Reaping Asmodeia with In Search of Solace, Terraform and Cobra Czar @ Turf Club

Benjamin Miller w Elour, Red Eye Ruby @ White Squirrel

Sunday, Jan. 30

Swing Brunch with Patty and the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

Dr. Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers

Super Duty, Shotgun Ragtime @ Driftwood Char Bar

Scott Keever @ Icehouse

Power Rager Sundays @ Icehouse

Cornbread Harris: Church of Cornbread @ Palmer’s

The Mikkel Factory @ 331 Club

Charlie Parr (Sunday Residency) with Corey Medina @ Turf Club

Magic City Hippies @ Varsity Theater

Matt Arthur and Friends @ White Squirrel

Monday, Jan. 31

Washed Out @ Fine Line

Womanfolk Presents Annie Mack with Mary Cutrufello @ 331 Club

Mother Banjo & Friends @ 331 Club

Matt Arthur & Friends @ 331 Club

The Cactus Blossoms (Monday Residency) with Kansas Plates @ Turf Club 

IDKHOW @ Varsity Theatre

Tuesday, Feb. 1

International Reggae All Stars @ Bunkers

Duke Ellington Night w/ Southside Aces @ Dakota

St. Dominic’s Trio @ Driftwood Char Bar

Hippie Sabotage @ Fillmore

Kara-Lis Coverdale @ Icehouse

February Conspiracy Series featuring taylor james donskey @ 331 Club

Cattle Decapitation with the Last Ten Seconds of Life, Creeping Death and Extinction A.D. @ Turf Club

Trevor McSpadden & Mary Cutrufello @ White Squirrel

Black Wine (February Residency) @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, Feb. 2

Nectarous with Broken Arrows @ Amsterdam

Dylan Saife @ Bunkers

Paul Harper Quartet @ Dakota

Trailer Trash, Cindy Lawson & Jerry Lefkowitz @ Driftwood Char Bar

Lyra Pramuk @ Icehouse

Infected Mushroom (DJ Set) @ The Loft

bathtub cig and Nat Harvie (Album Releases) with Zoo Animal (solo) @ 7th St Entry

KFAI House Party Presents Scottie Miller @ 331 Club

Radio 5 Watt Presents @ 331 Club

Thursday, Feb. 3

Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty and Hair of the Dog @ Amsterdam

Jay Bee and the Routine @ Bunker’s

Dream of the Wild (February Residency) @ Cabooze

Pick-A-Rib Three: The Music of The Benny Goodman Trio @ Dakota

Lolo’s Ghost, Capitol Sons @ Driftwood Char Bar

Remi Wolf @ First Avenue

Harlow + Dark Bunny @ Icehouse

The Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs @ Palmer’s

Low Rats (7″ Release) with Butcher’s Union and Mad Mojo Jett @ 7th St Entry

Slipjig @ 331 Club

Folios w/ Saint Small & Haters Club @ White Squirrel