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New Local Music Friday: Von Tramps, Early Eyes, Alien Book Club

Plus two Current staffers move on and the Fillmore changes hands in this week's local music roundup.

The Von Tramps
Kaytlin Dargen

We got some new music for you. We got some music news for you. What else could you ask for on a Friday? *looks around at the world* OK, a lot, but this is the best I can do for you. Oh, also, since we’re talking about music, read Jay’s story about local musicians and streaming from earlier this week.

Tramps! Eyes! Aliens! Books! Clubs!

As though heeding the long ago call from W. Axl Rose to “gimme some reggae,” the Von Tramps have loosened up their garage-punk attack on their terrific new single on SBAM Records. “Lo Mein” is a rhythmic departure that hints a little (I hope it is not uncool to say) at No Doubt. The song arrives in tandem with a colorful, semi-animated video, which you can watch for yourself—but only after reading the next two paragraphs as well, deal? 

Because we’ve also got a couple notable local album releases to talk about. Early Eyes’ latest, Look Alive! (OK! You don’t have to shout!) dropped on Epitaph today, and its electronic percolations bounce around in the service of small p “pop” that’s more in the spirit of ‘80s new-wave and synthpop than a lot of bands that more derivatively ape that era’s sounds. 

Early Eyes play a shared album release show at the Entry tomorrow (as in Saturday) night with Alien Book Club, whose new album (also out today) is called Desecration of the Whispering Salamander and sure sounds like it’s called Desecration of the Whispering Salamander. The seven-piece (that’s a lot of pieces) makes all sorts of intriguing noises but each song hews to a straightforward tune at its core, suggesting that in music as in politics, anarchy works best when you’ve got a shared sense of purpose. 

Two Good Dudes Leave the Current

As Bob Dylan once more or less said, “The Current, it is a-changin’,” as though anticipating the fact that 89.3 is losing a couple gems from its staff. Digital editor (and Racket contributor) Jay Gabler is already up in Duluth, where he’ll be working as arts and entertainment reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. (He’s also engaged. Cute!) Today, Current DJ Sean McPherson (who’s also a Trivia Mafia don, Heiruspecs bassist, and—full disclosure—Racket benefactor) announced that he’s leaving as well. McPherson’s not moving quite as far, just about a notch up the FM dial to become music director and afternoon drive host of WBEM, Jazz88. These are very good choices. If my job was to hire people for these jobs, I’d be saying “Good job!” to myself today. 

Out-of-Towner Buys the Fillmore

The Fillmore, the music venue that opened in the shadow of Target Field in 2020, has already changed hands, Kelly Busche at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. The joint, named (let’s just say, for fun) after beloved right-wing comic strip duck Mallard Fillmore, was developed by the Polhad-owned United Properties. This December, the Polhads collected $17.5 million from Beverly Hills investor Richard Koral, who was eager to buy the Fillmore because of his longstanding interest in live music and his hopes for the city of Minneapolis. Oh wait, scratch that. He bought it to avoid paying capital gains tax. What does this all mean? Well, since Live Nation continues to operate the venue, it’s unlikely that you, I, or the Kid LAROI will notice the difference in ownership.