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RIP Jason Heinrichs, AKA Anomaly

Plus where in the world is Bill Sullivan?, some new old Clams, and a visit to the virtual zine vaults in this week's local music roundup.

Jason Heinrichs
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This week’s music column drifts back through the past a little more than usual, starting somberly with an unexpected death and growing a bit more celebratory as it goes along.

Remembering Versatile Minneapolis DJ/Musician/Producer Jason Heinrichs

Jason Heinrichs, who emerged at the forefront of Twin Cities trip-hop in the late ’90s and continued a varied career in music over the following decades, died earlier this week, according to his family. Perhaps best known as Anomaly, Heinrichs moved easily between the worlds of dance music, hip-hop, and indie rock, as was common in the close-knit, genre-crossing scene he came up in. Heinrichs died unexpectedly in his sleep, according to his brother Karl.

Heinrichs was an inescapable presence in turn-of-the-millennium local music. The bassist for the trip-hop group Brother Sun Sister Moon, he soon became known for his own productions, releasing his album Howe’s Book in 1998 on Groove Garden Records. He also served as resident DJ and musical director at the “it” club of that era, The Lounge, and resident DJ for Martini Blu at the Grand Hotel. 

Heinrichs played a role in local hip-hop as well, engineering and remixing early Atmosphere tracks, and producing songs for Cenospecies, the first group to feature P.O.S. In the 2000s, he formed the house music duo Roomsa with singer Lady Sarah, performing most of the music himself, and you can hear some of his more recent work on Soundcloud or YouTube. There will be a celebration of Heinrichs’ life later this month, with details forthcoming.

Replacements Road Manager, 400 Bar Owner… Horserace Handicapper?

If you’re looking for Bill Sullivan these days, try the track. As detailed in his memoir, Lemon Jail: On the Road with the Replacements, Sullivan’s rock career began as the band’s touring roadie, before he rose to the formidable position of tour manager. He was later tour manager for Soul Asylum for a decade before opening the 400 Bar on the West Bank in 1996 and running it along with his brother Tom until 2013. But a little bio on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association website clued us in to Sullivan’s new life as a race handicapper. He recently participated in the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship, and explains how he got started back in his rock and roll days thus: “When you’re traveling around there’s horse tracks and there’s not much else to do.” Never stop growing!

What the Shell? Clams Compilation Coming.

Let’s talk about the Clams. Cindy Lawson, the frontwoman for Minneapolis’ pioneering all-woman band, got back in the rock ring last year with her album New Tricks, which is set to rerelease on Boston’s Rum Records, with bonus tracks, on May 20. That label is also releasingThe Complete Clams on May 6, and to prep you the label has reissued the band’s 1987 7-inch, “Crazy Boys” and “Train Song.” If you only know of the Clams, now (or soon) you can hear how Lawson, Patty Jansen, Karen Cusack, and Roxie Terry earned their place in Minneapolis rock history.

Zine is Short for Magazine

Back before the internet [insert some cranky old guy thing about how the internet supposedly ruined the world], there were zines. And of course there still are zines: There’s a thriving community in the Twin Cities and Mia has a great archive as well. But the punk zines of the Reagan years will always have a distinct appeal, so it was a treat to browse through the zine PDFs collected on the website Contextual Dissemination. And it was nice to find two early issues of the local zine Your Flesh, begun by California transplants Ron Clark and Peter Davis with Bob Mould, so I could share ’em with you—the second and third issues, from 1982 and 1983, respectively. It’d run you 50 cents at the time, which was a lot of money in those days (actually it wasn’t) and among other important historical documentation you’ll find a review of a Hüskers’ live show discussing how the band has changed. (“Both Bob and Greg move around a lot more.”) And #2 closes with this disclaimer.