Bandcamp Friday—the periodic day-long sale where the independent music site forgoes its cut of the profits and passes all the cash along to artists—is so popular there’s even a site that tells you when it’s Bandcamp Friday. And as another BF rolls around today, I noticed that you can search artists by city and state, and … I bet you can see where I’m going with this. The first recommended artist for both Minnesota and Minneapolis is Inhaling Mist by Paperbark, an ambient artist I admit I know nothing about. I listened while writing this column, and it didn’t distract me, though when I listened closely I liked what I heard—which makes for good ambient by definition, right? As for the all-time best-selling releases? For Minneapolis it’s the New Standards’ Holiday Album, for St. Paul it’s Psymun’s 2014 album Pink Label, and for Minnesota generally it’s Low’s latest, Hey What. Also, a bunch of the musicians I’ll be talking about below have music on Bandcamp, so hit’em up there if you’re so inclined. Or just poke around with the local tags.
Not Krampme. Krampus.
Krampus is the anti-Santa, a horned creature who terrifies the bad children of central Europe at Christmastime. Twin Cities shock-rock institution Impaler is kind of like Krampus, but scarier and real. (Ha, jk, Krampus, you’re real too.) Bill Lindsey and his boys have been spookin’ ‘n’ rollin’ for 38 years now, and they released a new album earlier in 2021, The Great Hereafter. I’m not just writing about them because they sent a holiday card to City Pages every year after I profiled them 20 years ago. This Thursday they’ll be terrifying bad children at the Entry at their Merry Krampus show, along with Plague of Stars and SEMTEX, and you can expect a lot of fake blood, real riffs, and ghouliday spirit. Never stop impaling, fellas.
A Heiruspectacular Holiday Event
Heiruspecs hasn’t been around quite as long as Impaler yet (by my count they’ve been with us for 24 years) and they wear comparatively less onstage makeup. But they’re just as scary—scary good at performing, that is. (Heh heh, good one, Keith.) I caught one of the hip-hop band’s outdoor shows at Icehouse this summer, and their chops as instrumentalists and MCs are undiminished. Their annual “holiday classic” is at the Turf Club tonight, and you should absolutely get there in time for St. Paul rapper Juice Lord, whose Spread Luvis one of this year’s highlights. Throw in DJ Rowsheen spinning between sets and your Friday night is locked down. The good kind of locked down, that is.