Jackie Renzetti


Nuclear Nectar: Spicing up the beats

Rob Gilbert’s drive to succeed spices up the lives of those around him. This past spring, the 25-year-old go-getter founded his own hot sauce line and record label under the same name of Nuclear Nectar, a unique concoction that found some positive results.  “We can’t run out. My 9-year-old son loves it,” Nicole Stewart said Saturday at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market.

Garfunkel and Oates to play Varsity Theatre

When Riki Lindhome first uploaded her whimsical duets with Kate Micucci to YouTube, she wasn’t expecting an audience larger than her parents. Needless to say, the pair didn’t foresee John Oates acting as a porn shop owner on their very own TV show, either.

Music of the people, for the people

Charlie Parr grew up in the midst of the progressive and arena rock craze of the ’70s, but he would sit by his record player and listen to folk music from his dad’s expansive collection — everything from Woody Guthrie to Jimmie Rodgers. “No one on the school bus had heard of Woody Guthrie,” he said.

Taking the band by the horn

Robert Perlick-Molinari is using his French horn performance degree to make electronic dance music a little brassier. He enlisted his brother, David Perlick-Molinari, and hit the road in 2007 as French Horn Rebellion. Since then, they’ve released one full-length and a steady stream of singles, which they plan to compile into another album this summer.  “We’ve traveled almost everywhere, spreading the gospel of the French horn,” Robert Perlick-Molinari said.

Werewolves, triangles and French television

While touring, guitarist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain of We Are Scientists always pack a copy of Robert McCammon’s “The Wolf’s Hour,” which chronicles the adventures of a werewolf who must disrupt Nazi plans during World War II. The indie pop duo feels that McCammon’s work — in addition to a selection of Lee Child novels — demonstrate the moral aims and perspective of We Are Scientists, making it especially important to bring them on their current tour so their newest drummer, Keith Carne, could get acclimated.

Out of the void

Garrison Grouse didn’t expect to find himself being chased by chickens after waking up in a tent in Austin, Texas. But for the bassist, it was just another part of the ride. 

A career out of serendipity

The Coathangers stumbled upon their instruments in 2006 with a simple “carpe diem” attitude. Since that day in Atlanta, Ga., the three-woman punk group has released four albums, the newest of which, “Suck My Shirt,” came out in March. They’ve toured the U.S. and Europe, playing with the likes of the Black Lips. Their initial carefree experiment soon “snowballed out of control,” guitarist Julia Kugel said.

Insight into the Holocaust

It’s not often that the Holocaust is associated with laughter. But there were moments of joy amid the horror, as prisoners used humor and art to preserve their strength and humanity. Author Lisa Peschel spent her undergraduate and graduate years researching Terezín, a concentration camp and Jewish ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic, and she found that though scholars had paid attention to music and children’s drawings created there, few had paid attention to the comedy sketches and songs written by prisoners.

The Suburbs return to First Avenue

On the campus of the California Institute of the Arts in 1977, a teenage Chan Poling discovered the newly born punk world of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.  It was a world hidden beneath the mainstream radio hits of Foreigner and “that light rock kind of stuff,” Poling said. “I was a young man, and I wanted to hear something … that spoke more to me. … So I started my own band.”

South By Southwest: A taste of Minnesota

The Minnesota artists heading down to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, this year represent an array of genres, from techno to vintage country. Some of the bands have been performing together for barely a year, while others have a decade or more under their belts. Here’s a look at some of the groups.   Step Rockets