Artist Trenton Doyle Hancock did not get along with vegans during college. “I was confronted with some vegans when I was in grad school,” Hancock said. “I didn’t like their attitude, and I started making paintings about them.” Hancock painted those characters years ago. But now, he’s bringing one to real life and performing the live show for free at the Walker Art Center on Thursday.
Supportive friends lend helping hands. But for Christy Hunt and Arzu Gokcen, supportive friends also lend helping guitar handiwork. Singers and guitarists Hunt and Gokcen comprise the core of Minneapolis Riot Grrrl act Pink Mink. The pair formed the band after Hunt let slip that she was considering quitting music.
Though EDM producer/DJ Dillon Francis named his debut album “Money Sucks, Friends Rule,” he said listeners shouldn’t get confused by the title’s austere sentiment. “I’m definitely materialistic,” Francis said. The self-admitted “normal hipster dude from LA” found his way to music from photography and fashion when bands like Nine Inch Nails and the Prodigy inspired him to delve deeper into the underbelly of the electronic music world.
When Minneapolis indie hip hop collective Doomtree started their Blowout concert series in 2004, rapper P.O.S. said the crew didn’t know what to expect. “The original Blowout was just to see what our actual draw was as the only [group] on the bill,” said P.O.S., who is also known as Stef Alexander.
Despite its massive roster — boasting a traditional rock setup, backing singers and a horn section — Minneapolis band the Drug Budget insist they’re not a “collective.” “A collective seems more fair than [what] this is,” said frontman Vain Mainstream, who also goes by David W Gibson online. “It’s just me telling everybody what to do.” Mainstream, aka Gibson (both are pseudonyms; he declines to publicize his real name to protect his privacy), has led the Drug Budget since founding the band in 2009.
For members of the indie new wave trio White Boyfriend, the goal is to make music that skews gender norms, sexuality and geography. The Yale grads grew tired of the American East and moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to play music together. Now bassist Dan Hansen, drummer Katharine “Kitty” Seggerman and keyboardist Nicky Leingang combine their queer and feminist perspectives in White Boyfriend’s light synthpop grooves, culminating in their residency at the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown.
Unlike most bands that formed while its members were in high school, Hardcore Crayons never went through a covers phase. When they formed in the Twin Cities’ northern suburbs in 2005, guitarist Dan Chizek, bassist Dom Hanft and drummer Jake Kirkman said their taste for complicated arrangements kept them too busy to learn cover songs. “We tried a cover; it’s impossible,” Chizek said. “It took so much effort to do it. By the time we started learning, we were trying to write songs.”
For Minneapolis duo Fort Wilson Riot, avoiding the status quo also meant forgoing typical indie rock band structure. The band — which originally formed as a four-piece performance art collective in 2005 — debuted an hourlong theater piece with its first album. “The first record we did was a full-on concept,” singer-guitarist Jacob Mullis said. “We joke sometimes about how most bands will start out with their simple records and then eventually they’ll do their ridiculous concept record.”
Playing a few local shows each week, Minneapolis four-piece Beasthead is used to surprising people with their eclectic hip-hop and rock sound. For multi-instrumentalist Doug Deitchler, Beasthead’s name juxtaposes with their music. “People usually think that sounds like a metal band name,” Deitchler said. The name keeps audiences guessing at Beasthead’s shows, including the band’s opening slot for Royal Canoe at 7th Street Entry on Saturday.
Since the New Pornographers’ classic power-pop debut “Mass Romantic” came out 14 years ago, singer A.C. Newman said the band’s continued career has been a pleasant surprise. The album’s triumph caught Newman off guard because, at the time of the New Pornographers’ debut, he was already 32.
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