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Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009
It’s not a particularly extraordinary story, but it’s been repeated so many times it has taken on the air of a myth: a heartbroken Justin Vernon retreated for the winter to his father’s northern Wisconsin cabin to lick his wounds, emerging from his three-month exile with a self-recorded album. The same way Blood on the Tracks owes nearly...
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010
For five years, Sharon Van Etten wrote music in secret, stockpiling songs she hoped to perform under better circumstances. “I started playing open mics when I went to college, but then I took a break,” Van Etten explains. “My boyfriend at the time wasn’t very supportive of my music and didn’t think I was good enough to perform, so I had to hide it from him...
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
“I have an idea for a paradoxical theme album called Untitled, on which all the songs are called ‘Untitled,’” Stephin Merritt tells me. I have no idea whether he is kidding, but that’s nothing new. I never have any idea whether Merritt is kidding. In conversation and in song, Merritt has a droll, poker face of a voice, dry enough to suggest sarcasm but too stern to know for sure...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Ramble John “RJ” Krohn, better known by his stage name RJD2, still remembers the moment that inspired him to begin creating the instrumental hip-hop compositions that would become his signature. “The big light bulb went off in my head the first time I bought a sampler,” says the producer. “I vividly remember the first time I made a beat and having this rude...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Aspiring rappers could learn a few things from Dessa, and not just in the abstract sense. The Twin Cities emcee teaches hip-hop studies for a diploma program at a St. Paul school called the McNally Smith College of Music. “I teach a course on music composition that focuses on lyrics,” says the 28-year-old rapper, born Maggie Wander. “It focuses on a lot of the same principles you might find in...
08.13.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Waukesha-born Les Paul, a rock and jazz pioneer and inventor who created the electric guitar as we know, died today of pneumonia, the Associated Press is reporting. He was 94. Paul was lucid and active in his final years, playing concerts regularly. He was also well celebrated back home. Last year the Discovery World museum opened an exhibit in his honor, and he christened the exhibit wit...
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009
Lykke Li is a mystery, "even to myself," she says. She's capricious and full of contradictions, at once plucky and melancholy, sweet and standoffish. She delights in her eccentricities, and though she doesn't lie, per se, she usually doesn't volunteer the whole truth, either. She spends a good deal of interviews refuting or correcting insinuations she herself made in previous interviews. It's easy to see why so many...

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