What to do downtown after work
Music, in focus
You may not know who Daniel Corrigan is, but chances are you’ve seen his iconic concert photography, whether you listen to AC/DC or Atmosphere. As the official house photographer of First Avenue, Corrigan was the lens through which thousands saw music in Minneapolis, and now these images are being collected into a book. “Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis,” out Nov. 1 from Minnesota Historical Society Press, depicts local legends like Prince, The Replacements and Babes in Toyland, along with the greats of the past 40 years, from The Clash all the way to Doomtree. First Avenue will host a release show for the collection on Friday, Oct. 28 with locals The Mighty Mofos, Dosh and Danny Sigelman, aka DJ Paper Sleeves, who also wrote the book’s introduction. The Mill City Museum will also have a “Heyday” exhibit and book launch that opens with a Wednesday, Nov. 16 reception hosted by The Current’s Andrea Swensson.
Punk, surf and “Celebrate Your Worth”
On their latest record, Minneapolis’ own The Blind Shake deliver an upbeat batch of new songs that meander between triumphant punk rock and groovy psychedelic tunes. The trio, fronted by brothers Jim and Mike Blaha with Dave Roper on drums, has been churning out album after album of their own unique garage rock and more for the past decade, and “Celebrate Your Worth” continues that trend. The album builds in intensity off the band’s sixth full-length album, 2014’s “Breakfast of Failures,” with songs like opener “I Shot All The Birds,” a quick and hard tune with alien guitar lines, and “Alicante,” a slow, ethereal jam that builds to the record’s climax. The best thing about the album, to be released Oct. 21 from Memphis-based Goner Records, may be its approachability. While harder punk and noise rock may turn some off — I can’t say it’s what I listen to daily — there’s something for everybody here. The short-and-sweet “Reasonable World” feels perfect for a beach party, and “Demox,” with its driving beat and psychedelic vocals, shows off the band’s experienced performing chops.
The band will have a record release show on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at First Avenue’s 7th Entry. Local up-and-coming alt rockers Fury Things and punk band Tongue Party open for the 18-plus show.
We caught up with The Blind Shake’s Jim Blaha to chat about their latest album.
The Journal: I hear psychedelic, surf and punk rock on this album. Does the band identify with a genre, and do you think about this when sitting down to write a record?
Jim Blaha: We usually just start writing. I think you take away a good chunk of the fun if you pre-determine what genre a song should fit into. With us, we definitely have influences, but the main thing is doing what is best for the song at hand.
Why the name “Celebrate Your Worth”? You end the album with the title track, a kind of slow finale that trails off as the album ends. I understand you guys tend to name albums based on a song from that record (“Breakfast of Failures,” “Fly Right,” “Seriousness,” etc.).
This record is the opposite of “Breakfast of Failures.” It’s the next step. A lot of times a song (the vibe and meaning) can step in and influence the meaning of the record as a whole. When that happens we let that song title represent the whole group. “Celebrate Your Worth” seemed to speak for this group of songs perfectly.
How did you write songs and lyrics for “Celebrate Your Worth”? Some songs have narrative (“Corpse on a Roof”) while others deal with ideas or characters (“Broken Racehorse”), etc.
Sometimes Mike and I write the lyrics together, but on these three particular tracks you mentioned we wrote the lyrics separately. I usually need to hear the music and write lyrics based on the sound of the words. Mike has a much more clear idea of what he would like to say and might have lyrics finished before getting to the music part.
I have to ask about the Bernie Taupin story that accompanies the album. In the write-up you also namedrop a few musicians — including Minneapolis’ own psychedelic noise legend Michael Yonkers. Are these artists inspiration for the album? Our label [Goner Records] out of Memphis wrote that bit about Taupin. I had to look up who that even was. Although Michael Yonkers is and will always be a lifelong inspiration to us. He is our favorite musician to ever come out of Minnesota.
What have you all been listening to lately? Anything you’d recommend to our readers?
We have been listening to a lot of ’60s Ethiopian jazz. Our tour manager in Europe introduced us to it. We have also been obsessed with a few songs by [German experimental rock band] Can recently. None of us have ever gotten over Michael Yonkers’ “Microminiature Love,” and I recommend everybody to seek out that record.