The importance of listening to different types of music

This really helps to experience new things and enhances your personality.

When I was younger, all I listened to was rap music and it was my favorite type of music and probably still is. You can also see from a few of the posts that I have made on this blog, that hip hop and rap music seems to still reign supreme.

But one must be able to listen to and appreciate other types and forms of music, if you are to get more out of your life and be able to really understand different things and recognize various opportunities that life throws at you. This is why this blog is so great as there are already so many references to the different musicians and types of music that a visitor to Minneapolis is likely to encounter.

This holds true even for those that already live here like me. Some of the famous Minneapolis music acts that I have enjoyed are country and rock band The Jayhawks, the funk band known as ‘The Time,’ the Blues band Koerner, Ray & Glover and I also felt that Dosh is an artist that you might want to listen to.

Like I said, go ahead and experiment with the music that you listen to and don’t be surprised if you find something unusual and different that you greatly enjoy. In addition to broadening your mind, the type of music that you listen to influences your mood and overall approach to life. So go ahead and try to listen to as much of the right type of music.

Cloud Cult - They Live on the Sun

How personal tragedy gave way to one of the last decade's best albums

Cloud Cult's They Live on the Sun easily ranks high on the list of saddest albums ever written. It's up there hanging out with Lou Reed's Berlin and The Antlers's Hospice. Which is unlikely, because it sounds exactly like a rollicking tour through some seriously catchy tunes. With a few downtempo exceptions, They Live on the Sun is the most exuberant album ever written about inexplicable death and unbearable sorrow.

It's one of those records that I love profoundly but can't often listen to all the way through because I start to lose it. Anyone who's dived into Cloud Cult with a little bit of context will know why. Bandleader Craig Minowa wrote They Live On the Sun in the months after his two-year-old son passed away from SIDS. That alone should give you an idea of the kind of soul destruction the record unleashes on its visitors. 

I mean, it doesn't get sadder than that. Failed relationships, suicide, sure, all that sucks. But to lose a son two years after becoming a father for no reason other than life is chaotic and sometimes hellish? Nothing in the world can prepare you for that kind of pain. 

But if you're an artist, you deal with the loss by making art. At that point, it's probably the only thing you can do to stay sane. And so They Live on the Sun was born--the first of Cloud Cult's widely recognized meditations on life, love, loss and death. Its catchy, manic tunes climbed up the college radio charts. Few casual listeners likely guessed at the depth of pain behind the songs, but that was kind of the point: to celebrate Kaidin's life, and really, all life, by creating art at the intersection of inconsolable sorrow and freeing, boundless joy.

It'd be wrong for Minowa to immortalize his dead son with a recording that focused solely on the hole he left behind. And so They Live on the Sun delves into the pure joy of fatherhood, the moments of discovery and growth and hilarity that come with raising your first child. One song on the record features a clip of Minowa teaching Kaidin how to sing. The effect of that song is hard to describe; the love captured in that moment overshadowed by the tragedy lurking in its future makes for a gut-wrenching emotional dissonance. It feels like we're looking into a moment far too personal to be shared, yet we can't look away.

Once we pass from the bristling radio jams and broken fairy tales of the album's side A, it's a quick and uneasy descent into its sorrowful core. If you're not weeping by the end of "Sleeping Days Pt. II" there's something profoundly wrong with the emotional centers of your brain. Minowa's voice breaks over rough toy piano as he delivers one final wish to see his son again at the end of his own life. It's hard to perform a song that frank about something so painful, but Minowa does so poetically, without reserve, pouring the deepest parts of his pain into his music. True to its mission, even at its darkest, the record remains playful: "I hope you woke to fireworks in the arms of a grass-stained wizard, cause I can't bear to think that you are gone." 

There's nothing harder than what Craig Minowa has gone through. But to cast it as art and share it with the world is a beautiful and necessary act. What else can we do with the ashes? 

Cloud Cult - On the Sun


Too Much Love with DJ SOVIETPANDA

It's time for another week of Too Much Love with DJ SOVIETPANDA.

When I walked into First Ave’s mainvroom for my first experience of DJ SovietPanda, I was sceptical at first. After seeing major DJ sets like Paul Van Dyke, Benny Benassi, and Mix Master Mike I questioned why I was wasting my time with this kid's attempt to connect with his audience.

Ultimately proven wrong. I purchased my ticket and maneuvered through the group of young adults wearing vibrant colors and dressed to impress. I moved toward the bar observing my surroundings. As I walked, I noticed that the establishment was far more busy than I had anticipated. I was surprised but couldn’t keep myself from moving to the pulsing bass in his electro set. The crowd participation was impressive to say the least. Everyone seemed to be in their own world as the light show casted shadows on a sea of partiers. For what I would consider a house DJ, SovietPanda proved to be a perfect fit for First-Ave’s main room on Saturday nights. The mix of music is enough to keep things interesting, but not enough to overwhelm the audience. Girls and guys of all different ages make up the wide variety of people attending.
Three dollars for a Saturday night of entertainment doesn’t seem possible. I assure you it is very possible and it seems that Minneapolis has just that. Saturday nights aren’t what they used to be. They are better. I don’t know what you’re doing this weekend but I suggest you check out DJ SovietPanda at First Ave’s main room. While there, grab yourself a drink and find me on the dance floor. I’ll be the person oblivious to their surroundings dancing like a madman to techno for as long as there’s music to do so.

Doomtree - 'Knives On Fire'

This Minneapolis DIY hip hop collective produces some ferocious beats. 

Soundset 2012

Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Lupe Fiasco, P.O.S. I Self Divine, and many more.

Get ready Twin Cities cause it’s time for another Soundset at Canterbury park. Soundset 2012 in Shakopee Minnesota will be Sunday May 27Th. The Line-up is out With the Usual performers like, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and P.O.S. But has a few very exciting first time Soundset artists including Lupe Fiasco, DJ Premiere, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon. With these additions this day of music is sure to attract thousands of people

from not just the Midwest, but the all over the map.


Soundset started Memorial Day weekend in 2008 as a one day Hip Hop festival presented by the local recording label Rhymsayers Entertainment. A average of 12,000 people attend each year from all over the country and Canada. It seems to get bigger as the years move on gaining more National attention, and has been said to be the biggest Indie Hip Hop show of 2012. Which I believe has been the case every year since it began, but that's just me.


After experiencing the past four Soundset festivals I can truly say it is something every Hip Hop head should set aside money and their Memorial Day weekend for. For a first time Soundset attendee it can get overwhelming with the amount there is to do in the giant fielded area the festival is held in. There is not only two stages of Hip Hop acts, there is also a B-Boy/B-girl tent, skating demo, and painting exhibit, This day of too much to do in too little time is also home to the fifth annual car show going on in the back area of the field with over 200 cars. There is a production showcase and vendors from different labels ready to talk music and new releases.


This weekend is guaranteed to be a cant miss for the whole family. tickets go on sale March 7th at

Photo Above: Method Man and Redman on the mainstage at Soundset

Observer Drift - 'Backwards'

A moodier cut from Colin Ward aka Observer Drift's Corridors LP. Warm, sad shoegazey goodness.

Brother Ali - The Bite Marked Heart

Free Download Link Inside

Brother Ali Just dropped a FREE 7 track EP from Rhymesayers Entertainment with production from both Jake One, and Ant from Rhymesayers. The EP is titled The Bite Marked Heart, and features five different artists.





Its safe to say I will forever be a Brother Ali fan. Ever since the release of his EP Champion in 2004 he has captured my ears and drove me through a different kind of underground passion that just cant be mirrored by most mainstream Hip Hop artists. His albums aren’t half as impressive as his live performances. Touring usually 6 months out of the year he makes his stops all over the United States from small towns to LA, or Austin. Catching a show at First-Avenue, the famous venue that housed influential artists like Craig Finn, Bob Dylan, and Prince, you would leave with a sense of fulfillment and inspiration.  It is the locals and die hard fans that travel from all areas who are lucky enough to see him in the comfort of his hometown on First Ave's main room floor. This is where he gives back to the people that support and fiend for his music on a daily basis. The shows feel so personal you would think it was a private performance. Getting tickets on the other hand can prove to be difficult because of how fast Brother Ali seems to sell out his shows.


Ali is growing rapidly as a household name in the Twin Cities. His reign as one of the most talented lyricists is not showing signs of weakness.  In this EP he speaks calm with a cool style yet carries over the same conviction from his past albums. It features artists Nikki Jean and Abby Wolf, as well as Stokly Williams and Phonte. Worried at first then ultimately impressed, these additions meshed perfectly with Brother Ali’s style. They attributed to a dark and lonely feeling that The Bite Marked Heart verses seemed to reveal. This EP release has left me excited and anxious for a new Brother Ali album, which works out perfectly because according the "He is Putting the final touches on a new LP called Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color." Check out the links below for a free stream from, and a FREE download from While your there check out current tour dates, shop the online store,  and listen to new material.

Sherbetty - 'Dracula's Revenge'

A little grandiose and very self-effacingly quirky, Sherbetty's new LP twists its electroacoustic pop into some fun new shapes. And there's a song about Dracula, so, you know, hard to go wrong.