T5. The Shin’s “Chutes Too Narrow” artwork
he best defense against everyone downloading your album for free is to add irresistible artwork. On The Shin’s second album, “Chutes Too Narrow,” the cover features a cartoon landscape of mountains, grassy hills and rivers and lakes in vibrant colors that generates a wave of warmth. The best part is, the cover folds out in sections like a children’s storybook to uncover a secret world inside. The Shin’s gorgeous dreamy pop matches the lush scenery.
4. Kid Dakota at the Triple Rock, Oct. 17
A sick Haley Bonar had to cancel her opening slot for Low on the 17th, which disappointed most of the crowd, who were anticipating the rising local singer/songwriter’s performance almost as much as Low’s. But thankfully, Kid Dakota filled the spot, wiping the frowns off the crowd and reminding everyone why he is one of the Twin Cities’ best musicians. The highlight of the entire evening was his song “So Pretty” where all three members of Low came on stage playing the famous ice-tray percussion section of the song.
3. Virginia Rodrigues, “Mares Profundos”
Virginia Rodrigues is a stunning Brazilian singer who sways to breezy Afro-sambas. Unlike the light and mellow sound of classic female Brazilian vocalists like Astrud Gilberto, Rodrigues’ voice is rich and operatic. Her duet with Caetano Veloso is absolutely breathtaking. Tonight she graces the Cedar Cultural Center with her presence.
2. Sweet JAP’ “Hong Kong Express” video
At the Sound Unseen festival, promoters for the all-local music video showcase “Spectrum” handed out DVDs of all the videos shown. “Spectrum” is a great collection of some of the most important Twin Cities musicians of the last couple of years ranging from videos by Low, Har Mar Superstar, Mark Mallman, Atmosphere and many others. But the standout video that requires multiple viewings is punk band Sweet JAP’s “Hong Kong Express.” The video, indeed filmed at Hong Kong Express, jets through quick snippets of the restaurant that feels as though you are watching a flip book. The result is a low-fi, trashy, hilarious classic, just like Sweet JAP themselves.
1. LCD Soundsystem, “Losing My Edge”
DFA Records’ “Compilation #1” features some of the best dance-punk bands around, including the rightly beloved buzz band The Rapture. The entire compilation will have you bouncing up and down, especially LCD Soundsystem’s track “Losing My Edge.” The singer, in a sneering voice, first declares he’s becoming out of touch compared to “the kids.” At first, he seems like he’s ready to sell his white labels and German imports and let the younger generation take over. That is, until he dives into a humorous hipster rant claiming such firsts as attending the first Can show, playing Daft Punk first at CBGB and owning every record before everyone. LCD Soundsystem makes fun of hipster culture only because they really love it.