Alas, Alas’ debut self-titled LP is evocative and full of imagery, worth the listen
[UPDATE: Live audio of Alas, Alas' "Whiskey Town" by Jeremy Kleider]
by D. Sykes
Alas, Alas offers a kind of music now very familiar to Twin Cities audiences, a traditional Americana sound that embraces the ragged edges common to hardscrabble traveling musicians. Like many groups you can find at quieter basement shows and stages like the Acadia, they adopt a loose, living-room jam feel, like a bunch of hipster kids who got a hold of their granddad’s fiddle collection—however, Alas, Alas set themselves apart from the vast run of these groups through sheer songwriting quality and musical talent, as evidenced on their debut self-titled LP.
Alas, Alas forego the minimalism of much anti-folk for a ramshackle, wall-of-sound approach, reminiscent of a hung-over Beirut playing in a living room somewhere in Arkansas. At more intense tempos, as on “Whiskey Bound,” they remind one of the alt-bluegrass of Duluth’s Trampled by Turtles. At times the similarities border on appropriation, but there’s only so many chord progressions and picking patterns in the traditional Americana idiom.
Band on Band Action: Matt Homan of The Japhies talks about the genuine rock n’ roll of RapeDoor and The Goondas, the nihilistic ways of Brain Tumors, and his fatalistic visions of the Indie scene
In Minneapolis, music is an obsession. Yes, everyone is a music lover, it shouldn’t matter where you’re from, but Minneapolis is different. In short, we’re snobs about it. But it’s much more than that. Our city-life thrives on our music, embracing and nurturing it the way L.A. nurtures film, or the way Miami nurtures tourism, or the way Arizona nurtures intolerance.
It’s more than something that simply exists here, it’s a hub of creativity, a womb of support and love—it’s an integral part of our identity. Our city is rich with art, and we’re proud of it, however, if you’ve lived in Minneapolis, if you consider yourself a Minneapolitan, you know Music forever remains King.
In these series we interview different local bands and have them talk about the music scene that supports them. Specifically, we talk to them about other local bands for, hopefully, some wet, wild, steamy-hot Band on Band Action.
Episode #2: Matt Homan of The Japhies
by D. Sykes
With a rousing live show and a shiny new LP on the way, The Japhies have become a highly respected outlet for the pure rock and roll that many in the Twin Cities have abandoned. A band with much more depth than the average cock-rock outfit, they pursue their music with dedication, without taking themselves too seriously or falling into the quagmire of irony and pretentiousness so common in these trying times.
I met up with their bassist, Matt Homan, to go turn in a jar of change for rent money and play Vice City. We laughed, we cried, we discussed the resurrection of the local rock scene and talked shit about people from Arizona.
After a long break, we’ve recuperated and are ready to infest our fair cities once again. Enjoy this promotional video showcasing just some of the art that festers our beloved Twin Cities.
Infest the city. Make art. Talk about art.
Video by Gus Ganley
Music: “Love Don’t Pay My Bills” by Danami