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The Twin Cities' Greatest Hits 2012

The Twin Cities' Greatest Hits 2012

(page 1 of 13)

Dig it. If all the world’s a song, these are the tastiest grooves in the Twin Cities right now. The best things to do, eat, drink, hear, watch, and wear, from the big hits (Trampled by Turtles, Bachelor Farmer) to the deep cuts (the best tailor, the dessert to die for). We did the digging. All you have to do is give it a spin.
 

FUN

THEATER FOR THE EAR

Audio-Visceral Productions

If the Twin Cities were Hollywood, actor Steve Hendrickson would be Morgan Freeman, with a voice that makes everything seem like Shakespeare. Now, thanks to his new Audio-Visceral Productions audio books, you can hear him whenever you want. Original stories, written by pros and narrated by him, are downloadable from the usual sources for just 99 cents. Enjoy Hendrickson in the car, the tub, wherever—he won’t ask. • audio-visceral.com
 

IMPRESARIO

Joe Spencer

To call him the coolest guy in St. Paul sounds like a backhanded compliment until you realize that Spencer, director of the city’s arts and culture program, has largely done what Mayor Chris Coleman asked of him: “Make St. Paul cool.” Among other things, Spencer has brought the Twin Cities Jazz Fest to Mears Park, the Amsterdam Bar and Hall to Lowertown, and the River’s Edge Music Festival to Harriet Island. We never thought we’d say it, but St. Paul is pretty cool. • @joeyspencer
 

NEW ALBUM

Trampled By Turtles’ Stars and Satellites

A few years ago, when these hirsute dudes emerged from Duluth with their joke of a band name, it was easy to write them off. No one’s laughing now (except maybe the musicians: all the way to the bank). Their latest album dominated the bluegrass charts all summer, the campfire immediacy of their stripped-down sound suggesting these guys knew what were doing all along: returning bluegrass to its DIY roots. • trampledbyturtles.com
 

MUSICAL BREAKTHROUGH

Chastity Brown

Brown isn’t sure how to label the banjo-driven music she brought here from Knoxville, burnished with bluesy rhythms and showcased last spring in her album Back-Road Highways. Americana soul? Appalachian neo-soul? We call it damn good. chastitybrownmusic.com
 

LOCAL RECORD LABEL

Secret Stash

The young, Surly-drinking ethnomusicologists of Secret Stash are the Indiana Joneses of the record business, indefatigable in their pursuit of lost musical treasure. Since 2009, they’ve unearthed rare old funk, soul, and reggae from around the world; recorded folk musicians in Peru; and, in September, released an album of classic Twin Cities R&B, prompting the mayors of both cities to declare “Twin Cities Funk & Soul Week.” They release the vintage stuff on vinyl, sometimes with sleeve art by local screenprinters Burlesque of North America. Dust off your turntable and revel in your newfound hipness. ➤  612-466-2224, secretstashrecords.com
 

Tweet Freak

@johnmoe

Why John Moe is tweeting 24/7 is none of our business. But since Moe is the host of MPR’s hit variety show Wits, it is his business: he uses Twitter to test comedy bits, flush with hashtags like #OneLetterOffConspiracyTheories (“Aliens are leaving crap circles all over the world”) and observations: “When are we going to get around to finding a proper name for The Moon?” Most are hilarious. • @johnmoe
 

Second Try

Mill City Nights

The first iteration of this club, the Brick, was so bad in so many ways that it closed after four months. But then it changed everything, from the capacity (smaller) to the acoustics (better) to the name (sounds like an ’80s flick starring Tony Danza as a gigolo, but why not). MCN is a rare humble bird among the strutting nightclub cocks. Rock on. • 111 Fifth St. N., Mpls., 612-333-3422, millcitynights.com
 

Music Venue

WIN
First Avenue first-avenue.com
PLACE
The Dakota dakotacooks.com
SHOW
The Varsity Theater varsitytheater.org
HONORABLE MENTION
The Fitzgerald fitzgeraldtheater.org

 

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