While 2014's "Exes & Ohs" might have been the mainstream's first introduction to Elle King, the singer-songwriter's been orbiting somewhere around show business for her entire life. The daughter of British model London King and Rob "making copies" Schneider, Elle King grew up in rural Ohio before her nomadic music career. King specializes in the banjo (and she's a ripper!), but despite her ties to bluegrass and roots music, King's full-length debut Love Stuff skews hard towards the pop spectrum. The end result is somewhere in between Wanda Jackson and the polished pop-punk of Pink, and trust us, that's a good thing.
Depending on your vantage point, "chillwave" as a genre was either the worst indie-blog fad until vaporwave rolled along, or one of the best developments in low-fi pop in years. Like his contemporary Toro y Moi, Alan Palomo (a.k.a. Neon Indian) unfairly caught the "overhyped" label for his associations with chillwave before his first full-length had even been released, but managed to duck expectations and broaden his sound impressively. Last year's Vega Intl. Night School saw Neon Indian's retro tendencies blossom into full-blown Prince worship. Palomo has teamed with EDM duo Classixx for a tour that's a dance maven's dream come true.
Do you remember when you were first told that you were "a little old" to be trick-or-treating? For us, the heartbreak stemmed not so much from the diminished quantity of candy, but the loss of variety. Sampling wildly from your haul of sweets with hedonistic abandon isn't dead, though. Lake Monster Brewery is swapping candy for adult candy (beer) and allowing costumed revelers to sample to their hearts content at their Halloween-themed beer fest, Monster Bash. DJs from Epic Bass will be spinning tunes, prize giveaways are planned, and there's even a food truck to keep you from resorting to blood or brains for sustenance.
A few years ago at the Pizza Luce Block party, Blind Shake guitarist Mike Blaha caught one of those wild hairs onstage that only the best rock 'n' roll entertainers get. At a climactic moment in the song, Blaha chucked his guitar some 30 feet in the air, Prince-style , without fully comprehending the consequences. The guitar crashed back to earth right in the middle of Dave Roper's drum kit, barely missing the drummer's head. These moments are commonplace at the Blind Shake's shows. The band's two-guitar, surf-punk attack sounds like a Ventures record played at 45 rpm with methamphetamine-laced speakers, and their new album Celebrate Your Worth is already getting some well-deserved national press. The show's undercard is stacked with local talent as well, including '90s rock shredders Fury Things.
On chaotic partying holidays like October 31st, it's often best to go with the sure thing, and you're not going to find a better guarantee of a good time than First Avenue's annual Halloween Party. The event's been running in the downtown danceteria for years, with a bawdy and irreverent costume contest hosted by local comedy legend Ian Rans that always turns out some truly impressive outfits. This year, DJ Cloud, DJ Greenery, DJ Espada, Mike 2600, DJ Smitty and Roy Freedom will preside over the decks in the mainroom, while breakouts Ness Nite and Holidae top an expertly curated local rap and R&B bill in the entry.