Article by Alex Stahlmann
Photos by Carter Dick
Hailing from Sydney Australia, Panama has been igniting both the indie and electronic worlds. Their trademark anthemic music is written and produced by Jarrah McCleary (lead vocals / keys / guitar), and performed as a three …
BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE $10 in advance / $15 at the door Join the Event on Facebook! The Beat Mpls is proud to present HAYWYRE w/ special guests Bass Violator and Big Poppa Pot Roast …
The Pursuit of Dance Laidback Luke was anything but laid back on stage this past Thursday, bringing an energy and light-heartedness to his first-ever Minneapolis set performed at a less than full Epic nightclub. Dutch Mr. …
Growing up on the South Side, Prof is no stranger to the Minneapolis hip-hop scene. He has amassed a devout local fan base, and has recently made a large impact at a national level. He’s …
Article by Alex Stahlmann
Photos by Carter Dick
Mike Daum, Night Phoenix (Roster McCabe)’s former guitarist, has been working relentlessly on his solo self-titled project since his band split a few months back. Since the project’s birth Mike has explored his style, grown exponentially, and performed for audiences at several festivals and clubs. Expect big things to come!
TBM: You played lead guitar for Night Phoenix (formally Roster McCabe), and currently have a self-titled solo project. Tell me a little bit more about Mike Daum.
MD: Well, the band split up, which was kind of a surprise, because our drummer left sort of on a whim to play with a band called Cosby Sweater. There were a couple of festival and club slots that the band had booked. I had just finished a solo set where I could perform by myself only a few weeks prior. I think I had done one show by myself before the band split. I was still very underprepared and the project was still brand new. I wasn’t really planning on releasing the project so quickly. My plan was to continue playing in the band for a while – we didn’t foresee us breaking up. This was supposed to be a side thing that I wanted to do for fun. When we broke I was basically like, “Well, I don’t have another project. I don’t want to start another band.” I took the songs that I had done so far, threw em up on Soundcloud, and contacted the clubs and festivals. Told them I was still down to play. It’s been really fast.
TBM: Night Phoenix / Roster, if you had to describe them, contain elements of rock, electronic, and reggae. What would you consider your solo project?
MD: What I’m attempting to go for if my own form of electro house. It lets me touch on a lot of different stuff without being specific to any EDM genre. Something I really don’t want to do is tie myself down to house, dubstep, or whatever. I want to be able to explore stuff and do things in my own style. With my songwriting I’m accustomed to having a singer and having these songs formed with choruses, I want to get into that more going forward. I have been working with some vocalists, but that whole side of the project hasn’t come to fruition yet. I want it to be a big part of it, but right now it’s mostly instrumental, electro house stuff with bass drops and guitar over it.
TBM: Cool. Well, you are obviously a guitar player, and a good one at that. Tell me a little bit about the incorporation if the guitar into this project.
MD: I like using it because it’s something that I can do, and it differentiates me from other guys who are standing behind a computer or DJ booth. It’s a different look, a different thing. I had it really dialed in with the band. I had my place and we had been working on it for years. Now that I’m writing these new songs on Ableton, I’m just trying to dial it in. I can use it with some heavy distortion and add sort of a rock n’ roll riff creating a dubstep feel. During more chill house beats I can use it as a solo lead instrument – which is really convenient. I can do a little bit of improve and bring some human touch to the show. I’m also trying to be weary of not oversaturating the music with all guitars. I want to play songs in which I don’t play the guitar and are more vocal based – recorded from electronic singers.
TBM: How do you actually approach your songwriting and music production?
MD: I try and make beats that I like and that other people will like. I open up Abelton, get inspired by a synthesizer riff that I’ll come up with on the piano, or a riff on the guitar. Basically what I’ll do is put in a kick n’ snare n’ high hat and get a tempo that I like, then I just play it on the keyboard. I perform the guitar live, but I do the bulk of my writing on the keyboard as it is a little bit easier to use with a computer and arrangement wise. Putting in bass notes. Basically all my ideas will germinate from that – a simple beat, riff, some piano chords that I really like, and I form that into a three or four minute song.
TBM: Where does your inspiration come from?
MD: Inspirartion! Yea, just making fun beats and having fun performing it right now. With the band there was a lot of expectation because the band was a certain way, or the band was a certain genre. We had four guys and only two would agree on a new song. “This is our style,” “our fans are going to like this,” “our fans aren’t going to like this,” or “let’s change it up.” You’re caught in one path that you’re kinda expected to follow. Your fans are expecting you to write a certain way, or write a certain type of song. With this project, it’s so young; I’m just trying all these different things. I’m completely limitless in what I can try. That’s what’s really inspiring. Just opening up a blank Abelton project and being able to put in whatever I want. It lends to me experimenting a lot and creating a lot of different beats – just helping me to find out what I’m really trying to do, what I like, and what works for me when I’m performing.
TBM: You’re based out of the Twin Cities. What are some of your favorite things to do in Minneapolis and Saint Paul?
MD: Definitely going out to shows. If I have a free night I’m probably going to go down to the Cabooze, maybe go check a show out at the Skyway, hang out at Whiskey Junction. Most of my friends and almost everyone I know in Minneapolis is kind of based out of the festival and the heady jam band scene. I have a lot of friends in the electronic scene as well. I just like to immerse myself in music when I can. Since the band broke up I’ve been doing nothing but working on beats and going out and seeing music.
TBM: What can we expect from your set the night of the Filibusta show?
MD: I saw Filibusta’s show this summer, and I got a feel for what he does. A lot of cool stuff – he plays some funky heavy bass music, but he’ll jam some keyboards, and he’ll also rap over it. It’s a pretty cool lineup, and I’m pretty excited to jam some guitar. I think a lot of the people there are excited to see some live instruments incorporated along with the beats.
Article by Alex Stahlmann
Photos Compliments of Last Triumph
Music Compliments of Mike Daum
Dan Crittenden, who plays under the moniker Dappa Dan, is one of the hardest working and most involved persons within the Twin Cities electronic dance music scene. Since his first electronic show a few years back Dan has immersed himself within the culture and started to make a name for himself as an accomplished DJ. His sets are primarily based in deep house, but he has been known to excitedly explore a variety of genres. Dappa Dan will be layin’ down some funk heavy jams to get the Awakening Tour in Minneapolis movin’, so make sure to get to The Loft when he goes on at 9:00 PM.
TBM: Dappa Dan is a relatively new project. Could you speak to how it came about?
DD: Well I’ve been mixing songs in my bedroom for a couple years now, but I finally got some gear and decided to take things a little more seriously. I was able to get a couple gigs playing out at Tacos and Techno, and opening the night for Haywyre, and it was such a great experience that I decided I had to do whatever I could to keep it going.
TBM: What makes Dappa Dan so dappa?
DD: It’s a way of life, really. You can’t have smooth grooves without a smooth nature.
TBM: Tell me a little bit about how build your sets.
DD: Each set calls for a different feel, and I try to be conscious of the predominant genre of the night. For example, for the upcoming Filibusta show I know that the night will have a funk motif, so I found and compiled several hundred of the best funk/mid-tempo songs I could. From there, I listen to each one carefully and pare it down to only the best from that selection. I also try to keep my selections a little more low-key, since I frequently play early in the night and it’s not my job to go super hard right off the bat.
TBM: What are some of your avenues for discovering music?
DD: Whenever I find an artist that really grabs my attention, I like to go on Soundcloud and look at who they’re listening to. Quite often, that yields some really fantastic results. Otherwise if I’m looking for a certain genre that is less familiar to me, I’ll ask a friend who is more expert in that area to point me in the right direction.
TBM: Who are your greatest inspirations and why?
DD: I’d say what inspires me the most are all of the locals who have achieved so much. To name a few, Vaski, Manic Focus and Boombox Cartel are all supremely talented local DJ/Producers who I’m delighted to see are getting the attention they deserve. Seeing Vaski with his successful residency at the legendary First Avenue, and Manic Focus and Boombox Cartel masterfully rocking out crowds of thousands and collaborating with some of my favorite artists really makes me proud of our musical climate and inspires me to do more and try harder. Also, even though he’s only partially local, let’s not forget Haywyre. His immense talent and humility blows my mind every day.
TBM: What are some of your career highlights thus far?
DD: I’ve gotten to play at almost all of the reputable clubs in the Metro area, and each one is a different experience. Each gig is it’s own highlight, and I cherish every moment that I get to play my favorite music stupidly loud for my friends. That being said, I think the best moment I had was at the March Madness DJ contest at Bar Fly this spring. I only played ten minutes, and I got crushed in the second round, but I think that first round was the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve had, and I think it gained me a little more notoriety.
TBM: You are fairly active within the electronic community in the Twin Cities. How would you describe the scene here? Describe your involvement.
DD: I believe our scene here is truly unparalleled. The people who curate our shows here are so passionate and really work their hardest to bring us the best new acts and ramp up productions.
I’m happy to have my hand in a few different areas of the music scene here. I proudly promote for Hydrive Shows, I write the occasional article for The Beat MPLS, and I also work at Bar Fly, which as some may know is the same establishment in charge of the Skyway Theater, Studio B and the Loft. My friends always seem to have some interesting project in the works as well, so I gladly help them out whenever I get a chance.
TBM: Where do you see Dappa Dan in the future?
DD: DJing has been a tremendous amount of fun, and sometime in the next year I’d like to earn a direct support slot for an artist I like. My biggest goal in the short term, however, is to hone my production skills to the point where I can release some music that I’d be proud to put my name on.
TBM: What can we expect from your set on 9/6?
DD: I plan on touching on a few different genres, but first and foremost I look forward to bringing a healthy helping of funk!
Article by Alex Stahlmann
Picture by Alex Stahlmann
Music Compliments of Dappa Dan
Hailing from Sydney Australia, Panama has been igniting both the indie and electronic worlds. Their trademark anthemic music is written and produced by Jarrah McCleary (lead vocals / keys / guitar), and performed as a three piece which includes Tom Marland (Keys / guitar) and Tim Commandeur (drums). Tracks “Strange Feeling” and “Always” have found their way to the top of hype machine charts, accrued millions of Soundcloud plays, and onto Sirius Alt Nation’s rotation. Panama recently finished their first US tour and has begun a leg of European festivals.
TBM: You recently had a show at the Triple Rock here in Minneapolis. How was your stay while you were here? What did you think?
Jarrah: It was cool actually. It was a good vibe in Minneapolis. A nice city. It had a little bit of water as well. We weren’t sure in Minneapolis would have any bloody water or not [laughter], quite a bit of water that we were surprised by.
TBM: Yea man, “land of ten thousand lakes,” that’s what they call Minnesota. You’ve had a couple of previous projects, but you are currently experiencing a bit of success with Panama – which is pretty awesome. Could you speak a little bit to the previous work you’ve done, and maybe to how it has contributed to the current project?
Jarrah: I’ve spent a lot of time writing with bands in the past. I contribute it a lot to just writing all of the time for many years, and working on all different things, different genres. I’ve always been interested in different music. In Panama, I think the reason why sounds the way it does is because I explored new wave in previous indie rock bands – it kind of comes into Panama. Being a keyboard player I guess, and Panama having more of a focus on keyboards, in a way it just kind of grew into that. The band kind of grew into its sound. It’s just an accumulation of my song writing over the years. Crossing genres and playing around with different things that I like. Really its just creatively whatever I want it to be which is the band I’ve always wanted to be in.
TBM: Cool. On your last couple of EPs you’ve worked closely with Eric Broucek, and you’ve spoken to that in a couple of different interviews. I would assume he’s been very influential. My question is: moving forward do you plan on cutting more records with him?
Jarrah: It was really cool working with him. Giving me the confidence to strip things back and go to the core of the song. In the past I’ve had the tendency to kind of overwork an idea. He kind of directed me to treat a song in more of a minimal way, and that way certain parts stand out more. Yea, I have a tendency to over think things, and he helped me with that a lot. So yea, now that we’ve done the two Eps I’m in the stage of writing another record. I’m not sure yet who I’m going to work with. Obviously Future Classic record label has certain writers as well as other people to collab with, so this at stage I’m not sure. I’m just kind of writin’ and tourin’.
TBM: Any plans to release that full length soon?
Jarrah: Not anytime soon. I’m still working away. Still going to be a little time off as far as writin’ and sortin’ out things I want to do with sounds. Some things I’m happy with. I’m just sort of experimenting at this stage, looking into different equipment that can achieve the sounds that I want. I’ve been researching different instruments and seeing what’s applicable to Panama.
TBM: You’re producing the material, but Panama is a three piece. How did Tom Marland (keys, guitar), Tim Commandeur (drums), and you come together?
Jarrah: We came together at the start of the year. We wanted to take some songs in a different direction, strip things back. There were a lot of things on the record being played before that wasn’t supposed to be there. We kind of stripped things back and went back to serve the song. It’s been great ever since. It’s really positive. It’s great having instrumentalists who can switch between instruments. It is also great having three of us on stage. You get some intimacy and interplay between us on stage.
TBM: You guys are currently traveling cross country together. What is the dynamic like on the road?
Jarrah: Pretty positive actually. All of us are actually quite similar, which is good. We’re all tech minded and we all kind of vibe on the same thing, so it works out well. Tim, our drummer, is really into photography, and Tom and I really get into different types of keyboards and also the tech side of music production. Our mix engineer on the road is also really big into the live aspect and talking about production. Yea [laughter], we talk shop a lot.
TBM: Sounds like a good environment to be in. To grow and whatnot.
Jarrah: Yea! Exactly. Exactly.
TBM: Anything that you took away while you were here? Anything that screamed Minneapolis?
Jarrah: When we first came in, for me, I was really blown away the audience. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I had really known about Minneapolis is that Prince is from Minneapolis. We in the band really like Prince [laughter]. We really wanted to check out the venue that he played at, but we didn’t end up doing that. We ended up running out of time unfortunately. It’s a beautiful city. The audience was really great as well. It’s a place we’d love to come back to.
TBM: This is your first American tour. Looking back, how has it been so far?
Jarrah: It’s been fantastic. I’ve never realized how much space there is in America. There’s a lot of space in Australia as well. It’s quite amazing driving through the middle of America and seeing how much farmland there is. It’s incredible. We didn’t know what to expect. The experience has been extremely positive, and now I feel like the canvas has been painted so we know what to expect when we come back next time. It was a bit nerve racking before, but now that we’re into at, and kind of hit the ground running… I think we had five shows straight off the bat. Straight up show to show. I wasn’t sure how my voice was going to hang, but its ok.
TBM: You’re towards the end of your tour now, and after you have a series of European festivals. There has to be a certain element of home sickness kicking in, but maybe not. What I really want to know though is this: what is the first thing you’ll do when you finally arrive at home?
Jarrah: I’m feeling extremely inspired, you know? I’ll probably fire up my old keyboards. I’ve been really keen to write on the road, but its proving difficult with my laptop which is struggling technologically. I’m usually writing every day Monday through Friday. If I don’t do that for a couple weeks I start to get this feel to get back and do that. I’m definitely keen to get back there and do that.
Article by Alex Stahlmann
Music Compliments of Panama
Photo Cred: Mclean Stephenson
“In 2014’s hip-hop culture, built on stale rhymes about sex, money and drugs, Houston-bred, Minneapolis-based artist, Lizzo relies on inventive wordplay and an ability to seamlessly flow between rapping and singing to set her above the rest. Her debut solo release LIZZOBANGERS lives and dies by Lizzo’s unique delivery and cadence, fueled by the depth of her pop-culture, social and historic references, ranging from Lizzie Borden to Cogsworth to Anna Wintour.” TGNP
It’s no secret that Lizzo along has taken the Minnesota music Hip-hop scene by storm. Her well-deserved success recently landed her a slot at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in England coming up on Friday, August 22 through Sunday, August 24, 2014.
On tomorrow’s (8/6) My Playlister on the UK’s BBC Radio 1, Lizzo is going to be taking over and playing her ‘Happy’ Playlist. The show goes out 9-10pm and Lizzo has been let loose in a studio to present her very own show! She’s picked loads of great happy music, from the likes of Drake, Jagwar Ma and Spice Girls…
Article by Alex Stahlmann