Tony Bennett, For the News Tribune
Let's just skip to the headline: Ingeborg von Agassiz' debut album is one of the best locally-made albums in the history of locally-made albums.
Tuesday night at Amsoil Arena, three big names of classic rock served up a smorgasbord of nonstop hit songs that thrilled a nearly full house for four hours, and each of them did so with style and grace. It's not an easy feat to pull off — many rockers of a certain vintage tend to lean on easy moves that pander to their audience, or they end up relying too much on their "retro" status to hit the nostalgia button, but Tuesday's show proved that it's possible to play the songs that are part of the fabric of peoples' lives without seeming like relics from another time.
In a world where Slash and Axl Rose are back together and playing stadiums, any rock 'n' roll reunion now seems possible.
With their last album, 2015's "Rose Mountain," New Jersey's Screaming Females went from being a promising young rock band to being a group who had successfully carved out their own unique niche in the flailing, tapped-out genre called "rock and roll." How did they do it? By writing good songs and then playing the hell out of them. Duh.
The new Little Black Books single is just more Mark Lindquist goodness, is all. Lindquist achieved regional notoriety in the late '90s and the early 2000s as the leader of Giljunko, and his Little Black Books has taken different forms since he moved away from Duluth. But his new flexi-disc is welcome not just because it contains two great new Lindquist songs, but because, well, it's a flexi-disc. Lindquist was always into concepts and releasing things in odd ways, and it's nice to get something tactile that isn't just a generic digipak.
Last week, it was EP's. This week, it's more EP's. Currently, it's like the DNT reviews desk has a Whitman's Sampler of regional music on it, and we're getting through every last piece. Even the weird ones with slippery goo in them. This time around, it's two discs that couldn't be more different.
As I've discussed in the past, the EP is back in a big way. Used to be that mini-albums were a method for bands to put out a few tracks outside the context of their usual big album statements, but it's now quite common for groups to eschew full albums in favor of releasing bite-size morsels that are easier for listeners to chew on. Instead of a band fighting for attention with a 12-song collection that takes an hour to listen to, a group can fire off four or five songs on an EP and more quickly entice the listener to go back in for repeat plays.
Ah, the promotional compact disc. The 22-year-olds of today may never experience what a world flooded by compilations meant to help push a political agenda, a soft drink, or a website was like. Magazines used to come with them. Sometimes, they'd show up in the mailbox without you even ordering them.
It's funny to think that, as often as Ty Segall puts out albums, he's really not any more prolific than the biggest bands of the late '60s were. Segall gets lots of press for being a song factory in and of himself, but he's got nothing on a band like The Beatles, who closed out 1965 by releasing "Rubber Soul" and then double-whammied the marketplace with "Revolver" before summer 1966 was even up. And when you consider "Help!" was put out in August 1965, and "Sgt. Pepper's" came out in June of 1967, you can see how it's a bit silly to focus on Segall's productivity.
Depends on what you care about, but 2018 should be filled with new music that rings your bell. As usual, here at the top of the year, there are a few records that have already staked out a release date, but many more are currently in various gestational stages, and others still have yet to even be created. It's always fun to look ahead and see what music is coming up — here's a list of a few records that should make the new year more interesting than it would surely be, otherwise.