Archive for happy apple

Northern Outpost begins second season with Halloween, Alaska as debut guest

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Saturday, May 9, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Back after only a month-long absence, Northern Outpost has now uploaded the first episode of their summer season online, and for this week’s episode they’re visited by the renowned local indie/ambient/post-whatever troupe Halloween, Alaska at the Owl Recording Studio in Uptown. Still, change is noticeable, with their snowy winter lake intros now replaced by a much more inviting image of our fair city of Minneapolis in the springtime. I don’t think they have done a better job with their choice to kick things off. Halloween, Alaska just released some fantastic songs of jazzy, ambient indie rock via their new album Champagne Downtown, and the intimate confines of the Owl Recoridng Studio are the perfect place to witness the chemistry of the band. After a short interview where they discuss their new album, the originality of the local music scene, and the dedicated people that support the scene, the band gets into a moving rendition of one of the most somber and reflective pieces from the new release, “Be A Man”. It’s a great demonstration of the interesting minds and enormous talent that are just brimming out of this city, and it’s an episode that you don’t want to miss. ..makes me proud to be Minnesotan!

Look forward to the future, as well. In two weeks, the next episode will be added and will feature beloved singer-songer Lucy Michele with the Velvet Lapelles as the profiled band!

Halloween, Alaska are back in action with Champagne Downtown

Posted in Audio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 by Ryan Buege


As Sound Verite’ reminds us, Halloween, Alaska pretty much disappeared from the scene not too long after the release of their breakthrough album Too Tall Too Hide in 2005. Well, turns out they just took a break from playing shows so that they work on their new album, and it looks like the time away has paid off. Their third full-length album, Champgne Downtown, will be formally released at First Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis on Friday, April 10th at the band’s show with other local favorites Chris Koza and Aby Wolf.

Vocalist James Diers, drummer Dave King (Bad Plus, Happy Apple), and bassist Matt Friesen, and are now joined by guitarist Jacob Hanson, allowing Diers to make the move to keyboards. On the MP3 that SV posts, “The Hollywood Sign”, the band proves to have made the right decision; the lush ambient textures magnify slowly before a dreamy breakdown smacks you upside the head with the literary aid of Diers, and the following come down is just as soothing as it was ascending. Halloween, Aslaska has also posted several songs from the album streaming on their website, and a few things are clear; the band’s avant-poppy sensibilities can still be just as jarring and entrancing as ever, and the songs are even more meticulously constructed to convey some very intense and an intentional emotions and POVs. Just a preliminary guess, but I have some feelings that this one is going to grow on me quite a bit by the end of the year.

MP3: Halloween, Alaska, “The Hollywood Sign” (from Champagne Downtown, available now)
LISTEN: Halloween, Alaska, “Hot Pink” (from Champagne Downtown, available now)
LISTEN: Halloween, Alaska, “In Order” (from Champagne Downtown, available now)
LISTEN: Halloween, Alaska, “Gone With The Wind” (from Champagne Downtown, available now)

In addition to the Champgne Downtown Release Show at First Avenue on Friday, keep reading for all of the band’s upcoming tour dates that have been announced… Continue reading