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Brett Newski & The Corruption, a pretty damned good pop-rock outfit, are coming to the Twin Cities on May 4, launching their second U.S. tour at Cause in Minneapolis, hailing all the way from—you ready for this?—Saigon, Vietnam. Just when you thought you'd heard of everything.
It isn't some kind of marketing gimmick. The band actually happened to form there. And they do play sharp, hook-driven songs, brightly beat-savvy music that belongs both on the radio and on the dance floor. You can check it out on their album Tiny Victories. For instance, the fired-up cut "Buenos Aires" (listen to it for free at the website) gets you bopping along before you know it and, after it's over, stays right with you. This disc has nine more—not a loser in the lot—that are just as effective. You can, by the way, view selections from last year's tour of the states on YouTube.
The obvious question: how in the ham-sam did three white guys wind up starting a band in Vietnam? Newski (vocals-guitar) answers, "Forming this band has been a wild odyssey. It all happened so haphazard. In 2011 my old band broke up, I left my job in advertising and bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok. Traveled around with a guitar and recorded a bunch of folk songs while playing shows in mostly makeshift venues. Hostels, rooftops, massage parlors. It was a bizarre time in limbo and I was trying to figure out the next move. I eventually moved to Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, on a whim. I was not ready to come home and had always wanted to live in a weird third world country. I got lucky, found a few jobs, and met some amazing bandmates."
Drummer "Mean" Matt Green adds, "I feel very lucky" to have met up with [bass player Jeff 'Jeffro' Gantner] and Brett. It was serendipitous and we are determined to take it as far as we can—and it's a long way from Vietnam to the U.S.! We each bring something to the band, no one is going through the motions. We challenge each other and we challenge the music, trying to keep it simple, yet with a twist here and there." They're joined on the road by Marc Zazzaro on lead guitar and keyboards.
It promises to be a fine time, if you're up for a spirited feel-good groove on a Saturday night.