Krist Novoselic of FairVote—and Nirvana—speaks out about ranked choice voting

Nirvana burst onto the scene in the 90s helping to pioneer grunge rock and striking a chord with the cultural zeitgeist, forever enshrining themselves as rock ‘n’ roll royalty. 21 years after releasing one of the greatest albums of all time, bassist Krist Novoselic has made his interest in political advocacy his new brand of punk rock. In 2008 he became the chair of FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy, a nonpartisan political advocacy group focused on changing the way elections are run in the United States to ensure that voters are accurately represented. Novoselic was invited to Minnesota to host an awareness fundraiser for FairVote on August 23 and I had a chance to sit down with him to discuss voting reform, how he’s been spending his time, and whether he’s still playing music.

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MUSIC REVIEW | 7th Street Entry embraces Twin Shadow

Twin Shadow—the name that George Lewis Jr. performs under—is a complicated man. Perhaps embodying the archetype for what means to be a “modern man” in today’s society. Lyrically the protagonist in the songs comes across as a man yearning to let his emotions spill but hiding behind a wall of misogyny, not willing to put forth the effort to let someone in.

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MUSIC REVIEW | My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses bring people together at the Somerset Amphitheater

Globes of lights casually strung across the stage, bobbing up and down in the breeze of a cool August evening as the sun set over a lush green pasture, it was a scene you’d expect at a friends backyard BBQ or at bonfire but on this crisp Friday night in August it was the setting of a intimate performance by Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Liars play with their sound and make noise at First Avenue

Toward the end of May I stumbled across an article from NPR stating that their newest album WIXIW was “possibly the best Radiohead album since Kid A.” As playfully prodding as that statement is, after giving the album a couple listens it’s tough to disagree with the sentiment. Although genre-less, I was shocked to see this being written about the Liars.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Pitchfork Music Festival Day Three: Vampire Weekend, Beach House, AraabMusik, and more

CHICAGO—By the time the third day of a festival rolls around it’s almost assured that the attendees are going to start being exhausted. This year proved to be no different: as I looked around the Pitchfork Music Festival grounds there were people lying in blankets, clinging to whatever patch of shade they can find. There were couples lying in the grass, holding hands, and reading while Chavez played in the background. I even noticed a girl who looked strikingly similar to Zooey Deschanel coyly peaking out behind her notebook as she sketched a stranger a few feet away. This seemed to be the vibe that the Pitchfork organizers were hoping for. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Pitchfork Music Festival Day Two: Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells, Cults, and more

CHICAGO—As dark storm clouds rolled over the festival grounds on the second day of the Pitchfork Music Festival I made my way over to the Blue Stage to check out Liturgy. Self dubbed as “transcendental black metal,” they were the heaviest band included in this year’s lineup. The band, originally the brainchild of singer-guitarist Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, has spent time as a four-piece, then a three-piece. Walking up to the stage I was disappointed the iteration of Liturgy that I was going to be seeing was just a duo Hendrix: and guitarist Bernard Gann.The winds whipped up and the skies started spitting, Liturgy’s famous “beat bursts” exploded from a backing track coming from a computer sitting on the ground where I expected to see a drum set. The sample track was aggressive and abrasive—so much that it ended up tripping the breaker, forcing the sound guys to scramble reseting the stage’s power source.After a few minutes they had moved past the technical problems and the duo took the stage and immediately started their set without saying anything to the crowd. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Japandroids bring the heat to the 7th Street Entry

There are moments in your life when things seem to fall exactly into place, when it feels like you’re in exactly the right place at the right time. My skin sticky from the heat wave in Minneapolis, a beer in my hand, in a crowded 7th St. Entry, the night before we celebrated the Fourth of July, and the Japandroids on the last night of their world tour embodied that feeling. 

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MUSIC REVIEW | Pitchfork Music Festival Day One: Dirty Projectors, Purity Ring, Japandroids, A$AP Rocky, and more

CHICAGO—As the cab flipped a u-turn across a busy intersection a seemingly never-ending line of people snaked around the perimeter of Union Park, dark storm clouds rolling through the sky. Eager Pitchfork attendees filed off the El trying to find the end of the line as street entrepreneurs walked up and down the line selling with bottled water for a dollar, airline bottles of rum for two. Unexpected thunderstorms delayed the start of the Pitchfork Music Festival by about 30 minutes, muddying the field but cutting the temperature by about 15 degrees.As I walked into the festival I heard some yelling; four teenagers had hopped the fence. Luckily I swiveled my head around in time to see one smack his head on a port-a-potty as he fell to the ground. A little stunned, he got up started running across the field before falling into a muddy puddle. Continue Reading

MUSIC PREVIEW | This year’s Pitchfork Music Festival has something for everyone

Summertime is for spending time with friends, taking long weekends, and going on trips. It’s a time for basking in the sun, drinking all day, and making impulsive decisions with the intent of keeping the party going longer. It’s also a time for music festivals. If you love music and feel the need to get out of town make this impulsive decision, come to Chicago this weekend and check out the Pitchfork Music Festival.SoundTown, a major music festival in Somerset, Wisconsin, was just cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales, making attending this year’s Pitchfork an even more attractive option for those wanting to take in several days of live music in the warm summer sun. When I recount my Pitchfork experiences, I always mention how amazingly manageable the concert is. Chicago’s Union Park is transformed into hipster and yupster central for three days. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Bear In Heaven at the 7th Street Entry: Great expectations not fully met

The one sentiment I’ve heard, almost more than any band that is named Bruce Springsteen or Radiohead, was about how great Bear In Heaven is to see live. That sentiment was 100% true. Their performance in 2010 at the Turf Club is one of the few shows I’ve continued to talk about for the past two years. Not only have I talked about it but everyone, literally EVERYONE, I’ve talked to that saw them live in 2010 has raved about the experience. I’ve pined to see them again ever since then. However, like everything in life with expectations are so high you usually can only feel a little bit let down.

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