The combination of politics and music in '08 certainly has a notable pulling power; it seems nearly every young, Democratic-leaning person in the Twin Cities came out to the Turf Club last night to support Barack Obama on the eve of the Republican National Convention, which happens here next week. Josh Grier and Jeremy Hanson of Tapes 'n Tapes opened the show (as "Tape n' Tape," Grier cracked), playing pared down but powerful material from The Loon (2005) and the band's latest set, Walk it Off (2008). The two Tapes were on top of their game, notably with Hanson's staccato drumming.
It was a dog day, a sunglasses-and-cool-jams day in the Twin Cities. And good thing CSS and the Go! Team were on hand last night (July 30) to bring music and sex appeal to Minneapolis' First Avenue venue, as it was the perfect kind of day to move into an all-night dance party. Tour newcomers Natalie Portman's Shaved Head (sure to make both Best and Worst Name lists this year) primed the audience with their slinky electro-pop while Matt and Kim had an abortive performance. A couple bars into opening up with "The Final Countdown," Matt's keyboard crapped out. His replacement made it through two more songs before dying, as Matt attributed it to all the "rock in the room." There were no fears of a short set from the Go! Team. The Brighton, U.K.