Super Producer

Lazerbeak is a thug. Do not be deceived by the nice-guy introductions backstage. Beak is responsible for some of the hardest lavabangers in hip hop, period. Catchy, rib-crushing, filthy.

In his basement workshop, Beak works mostly with a MPC2000XL. He layers propulsive, hard-hitting drums with driving guitar and keyboard melodies. He paces after the addition of each element, ducking to avoid the overhead pipes, playing air drums, and calculating his next layer.

Beak’s sequencing is a large part of his sound. “After you’ve got the main structure, to make it a real song, you have to take it all part again. It’s like a battle with the beat, every time.” And Beak always wins. When it’s over, the effect is some helicopter-at-the-omnitheater shit. He’ll take a beat down to its most essential elements before letting it off the leash to explode into anthemic proportions.

Lazerbeak got involved with the Doomtree crew through his high school friendship with Stef (P.O.S). But by then he’d already been playing music for years. Since 8th grade he played with The Plastic Constellations, the indie rock group that would go on to tour the country, signed to French Kiss Records. Stef, having heard Lazerbeak’s music with TPC, encouraged him to start making beats. Beak got a loan from his folks to buy his first MPC from Guitar Center. Stef came over in the afternoon to show him the ropes. No looking back.

To date, Lazerbeak has produced over 400 beats. His production appears on almost every Doomtree release, including all three of P.O.S’ solo albums. He’s now completing the production for the upcoming Sims solo release and working on a solo endeavor of his own.

Most recently, Doomtree released Lazerbeak’s collaboration with Mike Mictlan. The two schemed for years to write and record the disc. For much of that time Mike was living in L.A. Lazerbeak sent Mike beat CDs in the mail. Mike rapped his verses to Lazerbeak over the phone. Big dreams, big phone bills. Now the fruit of their labor is available in all its glory as Hand Over Fist. Legend Recognize Legend.


Hand Over Fist (with Mike Mictlan)

Legend Recognize Legend

Bad Time Zoo (with Sims)


Lazerbeak's Blog

Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on March 25, 2014

Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! Last week we revealed the details for our first Record Store Day label contribution. On April 19th, in conjunction with Record Store Day 2014, we will release Dessa’s critically acclaimed 2011 full-length Castor, The Twin on vinyl for the first time ever!


We’ve made up a total of 1,000 hand-numbered white vinyl pieces for this initial run, and included a very special sheet music insert to standout track “The Beekeeper,” transcribed for piano and vocal arrangement. The records will be available locally at Fifth Element and all Electric Fetus locations, as well as several other independent shops across the country. We’re currently working with our distributor to get a list of all the stores that will be carrying it, and I’ll make sure to share that with you as soon as we get it all together. In the meantime, check out this short but sweet vizual that Ander Other put together, and get totally pumped for Record Store Day!

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Dessa and her band will hit the road for a bunch Midwest shows starting next week. Catch them in cities throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and our fine state of Minnesota, kicking things off with a sold out hometown show on March 28th in Minneapolis and concluding the run with a recently announced headlining slot at this year’s Mid West Music Fest on April 23rd. Check out the flyer below for all the details, and click HERE for ticket info.


In early Bonus Jams news, Cecil and I recently created a remix for the excellent Minneapolis band Now, Now. It’s part of their just released Threads Remixed EP, which celebrates the two year anniversary of their original Threads album. Check out a snippet of the Cecil Otter & Lazerbeak produced “Thread” remix (notice a theme here?) by clicking the image below, and grab the whole EP from iTunes right HERE.


Speaking of great local bands (SEGUE STREAK!!!!), let’s get into some awesome TYTE JEFF news! TYTE JEFF is Jeff Allen, guitarist/singer from my old band The Plastic Constellations, and the sweet NEW band he recently put together. The dudes just world premiered their next single today via The Current, and it is a total heat knocker. Read Andrea Swensson’s great write up and introduction to the project right HERE, and be one of the first to check out “Exurb Kids Don’t Know What They Don’t Know” below. You will like it.


SO GOOD! The TYTE JEFF EP drops on April 15th, with a big tyme release show bonanza at the Turf Club on April 19th. Check out the flyer below for all the details. Valet and and the new band from Steve Barone (ex-Lifter Puller) are also on the bill. YESSSSSS!!!!


Continuing with the local band theme, let’s get into yet another edition of Local Bonus Jams! The output of this city simply DOES. NOT. LET. UP. I’m gonna kick this round off with a new solo joint from Brandon Allday, featuring Medium Zach on the hook and Afrokeys on the beat. Extremely pumped about all the new stuff Brandon has been working on lately. Check out “Soldier of Fortune” below.


Next up is a super promising new single from Greg Grease’s new group ZULUZULUU. I really love this song, and am very excited to hear more from these guys. Check out “Let It Go” below.


Heiruspecs just dropped a new single off their upcoming Night Falls album, and the dudes will be playing a record release show at the Amsterdam Bar with Allan Kingdom and Dem Atlas on April 26th to celebrate. Check out the Twin Cities vets’ latest offering below.


MaLLy and Last Word are gearing up for the April 8th release of The Colors of Black, and dropped this new heater last week. I’ve gotten the pleasure to check out this whole album in advance, and it is phenomenal. This “Hold My Tongue” track is a definite standout for sure. Everyone nails their verses, and Last Word crushes the beat. Listen to it!


Up next is the latest from Johnny Questionmark, whose new album Falling In Like dropped just last week. This track is actually over an older beat of mine that he resurrected for the project. It’s always cool with when stuff like that works out. Check out “Whiskey” below.


Lastly, Jack Spencer is back with yet another monthly beattape showcasing the wide range of production talent this fine state has to offer. March’s installment focuses on the laid-back sounds of Diatonic, Brand Nu, Slamborghini, J-Hard, Prime Cut, Garlic Brown, Prophis, and Yakub. Shouts to Jack for continuing to shed light on the plethora of great up-and-coming producers coming out of the Twin Cities. Keeps us old guys on our toes. Check out the entire Gimme Noise Beattape Vol. 3 below.


OK, that about does it for this post. I’ll leave you with some Bonus Baby Pics before I call it. Luther and Cameron (aka Lou and Cam aka Laid-Back Lou and The Camphibian) are almost two weeks old now and doing awesome back at home with us. They just passed their first pediatrician appointment yesterday with flying colors! Here they are side by side, feeling pretty good about acing that test. Lou’s the one on the left with the crazy hair (Luthair), and that’s Cam on the right with the cool “Pinch Me” crab outfit. They are pretty alright I guess.

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Here’s a funny one of Cam (aka Frog Legs) dreaming about what I can only imagine to be some pretty amazing stuff. Must be nice to to know the warm embrace of sleep, huh dude?

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Not to be outdone ever, here’s 22-month-old Penny flashing an even bigger and more impressive smile than her younger brother. She truly is the Queen of the Bath, crazy teeth and all.

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Alright, that does it for real. I hope you all have a wonderful week gearing up for what is sure to be an insane Sweet Sixteen. See you back here next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak



Tuesdays With Lazerbeak: TWINZ Edition!!!

Posted on March 18, 2014

Welcome back to an extremely special Tuesdays With Lazerbeak: TWINZ Edition!!! Last week the wifepiece and I finally dropped our long anticipated double disc sophomore collabo, and the positive reception and critical acclaim for the project has been truly overwhelming. It brings me immense joy and ultimate pride to introduce Luther Bennett and Cameron Milo Mader into the world!

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SO CRAZED. A few years back when our daughter Penelope was born I wrote up a sort of highlight reel play-by-play recap of the delivery week for our out-of-town friends and family (check that out HERE for reference), and I’d like to carry on tradition by doing the same for these two young gentlemen. Without further ado, I present to you: A TALE OF TWO TWINZ.

Last Wednesday marked the 38 week pregnancy point for a doubly knocked up Brittany (aka Killa Cam aka The Wifepiece). Just how pregnant, you say? Here is her belly not even fitting all the way into the camera frame.

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With TWINZ the doctors won’t take you past 38 weeks due to greater risk of complications at birth, so the hospital scheduled us for a Wednesday afternoon C-section. The night before we watched Jackie Brown and took in our last evening as a family of three, ready as ever to rapidly morph into a PARTY OF FIVE!

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Wednesday morning we got all our bags together and were about to walk out the door when Brittany got the call that there was no room at the inn (shouts to that Old Testament reference), and we would have to reschedule for the following day. NOOOOO!

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After getting super amped up and mentally prepared for the delivery this news came as a major bummer, but on the bright side we got to spend one last totally free afternoon with our daughter Penny, which ended up completely ruling. After a quick Wikipedia search I also learned that Scatman John’s birthday landed on the following day, so I think pushing things back was probably all meant to bwee dot dot dotta dot (BAM! Dad Jokes 4 Ever). Just so she doesn’t feel left out of this post, here’s a pretty cool picture of Penny barking some pretty intense baking instructions to the line cooks in my mom’s kitchen.

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On Thursday morning we grabbed those bags off the couch and headed into the hospital for real this time. Here’s a shot of us waiting in the prep room.

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They brought out the legendary blue jumpsuit for me (love that thing), and things started to get really real. This picture may be the album cover to our first kids album.

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I’ll spare you all the gory pics of the surgery and crazy just-born purple looking babies, but suffice it to say that everything went off without a hitch. At 12:44 on Thursday, March 13th, Luther Bennett Mader was born into the world, weighing in at an impressive 7 lbs, 3 ozs. Right on his heels was the scrappy Cameron Milo Mader, born at 12:45 and clocking in at a surprising 7 lbs, 4 ozs (he was supposed to be the tiny one). For reference, that is exactly four times the weight of what Penny was when she was born. SO MUCH BABIES. Here’s a picture of Mom and Cameron (aka Cam&Cam) right afterwards.

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Luther was born with some extra fluid in his lungs and had to spend a couple nights in the very swanky Special Care Nursery. Here he is luxuriating in his own personal suite.

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And here’s a picture of me singing Babyface’s “Whip Appeal” to Lou once we were allowed to take him out of the incubator. I have no idea why, but that song has been stuck on repeat in my head for the last eight days. At this rate it is the only song these boys may ever know.

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By Saturday afternoon Luther was given the green light to permanently come kick it with us. Here’s Mom and the TWINZ reunited after a long 48 hours. Lou is winning in the crazy faces department so far.

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Aaaaaaand here’s one with a very tired Dad. Shouts to my growing collection of Old Navy sweatshirts for getting me through this whole ordeal in comfort and style. No big rush, but I’m still waiting on that endorsement deal call back.

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Our first night of “sleep” with these little  guys.

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And finally, here’s Lou and Cam hanging out back at home with us last night. Looks like we’ve already got a super pro press shot put together for their upcoming self-titled TWINZ album. I’m predicting this could be the biggest brother band since Oasis (or at the very least Kings of Leon). Bring on those royalty checks.


And there you have it, A TALE OF TWO TWINZ! That about catches us up to this moment right now: Me scrambling to type this all up before the next scheduled feeding. The feeding/pumping schedule with TWINZ is no joke! I need to grow more hands.

I’ll leave you with a couple of very topical TWINZ Bonus Jams before calling it. This first one is from (you guessed it) Luther Vandross. Hard to describe how much this man’s music has impacted me, but hopefully you’ll get a little bit of an idea why by watching this live performance of “A House Is Not A Home” from the 1988 NAACP Image Awards. He vamps it out pretty hard and sings the whole thing directly to his mentor/idol Dionne Warwick, who originally sang the song first. It’s the last thing that I watched before we went to the hospital on Thursday, and it is incredible.

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And here’s “Whip Appeal,” that Babyface song I was talking about earlier. Really you can just skip ahead to the amazing super long repetitive chorus halfway through, which totally rules. It would rule even more though if I could get it out of my head for even just a couple of days. The TWINZ need some new musical inspiration if they’re really going to rival the brotherly chops of Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean and Robert DeLeo.

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And lastly, I can’t think of another song title more lyrically appropriate to ring in this grand occasion than the Spin Doctors’ 1993 smash hit “Two Princes.” Sorry, you kind of had to know this was coming.

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OK, that does it for real! Thanks for putting up with an entire non Doomtree related post about my kids. Moving forward I promise to keep any baby pictures down at the bottom with the Bonus Penny Pics, in case baby pics just aren’t really your thing. Believe me, I totally get it, I just have a ton of family that would pretty much disown me if I didn’t give them their weekly fix.

Oh, one last thing! If you’re anywhere near the Boise, Idaho area for Treefort Music Fest this weekend, come hang out with me and Sims on Saturday night for what may be my first and last Dad’s Night Out for many months to come. We’re flying in that night to play the Knitting Factory afterparty, and it should be a truly awesome time. Check out the flyer below for details and click HERE for ticket info.


Before I go, Brittany and I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the amazingly positive baby vybez that everybody has been sending our way over the course of the last week. It really has meant a ton as we welcome these new recruits to the family. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next Tuesday with some actual music news once I’ve had a little more time to (hopefully) get caught up on sleep. See you then!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak



Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on March 11, 2014

Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! We’ve got a big P.O.S health update to kick things off. BEST NEWS: The transplant went well and Stef is doing awesome! Here’s the proof:

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I stopped by the hospital yesterday and Stef seriously looks GREAT. His words: “I feel like a new dude.” I’m secretly hoping that NEW DUDE becomes his new rap handle. Here’s a picture taken right before the surgery, pre-NEW DUDE. This is by far the least gory of the pictures that he showed me.

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Even more good news: Stef’s donor, Mark Potter, is healing up well too! We’ve known Mark forever (actually went to high school with the guy years back), and I do not know how to thank him enough for all that he’s been able to do for Stef. Mark is already out of the hospital and resting up at home. He sent over this thumbs up pic that was taken after he came to. My favorite part of all of this is that Stef told me he and Mark would hang out together in their hospital beds on the days following the surgery. So good.


LEGEND!!! Thank you Mark. And thank you so much to everyone for all the prayers, well wishes, and words of encouragement that were sent Stef’s way over the past week. Your continued support since we went public with all this kidney stuff almost a year and a half ago has been an insanely heart warming thing to watch, and he wanted to make sure it was brought up again in this update. Stef will be checking out of the hospital in the next day or two and then will continue bed rest from home for a good while (he’ll still be going back in for checkups all the time too). There’s still a long road to recovery ahead, but the great news for now is that the kidney is currently functioning the way it’s supposed to and he’s feeling better mentally/physically than he was before the surgery. Here’s one more pic of Stef (aka NEW DUDE) rocking the Legend Point, for good measure.

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THEEEEE BEST. Now I’m going to attempt to extend my legendary Segue Streak by mentioning that Lizzo accompanied me to the hospital yesterday, and it just so happens that this week’s Bonus Jams are all Lizzo-related. SEGUE STREAK EXTENDED!!!!

Last week Lizzo put out a crazy video for  her new LIZZOBANGERS single “Faded,” produced by yours truly. It features appearances from none other than Har Mar Superstar and Macaulay Culkin (yes, that Macaulay Culkin), and it rules pretty hard. Check it out below:

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She also just dropped a totally sweet mixtape with GRRRL PRTY  that is FREE.99 and highly recommended (Legend God approved). Lizzo, Sophia Eris, and Manchita rap circles around a ton of TNGHT beats. Serious bars for days and it bangs too. Stream it from Soundcloud below, and click HERE to download the whole thing (FOR FREE).

Speaking of Lizzo, she’s headed down to SXSW tomorrow and will be playing some dates with Marijuana Deathsquads on the way back up to Minneapolis as well. Click the flyer below for all the details.

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Then on May 25th, Lizzo and I will be playing at Soundset 2014! Super pumped for this one. Check out the insane rap lineup below and click the flyer for all the sweet deetz and ticket info.


OK, that’s it for Bonus Jams. I’ll leave you with a couple very special Bonus Penny Pics. It’s the day before our little family of three turns into a massive PARTY OF FIVE (shouts to Jennifer Love Hewitt). That’s right, my long anticipated double disc sophomore collabo with the wifepiece drops tomorrow. THE TWINZ ARE COMING! Here’s a picture of Brittany about as pregnant as one can humanly get. I seriously do not know how she’s pulling this off. ULTIMATE WARRIOR / QUEEN OF THE EARTH.

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Here’s a picture of Penny testing out the TWINZ’ new vibrating/rocking/sleeping machine. Looks like she approves of all the features and craftsmanship, so I feel confident introducing it the boyz upon their arrival.

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Here’s Penny celebrating the winter thaw by splashing in as many puddles as possible. We’re all pretty pumped about the amount of puddles around here actually. Yesterday felt like Aslan had returned to Narnia to end the hundred years of always winter. Shouts to C.S. Lewis, I see you!


One more pic since this is the last week she is gonna have the spotlight all to herself. Here’s Penny climbing on her doll house, doing her best Godzilla or Rampage arcade game impression. We love her so much (even in full DIVA mode), and can’t wait to see what an awesome/bossy big sister she’s going to become.

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OK, that about does it for this post. Off to pack the hospital bags. I hope you all have a wonderful week. If you’ve got a second tomorrow to send us some positive safe-and-healthy-delivery vybes we would truly appreciate it. Things are about to get prittttttty crazy over here at the Mader household. See you in the next week or two with the official introductions to our newest recruits.

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak




Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on March 04, 2014

Welcome back to Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! We’ve got an INSANELY AWESOME P.O.S Health Update to start things off today, so let’s get right into it. Here’s a very special message straight from the man himself that we recorded at last night’s crew meet up. Check it out:

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Yes, you heard that right: Stef has found a donor match and will be going in this Thursday for a kidney transplant! It’s been a long road up until this point, and we’d like to thank every single one of you for the outpouring of support over the last year and change. Whether you donated some bucks, sent kind words of encouragement, or showed up at shows along the way, it has all meant a serious TON, frreal. We’ll definitely keep you posted on his recovery throughout. SO PUMPED THIS IS FINALLY GOING DOWN. Here’s a couple of awesome Stef pics, just because. Love this cool guy too much.

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Alright, keeping up with the general theme of EXTREME CELEBRATION (ahem, Segue Streak) let’s get into the Bonus Jam of the Week a little early today. It is truly LAVA BANGER certified and Legend God approved. I could not be more happy to announce that Get Cryphy has just dropped their brand new GAME 6 megamix! YES! Quick reminder: Get Cryphy is an insanely talented DJ crew from these parts consisting of Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy 2 Times, DJ Fundo, and Last Word. They are THEE BEST. Every year they drop a different megamix in celebration of their annual anniversary party at First Ave, and they have never disappointed, not once. The dudes crammed in over 200 tracks into this one, with exclusive drops from local favorites St. Paul Slim, MaLLy, Rapper Hooks, and Haphduzn, plus the usual awesome movie quotes and even some choice Chicago Bulls dynasty clips. How can you go wrong? Stream and downlaod GAME 6 below.


Speaking of that annual party at First Ave, the Get Cryphy Six Year Anniversary show is going down this Friday (3/7) in the Mainroom. This year the dudes are bringing in special guests Big Freedia and Spank Rock (!!!!) to join in the festivities (plus a ton of unannounced performances per usual). Check out this great video for the show below, created by the Legend God of Promo Videos himself: Young Baby Ander Other! NEXT LEVEL.

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BANG BANG BANG. Click the flyer below for ticket info and all the sweet deetz.  This show is gonna rule so hard.


OK, I think that’s about all the excitement that this post can take. I’ll leave you with a couple of Bonus Penny Pics to round things out. She was feeling pretty bad about chipping my tooth last week, and offered to put on her big boy boots and shovel the sidewalk as a peace offering. I appreciated her acknowledging that she was in the wrong, and gladly accepted.

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Here’s a pretty provocative pose from one of the world’s leading fashion forward DIVAS. Designers take note: open pajamas, car keys, and empty gift bags could be very popular items this Spring.

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With the impending TWINZ due date only eight days away, we’re trying to get as much quality Penny solo time in as possible. Here’s the whole gang watching Little Mermaid for the first time ever, which definitely reinforced my belief that “What do they got, a lotta sand? We got a hot crustacean band!” is the greatest kids lyric ever created. Nothing else even comes close.

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OK, that does it for this post! I hope you all have a wonderful week. If you think about it and get a second, send some super positive vybez Stef’s way this Thursday as he goes in for surgery. We’ll all be wishing him a safe and speedy recovery, and will definitely keep you posted on his progress throughout. See you next Tuesday!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on February 25, 2014

Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! There’s a ton of stuff to talk about today, so let’s jump right in with a few Doomtree-related shows going on in the Twin Cities this week. First up: P.O.S will be playing with Marijuana Deathsquads for three consecutive nights as part of their string of Icehouse shows this week. Wednesday they’ll do their Euro set with openers Pony Bwoy, Thursday is the Organ Failure set with Droppers, and Friday will be a rare live performance of the WDELH MDS RMX project (get that album HERE if you haven’t yet). Check out the flyer below and click HERE for all the show info.


That same Friday night (2/28), our very own Mike Mictlan will be headlining the Reach For The Sky party at the Skyway Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. There are a ton of great rappers and DJs rounding out the event. Definitely something for everyone. Click HERE for more details and ticket info.


And don’t forget the weekly Commanders Handsome residency every Thursday night at the Loring Pasta Bar with Cecil Otter and Zach Coulter. Word is things have been going so well that the dudes will be extending this improv beat set into the month of March as well! Click HERE for more details.

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Finally, to round out the week (and continue the Segue Streak into infinity) let’s bring it full circle back to P.O.S. Stef will be playing in Milwaukee on Saturday March 1st for the second annual Eastside Music Tour. There are literally one million other bands playing as well. Sounds like a crazy time. Click HERE for all the sweet deets.


OK, I think we’ve got your week booked out (and then some). That should do it for show updates, now let’s get into some brand new Doomtree-related music! The LIZZOBANGERS international takeover continues to roll on. Lizzo and Sophia Eris have been out in the UK this past week promoting the record and playing a bunch of shows in the area. Lizzo called into BBC1 last week to  world premiere “Faded,” the next single off the album (produced by yours truly). Check out her interview with the legendary Mista Jam AND the newly revamped version of “Faded” below. So excited about this one!

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Fresh off the heels of his newest 20 MIN MIX (grab #16 HERE), Paper Tiger just dropped a sweet new dance remix for our good friend Astronautalis’ song “Dimitri Mendeleev.” Check out the track below and grab Astronautalis’ entire three-song This City Ain’t Just A Skyline EP right HERE.

Alright, before I get into this week’s Bonus Jams I want to give a quick plug to our photographer friend Zoe Prinds-Flash, who has been nominated for Best Twin Cities Music Photographer in a recent City Pages poll. Zoe is behind most of the live show and backstage shots that you see on this site during  the Doomtree Blowout each year, and she’s been working with us for years now. If you’ve got a spare second, definitely go vote for her right HERE. You can check out a cool interview with her (and even more photos) right HERE.


OK! Time for some awesome Local Bonus Jams. Jack Spencer just dropped his second installment of the Gimme Noise Beat Tape, a monthly mix that highlights a ton of great local producers from this part of the world. February’s edition includes beats from the likes of PC, Bobby Raps, Mike Frey, Mic Titan, Rich Garvey, Mike the Martyr, Tek, and G Mo. I can personally vouch for the insane amount of heat contained in this mix. Check it all out below.

For the rest of this week’s Bonus Jams I’d like to feature a couple of hometown R&B heroes that were running the game back in the early and mid 2000s. I recently dug up a couple of my favorite soundtracks from that era (The Wood and The Best Man specifically) and was reminded of RL, the lead singer of Next (of “Too Close” fame). RL had a short lived but fairly high profile national solo career, which led to his debut album RL:ements (I know you see what he did there). Hadn’t heard it in over a decade, but after revisiting it yesterday I can confirm that it definitely stands the test of time. Still thoroughly confused why the song “Good Love” from The Brothers OST never made the cut. That’s probably my favoritye RL or Next song ever. Anyways, here’s a couple tracks from the album, plus “Good Love” and the Destiny’s Child/Next collabo “If You Leave,” because that song will forever be the best.

RL – “Good Man”

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RL – “Ghetto”

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RL – “Good Love”

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Destiny’s Child featuring Next – “If You Leave”

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NEXT up (ha), is a little lesser known name outside of this region: J. Isaac. I remember hearing him on KMOJ a bunch in the mid-2000s, and grabbing a mixtape of his at Cheapo around that time as well, but it was his 2006 solo album Welcome To The Planet that seemed to have the biggest impact nationally. It’s probably best known for the track “How I Roll” which featured Juelz Santana (Dipset was on top of the world at that time) – one of the only songs by a local artist that I ever heard B96 (our big rap/R&B station at the time) give a serious push. Anyways, I listened to the whole record yesterday and aside from being incredibly solid, it also contains some of the best kid skits I’ve ever heard. Check out a couple songs below. In my opinion, both Welcome To The Planet and RL:ements are certified MN classics.

J. Isaac – “Do Or Die”

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J. Isaac featuring Juelz Santana – “How I Roll”

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J. Isaac featuring Slum Village – “Baby Ez Up”

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J. Isaac – “Happy 2 B Here”

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Alright, that ends this installment of Classic Local Bonus Jams. Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll leave you with a couple Bonus Penny Pics to round things out. We are officially about two weeks out from the TWINZ due date and things are getting pretty out of control here at the Mader household. I think Penny can sense the impending arrival of her brothers because she has been acting out like never before, taking the DIVA nickname to a whole new level. Case in point: She totally chipped my tooth on Sunday with her toy flashlight while we were playing the “flash a light at Dad’s face” game. NOT COOL PENNY.

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I of course (begrudgingly) forgave her, and we seem to be cool again for the time being. Just gotta stay on her good side I guess. Here’s a couple pictures of Penny in happier times last week. She loves playing this crazy whistle/flute thing over at my mom’s place. Note the fashion forward pink rope chain around her neck. TRENDSETTER.

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And here she is continuing to work on her world famous Goldfish Cupcakes. These still need some tweaking, but she seems determined to perfect the recipe.

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BAM! OK, that for real does it for this post. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on February 18, 2014

Welcome back to Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! It’s a big news day today, so let’s get right into it with some new music. Paper Tiger has just blessed us with the 16th volume of his classic 20 MIN MIX series! Check out the new “Cold Winter” mix below and click the album cover for links to his previous 15 selections (gems abound).


Now that you’ve got some sweet music playing in the background, let’s move on to some big show news. Dessa just announced a string of dates throughout the Midwest this April with her full live ensemble, kicking off with a special hometown show here in Minneapolis! They’ll be hitting cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota throughout the rest of the run too. Check out all the details below, or click HERE for ticket info.


Date City Venue Country
01.16.15 Dessa in Duluth, MN College of St. Scholastica — Mitchell Auditorium United States
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: $5/$10/$19. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Auditorium 1200 Kenwood Avenue. Buy tickets

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Speaking of that Minneapolis send off show, it will be held at the intimate New Century Theatre, with a capacity of only 270 people. Tickets for this one will fly. If you want access to the fan pre-sale you can join the Doomtree mailing list right HERE. We go easy on you with updates, promise. Click the flyer below for even more info on the event.


In other show news, don’t forget that our very own Mike Mictlan will be headlining the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis next Friday the 28th for the Reach For The Sky party. Check out show details and ticket info right HERE.


Then the very next day, P.O.S will be playing in Milwaukee for the second annual Eastside Music Tour with Why? and a million other bands. Click the flyer below, or go HERE for ticket info and details.


And there’s still two more chances to catch the improvisational sounds and beats of Commanders Handsome (Cecil Otter + Zach Coulter), as part of their weekly Loring Pasta Bar residency every Thursday in the month of February. Check out details and ticket info right HERE.

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OK, I think that about does it for show updates. In other music news, I stopped by the MPR studios last week with Lizzo and Sophia Eris for an extensive interview and special LIZZOBANGERS in-studio performance on The Daily Circuit.

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You can listen to the entire interview and performance right HERE, and check out this in-studio video performance of “Paris” courtesy of the always great Nate Ryan.

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And now to kick off the Bonus Jams of the Week: Our good friend Psalm One from Chicago recently put out a new album under the alias Hologram Kizzie, and I contributed a beat to the project. Check out the single for “Another Voyeur” below, and click the album cover to listen to the entire Hug Life album over on Bandcamp.

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Here’s a Video Bonus Jam from the record for a track called “A New Phaze,” featuring Tanya Morgan with production from Hood Internet.

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What a perfect opportunity to SEGUE (STREAK!!!) into a bunch of other Bonus Jams that I’ve been feeling as of late. This round is pretty all over the place, with a mix of local and national acts. Enjoy!

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – “Houston Hades”

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Spark Master Tape – “All I Know”

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No Bird Sing – “APOGEE”

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Isaiah Rashad – “R.I.P. Kevin Miller”

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Speedy Ortiz – “Everything’s Bigger”

Toki Wright & Big Cats – “A Future For The Present”

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Medium Zach – Valued Input EP

Allan Kingdom – “The Dwelling/Good Problems”

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ShowYouSuck – “Flip Phone”

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Taj Raj – “Change of Mind”

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So many jams. Alright, let’s wrap up this super long post with a couple of Bonus Penny Pics! Here she is on Valentine’s Day showing off a very festive new wardrobe. Matching socks and everything, nice one Mom.

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And here she is once again tending to the needs of one of her many toy siblings. Boding well for the introduction of these TWINZ next month.

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And lastly, a shot of Penny thoroughly enjoying the Trombone Shorty NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show (especially the Earth Wind and Fire / Janelle Monae “Shining Star” set closer). Between this and the Bruno Mars Super Bowl special, this kid’s favorite genre of music appears to be “Halftime Shows.” TRENDSETTER.

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OK, that does it for real. I hope you all have a wonderful week. See you next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on February 11, 2014

Welcome back to Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! We’ve got a couple more Doomtree-related shows to announce this week, so let’s jump right into it. Our very own Mike Mictlan will be headlining the Skyway Theatre in downtown Minneapolis on February 28th for the Reach For The Sky party! Check out the flyer below and click HERE for all of the glorious details.


For those of you in the Michigan area, Dessa will be playing the Capitol City Film Festival in Lansing, MI on April 11th. Check out all the show details and ticket info right HERE.

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And don’t forget that P.O.S will be in Milwaukee on March 1st for the second annual Eastside Music Tour. Details and ticket info right HERE.


Lastly, our very own Cecil Otter continues his weekly February residency with Zach Coulter as COMMANDERS HANDSOME this Thursday at the Loring Pasta Bar. The dudes will be testing out some of the new production they’ve been working on recently, better referred to as “beat heavy landscapes” in their own words (no rapping, just a heads up). Check out the flyer below and click HERE for more details.


Alright, that about does it for the Doomtree show updates. In order to continue the Segue Streak well into the new year though, I’d like to talk to you about another show I recently went to (BAM!).

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Last Friday night I attended my first ever arena country concert. I’ve been a sucker for a lot of different new country stuff over the last couple years (blame Rodney Atkins), so it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The tipping point: I got really into this Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer, Different Park album last year (like obsessively into), and a few months back I found out she was coming to town opening up for country powerhouse Lady Antebellum at the Target Center. Luckily for me, my friend Arlo, who handles all the lighting for the Doomtree Blowouts, also happens to be the main light guy for Lady Antebellum! I harassed him long enough after this year’s Blowout that he finally gave in and said I could watch the show from his booth. After even more harassment, I also convinced my 8-months-pregnant-with-TWINZ wifepiece to accompany me on what could be our last night out in many years. Shouts to her for coming along even though she pretty much hates all country music that isn’t Shania Twain. The show was an experience to say the least. Here are some random highlights from a superbly weird and awesome night.

- Arlo gave us a full backstage tour of the Target Center and the stage. I love all things behind the scenes, so this was a serious highlight (felt like I was in Fade To Black or something). Suffice to say that catering was a bit more fine dining than the usual case of beer and some towels Lazerbeak rider. Also, there are full size posters of all the MN Timberwolves lining the walls everywhere you go.

- No, I did not meet Kacey Musgraves. I walked by her dressing room though, so that pretty much counts right?

- Stood by Arlo as he talked to Lady Antebellum during the fan meet and greet. Big time.

- There were not nearly as many cowboy boots/hats in the crowd as I expected there to be. It was acutally more of a MN Wild crowd vibe than anything else. We must not be quite as fashionably loud up here in the Midwest.

- A super drunk guy in the beer line tried to buy my all access laminate for $100. When I declined he attempted to show me a video on his phone of (his words not mine) “me and my old lady plowing.” Again, I had to decline. Cool phrase though.

- Kacey Musgraves was AWESOME. Her and her five piece band were able to re-create the sound of the album almost perfectly, even in a huge place like the Target Center. Can’t imagine what it would sound like on a club tour. Her transition into Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” right out of “Step Off” was not nearly as cringe inducing as it sounds on paper. I also did not mind her saying “Roll up a big fattie” as much as I would if pretty much any other human being had said it.

- Middle opener Kip Moore (of ” Something ‘Bout A Truck” fame) put on one of the most ridiculous performances I’ve ever seen. Think Kiss meets AC/DC meets Nickelback meets some sort of country twang. “It’s Friday NIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT ya’ll!!!!!!” was uttered approximately 17 times between songs. We’re also fairly positive he sang the lyric “rape your mind” at one point.

- Lady Antebellum are suuuuuuuuper Nashville pros. Hit after hit, in between song banter, Go Pros on the guitars, Go Pros on the catwalk, acoustic guitar singalongs in the middle of the crowd, the pre-requisite Prince cover, etc. They definitely know what they’re doing. Had to leave before the grand finale, but stayed long enough to see “And The Radio Played” and a super awkward all cast performance of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” with Kacey and Kip.

- During the band introductions Lady Antebellum’s drummer played Biggie’s “Big Poppa” on an electronic drum machine. That actually happened. Also, they played “Get Lucky.”

- Pretty sure the dark haired bearded guitar player in Lady A (that’s what they call them, guys) is actually MN Timberwolves star Ricky Rubio. Someone should look into that probably.

THERE YOU HAVE IT! My first ever country show review. Here’s a picture of Lady Antebellum starting their set off by the light booth.

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This is the lead singer guy utilizing yet another Go Pro camera to show off everyone in the audience. People seriously lost it at this point.


And here’s me taking it all in. Enormous shouts to Arlo for hooking this all up and being such a great host. LEGEND STATUS!!!!

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OK, let’s wrap everything up with a couple Bonus Penny Pics to make up for the lack of said pics in last week’s post. She’s been slowly warming up to the idea of two more kids in the family (ONE MONTH AWAY!). Here she is taking care of one of her many dolls in preparation for the TWINZ.

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And here’s what she looks like after a nap. Truly confused at the science behind achieving such a revolutionary hairdo.

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Getting ready for the summer cabin trip. Sprin Break 4 Ever.

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Aaaaaaaand here’s Penny’s crazy bath face. Equal parts hilarious and terrifying. She would stay in the tub all day if we let her.

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OK, that for real does it. I’ll leave you with a couple topical Country Bonus Jams to tie it all together. I hope you have a great week, and I’ll see you next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK_

Instagram: @lazerbeak

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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on February 04, 2014

Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! We’ve got a couple big events going on this week to talk about, and then I wanted to pay a little tribute to the classic P.O.S album Never Better, which just turned five years old yesterday (CRAZY).


This Thursday our very own Cecil Otter starts his weekly residency at the Loring Pasta Bar with Zach Coulter (Solid Gold/Gayngs) as Commanders Handsome. The dudes will be playing every Thursday in February, and this will be the first chance to hear what they’ve been working on as of late. Should be a sweet time. Details right HERE.

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Dessa and her full band will be playing their annual show in Lutsen, MN this Saturday at Papa Charlie’s. If you feel like skiing some fresh pow (that’s a ski term, right?) and catching a cool concert AT THE SAME DAMN TIME, this one is most definitely for you. Speaking of Dessa (segue segue segue), that new episode of her show The Lowertown Line just premiered last weekend, with Chastity Brown as the featured guest. If you missed it on TV you can check it out online below.

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Oh, and one more show that just got announced this week: P.O.S will be playing Milwaukee’s second annual Eastside Music Tour on March 1st! Looks like there are about one miiiiiiiiiillion other bands playing as well. Check out the flyer below for all the details and grab your tickets right HERE.


Aaaaaaaand that leads us right into this five year anniversary celebration of Never Better!!!!!!!


Hard to believe it’s really been that long since this one came out. Here’s a couple music videos to refresh your memory if you haven’t listened to it in awhile.

“Never Better”

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And here’s a couple random memories that come to mind when I think back on the making of this album.

- All of those videos were pretty much shot in the same week during an extremely cold winter, in an abandoned warehouse building on the outskirts of Minneapolis. I’m almost positive this is the same place where “F Your Stuff” was shot four years later.

- Stef and I went to demo an early version of the record down in Chicago with our good friend Joel Anderson. It was on this trip that I met F. Stokes (and his friend Marquise), and we started scheming on the idea of making an album together (originally titled That’s The Idea). You can actually hear Stokes’ voice on the “uh uh”s in the hook to “The Basics.”

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- Artist/designer Eric Carlson came with us on that trip and drew crazy drawings the entire weekend. These eventually turned into portions of the album artwork.

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- I gave Stef a beat CD with the “Purexed” instrumental in the basement of the Turf Club during a TPC! show, and told him I had been making some weirder stuff as of late that I couldn’t really hear anyone rapping on. That one ended up being the first beat he picked from me and shaped the direction I took the rest of my beats for those sessions.

- “Let It Rattle” originally had a short end verse from the god I Self Devine on it if I remember correctly.

- Some of the elements from “Graves (We Wrote The Book)” come from this awesome song “Piles of Money” by an awesome band called ft (the shadow government), which featured Joel Anderson, who had played in The Vida Blue (later known as Ten Grand), the Iowa City band that heavily influenced Stef and TPC! (first band that ever took us on tour, too many stories to tell here). Sorry that was a seriously jam packed sentence right there. The song title and end hook of “Graves” is actually an homage to the insanely good Ten Grand song “Grave? Shovel. Let’s Go!”. MATT DAVIS FOREVER. Check out “Piles of Money,” “Grave? Shovel. Let’s Go!,” and “Graves (We Wrote The Book)” below.

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- The Never Better Tour was the first rap tour I ever went on, after years of rock tours with TPC! Turns out there really isn’t too much difference, just turntables instead of amps and hotels instead of floors. It was me, Stef, Plain Ole Bill (first time I ever met him!), Sims, Mike Mictlan, tour manager James Lynch, and merch guy Eric Inkala. Mike and I’s Hand Over Fist and Sims’ False Hopes albums had both just dropped as well. BEST TIMEZ EVER.

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OK, there you have it: Ruminations on Never Better. Happy Five Years Stef!

Alright, that about does it for this post. I ran out of Bonus Penny Pics this time around, but to all the out-of-town family members: I will definitely make up for it next time, promise. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Don’t forget you can support Tuesdays With Lazerbeak by grabbing a t-shirt or screenprinted poster over at the Doomtree Webstore. See you next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK_

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on January 28, 2014

Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! Hope everyone is staying as warm as possible in this dreaded Polar Vortex II. It’s not a huge news week over here, so I’m gonna jump into the couple cool things going on this week, and then lay a ton of awesome Local Bonus Jams on you to close things out. Here goes nothing.


First up, TONIGHT (Tuesday, duh) our good friends at Cinema Purgatorio in Duluth are going to be showing the Doomtree documentary Team The Best Team on the big screen. If you live anywhere close to the Duluth area (and feel like braving the elements), definitely hit up Zinema 2 tonight at 7:00pm. This will be only the second time the film has been played in a real deal theatre. Details and ticket info right HERE. And if you’re nowhere near the area, you can always watch Team The Best Team online right HERE.

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Then this Saturday at 10pm CST the third episode of The Lowertown Line, hosted by our very own Dessa, will premiere on MN public television station TPT (with a rebroadcast directly following at 11pm CST). You can also stream the episode online starting this Friday right HERE. This week’s episode finds Dessa conducting an extensive interview with Chastity Brown. Previous episodes include interviews and performances from Brother Ali and Trampled By Turtles. Check them out below.

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Speeeeeeeaking of Dessa (Segue Streak!!!! – you already know), she was recently asked to participate in the Walker Art Center series 2013: The Year According To_______, in which several different artists, designers, and thinkers create lists of their ten most noteworthy ideas, events, and objects of the past year. Just want to say how thrilled I am that Breaking Bad actually made The Year According To Dessa!!! You can read about that and much more right HERE.

OK! That about does it for pressing news this week. Now let’s get into some serious Bonus Jams!!!! There has been a fairly unrelenting amount of great local music pouring out of the Twin Cities as of late, so this week’s edition is going to be strictly local. First up is a new video from K.Raydio and Psymun’s recently released collabo album LucidDreamingSkylines. Really love this song and video (shouts to SwayHeavy on another great vizual). Pumped to hear more of the record.

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Our good friend Sean McPherson (bassist for Dessa and Heiruspecs) just released a brand new solo album last week under the name Twinkie Jiggles Broken Orchestra. I know this project has been in the works for a long time, and I’m super happy to see it out in the world. Check out the video for “Hi, My Name Is Ana” below, featuring the very talented Ashley Gold on vocals, and grab Too Big To Fail right HERE.

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On the heels of releasing their first collaborative full-length, Toki Wright & Big Cats recently dropped the unreleased track “For Amiri Baraka,” in remembrance of the late great poet-playwright-activist-author. Check it out below, and be on the look out for Pangaea dropping later this year.

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Polica (I can never figure out how to type that cool “c”) just dropped a really great video for Shulamith standout track “I Need $,” with a special outro of “So Leave” attached as an added bonus. Check it out below.

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And since they’re touring with Polica in Europe currently, I’m gonna go ahead and drop that new Marijuana Deathsquads “Ewok Sadness” video on you for the second week in a row, because I firmly stand behind the fact that this is the greatest music video ever created.

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Same thing goes for this new unreleased Lizzo song that I’ve already previously posted. We played this one for the first time at First Ave last weekend and it was a definite highlight. Check out “Paris” below, produced by myself and Ryan Olson (AKA Camry Guyz), and help us spread it around if you have a second.

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The Hold Steady (still a local band to me) dropped the first single for their upcoming album Teeth Dreams last week. I really like this new song A WHOLE LOT. Check out “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” below. Can’t believe it’s really been four years since the last record. PUMPED.

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And lastly, here’s an entire Bonus Mixtape Jam for you, courtesy of Jack Spencer over at Gimme Noise. Today he started the first in a series of monthly mixtapes spotlighting several very talented up and coming producers from the Twin Cities (there are seriously a ton of them). This month showcases instrumental works from Psymun, Amatia, Sloslylove, Ackryte, Damacha, Adept, O-D, 1990, and Connye. Definitely check this out if you have some time, and read more about each individual producer right HERE.


Alright, that about does it for this extended edition of Local Bonus Jams. I’ll leave you with a couple of Bonus Penny Pics before calling it a day. She’s been hard at work in her new kitchen cooking up some pretty insane culinary dishes. Here she is getting prepped and ready to measure out only the finest of ingredients.

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Fast forward a bit. Here’s Penny dishing out some of her world famous Quiche Pizza Burgers. Note the extreme attention to detail (and the bottle of what I presume to be kids hot sauce in her left hand). I think we may need to get the Food Network involved (Year of the Endorsement Deal Forever).

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After a long day slaving over the stove, there’s simply nothing better than letting loose a little bit in a crazy bouncy structure. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.

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OK, that does it for real. Don’t forget about the brand new Tuesdays With Lazerbeak t-shirts and screenprinted posters in the webstore (HERE), if you feel like repping this Blog Lyfe at all. I hope you all have a wonderful week. See you next Tuesday!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK_

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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Tuesdays With Lazerbeak

Posted on January 21, 2014

Hey! Welcome back to another regularly scheduled Tuesdays With Lazerbeak. Big shouts to Dessa for holding down the blog last week while I was out of town working on the next Lizzo record. We’ve got a ton of Doomtree-related events coming up here in January and February, so let’s get right into it!

First up, Sims is headlining the annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival this Saturday down at the MN State Fairgrounds. You can grab tickets right HERE and check out more info on the sweet flyer below.


Our good friends at Cinema Purgatorio will be presenting a movie screening of the Doomtree documentary Team The Best Team in Duluth next Tuesday. Definitely a rare opportunity to catch the film on the big screen. More details and ticket info available right HERE.


Dessa will be back in Lutsen, MN on February 8th for her annual show at Papa Charlie’s. You can check out all the details and grab tickets right HERE.

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Cecil Otter has teamed up with Zach Coulter (Solid Gold/Gayngs) to form a new creative partnership of sorts called Commanders Handsome. The dudes will be down at the Loring Pasta Bar every Thursday night in the month of February. Residency details and ticket info right HERE. Super excited to see what they’ve been working on.


I’ll be down at First Ave this Friday night performing with Lizzo for The Current’s 9th Annual Birthday Party. The show is sold out, but hopefully we’ll see a bunch of you down there. In case you missed it, Lizzo dropped a new unreleased song last week called “Paris,” produced by myself and Ryan Olson. SPIN debuted the track online, and then the HBO show Girls featured it in their newest episode on Sunday night. THEEE BEST. You can check out the track below, or grab it from iTunes HERE if you’re feeling it.


And speaking of new music (SEGUE STREAK 2014!!!), Marijuana Deathsquads, the insanely sweet band featuring our very own P.O.S, just dropped a new vizual for their track “Ewok Sadness.” THIS IS BY FAR THE GREATEST MUSIC VIDEO THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE!!!! Huge shouts to director Isaac Gale for achieving such a feat. You really gotta see this thing to believe it.

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Consider that the best Video Bonus Jam you’ll probably watch all year. SO GOOD. I’ll leave you with a handful of Bonus Penny Pics to wrap everything up. This kid has been loving the insane amounts of snow up here in Minneapolis recenlty. Here she is in the backyard rocking some sweet hot pink snow pants and ginormous adult winter gloves at the SAME DAMN TIME.

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We’ve been trying to prepare Penny for the impending arrival of these TWINZ, so for Christmas she got two little boy baby dolls to take care of. Here she is carting one of them around in a stroller like a good big sister.

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And here she is attempting to drown the other one in the bathtub. Probably gonna have to work on this a bit.

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Hard to stay mad at her with such an innocent face like this though. No one’s perfect I guess. Love the robot PJs too.

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Alright, that about does it. I hope you all have a great week. Don’t forget, you can show your support for the blog by picking up an official Tuesdays With Lazerbeak shirt or screenprinted poster from the Doomtree Webstore right HERE. See you next Tuesday for sure!

– Beak

Twitter: @_LAZERBEAK_

Instagram: @lazerbeak


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