Formed in Austin, Texas in 2007 the retro-blues soul band Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears began after lead-singer Joe Lewis picked up a guitar at a pawn shop. Heavily influenced by James Brown and Howlin' Wolf, Lewis played around town before getting the attention of locals Spoon and Okkervil River.
English electronic, post-dubstep producer and singer/songwriter James Blake has only been making music for a short time - less than two years, but he's already making waves in electronic music. With a goal of trying to create new sounds, he accomplishes that his background in piano and harmonics.
A former member of dearly departed local band The Glad Version, Adam Svec has been warmly received since he debuted as a solo artist in 2008. Svec is a prolific songwriter, having come out with three albums in as many years.
Like many acts these days, the Brian Just Band got their start by accident. Brian and his bandmate Josie invited their friend Rick to play trumpet on their couples' duet, but when he sang the horn part instead, the resulting harmonies inspired them to start a band together.
Brute Heart is probably the only Minneapolis band with not one, but two members named Crystal. The three female vocalists lead the pack of Twin Cities avant-garde musicians with haunting (at times, howling) vocals and moody instrumental landscapes.
When deciding what to name their band the term for the residual heat left on a chair after an individual has vacated it seemed the perfect fit, Manheat. Duluth natives, Manheat display their hard rock sensibilities by playing loud and fast.
New York City indie quartet The Pains of Being Pure at Heart split the difference between two of '90s indie's most distinctive sounds -- twee-pop and shoegaze. The result is music that is often swathed in reverb and echo but that maintains the honesty, intimacy and innocence of the best indie-pop, all played with an infectious, propulsive energy.
Tony Allen is a Nigerian born, self taught musician who for eleven years, was the drummer and musical director for the legendary band Fela Kuti and Africa 70. Allen along with Kuti have been credited with pioneering afrobeat music. His latest project, "Secret Agent" was released in early 2010.
No Bird Sing's Eric Blair (Joe Horton), Graham O'Brien, and Robert Mulrennan continue their bold and raw approach to hip-hop on their sophomore release Theft of The Commons. Theft of the Commons is built on more organic ground than their 2009 self-titled deubt. Recorded in a barn in rural Minnesota the band drew inspiration from the stark autumn landscape.
Hip-hop artist, skilled freestyler, and producer Blueprint first received attention when he appeared on a track off of producer RJD2's Deadringer. After that, he and RJD2 formed the hip-hop duo Soul Position and came out with several albums before Blueprint struck out on his own.