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Our eleven year old son loves his Legos. A few years ago he built an amazing scale model of the record store.

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All the Legos are still there, but the little store has been disassembled and built into something new time and time again. At eleven Gus has a better grasp on the ongoing impermanence of life than either of us.

As our old friend Ben Weaver sang, “It takes a fire to open up the seed of the pine.” That song (“Frank’s Getaway Car”) appears on an album we released on the Hymies label five years ago. Ironically, it was a fire, an actual fire, that led us here to the record store in the first place. Out of the darkness of our despair we found solace, friendship and healing here at Hymie’s. So much has happened it hard to imagine its only been a decade and some. It’s been, well, a long, strange trip.

It’s time for us to build something new, but fortunately we don’t have to disassemble the actual record store as we depart. Maybe we’ll make a spaceship, or maybe a getaway car of our own. There are some nice folks who will be taking over the record store this week, and we’re certain it will remain the magical place it has always been — “A crossroads of the Universe,” a friend once called it. This is Laura and Dave, and Gus and Nova, and of course Irene, signing out.

Thanks for sharing some songs with us. It really has been a long, strange trip.

This new LP by Ryan Holweger hits a sweet spot here at Hymies. The album is filled with raucous country rock gems, but what really sticks to the ribs are the Uncle Tupelo-ish ballads like “After the Oil Rush.” There’s really timeless moments on this album and Holweger’s record release show at Mortimer’s tonight promises to be a great live set filled with exactly those sort of things. Adding to the appeal is opener Martin Devaney, who will be releasing his first album in years this December. Fans of swoony country-rock be warned: the multi-talented Ryan Holweger is going to be on your radar this winter.

The Dead Kennedys released “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” in 1981. The single came with an armband that featured a crossed-out swastika. It was written as a response to the appearance of neo-nazism and white supremacy in the punk rock culture in both the US and the UK.

After a neo-nazi coward ran his car into protesters last summer, killing 32 year old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more, the band posted the anti-swastika image on their Facebook page to the delight of tens of thousands.

This weekend Jello Biafra wrote an editorial piece titled “Dead Kennedy Songs Weren’t Supposed to Age This Well,” which you can find here.

We certainly hoped we’d never have to post this song again.

Last week we sat down with Andrea Swensson from Minnesota Public Radio’s Current to share some stories from the last decade here at your friendly neighborhood record shop. And more specifically to talk about the future. It’s been a wild ride, and we’re really proud of the shop we built here after our 2009 move, but we also feel its time for someone else to make their mark here. And that’s why Hymie’s Records is for sale.

You can read Andrea’s story on the Current’s blog here.

(Photo by Nate Ryan for Minnesota Public Radio)

Don’t worry friends, the record store isn’t going anywhere. This is our neighborhood (the best in the world!) and we can’t imagine it without the best record store in the world! In the mean time, interested parties can contact us for more information at  Irene at


The new Brian Just LP is without a doubt one of our favorite records of 2017, although it hasn’t actually been released yet. He has released a couple videos to tease fans in advance of the release show at the Turf Club in just a couple weeks (details here). We have been fortunate enough to have a copy of this future classic burning up the needle on our turntable for a month now, and we still can’t pick a favorite song.

The new single out on Bandcamp couldn’t have arrived on a better day. Here’s a song to enjoy while you’re watching the eclipse beginning shortly, for those readers here in Minneapolis. Brian tells us all sales of the single on Bandcamp will go to the Climate Reality Project.

The Supreme Court announced a decision last month in a case brought by an Asian American rock band, the Slants, who were denied the right to register their name by the U.S. Copyright and Patent Office. The reason cited was that the name was disparaging and violated the Lanham Act. The band’s lead singer, Simon Tam, was quoted by NPR as saying he wanted “to change [the term] to something that was powerful, something that was considered beautiful or a point of pride instead.”

The case will have far-reaching influence in effectively striking down the provision from the Lanham Act, which was intended to prohibit copyrights that could disparage an individual or group. The most notable case may be that of the Washington Redskins football team. The Washington Times reports that “trademark law is full of confusing cases. The television show ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ was registered by the trademark office, but ‘Clearly Queer’ was rejected. ‘Permachink’ was accepted, but ‘chink proud’ was rejected.”

The case establishes, after some years of uncertainty, that the government’s stamp in the form of authorizing a trademark registration does not constitute government speech. In remaining private speech trademarks and copyrights, even the Washington Redskins’ arguably offensive one, are protected under the First Amendment.

It appears opponents of the team name will have to find a new way to convince billionaire owner Daniel Snyder to consider a change. Even The Washington Post, whose editors have called for the change, admits that a majority of Native people in a recent poll were not offended by it. Once again rock and roll has opened wide the pandora’s box of free speech.

In a Daily Show segment, Ronny Chieng (our favorite correspondent) points out the band could have chosen a much more offensive name and suggests a shocking but hilarious list: Ching and Chong Sing-a-Longs, Gook Face Killas, Wok and Rollers, and Vanilla Rice. This reminded us of a couple other bands with names which could be seen as slurs, whose records we found below.


Maybe the Wongs, whose single is credited to “Ancient Chinese Secret Music,” took their name as a tribute to Esther Wong, the promoter who is sometimes called the Godmother of punk.

And the Chinkees play on another Asian stereotype by adding a karaoke track at the end of each side of this single. It’s worth noting that this band featured Mike Park, and their records were released on his Asian Man label.


Some ghastly Halloween news from yesterday’s performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera: ashes thrown by an audience member into the orchestra pit may have been human. According to the New York Times, the incident unfolded during the second intermission of an anticipated afternoon performance of Rossini’s “Guillame Tell.”


The NYPD’s Emergency Services unit has cordoned off the orchestra pit for the ongoing investigation. The Met’s Twitter account noted that all of the orchestra’s instruments remained there. At a press conference, the Deputy Commissioner for intelligence and counter terrorism, John Miller, said the suspect likely violated the city’s health code but that there was no criminal intent.

The suspect told several audience members that he was there to spread the ashes of his deceased mentor. There was only one musician in the orchestra pit at the time of the incident, and that was who alerted authorities. Two porters, wearing gloves, and an audience member may have come into contact with the powder, but were tested by authorities and released.

The Met was forced to cancel its first performance of Rossini’s famous opera in eighty years, as well as an evening performance of the composer’s earlier “L’italiana in Algeri.”

The New York Daily News identified the suspect as Texas resident Roger Kaiser, seen here in a photograph found on his Facebook page. We are not making this up.


Cancellations at the Metropolitan Opera are fairly rare, although the most recent was during the January 2015 snowstorm which forced much of the city’s transportation to a halt and before that during Hurricane Sandy. The Met’s most macabre cancellation in recent years was after tenor Richard Versalle suffered a heart attack in the first act of Janacek’s “The Makropulos Case” in 1996. He had just sung the line, “Too bad you can only live so long.”

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