Le Talk with Le Tête with l’étoile (Magazine)

Last week in l’étoile magazine, Lizzy Shramko interviewed Angela Frucci of the Minneapolis
all female band Têtes Noires, which just released a long-awaited album. The Q&A telescoped in on Frucci’s production work behind “The New American Dream.”

Mpls.-based l’étoile magazine provides a witty and irreverent guide to the Twin Cities, featuring online coverage of the best art, fashion, music and performing arts that the area has to offer. 

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Têtes + GRRRL PRTY, Mpls. Mix Tape, “Ooops, My Bad”

In honor of Minneapolis band Têtes Noires' latest release, The New American Dream, writer and mixmaster Lizzy Shramko compiled a mixtape of ”Wegula” ladies currently dominating the electronic, hip-hop, and garage rock music scenes straight from the Land of 10,000 lakes. 

Lineup includes: VANDAAMLizzoBuffalo MoonKitten ForeverGRRRL PRTYPolicaSarah WhiteSun Gods to Gamma Rays, and … Tetes.

Check it out, listen here Britches!

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Bitch Magazine Waxes Eloquent on Têtes Noires

Lizzy Shramko is a Minneapolis based writer who wrote a phenom piece for “Bitch" about "The New American Dream" release and what the Têtes offering means in the current lanscape of women-fronted musicians. Shramko is the Outreach Coordinator at Paper Darts Magazine and contributor at Mpls.-based l’etoile magazine.

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Ben Leinbach: At the Knobs for Têtes Remix and Re-release

New vocals tracks for two songs on Têtes The New American Dream were recorded and engineered by the award-winning, and coolest, chillest, producer, engineer Ben Leinbach. Here’s Ben working out “Selcric” while Zara Bode lays down her harmony vocals in the booth. 
(More Ben stuff later!)

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Photo by Angela Frucci

MPR’s, Local Current Blog Looks at Têtes Noires Re-release

Andrea Swensson is a superb music reporter and blogger for Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current and the voice of the Local Current Blog. She wrote an in-depth piece on the beginnings of Tétes Noires, and the story behind the recent remix project, The New American Dream.
Thanks Andrea!

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KFAI Radio: Jackson Buck Talks Têtes on His Freewheelin’ Show

On December 18th, Angela Frucci of Têtes Noires called in for a live chat on Jackson Buck’s radio show Freewheelin’ on KFAI. Freewheelin’ runs Every Wednesday afternoon (2:00-4:00) on KFAI; 90.3 and online, mobile app at kfai.org. The legendary Jackson is a great interviewer and his wife is a BIG Têtes fan. (Folks, the show will be posted once it’s archived)

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StarTribune: Jon Bream’s Blurb for Listening Party

Here’s what pop-music critic Jon Bream had to say about the Têtes event:

"In the 1980s, the Tetes Noires stood out in the Twin Cities rock scene like Vanity 6 stuck out in Prince’s royal court. The Tetes were a drummer-less band of women who made cool, minimalist, harmony-dominated new-wave music. (Their moniker is French for “black heads” — all the members were brunettes.) They made three critically acclaimed albums, toured nationally (including opening for Richard Thompson at New York’s fabled Bottom Line and earning a favorable review from the New York Times) and broke up in 1987. The late, almost-great arty popsters aren’t reuniting, but their keyboardist, Angela Frucci, has reimagined/remixed the Tetes’ best album as “The New American Dream.” She’s throwing a listening party. Jon Bream"

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WCCO-TV: Interview w/Angela Frucci of Têtes Noires

Mighty Minnesota! In December, the Twin Cities venerable news station WCCO-TV channel 4 interviewed Têtes Noires’ Angela Frucci about the re-release of The New American Dream.
She had a spot on their “News at Noon” show. You can watch the interview here at this link!
http://cbsloc.al/1g4jX01

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Behind The Songs: George Cochrane and the Têtes

Angela Frucci met George Cochrane when she worked with him at Digidesign and they worked on getting various iterations of Pro Tools out into the audio world. Frucci asked him to work with her on the project when it was just a dream-like idea, an audio vision wanting to take form.

He was co-producer, engineer, did mastering, sound design, played lots of instruments on this remix of Têtes Noires 1984 album. First and foremost, however, was his keen ability to respect the core of what the Têtes were all about and stay true to the form. Secondly, George was able to translate into audio reality, just about every idea that Frucci could toss at him.

George Cochrane operates Echo Lake Audio, a boutique studio in Los Angeles, where he happens to be an very in-demand engineer, producer, and composer. His work finds its way into TV, film, video games, fashion media, and innovative records. George also writes and plays with the groups Cubik and Origami, Weatherhouse, and Draemings, and performs solo as Give In and Closed or Open. 

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Photo by Angela Frucci

Behind the Songs: The New American Dream w/Zara Bode

“The New American Dream” project included Zara Bode (and Stefan Amidon) of the rollicking band, The Sweetback Sisters, as special guests on several tracks. Zara has a superb set of vocal chops — she can do it all — and her vocal range is complimentary to the lead and harmony vocals of the Tetes. That voice!

Angela Frucci asked Zara if she’d come into the studio and lay down some vocal tracks on two song: Recipe for Love (#2) and Selcric (#13). Frucci was looking for a “sort of” rap to thicken the original bridge. Zara came into Ben Leinbach’s California studio, and with Ben at the knobs, delivered with a knock-out, mouthful of lyrics; Ben coined it “Brooklyn Boop.” Yah, so true.

Zara also nailed some unearthly harmony vocals and whistling on an into-the-mystic tune called “Selcric.” Even we … are not quite sure what the lyrics are.

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Photo by Angela Frucci

Stefan Amidon plays on Title Song #4: “American Dream”

In 1984 Têtes Noires rolled into the 2500 block of Nicollet Ave., home of Nicollet Avenue Studios, to record their 2nd album, American Dream. The Suicide Commandos’ Chirs Osgood sat at the knobs as producer. #4 on the album is the title song “America Dream,” Jennifer Holt’s hyperkinetic, gypsy rave-up. It was recorded live on the first take, everybody live — not just the vocals.

In 2013, drummer Stefan Amidon, came into the studio at Echo Lake Audio, Los Angeles to lay down a drum track for the remix album The New American Dream. Stefan plays with The Sweetback Sisters, a rollicking honky-tonk band from Brooklyn. It wasn’t easy coming in almost 30 years later to slap skins and match rhythms with what had originally been recorded as a drumerless hora (plus no click track was used in the original, so, lots of shifting tempos). Tricky time changes, a ghost, all female band – “hey, hey, hey,” but Stefan Amidon’s middle name is Perseverance (his is a long and storied line of the Royal Order of Vermont Persivinians) !!! He’s a remarkable talent and the result is seamless and delicious, if not crazed!

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Photo by Angela Frucci

Moonie: Song #5 from Têtes Noires “The New American Dream”

“I wonder what it’s like to be a moonie
I wonder what it’s like
Yodelayee, yodelayee, yodelayeeooh

Selling their souls to the moon and the stars
Giving him houses and keys to their cars … ”
(Moonie lyrics © 1984 Têtes Noires/Rapunzel Records, © 2013 East Saint Paul Records)

Jennifer Holt wrote this really cool (now prophetic) song called “Moonies” which was all about Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his followers, the ‘moonies.’ 

The now deceased Rev. Moon was recently exposed in a Mother Jones EXCLUSIVE last week (12.9.13) by jouranlist Mariah Blake. It seems he had a love child he tried to hide. Well, that’s just the tip of the Moon’s perverted sexual altar.

Alas, it seems a perfect time to ask Holt what she remembers about the birth of the song (the song was not a love child by the way). Here’s what she said:

JH: It was the mid-80′s and Rev. Sun Yung Moon was everywhere in the media it seemed. In Minneapolis, suddenly people appeared on busy street corners selling flowers. Curious, I asked where the money went, to one of the vendors. He mumbled something unintelligible under his breath. More curious, i started asking around and found out they were all acolytes of Rev. Moon, or ‘moonies.’ Then there was the mass marriage on television, in which thousands of his followers came together and were randomly married by him. Now that’s one powerful cult. As any good cult leader does, he was also famous for being ‘given’ massive bank accounts and inheritances by his followers, who would then do whatever he asked them to do to provide for the ‘family,’ including selling flowers on street corners. Now that’s some kind of charisma. Why is it people join cults? Are we so disenfranchised that even this is preferable to the bone-chilling aloneness that many of us suffer from, as we make our way from dysfunctional families where we did not learn how to connect or attach appropriately, into a cold, uncaring world? Enter Rev. Moon, a hand outstretched for one’s heart, brain, and of course wallet, in exchange for community. What was it like to be a moonie? I really wanted to know. Thus a song was born. Yo de lay hee yo de lay hee yo de lay hee hoo!

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Song List from Têtes’ album, The New American Dream

The New American Dream (East Saint Paul Recods) is the 2013 remix/rerelease/re-re’ing of Têtes Noires’ 2nd album, American Dream. It includes the same 13 songs in the same order as the original 1984 album, which came out on the Têtes own label, Rapunzel Records. image

First New Musical Offering in 29 Years From Têtes Noires

Tetes Noires “The New American Dream” is now available on CD Baby, Bandcamp, and iTunes. It’s a re-mix and re-imagining of their 1984 album, “American Dream.”

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Photo by Catherine Settanni

Têtes Noires Listening Party Dec. 26 at Bryant Lake Bowl

Presented by members of Têtes Noires, it will be an occasion to listen to  freshly released album “The New American Dream,” watch revealing videos, toss in some Têtes oddities, act odd, celebrate, and mingle! Read all about it on Bryant Lake Bowl’s blogimage