Har Mar Superstar

Sean Tillmann has been making records under the name "Har Mar Superstar" since 1999. Under the Har Mar moniker, Sean has gone through a plethora of phases, ranging from fun-loving, beats-based music pioneer (he and Peaches shared stages early on) to angry arena crowd opener (a 2002 public lewdness allegation proves it) to soul music crooner. His last album Bye Bye 17 opened a lot of people’s minds to his songwriting prowess, which has existed since day one of his career.

For years, Tillmann was an artist’s artist when The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gossip, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many other legends decided to collaborate and/or take him on tour. Different phases of his career brought him fame through the fickle worlds of indie, British pop, LA DJ-dom, and New York night crawling.

Bye Bye 17 was an eye-opener to the music world, not that Tillmann wasn’t used to accolades through his former work with Sean Na Na, Gayngs, Neon Neon, and Calvin Krime. Sean had “arrived as a songwriter.” After living in LA and NYC for 12 years, Sean moved back to Minneapolis, MN, where he is most creative. With the help of Chris Bierden (Poliça, Bye Bye 17), Ryan McMahon (Har Mar, Lizzo), Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Adele, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Cat Stevens), and Ryan Olson (Poliça, Marijuana Deathsquads), Har Mar Superstar’s album Best Summer Ever was born.

Best Summer Ever, since its inception, has been imagined as a "Greatest Hits of Har Mar Superstar from 1950-1985." Tillmann was born in 1978. Wrap your head around that, please.

Best Summer Ever is a slow burner with many ballads, dance-able tracks, and co-writes. Long-time friend Julian Casablancas (Cult Records founder, The Strokes), Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Erykah Badu, Voidz, Weezer), and Tillmann worked very closely to make the concept happen. Karen O, Matt Sweeney, and James Levy (Reputante, Lolawolf) all helped write songs on the record. Bobby Charles wrote “I Hope.” “Youth Without Love” was a demo written by Julian that was sitting around that Har Mar fell in love with, so they made it for the record.

Look out for Har Mar Superstar, now fronting a six-piece band -- complete with horns -- touring worldwide this year. The live show has always been a fun, sweat-soaked celebration of joy. The man was born to rock a stage. Join the party.

Don’t fake your love.

Born in Detroit in the late 80's, Lizzo spent much of her formative years in the church, where she was raised on the gospel sounds of The Winans, The Clark Sisters, and Fred Hammond, along with mainstay secular artists such as Stevie Wonder and Elton John. At the age of 10 her family moved to Houston, TX, and Lizzo was exposed to a wide array of emerging Southern musical styles, from the trademark chopped and screwed rap tracks of the underground, to the progressive and polished R&B sounds of groups like Destiny's Child that were raising the city's national profile to new heights. In fact, it was after she stumbled across a Destiny's Child performance at Wal-Mart that Lizzo—then a 5th grader-- was inspired to start writing music on her own. Over the next decade that decision would take her through the trenches of some of the most varied musical genres: R&B girl groups (I.N.I.T.I.A.L.S., Cornrow Clique), progressive rock bands (Elypseas), solo rap ventures, and electro-pop duos (Lizzo & The Larva Ink).

In 2011 she made the move to Minneapolis with Larva Ink in order to be a part of that city's blossoming and collaborative musical community. Lizzo & The Larva Ink was well received there, and the group earned a few encouraging nods from the press. Lizzo was soon introduced to Sophia Eris and Claire de Lune, with whom she would form The Chalice, the three-piece all-female rap/R&B group that would elevate Lizzo's profile and reputation. In 2012 The Chalice released We Are The Chalice, an album that would gain them instant local success amongst fans and critics alike, garnering City Pages' prestigious Best New Band and Picked To Click accolades in the same year.

The success brought setbacks, though, and a falling out soon led to the demise of Lizzo & The Larva Ink. Feeling discontent with the loss of one group and the hurried blur of success of another, Lizzo was creatively drained from writing We Are The Chalice in two short months. She found herself in the throes of her first full-blown case of writer's block. Unable to create music for herself, she began listening to several different local albums in hopes of finding inspiration. It was LAVA BANGERS, a 20-track instrumental mixtape from Doomtree producer and Minneapolis music vet Lazerbeak, that ultimately caught her ear. Beaks' beats proved the fix for Lizzo's problem. "I sat at home and listened to LAVA BANGERS, and when "Lift Every Voice" came on, my writer's block was cured," says Lizzo. "I think it revived my gospel roots. I wrote pages and pages of songs, and finally reached out to Lazerbeak, not thinking anything would come of it."

Her timing could not have been better. Beak, impressed with Lizzo's output with The Chalice, as well as her guest appearances on several other local releases, was looking for a change of pace from his daily Doomtree production and business responsibilities. He immediately signed on to work on some demos. Beat tapes were exchanged, songs were written, and mutual friend and musical collaborator Ryan Olson (Totally Gross National Product founder, Gayngs/Marijuana Deathsquads mastermind) was brought on board to creatively oversee the project. Olson recorded and edited all 15 tracks in his bedroom studio, bringing in laid back hype-man Cliff Rhymes along the way to add even more layers to Lizzo's dynamic vocals.

LIZZOBANGERS is the culmination of that four-way collaboration, an album that manages to capture all of the varied musical influences of Lizzo's upbringing and combine them with the forward-thinking experimental production style of Beak and Olson. The end result is a brave new project that encapsulates the best parts of both the familiar and the future.

$10.00 - $12.00


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