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Salt Lake City, UT | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Salt Lake City, UT | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo Pop




"Local Releases: November Release Weekend"

Next comes the latest album from the band MiNX, which I won't need to say much about as you can read up on them in this week's issue of City Weekly, in a piece penned by new music editor Kolbie Stonehocker. The band are having a private release show, which I'm actually not going to scorn on, because it's one of those instances where being a fan actually pays off. You can download the album from their website. - City Weekly/Gavin's Underground

"Salt Lake bar’s Ladies That Rock puts Utah frontwomen in the forefront"

It’s no secret that Utah is a hub for talented musicians. Locals have moved their way into coveted spots on talent shows, and bands like Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Neon Trees and The Used all claim some form of Utah roots. What the state has not seen much of is woman-fronted bands breaking through to the big leagues.

Ischa Bee, vocalist and frontwoman for the electro-indie duo MiNX, is striving to break the gender stereotypes surrounding bands by hosting Ladies That Rock. The monthly event takes place on the first Friday of every month at The Woodshed in Salt Lake City. Next Friday, Dec. 6, Ladies That Rock celebrates its 10-month anniversary.

"Ladies-night bands are always female-fronted; that’s the rule," said Bee.

Bee has been performing music locally for four years. She began as part of the four-piece band called Uncle Scam. After a few years and three albums, she and guitar player Raffi Shahinian split off to form MiNX.

Her biggest difficulty since starting Ladies That Rock in February has been finding bands that meet the criteria.

"It’s a lot easier to find women in the back of the band than it is to find them at the front," she said.

But the challenge is a welcome one for Bee, who says that one of her favorite aspects of the event is meeting new bands and their fans.

"It’s really cool to meet a group of people, the audience that they bring; it’s a way for us to all share audiences and meet new friends. A band’s vibe and the audience’s vibe is part of the package."

The monthly event also introduces women musicians to local fans. For many Utah women, being taken seriously as a musician is a struggle.

"Being a female musician in Salt Lake has not been a breeze," says Amber Taniuchi, a veteran of Ladies That Rock and frontwoman of Lady Murasaki, a four-piece lounge-rock band that has been making music for nearly three years. "I think people tend to trust male musicianship more, and in terms of collaborating on shows, there have been a few bands or venues who obviously had little interest in working with me because I’m a girl — which was tough for me to swallow."

Brittney Shields, of the pop-duo Oh Be Clever, agrees.

"Not many people take a female ‘frontman’ of a band very seriously, in my experience. Dudes that play in a band get a lot more notice." Shields describes Ladies That Rock as a "powerful atmosphere" for women.

Bee’s attempts to strengthen women’s presence in the local music scene have not gone unnoticed.

"Ischa is a strong backbone to the community for women musicians," says Crystal Pistol, lead singer for indie-rock band ESX. Pistol and her bandmates (all women with the exception of their guitarist) return to The Woodshed on Dec. 6.

"Even though I find that most local musicians are very kind, nice people, and are generally very supportive of each other, in a social way, generally the guys tend to go with the guys," says Bee.

"I think the reason why there are less women in music locally is that I don’t think women necessarily feel like that is what they can do with their life. As a person who wants to be fearless, who strives to be fearless, I want to give people permission to do what they want to do."

For Bee, who grew up dreaming of performing, it was not until she met Shahinian that she felt empowered to explore her love for music. Now, as MiNX, Bee and Shahinian produce, write and perform all of their music, occasionally collaborating with others.

The ability to perform has also enabled Bee to bring another passion to the stage: "I love having a venue to wear the wearable art form."

Bee’s costumes, sometimes perceived as risqué and pushing the boundaries, are a visual representation of her artistic passions, her love of the human body, and, Bee hopes, a visual way of encouraging women to face their fears.

Pistol, who forced herself to sing karaoke 11 years ago to overcome her shyness, advises that women interested in performing just go for it.

"We need you," she says. "Try it and fail, and try it again and again and you’ll wake up one day on a stage, playing a song you wrote. There will be that moment when you’re onstage and think to yourself, ‘When did this happen? I did it.’ It’s the best feeling in the world." - The Salt Lake Tribune/Autumn Thatcher

"RAW artists put on awesome display at The Complex"

RAW was actually a reminder of the show put together by AFLA (Artists for Local Agriculture) and The Utah Arts Alliance promoting the Railyard Community Garden, at Mixx. The garden is on 100 S and 663 W and will also feature local art. Musical performances included Minx, an experimental duo with a lot of energy and talent to bring to the table. They are Ischa Bee and Raffi Shahinian, who were also the rock band, Uncle Scam. Care about your community and please remember to support your local scene. - Examiner/Natalie Jones

"Autumn Almanac 2013 — Vol. V"

Because the night is made for music — because the night is made for MiNX …

At the invitation of my young friends, I went to the release party for Thirteen, their second CD in less than a year. (I missed the release party for Golden last April, while I was in San Francisco.) Their shows are pretty theatrical anyway, but Ischa really threw down when it came to costume changes reflecting aspects of all those new songs.

he songs from Thirteen are literally being given away on their website MINXBAND.COM — I strongly suggest anyone who loves to hear the creation of new music to take advantage of this offer, and perhaps make a donation to the band!

Autumn Almanac 2013 — Vol. V

November 21, 2013 by Michael Evans

Intermountain seasons in transition
The snow on the Wasatch creeps lower and lower -- photo by M.E.

The snow on the Wasatch creeps lower and lower — photo by M.E.

Walking around Centerville dramatically demonstrates the contrast between Autumn and Winter.
Autumn lingers in the valleys. It isn't Winter until the Solstice -- photo by M.E.

Autumn lingers in the valleys. It isn’t Winter until the Solstice — photo by M.E.

Summer across the Atlantic
Events around Amsterdam last summer

Events around Amsterdam in the summer of 2013

M.C. Escher owed a LOT to mathematical tessellations used by Moorish architects and craftsmen in stone and tiling — especially inside the former mosque at Cordoba. Making a connection between Holland’s modern cultural icon and Islam, even Medieval Islam, represents a courageous move in today’s sad world. I do not hesitate to point out that there are whole neighborhoods where Muslims of different sects comprise the majority of inhabitants in Amsterdam and other large European cities.

Tekenen means “to draw” and the subtitle basically says “artists around the city.” I happened to see a lot of digital art on the walls of various Amsterdam cafes, and made some artwork of my own:
Photos and assemblage by M.E.

Photos and assemblage by M.E. — featuring Chandana Sarma, Harald Pretschner, Shelly Owen, and Matthijs Kuhlemaijer dancing in the courtyard of Eerste Nassaustraat 7.

Because the night is made for music — because the night is made for MiNX …
Raffi Shahinian and Ischa Bee as MiNX at the release party for their new CD 13 -- photo by M.E.

Raffi Shahinian and Ischa Bee as MiNX, at the release party for their new CD entitled 13 — photo by M.E.

At the invitation of my young friends, I went to the release party for Thirteen, their second CD in less than a year. (I missed the release party for Golden last April, while I was in San Francisco.) Their shows are pretty theatrical anyway, but Ischa really threw down when it came to costume changes reflecting aspects of all those new songs.
Ischa wailing her heart out, while the audience gladly gives theirs -- photo by M.E.

Ischa is wailing her heart out, as the audience gladly gives up their hearts in return — photo by M.E.

The songs from Thirteen are literally being given away on their website MINXBAND.COM — I strongly suggest anyone who loves to hear the creation of new music to take advantage of this offer, and perhaps make a donation to the band!
I'm like a bird in a gilded cage, if you open the door, I'm going to fly far away ...

… I’m like a bird in a gilded cage, if you open the door, I’m going to fly far away …

I repeatedly talk about the quality of MiNX’s songwriting, and musicianship, so let’s allow someone else, like Kolbie Stonehocker of City Weekly, to say something about the band and these new songs.

The Music Garage itself is a remarkable organization that promotes music education among local youth — instruments, equipment, and various technical skills. Hey Kolbie! What does City Weekly have to say about Steve Auerbach’s great project ? - Michael's Blog: Beat The Devil

"Bip Bip Bip, MiNX"

MiNX (Raffi & Ischa)

Gavin: Hey, guys. First thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

Raffi: Hi! We are MiNX, a two-person project that is fun, experimental and unapologetic. We feature Ischa on vocals and myself on guitar for live performances, using the multi-instrument backing tracks that we create in advance to complete our show. We like to flex our sound, and so the result is a bit of a mix tape, with references to a plethora of different genres and concepts.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Ischa: Older siblings and buddies introduced us to our influences. Raffi’s cousin showed him Guns “N Roses, N.W.A. and Black Sabbath, and that was enough to get him begging his parents for a guitar. My original influences range from Broadway musicals to Depeche Mode, Annie Lennox and the Pet Shop Boys, all of which hugely inspire my tastes, especially in music with electronic elements.

Gavin: How did you both come together to first form Uncle Scam?

Raffi: I formed Uncle Scam in 2005, recruiting members of past projects on drums and to play bass. After working with several different vocalists, Ischa auditioned and was invited to join the project at the end of 2009.

Gavin: What was it like performing in that band and putting out so much material in a short amount of time?

Ischa: It was pretty exciting once we got our chemistry as a group all worked out. That allowed us to get a lot of material written and recorded pretty quickly. We rehearsed a lot, and we were pretty goal-oriented in our efforts. Raffi is extremely organized and professional in everything he does, and so thanks to him, every rehearsal was recorded and every idea was caught on tape so we could go back and work it into a full song. It was still a lot of work, but it came very naturally. All of the material on all three of the albums released as Uncle Scam were created and written with input from all four members, even though the final release, Fly Free, was actually recorded with a hired drummer, Tracy Nielson, and with Raffi filling in on bass, after our drummer and bassist left the band.

Gavin: Without getting into the grander details, what caused you to shrink the band down to two?

Raffi: When the drummer and bassist left Uncle Scam to pursue other interests and responsibilities, Raffi and I decided that we still wanted to complete the goals we had discussed within Uncle Scam. We were on the verge of our second release, Heavy Cream, when our drummer left, and we had put a lot of work into it. We began using backing tracks out of necessity, as we only had two weeks to figure something out for our release-party performance. The result was nothing short of liberating. We used the idea to record and perform the third and ultimately final Uncle Scam album, which had already been in the works. We were proud to still create the planned animated music video for “Bump,” an homage to comedian Stephen Colbert, and really felt good about the way that we laid Uncle Scam to rest. In the meantime, a casual side project that began on Raffi’s acoustic guitar began to take center stage in our minds. With the idea of using backing tracks to expand our sound and capabilities, MiNX evolved quickly, and within one year of MiNX’s conception, we were able to release 45 songs and play full sets using only original MiNX tunes. Now, we’ve played over 100 shows as MiNX and offer 64 songs for free download on our website. We’ve already done more with MiNX in less time; we think it’s fate.

Gavin: What prompted you to change the name to MiNX, and how was it for you essentially starting over as a band under a different moniker and a new set list?

Raffi: We don’t consider it a name change. It was definitely a transition from one project to another, and even though I've been the consistent musical backbone in both projects, the material has become more and more different from our Uncle Scam material, as we have moved away from the classic four-piece rock ensemble sound and toward electronic experimentation. It was nice to have the contacts that we had made as Uncle Scam, which allowed us to continue to book shows and get a little attention from the community. It was most exciting to be creating and performing music that really came from our own taste and perspective, and allowing the evolution to happen because we had nothing to hold us back.

Gavin: A lot of your performances incorporate many costumes and various looks. What influenced the constantly changing stage presence?

Raffi: Ischa has a background in fashion and costume creation and styling and makeup artistry. It’s another way to give our performance the multimedia experience we are trying to create. Our aesthetic is still in progress and constantly evolving; we have tons of ideas that we are working on for future shows and releases.

Gavin: Most recently, you released a full-length album c - City Weekly/Gavin's Underground

"SLC electro-pop duo wants to blast your eyeballs and eardrums"

Music pioneer and inventor Les Paul didn’t impress with his first electric guitar. Called the “Log,” it was rudimentary—constructed out of guitar strings and a 4-by-4-inch piece of wood—but had the incredible sound Paul’s creations would later become known for. But the audience’s response was lukewarm. It wasn’t until he added “wings” to it to make it look more like the classic vision of an electric guitar, adding visual appeal, that listeners enthusiastically responded. “People hear with their eyes,” Paul said.

That story is also how local electro-pop duo Minx explain why their music’s visual side is nearly as important as their actual synth-y, dance-friendly sound, as heard on their newest full-length album, 13, released Nov. 13. “We tend to be a little bit more crazy with some of our stuff, and we have to be because we’re entertainers,” says guitarist Raffi Shahinian. “I love music, but I want people to be entertained when they see the music and hear it.”

Thus, a Minx show isn’t complete without homemade props—including a “stage cage”—shiny signs bearing the band’s name, synchronized dancing, lots of glitz and artsy costumes (think strange space-age helmets made of ribbon) for Shahinian and charismatic, glamorous frontwoman Ischa.

“We’re super arts-and-craftsy like that,” Ischa says. “The Minx marquees, those we have made ourselves. They’re made out of cardboard boxes and wood pieces and materials that I have a hard time admitting that I hoard, because … I’ll just see cardboard boxes sometimes and not be able to leave them because I think they could be something better.”

But Minx didn’t always feel like they had so much creative free rein. Both previous members of the now-defunct politically minded rock quartet Uncle Scam, they started playing together as just the two of them in summer 2011. They turned their backyard jam sessions into an official band, Minx, in February 2012, and ended the Uncle Scam project a month later. From then on, it was only open skies and endless possibilities for the trajectory their music could take.

“It’s really been liberating … because now I’m not stuck to playing certain genres or, like, within the realms of what … people want,” Shahinian says. “There’s no more limitations.”

For their new album, Minx struck a balance between their first two releases, a mixtape project—where they picked and chose from 45 songs to create custom CDs—and LP Golden, which came out in March. Whereas Golden was something of a concept album, “where you can listen to it all the way through and it’s somewhat of a story,” Ischa says, 13, she feels, is “a little bit more all over the place.”

Shahinian describes 13 as “crazier … there’s more contrast between the songs.”

Another difference between 13 and Golden is the mindset Minx had during the writing process. While creating Golden was highly focused and “streamlined,” Shahinian says, Minx allowed themselves to play with what would work and what wouldn’t for 13, which he and Ischa recorded, produced and mixed entirely on their own, “experimenting and learning things the easy way, the hard way, every which way,” Ischa says.

“Doing this album, I kind of experimented with things I wouldn’t have,” Shahinian says. “Different synthesizers [and] plug-ins.”

That freedom is apparent on 13, a sassy slice of pop built around three key ingredients: Shahinian’s synth wizardry and rock & roll guitar riffs, and Ischa’s beautifully powerful voice. The lyrics to “Fly Away” sound like Minx’s mission statement of how important it is to do what you love instead of being trapped in a job you hate just to make money. “Lollipop,” with loops of Ischa’s voice built up in layers to create a full sound, is full of sexy innuendo. “Can’t Get Enough” captures that dizzy, head-rushing side of love with the lyrics “you’re the frosting on my cake.”

But the album highlight is “TicToc,” a female-empowerment anthem that encapsulates Minx’s feminist mindset. “Can’t stop, I’m rolling,” Ischa raps. “I got people to meet, I got shit to do. … ’Cuz I’m a queen, and I’ma wear that crown.”

Subjects of feminism and gender roles are a large part of Minx’s music, so representing and supporting female musicians is important to them. Shahinian and Ischa are proud hosts of The Woodshed’s monthly Ladies That Rock night, which features bands that are fronted by women. “Hosting ladies night has been one of my very favorite things, because every month there’s a lady-fronted band,” Ischa says. “I think there’s something very cool about the guys that are willing to play with those girls.”

Looking forward, Minx has plans to tour in support of 13 (the release of which is being celebrated with a private party on Nov. 16; contact Minx at their Facebook page to receive an invitation). They also already have ideas for their next project, and are constantly perfecting their flamboyant stage presence.

“We were talking about what we can do next,” Ischa says with a laugh - City Weekly/Kolbie Stonehocker

"MiNX Premieres Film 'Together Forever' for Halloween"

MiNX Premieres Film 'Together Forever' for Halloween

Posted By Kolbie Stonehocker on October 30, 2014, 2:00 PM

If there's anything scarier than ghosts, blood-sucking fiends or ax murderers, it's the dark, twisted side of love. And that idea is explored in sexy, spooky detail on the ambitious new project by local electro-pop/dance duo MiNX, Together Forever. 

A full-length electronic album, Together Forever is also the soundtrack for a silent, mostly black & white film. Each of the 13 tracks on the album, co-produced by MiNX and SELECTA of local electronic duo Muscle Hawk, has its own music video, which combine to make up the full film. Every week since the beginning of August, MiNX has been releasing one music video from Together Forever, gradually revealing the surreal story of a character simply called Girl, played by MiNX vocalist Ischa. The girl is a prostitute who falls desperately in love with a married customer named John—played by MiNX guitarist Raffi Shahinian—and she dreams endlessly about escaping her job and sometimes violent clientele and running away with him. But when John refuses to leave his wife and family to be with her, the girl resorts to terrifying measures to be "together forever." The story is "very Halloween-y and creepy and weird," Ischa says.

The film, co-produced and directed by MiNX and Mario DeAngelis of Salty Horror Productions, was inspired by influential Italian producer and electronic musician Giorgio Moroder's 1984 electronic take on the 1926 science-fiction film Metropolis, as well as the dark-bobbed character Lulu from the silent film Pandora's Box.

Twelve episodes have been released so far, and at midnight tonight, MiNX will reveal the 13th and final episode of Together Forever, which can be viewed at YouTube.com/minxduo. And on Halloween at 10 p.m., there will be a free screening of the full film at Brewvies, followed by an afterparty at a location that will be announced after the movie. The album and full film will be available for purchase on their website.

The latest episode, "Twelve," is below, but do yourself a favor and start from the beginning of the series so you can get caught up before the final episode is released.  - City Weekly



Get ready for a shape-shifting visual performance when Raffi Shahinian and Ischa B. of MiNX bring their hodgepodge of fun to Localized.

Photo: John Barkiple

The bubbly, vivacious vocalist of MiNX, Ischa B., greeted me outside a nondescript machining facility—an oddly appropriate meeting place, given MiNX’s often dark, industrial visual style. We went inside to sit with the other half of the band, the comparatively soft-spoken guitarist Raffi Shahinian, who explained that Ischa and he had known each other since ’97 and that MiNX grew from the political-sex-rock act, Uncle Scam. Ischa became involved in Uncle Scam after becoming weary of her day-to-day grind: “I was working retail, corporate America. I was like, ‘Man, I gotta do some music. I gotta do some art,’” she says. Soon, she was enlisted as lead vocalist. Uncle Scam thrived for a while, earning positive album reviews and even playing a Localized show in 2010 before band members departed, leaving only Raffi and Ischa to tinker with their sound. “The other band members left and Raffi and I continued the Uncle Scam project, but were starting our own project that was just us,” says Ischa. In February 2012, MiNX jolted to life.

Since then, the band has been busy. “For the sake of honesty, I feel like we’ve been on a fucking train going 500 fucking miles an hour since 2011,” says Raffi, who explained that last year, the band released two full-length albums, Golden and 13, as well as acoustic EP Summertime Unplugged. But as Ischa says, if they aren’t busy, they get bored: “We’ve got to entertain ourselves! When we’re working on an album, every moment is dedicated to the album. When we’re not working on the must-dos like eating, working and sleeping, we’re working on the album. We also just like to have fun and explore,” she says.

Exploration has led MiNX to combine rock and electronic elements like sonic alchemists. Raffi brings hard rock, soul and funk to the mix, while Ischa stirs in components of the electronic spectrum, citing artists like Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode as influences. “[Our sound] is experimental in that we’re not telling ourselves no. If something comes up and we think, ‘Oh, you should rap to this,’ I say ‘OK, I’ll rap to this even though I’m a white girl who lives in Utah,’” says Ischa.

The product they’ve created is something that can be thought of as a mixtape. According to Ischa, “We leave it open-ended like that. If you listen to us, you’ll find a hodgepodge. You can’t make an assumption off of one song because you’ll find something else very different.” As Raffi notes, a sonic pastiche is a good way to connect with a variety of people. “We want people’s ears to connect with what they’ve seen and what they know,” he says.

Of course, for MiNX, music is just one half of the show. The band’s magic extends past your ears and into your eyes with elaborate stage props, costumes and visceral online videos. “We pretty much just have fun. Ischa takes care of the costumes and I just get to go in my hole and make music. We work to each other’s benefits,” says Raffi, who noted that the big push into the theatrical landscape comes from Ischa. With a diverse artistic background that includes everything from working in costumes at the Utah Opera to prepping for photo shoots and doing makeup and hair, she’s certainly the woman for the job. Together, the two have chemistry that results in a full-body experience combining Raffi’s passion for guitar with Ischa’s passion for everything comprising their visual aesthetic.

Where visuals are concerned, inspiration comes from dozens of places. “I like to snoop online at all the inspirations you’d imagine, like Madonna and Britney Spears and Annie Lennox—all of the trite assumable stuff—yes, it’s all inspirational,” says Ischa, who also explained that a big part of creating art is collaboration. “It always starts with someone actually doing it for themselves and finding other people who want to play with them, which is how I feel about the people helping us make our music videos—they want to make art and we want to make art,” she says.

Their amalgam of visual and audial elements pours out in live performances, giving audiences a shape-shifting experience where Ischa’s costumes change with songs and setlists change for various venues. “We play acoustic shows and I love the moodiness,” says Ischa, “but we generally play at bars, and since people at bars are trying to have a good time, we try to make our set applicable; we encourage people to come out and have the good time that they came out to have.” Raffi adds that the benefit of having such a wide array of songs is that you can adjust them to fit any audience. “Since we have a large amount of songs, we get to do a MiNX’s greatest hits so we can pick out the most fun, bouncy songs and the ones the audience responds to.”

In the world of music, you can find countless examples of experimental art, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find a group as compelling and stimulating as this inventive duo. Check out MiNX’s extensive catalog of songs and videos at minxband.com, and keep an eye out for exciting news on their upcoming music video project. - SLUG Magazine

"Best of Utah Music"


Electro-pop duo Minx kicked off the showcase with a multi-media performance, treating the audience to moody but danceable music—featuring electric guitar by Raffi and brassy vocals by Ischa—paired with eye-catching images and film. That creative visual element added an interesting layer to the performance, and it was especially cool when Minx played material from their latest album, Together Forever, as they screened a portion of their short film of the same name. - City Weekly Magazine


  • MiNX-Mixtape
  • MiNX-Acoustic Mixtape
  • MiNX-Golden
  • MiNX-Summertime Unplugged
  • MiNX-13
  • MiNX-Together Forever



MiNX infuses their performance with visual elements, sometimes campy and vaudevillian, and the costumes and stage-props they sometimes employ are simply cherries on top of the already compelling show. Their latest endeavor, Being MiNX, was written to be performed both Unplugged or backed by tracks produced by the dynamic duo, and either way, Raffi and Ischa’s chemistry never disappoints, with or without multi-media presentation. 

In fact, some fans rave about MiNX’s stripped-down acoustic shows most of all, impressed by the raw talent and energy they bring to every performance. With over three hours of acoustic material and several more hours of electronic tracks, MiNX has been performing at a variety of venues, from coffee-shops, restaurants and bars to concert halls and festivals over the last five years. 

Citing influences such as Norah Jones, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Sia, Nile Rodgers/Chic, Pharrell Williams and Prince, they are especially inspired by artists who don’t hesitate to include meaningful lyrics over playful, upbeat tunes. Their music reflects a passion for experimentation and a playful disregard for the rules on how music should be made, performed, and shared.

Band Members