Pink Mink
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Pink Mink

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | INDIE

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

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"Pink Mink Opens for Author and Humorist Sarah Vowell at the Fitzgerald Theater"

MPR presents Sarah Vowell and musical guests Pink Mink on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater.
Renowned author, humorist and one of public radio’s leading contributors to “This American Life” Sarah Vowell comes to the Fitzgerald Theater for a singular evening of humor and wit. Minneapolis pop punk group Pink Mink will hit the stage right after intermission, adding an extra element of sassy girl power to the evening. - Metro Mag


"Pink Mink Pay Tribute to Hole and Patty Schemel at Sound Unseen 12"

Between October 12 and 16, Sound Unseen 12 will screen 11 films on music at the Ritz Theater (a new location for this festival, in northeast Minneapolis) and the Trylon Microcinema (in south Minneapolis). Sound Unseen also features live music performances in conjunction with films—this year, veteran punk rockers the Magnolias will perform before a documentary about rock dads, The Other F Word, while Pink Mink will play a set of Hole covers live before Hit So Hard, a profile of ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel. - City Pages


"Ahoy! Pink Mink takes to the Mississippi"

It started Friday evening with the sun going down, a blast of the horn from the Betsey Northrup, and DJ David Campbell playing the theme song to "Gilligan's Island."

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
Captain Campbell and Pink Mink's Christy Hunt.
It ended with Minneapolis-based pop-punks Pink Mink covering the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love" as campfires on both shores of the Mississippi River cut the black water and sky. It was Pink Mink's CD release party, like no other CD release party in recent memory. A four-hour tour:

7 p.m. About 400 passengers congregate on Harriet Island and get ready to load. One vehicle preps for the event with spirits and Ike Reilly's "Boat Song."
Many are dressed for the best-costume contest, including guitarist/bandleader Kent Militzer, Campbell, and many others in the guise of The Love Boat's Captain Merrill Stubbing and/or "Caddyshack"'s Danny Noonan, while some of the Rude Girl crew and friends are decked out as the cast of "Gilligan's Island" (sans the professor). Clearly, after the long winter and an endless spigot of bad news, summer is here and folks are ready to get their Yacht Rock on.

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
Pink Mink in all their River City glory.


7:30 Even with the let-your-freak-flag-fly vibe of the moment and government shutdown (see: limp Capitol dome on the riverbank horizon), passengers are frisked, some contraband is confiscated, and some of the buzz is taken off Campbell's boarding tune choice of "Pass the Dutchie."

8:10 The Betsey Northrup eases out onto the river amidst a few timid whoops from her passengers. Perhaps it's the bad news spigot or the hangover from the 4th of July weekend "Twilight Zone" marathon on the SyFy Channel or Campbell's choice of The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" ("this is the worst trip I've ever been on"), but the landlubbers' joy is tempered by the very real fact that this ship could sink and we could all die.

8:20 No icebergs ahead, but the line for adult beverages is long and sweaty and grumpy. For the most part, the gathered group of thirsty club-goers, service industry workers, and musicians roll with it and accentuate the positive.

8:25 Word reaches the ship that Betty Ford is dead. A toast of Summits, PBRs, and Pink Minks – a one-night-only frothy fruity cocktail that tastes like a popsicle dipped in grenadine – is raised.

8:30 The sun blazes down on the Big Muddy and her playmates. A lone fisherman in a motorboat ignores the party tooling past him and casts into the weeds. "Summertime, and the livin' is easy," sings Sam Cooke to the kicked-back denizens of the upper deck.

8:35 The chill is on. People gaze out onto the river and sip beer as '70s and '80s soul tunes make love with the waves. Life slows down. Tiki bar on the river. Nirvana for any kid who grew up not on the West Coast or baptized in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, but wondering what it was like to go to all those cool parties with the Go-Go's and Beach Boys.

8:35 A yacht by the name of "Wish Music" cruises by. The Betsey Northrup's geeks and groovers in sundresses, cargo shorts, and tank tops wave to the seniors in sarongs, golf shirts, and khaki shorts, and vice versa.

8:40 Did you know that your body is 80 percent water? Did you know that if you live in Minnesota, most of that water comes from the Mississippi River? Did you know that feeling all that water pulsing through your body and underfoot coupled with all the music pulsing through your limbs achieves a certain oneness that gives credence to Brian Eno's recent suggestion that "music" is an outdated term? It's true.

8:45 Pink Mink co-leader Christy Hunt, the guiding force behind the cruise (which obviously spiritually borrows from the St. Paul Saints' first commandment "Fun Is Good") signs autographs of the band's new vinyl and chats up partiers on everything from local music history to Bikram yoga. She's clad in a seafaring blue skirt, frilly bloomers and red heels, looking for all the world like the heroine of a Gidget-gone-bad beach movie.

9:00 Birthday Suits, a feral guitar-drums noise duo, whip up a ferocious racket of perspiration and frenzied hair on the lower deck that brings to mind a hot yoga class as taught by Amphetamine Reptile Records.

9:15 Sign on dock: "WARNING DO NOT ANCHOR OR DREDGE GAS PIPELINE CROSSING."

9:20 Birthday Suits' explosive wail threatens to blow river to kingdom come.

9:30 Thinking about other great floating rock moments, including The Stones on the flatbed truck taking Manhattan, the Sex Pistols doing "God Save the Queen" on the Thames, and the Clash playing "London Calling" in the rain and fog. We live by the river …

9:35 More whoops and waves from the shoreline bluffs, courtesy of the tipsy denizens of The Pool and Yacht Club. In the eye of the heat wave, Campbell and musicians/writers Joe Fahey and Pete Christensen talk with former Gopher great Rick Erdall about – what else? – ice hockey.

9:45 The sun is all the way down, and Pink Mink takes to the stage amidst stage light-loving moths and gnats and about 500 cameras. The band (Hunt, bassist/producer Jacques Wait, guitarist/singer Arzu Gokcen, and monster drummer Charles Gehr) rips through an hourlong set of classic prefab punk that celebrates their hometown with wry rockers "Seeking Scott Seekins," "Hidden Beach" and a cover of the Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow," which finds the frontline raising their axes to the low ceiling for Hunt/Gokcen/Bob Stinson's still-crazy-after-all-these-years guitar solo.

9:55 Coolest footwear of the night: Gokcen's calf-high Converse All-Stars, pounding the floor and tapping her foot pedals.

10:00 The lower deck swelters and smells of vintage dead fish and wet sea dogs. Finally, Hideo Takahashi, yowler/guitarist for Birthday Suits, opens a door behind the stage. The sweet cool river air gushes in, and band and crowd elevate another few notches. Off mic and sucking in the fresh oxygen, Hunt sings a grateful verse of The Doobie Brothers' "Black Water."
10:30 Sign on dock: "WELCOME TO WATERGATE MARINA." Headline in next day's newspaper: "State shutdown Day 10. More Signs Point To A Lengthy Siege."

10:40 A videographer films a photographer who shoots the videographer who films the cameraman times infinity.

10:45 No icebergs, but as the lights of downtown St. Paul and a few fireworks blaze in the distance, Campbell ominously uncorks Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
11:00 The Betsey Northrup docks and calls it quits for the night, but many of her hot and sweaty passengers hit the after-party at the Turf Club and make late-night promises to continue the cruise Tuesday night at Kings Wine Bar with DJ Jake Rudh's Yacht Rock set.
But before all that, on behalf of summer-starved, bad-news-whipped, government-free Minnesotans and 24-hour party people everywhere, I want to thank Pink Mink and crew for their dedication to creativity, joy, and bad-assery. Bon voyage … - MinnPost


"Ahoy! Pink Mink takes to the Mississippi"

Jim Walsh reviews Pink Mink's Album Release show for MinnPost - MinnPost


"Pink Mink Album Release Cocktail Cruise Photos"

City Pages photographers document the fun and mayhem at Pink Mink's album release party held on a riverboat on the Mississippi. - City Pages


"Local glam-punk quartet make a splash on their debut album."

I remember the exact moment when Pink Mink won me over. It was a torrid summer night at the Kitty Cat Klub . Shortly after they’d launched into a cover of Them Crooked Vultures’ “Dead End Friends,” the reason for all the feverish hype surrounding the band at the time had all of a sudden been laid bare.

It was a powerhouse performance; a glam-punk catharsis chock-full of incendiary guitar solos, Twin Cities homage and enough stiletto swagger to give Debbie Harry a run for her money. If you didn’t know any better, you could’ve sworn they were rock ‘n’ roll time travelers that had suddenly appeared after making a 20-year quantum leap into the future. It was clear they weren’t just one of Minneapolis’ best new bands. They were the best new band. And they hadn’t even released any recorded material yet.

Now one year, countless headlining slots and a City Pages’ Picked-to-Click award later, Pink Mink is ready to drop its self-titled debut this Friday.

Right out of the gate, the album doesn’t bother pulling any punches. From the second the gnarled guitar riff sounds on the fiery opener, “Black Door,” it’s clear that the group’s charisma isn’t limited to their live shows. Sharing vocals, the charismatic frontwoman Christine Hunt and guitarist Arzu Gokcen act as the driving force behind Pink Mink. But that’s not to say the band’s rhythm section is comprised of entry-level performers either. Hunt’s husband Charles Gehr’s savage drumming carries each track, moving them along at a breakneck pace alongside Jacques Wait’s pulsating bass grooves.

Produced by Wait, Pink Mink’s debut is a potent mix of raw power that shines with top-tier production and accomplished songwriting. From the bluesy murk of “Werewolf Island” to the surf-punk bounce on “Earthquake on the Loose,” it’s an album that sounds as polished as it does raucous and channels the bustling heyday of local icons like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü. There are even numerous nods to Twin Cities denizens and landmarks like Scott Seekins, Hidden Beach and a superb cover of the Replacement’s delinquent anthem, “Kids Don’t Follow.”

But Pink Mink has its tamer moments too.

“End of the World Delight” is a sweetly nostalgic throwback to ’60s girl pop packed with innocent references that find Hunt reminiscing about everything from John Waters movies to redheads and slumber parties. And on the far less glamorous “Ghost Bike,” Hunt’s woeful croon soars over a towering wall of noise that builds its way toward a rousing chorus. It all amounts to something that seems like it’d resonate with more Hole fans than spiky-haired punk runts.

Pink Mink’s debut succeeds partly because it works on so many different levels. Clocking in at just less than 40 minutes, it’s a blistering run with plenty of spirit and snark that never lets up along the way. Considering the band has established their reputation solely through live shows up until now, the album’s release is sure to broaden their fan base. And for those who’ve already been won over, it’ll be nice to finally be able to sing along with some of the songs.

3.5 out of 4 stars. - MN Daily


"Pink Mink set sail tonight with an airtight, joyous full-length debut"

Our Picked to Click 2010 champions Pink Mink are in the midst of a flurry of CD-release celebrations this week, culminating with tonight's Sunset Cocktail Cruise and Album Release Party that will set sail on the Mississippi River in St. Paul tonight. It's been nearly nine months since the Minneapolis rock four-piece took the crown and over a year since they started gigging out together, but that wait has been well worth it, as Pink Mink finds the band not only sounding tight and road-tested but also manages to transfer the snarl and vigor of their live shows onto record in a way that makes it sounds raw, visceral, and ready for the national arena.

Indeed, both Christy Hunt's more melodic, slow-burning songs like "Ghost Bike" and "Hidden Beach" and Arzu Gokcen's hyper and fierce "Ginger Wolf" sound even more immediate than they do live thanks to the expert hand of engineer Jacques Wait, who is also the band's bassist.

"I love hanging out with Jacques, so I was excited to go into the studio with him," co-bandleader Gokcen told the crowd at their Electric Fetus in-store this Tuesday. "But the whole time he was in the control room doing his wizard magic and playing the bass at the same time, so all I could do was wave at him."

And for fans of the band's live shows, there are a few surprises to keep listeners interested between the more familiar tunes like "Seekin' Scott Seekins" and "Black Door": "Booby Prize" showcases Gokcen's vocal tenacity in a way that doesn't seem to come across as well live, making it sound like a new song all together, and a cover of the Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow" makes for a surprising treat toward the end of the disc. For my money, the band's best song to date is still the instrumental "Werewolf Island," and it ignites on the record as well; you can practically hear Gokcen and Hunt falling to their knees and throttling their guitars.

Between Tuesday's in-store at the Fetus, listening parties at Muddy Waters and Grumpy's NE, and an appearance at the 80/35 festival last weekend, Pink Mink is bound to be in top form tonight as they play aboard the Betsey Northrop riverboat tonight. "We totally stole the idea from Lifter Puller and D4," Gokcen confessed, remembering that she went on a similar rock 'n' roll cruise in the late '90s. The band has invited smoldering punk duo Birthday Suits to join them on the boat tonight along with Current DJ Dave Campbell, who will spin songs between sets and help the band choose a winner for their nautical-themed costume contest (the winner gets a four-pack of tickets to next month's SoundTown, where Pink Mink are also performing).

To get a taste for what's in store tonight, take a peek at this live video of Pink Mink performing "Black Door" at last weekend's 80/35 fest in Des Moines, Iowa, shot for Gimme Noise by the prolific and talented Dan Huiting: http://vimeo.com/26147273
- City Pages - Gimme Noise


"Ahoy! Pink Mink takes to the Mississippi"

It started Friday evening with the sun going down, a blast of the horn from the Betsey Northrup, and DJ David Campbell playing the theme song to "Gilligan's Island."

It ended with Minneapolis-based pop-punks Pink Mink covering the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love" as campfires on both shores of the Mississippi River cut the black water and sky. It was Pink Mink's CD release party, like no other CD release party in recent memory. A four-hour tour:

7 p.m. About 400 passengers congregate on Harriet Island and get ready to load. One vehicle preps for the event with spirits and Ike Reilly's "Boat Song."

Many are dressed for the best-costume contest, including guitarist/bandleader Kent Militzer, Campbell, and many others in the guise of The Love Boat's Captain Merrill Stubbing and/or "Caddyshack"'s Danny Noonan, while some of the Rude Girl crew and friends are decked out as the cast of "Gilligan's Island" (sans the professor). Clearly, after the long winter and an endless spigot of bad news, summer is here and folks are ready to get their Yacht Rock on.

7:30 Even with the let-your-freak-flag-fly vibe of the moment and government shutdown (see: limp Capitol dome on the riverbank horizon), passengers are frisked, some contraband is confiscated, and some of the buzz is taken off Campbell's boarding tune choice of "Pass the Dutchie."

8:10 The Betsey Northrup eases out onto the river amidst a few timid whoops from her passengers. Perhaps it's the bad news spigot or the hangover from the 4th of July weekend "Twilight Zone" marathon on the SyFy Channel or Campbell's choice of The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" ("this is the worst trip I've ever been on"), but the landlubbers' joy is tempered by the very real fact that this ship could sink and we could all die.

8:20 No icebergs ahead, but the line for adult beverages is long and sweaty and grumpy. For the most part, the gathered group of thirsty club-goers, service industry workers, and musicians roll with it and accentuate the positive.

8:25 Word reaches the ship that Betty Ford is dead. A toast of Summits, PBRs, and Pink Minks – a one-night-only frothy fruity cocktail that tastes like a popsicle dipped in grenadine – is raised.

8:30 The sun blazes down on the Big Muddy and her playmates. A lone fisherman in a motorboat ignores the party tooling past him and casts into the weeds. "Summertime, and the livin' is easy," sings Sam Cooke to the kicked-back denizens of the upper deck.

8:35 The chill is on. People gaze out onto the river and sip beer as '70s and '80s soul tunes make love with the waves. Life slows down. Tiki bar on the river. Nirvana for any kid who grew up not on the West Coast or baptized in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, but wondering what it was like to go to all those cool parties with the Go-Go's and Beach Boys.

8:35 A yacht by the name of "Wish Music" cruises by. The Betsey Northrup's geeks and groovers in sundresses, cargo shorts, and tank tops wave to the seniors in sarongs, golf shirts, and khaki shorts, and vice versa.

8:40 Did you know that your body is 80 percent water? Did you know that if you live in Minnesota, most of that water comes from the Mississippi River? Did you know that feeling all that water pulsing through your body and underfoot coupled with all the music pulsing through your limbs achieves a certain oneness that gives credence to Brian Eno's recent suggestion that "music" is an outdated term? It's true.

8:45 Pink Mink co-leader Christy Hunt, the guiding force behind the cruise (which obviously spiritually borrows from the St. Paul Saints' first commandment "Fun Is Good") signs autographs of the band's new vinyl and chats up partiers on everything from local music history to Bikram yoga. She's clad in a seafaring blue skirt, frilly bloomers and red heels, looking for all the world like the heroine of a Gidget-gone-bad beach movie.

9:00 Birthday Suits, a feral guitar-drums noise duo, whip up a ferocious racket of perspiration and frenzied hair on the lower deck that brings to mind a hot yoga class as taught by Amphetamine Reptile Records.

9:15 Sign on dock: "WARNING DO NOT ANCHOR OR DREDGE GAS PIPELINE CROSSING."

9:20 Birthday Suits' explosive wail threatens to blow river to kingdom come.

9:30 Thinking about other great floating rock moments, including The Stones on the flatbed truck taking Manhattan, the Sex Pistols doing "God Save the Queen" on the Thames, and the Clash playing "London Calling" in the rain and fog. We live by the river …

9:35 More whoops and waves from the shoreline bluffs, courtesy of the tipsy denizens of The Pool and Yacht Club. In the eye of the heat wave, Campbell and musicians/writers Joe Fahey and Pete Christensen talk with former Gopher great Rick Erdall about – what else? – ice hockey.

9:45 The sun is all the way down, and Pink Mink takes to the stage amidst stage light-loving moths and gnats and about 500 cameras. The band (Hunt, bassist/producer Jacques Wait, guitarist/singer Arzu Gokcen, and monster drummer Charles Gehr) rips through an hourlong set of classic prefab punk that celebrates their hometown with wry rockers "Seeking Scott Seekins," "Hidden Beach" and a cover of the Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow," which finds the frontline raising their axes to the low ceiling for Hunt/Gokcen/Bob Stinson's still-crazy-after-all-these-years guitar solo.

9:55 Coolest footwear of the night: Gokcen's calf-high Converse All-Stars, pounding the floor and tapping her foot pedals.

10:00 The lower deck swelters and smells of vintage dead fish and wet sea dogs. Finally, Hideo Takahashi, yowler/guitarist for Birthday Suits, opens a door behind the stage. The sweet cool river air gushes in, and band and crowd elevate another few notches. Off mic and sucking in the fresh oxygen, Hunt sings a grateful verse of The Doobie Brothers' "Black Water."

10:30 Sign on dock: "WELCOME TO WATERGATE MARINA." Headline in next day's newspaper: "State shutdown Day 10. More Signs Point To A Lengthy Siege."

10:40 A videographer films a photographer who shoots the videographer who films the cameraman times infinity.

10:45 No icebergs, but as the lights of downtown St. Paul and a few fireworks blaze in the distance, Campbell ominously uncorks Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

11:00 The Betsey Northrup docks and calls it quits for the night, but many of her hot and sweaty passengers hit the after-party at the Turf Club and make late-night promises to continue the cruise Tuesday night at Kings Wine Bar with DJ Jake Rudh's Yacht Rock set.

But before all that, on behalf of summer-starved, bad-news-whipped, government-free Minnesotans and 24-hour party people everywhere, I want to thank Pink Mink and crew for their dedication to creativity, joy, and bad-assery. Bon voyage …
- MinnPost


"Ahoy! Pink Mink disc finally docks"

The press release for Pink Mink's self-titled debut album actually apologizes that it didn't come out sooner: "We know it's overdue, we're sorry," it says. Any concerns over its timeliness, however, pretty well vanish once you hear the record. Which you can finally do starting today. The disc is now in stores and online (including iTunes and Amazon). The quartet will perform a free in-store set at the Electric Fetus today at 7 p.m. to promote it.

While clearly a garage band at heart, Pink Mink didn't skimp on the polish or production value when it came to recording -- which partially explains why the album wasn't rush-released last year after the group won City Pages' Picked to Click poll. This isn't a record to earn the Minksters headlining slots at the Hexagon Bar, it's to get them in heavy rotation at radio stations beyond the Current.

Having one of the town's most reputable studio engineers, Jacques Wait, as your bass player obviously allows for a little extra refinement at little to no cost. The slickness is tastefully applied and doesn't detract from the snarling, smirking charm of co-leaders Christy Hunt and Arzu Gokcen. (of Ouija Radio and Selby Tigers notoriety, respectively; if you didn't already know). "Seekin' Scott Seekins" still rocks as brightly as one of its namesake subject's outfits, but you can hear the catchy hooks on record better than you can on a fuzzy club p.a. system. The album stormy closer "Hidden Beach" is especially well executed and remains the band's crowning song to date. Click here for a great video clip of them playing it live on the Current.

Some of the best tracks, though, are the ones not already well known by local scenesters, including the slower-swaying "Ghost Bike" and the teeth-baring "Ginger Wolf." The quality of those tracks make the album's inclusion of "Kids Don't Follow" (born out First Ave's Replacements tribute) seem a bit gratuitous. But since this is a record that aims to be heard beyond Minneapolis, you can't fault the veteran rockers for letting people know where they're from.

Much of Minneapolis and St. Paul -- in fact, the neighborhoods right on the border between them -- might hear echoes of the new album Friday, when the band is hosting its release party on one of the Padelford cruise boats. The floating gig will leave Harriet Island in downtown St. Paul at 8 p.m. - Star Tribune


"Pink Mink: Band To Watch"

Well, this development certainly bodes well for local music fans... Thanks to LOL/OMG for turning us on to new local band Pink Mink, which we immediately recognized as a conglomeration of some uber-talented local musicians: Christy Hunt (the Von Bondies, Ouija Radio) and Arzu Gokcen (Selby Tigers, Strut and Shock) share Pink Mink vocal and guitar duties, with omnipresent local producer Jaques Wait on bass and Hunt's husband and Ouija Radio bandmate Charles Gehr on drums.

The band already has some live footage posted from their "first show ever" at Honey last week, and it's a tribute to local artist Scott Seekins titled -- what else? -- "Seekin' Scott Seekins."

We like it, we really like it!

Pink Mink are playing their second show ever this Saturday, May 15, at the Grumpy's Backyard BBQ in Northeast during Art-A-Whirl. They perform at 6 p.m., in the midst of a great lineup. - City Pages - Gimme Noise


"Best New Bands Showcase At First Avenue (Slide Show)"

N/A - Slide Show - City Pages


"Twin Cities bands to listen for in 2011"

As the Twin Cities music scene continues to flourish, we thought it best to call attention to some local artists that we are particularly excited about as we look forward to the new year. We've selected 10 bands who are doing cool things—and if their upcoming projects are any indication, 2011 will be another epic year for local music.

Pink Mink:

Not that 2010 wasn't a tremendous year for the talented band featuring Minneapolis music vets Christy Hunt, Arzu Gokcen, Jacques Wait, and Charles Gehr. Since playing their first show in back in May, this buzzy new band has come a long way, topping 2010's Picked to Click poll and, with their frenzied performance energy, becoming a crowd favorite. With plenty of notable shows already under their belts (Gastro Non Grata, the MIA's Third Thursdays in November) and catchy, Twin Cities-centric songs like "Seeking Scott Seekins," Pink Mink are poised for bright things in 2011. They'll be recording their first album in January, and are set to release it early in the year; based on the previews offered up so far, it's going to be deliciously well-seasoned with rock. Pink Mink are also set to play Voltage: Fashion Amplified in April 2011. - City Pages


"Twin Cities bands to listen for in 2011"

As the Twin Cities music scene continues to flourish, we thought it best to call attention to some local artists that we are particularly excited about as we look forward to the new year. We've selected 10 bands who are doing cool things—and if their upcoming projects are any indication, 2011 will be another epic year for local music.

Pink Mink:

Not that 2010 wasn't a tremendous year for the talented band featuring Minneapolis music vets Christy Hunt, Arzu Gokcen, Jacques Wait, and Charles Gehr. Since playing their first show in back in May, this buzzy new band has come a long way, topping 2010's Picked to Click poll and, with their frenzied performance energy, becoming a crowd favorite. With plenty of notable shows already under their belts (Gastro Non Grata, the MIA's Third Thursdays in November) and catchy, Twin Cities-centric songs like "Seeking Scott Seekins," Pink Mink are poised for bright things in 2011. They'll be recording their first album in January, and are set to release it early in the year; based on the previews offered up so far, it's going to be deliciously well-seasoned with rock. Pink Mink are also set to play Voltage: Fashion Amplified in April 2011. - City Pages


"Get To Know Your "Best New Bands": Pink Mink"

I imagine that being in a new band is a little like starting a new job. The first day jitters, the awkward chit-chat and the faked reactions to your new co-workers’ weak attempts at comedic relief. Plus, with either you never really know if it’ll work for a couple of days, weeks or years. The members of the newly formed Pink Mink are no strangers to the new dynamics of a rock band. The band hosts a crew of retreads and “been-there-befores”, who have all experienced the “buzz band” feelings before. The list of former (and current) bands is long and includes names as well known as the Von Bondies, Ouija Radio (singer/guitarist Christy Hunt) and Marijuana Deathsquads (drummer Charles Gehr), to lesser known Twin Cities’ start-ups including the Selby Tigers, Lefty Lucy and Strut and Shock (guitarist/singer, Arzu Gokcen). Let’s just say this isn’t anyone’s first rodeo.

Their myspace page uses words such as punk, rock and surf to describe their sound and while we’re at it one could easily throw in pop, indie and garage. The band relies heavily on the guitar riffs of Hunt and Gokcen, while lyrically touching on topics that relate to growing up in Minneapolis (“hidden beach”, “seekin scott seekins”, etc). To date, they have not released any recordings, EP or otherwise, but according to their website you can expect a full-length this spring. Until then we’ll just have to catch them live or visit their website where they’ve been releasing the occasional song or two.

Pink Mink will play tonight, 1/26 @ First Avenue’s Mainroom - A Minute In Minneapolis


"Get To Know Your "Best New Bands": Pink Mink"

I imagine that being in a new band is a little like starting a new job. The first day jitters, the awkward chit-chat and the faked reactions to your new co-workers’ weak attempts at comedic relief. Plus, with either you never really know if it’ll work for a couple of days, weeks or years. The members of the newly formed Pink Mink are no strangers to the new dynamics of a rock band. The band hosts a crew of retreads and “been-there-befores”, who have all experienced the “buzz band” feelings before. The list of former (and current) bands is long and includes names as well known as the Von Bondies, Ouija Radio (singer/guitarist Christy Hunt) and Marijuana Deathsquads (drummer Charles Gehr), to lesser known Twin Cities’ start-ups including the Selby Tigers, Lefty Lucy and Strut and Shock (guitarist/singer, Arzu Gokcen). Let’s just say this isn’t anyone’s first rodeo.

Their myspace page uses words such as punk, rock and surf to describe their sound and while we’re at it one could easily throw in pop, indie and garage. The band relies heavily on the guitar riffs of Hunt and Gokcen, while lyrically touching on topics that relate to growing up in Minneapolis (“hidden beach”, “seekin scott seekins”, etc). To date, they have not released any recordings, EP or otherwise, but according to their website you can expect a full-length this spring. Until then we’ll just have to catch them live or visit their website where they’ve been releasing the occasional song or two.

Pink Mink will play tonight, 1/26 @ First Avenue’s Mainroom - A Minute In Minneapolis


"Peeking at Pink Mink's "Seekin' " clip"

Word gets around, indeed. Pink Mink has taken its fixation on local artist and man-about-town Scott Seekins to a new visual level in a terrific live clip from music videographers MPLS.TV. Not only does Mr. Seekins himself make an appearance in this video for his namesake song, "Seekin' Scott Seekins," but so does a crowd full of lookalikes wearing similar head-wraps, pointy moustaches and circular glasses. Also, bassist Jacques Wait is dressed up as a woman in the video, for reasons I'm not quite sure of (I actually thought the band had a new bassist at first).

The best thing about the might be the actual performance. The Minksters have simultaneously grown tighter and more fun since breaking out last summer, and they should make quite a storming run at South by Southwest in three weeks, where their gigs include the "Invasion of the GoGirls" mini-fest (at a bar that "Friday Night Lights" viewers would recognize). They're heading up a SXSW sendoff bash here in town March 11 at the Turf Club with H.U.N.X. (featuring Lookbook's Maggie Morrison), Hastings 3000 and the Hounds Below, a new band led by Mink co-leader Christy Hunt's former Von Bondies bandmate Jason Stollsteimer.

- Star Tribune


"How the summer's hottest new local band almost didn't happen."

A week or two after New Year's Eve, Christy Hunt told her Facebook friends she was "thinking of hanging up my rock 'n' roll shoes." Last weekend at the 501 Club, though, not only was Hunt back onstage in high, pointy heels, but her new bandmate Arzu Gokcen accidentally kicked one of her heels into the crowd while jump-starting a song.

"I've never done that before," Gokcen told the guy who returned the shoe despite nearly being whacked by it.

Pink Mink, the pop-punky, Ramones-ian, slightly girl-group-ish, all-star quartet, has been enjoying a lot of happy accidents over the past three months. Since the band's first semi-rehearsed gig in early May, it has stumbled into a steady stream of fun summer gigs, culminating this Saturday at the Pizza Lucé Block Party.

Pink Mink's rosy summer is a far cry from Hunt's dreary Facebook posting last winter, which luckily caught Gokcen's attention. "The winter blues had set in, and I was seriously thinking of going back to school," recalled Hunt, who also fronts Ouija Radio and spent the past two years touring with Detroit's Von Bondies. "Arzu responded that she'd lock me in my closet before she'd let me call it quits."

A Twin Cities rock heroine from the Selby Tigers, Lefty Lucy and Strut & Shock, Gokcen had been on hiatus from performing. She and Hunt had been longtime casual friends who finally discovered they had a little chemistry last year when they joined forces to sing on a track on the Birthday Suits' latest record. When the idea arose of starting her eighth band with Hunt, Gokcen said with a laugh, "I always think of that part in 'An Officer and a Gentleman' where [Richard Gere] yells, 'I got no place else to go!' I don't know what else to do with myself but be in a band.'"

Gocken and Hunt both still have their own extracurricular music-related activities. Arzu hosts her popular Staraoke karaoke shows three times a week at Grumpy's Downtown. Christy is now the talent booker at the Hexagon Bar and will soon return to booking at the former home of Stasiu's Place, currently under construction to become Stanley's Northeast Bar.

With all their experiences and grunt work over the years, one might suspect that Pink Mink's members (including local-scene veterans Jacques Wait on bass and Charles Gehr on drums) would be disinterested and even jaded about playing in a new band again. They say the opposite is true.

"I book all these younger bands that have bigger egos than any of us, and I get why they're that way, and I even sort of missed it," Hunt said. "I get that kind of feeling in this band: that we can play a million shows and conquer the world, and I love it." - Star Tribune Vita.mn


"Pink Mink - Picked To Click 2010"

Just 10 short months ago, Christy Hunt wanted to call it quits.

Hunt had just wrapped up two solid years on the road playing guitar in the Von Bondies and found herself back home in the dead of winter feeling directionless. "I'm really thinking of hanging up my rock and roll shoes," she wrote on her Facebook page.

Longtime friend Arzu Gokcen, a fierce guitarist in her own right, couldn't believe what she was reading. "I won't let you," she replied. "I will lock you in a room with your guitar and not let you out."

Though neither woman is a stranger to the stage (Gokcen has been featured in the Picked to Click issue at least three times and played in several Twin Cities bands, including the Selby Tigers, Lefty Lucy, and most recently Strut and Shock, while Hunt has flexed her songwriting muscles in Ouija Radio), they suddenly found themselves back at square one, parlaying their Facebook exchange into a real-life jam session.


"It was like re-introducing myself to a person I've already known," says Hunt. "And that moment that you play with somebody in a basement happened all over again: I'm really nervous, I don't know how to approach this, what do you got?" It didn't take long for the nerves to wear off, though. "Within our first practice we had two songs," she adds.

And just like that, Gokcen and Hunt were in a band again. By May, the pair had fleshed out their band with Hunt's husband and Ouija Radio bandmate Charles Gehr on drums and renowned recording engineer Jacques Wait on bass guitar. With almost no time elapsing between conceptualization and execution, Pink Mink started gigging feverishly and winning over audiences with their dynamic stage presence, howling guitar solos, and terse, poppy songwriting. Though their guitar playing hearkens back to pioneering riot grrl bands like Babes in Toyland and Bikini Kill, the melodies are joyous and the lyrics nostalgic, paying homage to Twin Cities mainstays with songs like "Hidden Beach" and "Seeking Scott Seekins."

"I'm proud, because Pink Mink is so Minneapolis," says Hunt. "In this band I decided, let's make this fun and write what we know. There's so many things about this town that I can't wait to exploit in a really fun way."

"And use," cracks Wait. "I can't wait to exploit and use!"

"We've all been around the block so many times that it's extremely professional," Gehr says. "When you get into a band like that, that's the band that has staying power. That's the band that can do really cool things." A seasoned vet himself, Gehr grew up drumming for hardcore bands on the East Coast and playing with bands like the Seawhores and Marijuana Deathsquads here in the Cities.


Though the band is still months from being able to offer a finished album to their fans, Pink Mink is ready to bring rock 'n' roll to every corner of the local scene.

"I'm so happy to be playing rock, doing a rock show and doing leg kicks like Arzu and just, like, rocking out," Hunt says, beaming.

"It's all I know, man," Gokcen says, shaking her head. "It's all I know. Leg kicks."

"We are gonna leg-kick it all around the world," Hunt exclaims. "And we're gonna go 'Minneapolis!' Leg kick!"

Wait nods his head in agreement. "We're kicking legs and taking names."

Pink Mink's previous Picked to Click trophies

Arzu Gokcen

Lefty Lucy (4th place, 1994)

Selby Tigers (2nd place, 1999)

So Fos (6th place, 2003)

Christy Hunt

Ouija Radio (runner-up, 2003)

Charles Gehr

Short Fuses (7th place, 1997)

Ouija Radio (runner-up, 2003)

Marijuana Deathsquads (7th place, 2010)

Jacques Wait

Magnatone (9th place, 1997)
- City Pages


Discography

Pink Mink S/T - 2011

Photos

Bio

Pink Mink was what happened when everyone was making other plans. Christy Hunt had returned from 2 years of touring as the guitarist for the Von Bondies and posted a defeatist status update on Facebook about quitting music and going back to school. Longtime friend Arzu Gokcen saw this post and threatened to lock her in a closet with her guitar until she changed her mind. The two, at similar crossroads in their musical paths, decided to give playing together a shot. And it worked beautifully. While jamming in Christy's basement, they added seasoned engineer and producer Jacques Wait along with drumming ace Charles Gehr and soon the foursome found themselves forming a band - and February 2010, Pink Mink was born.

Having the history of all taking part in previously successful outfits (Von Bondies, Selby Tigers, Ouija Radio, etc.) it took no time at all for word to spread about this new formation, and Pink Mink found themselves playing festivals and big shows after barely writing songs for six months. Even with all the attention, they were humbled and surprised to have landed the coveted "Picked To Click" honor in City Pages magazine just a short 8 months after playing their first chords together. All this, and their debut album was nowhere near being finished yet.

A little over a year of being together, Pink Mink locally-released their self-titled debut in July 2011. The celebration culminated as the band held their release party on a riverboat on the rivers of the great Mississippi. Being known for throwing a grand party, the "cocktail cruise" did not disappoint. Beyond the party reviews, the critics and fans had much praise for the debut album.

On February 7th, 2012, "Pink Mink" was released nationally on their own independent label, Little Veronica Records. Accolades are still piling up, but the album was the #9 add on CMJ charts, despite having absolutely no label support. Pink Mink continues to climb the charts and are touring as much as possible.

"'Pink Mink' finds the band not only sounding tight and road-tested but also manages to transfer the snarl and vigor of their live shows onto record in a way that makes it sounds raw, visceral, and ready for the national arena." - Andrea Swensson (City Pages - July 8, 2011)

"This isn't a record to earn the Minksters headlining slots at the Hexagon Bar, it's to get them in heavy rotation at radio stations beyond the Current." - Chris Riemenschneider (Star Tribune - July 5, 2011)

"...Pink Mink’s debut is a potent mix of raw power that shines with top-tier production and accomplished songwriting." - Rahgav Mehta (MN Daily - July 6, 2011)