Mpls St. Paul Magazine ~ February 1, 2017
The Twin Cities is lucky to have music educators ranging from MacPahil Center for Music to a School of Rock, but when it comes to learning how to rock, don't overlook your neighborhood guitar shop. Twin Town Guitars on Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis, for instance, isn't just an amazing browse of new and used guitars and other instruments, it's also a front for some serious music learnin'. Classes vary from U is for Ukulele (for 4- to 6-year-olds) to Teen Band (about being in a rock band), plus it offers private parent/kid lessons (Band Buddy Duos) on instruments running the gamut from guitar to trombone.
Minneapolis Star Tribune ~ December 30, 2012
(Bjorn Peterson, pictured left, at work at Twin Town Guitars in Minneapolis. Peterson said his Gen-X parents like Genesis and Phil Collins but he favors the sounds of the Beatles, Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival.)
Whenever she had money to spare, Stacey Combs went back for more work on an elaborate, multi-colored tattoo that stretches from her elbow to her shoulder. It took four years, but it's finally finished: a cartoon version of the "yellow Submarine" -era Beatles, circa 1968. Why would the 26-year-old want a permanent homage to a band that broke up almost 20 years before she was born?
"The Beatles will never make a bad album," the Minneapolis hairstylist said as she gestured to a speaker overhead pumping contemporary music into the salon where she works. "Robots singing. Auto-Tuned," she said dismissively. "The Beatles were real."
Southwest Journal ~ September 17, 2012
CARAG - Twin Town Guitars is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year at 3400 Lyndale Ave. S., and it is also toasting its long-awaited solar panel installation. "Theoretically, this will offset 100 percent of our energy needs, or very close to it," said owner Andrew Bell.
Twin Town joins a few other area businesses with solar power, such as Pat's Tap at 3510 Nicollet Ave. and Quality Coaches at 20 W. 38th St. "We hope you'll be seeing way more Minnesota panels," Bell said. Bell said the smarter operation will help Twin Town stay in business for many years to come. "My wife and I personally never thought we'd be looking at this place 15 years later," he said. He credited the success to a loyal following and an excellent crew. "They basically make the place," Bell said. "We've been able to reinvent ourselves three or four times over."
Twin Town made many changes to compound its energy savings. The staff swapped out incandescent lights for compact LEDs, added timers to save electricity, set idling computers in hibernation mode, and installed a new roof.
SOUTHWEST JOURNAL - KID ROCK
AUGUST 23RD, 2010
Twin Town Guitars hosts a camp that gives young musicians a chance to play and perform in a band
Read the more here
More than 60 excited, camera-toting fans packed Cause Spirits and Soundbar on a warm August afternoon waiting for two headline bands to take the stage.
The hotly anticipated musicians weren’t well known. They weren’t 20-somethings trying to strike a record deal. They weren’t middle-aged men trying to relive their youth. They were kids, ages 8–17, who spent prior weeks at Twin Town Guitars, 3400 Lyndale Ave. S., preparing for their first concert.
In an economy where budget cuts deal constant blows to public school music programs, the owners of Twin Town have spent the last three summers providing a haven for aspiring Minneapolis musicians.
The Twin Town Guitars Summer Sessions Camp, organized by storeowners Carrie and Andrew Bell, runs for two weeks during what Andrew refers to as the “summer doldrums” — the time between July 4 and the State Fair. The camp, which meets for three hours a day during that span, is split between two age groups: youth and teen.
At the start of the camp, the kids create a band and decide on a name. Then, thanks to a constant reminder from instructors that “it’s all about the band,” members don’t only improve individually, but they also work toward a common goal: group perfection at the live performance that concludes the camp.
And though the kids often come to the camp with a great deal of talent, they learn new skills quickly, something Carrie attributes to their enthusiasm for music.
“You show them something a couple times and you don’t realize how quickly they absorb it and retain it and are able to replay it,” she said as she sat in one of Twin Town’s 10 practice rooms. “It amazes me.”
On a blistering weekday afternoon, Twin Town served as an oasis for the two bands as they were just days shy of their performance at Cause (formerly Sauce), 3001 Lyndale Ave. S.
Following a break that included browsing the store’s selection of guitars, basses and drum sticks, GHAIM (it’s the band members’ initials, pronounced “game”) Rock, the youth band, made their way to a small area of the basement which serves as a practice facility during the camp. The unfinished room had all the necessary elements of a good practice area: painted sound pads on the walls, amps of various sizes and cables strewn about the floor.
The kids quickly shuffled into position and began practicing the second of their three-song set, The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” Eight year-old Amelia Bell, Carrie and Andrew’s daughter, took the microphone.
SOUTHWEST JOURNAL - MINNEAPOLIS-INSPIRED GUITAR PEDALS
JUNE 12TH, 2003
Zachary Vex was once a recording engineer with his own 16-track studio, The Underground, at West 25th Street and Nicollet Avenue, until it folded in 1991. In 1995, he used his background in electrical engineering to invent a series of Minneapolis-made guitar pedals, the ZVEX series, which have caught on with ZZ Top, Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow and many other big names.
"They're definitely more creative than any standard marketed pedal," said Jeremy Tappero, an employee at Twin Town Guitars, 3400 Lyndale Ave. S., the only local shop where ZVEX pedals can be purchased. "The pedals only sound as good as the time you spend finding the sound."
Vex agrees that creativity was what he was shooting for when he started tinkering with the 12 hand-made, hand-painted models that make up the ZVEX series. "They're all kind of little fantasy experiments of mine," he said. "Sounds that I always wanted to have, or very crazy devices I always wanted to have as a guitar player that you just couldn't buy."