Southwest Journal ~ August 9, 2017
Twin Town turns 20
Saturdays are typically busy at Twin Town Guitars, with a steady hum of customers strumming guitars, plucking ukuleles, pounding on drums, talking about music, music, music and making an all-together-now cacophony. To be sure, technology has made it easy to buy all sorts of musical instruments online, but there's still nothing like whiling away an afternoon at Twin Town, caressing the gorgeous guitars and dreaming.
"There will always be something relevant about being able to go to the store, plug something in or give it a strum or look at it, touch it, feel what the neck profile is or give the drum a hit, to hear what the amplifier sounds like ... that hopefully won't go out of style," said Twin Town owner Andrew Bell.
A recent Saturday was bustling like never before, as Bell and the rest of the Twin Town crew celebrated the store's 20th birthday on Aug, 5 with a 20-percent-off sale, hot dogs, a pop-up show by Jeremy Messersmith and a BNLX-headlined birthday bas at the Triple Rock Social Club that night.
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Local Current Blog ~ August 4, 2017
Twin Town Guitars celebrates 20 years of supporting local musicians
When Andrew Bell first opened Twin Town Guitars, his goal was to do everything he could to support local musicians. At the time, Bell says there weren't a lot of music stores that were accessible for many artists, but Bell wanted to change things and do what he could to make creating music simple and affordable for all musicians.
"We were pretty sure it wasn't going to make us millionaires, so we went into that understanding that we are doing this not just to help ourselves, but our friends and people we gig with all the time," he said. > Read Full Story
To make that happen, Bell started one of the first trading programs in town and coupled it with a free layaway program to get artists closer to owing a new piece of gear, something Bell believes has been helpful for musicians who aren't able to work full-time.
Mpls St. Paul Magazine ~ February 1, 2017
Get Ready to Rock
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 (twintown.com) 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
New Generation, but the Song Remains the Same
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."
(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.) > Read Full Story
Southwest Journal ~ September 17, 2012
Twin Town Guitars Goes Solar
Twin Town Guitars is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year at 3400 Lyndale Avenue 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 times to save electricity, set idling computers in hibernation mode, and installed a new roof.
Music Inc. ~ October 11, 2011
Twin Town Guitars - Brighter Than the Sun
By December, Twin Town Guitars will be a solar powered music retailer.
The Minneapolis combo dealership recently kicked off the Sunburst Project. Approximately 100 solar panels, measuring 40 by 50 inches each, will be installed on the store's roof. Generating 280 watts each, the solar panels are projected to cover 100 percent of the store's electric energy expense and will also benefit other businesses in the building.
"We are thrilled to see this project come to light," said Andrew Bell, owner of Twin Town Guitars. "An extra bonus is that the solar panels are manufactured locally, in Bloomington, (Minn.,) by TenKsolar and will be installed by Sundial Solar, located in Minneapolis." > Read Full Story
Southwest Journal - August 23, 2010
Twin Town Guitars hosts a camp that gives a young musician a chance to play and perform in a band
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. > Read Full Story
Southwest Journal - June 12, 2003
Minneapolis - Inspired Guitar Pedals
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."