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Connecting threads from the synth-heavy “Minneapolis Sound” to the future of sleazy electro-funk, Tickle Torture has been making waves in the local underground, as well as the national blogosphere. His chaotic live shows are half-party, half-performance art, and can often include up to 4 pounds of confetti. Armed with an all new live-band, Tickle Torture is the sex-pop soundtrack for a new generation of freaks.
It’s only been a few months since Strange Names landed in New York City, but the time for this daring pop trio has most definitely come.
On May 19, 2015, this triumvirate of twenty-somethings—Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and Liam Benzvi—is releasing Use Your Time Wisely, a firecracker debut LP jammed with energetic, angular, romantic songs that sound at once ageless and completely contemporary.
The band came together while Ximenez and Benzvi were students at the University
Of Minnesota; they were each part of other groups but ditched them to play together. The pair cycled through a series of bassists and drummers, until after their fifth show Aleckson approached them and said, “Francis, you know what the problem is here. Give me a call when you want to upgrade.” With that, the group cemented itself as a three-piece and one of the Twin Cities’ most talked-about acts until, with an eye toward bigger things—and graduation over and done with—the band picked up and moved to New York.
While Strange Names’ rambunctious sound and sly take on modern life is completely of the moment, the band, which came together amidst the close-knit Minneapolis music scene, can’t help but see their first record as something of a second chance.