Artist Catalog

Halloween, Alaska

Halloween, Alaska is a Minnesota-based band consisting of James Diers (voice, guitar, keys), Jake Hanson (brother of Tapes 'n Tapes drummer Jeremy Hanson, guitar), Bill Shaw (electric bass guitar), and David King (acoustic and electronic drums). All of the group's members live in the Twin Cities. Original keyboardist and programmer Ev left the band in 2008. Original bassist Matt Friesen left the band in 2009. The group first formed in 2002, and work on a self-titled debut soon began to be recorded. Completed in 2003, the disc earned considerable acclaim not only in the Twin Cities but also from indie tastemakers and college radio programmers across the US, combining ambient electronic elements with moody alt-pop songwriting. Two tracks from the disc were featured in the Fox television series The O.C.: "Des Moines" in season one, and "All the Arms Around You" in season two. The track "State Trooper", featured on their self-titled debut, is a cover version of the song by Bruce Springsteen. East Side Digital reissued the album in 2005, adding remixes and bonus tracks. A second disc titled Too Tall to Hide was released in 2005 and features another cover song - "I Can't Live Without My Radio" by LL Cool J. Champagne Downtown was released on April 7, 2009. (iTunes initially listed the album under the band "Alaska & Halloween." Amazon currently lists all Halloween, Alaska albums under "Alaska Halloween.") An EP of remixes by Twin Cities artists was released in November 2009. Their most recent album, All Night the Calls Came In, was released in 2011.

Members of the group are or have been part of the bands The Bad Plus, Love-Cars, Happy Apple, 12 Rods, Cowboy Curtis, Minneapolis Dub Ensemble, Post Mortem Grinner, and The Gang Font feat. Interloper.

The band is not named after a real town in Alaska. According to Diers, King "came up with the name ... before we even starting playing together, actually," and felt that the combination of the two words was "evocative of some of the moods and textures he wanted us to be looking at."