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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"I'm Feeling Just a Little Overloaded", or "So much music, so little time!"

Monarques rock the Entry at their CD Release Party
Friday 9/26 - Photo by David de Young (click for full size)

Mike Gunther preaches to the choir at the Entry
Friday 9/26 - Photo by David de Young (click for full size)

Dana Thompson lulls the Triple Rock into submission
Saturday 10/27 - Photo by David de Young (click for full size)

This weekend I saw some old local favorites (Monarques, Dana Thompson, Rob Skoro) and saw some great acts belatedly for the first time (Mike Gunther, Jeff Hanson, and Portland's All Girl Summer Fun Band.) And then there was the Sound Unseen film festival featuring Spectrum, videos by local bands and filmakers that felt like watching MTV except that all my friends were on. Wow, so much great stuff that I haven't had time to write a word about yet over at howwastheshow.

(The) Monarques are picking up speed with the release of their new EP "My Imaginary Move." Monarques must also be credited with assembling this great bill Friday which included Mike Gunther and Davey Jones-voiced singer/songwriter Jeff Hanson.

Saturday night I was enthralled by Dana Thompson's performance at the Triple Rock. I must say I'm chomping at the bit awaiting her soon to be released CD, which will include backup vocals from Robert Skoro. The CD is under tight wraps as final mixing is being done.

Writer and musician Nancy Jane Meyer is one of a select few people outside the producer and musicians involved who has heard the work in progress. She told me in an email this morning:

"It's fabulous--subtle, merging harmonies, tempo tensions that play and pull back and forth like only old school country can, sincere lyrics with a world-weary naivete, a contradiction that in men usually results in blank cynicism but with Dana, evolves into ballads and lullabies buoyed by guarded optimism crossed with sweet regrets. And the tunes are damn catchy--they'll give 'Tailspin' a run for its money in no time."

At Saturday's show, I myself was struck by Thompson's impeccable rhythm and pacing in addtion to her captivating voice. After a 9 song set that included several songs from the upcoming CD, Thompson asked "Do we have time for one more?" A voice was heard to loudly proclaim, "I hope so!" Then I immediately recognized that voice as my own.

Help me out here

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed just trying to keep up with what's going on in the local and national music scenes, and that's even before I make an effort to assemble any cohesive, semi-intelligent prose about it that's worthy of publishing. In that information overload coupled with still feeling out of the loop, I'd like to give myself a break by publishing some of your thoughts for a change.

I'm interested in hearing what people do to keep up with what's going on in local and national music.

I'll start by mentioning a few of the things I do to try and stay informed:

  • I listen to Jason Nagel's Minnesota Music and Brian Oake's Freedom Rock program on Cities 97 every week without fail. (I usually tape them both and listen to them a few times.)
  • I browse through the Alternative Shows List and check for informational headlines list on a regular basis
  • I listen to as frequently as possible. (Here's a whacked out idea. Our firewall at work blocks internet radio, so I tape it onto cassette at home and listen to it in my car and on a work boombox!)
  • Radio K's off the record is about as good a place as any to find out what's up for the weekend.
  • I also keep an eye on the Twin Cities Babelogue for postings by Melissa Maerz or Pete Scholtes.

I do all this, and I still feel like I'm in the dark sometimes. Send your tips to and I'll start publishing some of the ideas in the next week.