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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Part 1: Artamotive. Part 2: Bottlehouse calls it quits with final Fine Line show

Everyone suffers from motivation problems from time to time, and I’m no different. It hasn’t helped my show-going that I continue to battle a cold that has been lingering for nearly a month. About the last place a recent ex-smoker worn down by a cold who’s trying to save money wants to be is a smoky bar. So last week, instead of going out and seeing shows I gave howwastheshow.com a much-needed face lift. On the outside chance we actually win an MMA award and new folks flock to the site, perhaps they won’t be as perplexed as to why we won out (if we win) over much more professional-looking sites like dunation.com and mnvibe.com.

Somehow Saturday night, however, with the help of a couple cans of Red Bull, I actually managed to get my ass out the door. Had I written about it (which I didn’t) Saturday night's showverdose during which I saw 7 or 8 bands in 3 different venues could have made up for a week's worth of writer’s drought.

The first event I failed to cover was my stop at Artamotive, the N.E. Minneapolis Art Gallery that this month is showcasing "The Art of Rock and Roll." In addition to its regular fare of fashion design, wearable and fine art, home d├ęcor and art cards, Saturday’s meet the artists reception featured music art and photography and live music from Jonas, Dander and one of my new local favorites, Luke's Angels.


Dander in their Jammies at Artamotive (click for full size)

I was too late to see Jonas, but Dander put on an energetic set in highly-fashionable matching pajamas, purchased, according to drummer Pete Boulger, in the women’s section of Target. Dander’s set showed yet again why it’s hard to touch these guys for a good time party atmosphere. Standing in the front row of the crowd, I was honored to be greeted personally by lead vocalist Shane Flannery between songs with, "David, good to see you." (There’s nothing like being recognized by the band at an artsy event. Hell, maybe things like this, plus the fact that I was recently called a “scenester” by the Star Tribune mean I’ve finally “arrived.” Though where I’ve arrived, I’m not quite sure.)

Luke's Angels was a second to last minute replacement for The Idle Hands, who had to back out of their scheduled slot, which was originally to be an all Plasma Entertainment showcase. If the rumor that key members of the Idle Hands had gone on a fishing expedition is true, I say more power to them. And that got me on a weird tangent where I came up with this great idea of giving the Idle Hands their own fishing show on TNN and they could drink and talk about rock and roll and fish, and … well, maybe not.

The mix didn’t due justice to Luke's Angel's great harmonies, but it was still a good set and good exposure for the band I have high hopes for this next year.

After L.A.’s set, I accompanied Raven over to the Fine Line where he wanted to help bid farewell to band The Bottlehouse who were to play their final gig at midnight. Members of the Bottlehouse, minus singer Karl Obermeyer, will be forming a new band shortly with Emily Olson as the lead singer called the Blue Mollys. I don’t have many details yet, but look for them to take off fast. howwastheshow will likely to cover their debut gig.


The Bottlehouse perform Saturday at the Fine Line (click for full size)

It says a lot about Raven that he was in the bar supporting live local music the night before he jets off for his UK tour. Raven plays London's famed Garage--the big room downstairs, not the little one upstairs--on Friday night with Overdrawn, the Chapters and Toll. I feel I have a personal part in Raven’s UK tour this year, as Anna Lee and I carted well over a dozen press packs over in our luggage this summer and distributed them through Royal Mail. Our energy must have been good luck for Raven as those packs landed him several gigs. (Check the Garden Records website for details on Raven’s tour.

Incidentally, the stage Raven plays at the Garage on Friday is the same stage Minnesota's own Har Mar Superstar plays tonight (9/17.) Hopefully, the club’s crew will have cleared the stage of any sweaty, discarded Har Mar clothing in time for Raven’s Friday night set. I've sent a word of warning about both these Minnesota invades London gigs to howwastheshow’s London-based contributor Andrew Zincke, so who knows, after the weekend we may hear a word or two about how those gigs went.

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