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Friday, October 29, 2004

Did you miss Bellwether? Well, they're back...

If you missed Bellwether as much as I did, good news. The band will return with a brand new album on November 9th, followed up by a CD release party at the Turf Club on Saturday, November 13th.

The new album is called "7 & 6" and features recordings made in the Winter of 2003 on an eight track analog recorder before the band called it quits.

In a press release, singer/songwriter Eric Luoma is said to have called 7 & 6 " a ghost ship that vanished in a gale and has now suddenly reappeared with its original stores of coal and silver bars."

At the CD Release show at the Turf scheduled for November 13th, Luoma and long-time Bellwether member Jimmy Peterson will bring together a Bellwether lineup that will feature Chadwick Nelson and Aaron Lundholm from the Hang Ups on drums and bass respectively and Brian O’Neil of Big Ditch Road on pedal steel.

The CD release show is another in the series of "Heartbreak & Harmony" showcases curated by Dave Campbell and Free Election Records. The CD release show will also feature the Ashtray Hearts first live performance in more than seven months. Opening the show the singing duo The Get Up Johns.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Missing: Code Blue Benefit Thursday 10/28 at the Fine Line

Don't go forgettin'....

Jessy Greene, Dan Israel and JoAnna James will be on FOX 9 Morning News Thursday morning between 6 and 9 a.m. with a little preview of Thursday night's CD release party at the Fine Line.
Doors for the show open at 7:00 p.m. and music starts at 8:00. Performances will include include Alicia Wiley, JoAnna James, Jessy Green, Billy Johnson and Dan Israel. Proceeds benefit Missing Children Minnesota.

Dan Israel tells me he will have a revised lineup that night featuring Randy Casey on guitar, Sean Hoffman on drums, and possibly another surprise special guest. That right there is reason enough to show up.

Here's the latest on the lineup and set times:

8-8:45 - Alicia Wiley
9:00-9:30 - Joanna James
9:30-10 - Jessy Greene
10:15-11 - Billy Johnson
11:15-12 - Dan Israel

Cover- $12 at the door. It's a benefit remember, so pay your and feel warm inside.

Also benefiting the charity will be all proceeds from the CD, Missing: Code Blue Volume which hit store shelves TuesdayOctober 26. It can be found at Best Buy, Cheapo, Electric Fetus or area independent record stores.

The CD includes 15 tracks from local bands all recorded over a two day period by Tom Herbers. Read more about the CD, the show and Missing Children Minnesota at

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Death of a DJ: John Peel dies at 65

BBC Radio 1's longest serving DJ is dead. Read more about it and send your tributes here.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Music and Politics - There and back again

Some readers noticed part of one of my recent blog entries quoted in today's Metro/State section of the Star Tribune. Read the article "They like the music, not the politics" by Mark Brunswick if you missed it.

I have a confession that I was only guessing in August that Toby Keith was a Bush supporter when I wrote my original blog entry regarding Governor Pawlenty's disappointment that Bruce Springsteen had come out in apparent support of John Kerry. Read my original piece about the Governor here.

Then check out Jon Bream's interview with Toby Keith from October 3rd, and the Star Trib roster of who's rooting for whom for more on the subject of where various musicians stand on the presidential race. The biggest surprise on that list might be Aerosmith's Steven Tyler supporting Bush, but if you think about it for a minute Steve and George are known to have shared some of the same, uh tastes in the past.

Friday, October 01, 2004

First presidential debate between John Kerry and President George Bush, Thursday, September 30th, 2004.

Full Transcript:

From the moment President Bush and John Kerry stepped on stage together, Kerry appeared more presidential. He appeared taller and seemed more comfortable at the podium. Though he rocked from side to side behind his podium from time to time, he was a model of calm, confident control throughout. And he employed expert control of pauses to emphasize that control.

In contrast to the stately John Kerry, President Bush looked like a miniature talking torso, his arms and hands often completely invisible behind his podium which looked taller than Kerry’s. Tonight’s television appearance found George Bush looking more like Alfred E. Newman than he usually does. Bush not only looked smaller than Kerry, his voice sounded like a whiney little scratch next to Kerry’s senatorial boom.

Bush was on the defensive through a good part of the debate, ironically even while claiming the best defense is a good offense when talking about his strategy in the war on terror. By the end of the first 30 minutes, Bush was floundering, stumbling over his words, nervously swigging on a glass of water while John Kerry referred to his Bush’s own father’s recommendations regarding a foray into Iraq.

Bush may have made a mistake when he said he defensively insisted on his awareness of the facts of the war by saying, “I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is.” If this president is getting his information about war being tough from what he sees on the TV news we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

Bush went for the emotional jugular with his anecdote about Missy Johnson. What he was doing was obvious, exploiting an individual family’s story of loss for his own political gain. This would have been something President Reagan could have pulled off with seeming grace, but George Bush just appeared to be struggling to insert the scripted remarks his campaign advisers prepared for him.

Kerry managed to plug his website saying more details of his Iraqi withdrawal plans can be found there. Though he seemed more articulate overall on Iraq and terrorism, I was not pleased with his repeated “hunt and kill” phrasing when it came to the routing out of Osama Bin Laden and his followers. I don’t know, but “hunting and killing” no matter how you cut it sounds uncivilized.

Bush caught himself at one point, correcting himself before almost saying, “You cannot lead if you send mexed missages.” Ah, the Bushism that never happened.

The metaphorical group hug initiated by Bush in which he praised Kerry’s daughters and Kerry in return praised Bush’s wife was annoying and unenlightening. It only showed how professional politicians can be, well professional politicians.

Bush finally almost looked like a president in closing statement. (Which reminds me of a remark a former art teacher of mine said about a year into Bush’s presidency when she said he was starting to look "almost mayoral.”)

Kerry clearly won the debate, and most polls already back this up. He was just plain better. But for this debate to have damaged President Bush’s re-election chances--the only thing that really matters at this point--he needed to screw up; and he didn’t. Actually, because neither candidate screwed up, nor were there any moments of shining brilliance, this debate had virtually no highlights and was an almost tediously boring 90 minutes.

I probably shoulda gone to a rock show instead.