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Friday, December 31, 2004

Greetings from Chicago

Five of my friends from Dublin flew all the way here from Ireland to see the final Guided By Voices shows at the Metro last night and tonight. Initially worried how my Irish friends might find the Chicago winter, I am flabbergasted to find temperatures that are veritably balmy. It feels more like Spring than mid-winter, but I'm not going to complain. Though I'm wishing I brought a lighter jacket. (Current relative temperatures at writing? Chicago: 55F, Dublin: 45F. Who woulda thunk?)

The Gingerman bar, right next door to the Metro filled up steadily pre-show last night as an ever-growing line formed waiting for the 8:30 door time. Extra tickets were actually easy to come by, though I forewent the opportunity to purchase two for last night. Not a big enough Guided By Voices fan. Sue me. I had no trouble unloading my extra one for Friday night, however. (At face value, of course, despite the fact that at least one person on the Postal Blowfish listserver was attempting to unload a pair for $345.)

I haven't seen this much craziness revolving a round an event since the Pixies kickoff performance in Minneapolis in April. But as I said then, tickets have a way of finding their way into the hands of those who need them. One of my friends from Ireland had actually flown all this way without one. No need, therefore, to try to hard to get rid of my extra.

I'm not sure what kind of a show review if any I'll have of GBV tonight. I may, however, report on the mania.

I'm WAY behind on show reviews, and a year end wrapup of music is probably just under a week off. I failed to to cast my votes in time for the Star Trib critics poll so I'll need to make recompense for that by publishing a list sometime in the first week of the new year. With the hindsight of seeing everyone elses's list first, perhaps I can tackle the task of addressing the oversights.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Nickelback rip themselves off

As a songwriter, I know how difficult it is to not repeat your own musical phrasing from song to song sometimes.

Kate Galloway of Vamp Music Source alerted me to this link which mixed Nickelback's new single "Someday" with their previous hit "How You Remind Me." Galloway remarked, "love the state of the music industry right now..."

There is a saying, "Good poets borrow, great poets steal." But from themselves? This is fucking ridiculous.

You've gotta hear this to believe it. These are two songs they better be damn careful not to play back to back in the same set.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kari Tauring's 6th Annual Yuletide Celebration this weekend

This weekend Kari Tauring presents the 6th Annual Yuletide Celebration at the Cedar Cultural Center. This year’s program, entitled “Connected at the Core,” thematically involves trees. Expect songs and skits illuminating not only why the Evergreen is a common symbol of this season, but why the World Tree is a symbol common to many societies, how people are like trees, and what trees can teach us about ourselves.

Two shows will take place this year: Saturday December 18, (doors at 7, show at 7:30), and a Sunday matinee December 19 (doors at 2, show at 2:30.)

Tickets are $10 advance/$12 at the door. Ticket price includes a complimentary copy of the original Yuletide Celebration CD.

Kari Tauring’s Yuletide Celebration had its start in 1999 with a performance entitled “Discovering Origins, Building Traditions” performed in the tiny Gus Lucky’s Art Space. For the three years that followed, it was hosted by Patrick’s Cabaret then moved to the Cedar in 2003. "Discovering Origins, Building Traditions" has been the jumping off point for each of the seasonal ritual shows that followed.

The Yuletide Celebration is an all ages, all faiths, multimedia production done in a ritual framework that provides opportunities for both quiet observation as well as full participation through group chant and spiral dance.

Nordic staving (the art of chant and staff work) will end the show. Attendees are invited to bring their walking sticks, shepherd’s crooks, wizard’s staffs or broom sticks.

Anne Sawyer-Aitch ( will join Kari again this year with stilts, puppets and masks. Tamara Rogers, will again dance the role of the three-fold goddess. New to the group this year is Gabrielle Robinson Bajuscik who will share her stilting and puppeting. You will hear vocalists Marin Amdal and David Moore, Greg Stern leading the drums and staves, Matt Spillum, Ken Sherman, and JR Hartly backing up Kari’s music, and David de Young playing piano and leading the pre-show caroling. Maya Rose will also share her spoken word piece, “Epiphany.”

You can find out more about the show and hear Kari sing a song or two on KFAI Friday 12/17/04 at 11 a.m. on Marya Morstad's "Art Matters." KFAI is at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 FM in St. Paul, and on the web at

See also:

KQ Critic's Show Panel Photo

Photo by Miranda Anderson (click for larger version.)

Ever wonder what a good chunk of the people who write about music in the Twin Cities look like at 2:45 a.m. on Monday morning?

Check out this photo of the gang who participated in the 2004 KQ Critics show Sunday night. From left to right, KQ Homegrown co-host Dave Campbell, Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press, Chris Bahn of the Onion, Rich Horton of Rift Magazine, Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune, Rob Van Alstyne of Pulse Twin Cities, David de Young of and KQ Homegrown co-host Mei Young.

Sunday night's show featured each critic presenting a song for discussion. (Howwastheshow selected "I Don't Know" by Redstart, who play Friday night at the Cedar Cultural Center opening for Barbara Cohen.) The show also featured selections from Eydea and Abilities selected by Chris Riemenschneider, and Swiss Army selected by Rich Horton, Heavy Sleeper selected by Rob Van Alstyne.

Here's the full playlist of the critics selections:

1. Heavy Sleeper - "Back to Me" from "The Gifted Curse" (Rob Van Alstyne)
2. Swiss Army - " False Starts and Timelines" from " Private Ambulance (Rich Horton)
3. Red Start - "I Don't Know" from "So Far From Over" (David de Young)
4. Thunder in the Valley - "After" from "Thunder in the Valley" (Chris Bahn)
5. Eyedea and Abilities - "Kept" from "E and A" (Chris Riemenschneider)
6. Trashed Actor - "WMD Disco" from "Glitter and Alcohol" (Ross Raihala)

Howwastheshow found the discussion to be a little dry at times and suggested that next year instruments be forced into the critics hands and they should be asked to play a few songs, then field calls from the bands critiquing their performance.

The show, which starts at midnight, is normally just over an hour in length. It ran for two and a half hours Sunday night, and that says something. I'm just not sure what.

Friday, December 10, 2004

KQ Homegrown Annual Critics show Sunday 12/12/04

"How many music writers does it take to screw up a radio show?" Chris Riemenschneider mused in his weekly local music column today.

Get your answer Sunday night December 12th when KQ Homegrown hosts its annual "Critics Show" with guests slated to include Rob Van Alstyne of Pulse Twin Cities Chris Riemenschneider of The Star Tribune, Ross Raihala of The Pioneer Press, Melissa Maerz of The City Pages, Rich Horton of Rift Magazine, Christopher Bahn of The Onion, and David de Young (that's me) of

Each writer will present one of the songs that he or she liked best in 2004.

Homegrown co-host Mei Young tells me the show format will be loose and conversational and could go just about anywhere.

Be prepared to stay up late! This show runs longer than most.