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Sunday, May 30, 2004

HowWasTheShow on Music Lover's Club

I was honored to be the guest on Radio K's Music Lover's Club today. Karla Klaustermeier was filling in for a vacationing Mark Wheat as host, and she gave me pretty much free reign to play what I wanted. DJ'ing is something that I've been kind of reduced to doing in my own living room, in the wee hours of the morning, normally after too many cocktails in recent years. But doing it sober, and on the actual radio no less, is definitely more fun.

I'd been thinking about how and when musical taste is formed, and for me the last few years of high school were some key years. For my MLC selections, I played exclusively songs that were released while I was in high school; that means 1978-1982. Here's my playlist:

1. New Order - Dreams Never End (Movement, Factory, 1981)
2. Klark Kent - Don't Care (IRS Records, 1980)
3. Plimsouls - Now (Planet Records, 1981)
4. The Jags - Back of My Hand (Evening Standards, Island, 1980)
5. The Brains - Money Changes Everything (Mercury, 1980)
6. The Records - Starry Eyes (Virgin, 1979)
7. The Stranglers - Baroque Bordello (IV, IRS Records, 1980)
8. The Vapors - News at 10 (New Clear Days, EMI, 1980)
9. The Damned - Silly Kids Games (IRS Records, 1980)
10. Joe Jackson - One More Time (Look Sharp, A&M, 1979)
11. The Dickies - Tricia Toyota (Dawn of the Dickies, A&M, 1980)
12. Athletico Spiz 80 - Touched (Do a Runner, A&M,1980)

What can be learned from this supposedly random selection from my formative years? For one thing, I notice that 10 out of 12 bands are British. (The two exceptions are The Brains from Atlanta, GA and the Plimsouls from LA.)

To close out the show, I played some much newer, much more local music, "3 Girls Ago" by The Vestals (Warming House Records, 2004) and "Meantime" (The Bus Stop Label, 2003) by The Beatifics. The Beatifics and the Vestals along with Big Ditch Road, Martin Devaney, and Apryl Electra will play the HowWasTheShow 2nd Anniversary Party (which also doubles as my 2nd Annual 39th Birthday Party) Saturday, June 5th at the Dinkytowner. I will actually be playing a few songs myself, so if any of the bands I've written about over the past few years wish to write about my performance you're more than welcome.

Anna Lee of Voltage: Fashion Amplified was my co-guest this afternoon. Anna talked a little about the success of Voltage #1 and revealed that the event was such a success she's already in negotiations with First Avenue for Voltage #2, tentatively on the calendar for November, 2004.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Fine Line Music Cafe to host Happy Hour Pub Quiz

John Cosgrove announced today that among other things, not being blessed with a singing voice has kept him from following in the footsteps of such Irish illuminaires as Bono, Van Morrison or even Big Tom and The Mainliners. But he's been given the opportunity to follow in some esteemed footsteps of some of these same folks who have their footprints on the Fine Line Stage next Tuesday when he hosts the Happy Hour Pub Quiz - Rock 'n' Roll style.

Doors are at 6pm and the quiz starts at 6.30 pm. The even takes place in conjunction with the Skyway News and you should call today to make a reservation for your team of no more than 5 members. Great Prizes and Drink Specials to be had are promised.

And you'll still have time to make it down to First Avenue by 8 PM when Coach Said Not To will kick off the event of the night, Voltage: Fashion Amplified.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Blogging about Blogging and Walsh on Mould

I hope you've been following Pete Scholtes "I Hate 1984" series in his blog. Yesterday's entry is a feature on Hüsker Dü's 1984 album Zen Arcade that not coincidentally appeared on the same day that Bob Mould played First Avenue. Tuesday's show was a Grammy Sponsored event that also featured an hour-long Q&A with Mould conducted by City Page's music columnist Jim Walsh.

Actually, I was on hand as much to see Walsh as Mould. (Click here to read an email I sent Walsh earlier this week that was published in the Letters to the Editor section of today's City Pages.) I am definitely a fan of both Twin Cities icons.

Bob Mould (left) and Jim Walsh (right) at First Avenue Tuesday (Photo by David de Young)

Walsh and Mould sat on comfy-looking green armchairs on the stage and talked about everything from the Buzzcocks (they and Wire are examples of successful resurrections of old bands) to the possibility of a Hüsker Dü reunion (it won't happen) to blogging (Mould says his own blog helps his creativity by forcing him to come up with something every day or two) to drugs (Mould called his drug use when he was younger more of a waste of time than something that had had a permanent negative effect on his life.)

After a short break, Mould played an hour and a half mixed acoustic and electric solo set which contributor Erin Sayer reviews here.

Bob Mould at First Avenue(Photo by David de Young)

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Art-A-Whirl and more

Art-A-Whirl's 2004 cover art by Chad Hoffman

The Spring crazies have set in. So much to do, so little time. But the event organizers in this town are relentless and continue to effectively tempt me out when I really should be.....well out, actually. So thanks!

As it starts to rain on Sunday evening and Art-A-Whirl has come to a close, I'm wondering if I can even name, yet alone write about all the bands I've seen since Thursday night. Let's see:

Thursday - Ben Connelly and Vox Vermillion at the Triple Rock. And The Beatifics at the Dinkytowner.

Ben Connelly put on another excellent show and gained some new fans including a woman who jumped up and promptly straddled a friend she'd dragged into the middle of the empty dance floor during Connelly's haunting "Evangeline." The "You Burn Hotter" singer/songwriter euphemistically referred to this couple's antics as "dancing" from his spot on the stage behind the microphone.

It was my first time hearing Vox Vermillion, and though I had to leave after a few songs I look forward to giving their quirky keyboard-based rock another listen soon.

I totally missed opening band Shoveldance, but with a name like that my friend remarked that they're likely to be the biggest band in town within a year. Travis Henspeter who heads up Shoveldance promises some more gigs in June. Thursday was their very first show.

Over at the Dinkytowner it was a joy to see Sean Hoffman back behind the drumkit for the Beatifics. There are great vibes and communication (hell, there's love!) in this band. They had fun, we had fun, and the after party at mplshappyhour.matt's nearly killed me.

Friday - The Vestals and Jessy Greene at the Fine Line and The Beatifics, The Staring Contest, The Autumn Leaves, The Conquerors and Ol' Yeller at the Tribute to 1966 at the Hexagon Bar.

The Vestals had an awesome show at the Fine Line demonstrating again why they are the new band to see. They sounded great despite singer Jeremy Gordon having an awful cold that he said he caught from the Hangups Brian Tighe.

Jessy Greene has a cool new multi-color streak in the middle of her hair. Greene's new band features members of Heiruspecs and sounds as good as ever. If you have not seen her in the past few months you need to see her again.

Saturday - Cowboy Curtis, The Vestals (again) at the Rift Magazine Launch Party at the 400 Bar, and then TV Sound and We Invented Tornadoes at the After-Whirl at the Spring Street Bar and Grill.

Cowboy Curtis announced they were heading out on tour the following day and hoped to make it to Seattle in a van they purchased for 400 dollars. Good luck! I picked up their disk Observations | Assumptions from drummer Nate Perbix and it's a very tight 8 song pop record featuring some real gems.

The Vestals' Jeremy Gordon's cold was even worse tonight, but the Vestals still put on a good show.

I met Rift Magazine's editor Rich Horton for the first time, despite the fact that he interviewed me for their first issue and I contributed a live review to the magazine. I'll be conducting an interview with The Vestals for the next issue. Look for that around June. And if you see a copy of the first issue of Rift lying around, you'd better snap it up quick as the first run of 10,000 is almost gone.

The Rift t-shirts are cool. Look for them soon on the Rift website?

The basement of the Spring Street Bar & Grill was packed with a diverse assortment of eager rock fans to see The Field, Latchhook, Walker Kong, TV Sound and We Invented Tornadoes. As I left the Spring Street a really noisy brawl was taking place in the parking lot of the sports bar across the street. I drove away to refrains of the old standby of justifications "But he hit me first!" being bellowed in a crybaby like voice from a grown man.

Sunday - Lonsome Dan Case at an Art-A-Whirl event on Johnson St. in NE and a bit of James Apollo at Art-A-Motive.

The 2004 Art-A-Whirl CD produced by Catherine Campion (of Latchhook) provides a great overview of many of the particpating bands in this year's event including songs from The Owls, Mike Brady, Johnnyrock and Work of Saws.

16 bands in 4 days? Suffice it to say I will not be writing 16 music reviews, but here are some photos to whet your appetite.

Ciaran Daly played a Rolling Stones song from 1966 at the Hexagon Bar Friday night. Turnout at the Hexagon was awesome for this fun-filled night of high quality music and also included music from The Conquerors and Ol' Yeller.

Drummer Sean Hoffman keeps a close eye on Chris Dorn as the Beatifics played some killer covers, including The Beach Boy's "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)." This would not be a song a band should even attempt to cover if they don't know what they're doing, and the Beatifics, to their credit, nailed it beautifully.

Beatifics again. The Beatifics will appear at the 2nd Annual Anniversary party at the Dinkytowner on June 5th with Sean Hoffman again on drums.

At Art-A-Whirl's After-Whirl at the Spring Street Bar and Grill Max Mileski (bass) and Steve Hutton (vocals and keyboards) are TV Sound, an 80's synth poppy combo who promise they will be playing a lot more this summer. Look for recorded material soon.

We Invented Tornados are a band you might wonder if they live up to their name. They most definitely do.

We Invented Tornados. Bassist Dan Riley somehow managed to break his hand after the show according to the band's website, which will put the band on an unplanned break from gigging. "Please Don't ask...good times" is all the website has to say about the unfortunate mishap.

Lonesome Dan Case and the Crush Collision Trio played some old time covers from Leadbelly and others as well as many originals. Lonesome Dan appears every Thursday at Dusty's in Minneapolis

Describe in one publication as "Eddie Cochran on acid" James Apollo played Sunday afternoon at Art-A-Motive

James Apollo

Misplaced Music


Wouldn't it be cool if an radio station existed that played great local music, and nothing but local music 24 hours a day? Even if that station was only a net radio station it would still be a bit of a dream come true. It's such a great idea you'd think it was one someone came up with and then somehow, uh, misplaced.

I've been giving a preview listen this weekend to such a station, Misplaced Music, now in pre-rollout final testing at Over the course of a few minutes I heard songs from bands I knew, like Shadow Box, The Jayhawks, Mason Jennings and Brad Hoshaw, and bands I didn't, like Liquid Ernie and Paul Christianson.

What's best about what I'm hearing at Misplaced Music is that it doesn't appear to be just a random selection of music. It's quality stuff. Misplaced Music's press release describes the project as "a new co-operative devoted to promoting local music of artistic merit." It should come as no surprise that members of the co-op are themselves musicians, and oversee all of its functions.

Misplaced Music will throw a kick off party at the Uptown Bar on Saturday June 19th to celebrate the completion of our online store and net radio station. The evening will feature performances by A Whisper in the Noise, Romantica, Coach Said Not To, Bill Mike, and Josh Aran.

The new net radio station hopes that by working closely with artists, labels, and publications, they will be able to foster a greater sense of community in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

First Annual Twin Cities Band Slam

Minnesota artist and musician Cat Campion has a new project that really sounds like a blast. She's inviting local musicians of every ilk from seasoned professionals to fresh-faced teens to participate in the First Annual Twin Cities Band Slam.

Entry for contestants will be set up at the First Avenue box office starting today (May 12th, 2004). Just sign up the next time you're there. Would be participants pay a fee of five dollars to enter their
name and the instrument(s) they play. Deadline for entry is June 1st.

Once all entries are in, brand new bands will be assembled and given one month to come up with 15-20 minutes of material. On July 11, the bands will play in the First Avenue mainroom.

Celebrity judges Jim Walsh and Melissa Maerz from City Pages and Mark Wheat from Radio K will be on hand to determine which group has done the best job of creating a viable band in the short period of time.

Bands are encouraged to record a single, make buttons/posters/t-shirts anything they can think of and these will be included in the judges consideration. The winning band gets all of the entry fee
money, an appearance on KQ Homegrown, and other prizes.

Campion is also seeking filmmakers and photographers to document the bands from the first meeting to the final performance and to add a visual element to that night's performance. And perhaps, time and resources
willing, produce a simple music video. If you'd like to participate in this capacity, please contact her

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Big Ticket: "the older you will get, the more perverted you will get"

Photo by Jon Gilbert

That's actually the title of Jon Gilbert's review of the triple bill last Monday (5/3) at the 7th Street Entry of the Get-Up Johns, Mike Gunther & the Restless Souls and Gogol Bordello. It's a very good read and a chance to link into another Twin Cities Blogger who is doing his fare share to put the Twin Cities on the map again as live show central.

There's a great picture of Mike Gunther from his high school yearbook there as well as a comprehensive review of what sounds like it was an over the top performance by Gogol Bordello.

Check out the rest of Jon's page for more local live reviews and a veritable miscellany of other cool stuff.

Saturday, May 01, 2004 - New technology brings live concerts home - May 1, 2004

First it was DiscLive. Now a new technology allows you to buy the show in MP3 format and download it to your pen drive immediately after the show. It's not like I haven't thought of this stuff before. I'm just surprised that suddenly this spring it all seems to be happening.

If this keeps up, you may be asked "Is this for here or to go?" as you pay your cover at the door of your favorite club.