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Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy 35th Birthday First Avenue

The week in music


Even I’m not old enough to have been at First Avenue on opening night, April 3rd, 1970. You’d need to be 56 years old to have been there the night Joe Cocker rocked the old Greyhound station turned club, originally named the Depot. In remembrance of that club christening, Cocker has a freshly painted silver star inside the club on the wall above the west stairs. Come celebrate First Avenue’s 35th birthday with video flashbacks, music, and FREE CAKE. The cake (pictured above) was created by Franklin Street Bakery. (HowWasTheShow went early to get a picture of the cake before it got gobbled up.) 5-7 PM tonight. Free.

The 23rd Annual Mpls-St.Paul International Film Festival kicks off tonight with an opening night film (Childstar, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dave Foley & Eric Stoltz) and party. The party takes place at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis near Loring Park at 10:30pm. There will be complimentary Summit, Red, White and Sparkling wines, Finlandia vodka drinks, free appetizers and a dessert buffet. Entertainment will provided by Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque and others. The Woman’s Club enforces a strict dress code, so no jeans, tennis shoes – vintage formal wear is always a plus. FREE w/ Film Ticket or $20 without, 21+. Complete info on the 16 day festival info is at


If the great line up (Beatifics, Vestals, Ouija Radio, Murzik) isn’t enough, or the fact that it’s a benefit for the Minnesota Music Academy, perhaps the fact that it is our friends Kate Galloway's and Brenda Gipp (Gipper)'s birthday celebration will get you over to the Nomad World Pub (501 Cedar Ave) Saturday night. That should be enough. If it’s still not, maybe it being the Beatifics first show with original guitarist Andy Schultz in 6 years should settle the issue. ($3 at the door.)

‘Course our friends at Susstones are also having a party Saturday. Re-Entry an evening of fine pop takes place at the 7th Street Entry featuring The Melismatics, Faux Jean, The Mood Swings, and The Lift (from LA). But isn’t having so many great choices that we are driven to frustration part of the fun of living in Minneapolis? There’s also a NEW POLARA EP out, and this show will be your first chance to get a hold of it. The EP called Green Shoes + 4 features five new songs. The title track "Green Shoes" comes from the forthcoming Polara album Beekeeping (due for release this fall). Polara, however, will not be doing any live performances until the summer.

Nothing Static’s debut full-length album, "Surround", is finally ready for release on Atomic K Records. The band celebrates with a CD Release Party Saturday, April 2nd at the Fine Line Music Cafe. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the Fine Line box office or at the door the day of the show. This great bill also features Ryan Lee ( and Leroy Smokes ( For complete details please visit

Though crisp sounding and listenable, the new Nothing Static album has its fair share of pedestrian moments. Still Brittany Benjamin’s strong vocals lend an intriguing, almost Kate Bush feel to many songs, and primal drums, reminiscent at times of Echo and the Bunnymen also help keep your attention through at least one full listen. The diverse disk also boasts elements of trance on the song “A Little Bit Spendy.”

Next Week


Rebel, Rebel. Rock for Pussy Part II - A Musical Tribute to David Bowie takes place Monday at First Avenue. Again this year, proceeds will benefit area no kill cat shelters. The house band Kitty Stardust will feature John Eller, John Munson, Randy Casey, Tommy Alsides, Noah Levy, George Mckelvey, Steve Price, Janie Winterbauer, Michelle Langner, Leslie Ball. Featuring guest vocalists Laurie Lindeen,(Zuzu's Petals) Ryan Seitz, (Divorcee) Chuck Miller (Ten Ton Bridge) Jeaneen Gauthier (Jan) Dan Israel, Matty Schindler,(Faux Jean) Curtis A, Chris Perricelli (Little Man) Erik Appelwick (vicious, vicious) Chris Koza (The Channels) Mark Miller (Dallas Orbiter) and many more surprise guests! Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door. (It’s a benefit people, so please refrain from asking your friends to put you on the list.)


The Fine Line is kicking off a new gig called iTuesdays on (you guessed it) Tuesdays. “Wish you could take control of the DJ booth? Now you can!” says Matt Halman. Starting Tuesday April 5th come down to the Fine Line with your iPod or personal mp3 player, program a fifteen minute playlist and sign up for a set. (I’d advise folks to use at least 192kbps MP3’s or higher when they load up their pods otherwise this is likely to be a pretty phase shifty event as those MP3’s blare through the sound system.) Another incentive to stop by the Fine Line on Tuesdays is 2-4-1s on all tap beer and rail drinks.


London’s Calling: Mario’s Keller Bar is set to start hosting st weekly Brit music gigs starting Wednesday, April 6th. Based on the success of the annual England Swings shows at First Avenue, Mario's has enlisted Raven and Brits in America ( to bring British music each week to North East Minneapolis. The night will feature two bands, two DJ'S (one will be Raven himself), and free giveaway drawings just for walking in. Mario's is at 2300 University Ave. NE.