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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Smoking Ban in effect - Where can you still smoke?

I swear, at last night's Bloc Party/The Kills show at First Avenue people who don't even normally smoke were lighting up, trying to get a few last puffs in before the various smoking bans waft across the metro area starting today.

Towards midnight, one First Ave staffer was walking around with a pack of Marlboros generously passing out free cigarettes to anyone who wanted to light up one last time in the typically extremely smoky club.

As a former smoker myself, and one who is occasionally known to light up (I smoke when I vacation in Europe, for example--I quit, so I can have one, right?), I do look forward to being able to wear the same jacket or jeans to work the following day after seeing a show in a bar. I'm sure I'm not the only non-smoker to have noticed that if a bar is smoky enough, you can still wake up in the morning with a smoker's hack.

Whatever side of the issue you're on--I'm politically neutral, and somewhat selfishly pro the ban as it will lower the temptation to start smoking regularly again--there ARE a few exceptions to the ban at about 100 bars in St. Paul. Here are a few notable places where you'll still be able to light up:

Minnesota Music Cafe
Station 4
Mancini's Bar and Char House
Half Time Rec
Big V's
O'Gara's Bar & Grill
The Dubliner Pub

See a more complete listing here.

But if you want to ring in the smoking ban in style, why not go to the obvious place:
The Pulse Best of Smoke Free Saturday Night Volume 2 CD Release Show at The Dinkytowner Café featuring Valet, Martin Devaney, Cowboy Curtis, Kurmodgeon, Jacob Grun (of Seldomseen.) The CD is free with the price of admission. (5 p.m. $5. All Ages. 412 ½ 14th Ave. SE, Mpls.)

And if you somehow missed the forewarnings of this (probably impossible, but...) here is a link to the Minneapolis City Ordinance with details of how it will be enforced.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More about the Turf Club - The shows will go on

Ross Raihala has this report in today's Pioneer Press. Ross notes that despite Rob Rule leaving the club and taking the SPMC with him, the club's other booker Dave Ricker will stay on at the club, and the shows already booked will still take place at the Turf as scheduled. Rule pointed out that weekends already booked through June. (One such show is HowWasTheShow's 3rd Anniversary Party set for Saturday, June 4th and as far as we know, that is still on!)

Many who attended last night's Mammy Nuns farewell performance expressed sadness about Rob's departure. I could not attend, but I know that all of us at HowWasTheShow are sad to see Rob go as he embodies many of the best things about the Minneapolis music scene: sincerity, integrity, accessibility. Rob has always been supportive of HowWasTheShow and has been one of the best club bookers in town as far as making sure sure my writers and I were able to get into Turf Club shows to write reviews.

Aaron Pruitt of The Rakes pointed out his band has done all their CD release shows at the Turf. Pruitt remained optimistic about the future of the Turf but pointed out he would sorely miss the regular SPMC nights. "It was my kind of community. Zero BS, maximum rock and roll."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rob Rule to Leave Turf - Mammy Nuns final SPMC performance tonight

Below is a copy of the press release Rob Rule released today regarding his decision to take the SPMC (St. Paul Music Club) elsewhere effective April 4th.

*Notice to Music Fans.*

As of April 4, 2005 the St. Paul Music Club will officially end its residency at St. Paul's Turf Club, due to the sale of said business and property.

Nearly 10 years ago the SPMC approached Turf owner Mark Johnson about the possibility of booking a rock show at the then predominately country bar. Not only did the weekly SPMC Tuesdays begin, but a long and mutually benefiting relationship was established, leading to the current state of the Turf.

This said, the SPMC would like to publicly thank Mark Johnson and the current/past Turf Club staff. It has been an honor and a privilege to work and play with you. Together we have made a wonderful-musical impact on the lives of many in what we consider the BEST LOCAL music scene in the country.

Lastly, it is with regret that we announce the cancellation of this year's GRAND YOUNG DAY ..9. This celebration will return. Date and location yet to be determined. Until then SPMC will return to it's traveling state and put on occasional shows around town. LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER, bumper stickers have been issued. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Robert L Rule President-St. Paul Music Club

On a final note, we would like to thank Raleigh for her Texas Taco Tuesdays, which will soon be relocating to the 331 Club: Northeast Mpls. on Tuesday Nights.

In an earlier email, Chuck Macomber (of the Rusty String Quartet) encouraged everyone to make it down to the Turf tonight for the final Mammy Nuns showat the Turf Club, and the final 'Taco Tuesday' night for Raleigh. He also noted that Dave Weigart, the Clown Lounge manager and bartender, also has plans to leave and that "the Clown Lounge is being dismantled."

Macomber stressed that people should come to the Turf tonight not to mourn the loss of Tuesday night SPMC but to celebrate, saying:

"The Turf Club and SPMC put music and people first, and business and profit second. And while we all would like to think that this is the way it should be in the music business, i think we're all grown-up enough to know that business doesn't work this way. But sometimes, for just a brief moment in our lives, the world alters itself in a most peculiar and beautiful way. Such was the Tuesday night SPMC experience."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Shadow Box U2 Covers Available from NYC tribute show at Arlene's Grocery

Cathy Cervenka emailed me to thank me for the plug in my blog entry about Shadow Box when they performed at her U2 tribute show in NYC on St. Patrick’s Day at Arlene's Grocery, a venue at which several local Twin Cities including Friends Like These have performed while on their East Coast tours.

Cathy told me, “I just met the Shadow Box guys and they are so talented and so nice.”

She also sent me a link to mp3s of the songs they performed that night. Check out those songs and more at

Cathy and I also discussed whether or not we were related to the famous musicians who share our last names (Exene Cervenka of X and Dennis De Young of Styx.)

That would be a “No,” and “Uh, no.”

A Game of Musical Drummers

If you want steady work as a musician, playing the drums well may be one of your best bets. Of course it also helps to be versatile and able to learn songs quickly because you never know when you may be asked to sit on someone else's proverbial stool.

Here are just a few recent notable switcheroos you may or may not have noted:

- As Peter Anderson was also drumming for The Ocean Blue at SXSW, Charles Gehr of Ouija Radio filled in at one of Mark Mallman's gigs at the Austin music festival.

- This past weekend (Friday, March 25th)Anderson was back on the stool as Mallman's regular drummer at the Mallman/Melodious Owl show at the Triple Rock, for two shows. On a side note, in the late show, the drum-free Melodious Owl had some "drum" issues you'd think they'd be immune from when but the iPod that included the drum tracks as well as additional instrumentation came unplugged during two or more songs forcing a couple of re-starts. (Melodious Owl had also pulled a switcheroo of their own in this show, substituting a "Faux Joe" in place of regular guitar player Joe Berns, who was in Paris for Spring Break. Faux Joe, looked much the same as the regular Joe, wearing his clothes and even copying his swivelling side to side moves.)

- Saturday night, I noticed Eric Fawcett of Spymob had replaced Matt O'Laughlin at the Olympic Hopefuls show as they opened for the Honeydogs at First Avenue. (I understand this is a permanent move, so I guess it's time for some new publicity shots.) Peter Anderson was drumming for the Honeydogs tonight (though Noah Levy was on hand and still played on a few songs.) Anderson being in Minneapolis for the Honeydogs show meant that Sean Hoffman was holding down the stool for Mallman in Duluth.

- After the Honeydogs, I went to Lee's for a bit where Chris Koza's drummer Luke Anderson was drumming with Joanna James new band. Later, Dave Russ held down his normal spot as Dan Israel's regular drummer.

As I complete this collection of notes on the drummer shell game, I just received an email from Sarah Khan of the Violettes that Pete Rex (of Dander, Jim Crego & Friends, and Jehovah's Shitlist to name a few) will be sitting in again on Thursday March 31st (playing percussion and running samples along with Scott Haughawout)at their Turf Club show.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Turf Club to get new owner

Local scenesters have been grinding this story in the rumor mill for long enough that many people had already heard it, including me.

Details on what is to come are clearly still scarce. But isn't that to be expected with something that hasn't happened yet? According to an article in today's Star Tribune, The Turf Club's current owner Mark Johnson is in talks to sell the club to Tom Scanlon, owner the Dubliner Pub. (For those of you who don't get out much, you may remember the Dubliner as the old Ace Box Bar at 2162 University Ave.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Kate Galloway issues final report, confirms Mallman won SXSW second year in a row

Not that I mind hosting her wonderful comments here. In fact, I'm damned flattered. But after reading such wonderful correspondence from Kate Galloway from SXSW, I am hereby proposing that she start her own blog soon so we can read her accounts of rock and roll extravagance on a more regular basis.

Here is Kate's final report:

Saturday morning, we woke up to discover that it was very humid as Craig and I were off to yet another Austin music venue. This time, it was the Longbranch Inn, a cement hole in the wall with gourmet Bloody Mary's. To my dismay, we got there right after Magnapop had ended, but were just in time to see the entire Visqueen set. I had heard a couple singles from them on The Current, but I never expected to be rocked out so much by this sugary girl pop.

After some taco stand schmoozing time with various people, it was time to head off in our separate directions. I went to go see Steve Poltz at a fancy nursery party, hosted by an Austin booking agent, that my friend best described with "If you want to pay three times as much for a ficus, this is where you go." They had a nice sized rock garden with a cute mini amphitheater. Craig went off to see Dan Israel at a day party where he played with Mary Lou Lord, and Anna took advantage of being in Austin to visit with a local friend. Luckily, for my location, they were well prepared with canopies for the rapid and strange rain/hail storm that put pretty much every outdoor schedule behind an hour. It was ok though because it gave me plenty of time to catch up with some of my friends I don't get to see very often under the "backstage" canopy.

I have to take a moment to talk about Steve Poltz's set because it was one of the most interesting things I had seen all week. Stinky, drummer of Steve's other project The Rugburns, was on hand to provide a little percussion and a lot of entertainment. I lieu of a drum set, Stinky played a cardboard box. I have it on good authority that he'll be touring with Steve and will make a cardboard box-playing appearance at their Lee's Liquor Lounge show scheduled for Saturday May 7th. (See photo by Anna Lee.)

Oh, did I forget to mention that this party was emceed by groupie extraordinaire Pamela Des Barres? She stood right next to me during Poltz's set, and I didn't even think to get a photo with her until after it was all done. Oh well, we got to see her polka-dotted underwear through her floral skirt. They were full-backs, not a thong, if you were wondering.

Everything was a little rushed because of the rain delay, so we quickly stopped back at the hotel to refresh, grab something to eat and run over to Antone's to see the Kings of Convenience. This show gets the award for longest line I'd seen the whole trip. Thank God for badges! We were rushed in with about 200-300 other badge holders first, and unfortunately this meant Anna had to wait, or go somewhere else. We thought about being sneaky to see if we could get her in with us since someone had come around, carded us, and given us all the same wristband, but then we quickly realized that it probably wasn't going to happen. Anna gave a call to Dave Russ to meet him elsewhere and we made plans to meet later.

Kings of Convenience suffered from the same problems as Jolie Holland. Antone's is NOT the venue for acoustic or lo-fi music at all. I was SO hoping the KOC would have a band with them, but they didn't. Craig and I killed the disappointing time by hanging out with a club booker/promoter we knew from Arizona (probably to the dismay of the die-hards around us because we talked so much). We dubbed him the "Rob Rule of Tucson". The venue was abuzz with girly (boy and girl) chatter because Elijah Wood was there. See Ross "by Rosswest" Raihala's blog for my other mention about Mr. Wood.

Next was back to Opal Divine's for the second time to see Seattle's Radio Nationals once again. Chris Riemenschneider and Taco Martin were among the Minneapolitans there to see them. Next, we made our way to Say Hi to Your Mom. Why? Well, we loved the name, and I think it's the prerequisite for everyone attending SXSW that they go see a band purely based on their name. They were really, really good. Think Postal Service music with the vocals of Conor Oberst.

Next was BD Reilly's with Anna to grab a drink (pays to know the bartenders of course!) where we found out we were in the exact location where Slobberbone's last, unannounced and pretty much unplanned show was about to happen. We would've stayed, but after seeing the huge line of fans waiting to get in, we thought it would be better for them than it would be for us. We headed to the next planned stop, but after seeing the line decided we should refuel on sushi instead. This is part of the problem when you go to SXSW... if someone doesn't have a badge, they have to wait. I think Anna decided next year she would get one.

Our very last stop of the night was to see Austinite Shane Bartell. We almost didn't go after walking by Emo's Annex and hearing Against Me! playing... it was one of those things where you knew everyone in there was having the time of their lives. Without regret, we had a wonderful time seeing Shane. When he was threatened to be unplugged by the venue due to going over his time, he took the audience out to the back alley with his accordion player to do a distinct and unforgettable version of "Under the Milky Way". Again, only at SXSW.
We arrived back at the hotel around 3:45 a.m.

As usual, SXSW was one of the best times that can be had all year round. Somehow by recapping, I'm beginning to forget that my flight home was delayed by 8 hours - getting me back in Minneapolis at 4am Monday morning. And yes, Mallman won SXSW for the second year in a row.

Monday, March 21, 2005

This just in: A Report from Mark Mallman: Mallman wins SXSW Second year running!

Last year, I botched part of a report on Mark Mallman's SXSW performance due to a bum tip.  

This year, I bring you Mark Mallman's exclusive report from SXSW, in his own words:
2005 SXSW report by Mark Mallman (1st place winner of SXSW - 2 years running)

Our first show was with Cracker under the big tent at Emos annex. A new WB band, Dropsonic, played before us - they sounded like Alice in Chains, I thought. I'm not saying anything good or bad there, just that they sounded like Alice in Chains. My set for that show included - Better People, I Just Wanna Play Piano, True Love, Butcher's Ballad, and Shortbread.

We immediately loaded out and headed straight over to our night show at MOMO'S bar with my labelmates, Pleasant Grove. We went on at midnight. It killed. We killed 'em. It rocked. The band consisted of me, Ryan Smith, Kathie "PONY" Hixon, Dan Geller (from I Am The World Trade Center), and Charles Gehr. We opened with a new song called LICENSE TO DRIVE. We then played HARDCORE ROMANTICS, TRUE LOVE, HUMANKIND, SHORTBREAD, and 4 other tunes that I don't remember.

Afterward, the band checked out Elvis Costello who was playing next door. I drank whiskey and was in my underwear in the parking lot 3 hours later.

The next day, Peter Anderson and I did a 2 man drums and piano show with John Vanderslice, Clem Snide, and Magnapop. That went off really well.

The rest of SXSW was spent watching rock acts and hanging with friends. I met lots of famous people one of which was not DIANE SAWYER - however, I did do a radio interview with Radio 1 in the UK.

The highlights were - A) seeing John Cale perform Venus in Furs, watching Spoon afterward. B) The Blind Boys of Alabama. C) Dancing madly to Gogol Bordello - with strange women in a furious way. That night as I walked across the bridge back to my room, I looked into the water and decided once again, not to jump.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ross By Rosswest - Absolut-ly entertaining

After Ross Raihalla so generously pointed out that Kate Galloway was posting updates on SXSW to my blog, I've now gone a day without hearing from her. I totally understand, however. It's not hard to tell even from this distance how crazy busy it is down there.

Ross himself is still plugging away at His latest installment is his most entertaining yet. Check out the fictional? bits about Mike Peters of the Alarm and the free Absolut drinks.

Last night here in Minneapolis, I attended the Ol' Yeller, Martin Devaney and Little Man show at the new Nomad World Pub. Perhaps due to the lineup, the evening felt much like a consolation prize for those of us stuck in town while most of our friends are at SXSW.

I had the chance to chat up the new owners of the club, and meet the booking agent Chris Mozena who tells me a full interactive calendar announcing upcoming events should be online soon. All in all, it was a special night. Most of us in attendance either knew each other well or at least by sight, which added to the intimacy of the show.

HowWasTheShow's Cyn Collins was in attendance last night and promises a review of the evening's festivities soon.

And finally, this will probably be posted too late for most of you to benefit from it, but the cancelled Friends Like These, Faux Jean, Idle Hands, Dirty Things, etc. show that was to have taken place at the Varsity Theater has been moved to the FLT rehearsal space in N.E. Minneapolis. If you know where that is, we'll probably see you there. If you don't know where it is, contact your favorite band member and find out. There should be another bit of camaraderie at that show tonight that should again make you realize that not being in Texas is okay.

The Lost SXSW Report from Kate Galloway

As a scientifically-minded computer professional who doesn't believe in mumbo jumbo, the only explanation I can offer why Kate Galloway's second SXSW email update did not reach me Saturday is Mercury Retrograde (which started Saturday morning.)

Anyway, now that I finally have the report, here it is in all its glory. Through the magic of Blogger I have changed the timestamp so it looks like we actually posted it Saturday when she sent it originally.


After not a lot of sleep, Thursday morning I had high ambitions to go over to the Copa to see DeVotchka and the Hot IQs only to find out that the show had been moved to 1pm instead of 12pm, and the bands I wanted to see wouldn't be on until 5pm or so. Craig Grossman and I thought this was a great excuse to have a hair of the dog session before going to the convention center for a peer meeting of booking agents. Then it was time for Charles Gehr and me to head over to see a new client of ours on Times Beach Records - Man, Inc. Man, Inc. is one guy, Matt McGuire, his bass guitar and a bass drum. He's angry, he's political, and he's awesome.

We decided to head back over to the Copa to try to catch Hot IQs and Devotchka. When we got there, we were a little disappointed with the outdoor patio sound. Charles was crabby since he hadn't eaten, so we went to grab a bite. Well, we forgot it was St. Patty's Day, and the place we decided to go to for food started to fill up quickly, and we ended up spending over an hour just for our sandwiches. We missed DeVotchka. I was pissed. I came home, fell asleep and slept through the night. Depressing I know, but it had to be done if I was going to survive.

My roommates Craig and Anna on the other hand spent the night out seeing the likes of Viva Voce, The Bedroom Walls, and Robert Skoro. Dave Russ and Dan Israel joined them for most of the evening. Dan and Craig went to the Kill Rock Stars showcase to see Jeff Hanson. There was a huge line, full of people who even had badges, but somehow Dan and Craig walked straight in with no problems. The only Minnesotans in attendance were Ross "by Rosswest" Raihala and Chris Riemenschneider. I have no clever name for Chris.

Where's my clever name?

Later, Dan and Craig checked out The Reputation and DeVotchka. On the way there, they ran into Mary Lou Lord playing a guitar that was hooked up to a car battery outside of the Driskill hotel. Only at SXSW.

SXSW is also a great opportunity to run into people you haven't seen in a while. Some former MN people of note: Melissa Maerz and Dave Wolf. (See photo by Anna Lee below.)

Craig Grossman, Dave Wolfe, Dave Russ and Dan Israel - Photo by Anna Lee


After getting some much-needed sleep, I got up early to head to the convention center to check out a couple of great panels. Then, we were off to more parties and opportunities to get some face-time with current and future clients. Because they're so great, we took another opportunity to see Jet by Day and Built Like Alaska. Then around 5pm, it was time for the MN Meet and Greet Happy Hour. We get there just as Mark Mallman and Ryan & Kat Smith are heading out. We reassured them that they were at the right place, but they weren't convinced. Then we went in at weren't quite convinced ourselves... it was pretty full due to Michelle Shocked also playing there, so it was a little hard to find everyone. I ran into Mick Spence, Sonya Southward, Kim King, Taco Martin, Nate Dungan, Ken Abdo, Ross Raihala, Dan Israel, Mei Young... and maybe a few others. It was hard to keep track.

We kicked off the evening concerts with Johnny Hickman of Cracker at Opal Divines, being backed by the Radio Nationals (KEXP's "Best Seattle Band"). I met up with some friends of mine at Momo's across the street and got to see a little bit of the Resentments. I wanted to leave early though because the ONE thing I really needed to see was Jolie Holland. She was playing a few blocks away at Antone's, one of the larger venues downtown. It was packed, hot and loud. I had a bad feeling... After standing on my aching feet for 30 minutes waiting for her to come on, troubles started. First, people wouldn't shut up. Jolie Holland is not at all the type of act that should be at Antone's, especially when she's on the same bill as The Frames and Calexico. Then, her violin was out of tune and had "strange liquid" on it. So after a couple attempts to pick it up and fix it, she'd put it down and play the guitar again. It was really disappointing. So much so, that I decided to get out of there. I did not want my wonderful opinion of Holland to be tainted by this experience.

Next, it was time to go see Dan Israel at BD Reilly's. He drew a very nice crowd (including Japanese and French fans) and the set was incredibly tight and entertaining. I hadn't seen Dan rock out like that in a long time.

Another reason badges rule: cutting in front of a line that goes out to the street. I really wanted to see Of Montreal at 1am and brought Craig with me. The place was literally WALL TO WALL. There was no room to move. We got in with no problems, stayed close to the door and enjoyed a full two songs before deciding we were too old for it. Went outside, ran into a buddy from Athens, and enjoyed a few more songs from the comfort of 6th Street.

It's Saturday afternoon, and now we're off to see Magnapop and Visqueen...

Friday, March 18, 2005

TC Electropunk CD Release Cancelled

The TC Electropunk Volume 2 CD Release show scheduled for tonight at the Varsity Theatre has been cancelled. The Loring Pasta Bar where many of the Varsity's recent shows have been moved while they theatre resolves fire code issues was thought to be a possible alternative, but it was determined the theatre could not accomodate the size of this particular show.

Read more on the Varsity's woes in today's Star Trib, keeping in mind that when the STrib published this online article yesterday at noon, the Loring Pasta Bar was still considered a viable option.

A new release date will be scheduled.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A report from Kate Galloway at SXSW

What follows are highlights of the 1st day of SXSW courtesy of Kate Galloway of Vamp Music Source, in her own words:

-- I had my first Whataburger (They're not that good, although there is literally one every mile on the road between Dallas and Austin.)

-- I missed Mallman's first show because I had to wait an hour and a half in line to get a badge.

-- First show of the day: David Lowry & Johnny Hickman of Cracker (Excellent acoustic "Eurotrash Girl" and a cover of Ike Reilly's "Duty Free.")

-- Saw Ken Stringfellow and Matt Pinfield hanging out at a sushi joint we went to for dinner.

-- Caught Dolorean at Maggie Mae's, then was going to leave to go catch a new client, but everyone kept saying, "You've got to stay for Smoosh." Smoosh? What the fuck is Smoosh? Two little girls playing indie rock (10 and 12 years old.) One's a drummer, the other a pianist with a voice like Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays. Absolutely intriguing. Apparently they're getting loads of press from the likes of NBC and others, and I heard someone say they opened for Pearl Jam. Would make sense since they're from Seattle. Maybe they're really well known already, and I'm just totally out of the loop.

-- Saw The Ocean Blue [featuring Peter Anderson on drums.] They sounded great, but you gotta wonder: when did they have time to practice? Didn't really matter, ‘cause they never missed a beat.

-- Anna Lee [of Voltage: Fashion Amplified] Dave Russ, Mick Spence and Sonya Southward [all of the Minnesota Music Academy] all stayed and hung out there for a bit, then tried to get in to see Billy Idol with no luck. Tried to get into Sleater Kinney, no luck. Then they said, FUCK IT and went to see Mallman.

-- Craig [Grossman of Vamp Music Source] and I headed over to see new Future Farmer Records clients of ours Jet By Day and Built Like Alaska who were completely awesome. We found out David Dondero was going to be playing there also at 1am, so we had just enough time to run over to catch the last 20 minutes of Mallman's set, then go back. Mallman's set was absolutely amazing. There's something about seeing him out of his Minneapolis element that makes you appreciate him all the more. He was unstoppable with his onstage antics. At one point Craig and Anna noted that he started doing this cross-eyed Buddy Hackett-ish thing while singing. It was cool.

-- So, I looked for Craig shortly after the Mallman set so we could go back. Couldn't find him, when all of a sudden got a phone call from him. He was at the show none of us thought we'd get in to: Elvis Costello at La Zona Rosa. He said there was plenty of room and no waiting, so I grabbed Christy Hunt from Ouija Radio and we went over there. It was very cool. Anna, Dave, Sonya, Charles [Gehr of Ouija Radio] and Ryan Smith [of the Melismatics] showed up soon after.

News from SXSW and More

News from SXSW

Mark Mallman is one of more than half a dozen Minneapolis artists traveling to SXSW this year. Mallman played 2 shows at Emo’s with Cracker on Wednesday and then again at Momo's at midnight.

Other Twin Cities musicians playing SXSW this year include The Bad Plus (who are celebrating the release of a new live album"Blunt Object: Live in Japan, available exclusively online), Hockey Night, Robert Skoro, and Jeff Hanson. The Ocean Blue, featuring Twin Cities drummer Peter Anderson will also be there, as will Dan Israel.

Israel plays a showcase Friday, March 18 at BD Riley's Irish Pub, 204 E. Sixth Street, Austin, at midnight immediately before Bloodshot Records' Nora O'Connor.

Then on Saturday, March 19, Israel plays solo at the Pop Culture Press SXSW party at the Dog and Duck Pub, 406 W. 17th Street, Austin, TX, at 5:45 pm sharp. That gig is free and runs from noon to 7 with such notable performers as Dwight Twilley, Amy Rigby, Susan Cowsill, Steve Wynn, and Mary Lou Lord also appearing.

Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press is in Austin covering the festival. Check Ross’s blog at for his updates. (Actually, just about every journalist in town is there but me; but I’ll probably be one of few covering the European Festivals again this summer, so I guess it all works out in the long run.)

ST. PAT’S OPTIONS in Minneapolis (and NYC)

Dander is playing an acoustic show on St. Patrick’s day at The Uptown Bar. According to Shane “the Pain” Flanery, “the acoustic show is really good, even surprising me on the amount of positive feedback garnered from both Dander newcomers and diehards. It is a bitch in some ways, very revealing, and stark fuc'n naked but has forced us to develop our voices and songs under a much different light.”

Shadow Box may be gone to NYC, but they are not forgotten. Local music fans may remember their awesome set at England Swings in 2004 when they pulled out the Radiohead. This week they’re playing two songs as a full band at a U2 tribute show this St. Patrick’s Day at Arlene's Grocery, hosted by Cathy Cervenka.

Romantica plays a St. Patrick’s Day benefit in support of "Celtic Crescendo" a Celtic music, dance and drama team made up of mostly teens. Celtic Crescendo hopes to raise enough money to travel to Ireland and Europe this summer. The evening starts at 7pm and will involve scones and tea, some music by Romantica, of course, a preview from the "Celtic Crescendo" team “and most likely a bit of craic.” (Church of the Open Door, 9060 Zanzibar Ln. N., Maple Grove)

Of course there is the mainstay: The 22nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration at First Avenue featuring... BOILED IN LEAD with special guests Minnesota Pipe & Drums, THE TIM MALLOYS, and LEHTO & WRIGHT $10.00 door


Little Dirt breaks up -- Another band break up this week. Little Dirt reports Kim and Zac are moving back to California, and Bill will be moving back to Pittsburgh. Ryan (drummer) will be staying in Minneapolis.

The band continues to work on its record, which may ultimately be released under a different band name. The band has two gigs left of note: The Hexagon Bar March 25th with The Gleam and The Alamo House April 9th.


The new music venue Nomad World Pub opened last night in the old Five Corners Saloon spot with performances by Heiruspecs and Kanser giving West Bankers yet another alternative to the 400 Bar for their live music fix. HowWasTheShow will be there Friday night for Ol’ Yeller and Martin Devaney and special guests Little Man. More info:

Channels become Chris Koza to become the Channels to become…..

In lieu of the discovery of another band called "The Channels" on DeSoto Records, the channels have decided to abandon their name and adopt Chris Koza as their “all-encompassing nom de guerre,” the band said. Koza will continue to play solo acoustic shows in addition to shows with the band.

Koza’s debut album Exit Pesce continues to garner great press. It is at radio stations all across the country and is available for download from iTunes. Koza, er The Channels announced production of a new album is already underway. The band plays Saturday, March 19th at the Dinktowner with Dallas Orbiter and Chris Dorn in a show that will be webcast LIVE on

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Women of Troy enters final weekend

I took the liberty of accompanying new HowWasTheShow Theatre critic in residence Miguel Trejo to the the Frank Theatre's production of the Women of Troy on Saturday night. It was a lovely change of pace from the rock scene (even if I did head immediately back to the clubs when the show was through, managing to catch Dred I Dread at the Fine Line and a good portion of Leroy Smokes set there as well before ending up at the Triple Rock for French Kicks.)

Read Miguel's review of the performance here. I found his thoughts pretty much right on, and I'd just add that the Frank Theatre space at the Pillsbury "A" Mill Machine Shop was the perfect setting for the production.

If you are heading to the Women of Troy this weekend (which I highly recommend you do) you might find this background information on Euripides original production by Dr. Jim De Young an interesting pre-show read. And yes, the author of said piece is related to me. He would, in fact, be my father.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Jack Kerouac would be 83 today

Today is Jack Kerouac's birthday. He would be 83 years old. Isn't it interesting what dying young does for a someone's legacy?

Kerouac died at the age of 47 in 1969 (when I was 5), so I never had the chance to meet him, but I did meet Ginsberg and Burroughs when they appeared together at a reading in Milwaukee in 1986. I'll always remember them as old men, whereas I remember Kerouac as a maverick, a "hip flask slinging madman," as Robert Buck and Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs so aptly put it.

New Order to play Hyde Park in June, and you bet I'll be there

I received my confirmation from on the two tickets I purchased for motherfuckin' New Order at the first festival-themed, multi-day, multi-stage rock event ever in motherfuckin' Hyde Park! (Righto, the one in London, mate.)

This is the kind of concert anticipation that makes me want to cry. The festival was just officially announced on March 8th, and the four-day event takes place in two parts, with New Order kicking it off on Friday, June 24th. Basement Jaxx headlines Saturday, June 25th, and Keane and Kasabian headline June 29th and 30th respectively.

Tickets just went on sale this morning (3/12) at 9 a.m. GMT, and are still available for a reasonable 35 quid. 30,000 punters are expected to pour through the gates daily.

See you there?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Varsity Theatre temporarily closed for inspections

Make sure you read Peter Scholtes article about the history and future of the Varsity Theatre in this week's City Pages. Almost as if on queue, the Varsity is now closed for a week or so while city inspections take place. People arriving for Thursday evening’s Andrew Bird show were moved to the Loring Pasta Bar. Halloween, Alaska’s show for tonight has also been moved up the street. “The Varsity will be back up and running as soon as we can get the right paperwork signed down at City Hall,” said the Varsity’s Erik Stromstad.

Melodious Owl saxophonist Jon Kuder had a birthday recently, so Wednesday night the band took time out to celebrate during their show at the Triple Rock. But Melodious Owl always seems to find something to celebrate or a way to get the audience involved in the show. I got in trouble from front man Wes Statler for having my arms crossed in the front row. But getting called out by name by one of the Twin Cities hippest young bands is, of course, an honor.

There’s a new Frames fan in town, that man of twists and turns, Steve McPherson. I hope to be able to convince my colleague of the violin’s merits as a solo instrument next time the band comes to town (and hopefully plays First Avenue instead of the 400 Bar). Check out Steve’s thoughtful review here. The Frames were the musical guests on Carson Daly’s show last night, playing the full length version of “Finally,” from their new album Burn The Maps. The benefit of being on Carson and playing so late was that they were given so much time. (The drawback was that it was Carson and really late-12:45 a.m.)

HWTS did NOT attend the Kings of Leon show on Saturday, March 5th. But Chris Riemenschneider did, and you can read his thoughts here. Dylan Hicks famously dissed the the Kings new CD last week. In turn, The Rake reviewed Dylan’s article in a piece called “Review of Reviewers: Smoke-Out Edition” here:

According to a press release from B-Line singer and Uptown Bar booker Mark Holland, “After 6 years, 8 drummers, 3 guitarists, 2 bass players, and 1 singer, B-LINE has decided to call it a day.” When bassist Chris Berglund decided to leave the band they decided to fold rather than replace him.

B-LINE’s final show takes place Saturday, March 26th 2005 at the Uptown Bar And Café with Likehell. And past and present members are expected to joing the band. Some past members include Christopher Mcguire (12Rods, Kid Dakota), Doug Heeschen (Glorious Din, Puzzle Factory), Gib Curry (Stickdog, Puzzle Factory), Mike Akan (Radio Flyer), Gary Vogel (Fizzy Lifter), Al Bergstrom (Daykit, Elephants Gerald). As testament to the large cast of players who have revolved through the band over the years, Mark Holland added, “There are more but I don't have all day.”

I read a review on the XFM website the other day of a Babyshambles show in London February 22nd that sounds is just the kind of spectacle HowWasTheShow lives to write about. (A fight broke out onstage between Pete Doherty and another band member.) It makes me wonder if we’ll ever get the chance to see this band live before it implodes. Both times we’ve covered the Libertines (The Entry and The Fine Line) Doherty was otherwise tied up due to some mischief or another.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Revolver Modele to play LA Fashion Show

Revolver Modele will be playing in Los Angeles at an LA Fashion Week show on Friday, March 18th at Smashbox Studios for designer Gaelyn & Cianfarani to promote the designer's new line.

Revolver Modele will be opening the show with their song "An Instant." According to the band's manager, Karrie Vrabel of Estate Sale Records, Christina Aguilara, Brittney Spears, and Selma Hyeck, wearers of Gaelyn & Cianfarani designs are scheduled to be in attendance at the show.

Revolver Modele go into the studio next month to record their first full-length album.

Friday, March 04, 2005

First Avenue has a new website

First Avenue has a new website this week.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Was Rev 105 a racist radio station?

If you're reading my blog, chances are you care about music and local radio. And if you care about music and local radio you probably want to read Dylan Hicks article "The Kids Are All White" published in today's City Pages. I'm a little confused about some of what Dylan is trying to say here, and at times I'm certain he's reaching a bit, like when he suggest that the former Twin Cities alt-rock station Rev 105's programming might have been considered racist:

"And what of the Rev? They were playing Soul Coughing, G. Love and Special Sauce, the Beastie Boys, Beck, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Tricky. The implication was that hip hop is best when it is made by white people and isn't exactly hip hop, and occasionally by black Britons who aren't exactly making hip hop either. Normally that sort of thing is called racism."

If Dylan's intent was to spur dialogue, he will surely succeed from what some may perceive as an outright attack on their new favorite radio station (89.3, The Current.)

If I sound a little non-committal it's because though I said "ouch!" out loud more than once while reading Dylan's piece, I do think he addresses some important issues, especially the fact that multiculturalism means more than just myopic conceptions of "both kinds" of music, whether those two kinds be black AND white, country AND western, or punk AND hardcore:

"There is another home for multiculturalism on the radio, where you can hear rap and rock and dance and pop and occasional country by men and women of assorted ethnicities. It's called Top 40 radio."

Another stretch perhaps, but you can see what he's getting at.

Paul Demko and Diablo Cody also offered their takes on The Current in the new issue, and you should probably read all 3 starting here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The OC Hopefuls at the Turf Club

Rub your eyes and look again.

You got it right. It's the O.C. Hopefuls, featuring Chris Dorn, Jason Keilor, Heath Henjum and Craig Grossman in a special appearance at the Turf Club Thursday night on a bill headlined by Vicious Vicious.

I can't go since I'll be at The Futureheads. But the bill is only $4, so it's well worth checking out. The bill also includes TV Chakra and Shimmy.