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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here's the ballot I turned in a few weeks ago for the Annual Star Tribune Twin Cities Critics Tally

2006 Minnesota Albums of the year:

  1. Tim O’Reagan – Tim O’Reagan
  2. Chris Koza - Patterns
  3. Alarmists – A Detail of Soldiers
  4. The Glad Version – Lights Out North Star
  5. Ben Connelly – Over You
  6. Jeremy Messersmith – The Alcatraz Kid
  7. Stook – Soundtrack to My Minneapolis
  8. Mark Mallman – Between the Devil and Middle C
  9. Golden Smog – Another Fine Day
  10. The Brass Kings – The Brass Kings

2006 Minnesota songs of the year:

(not ranked)

  • Tapes ‘N Tapes – Insistor (though it would have been from one of 05’s albums of the year.
  • Jeremy Messersmith – Novocain
  • Golden Smog – 5-22-02
  • Alpha Consumer’s live “lude-slow” cover of Crimson & Clover

2006 Minnesota live act of the year:

(not ranked)
  • Dance Band
  • Espionage
  • The Alarmists
  • Ouija Radio
  • Birthday Suits

#1 Sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2006:

“Unlike the Twin Cities housing market, the music scene bubble shows not even the remotest sign that it is about to burst.”

Friday, December 22, 2006

I love Minnesota - A Public Service Announcement

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

7th Street on the 7th

For a third the price of the Yo La Tengo show next door in the Main Room, four bands will rock your socks (and other undergarments) in The Entry Saturday night. Locals Faux Jean and West Elliot headline, already worth your five spot, but a band called The Capitol Years (pictured to left) whom you may remember as the band that opened for the Pixies at their intimate Fine Line show a couple years ago and National Eye (their Philadelphia neighbors) open. Both openers are on Philly-based, Park the Van Records (Dr. Dog's label.)

Questions? Click the links below and charge your time to "research."

Saturday, October 7th, 2006
7th Street Entry 8PM 21+ $5

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hex's 24/7 comes in on time and under budget

Somehow, Chris Dorn and company managed to pull off 27 bands over the course of Thursday evening, not just the 24 promised. (Well, 26 bands and a guy who danced with purple dildos in his hands, anyway.)

See all my photos here.

Vampire Hands
Vampire Hands

The Nina! The Pinta!
The Nina! The Pinta!

Birthday Suits
Birthday Suits

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hexagon is the new 24 Bar?

Maybe not, but Thursday, September 28th the Hexagon has scheduled 24 bands.

Dubbed 24/7, the Hex hosts 24 bands playing 7 minute sets.

Hex booker Chris Dorn says, "It's been 2 years since we started booking local original music, and so we're teaming with to throw a huge party."

Below is the list of bands, though not necessarily in order of appearance. The show is free and runs from 9PM until it ends or until Rose pulls the plug.

  • Vampire Hands -->
  • The Beatifics -->
  • The Nightinghales -->
  • Faux Jean -->
  • Plastic Chord -->
  • Ouija Radio -->
  • Seymore Saves The World -->
  • Rank Strangers -->
  • Idle Hands -->
  • Tom Cruise Control -->
  • Heroes/Liars -->
  • Birthday Suits -->
  • We Became Actors
  • The Nina! The Pinta! -->
  • Spirit Of 76 -->
  • Meg Ashling -->
  • We Love Ghosts
  • Fort Wilson Riot -->
  • Candy Cigs
  • The Red Flags -->
  • In Pictures -->
  • The Hard Left -->
  • Me & Kyle
  • Buildings -->

21 | 9pm | FREE |

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wedding Photography

I may have set a new record going more than a month between blog posts.

I will fix that.

This past weekend, for a change, I did not shoot music, but rather shot the wedding of a friend. It was more exhausting work, but it sure pays better.

It took place at Thomas Lowry Park in Minneapolis.

I'm very happy with the results, even for my first venture into wedding photography. If you have 11 minutes, here's a slideshow animation with music.

If you don't, the photo set is on my personal Flickr account here.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

From which Tennesse Williams play did Alva Star take its name? And more questions about local music courtesy of my dad.

I've come to expect the Spanish Inquisition

My parents were in town recently, and, as usual, I found myself facing a barrage of questions about what exactly I do as the managing editor of a music review website like HowWasTheShow. Some of the questions were good, though at times I found it difficult having to "speak for" the entire music scene. And since my audience wasn't as well-versed or sympathetic as say, Mary Lucia, I occasionally found myself a little defensive, especially about money-related issues. But attempting to answer helped clarify for me some of the things that motivate people to go into the pop music business in this day and age. Here are three of the questions and the answers I came up with. (Note: I had to research the first one a bit.)

  1. Regarding Alva Star headlining the HowWastheShow 4th Anniversary Party, I mentioned that the band Alva Star took its name from a Tennessee Williams Play. Which play, my dad queried? Well, Alva Starr (John Hermanson dropped the second "r" when he named his band) is a character in William's 1946 one act play, This Property is Condemned. In 1969, the play was made into a film starring Natalie Wood in the title role. Directed by Sydney Pollack, and also featuring Robert Redford and Charles Bronson, the film version received scripting help from Francis Coppola. Hermanson chose the name for his band after seeing the movie and being "captivated by the parallels between the lives of Alva Star and Natalie Wood and the early death of the character and the early death of the actress."
  2. Is there a Minneapolis sound? What does it sound like? At the HowWasTheShow writers' meeting this past week, some of the staff had talked about "sounds like" references in reviews and whether or not they were valuable. Clearly they are, as they give people some sort of reference point when they haven't heard the band in question. But how do you use "sounds like" comparisons with people who lack working reference points in contemporary music? You might be able to use "free jazz with horn usage similar to George Gershwin's 'An American in Paris'" to describe some contemporary music, but how do you describe Tapes 'n Tapes to someone who is nearly 70? In one of my own reviews from 2004, I said (regarding TnT) that "I find this local 3-piece [to be] playing some of the most interesting (if not the strangest) music in town, something like what might happen if the Strokes suddenly started listening exclusively to Captain Beefheart and eschewed the reaction of fans and critics." Don't know the Strokes? Don't know Beefheart? Where does that leave you? As far as the Minneapolis (or more rightfully, Minnesota) sound goes I ended up saying that if you took Soul Asylum, The Replacements and Husker Du and shook them up in a cocktail circa 1983 it would be close to the Minneapolis sound that lives in my head. Whether I can explain it or not, I know when I hear it, and we had to leave it at that.
  3. Are the bands I write about interested in making money? Of course they are! But my attempt at answering this question became emotionally heated for some reason. The question was prompted by discussion about Tapes 'n Tapes, the success they are having right now and their impending appearance on David Letterman (Tuesday, July 25th). Now, I wish the guys in this band all the success in the world and gazillions of dollars, but the fact is that most of even the successful musicians in this town still have day jobs (read Friday's Star Trib for an article about Tapes 'n Tapes that notes front man Josh Grier had to ask his boss for the day off to go to New York to do the Letterman gig), and I really, really don't think most musicians got into music because they craved either fame and fortune. (Okay, maybe some of them did in the back of their minds.) But I don't think money is a good reason to go into rock and roll. You want to make a buck? There are better paths. Most of the peopleI know would like nothing more than to grow rich doing what they love, but I sense the local bands I know are first and foremost in it for the music and that for that frequently underrated and underappreciated concept called fun, which I insist are the only reasons to get into this anyway. I started HowWasTheShow with the same objectives, and four years later, though we haven't made a dime to speak of, we've still grown and gotten some awesome recognition along the way. Personally, I've learned an incredible amount and feel that I've had a positive impact on a lot of people's lives. Sure, I could ask for more (and you're welcome to send money) but I'm happy, and really, that's all I care about in the end.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Musicapolis II - Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

MNStories has a nice piece today on last year's Musicapolis. See it here. Check out the cool, moving (pun intended, you'll see) interview bit with Grant Hart at the end.

This year's exhibit features 26 years of photos from Daniel Corrigan.

Band's play all afternoon to help kick off the exhbit. Here's the schedule.

2:30 - Spaghetti Western String Company
4:00 - The Tin Star Sisters
5:00 - Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls
6:00 - The Brass Kings
7:00 - The Gleam
8:00 - Gee as in Jesus
9:00 - Chooglin'
Followed by the debut of Shutter, a new film series at the Ritz Theater organized by The Ritz and MCP.

Admission is $10.

Afterwards, head over to the 331 Club for an afterparty featuring live performances by Sendero Flamenco, Le Cirque Rouge de Gus Cabaret & Burlesque, Fatala Express, and Jehovah's Shitlist. Also The Bearded Lady Motorcycle Rally Champions
be hosting their event afterparty in the 331 parking lot at the same time. The 331 event is free, inside and out.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

HowWasTheShow Writer's Meeting

HowWasTheShow had a writer's meeting at the Turf Club tonight. So when did they paint the far wall across from the bar baby blue? I was sad to see the Christmas lights and the stencil-painted "Curtains" which had been such a part of that room for so long go away.

Even sadder was the fact that we all had to leave at 10 just before El Olio Wolof took the stage as we were nearly the only people in the bar. 12 music writers walking out just before the band began? That seems wrong.

Just for fun, I made a quick video of the staff photos we took:

Friday, July 14, 2006


I was told it was going to be a little warm this weekend, suggesting to me it was time I made a cool change to my back yard.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Nude Race

Of course, the Roskilde Festival wrapped up yesterday. This is actually the first year of the past four I have not been there.

Should I be suprised that once again, this (a blog entry in which I reference the annual "nude race") is the most popular entry in my blog stats today?

Looking for "Roskilde Nude Race" photos? I can't guarantee you'll find them, but this might be a good search to try. They may yet turn up, and if they don't, there are still some great photos from the 2006 festival.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mei Young's final broadcast on Drive 105 Homegrown - tonight (7/2) at 10PM

(Photo: Mei Young and I at Mei's "retirement" party at Big V's a few weeks ago. Self-portrait by me.)

Our friend and former HWTS'er Steve McPherson wrote a nice farewell piece to Mei Young in Wednesday's edition of the Pulse. (I've pasted it in below.) Well, damn it, I, too, will miss Mei's presence on the local airwaves.

I am honored to be filling in as co-host during Mei's final appearance on Homegrown, a program she started about ten years ago now. The irony of my appearance on tonight's program is that I'm filling in for Dave Campbell (who is seeing Wilco in Duluth), and one of our guests is Andrea Myers, who is filling in for me while I am on hiatus as editor of HowWasTheShow. So, it's a bit of a double switcheroo (a double spy turning into a triple spy) kind of thing.

Tune in. 10PM. At or on an actual radio at 105.1 etc. FM.

And here's a HowWasTheShow Flickr Photo tribute to Mei Young from pictures of the fun we've had over the past year or so.

Mei Young's Last Broadcast on Drive 105
by Steve McPherson

It won't be without a tiny tear that we bid adieu to Mei Young on this week's Homegrown. After all, she's been one of the most tireless supporters of the local music scene for as long as anyone can remember. After getting permission to play one local song a night in her 2 a.m. slot on KQRS way back in 1996, Young had planted the seeds of what would one day become Homegrown, and the show's long list of impressive guests is a testament to her unwavering dedication to all things local. I got to peek inside just this past January for the annual Critics' Picks show and, despite a fantastic case of jet lag, I felt right at home, due in large part to Mei's easy way with a mic and a question. Her final broadcast will feature guest appearances from's Andrea Myers and David de Young (who's become a regular contributor to the show), as well as the yet-to-be-picked winner of Homegrown's Battle of the Bands. Plus, those are just the announced guests; the press release promises mystery guests from Mei's past a la "This Is Your Life." As Young rides off into self-employment, she leaves the show in Dave Campbell's hands as host and producer, so a piece of advice: I've hung out with that guy, and I wouldn't let him drive my car. That's all I'm saying. With David de Young, Andrea Myers and Battle of the Bands winner. Drive 105 FM. 10 p.m. MCPHERSON

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

King Straggler w/ Future Lisa and Friends featuring David de Young - 331 Club tonight

Tonight (6/14) at the 331 Club ($0!)

King Straggler w/ Future Lisa and Friends featuring David de Young ( )

David will play 3 songs sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. (completely different songs from the Turf Club set two weeks ago.) Set list and links to low-fi home demos below:

  1. I Like It ( )
  2. Wendy (singalong is expected on the "Wendy, Wendy, Wendy" part, so learn the song here: )
  3. 1984 (Never recorded, as the year references must be constantly updated to keep it current.)
What people are saying about David de Young:

"Touching on universal themes, such as girls, drinking and girls who like drinking, [David de Young] colored a musical palette that focused mainly on the beiges, but worked its way into the tans and even the light browns." - David Rachac,

"Nobody's ever going to mistake Mr. de Young for Al Green (or hell, even Dennis De Young)." - Steve McPherson, Pulse Twin Cities

More info:

Future Lisa will host the night and play between friends. Friends for this show are: David de Young (, David Beckey (Autumn Leaves), Bryan Miller (Codger, Future Lisa), Paul Collette, Rich Horton ( Rift Magazine), Shakey, the Shaman (Shakey, the Shaman Show), Caveman (GeeAsInJesus), and KING STRAGGLER.

King Straggler is a 5 piece group out of Hollywood, fronted by three actors, one of whom (John Hawkes, lead role in HBO's Deadwood and the movies Identity, Perfect Storm, You and Me and Everyone We Know) is from Alexandria, MN.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Walker Un-Prom: Not Your Mama's Formal - Thursday, May 25th

If Voltage hadn't taken a year off this year - and looking at all the other things that occupied my time this spring, I can't imagine it any other way - it would be taking place this very week. But a year to the day after Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2005, here is a not to be missed fashion event to tide you over until Voltage returns in 2007. (Which it will, mind you. And yours truly just re-signed on as publicist.)

Thursday, May 25th at the Walker Art Center get ready for the Walker Un-Prom: Not Your Mama's Formal, a prom inspired fashion show presented by Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) and Anna Lee of Ruby3, producer of Voltage: Fashion Amplified.

"As a part of the Walker's OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement) exhibition, WACTAC is taking prom by the heels and turning it on its tiara. The Un-Prom will cut loose from the stuffy "suit and tie, cupcake dress" formal wear by asking seven Minneapolis designers to create garments that step out of the standard garb and envision prom as extension of the arts. This in-gallery fashion show will include a performance by electro-rockers The Battle Royale on visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanijas massive spiraling stage. Designers include Ramon-Lawrence Coleman, Laura Fulk, Katherine Gerdes, Princess Warrior, Alex Smith, Carly Stipe, and Rebecca Yaker. Models provided by Vision Management Group. Hair and makeup by Eclecticoiffeur."
The event is free, but a ticket is required. Get your tickets starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Cargill Lounge Target Gallery of the Walker. The show runs twice, once at 7 and again at 7:30 p.m.

The Pioneer Press has an piece about the show here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

HowWasTheShow Presents The TV Sound CD Release Party Friday at the Varsity

HowWasTheShow is sponsoring your mandatory weekend kick-off dance party.

Friday night, at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, The TV Sound will unveil their long-awaited, self-titled, full-length CD. Come find out why Andrea Myers called the band that's been getting some play on 89.3 The Current lately "irresistably rhythmic." (I can attest that the last TV Sound show at the Nomad was one of the only times I have ever seen my assistant editor dance.) Read Andrea's review of the band's new CD here.

I've only seen the The TV Sound on small stages since their stunning performance on the First Avenue Mainstage at Voltage, 2005 where they perhaps combined the music and fashion parts of their performance more seamlessly than any other band. Here's your chance to see them on the large Varsity stage where they will have room to shine, and where the sound and light show are always guaranteed to be a hit.

This World Fair
and the Alarmists open. The show is 18+, costs $6 and starts at 9PM.

HowWasTheShow will be on hand with some of our new swag, so be sure to drop by and say hi (if we're not all out on the dancefloor.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Tunes For Tails" - Benefit for Happy Tails Rescue at the Fine Line, Thursday

Thursday, May 11 - "Tunes For Tails" - Benefit for Happy Tails Rescue - 18+ Show

Local musicians gather at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Thursday, May 11 for a rockin' gala to celebrate the success of Happy Tails Rescue's first year (over 300 animals saved!) and to raise money that will save more lives. Marc Perlman (of the Jayhawks), Jessy Greene, Leroy Smokes, Tim Mahoney and more will perform animal themed cover songs including, "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree", "You Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog" and everyone's favorite, "Smelly Cat" from Friends!

A silent auction and raffle feature great items including tickets for great seats at Twins and Vikings games, concert tickets, autographed memorablia from James Blunt, the Killers, Soul Asylum, Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects and much more. View a display of artwork created by our Happy Tails dogs and cat - some of it up for auction! Meet some very special guests - happy, Happy Tails adopted pets with a story to tell.

VIP Reception: 6-7:30 - $30 Ticket General Admission: 7:30 - $10 Ticket 18+ Show Advance Tickets Available at The Fine Line

Happy Tails Rescue Site

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

HowWasTheShow Forum back in operation

The past few weeks were rough for HowWasTheShow. We were plagued with email and hosting problems which culminated over the weekend with a total site meltdown. (Ah, yes, I hear your chorus of tiny violins now.)

But back in operation on a new and sturdier host, I do believe things are now running faster and better than ever. And the forum is back!

Thanks for all the kind emails as we slaved day and night over warm glasses of wine to set things back up.

Monday, May 01, 2006

HowWasTheShow's 4th Anniversary Party - Saturday, May 27th


What: HowWasTheShow's 4th Anniversary Party
When: Saturday, May 27th, 2006 9PM
Where: Turf Club, St. Paul (21+ $6)

Mark your calendar for one of the biggest local music celebrations of 2006. On Saturday, May 27th at the Turf Club, HowWasTheShow celebrates four years on the internet as one of the Twin Cities' most trusted sources of live-music coverage with a party featuring music by Alva Star, White Light Riot, The Alarmists, Stook, and the Debut. The party also serves as a joint birthday soiree for the website's founder David de Young, and new editor Andrea Myers. If you add up the years, David and Andrea will be turning 65, but despite their joint age, don't expect early retirement from either of them on this particular night.

By all reports, last year's HWTS party was one of the most scintillating local music showcases of 2005. Again this year, as has been customary, de Young will perform a two-song set of original material (with the Alarmists as his backing band). Myers will also take the stage to play flute with White Light Riot. Be sure not to miss this turning of the tables as the critics become musicians again for a brief, shining moment.

The event is sponsored by Vamp Music Source and will feature paparazzi photography by (see last year's photos here) and party favors courtesy of the sponsors. It kicks off early with music at 9PM. $6. See for more information.

The Lineup:

Alva Star (

John Hermanson's "sweet and timeless" power-group, Alva Star, has reemerged on the scene. Their first album, Alligators in the Lobby, earned them Best New Band at the Minnesota Music Awards in 2001. Their next album, Escalator, which debuted four years later, is a lush concept album featuring dreamy stream-of-consciousness tunes written and recorded simultaneously. Alva Star's busy who's-who line-up is currently Hermanson (The Hopefuls, Storyhill) in lead; Darren Jackson (Kid Dakota, Hopefuls) on guitar; Brian Roessler (Electropolis, The Fantastic Merlins) on bass; and Eric Fawcett (Spy Mob, Hopefuls) on drums. [ZB]

White Light Riot (

A band on the rise, White Light Riot has caught the ear of Minneapolis and is gaining in popularity among budding frat boys and aging hipsters alike. With a sound that ranges between the Cure and the Killers (in the best way possible), WLR plays music that is impeccably timed and professionally presented – impressive stuff for a crew of just-barely-twentysomethings. Their debut album, The Dark is Light Enough (produced by Erik Appelwick), leaves the listener longing for more tracks from this breakout band. [AM]

The Alarmists (

The Alarmists make music for the bored and weary masses, for those sick of the hum-drum repetition of mainstream rock and pop. Though their songwriting pays homage to some of their biggest influences – including the Beatles, Bowie, Radiohead and Wilco – they have managed to craft a sound that is incredibly fresh, at times so familiar that it's impossible not to sing along, while at others bending the concept of pop music to include dramatic chord changes and unexpected tempo and rhythmic changes. [AM]

Stook (

Who's this Stook guy you keep hearing about? Stook is Joshua Stuckey, a pretty down to earth dude with some great songs and lots of charisma. At first listen you may wonder what's the big deal? Then the music starts sinking in, and you realize Stook may be doing what a lot of people are doing, but he's not only nailing it, but you like him, you really do. When Andrea Myers told me, "I have a feeling Stook's going to be kind of big," I believed her. On his website, he says he's "hoping for 2006 to be a banner year." We're pretty sure that's going to be the case. [DD ]

The Debut (

One of the Cities' best undiscovered new talents, the Debut blend their pop and rock influences to create a sound that is catchy, sunny and fun. Currently headed into the studio to record their first full-length album with producer Darren Jackson, these guys are destined to be one of the best new bands of 2007. [AM]


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Blogging fool

Thunder in the Valley
Thunder in the Valley at the Turf Club - Photo by David de Young

With the site down, I wanted to still get some stuff out there.

Don't forget! Tonight is Rock for Pussy at First Avenue.

Eyes + Hands Festival wraps up tonight at the Varsity. (They are blogging about their own show here.)

Photos of Tuesday's Robot and Thunder in the Valley's CD Release parties at the 331 Club and the Turf, respectively, are up in the Flickr blog.

HowWasTheShow network upgrade

Yes, is temporarily offline due to a network upgrade at our hosting company.

I hope it won't be down long, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I miss it too.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Meow - Rock for Pussy III - Saturday, April 29th, First Avenue

Kenya AA - Photo by David de Young

Rebel Rebel,
Rock For Pussy III, A Musical Tribute to David Bowie, takes place Saturday, April 29th at First Avenue.

It's one of my favorite local shows of the year. Your favorite Twin Cities musicians will belt out Bowie tunes, you will drink liberally as Young Americans should and enjoy yourself thoroughly.

Again this year, event organizer Mary Lucia will donate proceeds to area cat shelters.

Saturday April 29 2006
First Avenue Main Room 21+
Doors 8pm $6 Advance $8 Door

Featuring John Eller, John Munson, Randy Casey, Jeaneen Gauthier, Jim Walsh, Laurie Lindeen, Kevin Bowe, Chris Koza, Jeremy Messersmith, Michelle Langner, Nick Eldorado and many more.

The users in the HowWastheShow Forum took this show promo as an opportunity to shamelessly post photos of their cats. And while you're at it, join Catster.

And, I'll see you Saturday. I'll be in town after all. Meow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jamie Lidell cancelled

This just in from Erik Stromstad at the Varsity:

"Tonight's show with Jamie Lidell has been cancelled due to bad weather in Wyoming. If you purchased tickets online through Indietickets, they will be refunding your money to your credit card. If you purchased tickets at the Loring Pasta Bar, feel free to stop by and turn in your ticket for a cash refund. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we are equally as bummed out as you. "

Jamie Lidell at the Varsity Theater tonight

Young soul sensation Jamie Lidell is performing tonight at the Varsity Theater, with electronic-jazz duo, Keston & Westdal. Lidell's on tour to promote his album, Multiply, which has been described by Dusted Magazine as a "silky, bright, singing-in-the-shower masterstroke of joy and elation." The album's exploding with the type of top-down-hair-flying songs you throw in before that long road trip to the coast. There's been some comparison to Jamiroquai, but Lidell's got a better voice and more finesse. (I have to believe this because Jamiroquai is on my list of "artists to hate until the end of time.") I have a near obsession with the Varsity Theater, as do many of the artists who play there, and their mid-week shows are getting saucier, especially with tech director Erik Stromstad's arena-worthy light show. How Was the Show is excited to be at the Varsity for Jamie Lidell, and we hope you stop by for some hump-day magic. [Zosia Blue]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My friend Kari is on mnstories today.

Kari Tauring - Photo by David de Young

Kari Tauring, a musician and ritual performer in the Twin Cities whom I have known for a dozen years and worked with on events for about half that time, is today's mnstories feature, "Discovering Origins."

Despite being in attendance at every "Discovering Origins, Building Traditions" performance since 1999, it's the first time I've seen some of the footage in this piece. I was amazed at how well the short film captured the energy of the live shows, especially the spiral dance from the Cedar Cultural Center a couple Winter Solstice's ago.

Tauring's next show, a Beltaine (May Day) event called "How The Sap Does Rise" takes place May 1st at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Click here for ticket information.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mach Fox CD Release Party - Saturday, April 8th, Club Underground

Mach Fox - dancy, trancy electronica with a great 80s vibe. (Think Blondie, Yaz, Prince, or DAF.) There's something here for everyone to love, and this disc should keep you dancing. As Mach Fox is doing most everything right -- not the least of which is creating a niche as a showman who looks more like a life-size space movie action figure than a rock star -- it's a wonder he's not better known outside the electronic music scene. Mach (or Mark, as he's known to his friends) would also be a hit with fans on the indie rock scene. His female vocalist's voice at times recalls Annie Lenox at times, also not a bad thing.

Mach Fox has his CD Release Saturday night at Club Underground with Thosquanta, Severin24 and Oneneoeon. 9PM. $6 21+

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Coach Said Not To Release Debut Full-Length Album Saturday, April 8th

Not one, not two, but three kickoff events to celebrate the new Coach Said Not To CD.

  1. Coach Said Not To's first full-length album Mini Series hits stores on Saturday following a 2 p.m. in-store performance at The Electric Fetus (2000 4th Avenue South, Minneapolis).
  2. The full-blown CD Release Party is scheduled for Friday, May 5th at the 400 Bar.
  3. An all-ages version takes place at the Acadia Theater on Sunday, May 7th. (Intersection of Franklin and Nicollet in Minneapolis.).
Coach Said Not To will support the release of Mini Series with a Summer tour of the Twin Cities and the East Coast.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Chris Koza to release "Patterns" Saturday night at the Turf Club

Chris Koza and Cozy Kitty
Chris Koza - Photo by David de Young

HowWasTheShow will be on hand at the Turf Club Saturday night, April 1st for the long-awaited release of Chris Koza's CD Patterns. (Chances are good you've been hearing selections from the new album on 89.3 "The Current." ) My preview copy of the new disc is my most-frequently played disc so far in 2006, including the nationally released albums which have come across my desk. Not only did Koza's second album leave me with a serious reaction of "Wow" to its songwriting and presentation, it's just damn enjoyable to listen to.

You will probably like it too.

HowWasTheShow will issue a full report from the Turf after the weekend. Fitzgerald and Coach Said Not To open. Doors at the now smoke-free club are at 9PM.

Get Koza's autograph soon (see the Star Tribune link below) while the lines are still short.

Selected recent press about Koza and the new disc:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Turf Club gets website makeover

Remember the old Turf Club website, where the calendar defaulted to about five months ago, and even if you managed to scroll forward to more recent history or the current month there were only two or three shows per week filled in?

Well, today the Turf Club announced a website makeover. Check out for their new website done by web designer by Don Vu.

Speaking of the Turf, smoke 'em if you got 'em while you can. The St. Paul music club goes smoke free on Thursday March 30th. Chooglin', Bridge Club and Cockfight play the club's first smoke-free show.

Kate Galloway's final report from SXSW

Here is Kate Galloway's final report from SXSW 2006:

"Finally, I'm home. Although the most crowded I've ever seen it, the 20th Annual SXSW Music Festival was smashing. I've heard reports that there were 8,000+ attendees, which sounds about right. The final day kicked off at 4:00 pm with finding out about a "secret" (yes, that word again) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show which we got in to quite easily, and there were only a couple hundred there at best.

Saturday also seemed to be a big day for day parties. I ended up going over to the RajiWorld party in the afternoon, just as I did last year, hosted again by groupie extraordinaire, Pamela Des Barres. It's a good place for me to catch up with old friends, and see one of my favorites, Steve Poltz. Steve brought a couple friends to play with him. Billy Harvey (please go to his website, it's great and A.J. Croce, son of Jim Croce. Craig, Aubry, and a whole bunch of other people went to the Vitriol Radio party, which was delayed by the rain. What are you going to do? That's how festivals go...

Had to rush across town to catch Dressy Bessy, but when I got there, I couldn't get in! Sometimes, even when you have a badge it doesn't matter because of capacity issues. It was evident that the place was a bit too small to host Dressy Bessy, and they could've played somewhere that had double the capacity. I was able to squeeze in during the last two songs though.

We were able to rush over to see the last 3 songs of the Deaths for their performance and Nuno's upstairs. Ran into a few MN people including Dave Campbell, Ross Raihala and Adam Turman.

We ran over to catch the 88 one more time before heading out. This time, there weren't any more myspace "grinding dancers". But it was definitely in some sort of college bar. After that, I ran down to see The Bedroom Walls and The Owls at the same place Dressy Bessy had performed. This time, we got in ok, but there was still a very healthy crowd. It was obvious that The Owls certainly have drawn attention outside of Minneapolis. There were many people singing along to the tunes.

Earlier in the day we'd been invited to go to a party hosted by Kimberly Gottshalk, formerly of Sue McLean & Associates. It was a very nice little party on the patio at the Driskill, with free booze. Lots of free booze. I was able to finally pull myself away from the dancing and drinking to go to the final event of the night, Jucifer, which could be heard from 4 blocks away. Needless to say, it was as impressive as always. Saw a couple of Minneapolis folks there too, which was nice.

Luckily, we were able to get some breakfast at the famous Magnolia Cafe Sunday before getting on the road. We also picked up a stray, Sam Keenan, to join us on the ride back. My brain and body are fried, but of course I have great memories that help alleviate the negatives."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Kate Galloway's report from Day #3 of SXSW

Ladies and gentlemen, Kate Galloway with her third SXSW report of 2006.

The Deaths
The Deaths at SXSW - Photo by Kate Galloway

More photos added here.

"St Patty's Day? What? It never fails. I always forget that St. Patrick's Day is almost always celebrated during the course of SXSW. Being a cultural mutt with little to no Irish heritage, I couldn't care less about the holiday, and can't stand the frat party antics that go on with it. I'm classy like that! Tonight's SXSW crowd was double, but in a very bad way. Walking down 6th Street was more difficult than usual... but I digress.

I started out my day heading over to the convention center to check out Flatstock, the event that celebrates cool concert posters of all kinds. I was happy to run into my friend Adam Turman, and got to meet the fine David Witt whose designs I've been admiring for a long time. Seeing them along side poster designers from around the world made me realize that we are very lucky to have such great creative people working in all aspects of local music. I suggest that everyone take a look at their websites and support the great and vital thing they do. and

I was really excited to go check out 89.3 The Current's live broadcast of We Are Scientists with Mary Lucia on the 18th floor of Capitol Place. I was surprised to see only 20-30 people there, which is too bad because it was so much fun. When I first heard the buzz about this band, I wasn't really sold on the record, but then seeing them live made it clear why people talk about them. I don't know if they're doing any streaming on the Current website, but I think everyone should listen to it. They're incredibly nice guys too, which is always refreshing. Sam Keenan was engineering, and was really exhausted from all the work he's put in the past few days for the live broadcasts. Luckily, the We Are Scientists one was the last, and he could finally go out and enjoy SXSW.

A quick stop to the Driskill to meet up with a colleague was the next item on the list. As soon as I walked into the lobby, I remembered that the hotel is the hotbed of industry activity. A hint to anyone that's looking to network - that's one of the best places to be. It's probably even worth the ridiculously expensive cocktails.

Text messaging is the greatest thing ever!! I don't know what I'd do without it, or what people did without it before. I got a text reminder to check out a band called The Picture from New York. They had some problems when the mics and one of the guitars lost sound, but were complete pros and just played it cool. We quickly stopped by Nuno's to check out Goldrush on our way to Bourbon Rocks to see The Lovetones from Australia and one of our clients, Hopewell, from New York. Structurally, Bourbon Rocks is ok, with a lot of great sight lines. The bad thing is that in-between bands was a painfully annoying Top-40ish nightclub DJ talking to the crowd. What's worse is that he was trying to play "indie" music, obviously NOT what they're used to playing there. His version of indie music was The Strokes and Beck. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but in the context of what was going on, it was just sad.

I got to see one of my favorite band from SXSW 2004, The 88. They were playing an unofficial show at The Drink upstairs. The crowd was small, and there was an unusually high amount of "myspace whores" who probably found the 88 through their myspace page and songs featured on the O.C. The funniest part was when two girls started grinding on each other. In front of The 88. Yeah, weirdest thing I've seen yet.

I rounded out my night with a stop at the Atmosphere show at Emo's and making a stop to pick up a surprise for my husband. I even have pictures, but I can't say what it is because he's probably reading this as we speak. I can't let the internet ruin everything!!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kate Galloway's Report from Day #2 of SXSW

Report number 2 from Kate. I was one of the lucky folks who got a live text message as she was rocking out to the Beastie Boys last night.

Mark Mallman and Kate Galloway

See dozens more brand new (and exclusive) photos here.

"It seems like an entire week has gone by already. 6-7 hours of sleep sounds like a lot, but doesn't seem like much. In general, I'm really impressed with this year's festival. I'm not sure what's different, exactly, but it seems like it might be better organized. At any rate, I'm happy with everything so far.

Thursday was full of fun surprises for the lucky badge holders at SXSW. First, there was a secret, (I knew about it Tuesday), then not-so-secret Beastie Boys show at Stubb's on Thursday night at 7:15pm. The rumor was that it was supposed to be badges only, but when I got there they let about 100 lucky people with wristbands in. One guy came running in and was freaking out so much that he nearly knocked me over. But then we became buddies. That's just kind of how it goes around here. I was in a really bad mood up to that point. The Beastie Boys, even with the rough spots, was the best thing I'd seen yet. I was giddily dancing and taking endless photos, mini-videos, and haphazardly leaving voicemails to people, including my best friend from high school who I know is the only person in the world who totally gets why the Beasties were so important to me growing up. It was a hard act to follow.

The second "secret" that buzzed about was the appearance of The Flaming Lips at the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show. Whenever you see "Special Guest" on an empty slot in the schedule, you can pretty much figure it's going to be someone totally awesome. The show was at Eternal on 6th Street, Aubry and Craig guesstimate the capacity at 600-700. Craig and Aubry even met Alec Ounsworth, the lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and there's a great picture too.

Perry Farrell apparently showed up somewhere and sang "Mountain Song" solo acoustic, which is sparking the next rumor that Jane's Addiction is supposed to play at some point too. No one has confirmed sightings of the rest of the band though.

Morrissey and Neil Young were the big draws at the Convention Center today.
People waited for 3.5 hours to get a good seat for the rare Neil Young interview. Morrissey wasn't quite as long of a wait. Our friend from New York, Matt Rocker, took a couple of great shots of Young getting interviewed outside of a hotel.

I was able to fit quite a few shows in and really didn't have the urge to go to any of the day parties. A fun stop in the middle of all the debauchery was the annual Minnesota Happy Hour at the Intercontinental Hotel. All sorts of people showed up and it was a nice intimate crowd. Always nice to see familiar faces and compare notes as to how the festival is going.

Mark Mallman put on a great show, of course. This time it was right where all the action was, and he was on the same bill as Eagles of Death Metal. Some of the acts I caught were Mates of State, Aqueduct, Rocky Votolato and Dresden Dolls. More to come tomorrow!!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Kate Galloway's report from Day #1 of SXSW

Here's the first of Kate (Vamp Music Source) Galloway's reports from the SXSW festival in Austin. Stay tuned for more. (Photos will be gathered here.)

Stringer Crew
Miles Shrewsbery (drummer for Dave Stringer), Aubry Walch, Kate Galloway and Dave Stringer

"This is Vamp Music Source's third year attending as a company, and we've added one more agent to the staff which brings us to four (Kate Galloway, Craig Grossman, Charles Gehr and Aubry Walch). The 20th Annual SXSW Music Conference started like most all of them do for me. Exhausting, but exciting. We drove the 20 hours to get here, but were wise to leave early Tuesday morning so we could stay a night in Dallas before making the final leg of the trip to Austin. It was worth it.

Upon arriving to our digs, (courtesy of Matthew Odam, Editor of The Austinist, we quickly readied ourselves physically and mentally to go to the convention center for check in. Last year was a disaster. I heard it was because of some computer mishap, but all I know is that I had to wait in line for over 2 hours. It was horrible. Not sure what they did this year, but I was in and out with virtually no wait. Kudos to them for getting that figured out. This year, they offered the option to upload your photo prior to your arrival, so you wouldn't have to get your photo done there. I ended up forgetting to to that, and was dreading the line I'd have to get it to have the photo done. But, to my surprise, the woman at the check in said they had my picture. What? I was so confused. Then she said, "Oh, it's your photo from last year." Damn, those crafty bastards. The technology upgrades are certainly a plus. But, are they turning into the CIA?

Off to the panels... went to a pretty good booking and touring panel first, then a couple hours later went to see the Beastie Boys interview. It was pretty cool, they were really funny. Seemed a bit tired, like the rest of us. But it's obviously a great opportunity to get to see these people speak in person (Kris Kristopherson, Neil Young, The Pretenders, et al). Of course, the panels are just one part of the perks for us badge holders... the best part is the music!

Aubry and I headed off to an unofficial (and maybe illegal too) party hosted by the Austinist behind a bar called Red 6. We caught one band called Asobi Seksu from New York. They were a good indie rock band, with a bit of synth pop mixed in. I'm pretty sure the lead singer was singing in Japanese. I can't say for sure since a makeshift party held out on a back patio is bound to have sound issues. Vocals being the biggest one.

As 8pm (official start time of the music showcases) crept near, we made our way to Redrum to see a band called New London Fire (Eyeball Records). Aubry was really into them, and I thought they were good, but just a bit too clean for my taste. I prefer things a little dirty. Great vibe though, 6 people on stage at once is pretty fun. I had to run out though to catch Aberdeen City from Boston for their 8:30pm slot as part of the ASCAP showcase. I'd heard these guys about 2 years ago and have slowly seen them get picked up by the radar, which is great because their music is quite amazing. Always good to see a band pull it off live too.

Next, I walked down the street to catch one of my all-time favorites, David Mead. I remember seeing him 3 or 4 years ago with 20 other people at the 400 bar. He used to be signed to RCA and has a much bigger following in the UK than here. Not only is he an amazing pop singer/songwriter, but he couldn't be a nicer guy. I ran into my friends Lou and Rain who host house concerts at their place in New Jersey and was so happy to hear they were going to have him in a couple weeks. I wish I knew more about people that might be hosting house concerts around the Twin Cities. It would be a blast to see someone like David Mead in a setting like that.

At 9:15pm I rolled in to see Dan Israel & the Cultivators with Randy Casey on electric guitar. It's always so fun to see Dan here. There were plenty of Minneapolis folks in the house to lend support. Funny, didn't see Raihala! But I see he got some photos of the show... sneaky Ross.

Shockingly, I had not much to do at 10pm, so I followed Craig and Aubry to go see Oranger... but we were aurally seduced while walking past Stubb's to go in and see the New Pornographers. Normally, I steer clear of the "big" shows, but I couldn't help myself. They were playing my favorite song!! The line was pretty obnoxious. I'd have to guess that the people with wristbands (about 100 or them) were waiting for over an hour, only to be told that the place was at capacity. The badge line was close to one of the longest I'd been in, but it only took about 20 minutes to finally get in. I was happy. My husband was happy I went too. He thought I was crazy that I wasn't even considering seeing Belle & Sebastian at first. I saw about three songs but had to go to get to the next place. I probably would've stayed longer had it not been for the obnoxiously drunk Irish and British people I seemed to find myself standing next to - two different groups in two different spots. Nothing kills a show better than annoying people.

At 11:30pm I had to haul ass to get over to see one of Vamp's bands, Moth. I was half-way there when I got a text message that another one of our clients, Dave Stringer, was there and looking for us. Stopped at Bourbon Rocks and met with him and brought him around for the rest of our adventures, even though he didn't have a badge or wristband. There are ways to get around those things at SXSW if you're crafty. Moth rocked our faces off for a bit, ran into Sean Hoffman, Kat Hixon and Ryan Smith at that show. But we had to GO!! Willie Wisely was playing with none other than Andy Dick!! Walked at least 10 blocks only to find out Andy Dick decided to cancel. The good news was that the venue was right next to Katz's deli and we were hungry. Finally rolled into be about 3:30am.

That was pretty much the night! There were fun and funny things that happened at every spot, wish I had the time to get into them. I did find out about a secret show that I'll write about tomorrow! And the Minneapolis meet and greet is this afternoon so I'm sure I'll have stories from that too."

Monday, March 13, 2006

HowWasTheSnow? Any show cancellations?

The Blind Boys of Alabama show, scheduled for tonight (3/13/06) at the Guthrie, has been cancelled after the band was unable to make the journey from Cincinnati to Minneapolis due to the inclement weather.

If you have word on any other cancellations, please share them in the comments or in this forum thread.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

More Tour Dates: Eclectone Records announces Spring Tour

Below are the dates for the Eclectone spring tour with Martin Devaney, Charlie Parr, and Big Ditch Road.

March 18th
pre-tour show
Big Ditch Road
Martin Devaney
Bob McCreedy
The Rox--St. Cloud, MN

Mar 23 2006 8:00P
Green Lantern Winona, MN
Mar 24 2006 8:00P
Dukum Inn Kirksville, MO
Mar 25 2006 8:00P
Davey's Uptown Kansas City, MO
Mar 26 2006 8:00P
The Show Room Oklahoma City, OK
Mar 27 2006 8:00P
The Show Room Oklahoma City, OK
Mar 28 2006 8:00P
Hole In the Wall Austin, TX
Mar 29 2006 8:00P
Room 710 Austin, TX
Mar 30 2006 8:00P
Dan's Silver Leaf Lounge Denton, TX
Mar 31 2006 8:00P
Replay Lounge Lawrence, KS
Apr 1 2006 8:00P
Off Broadway St. Louis, MO
Apr 2 2006 8:00P
The Subterannean Chicago, IL

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tapes 'n Tapes "No Laziness"

No Laziness indeed! (I know Pitchfork already put this on their front page. But I myself was lazy and they beat me to it.)

Tapes 'n Tapes are proud to announce their "No Laziness in the '06 Tour"

3/10/06 Gorilla vs Bear Showcase The Cavern, Dallas, TX #$
3/13/06 Blacklion, San Antonio, TX #%
3/14/06 Superhappyfunland, Houston, TX ^
3/15/06 SXSW Levis/Fader Party, Levis/Fader Trading Post
3/15/06 SXSW Live on KEXP, Austin City Limits Stage
3/15/06 SXSW Blender/VH1 Party, Guerrero Produce Warehouse
3/16/06 SXSW Schubas Roundup, Yard Dog Art Gallery
3/16/06 SXSW Team Clermont/Echo Party, Red 7
3/17/06 SXSW Spaceland/Echo Party, Antone's
3/17/06 SXSW Showcase, Latitude 30
3/18/06 SXSW NY2LON, The Velvet Spade
3/21/06 AlterKnit Lounge, Los Angeles, CA *
3/22/06 Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA &
3/23/06 Cafe du Nord, San Francisco, CA &
3/24/06 Dante's, Portland, OR @
3/25/06 Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA @

# with Birdmonster
$ with Seventeen Evergreen and Bill from Sound Team
% with Dimes
^ with Dr Dog, Hudson Bell and The New Flesh
* with Cold War Kids
& with Blackbud
@ with The Double and Mazarin

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Hopefuls to tour - go see 'em

Dear out of town readers. Check the schedule below. The Hopefuls (formerly, the Olympic Hopefuls), one of the Twin Cities best bands, may be headed your way. I recommend them fully, without reservation.

Make a note in the comments if you can catch one of these shows.

Feb 23, @ The Cave, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Feb 25, @ Mad Planet, Milwaukee, WI
Feb 26, @ Wilbert's, Cleveland, OH
Feb 27, @ Trolley Stop, Taylor, MI
Feb 28, @ Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
Mar 1, @ Club Metronome, Burlington, VT
Mar 2 @ Harper's Ferry, Allston, MA
Mar 3 @ The Manhattan Room, Philadelphia, PA
Mar 4 @ Staccato, Washington, DC
Mar 5 @ Galapagos Art Space (Back Room),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Mar 6 @ Pianos, NY, NY
Mar 7 @ Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 8 @ Cedars Lounge, Youngstown, OH
Mar 9 @ Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Mar 10 @ Alchemize, Cincinnati, OH
Mar 11 @ The Double Door, Chicago, IL (With Ben

20 Below Zero Music

Three Skulls and a Megaphone (at the 331 Club)
Three Skulls and a Megaphone at the 331 Club

Last night was cold. I went out anyway.

The Turf Club was packed for a quadruple bill that featured performances by jazzy hip hop artists Abzorbr, Face Candy (featuring Eydea) and These Modern Socks. The crowd was an interesting mix of hip hop and indie rock fans.

The 331 Club had a mid-sized crowd for Lazy Ike and the Daredevils, and a last minute addition to the bill, The 357 String Band.

Thunder in the Valley at the Hexagon
Thunder in the Valley at the Hexagon

Dan Israel was already done playing at Stasiu's when I showed up at 1 a.m. Just Dave Russ packing up the drums.

That Dave Russ. What a trooper. Not 30 minutes later I saw him again at the Hexagon where Thunder in the Valley started a set at 1:30 and played for an intense and rewarding 30 minutes.

Here are more pictures.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Moondog Valentine

"Moondog Valentine"

There was this ring
around my moon
on St. Valentine's Eve;
a moondog I would have called it
when I was younger
and knew more.

Now moondog in the sky
was real faint
and whispy like,
made from cloudstuff,
and I had to stare real hard
just to see him at all.

So I just stood and stood there
and all the people who was walkin' past
thought I was strange or somethin'.

And I wondered if you seen him too--
big beautiful moondog--
and I wondered if you seen me
reflected in the sky
'cause I was there.

But maybe you never looked up.

And maybe there weren't even a moon
where you was
that night.

by David de Young
February 14th, 1984

Friday, February 10, 2006

I do a cameo spoken word set at Future Lisa's Anti-Valentines Day show tonight at the Terminal

If you'd told me a few years ago, that in 2006 I'd be appearing on a bill with a band called "Lady Hard-On," I wouldn't have believed you. But now that Andrea Myers has taken on many of HowWasTheShow's editorial responsibilities, I've had an eensy-weensy bit more time to devote to side creative projects. (My 2006 musical dream is to appear on stage as a trombone player with Twin Cities favorites Tapes 'N Tapes.)

While waiting for my brass debut, I'm happy to satisfy myself with taking part in Future Lisa's Fifth Annual Anti-Valentine's Day Show at the Terminal Bar where I will make a brief (probably five minute) cameo appearance to recite some original poetry. (Be not afraid: it's not sappy stuff -- this is an ANTI-Valentine's Day show, remember? -- and my poems tend to end with snide punchlines, not flowery platitudes.)

My setlist will include "Moondog Valentine," "A Flash of Insight," "Old Flame" and "The Last Words We Ever Said To Each Other."

Also on tonight's bill at the two stage event will be:

Venus of All The Pretty Horses (solo)
Future Lisa
Lady Hard-On
Trailer Park Queen
Thosquanta, and
Lynette Reini-Grandell (Venus's wife, who will also be doing spoken word.)
It's $5 at the door and starts at 9PM.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

January Dodgeball results: HWTS staff accounts for 30% of top ten Twin Cities users

Minneapolis (in fifth place) still lags behind Portland (in fourth) and Seattle (in third) in the national Dodgeball tournament, but HowWasTheShow and friends continue to aid our dear Twin Cities in the battle. (And it's good to be kicking Chicago's ass in something. They placed tenth.)

In January, I came in at Number 3 locally with a scant 20 check-ins, while HWTS's Andrea Myers and Zosia Blue closed out the month at Number's 5 and 8.

I'm seriously thinking trying to recruit the Twin Cities Number 1 Dodgeball user (Aaron L.) and our friend Dave (who came in at Number 7 last month) to the HWTS staff to see if we can garner a 50% share of DBALL for February, 2006! Now that would be something to write home to Mom about.

Anyway, here are the top five venues in the Twin Cities as determined by us, i.e. as determined where we go. (It's so clicky it's obscene! I just love it.) And congratulations to the institutions to which we give our hard earned pay in exchange for libations.

1. Triple Rock Social Club
2. Turf Club
3. First Avenue and 7th Street Entry
4. Varsity Theater & Cafe des Artistes
5. Fineline Music Cafe

National Dodgeball championship "scores" for January, 2006
(based on number of check-ins, out of 22 cities)

1. New York
2. San Francisco (21%)
3. Seattle (12%)
4. Portland (6%)
5. Minneapolis (5%)
6. Los Angeles (4%)
7. Boston (3%)
8. Austin (3%)
9. San Diego (2%)
10. Chicago (<1%)

England Swings V tonight

HowWasTheShow considers England Swings a required event, and has been covering it religiously since 2004.

This year, I get to be the photographer for a change! (Someone asked me recently if I'd gotten a demotion as I seem to be taking more photos for HowWasTheShow than I've been writing reviews. No, I'm still in charge, but the best things about being the boss is I get to do whatever job I want! And lately I've been enjoying taking pictures.)

Here is your dossier for tonight and Raven's press release:

Wednesday, Feb. 8th, First Avenue/7th st. Entry 8:00 pm $5 in advance/$7 at the door
Fellow Anglophiles and UK enthusiast's,

There may not be a 'Tube', Roadster Double Decker, or 'proper' Black Taxi, but nonetheless, find a way to the legendary First Avenue on the above date, for a night of 'Swinging' London style music, mirth & mayhem. Join sponsor's 89.3 The Current, Brit's Pub, Waiter's at your service, Total Music Systems and Event Organizer Raven along with the following acts: Heavy Sleeper, Patrick Tanner & the Faraway Men, The Flamin' Ohs, The Mighty Mofo's, The Wag, The New Floor Shakers, Revolver Modele, Fab Tab & the Teds (featuring Katy Vernon), The Melismatics, The Altered Beasts (featuring members of Thunder in the Valley & the God Damn Doo Wop Band), The Deaths and The Screens, for a 'Smashing Time' which includes a winner-take-all $1 raffle (valued around $300), to be held 'midnight-ish'.

Friday, February 03, 2006

No Voltage in 2006

No doubt you've heard whisperings that there will be no Voltage: Fashion Amplified in 2006. Here is a preview of the press release that will be sent out in the coming days.

For Immediate Release
February 3rd, 2006

Contact: Anna Lee --

Anna Lee of Voltage: Fashion Amplified has the following announcement:

There will be no Voltage: Fashion Amplified in 2006.

A note from Ms. Lee.

On behalf of the Voltage: Fashion Amplified committee, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in Voltage these past two years. I would like to thank those who have contributed time and resources to putting on these shows, and thank the sponsors and organizations who demonstrated their commitment to the community, especially, but not limited to First Avenue, Youth in Music, Noiseland Industries, Vision Models, Olive and Moxie. It's been inspiring to create an event like this and to watch it evolve.

Recently, I have come to the difficult decision not to produce a show in 2006.

In many ways, Voltage has become larger than the sum of its parts. It brings together so many elements of the local scene and so many talented people. Many outside the committee do not realize it takes six months to plan and just as long to recover. Putting on this show requires tremendous time commitments from those involved. I have built friendships and working relationships with the committee and have been inspired by them.

This is a thriving time in Minnesota fashion and music. It is our hope that with Voltage on the back burner for one year, other events will bubble up to take center stage this spring. Then Voltage will be back in 2007 with renewed energy and focus. Later this year look for announcements about Voltage '07.

Thank you.
Anna Lee


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Roskilde Festival lineup starts to shape up

Minneapolis is still understandably buzzing about the SXSW lineup and which locals will be there, and who from the music biz will be attending. And for the 4th straight year as a music commentator, I'll be staying here in Minneapolis to man the HowWasTheShow controls and disseminate information from various musicians and attendees who will be on site, posting links to all the blogs covering the festival, and doing armchair commentary.

Last year's SXSW festival marked the busiest few days of the year for the HWTS blog where Kate Galloway and others shared stories from the Austin festival.

Watch for more details on our SXSW coverage as the event approaches.

In other festival news, the first three acts to announce appearances at Denmark's Roskilde Festival (June 29th-July 2nd) are Franz Ferdinand, Tool, and Kanye West. Time to start saving my pennies! For the 4th year in a row I hope to be there to bask in the Danish sun. Maybe I'll even run in the naked race this year. Anyone else gonna make it to this one?

Friday, January 20, 2006

E.L.Yes! "Brew and View" (featuring Xanadu and E.L.No) at the Fine Line tonight

Tonight a new event "lifts off" at The Fine Line Music Cafe.

And now here's Dave Campbell with an intersteller news bulletin:

It is called "Brew & View", as in drink beer and watch a movie -- a deadly combination that is long overdue. Tonight, the Fine Line will be screening the 1980 musical fantasy Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. Some consider it the "Moulin Rouge" of the 80's. The sound track is co-written by the one and only Jeff Lynne and some other dude. And that my friends, is where we come in...

Jeff Ham, Peter Jelsma, Ben Perlstein (all from Manplanet, The Wholesome People), Cory Eischen (Divorcee), David J. Russ (too many bands to mention in the small space that I have available for mentioning the bands that David has played in), and myself formed a band to pay tribute to the amazing music of Jeff Lynne and The Electric Light Orchestra. After the 9:30 screening of Xanadu, we'll take to the Fine Line stage and recreate the magic of a live E.L.O. performance - minus that giant, light up spaceship that they had. And the minus the sweet 70's 3 piece suits that they used to rock. Also, we don't actually have two or three people with string instruments running around like escaped patients from a mental institution. We roll strictly digital. Double keyboards and the iPod are our "orchestra."
Tomorrow night (Saturday, January 21st): JoAnna James and band makes their first ever television appearance. "It's not quite Conan," James says, "but it is local cable!" Tune into Channel 6 in the Metro; Search Mode TV; 9pm central. If you miss it Saturday, it's also on 1/29, 1/26, 1/28, 2/2 and 2/4.

Other news: The Deaths are the latest Twin Cities music act to be accepted to play SXSW. Other local bands who will be included in the SXSW 2006 lineup as Ross reported last week include Dosh, Dan Israel, The Magnolias, Mark Mallman, Metallagher, Tim O'Reagan, The Plastic Constellations and Luke Zimmerman.

Low-fi pop band Luke's Angels has added Nicole Kalodrich on vocals and Cody Horton on bass (you'll recognize both names from an earlier lineup of Faux Jean). Catch their first gig together with the new lineup at the Turf Club in February.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm getting more and more aggregated

I read an amusing threat (oops, meant thread - Freudian typo) last week on MnSpeak about a blogger who didn't want people reading him. He got so mad he, he, changed his link to keep them from aggregating his posts! (And left a nasty "so there!" type message at his old blog location.)

Most bloggers, however, like it when people read the things they post on the internet, and links and aggregation are a huge boost to their business.

In my referral logs today, I found an incoming link from, a news aggregation service from that looks like it's interested in nothing less than aggregating the entire world. It's slogan: "News on 300,000 topics from Autos to your zip code."

They co-opted my story from yesterday about this week's miscellaneous music events in Minneapolis here. (I'm guessing this article will be co-opted in the same way.) What's a little odd is that if you comment on the Topix post, it ends up attached to their version of my story and doesn't complete the feedback loop into my own blog.

To check on how well Topix is actually covering the world, I glanced at the page set-up by to relay news about my old small hometown and it appears to be doing a pretty good job. Instantly, and automatically it's likely the best news page in Monmouth, Illinois. And the people who run Topix have likely never even heard of it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

This week's incidental music notes

Rift Magazine has started a weekly online newsletter. Issue #10 of the print monthly featuring "THE SCENE - Music, Clubs, Radio, Websites and Record Stores" is on stands now.

Tapes 'N Tapes played Schuba's in Chicago Friday night. They also got a nice write up in the Chicago Reader promoting their show.

I got the chance to hear some rough mixes of Jessy Greene's upcoming album this past week. Great stuff that's gonna rok yer sox.

Don't forget the Minnesota Music Academy meeting meeting Tuesday night in the basement of the Turf Club. Post-meeting music upstairs features Big Ditch Road, Luke Zimmerman, Stockcar Named Desire and Jonathan Rundman. Music starts at 9pm, and there's a $5 cover for non-MMA members. More information here.

On Wednesday, January 18th, a mini documentary on the band Gee as in Jesus will be shown at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Admission is free.

Classically-influenced New Age group Space Station Alpha release their new CD Thursday at the Varsity. Check out some of their laid-back tunes here.

On Friday, January 20th, the "Graphic Noise: Rock Posters at 1,000 Decibels" exhibit has its opening party at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This is a traveling poster show of about 500 rock posters from around the country and is featuring the Post No Bills sideshow featuring many local postermakers. DJ Lori Barbero will be spinning records by bands featured on the posters from 6-8pm. The Deaths play at 8pm, and STNNNG is on at 9pm. It's free and is an all-ages event.