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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.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Live at Gluek's with Mary Lucia

Watching live radio can be about as much fun as watching paint dry, but we did have a good time down at Gluek's tonight.

I arrived after DJ Jake Rudh had left, but I did get the chance to talk to Marc Perlman, and to meet PiPress theater critic Dominic Papatola (pictured at left) and give him a copy of my father's book, London Theatre Walks. (I had an extra copy previously listed on, but decided to pull it and give it to someone I thought might enjoy it. It just seemed like the thing to do.)

Jessy Greene was on hand "in the audience" Thursday night, Lindsay Thomas, and an an old friend of mine I hadn't seen in years showed up because he'd read about it in the paper. And Nathan from Murzik came down to show his support.

In the bar, the interviews didn't come over nearly as well as the music unless you were sitting near the front, which is where I went to listen to Dominic. His discussion with Mary Lucia about the new theater production about Jim Jones and his deadly 1978 Kool-Aid party was really interesting.

As far as my interview with Mary went, from where I was sitting, it was an absolute joy. As soon as the mic went off all I had to say to her was, "That was an eff'n amazing interview." I had practically almost forgotten we were on the radio. The questions were fun, unexpected, and had me talking about things I'd either never talked about before or hadn't discussed with anyone in a long, long time, which resulted in my actually being interested in what I had to say (for a change.) It was one of the most enjoyable 15 minute conversations I've had on or off the radio in some time.

All I have to say is, if the Current calls and asks you to do an interview with Mary Lucia, do it!

I'm hoping podcasts of all four interviews will be available on the Current's website soon. I'll be sure to link into them when they're available.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Radio Radio w/ Marc Perlman, David de Young, DJ Jake Rudh and more

Photo of Mary Lucia

If you didn't get enough of me on local radio Sunday night, you have another chance Thursday, January 12th when I'll be a guest and interviewee during Mary Lucia's 89.3 "The Current" broadcast from Gluek's Bar and Restaurant (16 North 6th Street, Minneapolis.) Mary's airshift is every weekday from 3 and 7 PM. This is the first in what is hoped to be a series of Current live broadcasts from the downtown bar and music venue.

I've been a fan of Mary's musical contributions to this town since her days at Rev 105 which seems like forever ago now. More recently I've followed her Rebel Rebel: "Rock For Pussy" Bowie tribute and benefit shows at First Avenue in both 2004 and 2005.

Thursday afternoon, Mary will also be talking with my pal DJ Jake Rudh, and musician Marc Perlman (who, incidentally was one of the first people I became acquainted with when I moved to The Twin Cities in 1988), as well as theater critic Dominic Papatola, whom I'm looking forward to meeting.

Normally when promoting a radio program, I'd say "tune in!" but since this one's taking place in a cosy downtown bar where the drinks will definitely be flowing, I'm going to suggest that if you can, just come on down and enjoy Happy Hour with Mary as your DJ. That can only be a good thing.

Here's the tentative interview schedule:

  • 3:50 DJ Jake Rudh
  • 4:50 Musician Marc Perlman
  • 5:50 David de Young (i.e. me)
  • 6:30 Theater critic Dominic Papatola
I hope to see you there.

Monday, January 09, 2006

How Was The Radio Homegrown Critic's Picks Show?

Last night was the annual Homegrown Critic's Picks Show. Despite its move to Drive 105 from KQRS last year, it still takes place in the same building as both stations are ABC Radio/Disney vassals. I'll venture to say it was even more fun than last year's show, even though the knife fight Ross Raihala promised didn't materialize and the KQ folks made my "Welcome" sign and it said "Dennis de Young, How Was The Show."

Here's a photo of the motley crew in attendence this year.

Image hosted by

Left to right, that's Steve McPherson of Pulse Twin Cities, Mei Young of Drive 105, Chris Bahn of the Onion AV Club, Lindsey Thomas of City Pages, Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press, Chronic of Drive 105 (kneeling), me (red jacket and scarf), Chris Riemenschneider of The Star Tribune, Rich Horton of Rift Magazine, Dave Campbell (black cap) of Homegrown, and Paul Bringartner of Homegrown.

And here's what the critic's selected as their "picks" to represent part of what happened in local music in 2005:

Podcasts of the interviews with each of the critics should be available on the Homegrown site soon. Subscribe using iTunes to be notified. [Added 1/13/06, here's the link to the podcast.]

And you won't get rid of these folks off Homegrown so easily. Each of us recorded "drops" while at the station that you'll be hearing throughout the year, you know, stuff like "This is David de Young from, and I listen to Homegrown to cure my hangovers" etc.

There's some more chatter about the program in a post over in the Music Media forum.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Brother and Sister's final show is Saturday, January 7th ... at 9AM

Brother & Sister were easily the most controversial act of the evening
Brother, of Brother and Sister at First Avenue in a photo I took at Picked to Click"

I'd love to cover Brother and Sister's final show Saturday, but I don't have all day. Literally, that's how long the extravanganza that is to be Brother and Sister's findal send-off will take.

"Imagine a combination of our rescue search show, and rock n' roll summer camp," the band said in a press release. The art-punk duo (and that doesn't even come close to describing them) will plant along the way to help people get from stop to stop. If you last for the whole ride, you will see performances from not only Brother and Sister, but also Faggot, Haunted House, Wood Cat and more.

This all ages show is $15, and your ticket the band says that "includes school bus transportation to remote site, and a commemorative garment."

I can't tell you where it's all going to take place, because they're not saying. You'll have to go to and "sign up" to even find out. The band promises an email sometime before the event with your first clue.

And you didn't misread, it all starts at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. Saturday in Minneapolis and runs until 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. The band notes that in addition to the school bus that comes with your ticket price, city busses will be used during part of the event, so participants are advised to bring a couple bucks cash (as well as a sack lunch.)

Now that, my friends, is a show invitation.

Buy tickets here:

Dead Next Door release video for "27"

I'm a supporter of "local" music, whatever "local" happens to mean at the time in relative terms. When I was in London this past summer I caught the London-based rock band Dead Next Door at The Dublin Castle in Camden Town. The night was one of the highlights of my trip, the band and I hit it off, and I wrote a review, in which I said, "the guitars are known to ring sweetly on occasion . . . but the songs never get derailed by sentiment."

Dead Next Door has released a terrifically fun video for their song "27" on their website this week. (Watch it.) I do recommend you check it out. The band's Debut EP Time To Fight will be released on January 13th in the U.K.

This band is on my dream list for my annual birthday show, which will take place in May or June this year. If we can get these Londoners five or six gigs in the U.S. (say Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, etc.) maybe I can convince them to swing on by and join the festivities. If you like it, join them on MySpace and let them know you saw this link.

Meet you at the Pop Machine. Or not.

You may have noticed the grey square in the ads just to the right of this entry that says "Pop Machine" and has a question and a phone number on it. One of the new sponsors of the MnSpeak ad network (of which HowWasTheShow is a member) debuted it just the other day. If you call the number and answer to the question, it becomes playable back from inside the ad.

I checked it out yesterday and it was fun for about 10 seconds. Looks like a tool that is ripe with spam capabilities, but who knows.

Read MnSpeak's discussion of the new to here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Strokes is album of the month at Radio Indie Pop

Love or hate The Strokes, you can't go wrong with a free listen.

is offering a free listen to the full length The Strokes album, First Impressions of Earth, released just yesterday. (All you have to do is register for the site.)

I broke down and signed up for Rhapsody last night and listened to the disc there. It was surprisingly more than just okay, though at times it comes off like a Lou Reed tribute album. The songs are catchy and tense, and I may yet decide it's their best effort yet.

Catching up on last year's discs, I started soaking in the strains of Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust. Just a couple listens to the title track and you'll start to see why that album ranked so high on people's lists last year. When the Boss sings, "Fear is a dangerous thing," I have a few ideas about what he might be referring to. This might be one of Springsteen's moodiest offerings in a while.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year - Enhancements to the site underway for 2006.

As HowWasTheShow is still a Mom and Pop operation, we're not likely to wow you with major overnight overhauls, but here are a couple of enhancements we're working on so far for 2006.

  • First and foremost, a people update: Andrea Myers has graciously accepted the position of Assistant Editor, and Zosia Blue has taken over as Photo of the Week editor. I feel lucky and grateful to have these two talented women in the "inner circle."
  • As of the first of the year, we've implemented a database-driven Recommended Shows Calendar. There are still some tweaks to go (allow yourself to be re-directed and don't bookmark the destination yet because it may move) but each of our writers can now contributing show recommendations on-the-fly, so expect to see a more extensive and diverse selection of shows posted, and more frequent updates.
  • I finally implemented the Google Search! It's only on the front page so far, and on some of the most recent articles, but it's there at long last. The old FusionBot search tool will disappear for good when I run the 2006 template update on the entire site sometime this week. One nice feature of the new search is it gives you the option of searching either this blog or the main site.
  • A phpBB HowWasTheShow discussion board is also in the works where fans can contribute their own live reviews and miscellaneous thoughts about music and whatever. Want to jump right in and start yakking before the official rollout (and link from the main site)? Share your thoughts here.
  • It's not been promoted much, but there is a mini Twin Cities Music Media Aggregator here. So far it's only pulling the last 4 articles from Ross Raihala's blog, and the major music articles from the Pioneer Press, City Pages and Star Tribune. But it is useful for a quick glance, and if you are a local music fan, you really need to be reading those four sources completely every week even if you don't read anything else. If you want to meet the king of the aggregators, it's the one at
Happy New Year to all, and thank you for the support and kindness you've shown by supporting howwastheshow in recent years as we share the things we're passionate about with you.