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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