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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HowWasTheShow and Partner to Webcast 2009 Mad Ripple Hootenannys



HowWasTheShow and Partner to Webcast 2009 Mad Ripple Hootenannys


MINNEAPOLIS, MN – December 30th, 2008 -  Jim Walsh kicks off the 2009 Hoot season with the Mad Ripple Thursday Night Hootenanny beginning on Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at The Beat Coffeehouse.  The Beat is a welcoming and roomy establishment on 28th Street in Uptown just off Hennepin Avenue. (Just steps away from Kinhdo.) and have partnered to bring you live webcasts of each Hoot and will also make audio podcasts available for later listening. (To tune in and find past archives, go to and select “Live” from the menu, or go directly to the live webcast page here.)


The January 1st Hootenanny will feature The Mad Ripple, Venus DeMars, Brianna Lane, Jason Shannon, Suzanne Vallie and more.


Doors at 6:00 p.m.

Music from 6:30 to about 9:30.

FREE (pass-the-hat, all money goes to the musicians)


The Beat Coffeehouse is at 1414 W 28th St. (Hennepin and 28th)

612-710-3992 or


Ample street parking is available as well as additional parking behind the building.



The Mad Ripple

Venus de Mars

Jason Shannon

Brianna Lane

Suzanne Vallie


and more…



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rock in the New Year - Live music options for New Year's Eve

Wednesday (NYE) is amateur night.  On the outside chance that the drunk people who opt for live music on New Year's Eve might be a little more fun to hang out with than the drunk people who don't, here's a roundup of what bands are playing where, plus a few miscellaneous club parties.

As has been the case the past couple years, my pick of the batch is Mark Mallman at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, where you just can't go wrong.  (Last year he played his piano with a motorized scooter, which had never been done by anyone....ever before.)

Please leave additional suggestions and corrections to bands, times, prices in the comments.  Also, with the recession in full effect, I've noted that many of the big clubs are offering deep discounts now on their admission fees.  Might be worth calling and asking for a deal if you go the party route.  Most of the live music prices, however, are pretty reasonable.  And despite the recession, expect the music venues to be packed and some shows to sell out.

This list is in alphabetical order by venue.

331 Club

A Night in the Box w/ The Brass Kings

9 p.m. $0

400 Bar

The Magnolias w/Tim Casey and the Martyrs and High on Stress

9 p.m., 21+, $5 advance, $8 door

7th Street Entry

Eyedea & Abilities

9 p.m., 18+, $15/15

Bedlam Theater

Eve of the New Year Masquerade Ball, with: Dreamland Faces, Carpscale Orchestra, Brass Messengers, DJ Asylum Soundsystem

4 p.m., $7/10

Big V’s

MC/VL, Unicorn Basement, Haunted House and Beatrix Jar.

9 p.m., $5

Clubhouse Jaeger

NYE edition of Transmission with DJ Jake Rudh featuring new wave, '80s, electro, and punk. Complimentary hors d'ouevres and champagne toast at Midnight.



Chuck Love, The New Congress, Ben Michaels, DJ D.Mil, Jiz Tha Goods, Jevne, Timmay and featuring Vox Medusa Dancers, Aerialist Jim Domineck, Infiammati Fire Troop, Hula Hooper Jessica Bessette, Ill Chemsitry Beat Boxers, The Warriors and Sub City Rockers B-Boy Crews, in addition to the TRVSDJAM set that will be streamed live.

Check price

Fine Line Music Café

Hooker’s & Blow w/ The Alarmists

8 p.m. $50/60

First Avenue

New Year’s Eve – A Party we can believe in. With SOVIETPANDA, MIKE THE 2600 KING, DJ SMITTY, and ROY FREEDOM

8 p.m. $18+ $10/15


Dance Band, Best Friends Forever, Fort Wilson Riot, and Nyteowl.

$5 w/ one free drink

Landmark Center (St. Paul)

Vic Volare

Doors 8, Music 8:30, $40

Lee’s Liquor Lounge

Belfast Cowboys

9 p.m., $8 (to 1 a.m. only)

Barfly (loft) “The Spirit of ‘09” (Sponsored by Vita.m)

DJs Hercules & Love Affair, Le Castle Vania, Klever, and a performance by local electro rockers Solid Gold.

8 p.m. Cost: Advance $30 ($45 Door) VIP $70 ($80 Door)

Myth (Maplewood)

“Black & White NYE Ball”

8 p.m., $25/30

Nomad (Free!)

This free party will feature live music from Military Special and The Invincible Kids, a disco dance party, meat raffle, and a French champagne toast at Midnight.

9 p.m., 21+, $0

Turf Club

Local bands covering classic rock bands. Vampire Hands (as the Rolling Stones), Daughters of the Sun (as Led Zepplin), and STNNNG (As the John Spencer Blues Explosion), DJ Winship plays between sets.

9 p.m., 21+, $5

Varsity Theater

Mark Mallman, E.L.nO. & Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles + special guests

8 p.m. $12

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Best Local Albums, Songs, Live Acts and more of 2008 - a preview of my Twin Cities Critics Tally votes

About a week ago now, I turned in my votes for the annual Twin Cities Critics Tally to the Star Tribune. Results will be published within the week along with the individual votes by local critics, bloggers, writers, what have you...

Below is a list of my answers to the questions as posed by Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune:

Twin Cities Critics Tally 2008 answers from David de Young, founder


Best local albums of 2008


(Above: My pick #1, the cover of Solid Gold's fantastic 2008 independent release, Bodies of Water.)

  1. Solid Gold – Bodies of Water
  2. Ben Weaver – The Ax in the Oak
  3. Jeremy Messersmith – The Silver City
  4. Haley Bonar – Big Star
  5. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts
  6. Chris Koza – The Dark, Delirious Morning
  7. Gary Louris – Vagabonds
  8. Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles – Orange and Rattlesnakes
  9. Heiruspecs – Heiruspecs
  10. Aviette – The Way We Met


Top 5 local songs of 2008


Call this unranked if you like, or top 5 with an honorable mention for #6.

(Above:  The New Standards perform my pick #2, "Androgynous" in the Cities 97 Studios.)

  1. Get Over It”Solid Gold
  2. “Androgynous” – The New Standards
  3. “Dark, Delirious Morning” – Chris Koza
  4. Chicks on Bikes” - City on the Make
  5. “Everyone Here is a Cloud” – Cloud Cult
  6. “Bike Ride on 35W” – St. Dominic’s Trio


Top 5 live acts of 2008

(Above: My pick #3, The Haves Have It performing "Pie" in February at the Playwrights' Center.)

  1. The New Standards
  2. Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles
  3. The Haves Have It
  4. Solid Gold
  5. The Tisdales


No. 1 sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2008.


“It seems like everyone and their brother has their own music blog these days, and despite the abundance of those blogs and the inevitable overlap, I still find plenty of interesting and different things to read about in most of them.  I think that’s a testament to both the local music scene and the people who blab about music in this town.”


Last year’s tally for reference:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wishbook, Alpha Consumer and Mondo Mega to play Triple Rock Boxing Day Bash

Looking for something enjoyable as well as productive to do the day after Christmas? Nate Perbix of Wishbook is hosting a Boxing Day Bash at the Triple Rock Social Club on Friday, December 26th   

Boxing Day is a public holiday in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as many other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and Greece. It is based on a tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. 

To help celebrate, the Triple Rock will be having specials on beer from "former and current British colonies." 

Bring a non-perishable food item as a donation and receive $1 off your cover charge.



18+ (despite what it says on the flier above), 8pm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solid Gold in The Guardian and on UK Radio

"England's in trouble," the band joked on their MySpace when they announced the recent press in the UK publication The Guardian. (Read the article from Friday's paper here.)

England has good taste is more like it.  Solid Gold's album Bodies of Water clocked in at #1 on my Top 10 albums released in Minnesota in 2008.  (My picks and others will be published in the Star Tribune critics roundups within the next week.)

The Guardian article laments the band's name saying that few bands whose names suggest success ever actually see it - they cite Big Star, but forget Minnesota's own Har Mar. "We're not sure what the market is these days for the sort of sorrowful techno that Solid Gold purvey," they say, "but it sure is a lovely sound."

Solid Gold on UK Radio

I was very excited last month when I heard Solid Gold played on, a radio startion that reaches a good chunk of the UK over the airwaves and that remains my favorite radio station in the world on the internet (Yes, even before 89.3 "The Current.")  The only Minnesota artists I have head on XFM over the past 5 years or so are The Hold Steady, Har Mar Superstar and Tapes 'n Tapes.  So hearing Solid Gold's red-hot single "Get Over It" was quite a thrill.

My prediction is you'll be hearing more and more about this Minneapolis band in 2009.  I've actually gone out on a limb to say I'm betting they may be the next local band you'll see on Late Night with David Letterman.  Give it six more months.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Hopefuls release new album - Now Playing at the One-Seat Theatre

Barely in time to inch onto the "Best of 2008" lists, Saturday at First Avenue The Hopefuls celebrate the release of their long-awaited new album, Now Playing At The One-Seat Theater.

Special guests at Saturday's CD Release event are Chris Koza and One For The Team.

Doors at 6:00 pm, music at 7:00 pm. $8 advance, $10 at the door.

Visit The Hopefuls' MySpace page to preview two tracks from the new album: "Virgin Wood" and "What She Wants."

I finally got a preview of the new disc yesterday and it's different than their debut release - perhaps more atmospheric and with a little less of a punch than the debut - but nonetheless an excellent album of catchy pop. My favorites include "On The Edge of Medicine," "Idaho," and the album's title track.

Hopefuls fans are not likely to be disappointed by the new 8 song disc.

Also, don't miss their live in-studio performance on 89.3 The Current, Friday morning at 7:30 am.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chris Mars to sign copies of his book Tolerance: The Art Of Chris Mars on Tuesday at Magers & Quinn


Twin Cities art and music icon Chris Mars (former Replacements drummer) signs copies of his book Tolerance: The Art Of Chris Mars—8:00pm, Tuesday, December 16, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

See also:  Robyn Robinson's interview with Chris Mars, "Degrees of Imagination" in The Rake.
Chris Mars' painting style, examples of which graced all of his album covers, is marked by nightmarish landscapes and grotesque, distorted figures. He draws inspiration from his older brother's struggle with schizophrenia. "...From my hands, my mission: To free the oppressed; to champion the persecuted, and the submissive; to liberate through revelation the actualized Self in those proposed by some to have no self at all. It's in every single one of us, somewhere underneath that word on our chest. In my hands, my version: All art is political in some sense, be it through conformity, reflection, propaganda or rebellion. My paintings are rallies and trials, photographs of a moment when Truth was made public, and Mercy known. Question why a villain is villainized, a victim martyred. Ask why a group is demonized, and the motives for control. See for yourself what the truth looks like in your hands. Dig it up and hold it for a while. This work you see, it's my Truth. But please don't take my word for it."
"Minneapolis artist Chris Mars is living proof that F. Scott Fitzgerald was dead wrong when he said there are no second acts in American lives. Though famous in the 1980s as the drummer for alt-rock heroes The Replacements, Mars eventually left the music world behind entirely to focus on the visual arts, now specializing in stunningly evocative, macabre portraits."--The Onion A.V. Club
"The artist draws from the imaginary monsters his schizophrenic brother saw during childhood. It's hard to argue that these creatures could come from anywhere but the psyche of a tortured soul."--Juxtapoz
"His paintings of ghoulish, skeletal crowds and beseeching wraiths, set in gloomy environments that hark back to medieval villages, seem too vivid to have come purely from the imagination. Mars' storytelling on canvas is almost classical in its precision."--The Rake
"Scary and fascinating."--Jeff Soto.
Magers and Quinn is at 3038 Hennepin Avenue South in Minneapolis.  612-822-4611 

Friday, December 12, 2008

A list of albums released by Minnesota Artists in 2008

Are you still trying to assemble your "Best of 2008" lists? I am.

Each December, I scramble to sort out all the CDs that were released in Minnesota over the past 12 months. Even though I try to keep a running list as the year goes by to help me remember which ones I felt were the best, there are always a few I seem to forget about. The nice side of all this scrambling is that it brings a pleasant review.

Each year, Chris Riemenschneider from the Star Tribune is kind enough to send us music writer types a pretty extensive list of a good number of the CDs that were released that year to help jog our memories. Not only do I find Chris's list helpful, I'm always amazed at the quantity of output from our musicians each year.

Without further babbling on my part, here is a list of 139 albums that were released in Minnesota this year. The albums I have personally previewed in their entirety are bolded. And the ones with asterixes (*) by them are ones I added to the list as Chris sent it out.

As always, please add any 2008 Minnesota-released albums you feel are missing in the comments.

  1. A Night in the Box, "Write a Letter"
  2. The Absent Arch, “Keep Calm and Carry On”
  3. Action vs. Action, "Sentimental City"
  4. Ed Ackerson, “Ackerson2”
  5. Nick Africano, "I've Ever Desired"
  6. Atmosphere, "When Life Gives You Lemons ... "
  7. Autumn Leaves, "Long Lost Friend"
  8. Aviette - The Way We Met (wasn't on Chris's list)
  9. The B-Team, "Suburban Boy Blues"
  10. Baby Guts, “Gasoline”
  11. Background Noise Crew, "Background Sampler, Vol. 1"
  12. The Belfast Cowboys, s/t
  13. Big Ditch Road - The Jackson Whites EP *
  14. Bill Mike Band, “Truce”
  15. The Blend, “Losing the Game”
  16. Boiled in Lead, "Silver"
  17. Haley Bonar, "Big Star
  18. Brass Kings, “Washboard Rope Guitar”
  19. David Bruise, “Flyover State”
  20. Café Accordion Orchestra, “Germaine”
  21. Randy Casey, "Late Bloomer"
  22. Cloud Cult, "Feel Good Ghosts”
  23. Count Vesuvius, s/t
  24. Crescent Moon, "Crescent Moon Is in Big Trouble"
  25. Cwn Annwn, "Blood of the Djinn"
  26. Dallas Orbiter - Motorcycle Diagrams (Not on Chris's list)
  27. Death to Our Enemies (self-titled)
  28. The Deaths, "Centralia"
  29. Dillinger Four, “C I V I L W A R”
  30. Pat Donohue, "Freewayman"
  31. Doomtree (self-titled)
  32. Dosh, "Wolves and Wishes"
  33. Down and Above, “Hold Your Breath For a Rising Tide”
  34. Charley Dush, “September’s Sun”
  35. Ellis, "Break the Spell"
  36. Enchanted Ape, "Off the Ground"
  37. Connie Evingson, “Little Did I Dream”
  38. Fat Kid Wednesdays, “Bomb”
  39. Faux Jean, “The Mongolian Invasion”
  40. FTE and DJ D. Mil, “The Independent Party”
  41. Gospel Gossip, “Sing Into My Mouth” (I thought this came out in '07?)
  42. Green Sketch, "So Long ... For Now"
  43. Grey Skies, s/t
  44. Joan Griffith, Laura Caviani and Cyro Baptista, “Sambanova”
  45. Jeff Hanson, “Madam Owl”
  46. Haley Bonar - Big Star *
  47. Heiruspecs, “Heiruspecs”
  48. Heroine Sheiks, "Journey to the End of the Knife"
  49. Ari Herstand, “Whispering Endearments”
  50. High on Stress, “Cop Light Parade”
  51. Hojas Rojas, "Helium"
  52. House of Mercy Band, “Left Behind”
  53. The Hopefuls, “Now Playing at the One-Seat Theatre” (Comes out 12/20! I don't have it yet.)
  54. Jack Brass Band, “Traditionally Speaking”
  55. John Swardson and Get Gone - Silver Dust *
  56. Kristoff Krane, “This Will Work for Now”
  57. Mason Jennings, “In the Ever”
  58. Matt Jennings, “Todavía”
  59. K-Salaam & Beatnick, “Whose World Is This?”
  60. Kanser, "Future Retro Legacy"
  61. Kid Dakota, "A Winner's Shadow"
  62. Chris Koza, "The Dark, Delirious Morning."
  63. Little Man, “Of Mind and Matter”
  64. Gary Louris, “Vagabonds”
  65. Love in October, "Pontus, the Devil and Me"
  66. Jeremy Messersmith, “The Silver City”
  67. Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, “Orange Peels and Rattlesnakes”
  68. Luke's Angels, "Paulopolis"
  69. Maps of Norway, “Die Off Songbird”
  70. Marc Perlman + Janey Winterbauer - 25:32:47 *
  71. The Melismatics, “The Acid Test”
  72. Todd Menton, “The Dolmen Field” (Just got this the other day - reviewing CD release party next week)
  73. Mictlan, “Hand Over Fist”
  74. Mighty Fairly, “Big Words and Power Chords”
  75. Mint Condition, "e-Life"
  76. Muja Messiah, "Mpls. Massacre, Vol. 1"
  77. Muja Messiah, "Thee Adventures of a B-Boy D-Boy"
  78. Mystery Palace, “Flags Forward”
  79. New Monarchs, “Blueprints”
  80. New Standards, “Rock and Roll”
  81. Nikki Schultz - "Lost and Found {and lost again}" *
  82. Dan Newton, “Hi-Top Sneakers”
  83. Now, Now Every Children, "Cars”
  84. One for the Team, “Built It Up”
  85. Cecil Otter, “Rebel Yellow”
  86. Charlie Parr, “Roustabout”
  87. Patches & Gretchen, “Music From Little Big Pink” (getting this week)
  88. Pert’ Near Sandstone, “Needle & Thread”
  89. Plastic Constellations, "We Appreciate You"
  90. Polara, "Beekeeping"
  91. Popcycle, "Yesterday's Blast"
  92. Private Dancer, “Trouble Eyes”
  93. Quietdrive, “Deliverance”
  94. Rank Strangers, "Tucke des Objekts, Die"
  95. The Red Flags, s/t
  96. Paul Renz, "ReBop"
  97. Retribution Gospel Choir (self-titled)
  98. Revolver - The Illiterati *
  99. Rockford Mules, “From Devil’s Spit to Angel Tears”
  100. Roma di Luna, "Casting the Bones"
  101. Christine Rosholt, “Lipstick”
  102. Kelly Rossum, “Family”
  103. Ruby Isle, “Night Shot”
  104. Sam Keenan - "All the Dark Colored Markers Went Dry" (Not on Chris's list)
  105. Becky Schlegel, For All the World”
  106. Section 30
  107. Sick of Sarah (self-titled)
  108. Small Cities (self-titled)
  109. Solid Gold, “Bodies of Water”
  110. Spaghetti Western String Co., “Lull and Clatter”
  111. St. Dominic’s Trio, “Switch”
  112. StrangeLights, “Evius EP”
  113. Strut & Shock, s/t
  114. Summit Avenue, "Bend"
  115. Adam Svec, "Enemy Swimmer"
  116. Tapes ‘N Tapes, "Walk It Off
  117. Claire Taubenhaus, “No Compass and No Commands”
  118. These Modern Socks, “Picking a Lock at the Speed of Light”
  119. Sara Thomsen, "Everything Changes
  120. The Haves Have It - Friction *
  121. The Tisdales, “Bakers Dozen”
  122. Trama, "Barack O-Trama"
  123. Trampled by Turtles, “Duluth”
  124. Twin City Playboys, "The Good Times Are Killing Me"
  125. Umbrella Bed, “Go”
  126. Vampire Hands, "Me & You Cherry Red"
  127. Wars of 1812, “Status Quo Ante Bellum”
  128. Ben Weaver, "The Ax in the Oak"
  129. Paul Westerberg, “49:00”
  130. White Iron Band, "Devil's Sweet Revenge"
  131. Irv Williams, “Finality”
  132. Shane Wyatt, “The Last Cowboy”
  133. Yer Cronies, “When I Grow Up”
  134. Zebulon Pike, “Intransience”
  135. Various, "Zero Element: The Reclamation Project"
  136. Various, "Southside Soul, Vol. 1"
  137. Various, "Lightning & Thunder, Vol. 1"
  138. Various, "Silage: Foreclosure & Eviction"
  139. Various, “Hope Rocks! Vol. 1”

HWTS December Podcast "Mary Lucia 'Hi, Bob'" excerpt

39 hilarious "Mary Lucia-approved" seconds from this month's HowWasTheShow  podcast.

I had to share this with 89.3 "The Current" DJ Mary Lucia and I'm glad she found it as amusing as we did. I hope other Current listeners will also enjoy.

Description: David de Young introduces HWTS editor Bob Longmore on this month's podcast and the result was totally unscripted. Also heard in this clip is Pat O'Brien.

The full December podcast can be found here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oasis - Memories of Finsbury Park show, July 2002

Unless by magic a free ticket falls into my lap I will not be attending the Oasis show at The Target Center in Minneapolis tomorrow night.  I have seen the band several times during my various European festival tours over the past 8 years, and that's actually one reason I passsed on purchasing tickets to the show.

Mind you, Oasis is a fantastic live band, and if you have not seen them I encourage you to go, but like the Flaming Lips, they are a band I feel is best experienced outside.

My favorite memory of Oasis is of their performance at Finsbury Park in London in July of 2002.  (See their performance of "Little By Little" from that weekend show in the above YouTube video.) 

I was there!  But fortunately for me I was not there on the rainiest and muddiest show of that particular weekend.

Many in attendance said it was an even better show than their famous Knebworth appearance in 1996.

In honor of Oasis visit to Minneapolis, I ressurected a very, very early blog entry and turned it into a full-fledged review on HowWasTheShow.  (As embarassing as it is for me to read my old reviews, I am glad that one is still around as that was one of my favorite shows of all time.)

Heiruspecs new self-titled CD out this weekend - Release Party Saturday, December 13th at First Avenue

Heiruspecs video for "Get Up" was shot in early October, 2008 at Eclipse Records in St. Paul and was released in several weeks before the election. It's even cooler watching it in light of the outcome. If you haven't watched it yet, I implore you to do so and see why Heiruspecs are some of the coolest cats around.

On Saturday, December 13th the band will celebrate the release of their new self-titled album (their first full length studio album since 2004) at First Avenue with Mayda, Big Quarters and DJ Anton.

I just received my preview copy over the past weekend, and damn, I am am enjoying it.  Guests on the disc include Dessa of Doomtree, I. Self Devine, Maria Isa, Carnage and even Dan Wilson.

HowWasTheShow will feature "Lenses," the track featuring Maria Isa in its December podcast (go-live date Friday, December 12th.)

Andrea Swensson has more in her "Reporters Notebook" over at City Pages.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Flin Flon Bombers win "Best Minnesota CD of 2008 (Packaging)" for their "very best of" disc

I hereby award The Flin Flon Bombers the prize for most creative packaging of any local CD I received in 2008. I confess my jaw was agape before I even had the chance to listen to the disc. It comes in a jacket the size of a 45 RPM record and appears to have been completely hand-assembled with glue and tape.  The tracklisting may even be hand-printed.  The CD itself is one of those black ones with grooves that look like records and was affixed to a real 45 with a hand-made CD nipple attachment.  (In my case, the one of a kind enclosure featured a copy of the 1972 G. Brooks-E. Shuman song "Love is the Way of Life" - perhaps fittingly broken - by a band called Michaels, which you've never heard of because it never charted.)

I don’t think I’ve received such a remarkable package from a local band since Doc’s Kids sent me pudding packs and a banana several years ago to promote their CD Snack Pack.

Once I had unwrapped the Flin Flon Bombers disc and put it carefully into my CD player, I noticed that the first “song” was just over a minute long, and the second lasts 24 seconds. Finally, the third track, the ‘60s psychedelic pop strains of “Permahigh,” actually lasts a full 2.5 minutes. There are 22 songs on the album. It all goes by in just 36 minutes and includes almost as many different musical styles. As far as I know, this is a debut release, yet it is called “The Very Best of…” That actually makes a strange sort of sense when you think about it.

Taken as a whole, “The Very Best of The Flin Flon Bombers” is a mysterious and eclectic low-fi work that resembles what The BeatlesWhite Album might have sounded like if The Fab Four had recorded it in your garage, and it had been produced by The Residents.

In addition to several gems of bright, catchy pop, the album includes a 35 second track called “Tamborine Solo,” which is pretty much just that, with the song’s title sung at the end. The song “Bookman Says No” includes a keyboard riff that might have belonged to a Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” had they been insane. Other song titles include “See Carl Sagan Say” and “Jehovah’s Fitness.”

HowWasTheShow’s Bob Longmore selected “This Boat Runs on Happy Faces” for the November HowWasTheShow podcast, and we weren’t quite sure what to make of it then. (I thought the song reminded me of a cross between "Got To Get You Into My Life" by The Beatles and "Fox on the Run" by Sweet.) Hard facts and real information were pretty hard to come by at the time. Now that I’m in possession of the full disc, things are actually less clear than before.

But it’s awesome. And I want to see them play live. Their CD Release at the Kitty Cat Klub on October 18th is the show that HowWasTheShow most regrets missing in 2008. If they ever play again – and their MySpace page makes no guarantees of that - we promise we will not make the mistake of missing them.

Band description from their MySpace:

Flin Flon Bombers is a five-piece psychedelic pop band with members from Saskatchewan and Saint Paul. Harkening back to a time when less was more, Flin Flon Bombers have recorded in anonymity, indulging in the joys of three-part harmonies, catchy melodies, and their B3 organ on a 4-track recorder. On 10.18.2008 Flin Flon Bombers released their debut album entitled "This Boat Runs On Happy Faces" at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis. "This Boat Runs On Happy Faces" is a 22 track inventory of the Casanova Lounge Recording Company and the formal introduction of the Flin Flon Bombers.

International Espionage music video "Dead Drop" from the album "Transmissions".

Via Chad Weis and Tigerbeatpoet, in the spirit of those cheesy, dramatized early MTV videos we loved so much, we give you the new International Espionage music video "Dead Drop" from the album "Transmissions." Because the music is so early 80s also, this entire package wouldn't have been out of place in a program of videos hosted by Mark Goodman or the late JJ Jackson.

Directed by Ryan Schaddelee, it tells the story of...well, I'm not exactly sure what, but it involves bad people and spies and features the ninja dressed heroes of the band.

HowWasTheShow recently reviewed International Espionage at the Kitty Cat Klub. I've been a fan of the band for a while and personally picked them one of the best live acts of 2006 in a Twin Cities media poll.

More info in the press release:

For Immediate Release

International Espionage! Music Video, Record Release, Tour Dates

International Espionage! the three piece international “spyrock” band from Minneapolis have released a video for the song "Dead Drop" which will be available on their upcoming release "Transmissions". "Transmissions" will be available in the Spring of 2009 on Noise To Infinity Records. Spring tour dates to support the release to be announced.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Videos from St. Dominic's Trio and The Tisdales at First Avenue

Rich Mattson, Terry Walsh and friends rocked the Main Room at First Avenue last night (Wednesday, December 3rd) with their various bands St. Dominic's Trio, The Tisdales, and The Belfast Cowboys. Photos and a review of the show with photos will be up on the main site in a day or so. In the meantime, enjoy these videos of 5 brand new songs from St. Dominic's Trio and The Tisdales that appear on the band's new albums. (And yes, "Bike Ride on 35W" refers to this now in famous bicycle expedition The Mad Ripple went on in the summer of 2007.)

St. Dominic's Trio - Bike Ride on 35W

St. Dominic's Trio - Christmas With Judy Jetson

The Tisdales - Faces

The Tisdales - Like A Horse

The Tisdales - Two Armies

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Video from Drawfire trip to CMJ now available

This just in via Sam Keenan's blog.  Eric Knobel filmed a good portion of the recent Drawfire Records trip to New York City for CMJ.  Here is nearly two days of that trip reduced to approximately 4 minutes.  It is worth watching for the high-drama musical score itself.

Featured in the video are Stook, Adam Svec of the Glad Version, Darren Jackson of Kid Dakota, Holly Munoz of Aviette, Bill Mike, and many more of your favorite Twin Cities musicians.  It includes footage of both the bus trip there and back as well as snippets of the showcase and party in NYC.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The New Standards Holiday show Saturday, December 6th is sold out

The New Standards will be celebrating the release of their new CD Rock and Roll on Saturday at the Fitzgerald Theater during their annual holiday show.  The show is totally sold out, but HowWasTheShow is scheduled to attend and will file a report.

I got a bit of a preview this past weekend when the New Standards and Jeremy Messermith were musical guests on the Electric Arc Radio Show (check out HowWasTheShow's full review here.)  The New Standards' new album is called Rock and Roll and features covers by Lou Reed (the title song), Outkast, The Postal Service, The Replacements, The Clash and even Britney Spears. I've had a chance to preview the whole disc, and in a word, it's awesome.  And gorgeous.  And chock full of cool jazz. (Okay, that's way more than one word, but you get the point.)

Currently, you can hear the Postal Service and Costello tracks on the band's MySpace page.  The video embedded above includes footage from last year's Christmas show at the Fitzgerald as well as interviews with Chan Poling, John Munson and Steve Roehm in which they talk a little bit about how these "new standards," as it were, make it into their repertoire.

Want some input into the songs that will appear on the next record?  The trio welcomes your feedback here:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ed Ackerson - Go Ahead and Cry and two other videos from Sussedtacular

Ed Ackerson - Go Ahead and Cry

A comprehensive overview including photos by Jenn Barnett will be up on the HowWasTheShow main site by tomorrow. In the mean time, here are a couple of videos I shot with my little Olympus FE-340 at Sussedtacular at the Varsity Theater last night.

The first two are of songs off of Ed Ackerson's new Solo album Ackerson2. The third is a song off The Mood Swings new 3 Sided Single.

Ed Ackerson - Force Field

The Mood Swings - Nothing New

Friday, November 28, 2008

Electric Arc Radio's Special Holiday Show: November 29, 2008, 8:00 pm

Electric Arc Radio presents a special Holiday Show,“A Very Brady Christmas,”this Saturday night, November 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm at The Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis.

Musical guests are Jeremy Messersmith (reprising his role as "singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith"), and The New Standards (who play their own annual holiday show the following Saturday, December 6th at the Fitzgerald).


The hapless writers and their entire South Minneapolis neighborhood (Sleany McFear, Bushy Bushmanov, Clerky, and all the rest) discover the meaning of Christmas in a magical ponytail. It's a cockle-warming story that's part Gift of the Magi, part Homeric Odyssey, and part MacGyver. It's "A Very Brady Christmas," made and wrapped for you with love.

Tickets are $20.  Go to for more information.  Tickets on sale now at the Ritz Theater ( or by phone at the Ritz Box Office at 612.436.1129

The Ritz Theater is at 345 13th Ave. NE, right up the street from The 331 Club.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Faux Jean to celebrate the release of "The Mongolian Invasion" November 29th at the Hexagon Bar

"The Mongolian Invasion" is an new album of four-track solo recordings made by Matty Schindler of Faux Jean between 1997 and 2007.  It's now available at Treehouse Records (26th and Lyndale in Minneapolis) or at CD

Schindler explains the sudden emergence of these old recordings this way:

"As I was preparing to contemplate a move last year, I came across a big box of largely unmarked cassette tapes. These were songwriting tapes going back a decade (1997 to 2007) and most of them only had a month or year listed on the sticker. I decided that I would listen to all of these tapes and write down what existed on each tape before I had to move. This was no mean feat. I drank plenty of champagne and set myself to the task."
Mike Wisti helped with the meticulous transfer from cassette to CD which is now packaged prettily in digipak (cover shown at left.)

Schindler will celebrate the album's release with a show at the Hexagon Bar on Saturday November 29th along with John Swardson, Rebel Yellow, and The Parlour Suite. The show is 21+ and free.

Preview some of the newly released songs at Schindler has also posted a full track listing with notes on the band's MySpace blog here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Your local music options for the busiest barnight of the year

Every weekend without fail, HowWasTheShow's forum members start a thread to talk about the best goings on about town.  (Here's this weekend's, for example.)  This week however, is special.  IT HAS TWO FRIDAY NIGHTS, and one of them, also known this year as Wednesday, November 26th, has a reputation akin to both a Friday and a Saturday night put together.

In honor of Thanksgiving Eve, HowWasTheShow has assembled some cool places for you to spend what's often called the busiest barnight of the year. (Supposedly it's busier than New Year's Eve since on that night multitudes of private parties provide fierce competion for the clubs.) 

As with NYE, look out for amateurs!

What: Blackout Wednesday w/ Yer Cronies, Victory Ship, and Joey Ryan & the Inks
Where: Uptown Bar, 9PM $5

What: Transmission - DJ Jake Rudh's night before Thanksgiving Dance Party
Where: Clubhouse Jager, 9PM $0

What: Maudlin CD Release Party w/ The Hopefuls & So It Goes
Where: Triple Rock, 9PM $10

Where: Turf Club, 9PM $4

What: Ike Reilly,  The Alarmists, Little Man (This is always nuts)
Where: First Avenue, 7:30, $12/15

What: Velvet Davenport, Viceburgh, G-Biz, DJ Ghostband (More Cowbell showcase)
Where: 7th Street Entry, 8PM, $5

What: Happy Apple
Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 7PM, $18

Any glaring oversights?  Leave 'em in the comments.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Belfast Cowboys and St. Dominics Trio to release dualing debut CDs

Cover art for "The Belfast Cowboys" by Kim Sheehan

Cover art for St Dominic's Trio's "Switch" by Leah Rule

In preparation for The Belfast Cowboys and St. Dominic's trio dual CD release in the First Avenue Mainroom on Wednesday, December 3rd,, HowWasTheShow has done a full interview with Terry Walsh on the main site.


The Belfast Cowboys – “The Belfast Cowboys”
St. Dominic’s Trio – “Switch”

After more than six years of live rehearsals in the bars of Minnesota, Van Morrison tribute band The Belfast Cowboys and its smaller offshoot St. Dominic’s Trio are releasing their debut CDs at First Avenue’s Mainroom, on Wednesday, December 3rd. The Tisdales, led by Rich Mattson (who produced “Switch” at his studio in Sparta, Minnesota), are slated to open the show.

Both The Belfast Cowboys and St. Dominic's Trio are led by singer/songwriter Terry Walsh, and feature other notable Minneapolis musicians, including sax man Vic Volare, bassist Joe Baumgart (Peal, Mammy Nuns), and guitarist Simon Sheehan (Congo Eels).

The Belfast Cowboys is an energized reworking of some of Van Morrison’s best material, including lesser-known chestnuts ("Redwood Tree”, “Precious Time”) some radio staples ("Wild Night", "Domino"), and “Cleaning Windows (Minneapolis Version)” in which Walsh name-checks several past and present Minnesota bands.

“Switch” is a CD of original songs that genre-hops between Costello-like rock (4th Day of May), blues (“Cold Dice”, “Freeze”), and Motown (“Free and Alive”, “I Thought We Were Friends”). A trio in name only, the band expands to nine pieces on five of the ten songs. Long-time favorites at Kieran’s Irish Pub and The Liffey, St. Dominic’s Trio has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two years after Sheehan and keyboardist Joe Loskota were added as regular fixtures to the three-piece band.

Plans to play Chicago (Volare’s home town) and points in between, plus regional shows are in the works. Until then, you’ll still be able to see The Belfast Cowboys monthly at Lee’s Liquor Lounge and Whiskey Junction, while St Dominic’s Trio can be found every fourth weekend of the month at Kieran’s.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dance party of music fans under 3 feet tall at Lucy Michelle show

Our first stop Friday Evening was at The Cedar Cultural Center for the first part of a double header between Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and Dance Band. We couldn’t stay for Dance Band, but I can tell you they were celebrating the release of a new 5 song EP, Geekadelic. With track names like “Feet On Fire” and “Bootyriffic,” Geekadelic features more weird, tongue-in-cheek (and totally awesome) dance mania from the band that has been making dancing mandatory (“We’re Dance Band, not Stand Band!) at their shows since 2006. I find it hilarious, but oddly perfect that in my Napster player, the “Other Members Like…” suggestions includes iSweat Fitness Music’s iSweat Fitness Music Vol. 46: Pilates. Remember this video from White Light Riot last year? I’m wondering if it isn’t time for Dance Band to record a full-length fitness video themselves.

Lucy Michelle and her five bandmates (cello, fiddle, drums, stand-up bass and acoustic guitar) had no trouble taking command of the large Cedar Stage. Though the musicians were spread out across the wide stage, communication between Lucy and the rest of the musicians showed signs of the abundance of practice they’ve had over the past few months. They've been playing what seems like several times a week since taking home the coveted City Pages Picked to Click award for 2008 earlier this fall. It’s important with any music, of course, but particularly important with Michelle’s that the band not drift into sloppiness that can sometimes happen when a band is spread out on a stage because her music already has a natural looseness and informality to it. The band’s Cedar performance on the wide stage bodes well for their Main Stage First Avenue performance coming up at Voltage in April.

As this was the Cedar, there were “all-agers” on hand. Early on I Twittered to friends that a dance party had broken out amongst my fellow concert-goers under 3 feet tall. Check out this video I filmed while sitting on the floor up front. [See also, this video for When The World Turned Out Its Lights.]

Lucy Michelle’s set Friday night included many songs from her debut album Orange Peels and Rattlesnakes, plus some new ones she promises will be recorded soon for the next.

HowWasTheShow photographer Jenn Barnett was along for the show and filed a full set of photos that you can view here:

Here are a few photo highlights: