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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Exclusive preview of "It's You" from Ryan Paul & the Ardent's forthcoming CD La Vita Nuova

Photo credit Ellie C. Rader

Ryan Paul and the Ardent's forthcoming CD La Vita Nuova is being kept such tight wraps that no one's even seen the cover yet. Apparently, physical discs will be hand delivered to selected music writers the week of the release show, set for Friday, June 19th at the 331 Club on a bill with special guests Eliza Blue and Brian Just.)

By special arrangement, HowWasTheShow has received exclusive permission to stream "It's You," a track from the new album which I am led to believe has only been mastered within the past couple of days.

More info from the press release:

On June 13, 2009, Minneapolis Alt. Country/Indie band, Ryan Paul & THE ARDENT will release their first full length album titled La Vita Nuova. Ryan Paul got his start in the Minneapolis music scene with indie band King Freud in 1999 and worked as a guitar tech for multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker. In 2003, he disappeared from the Minneapolis music scene to return in the summer of 2008. He is joined by veteran musicians in THE ARDENT as well as special guests Janey Winterbauer and Jimmy Peterson on the record. Also performing on June 19th will be Brian Just and Eliza Blue.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HowWasTheShow 7-Year Anniversary Line-up Announced


HowWasTheShow Celebrates 7 Years on the Internet with Anniversary Party featuring Big Trouble, Communist Daughter, Aby Wolf and The Inwood Radio

Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009
Where: Turf Club, St. Paul (1601 University Avenue – 651-647-0486)
9PM, $6

Minneapolis, MN – May 27th, 2009 – In “internet years”, 7 is a long time. In 2002 Friendster was in its infancy, and MySpace had yet to be launched. Bands still shared songs on the now completely different; Audiogalaxy and Napster were entirely different animals than they are today; and Facebook, where more and more bands are making their event and fan page homes, was not yet a gleam in Mark Zukerberg’s eye.

It was in early 2002 that’s first review appeared, and founder David de Young registered the catchy domain name later that year. Since then, the site has published over 1,000 reviews of music and theater events, and dozens of podcasts, interviews and features. Former HowWastheShow writers have gone on to write for, to become music editors of both the now defunct Pulse Twin Cities and the still thriving City Pages. HowWasTheShow contributing writers and photographers have also founded or contribute to other web entities like, and

HowWasTheShow celebrates 7 years as the Twin Cities incubator for new music and theater writers with a party at the Turf Club Friday, June 12th with a few of our favorite musical acts, Big Trouble, Communist Daughter, Aby Wolf and The Inwood Radio.

The bands:

• Big Trouble – - Musicians who play with Heiruspecs and Martin Devaney’s band (Twinkie Jiggles, Peter Leggett, Steve McPherson and Josh Peterson) play mainly instrumental covers of great songs you know and love.

• Communist Daughter – - Former members of Friends Like These (Johnny Solomon & Adam Switlick) team up with drummer Christopher McGuire and Jonathan Blaseg to play songs Rolling Stone’s Melissa Maerz calls “rip-your-heart out ballads about getting older, but not necessarily happier.”

• Aby Wolf – - City Pages 2008 “Best New Vocalist” mixes folk with R&B and hip hop to produce a sound that defies any categorization you might want to throw at it.

• The Inwood Radio – - Emerging from the ashes of Six Ways from Sunday, these Magnolia Record Company artists play delicious pop indebted to The Lemonheads, The Beach Boys and Orange Juice.


Monday, May 25, 2009

David de Young on "Saturday Nights with Esme" on WCCO

In my regular Saturday night arts & entertainment segment on WCCO Radio with Esme Murphy this week, I am joined by Katy Vernon of Fab Tab and The Teds live from the green room at the Fine Line to talk about the 8th annual England Swings, put on by Raven, The Duke of Dark. (Check out Katy - in the pink polkadot dress - with Fab Tab performing the Simone Jackson song "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya.")

Esme Murphy and I also talk a bit about the exhilarating new Tony Kushner play, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism with a Key to the Scriptures, which I review on the main site here.

21 minutes.

MP3 File

Mars to Mercury's English Rock Set at England Swings VIII was amazing

Thanks to Debbie Donovan's videos, you too can experience what went down at the Fine Line Saturday as Mars to Mercury ripped through their 20 minute England Swings VIII set in medley format. The boys are to be congratulated as much for their arrangement of these songs as for the performance of them.

Songs in this medley include Def Leppard's "Too Late for Love," as well as songs from The Cult, The Babys, UFO, Iron Maiden, Billy Idol, Black Sabbath, with a couple other surprises thrown in.

More videos to come.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Saturday, May 23, 2009

More Saturday night Shenanigans

Memorial Day Weekend is shaping up quite nicely in the Twin Cities, what with the Sold Out Soundset '09 on Sunday at Canterbury Park, here are two other wild Saturday musical adventures you might wish to consider.

More info:

More info:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

England Swings VIII is Saturday night

It's time for England Swings VIII, and once again I (David de Young) will be serving as master of ceremonies.

Details below. Hope you can make it down for this star-studded extravaganza where Twin Cities musicians play covers for an entire evening with one caveat: each of the artists covered must be from the UK.

Event: England Swings VIII
When: Saturday, May 23rd
Where: The Fine Line Music Cafe
Doors: 7 pm
Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door (available at The Fine Line and Electric Fetus)

Dee Jay: Red Star Radio

Acts scheduled to appear: Stephanie Says, Mars To Mercury, Little Man, 'Fab' Tab & the Teds (featuring Katy Vernon), Sika, The Wag, Pretty in Pink and Johnny & the Moondogs (featuring members of The Alarmists, The Duke of Dark, The Melismatics, Ouija Radio and Jacques Wait.)

Raffle prizes throughout the evening for UK-related items.

Compere (emcee): David de Young of

Sponsored by Brit's Pub and Total Music.

Little Man's Chris Pericelli leaked the contents of his set on his mailing list earlier today:

Little Man's short set will incude:

All Too Much - The Beatles
Stay With Me - The Faces
20th Century Boy - T. Rex
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
Suffragette City - David Bowie

Special acoustic opening set from Jeremy Gordon, Robert Wilkinson, Mike Schwant, Emily Muchmore, Raven & Jon Larson.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2009 Stone Arch Lineup Announced

According to musical act booker, Stacy Schwartz of Cake in, there are a couple music, theater, and dance acts yet to be added, but the majority of the music is listed here. Keep an eye on the official Stone Arch Festival site for updates.

Saturday, June 20

Star Tribune Stage

1:15pm Adam Svec
2:15pm Dan Israel
3:15pm Spaghetti Western String Co.
4:15pm The Cloud Hymn

City Pages Stage

11:00 a.m. Crowd Control
12:00 p.m. The Alrights
1:15 p.m. Joey Ryan & The Inks
2:30 p.m. The Pendrakes
3:45 p.m. The Idle Hands
5:00 p.m. Roma di Luna

Cities 97 Stage

11:15am Neal Swanger
12:15pm Peter Lochner
1:15pm Bob & Lynn Dixon
2:15pm Thomas Kivi
3:15pm Shawn Gibbons
4:15pm Brad Senne
5:15pm Eliza Blue

St. Anthony Courtyard Stage

11:00 a.m. Aria Souder
12:15 p.m. The Badinovs
1:30 p.m. Brian Just Band
2:45 p.m. Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps 4:00 p.m. Farewell Milwaukee
5:15 p.m. The Smarts
6:30 p.m. Mississippi Mud

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Star Tribune Stage
1:15pm Café Accordian Orchestra
2:15pm Anna Laube
4:15pm Jistoray
5:15pm Pezzettino

City Pages Stage

12:00 p.m. Half Demon Doll
1:15 p.m. We Became Actors
2:30 p.m. Wars of 1812
3:45 p.m. The Absent Arch
5:00 p.m. Me & My Arrow

Cities 97 Stage

11:00 a.m. Scott Wooldridge
12:15pm Andy Juhl
1:15pm Chicane Theory
2:15pm Andy Elwell
3:15pm Dustin Thomas
4:15pm Kyle Turck & Patrick Henz
5:15pm John Swardson/Eliza Blue - Get Gone

St. Anthony Courtyard Stage

11:00 a.m. Dustin Thomas
12:00 p.m. The Suits
1:15 p.m. Jason Shannon
2:30 p.m. Jenny Dalton
3:45 p.m. Ryan Paul & the Ardent
5:00 p.m. Chastity Brown

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who stole Anvil's Cymbals? (With video of "Metal on Metal")

Check out this great video of "Metal on Metal" as performed by the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil Friday night at the Uptown Theater, shot by Debbie Donovan.

And check out the trailer for Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

Also, this morning we got the following note from Patrick Cross, Uptown Theater House Manager, and he asked that we pass it on:

This past Friday night here at the Uptown Theatre we had the amazing pleasure of having the band Anvil perform after a showing of their film Anvil! The Story of Anvil. It was a great night. I’ve been involved with the Uptown for the last eight years and am now the head manager and this was easily one of the best nights ever here. We had a crowd of a little over 300 show up who were extremely enthusiastic. The credits rolled after the 7:15pm show and were quickly followed by the loud strumming of an electric guitar. Everyone rushed up to the front of the theatre and started cheering. Anvil played a short set and then went into the lobby to meet fans on their way out and take pictures and sign autographs.

We started the 9:30pm show for a smaller crowd of maybe 50. The band stuck around in the lobby because they had to wait to get their gear which was sitting in the theatre. As the movie went on, the singer of Anvil, Steve “Lips” Kudlow, came up to me and my staff and said, “think we should play another set after this show?” To which we replied, “That would be great if you guys would like to...” They were not scheduled to play again and had to get back on the road as soon as possible because they had to be in Cincinnati the next day. But the band talked it over and decided to play again. So again, the credits rolled, that guitar began, and the crowd started cheering and coming up to the front. However, as the drummer was about to begin playing, he realized he was missing two of his cymbals. The band stopped, the crowd was confused, and it was determined that someone had stolen the symbols sometime while the band was out in the lobby greeting fans.

Needless to say this was a terrible ending to a great night. To the band’s credit, they didn’t bitch about it or yell at me, they simply discussed how they would replace the cymbals and that they needed to get back on the road. They were far more depressed by the fact that someone, especially after having seen their film, would see fit to steal from them. I can’t believe it either. I have no doubt that the band will strive on, if you see the film you’ll have no doubt either, but I hate to think that the only thing they will remember about their Minneapolis show is that it’s the town where someone stole their equipment. So, if you’re the person who stole it, and have realized the error of your ways, please return it to the theatre, no questions asked.

Patrick Cross
Uptown Theatre
House Manager

Saturday, May 09, 2009

David de Young on Saturday Nights with Esme on WCCO

On Saturday Night with Esme tonight I got a chance to discuss Tony Kushner's Caroline or Change at The Guthrie which I saw on Friday, May 8th (and which HowWasTheShow reviewed here), and Venus, A Musical by Chan Poling, which I saw tonight at the Ritz Theater.

I also talked about the music going on on the West Bank tonight with a shout out to Cake in 15.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Craig Newmark's speech at Concert for Katherine benefit

Craig Newmark, founder of Craiglist, spoke today (May 3rd) at the benefit for Katherine Anne Olson in Eden Prairie. City Pages captured the video of those remarks (above.) They have more detail on how he came to be involved with the Concert for Katherine benefit here.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

David de Young on Saturday Nights with Esme on WCCO

In what's becoming a regular event lately, I (David de Young) was on WCCO Radio with Esme Murphy tonight discussing a hodgepodge of arts & entertainment events including The Concert for Katherine Anne Olson, Alan Berks' new play, Ringtone, and the Grand Opening of the new Minneapolis music venue, the 501 Club.

The 20 minute discussion wraps up with an update on the ongoing issues in the 4300 Block of Stevens resulting from fallout from the 35W Crosstown Project.