Come on out to Club Underground tonight to see Jagged Spiral perform live!
They might even play some music!
While many of you huddled in your homes running the furnace, stove, and possibly an open fire in the living room to keep warm, there were many hardcore music fans who braved the bone-chilling temps to attend “The Best New Bands of 2007 Showcase” at First Avenue.
Any time someone says “Best Of…” anything, I always ask who sponsors the event. In this case, Radio-K and City Pages. Like last year, the lineup was diverse and non-offensive, with the exception of the name of one band; “Gay Witch Abortion” which is only fun to say because it should offend everyone.
Anyway, here’s my take on the bands:
Music to listen to as your overdose takes hold, and your life slips away from you. As they said in a recent interview: “We’re more surprised by the number of people who get it than those who don’t.”
Maybe if they had played at a summer outdoor concert near running water, I would have enjoyed it more. Reminded me too much of Snowpony; dreary, sludgy soundscapes, drowning in reverb. They aren’t untalented, though. Check out their video “The Man With the Shovel is the Man I’m Going To Marry”:
Reminded me a bit of Scissor Sisters, minus the queer disco thing. Violin, banjo, acoustic guitar and drums, with a whole lot of soul.
Do yourself a favor, go over to their myspace and listen to “The Hustle” and see if you can avoid tapping your feet. They call themselves “Bluegrass / Folk Rock / Indie” but they forgot “Kick Ass”.
Gospelish bluegrass with soul, although their myspace lists them as: “Zouk / A’cappella / Acoustic.” The vibe was both talented, and laid-back. Lots of band members playing in the half-round, including a banjo and one of those hand-drum-things you usually only see at Renn Fest.
M.anifest is quite the wordsmith, with a positive message. His album “Manifestations” made 5th best in Star Tribune’s Top Local Albums of 2007. His show relied on audience participation and call/answer which the crowd was too shy or chilled to deliver. M.Anifest had the energy and delivered the goods, but the crowd simply wasn’t responsive.
I will often get ‘swept up’ in a bands performance, but I can’t remember the last time I got this pulled in, like a make-out session that goes farther than you wanted it to, but turns out to be an amazing experience… sorry, I digress.
Gospel Gossip has a great live chemistry, sometimes pretty/shiny but not sugary, trippy but not really psychedelic, and much more energy than their myspace songs will tell. I have to see them again. Definitely the most “ON” of all the bands in the Showcase.
The drummer (Katelyn Farstad) was Really Really Fucking Impossibly Good. The songs…not so much.
With a name like that, you better stand up, and you better stand out.
Its amazing to see two guys make so much noise. With only drums and a guitar that sounded like it was run through no less than six Superfuzz Bigmuff petals, they were by far the highlight of the evening for me. Imagine Prong with very few lyrics and a kind of freeform-style song structure.
You cant. That’s why you should go see them live.
Much like Vampire Hands from last year, I think this is a live band, and I wouldn’t count on any recorded medium to capture their energy.
The bands that kicked all ass this year brought Energy to the stage. Gospel Gossip and A Night In The Box proved they didn’t need to be loud or angry to do it. Gay Witch Abortion proved you don’t even need a whole band or lyrics to do it.
Good work, and another group of bands to catch live in 2008…
The name Jim Walsh is nearly-famous here in flyover land, as was the band he writes about in his new book, “The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting“. The book release party is coming up, one week from today. (See details below) I’ve mentioned this gig before, but it is worth mentioning again.
As a musician, your art will be referenced to where you make it, and I suspect that if the Replacements had been birthed in California, they wouldn’t have made a single wave, but to flaunt that kind of arrogance and energy *here* in Flyover Land? It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and the Replacements certainly were.
For those of us who “missed out” on the heyday of the Replacements Era, Jim Walsh lived through it, and kindly provides us a look back into what was happening at the time. His unauthorized documentary on the band, “The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting” was just released on 15 Nov 2007. I haven’t read it yet, and in fact, I meant to go to the Treehouse Records reading/signing tonight, but I discovered that what Jim Walsh meant by “The Wednesday before Thanksgiving” was actually “The Wednesday BEFORE the Wednesday before Thanksgiving” In other words…I missed it. But I fully intend to pick it up at the release party, and I’m really looking forward to some cool bands like Revolver Modele covering a bit of Replacements material for us. (I bet the bands all will fight over who gets to play “Bastards of Young“…)
Wednesday, November 28
First Avenue Mainroom & The 7th Street Entry 7:00 PM / 18+
89.3 THE CURRENT PRESENTS…
JIM WALSH’S THE REPLACEMENTS:
“ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTING”
BOOK RELEASE PARTY FEATURING
THE ALARMISTS, BIRTHDAY SUITS, THE EVENING RIG, THE FALLS, THE HONEYDOGS, JEREMY MESSERSMITH, KRUDDLER, THE MAMMYS, MARTIN DEVANEY, ONE FOR THE TEAM with DAVE CAMPBELL, RED FLAGS, REVOLVER MODELE , TERRY WALSH, and TODD NEWMAN
$6.00 advance / $8.00 door
It was back in 2005 that I bequeathed Anna Lee with the title “Fashion Maven.” This year, she pulled out the stops again, for another top-notch production of Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2007, and showed the rest of the world what flyover land had to offer in terms of fashion and music.
This year’s show was all the sweeter due to its absence last year, and now popular enough to pull the lead story in all the local press, and pack First Ave to the hilt. I mean, I’ve Never seen it that full up before.
One goal of Voltage is to not just ‘present’ bands and designers, but to connect them to the audience. To that end, a well-designed “Look Book” was distributed at the show. People could pull the book out later and visually identify the designers and their designs. There were also short video interviews with the designers and bands, which aired between each segment of the show, and this helped the audience get a glimpse of their personalities. The “look book” and the videos really helped to connect the audience to the artists.
Voltage also helps the artist community in other ways. Proceeds from Voltage go to the Springboad for the Arts which helps artists gain access to healthcare, and Voltage has also birthed MNFashion.org which seeks to help designers access “professional development and resources so designers can establish a sustainable livelihood”
There are a lot of factors that make the Voltage show pretty amazing, not the least of which is that Anna Lee is behind it. While she is quick to point out that it takes many people to make the show happen, it takes someone with the moxie that Anna has to pull it off.
Another amazing fact is that the show was Packed. People want to see this, and hopefully, the success (and continued success) of Voltage, Art-A-Whirl and other artistic events in Minnesota will pave the way for more showings of art and fashion. Hopefully they can learn from Voltage to set up symbiotic relationships with the community, instead of consumeristic nonsense like the Uptown Art Fair.
Congrats to Anna Lee, her team and all the designers and artists who made Voltage a big success in 2007. Click over to http://www.voltagefashionamplified.com/ and check out the bands and designers, go to their websites, go to their myspace pages and add them as friends, go see their live shows or designer studios, buy their music if you like it, and most importantly, Spread The Word, and support local art like this. It’s something we are fortunate to have, and something people on the other two coasts take for granted.
Mark your calendars! Minnesota Fashion Maven Anna Lee is bringing back Voltage after a year hiatus!
11 April 2007 at the First Avenue Mainroom.
If you haven’t been to a Voltage show yet, you are missing out. Voltage: Fashion Amplified showcases local fashion designers, who have models parade their latest designs on a runway, while local bands perform on the stage behind them. A brilliant marriage of local music and local fashion. This is the kind of thing N.Y. and L.A. might take for granted, and the kind of thing that will help put Minneapolis on the culture map.
Here is the mission statement from their website http://www.voltagefashionamplified.com
Voltage: Fashion Amplified is the Midwest’s premier rock and fashion show. Through its annual events, Voltage seeks to foster collaboration, engender community and unite music and fashion while providing a national forum for local talent.
Full Disclosure – The power behind Voltage comes from my friend and former neighbor Anna Lee. One of the (many) goals of Voltage is to raise money and awareness for Springboard for the Arts’s “Artist’s Access to Healthcare” program.
According to Anna, Springboard is also helping to establish a new non-profit- MNfashion, a resource for the local fashion community.
If you know of any companies, organizations, or individuals that you think may be interested in sponsoring, send them a link to the site, or have them contact “sponsor at voltagefashionamplified.com”
Even if you can’t go or can’t donate, you should send Anna Lee an e-mail “ruby3annalee at mail.com” and tell her what a great job she is doing, supporting local music and fashion, and keeping Minneapolis from becoming a barren wasteland of culturelessness…
THE DEBUT CD RELEASE PARTY!
w/ THE ALARMISTS, REVOLVER MODELE, and WHITE LIGHT RIOT
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3RD
1309 4TH AVE SE
$5 in advance $7 @ door, 18+, 9:00 PM
You really should come to see this show, and get there early. Revolver Modele always puts on a great live show, but this concert will be filmed, so it should be awesome! Also, we need lots of people in the audience in case Ehsan falls off the stage again, he will need something to land on…
J-man celebrated his 25th birthday last weekend, and I met him and Sarah to bang heads over some serious, hardcore Christian Black Metal at the Star Central. I shit you not. Ordinarily, I prefer my Black Metal with a little cream and sugar, and this stuff was the full-on-espresso.
Not sure why the genre is called ‘Christian Black Metal.’ It makes sense that they would not want to call it Death Metal, but why not Life Metal, or White Metal (mmm…on second thought, maybe not)
Jesus Christ was at the show. He was the front man for one of the Christian Black Metal Bands. Although Jesus Christ is not his stage name, it wasn’t difficult to figure out who he was, and it wasn’t the long hair and goatee that tipped me off. It was the fact that he was there on a Sunday, preaching to those who need it in a way they would understand. Did you really think he would come back wearing khaki shorts, sandals and a hemp necklace? Cruising around Lake Nokomis in a Ford Hybrid? Please.
The real tipoff was when he said that if anyone left the show before the headlining band (Crimson Moonlight) took the stage, he would hunt them down, kill them, and drag their corpse back to the bar, and let the Christian Black Metal Music bring them back to life…
For those who are wondering, No, I did not ask Jesus for his autograph, and Yes, this does count as Church-Going, so I am covered for this year.
For those who haven’t heard about Revolver Modele, you really ought to check them out. And if you don’t know about the Suburban World Theatre, you really ought to check that out as well. If you haven’t heard of either, you are in luck, because Revolver Modele is playing Thursday, Apr 27th 2006 at the Suburban World Theatre! The event is a wine tasting for Solovino wine (Chile), with wine and appetizers (as well as a cash bar) and the uncanny sound of Revolver Modele begins at 8ish.
Thursday, April 27th @ Suburban World Theatre (Uptown Mpls on Hennepin Ave.)
If you can’t make that, make sure to catch Revolver Modele at Club Underground next month:
Saturday, May 27th @ Club Underground
355 N.E. Monroe St., Minneapolis, MN 55413
If you just can’t wait, you can listen to their music right now on www.myspace.com/revolvermodele
Xtna and I just returned home from the gala NIN concert at Xcel Energy Center. After washing the blood and sweat from my body (some of it my own) I am ready to give a reasonable recounting for those who have never experienced the Xcel Energy Center, Nine Inch Nails, or the “Minnesota Mosh.”
The concert took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. We arrived during the Queens of the Stone Age set, and had some drinks and had a chance to wander the facilities during intermission.
The Xcel is a nice venue, and after attending a concert here, you can understand why people hate the Metrodome. I thought Target Center was nice, but the Xcel is far superior. Two words; Fuh Sillities. Plenty of places to load and unload your bladder. Clean clean clean. Fantastic sound system. Well done.
Usually I end up with seats so close to the ceiling that you get a better view by looking over the shoulder of the guy in front of you, who is using his cell phone to download blurry, lo-res pix being posted to the Interweb by some drunk guy in the twentieth row. Through some strange Ticketmaster Computer Glitch of Fate, we ended up with tickets to the main floor. Fate had nothing to do with Xtna marching us right through the crowd to front-and-center, about 15-20 rows back from the stage. I was even closer to Trent than when I visited his home in New Orleans’ French Quarter, two years ago.
Of course, this particular spot was Ground Zero when the mosh pit broke out… but I’ll get to that.
Every NIN concert I’ve attended has been awesome, and this one was no exception.
I’ve been to all NIN concerts here in MN since the Downward Spiral tour, and the crowd has changed substantially over the years. Very few in the crowd last night wore the faded black gang colors of my industrial/goth brethren. Many of them look like people you stood in line next to at the grocery store last week. Ages ran the gamut.
Trent Reznor does not talk much in concert. He does not take requests. He does not care if you mosh while he plays peaceful, minimalist movements like “Right Where It Belongs” He does not care if you stand unmoving and transfixed, your lighter in the air during “Hurt.” He does not care if the crowd sings the chorus to “Terrible Lie” so loudly that he does not have to. He does not care if you cower in fear for your life while the crowd becomes blissfully suicidal during the encore, “Bite The Hand That Feeds.”
He does not care, nor has he mellowed with age. The man is pissed off and willing to share – take it or leave it. His anger is still contagious and therapeutic. This is church for myself and many others. Hallelujah.
It didn’t take long before the mosh pit opened up all around Xtna and me. So we got two shows for the price of one, and I can’t say which was more entertaining. It was fun to watch an angry moshing group try to hold the slam dance together when Trent shifts to his more ambient, passive movements.
But I did observe enough to learn a bit about the Minnesota Mosh, and identified several helpful rules if you are at a Lutheran Potluck and a Mosh breaks out.
The Revolver Modele CD Release party was last Saturday night at the Turf Club. If you missed it, then you missed it. Openings bands were Solid Gold and The Deaths.
My father has a saying – “If a woman wears a strong perfume, she’s probably trying to cover something up.” I could make an analogy to bands that turn the volume up too much. The rules of band etiquette state that the opening bands should NEVER be louder than the main act, unless you are opening for Enya.
Solid Gold is a three piece (guitar, guitar, and bass) who play along to a drum loop (similar to the Melodious Owls) and pull off a decent sound of drinking/dancing music that would be well-received at your wedding reception; a mix of boy-rock and pseudo-disco.
The band members were quite shy, and often did not face the audience. It is difficult to “not face the audience” from a thrust stage, especially when there is no drummer to stare at. (Fashion tip: If you are going to have your backside to the audience, and you are going to sag, make sure to wear clean and possibly even interesting underwear, because really, that’s all you’re giving us to look at.)
The songs were good, and the members of Solid Gold are all quite talented, but the songs got boring/repetitive after a bit, they really need to have the rhythm pattern broken up. There is a reason for the bridge in a song.
With less volume, more variety, and a human drummer, Solid Gold would do well.
More than once I have explained The Deaths music as “The Moody Blues as a Garage Band”. These guys were more relaxed than Solid Gold, but seemed less focused, and their performance was not as tight as their the 2005 Voltage: Fashion Amplified show. I would expect more gloomy music from a band called The Deaths. As it is, their music is casual, and non-offensive. They could use a bit of energy on stage, or dancers or props…
Flat out professional showmanship is the phrase I would use. These four are great, and they don’t need much room to get their “stage antics” on. I love the contrast of the absolutely insane lead singer (Ehsan) and guitarist (Mikal) and the completely stoic drummer (Jesse) and bassist (Natasha, AKA: The Nun) While Revolver Modele lyrics are always drowned in syrup, it was truly impossible to make out a single word Ehsan said throughout the show, even when covering New Order’s “Blue Monday”. The mix could have used a touch of EQ to bring out the vocals. These guys really should be national acts. Their performance was awesome, but too short.