Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Minnesota Music Scene Can Be Odd

Not the clubs - we have a pretty fair, eclectic scene, pick yer poison, Triple Rock, First Ave, Cabooze, Minnesota Music Club, all frequently cutting edge. Even the older acts - I had a blast at Mighty Mighty Bosstones and they were pounding it, Sweetie got tickets for my brother and I to see Metallica on the Death Magnetic show - fantastic. For the record, Lars Ulrich is a peanuthead, but Ride The Lightning holds the hell up. Barenaked Ladies, love, numerous times. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is world class. More damnable Top 40 acts and horrible pop country acts than I can throw up at*. 

But then there's Maude ummm, different bits. This is what happens when I watch local TV and see ads.

The State Theatre, a Hennepin District theatre, is presenting John Denver! My ears perked up, because to my knowledge, he hasn't released anything for a while. Or paid income taxes. Odd, that. 

Sorry. 

No, but really, John Denver is a guilty pleasure of mine - a childhood AM radio dad thing, I like John Denver. Sue me, wevs. This 'tour', though, consists of longtime members of his touring band from those days backing projected footage of Denver performing. I don't even know what to say to that. Bad taste? Money grab? Tupac Lives? I don't know...

The Doobie Brothers seem to be doing the casino-oldies tour, but with new material, the band composed of a few from the original (pre-McDonald/Baxter) line-up. The Doobies are one of the classic rock era bands that hold up for me, in both its original guitar lineup and Michael McDonald's blue-eyed soul stuff. The fact that they are touring with new material gives me hope that they are not pulling a Roger Daltrey, but casino tours are hospice for rock and roll bands. Imma give the new album, World Gone Crazy, a fair listen, cuz I'm curious, but I just don't know what to think.

Now this, I know some of what to think. Casinos and country go together like bread and evil. One of the pioneers of country acts who ripped off the Eagles (blech) and added slide guitar to create an Enochian dialogue with demons pop country, Alabama. Having spent the last decade living on Best-Of's and covers, including Waylon Jennings?!?! (f'reals, holy FSM are these bastards out of their league), and gospel, they are hitting one of the local money-vacuums. 

The parts of that I don't know what to think? Not enough internets to describe 'em. Probably gonna sell out, ugh. Tell you what, I'll narrow my questions down to WTF?!?! Over-engineered, coldly calculated nostalgia. How does a just universe not smite them, with falling anvils and spiders and woodworking tools with inadequate guarding? Fudge.

*And yes, I take music very seriously - I give credit to anyone who can write, play, and sing, I can't. Eh, maybe a little, been a while though for writing and playing, and on a very good day, I can easily sing 2-3 beautifully pure tones. Actually, I'm pretty good at finding/singing the harmony on the music playing gadget...

26 comments:

  1. And yes, I take music very seriously

    I don't get this at all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We have a triad of venues, all run by the same folks: the Riverside, The Pabst, and Turner Hall. All historic venues, and they go out of their way to treat their performers so well that bands want to come back. A lot of times, it's easy to skip Milwaukee on the Chicago-Madison-MPLS circuit, but when they get treated so well, they will ask that their agents make sure they get a stop.

    http://www.pabsttheater.org/

    And they try to keep the tickets reasonable also. Heck, I saw Kelly Hogan for free!

    Then we have Shank Hall, a venue run by a college acquaintance of mine. I've seen a ton of great bands in this 300 seat club, including the Mekons and Matthew Sweet (regrettably, not on the same bill).

    Then there are the bigger venues, and the Casino (never been, actually). Not to mention a few good bars. Trapper Schoepp is playing a neighborhood bar next month! fresh off gigs opening for Soul Asylum and Wallflowers, they'll be playing for 100 people.

    Finally, there is the Holy Grail, the Cherry in the Braintini, the Big Gig: Summerfest. 800 acts in eleven days.

    It may not quite reach the peaks of the 80s, but it's still pretty damn good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gotta get to teh Fest again, yer Festblog enjealoused me.

      Delete
  3. but dood, the Doobies?

    Although I will cut you slack for the Zombie Denver show.

    Michael McDonald just doesn't have the good sense to drop dead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I suppose I shouldn't snark. I have a Moody Blues compilation playing right now.

      Delete
    2. Snark away! I have a weak spot for alot of 70's stuff, the association is with my dad's 17ft. Delta 88 with the Delco radio. I'll even cop to "One Tin Soldier", which certainly beats the hell out of Billy Jack, as Tom Laughlin and movies go together like peppermint and spaghetti sauce - rightfully underappreciated.

      Agree on McDonald - didn't he just do a 'standards' album or something? Blech - I blame Rod Stewart.

      Delete
  4. Gotta dig the Twin Cities- the 'Mats, Husker Du... also North Side Records is based in Minneapolis, and they released the most badass music of the 90s.

    As for Zombie John Denver, I think I prefer the Karen Carpenter/Kurt Cobain collaboration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I prefer the Karen obsession as defined by Sonic Youth.

      Delete
    2. B^4 - Woot!!1!

      Sorry, Karen's sweet pipes have been beaten by young master Bieber and his new musical direction.

      ZRM - love that tune...

      Delete
  5. Did I ever tell you the story about road-tripping to MPLS to meet Snag and see Soul Asylum/ The Figgs at First Avenue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You told me you did, but not the story. I ran "first avenue zombie attack" through teh googly and found no reports of gnawing.

      Beddy-bye-bye time, school night, so I'm sober, tired, and have to wake up too damn early, if you send story or linky I'll read in the AM. Ta.

      Delete
    2. I am up late, trying to finish elevations for an ARB meeting tomorrow, and then tomorrow is the final build day for Robotics. So needless to say, I hear the bottle of rum calling to me....

      I did a semi-post about the MPLS trip on the old blog, which is turned off and for Zombie reference only. My attorney advises me that I can admit to eating bone marrow as a garnish and drinking Patron like it was water.

      Delete
    3. drinking Patron like it was water.

      The fruit of the agave is a scary thing to me, bringing up memories of forgetting things.

      Read the review, sounds like a helluva show!

      Delete
  6. review of the show:
    http://www.bigtakeover.com/concerts/soul-asylum-with-the-figgs-and-pink-mink-first-avenue-minneapolis-mn-friday-december-17-2010

    ReplyDelete
  7. Speaking of old dinosaur acts, I just ordered tix for Dirk, Lerxst, and Pratt when they hit Summerfest this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll confess I had to googly - somewhere I have Exit: Stage Left on vinyl, love it.

      MST3K joke about witches, forget the film:
      "I have a lot of black clothing and every Rush album"

      They played MN State Fair a couple years ago, I shoulda seen them but sweetie's taste in music leans more towards, say, bad.

      ow, honey, kidding!

      Delete
  8. I'll confess I had to googly

    It's like a secret handshake for prog geeks.

    Exit...Stage Left is, IMHZO, the weakest of the live albums (also have it on vinyl). The first one is kind of standard fare. My favorite is Different Stages, which features some of their newer, tougher sounding stuff as well as ALL of 2112 rather than a medley. But the all around best has to be Rush In Rio. Also, if you see it on the devil-box, watch "Beyond The Lighted Stage" which is a hoot of a documentary, plus seeing them as kids is hilarious.

    Wife Sublime grew up in northern cow-town area (Mishicot, actually, bonus points if you've heard of it) and never seen a real rock show when I met her. So we drove to Madison to see the Moving Pictures tour, and it blew her mind sufficiently that she later decided marrying me was a good idea.

    If I had to guess, the MST episode might be Touch of Satan, which I insist on reading as the Touch of Stan. It had witches in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's like a secret handshake for prog geeks.

      My version of prog leans towards Tull (pre-metal years. Also, Lars Ulrich is a turniphead.), Gabriel Genesis (the Musical Box show you saw last fall sounded fantastic, muy jealousy, tried to see if they'd be in Minneapolis but nay nay), Marillion, some Yes, some ELP. I like Rush, have heard alot of their stuff, but have never been a collector.

      I'll look for Rush In Rio and the Lighted Stage doc.

      Mishicot, actually, bonus points if you've heard of it
      Been there; for a wedding reception 20+ years ago, also had to have been there about the same timeframe when visiting a college buddy in Manitowoc for a weekend and we did a gloriously drunken townie tour, when cigars were still allowed in bars dammit, but after a certain point that night (Two Rivers, I think), things, people, etc. get fuzzy. Also took two calls to Point Beach nuke 5 years ago, for a refuel shutdown and when someone let the magic smoke out of one of the transformers.

      I'll take that bonus point, basement needs window treatments.

      Delete
    2. Penalty point. It's pronounced T'Rivers.

      Delete
    3. I can take or leave prog (prefer glam, myself), but I love the hell out of this (I'm convinced it's the inspiration for Spinal Tap's "Stonehenge"), though I don't know if it qualifies as prog, I think it's more "heavy folk".

      Delete
  9. Well. That was embarrassingly geeky, wasn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the geek what made the original reference, and who has listened to Nerdist podcasts with Mary Jo Pehl and Prank Conniff. Bbbppffffllttzz!

      Delete
    2. I think he'd enjoy being called Prank.

      Delete
  10. IN that Lighted Stage documentary, they admit to being into Yes and Genesis during their early days.

    ReplyDelete