Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Retribution Gospel Choir


Alan Sparhawk of The Retribution Gospel Choir (Mark Kozelek represented by glowing green orb)

For all of you living in a vacuum, The Retribution Gospel Choir is a brand new touring “supergroup” featuring Alan Sparhawk (Low, Black-eyed Snakes) and Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon). Exciting, isn’t it?

I had this genius idea of comparing The RGC (sans Kozelek) at the Uptown Bar with last night’s RGC (avec Kozelek) at the 400 Bar. Well, turned out, Mark Kozelek’s throat infection still hadn’t settled, so he had to postpone his 400 Bar appearance (for the second time). The Retribution Gospel Choir (sans Kozelek) still played, along with openers No Wait Wait, but I chose lie low for the night.

So, no geeky comparisons today. Sorry. However, I can tell you this: Alan Sparhawk (and his drummer and bass player) seemed to have everything under control during Friday’s (8/19/2005) show at the Uptown Bar. Their set was so solid and seemed so complete that I’m having a hard time imagining what Mark Kozelek could possibly add to The Retribution Gospel Choir.

I arrived expecting some half-finished, tongue-in-cheek rock-n-roll songs. I was dead wrong. Deeaadd wrong. Sure, the songs rocked – there was screeching feedback and guitar solos (don’t let Low’s simplicity fool you; Al is a master axman). But The Retribution Gospel Choir was more like Low than the Black-eyed Snakes in that the lyrics were thoughtful, and the emotion behind the music was powerful and passionate.

Now, I’ve seen Alan Sparhawk solo performances, and I’ve rocked out to the Snakes, but The RGC seemed much more significant. The addition of another cult hero (if Kozelek’s throat ever heals) might be a little overwhelming. But if Kozelek can successfully integrate into this already ideal side project, my opinion of supergroups might forever change (don’t get me wrong, I love The Traveling Wilburys as much as the next guy).

*****

If you can believe it, after The Retribution Gospel Choir left the stage, the floor of the Uptown Bar started to get really packed. The familiar faces I noticed during the Choir’s set were soon replaced by boys in white baseball caps and girls in fancy makeup.

The following is a transcript of the conversation held between the angel and devil sitting on my shoulders:

Devil: Lee, why are you still standing among these frat boys?

Angel: Wait, you don’t even know if they’re frat boys. Even if they were, why would it matter? Lee, you’re well aware of the dangers of prejudice – don’t be a hypocrite. You know as well as I do that not all frat boys are rapists. Plus, anyone who’s out supporting local music can’t be that bad.

Devil: We’ve been through this before: frat boys flock to bad music. Get out of here while you can.

Angel: Divorcee isn’t that bad. Just wait until you see them.

Devil: Divorcee isn’t playing until later. The frat boys are here for a band called Robotboy.

Angel: It’s impossible to judge a band by their fans. Lee is not a snob. He’s going to keep an open mind, and he’ll probably really enjoy Robotboy’s music.

Devil: Lee, Robotboy doesn’t need you – they had a full-page write-up in the City Pages, and they obviously already have a lot of fans.

Angel: Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to form your own opinion. Give them a chance, Lee.

Devil: You’ll be sorry. Ha! Look at that gigantic drum set; that’s already a bad sign!

Angel: Now you’re just being prejudice for the sake of being prejudice.

Devil: Oh, look at those band dudes. Aren’t they pretty. I wonder how long it took them to do their hair.

Angel: See, Lee? You’re tapping your foot. You’re bobbing your head. I told you they’d be alright.

Devil: What are you talking about? Lee, this is the type of derivative, polished pop punk that has made you shudder for years! You just finished watching an amazing band. Why would you want to taint that experience by lowering your standards to this crap?

Angel: You’re missing the point. You don’t need to take everything so seriously. Robotboy is meant to be a fun band. They’re great musicians, and they do write fun songs. So just relax and have fun with it. Who are you trying to impress, anyway?

Devil: I hope you’re happy. We’ve sat through several songs, and nothing’s improved. I can’t believe we’re missing Malachi Constant for this.

Angel: What!? We’re missing Malachi Constant!? Let’s get the fuck out of here!!!

P.S. Check out HowWasTheShow's review of Robotboy's set for a more open-minded perspective.

Archives:
Low @ First Avenue: February 12, 2005

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Dino Porno #2: Maudlin

Maudlin

Mp3.com used to be so cool. Back before the RIAA effectively extinguished the dazzling potential for free online music distribution, I used to spend hours upon hours surfing mp3.com for obscure nuggets. It was such a happy community – everyone and their dog had at least one song on mp3.com. I could do a search for “Minnesota music,” and hundreds of local artists would pop up, kindly offering me handfuls of free mp3s.

Sure, there was a lot of crap to sift through: embarrassing jam bands, Maynard James Keenan worshippers, “emo” bands who had never even heard of Sunny Day Real Estate, and the worst…high school third-wave ska bands…ugh. But every once in a while, I’d make a discovery that would completely validate the hours spent searching.

I struck gold when I stumbled upon Maudlin’s mp3 for “Dancecaster.” The song, which could easily pass for a Pixies-era Kim Deal composition, immediately rose to the top of my esteemed playlists. I was already singing along by the second listen; by the third, I was officially addicted.

It wasn’t long before I started craving more Maudlin. So I did what any good supporter of local music would do: I went to a show. At the show, I discovered (as did the other three audience members) that Maudlin had much more to offer beyond “Dancecaster.”

With a great live set, and talks of an album, things were starting to get exciting.

But then Maudlin disappeared from my sights. Was this the end? Was Maudlin to be written off as a mysterious one-“hit”-wonder? Nope. Maudlin vanished into thin air only to re-emerge last year in…Canada?

Yeah, last year, Maudlin’s debut album, The Penitent Never Regret, was released in Canada via a small Canadian label. Although they still resided in St. Paul, Maudlin forwent playing local shows in favor of touring Canada in support of their album. Earlier this year, however, their record label folded, and Maudlin was forced to fend for themselves.

So where does this leave Maudlin? Right here in the Twin Cities! It’s been a few years since I last saw them, but that will soon change with the slew of long-awaited local gigs they’ve recently booked. The first will be this Friday (August 26, 2005) at the “used-to-be-unbearably-stinky-but-now- it’s-not-so-bad-thanks-to-the-smoking-ban” Terminal Bar.

What better way to welcome this great news than to feature Maudlin in this week’s Dino Porno! And what better song to feature than the one that got me hooked. Maudlin – now consisting of husband and wife, David and Priscilla Priebe, and drummer Mark-John – rerecorded “Dancecaster” for The Penitent Never Regret. The newer version is louder, faster, and more assertive, but lacks the original’s lo-fi appeal and lead guitar work provided by former member Josh Lauer (who may again be working with the band in the near future). The song available below is the original version that I found on the old mp3.com. I think it’ll have a happier home here – I don’t see any multimillion-dollar lawsuits or buyouts in Dinosaur in Trouble’s immediate future.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD:
Maudlin - Dancecaster

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Noise! Noise! Noise!


The one and only Michael Yonkers

My initial reaction to seeing five guys twiddling knobs on the floor of the Entry with their backs to the audience was, “Oh great, another pretentious ambient/noise band. This is going to be boooring. Oh well, I’ve been through this before; I’m sure I can find some way to entertain myself.” And entertain myself I did. I discovered that if I sat with my back up against the wall separating the floor from the bar area, I could really feel the vibrations coming from the distorted bass. Feeling the music, as well as hearing it, kept me much more attentive; thus, I was much more immersed in the sonic landscape created by local noisemakers, Diamonds. About five minutes into their set, however, I found that my extra effort was no longer needed to enjoy Diamonds. Their drummer finally woke from his slumber. Now, a noise band with a live drummer is already several steps above your average noise band. Diamonds definitely were several steps above: not only did they have a drummer, they had a really, really talented and effective drummer. His subdued drum roll slowly but surely developed into a full-on percussive assault during the course of their single-song set. Diamonds’ music continued to build in a Godspeed You! Black Emperor-like crescendo until we were all convinced that they were just as exciting as any of the other bands sharing the bill last Tuesday night. What a surprise!


Diamonds

Chicago’s Plastic Crimewave Sound, led by Galactic Zoo Dossier editor/creator, Steve Krakow (a.k.a. Plastic Crimewave), played after Diamonds. Their feedback-ridden, spaced-out psych rock was one-upped with a surprise guest appearance by the king of all local cult heroes: Michael Yonkers! The addition of Yonkers made for an even noisier Plastic Crimewave Sound. Before they played their final number, Plastic Crimewave warned the crowd that the following song was not for the faint-of-heart. He was absolutely right. Crimewave’s droning feedback, Yonkers’ ultra-fuzzed-out guitar, and the sheer chaos contributed by the rest of the band made for a beautiful mess that only Diamonds could have prepared us for. After their set, Crimewave announced that we have a god living among us in Minnesota, and we should bow down whenever we see Michael Yonkers on the street. Fortunately, I’ve been doing that for years. For all you crazy collectors out there, Plastic Crimewave Sound also has a split 7” with Michael Yonkers – definitely worth getting. They are also splitting a 12” with headliners Oneida, which will be the first release on Oneida’s new label, Brah Records.


Plastic Crimewave Sound


PCS featuring Michael Yonkers

Kinski was next. Are there any kids around? No? OK…Holy fucking shit!!! Do you love instrumental rock, but don’t have the patience for Tortoise or Tristeza? Do you want to bang your head to a rock-and-roll flute, but hate Jethro Tull? Then Kinski is the perfect band for you. In order to capture the pure intensity of their shows, Kinski recorded their new album, Alpine Static, as a full live band. Although Alpine Static is a great album, it still isn’t an accurate representation of Kinski’s inflammable shows. The vibrations from the extreme volume, the energy and adrenaline of the band, and the reaction of the audience are impossible to transfer onto a recording, no matter what method is used in the studio. Needless to say, it’s also impossible to accurately describe the reality of Kinski on a two-dimensional blog. I can tell you this, though: in an attempt to prove that they're from this planet and are humble human beings, they closed with a cover of Crazy Elephant’s 1969 bubblegum hit, “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’.” Isn’t it weird to think that that song was originally released around the same time that the Michael Yonkers Band recorded Microminiature Love? I guess it’s comparable to the Kinski/Jessica Simpson discrepancy found on our radios today.


Kinski


flutin'

Not many bands would be able to follow that fiery performance by Kinski. Luckily, Oneida is not your average band. Their status as one of indie rock’s hardest-working touring acts definitely showed when they hit the stage. They weren’t there to fuck around. OK, maybe they were there to fuck around, but they were also there to deliver an astonishing, mind-blowing set of vigorous songs. Oneida didn’t seem to be too concerned with keeping their set consistent with their new album. The Wedding is full of pretty string arrangements and pleasant pop songs. But last Tuesday, Oneida was more intent on blowing out our ears and making sure that we all went home drenched in sweat. Maybe it’s just the atmosphere of the Entry that makes bands feel the need to follow in the footsteps of Hüsker Dü. Or maybe Oneida is just plain awesome.


Oneida


Oneida likes Joy Division

Check out Chris’s blog for a second opinion of last Tuesday’s show at the Entry.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for the mention, Lee. Great review of this show, and fun, action-picked pics to boot! What more could ya ask for?

10:29 PM

 
Blogger Chris said...

I mean, packed, action-packed pics...you don't pick action, or else it wouldn't be called action...I think?

10:30 PM

 

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dino Porno #1: Hindu Rodeo



1995. Wow, what a phenomenal year. Hard to believe an entire decade has already passed. ‘95 marked a huge turning point in my simple life. I experienced so many milestones during that epic year. Let’s see, ‘twas my freshman year of high school (well, not really…9th grade was still part of the junior high in my town). I got my driving permit. Oh yeah, first kiss! And the turning point of all turning points: my family purchased our very first CD player!

What, Lee Barnett is idolizing a material possession? Wait, wait, hear me out. That CD player affected me in ways you can’t imagine. It signaled the beginning of my career as a fulltime music geek. I would sit in front of that machine for hours just listening to music and playing with the features (track skip, shuffle, repeat, program; unheard of!). I didn’t have any CDs of my own yet, so I had to depend on what my dad brought home. One of the first CDs he brought home (quite possibly the very first) was the debut album by a local band called Hindu Rodeo. I immediately fell in love with that album. I listened to it over and over and over and over again. The music, the lyrics, and even the album art became more familiar than the back of my hand. I don’t liberally throw around the word “life-changing,” but if you think about the effect Hindu Rodeo had on my future obsession with music, that’s exactly what they were.

The girl I kissed in my neighbor’s hammock back in 1995 has long since disappeared from my life. But Hindu Rodeo has never left me. When I moved out, I had to buy my own copy of their album. And even though I can easily sing the entire album from memory, I still have to listen to it at frequent intervals.

Lucky for me (and you), Hindu Rodeo is still active. After a sizeable hiatus, Hindu Rodeo returned in 2003 with the “radio ready” and extremely clever Nalladaloobr. Guitarist, Dirk Freymuth, and drummer, Jimi Englund, currently reside in Los Angeles, but they’ve still been able to get together with songwriter/bassist/singer, Joel Sayles (who still lives in the Twin Cities) to record new material. A new album is expected to appear sometime next year. Definitely something to look forward to.

Needless to say, Hindu Rodeo was my first introduction to local independent music. For that, I am forever indebted to this remarkable band. Therefore, it is only appropriate that a Hindu Rodeo song is the first to be offered for download on Dinosaur in Trouble. The song I chose is one of my favorites from their life-changing, 1995 self-titled debut. If you like it, please go buy their albums.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD:
Hindu Rodeo - Wilderness

3 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Good addition to the site Lee. I'm still learning how to put pics up on the posts. Baby steps...
Hindu Rodeo is amazing, indeed.

11:28 PM

 
Blogger monica said...

Hi,
I saw Hindu Rodeo live in Nashville in some bar in 1996. I still have that record and I thought it was fantastic!
What are these guys doing now? what happened to that 2003 album? Did it ever come out?
Monica, Berlin, Germany
(this is the first time I am blogging, yeehaw)

2:46 AM

 
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Introduction to Dino Porno



For the past 6 1/2 months, we at Dinosaur in Trouble have been dwelling in the Mesozoic Era. Not anymore. Tomorrow, Dinosaur in Trouble will take a giant leap into the 21st Century.

That’s right, we’re getting with the times and offering a weekly mp3 download!

Here’s how it’ll work:

Every Wednesday, we will highlight one local band (local = Minnesotan) in a weekly feature titled “Dino Porno” (thank Shawna for the name). Via Dino Porno, you can read our explanation on why the featured band is the coolest band ever, and then you can download one of their songs and see for yourself.

Why are we doing it? Because we owe it to the world. Minnesota has the best music scene on this planet, and it would be a shame if we kept it all to ourselves. So it is our duty here at Dinosaur in Trouble to share the love.

Tune in tomorrow for Dino Porno #1. Who will it be??? Shhh! It’s a surprise. Oooh, but it’ll be a good one! For Sure! You Bet’cha!

2 Comments:

Blogger lil' ticket said...

Exciting!

9:23 AM

 
Blogger Shawna said...

Yes! The name lives on in local style!

10:40 AM

 

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Midnight Evils, Going Out in Style


Midnight Evils at the Pizza Lucé Block Party

Thank goodness for Phase II of the Midtown Greenway! Uptown is now only a 20-minute bike ride from my house. Comes in handy during those hot days when I need a quick route to the lakes, or during those paydays when I need a quick route to the recent arrival bins at Cheapo. The speedy bike trail also comes in handy when I’m in a mad rush to catch one of the last shows the Midnight Evils will ever play.

Yep, the 3rd annual Pizza Lucé Block Party last Saturday was the Midnight Evils’ 3rd-to-last show until they make like a banana and…

Their next show – Wednesday, August 24, in the First Avenue Mainroom – promises to be a memorable experience. As epic as that show might be, however, it will lack the diverse sea of people and the beautiful weather experienced at the block party. Oh my, what a great time I had! Thanks to my intense bike ride, I was adequately warmed-up for the Evils’ deluge of yips, yaps, ridiculous guitar solos, and leg kicks (otherwise, I probably would’ve pulled a muscle). Ahh, I’m gonna miss those crazy guys.

And what is a street party without an appearance by Har Mar Superstar? Well, it wouldn’t even be a street party. Unfortunately, he left his pants on this time (sorta). But I wasn’t too disappointed; Har Mar actually put on a really tight show. I was very impressed (I even lost my cool and danced up a storm).

We sure do raise ‘em sexy here in Minnesota. First Prince, and now Har Mar. As Sean Tillman (Har Mar Superstar) announced at the show, he actually grew up in Owatonna. Now here’s today’s fun high school trivia: Sean Tillman attended Owatonna High School with Craig Minowa from Cloud Cult, and Ted Nesseth from The Heavenly States. Now go and impress your friends with your newly acquired knowledge.


For those about to rock...


Har Mar Superstar wearing his pants a little too low


Har Mar waves goodbye to the Midnight Evils

Archives:
Midnight Evils @ Aardvark Records: March 26, 2005
Har Mar Superstar @ Grand Old Day: June 5, 2005
Har Mar Superstar @ Emo's Main Room (SXSW): March 18, 2005

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Regards,
John

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12:25 AM

 

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

I Wanna Be "It"


The Haves Have It at the Triple Rock

Is it the end of the year yet? I think I’m about ready to dole out the first-annual Dinosaur in Trouble year-end awards (the Mesozoic Medals). These prestigious, highly coveted awards – referred to by people in the industry as “The Mezzies” – are not given out lightly. Hours upon hours of meticulous research are required to ensure 100% accuracy in the awarding of the Mezzies. So in the interest of accuracy, I suppose I should actually wait until the end of the year to give out the year-end awards. As of now, the recipient of the Mezzie for “the best band to release an album with artwork featuring polar bears at war with humans” would be STNNNG, for their album, Dignified Sissy. But who knows, maybe in a few more months, another band will come along and upstage STNNNG. It’s just too early to tell at this point. However, rigorous statistical analysis shows that there is little chance that the contender for “best new local band” will be upstaged within the next four months. I’m sure all of you regulars to Dinosaur in Trouble know exactly to whom I refer. Yes, The Haves Have It have it. How can I be so sure? Well, anyone who saw them at the Entry last month, or at the Triple Rock last Friday, knows that The Haves Have It’s position as the best new local band is as obvious as the statement implied by their name.

Seriously, The Haves Have It one-up themselves with each show they play. Friday’s Triple Rock show was no exception. Sexy, sophisticated, and fist-pumping! What more could you possibly ask for? Well, I guess everyone in the venue was asking for more (as in, “Encore! More Haves Have It!”). I caught word that they’ll be playing another show with Clair de Lune on September 15. You’d be there if you knew what was good for you.

The rest of the night was phenomenal as well. Kansas City’s Doris Henson, fresh off a six-week sold-out tour with Billy Corgan, kept things rockin’ after The Haves Have It. Those of you familiar with Midwestern cult bands of the 90s might recognize Doris Henson’s bass player, Byron Collum, from the legendary Kansas City scene-defining band, Giants Chair. [Side note: there have been some strong rumors concerning the likely possibility of a Giants Chair reunion in the near future. That’d be well-worth the road trip down to KC.] Here’s another interesting fact: Doris Henson’s singer/guitarist, Matt Dunehoo, and The Haves Have It’s singer/guitarist, Portia Richardson, went to high school together back in Kansas City. They’ve even recorded some stuff together (now coveted by extreme collectors; i.e., myself).

Tin Horns topped off the night of monstrous rock. Now there’s another band worthy of a Mezzie. Their debut album released earlier this year is awesome, but their live shows are even awesomer (and sweatier). They’re so awesome and sweaty, in fact, that I decided to buy a t-shirt. Now, a shirt purchase from Lee Barnett is quite an honor these days. When I was in high school, I used to buy a shirt at almost every show I went to. But then a year later, due to my rapidly developing musical tastes, the shirt would become way too embarrassing to wear. I have since become much more discriminating in my merch purchases. Fortunately, I’ll have no problem representin’ the Tin Horns for years to come. The last of my Korn shirts, however, have just been shipped off to Goodwill (I’m sure they’ll brighten the day of some angsty teen).

Now look at some more pictures.


The Haves


Have It


Jamie, Byron, and Matt of Doris Henson


Matt and Byron


Tin Horns


Adam from Clair de Lune provides dancing backup for Tin Horns

Archives:
The Haves Have It @ The 7th Street Entry: July 9, 2005
The Haves Have It @ house party: May 21, 2005
Tin Horns @ The Hexagon Bar: March 26, 2005
Tin Horns @ The Triple Rock: February 14, 2005

3 Comments:

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm Sorry & I'm Sorry


Missoula, Montana's The Candidatos play a couple of hilariously absurd backstabbing friends in the dark comedy, I'm Sorry & I'm Sorry.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival is almost over. So that means that you only have two more chances to see The CandidatosI’m Sorry & I’m Sorry. If you can’t make tonight’s 10:00 performance, you sure as hell better be at Saturday’s show at the Brave New Workshop.

Speaking of things you need to do this weekend… Don’t forget to check out The Haves Have It with Doris Henson and Tin Horns tomorrow night (Friday, August 12) at the Triple Rock Social Club!

1 Comments:

Blogger erinlein said...

you call that a post? ha.

11:03 PM

 

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side


Beautiful scenery (if you don't get too hung up on the whole Stalin/Osama thing)

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Me? Oh, you know. The usual. Broadway show…a couple museums…Chinatown…Central Park…promenading around Manhattan with two beautiful ladies.

For real. I had an extremely amazing time in NYC. Everything was perfect (even Jersey City and the subway rats). I owe my life to Kirsten and Erin – first SXSW, and now this.

I used to call famous Minnesotans who moved to New York “sellouts.” But now I’m honestly inspired to move to the Big Apple myself (it’s OK, I’m not that famous). That settles it; if I can’t find a job by September, I’m relocating. I already have a box picked out under the Brooklyn Bridge.


My girlfriends, Erin and Kirsten


Empire State Building


Marc Bolan's ancestor at the American Museum of Natural History

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

jesus, who is that gorgeous brunette?

12:14 AM

 
Blogger Lee said...

Back off! I saw her first!

5:41 PM

 
Blogger lil' ticket said...

That brunette be a ho, yo. Word.

12:40 PM

 
Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

i'll take the blonde. i hear she signals people to have sex with her by pointing to her crotch and wiggling. i want in on that!

10:18 AM

 
Blogger mr gilbert said...

moving to dumbo, huh? kudos. i miss nyc.

re: brunette, it's really the wind blowing through her hair that sells the whole thing. nice pic.

7:30 AM

 

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

No, I Didn't Forget


Tatsuya Yoshida chills out in Cedar-Riverside

Due to a few extraordinary circumstances (which I will write about in the coming days), I totally blew off writing about a few extraordinary shows that took place in late July. I swear, I had so many clever things to say about the performances, but it’s all lost now. Sorry. Instead, I’ll just write a brief and semi-informative account of each set (mainly for my own purposes – so that in a few years, I can look back and reminisce about how I spent the bulk of my 20s going to shows).

Triple Rock, Thursday, July 21st:

Sicbay:
Tons of new material from Nick Sakes (ex-Dazzling Killmen/Colossamite) & co. Very good. I finally picked up their recent 7” that they split with Deerhoof. Hmm…no record player in my new house. I guess after a few more paychecks, I’ll be able to listen to it.

Big Business:
This show’s lineup was definitely tempting, but it was Big Business’s Radio K in-studio performance that convinced me to forsake sleep and go out on a weeknight. My rush-hour commute was greatly enhanced by hearing Big Business yelling at me through my radio. I had almost forgotten how much Big Business rocked my world. Their set at the Triple Rock was as rockin’ as ever. Very good. It’s amazing how much sound can come from just a bass guitar and a drum set.

RUINS:
Speaking of excessive sound coming only from a bass guitar and a drum set…that reminds me of the legendary Japanese proggers, RUINS. How appropriate they shared the bill with Big Business (funny, last time I saw Big Business, they played with Death From Above 1979 – another loud bass/drum duo). Unfortunately, Hisashi Sasaki, RUINS’ bassist for the past 10 years, had recently left the band. So bionic drummer, Tatsuya Yoshida, was left to fend for himself during this “Bassist Wanted Tour.” Throughout the tour, Yoshida planned to open each night with a solo set (featuring a sampler programmed with the necessary bass guitar licks), and close with a set featuring a bass player from whatever town he happened to be in. Erik Fratzke – Happy Apple bassist / Zebulon Pike guitarist – was the obvious choice for the Twin Cities. I should have guessed it. Holy shit – Erik Fratzke, with just two-days notice, pulled off a stellar performance with one of the most technical drummers in the Northern Hemisphere. Now improv is one thing, but Fratzke was also able to flawlessly pull off RUINS classics, “Praha in Spring” and “Black Sabbath Medley Reversible.” Wow. Very good.

Nomad World Pub, Thursday, July 21st:

Doomtree:
On my way home from the Triple Rock, I walked past the Nomad where the party was far from over. I could see through the window that the Doomtree crew was in full effect (on my way to the Triple Rock, I could see Vox Vermillion through the window, but since I see them about once a week, I decided to continue on my journey). Since it was late and the bouncer was no longer enforcing the cover, I walked right in to join the fun. Yep, dodging beer cans thrown from the stage, chanting “doomTREE,” and waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care is my idea of a rockin’ good time. Very good.

400 Bar, Saturday, July 23rd:

Royal Gun:
My lazy ass didn’t get to the 400 Bar until London's Royal Gun were on their last song. Based on the plethora of "oohs" and "aahs" thrown into their closing number, I bet they would’ve been a fun band to watch. Umm…very good.

Dressy Bessy:
You know me; I’m hugely into anything even remotely related to the Elephant 6 Collective. I very much love Dressy Bessy. For all who are unaware, Dressy Bessy is the band that Weezer wishes they could be (post-Pinkerton). Did you know that singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom was born in Rochester, MN? Pretty cool, eh? Very good.

Pernice Brothers:
I went to see Dressy Bessy; I left awestruck by the Pernice Brothers. I had no idea they’d be such an interesting live band. Two of the blokes from Royal Gun accompanied the Brothers on bass guitar and keyboard. If I hadn’t just seen them earlier, I would have assumed that they were fulltime members of the band – they meshed so well with the other members, who were, by the way, very good. Very good. Very good. Very good.



Dressy Bessy


Pernice Brothers

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