Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady

Thunderbirds Are Now! seem very driven to increase their exposure in the Twin Cities. If playing a show here once a month (more than most local bands) doesn’t do it for them, opening for the beloved Hold Steady definitely will. October 30th at First Avenue was actually the second time I’ve seen the Thunderbirds open for The Hold Steady in the past year. TBAN!’s set didn’t stray too far from what I’ve come to expect from them. The ADHD stage antics were still there, and since it was the day before Halloween, Scott Allen spent some time dressed up as a California Raisin. During their last song, Scott discovered a roll of duct tape and decided to wrap all around his body. After he peeled it off, he formed it into a noose and put it around my neck. Now, a dedicated fan probably would have kept the duct-tape noose as a concert souvenir, but I made the wise decision to throw it away since I already have enough trash cluttering my room.

Thunderbirds Are Now!

If you click on the link to view my Blogger profile, you will notice that under “Favorite Music,” I listed both Constantines and Lifter Puller (oh, I also listed First Avenue under “Interests”). So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the Constantines and The Hold Steady would be sharing the bill in my favorite venue. Things got even more exciting when Broken Social Scene showed up to enhance the Constantines’ set (BSS had played First Avenue the previous night, and decided to hang out in the Twin Cities for the weekend). Constantines played about half of their songs with the help of various members of Broken Social Scene. During their finale, the stage was packed with the Constantines, Broken Social Scene, Thunderbirds Are Now!, and the majority of The Hold Steady. Craziness I tell you!

Constantines with Broken Social Scene

Know what else is cool? People singing along to the Constantines. When I first started getting into the Constantines, I got so weary of trying to explain what makes them so great (they just are! OK?). The whole “Fugazi meets Bruce Springsteen” descriptor became a little overused, so I finally gave up and just started telling people to “go find out for yourself.” Nowadays, since the Constantines have three solid albums under their belt, and since Sub Pop has introduced them to the US, it’s no longer a struggle to describe the Constantines to my friends. I can say “Constantines” and people know exactly what I am talking about. The mass of people at First Avenue chanting along to “Young Offernders” is a testament to this fact. It’s about frickin’ time!

Bryan Webb of Constantines

Steve Lambke of Constantines

The Hold Steady were awesome as usual. Craig Finn’s between-song (and mid-song) banter is always just as entertaining as his songs. One of his long-winded raves about the Minnesota music scene included a story about how he made a deal with his dad back in 1984: if he paid his dues by mowing lawns, his dad would take him to Oarfolkjokeopus to purchase Let It Be (only in Minnesota can you say "Oarfolkjokeopus" without people giving you funny looks, and "Let It Be" without people thinking of The Beatles). He claims that “I Will Dare” is still his favorite song (a very common claim in this neck of the woods). I guarantee that in the near future, people will be telling very similar stories about Fiestas + Fiascos.

The Hold Steady

Tad Kubler and Craig Finn of The Hold Steady (and Lifter Puller)

Thunderbirds Are Now! @ The Whole: October 14, 2005
Thunderbirds Are Now! @ The Triple Rock: March 10, 2005
Constantines @ The 400 Bar: July 17, 2005
The Hold Steady @ Grand Old Day: June 5, 2005
The Hold Steady @ The Triple Rock: March 10, 2005


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