Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Monday, June 12, 2006

June 9 - Erik Barsness & Kid Dakota

I celebrated my last day of school (June 9th) by going to not one, but two concerts. I had been looking forward to the first one for quite some time – avant-garde percussionist Erik Barsness (featuring Brian Duffy) at Studio Z in Lowertown. As expected, Erik put on a tremendous, awe-inspiring performance. Among his selections were compositions by John Cage, and local composer, Mary Ellen Childs (the latter wrote the piece “Kolokol” specifically for Erik and the bells he constructed out of oxygen and propane tanks).

Erik Barsness preparing to play "Kolokol" on his homemade bells

After Erik’s exhausting performance, I headed back into the world of pop music – Kid Dakota at the Triple Rock. This was the first time I had seen opening band, Field Guide. I suppose you could call them a non-emo version of The Swiss Army.

Field Guide

Fitzgerald played next. They had added an accordion player and a new bassist since I last saw them, resulting in a bigger, better Fitzgerald. They sounded terrific.


Now, I hate mentioning how a band looks - it can really cheapen or detract from their art. But in the case of Coach Said Not To, they’ve been around long enough; you all know how great they are. So I don’t feel guilty in saying that they are the cutest band ever. I have a secret crush on every single one of them. I suppose I should also mention that they played an awesome set at the Triple Rock.

Coach Said Not To

Coach Said Not To

And back on the subject of percussion, the colossal Ian Prince is back on the kit for Darren Jackson in Kid Dakota. Needless to say, Ian stole the show with his loud, sweaty, and loud drumming. New album coming out soon. Cool.

Kid Dakota

Kid Dakota @ The Turf Club: February 5, 2005
Coach Said Not To @ The Nomad World Pub: June 11, 2005
Fitzgerald @ The 7th Street Entry: June 23, 2005


Blogger Chaucer Arafat said...

once again cheers on the blog. and thanks for swinging by my proverbial "place". i linked up through myspace, which is a good way for me to keep tabs on what you are listening to. like i mentioned, it is a great way for me to be introduced to bands i might not have heard of (when CMJ fails). Per you question on my blog, i am currently blazing at 200watts stereo from the gilded city of Rexburg, Idaho: a haven for good music and food (sarcasm). unless i opt to travel, I have to get my live music fill vicariously, which is why i appreciate your page.

keep it up...and cheers.


9:00 AM

Anonymous Hema said...

I'm jealous. I love CSNT too, and have a secret crush on Linnea, like big time! Oh, are you headed upto Bonnaroo this year like you mentioned? Will you be stopping by Athens,OH? You really should. On the 20th (if you're not too pooped from all the music, and I have a sneaking suspicion you won't be!), the Bellrays (from CA), the SSM (from Detroit) and a bunch of really cool local bands are playing at my fav. venue in town. You should try and stop by on your way back. But even if you want to make a pit stop before the 16th you're more than welcome to. Let me know, one way or the other =)

ps: great job with the blog. I can't wait for the Duplomacy record. And whoa! You saw Company Inc. (ex-vox(my-fav-bend-ever)) on my birthday. Luckyyyyyy!

5:58 PM


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June 4 - Band of Horses

After four straight days of concerts, I still hadn’t had enough. So after the police shooed us off Grand Avenue, I made my way over to the Entry to check out Band of Horses. You have no idea how happy I was to be in the Entry. A day earlier, I was rollerblading through downtown Minneapolis, and I saw First Avenue on fire. I almost started crying. Luckily, it looked a lot worse than it actually was (the damage was mostly upstairs in the VIP room).

Anyway, Duplomacy opened and they sounded better than ever. Apparently, their debut album is finally coming out next month. I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.


Not diverting too far from the mood set by Duplomacy, Mt. Egypt (the project fronted by pro skateboarder Travis Graves) kept us entranced with their quiet but soulful songs.

Mt. Egypt

And Band of Horses proved once again that sometimes hype is very well deserved. They were flawless. Thanks to Band of Horses, this time First Avenue was only metaphorically on fire.

Band of Horses

Duplomacy @ The Turf Club: September 21, 2005


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Grand Old Day 2006

Partially recovered from the previous night’s party in Midway, I managed to make my way to the party on Grand. Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up in time to see Birthday Suits or Thunder in the Valley, but I did navigate through the river of people in time to catch White Light Riot, The Ike Reilly Assassination, and the obvious highlight: The Plastic Constellations. Oh yeah, and I didn’t even eat a single mini donut!

The Plastic Constellations

White Light Riot

The Ike Reilly Assassination

The Plastic Constellations @ The Triple Rock: January 27, 2006
The Plastic Constellations @ The Whole: October 14, 2005


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Masters of Midway

On June 3rd, the Turf Club, Big V’s, and eight of the best bands the Twin Cities have to offer teamed up for a fundraiser benefiting the father of one of the girls in the Shim Sham Shufflers (he needed a wheelchair-accessible van). Unsurprisingly, the affair turned out to be the year’s undisputed best night of local music. Truly amazing. I had such a great time running back and forth between the Turf Club and Big V’s (reminded me a lot of SXSW). Let’s hope the success of this event encourages the Turf Club and Big V’s to set up similar galas in the future. Here are the players:

Falcon Crest - Turf Club

Assassinations (first show ever) - Big V's

Signal to Trust - Turf Club

The Chambermaids - Big V's

Malachi Constant - Turf Club

STNNNG - Big V's

Superhopper - Turf Club

Seawhores (the loudest grand finale ever) - Big V's


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June 2 - Gay Beast & Old Time Relijun

Gay Beast

Something must be in the water. Our local music scene has been crazy recently. Maybe the warmer weather has something to do with it, but there has been a significant increase in the number of people attending local shows. And this swelled community isn’t just sitting idly at the bar – they’re energetic, they’re dancing, they’re singing along. The Digitata show at the Entry was a prime example of this new energy. Perhaps even more indicative was the next night’s packed show at Big V’s. The people came in droves to see Gay Beast – perhaps the hottest band in the Twin Cities right now. But Gay Beast wasn’t the only band that delivered. Openers Last Legs were awesome, and Styrofoam Duck (who had transformed into a full-out noise band, and performed on the floor by the bar) were awesome. Headliners, Olympia’s Old Time Relijun were, of course, awesome. If you want to get a better idea of this energy of which I speak, check out the videos section on my Myspace page. I took a short video of Old Time Relijun’s set with my little digital camera. It turned out pretty well considering the limitations of my camera.

Old Time Relijun

Styrofoam Duck

Last Legs


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June 1 - Digitata


Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just go to The Haves Have It’s shows because I’m obsessed. I’m usually a big fan of the bands they play with too. For instance, if I missed The Haves’ recent show at the Entry, I would have sadly missed the return of Emily Dantuma and Ollie Dodge (ex-Vox Vermillion) in the form of Company Inc. More importantly, if I chose to stay home and play DDR, I would have missed Digitata’s best show ever. When they played their Stuck on AM 5 hit, “Digitata 4 Ever,” the Entry erupted and stayed in a constant state of motion for the rest of the night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much dancing at an Entry show. And I can’t remember the last time I witnessed a sincere, non-premeditated encore like the one Digitata was forced to play.

Company Inc.

The Haves Have It

The Haves Have It

By sheer coincidence, The Haves Have It’s original drummer’s band, Lazer Forever, was playing a CD-release show at the Varsity Theater that very same night. I stopped by the Varsity beforehand to pick up the CD (which is awesome). Unfortunately, I had to leave before Lazer Forever hit the stage, but I did manage to catch opening singer/songwriter Jason Shannon. Very pleasant.

Jason Shannon

Digitata @ Weisman Art Museum: September 9, 2005
The Haves Have It @ The Triple Rock: May 6, 2006
The Haves Have It @ The 7th Street Entry: February 10, 2006
The Haves Have It @ The Triple Rock: January 22, 2006
The Haves Have It @ Dino Porno #3
The Haves Have It @ Club Underground: December 14, 2005
The Haves Have It @ The Triple Rock: September 15, 2005
The Haves Have It @ The Triple Rock: August 12, 2005
The Haves Have It @ The 7th Street Entry: July 9, 2005
The Haves Have It @ house party: May 21, 2005


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Thursday, June 08, 2006

May 20 - Mogwai


Trust me, you don’t really know Mogwai until you’ve experienced them live. The extreme dynamics of their music could never be adequately represented on a recording. At First Avenue, however, anything is possible. As usual, Mogwai was purely orgasmic. Just another indication that the Scots are taking over (throughout the past two and a half months, four phenomenal Scottish bands have graced me with their presence).


Almost as loud was the opening act – cerebral metal punks, Torche. That was a pretty daring move by Mogwai to bring Torche on tour with them. I say it was a wise decision. The uncool is becoming cool again. (I’m ahead of the game, though. I’ve recently been listening to Slayer with my car windows down.)



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May 16 - Islands

Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambour of Islands/The Unicorns

There will never be another band like The Unicorns, but Islands are good enough. Not that I’m suggesting that Islands are at all similar to The Unicorns (other than the fact that Return to the Sea conceptually picks up right where Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? left off). For one, Alden Ginger isn’t in the band; thus, the comedic interplay between him and Nick Diamonds is sadly missing. For two, Islands is much more grandiose than the three-piece Unicorns. But damn, they put on one hell of a show at First Avenue. Thankfully, I got to see them before drummer (and ex-Unicorn) J’aime Tambour departed from the band.


Speaking of bands that put on one hell of a show – Frog Eyes kicked my ass. Their larger-than-life Pere Ubu-meets-Pixies art rock was well worth the price of admission. Assisting Frog Eyes on the keyboards was Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug – whose other band, Sunset Rubdown, was also on the bill (until I got close enough to the stage to see who was in the band, I thought Sunset Rubdown was a shameless Wolf Parade rip off). After I realized that the sound-alike was justified, I thoroughly enjoyed Sunset Rubdown.

Frog Eyes

Sunset Rubdown

And what is an Islands show without a dose of hip-hop? One of my favorite SXSW 2005 discoveries, Busdriver (who also guests on Return to the Sea), showed off his breakneck-speed tongue twisters after Edmonton MC, Cadence Weapon effectively warmed the crowd up.


Cadence Weapon (feat. J'aime Tambour)

Th’ Corn Gangg (feat. Nick Diamonds, J’aime Tambour, and Busdriver) @ Moonshine Bar and Grill (SXSW): March 17, 2005
Wolf Parade @ First Avenue: September 9, 2005


Blogger Driver2165 said...

OMFG when did frog eyes play here?

9:32 PM

Blogger Lee said...

Ouch! You missed it. I'm sorry. They were everything you could possibly hope for.

10:41 PM

Blogger Driver2165 said...

did they sneak it in? i refresh their website hourly hoping for a tour

10:39 AM


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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

March 31 - Arab Strap

Oh great, there goes my chronological perfection. During my last posting binge, I totally forgot to include the Arab Strap show at the Entry. But trust me, it was not a forgettable performance (I blame my absent mindedness on the fact that the pictures from the show were in my cell phone and not with my other concert pictures).

A Whisper in the Noise

Now get this, A Whisper in the Noise weren’t just the opening band on this stop of Arab Strap’s tour, they were actually traveling the country with the great Scots. I think that’s pretty cool. It was a relief to have them home, though – they were attacked and held up at knifepoint three nights earlier after a show in Seattle (their tour manager had his front teeth knocked out).

Apparently unfazed, A Whisper in the Noise put on a spectacular show. As did Arab Strap. Last time I saw Arab Strap, they weren’t headlining, they weren’t backed by a full band, and they played in a larger venue. They were 100 times more powerful this time around.

Enjoy the grainy cell phone pictures!

Arab Strap


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