Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tomorrow last day of Mammy Nuns and Tacos and SPMC at the Turf Club

Everyone come out to the Turf Club tomorrow nite as it's the last night that the Mammy Nuns will play there, and that Raleigh will be serving tacos. She will continue to serve her great Tex-Mex fare at the 331 Club. For more information on what's next for the SPMC, the press release follows:

Notice to Music Fans. As of April 4, 2005 the St. Paul Music Club will officially end its residency at St. Paul's Turf Club, due to the sale of said business and property.

Nearly 10 years ago the SPMC approached Turf owner Mark Johnson about the possibility of booking a rock show at the then predominately country bar. Not only did the weekly SPMC Tuesdays begin, but a long and mutually benefiting relationship was established, leading to the current state of the Turf. This said, the SPMC would like to publicly thank Mark Johnson and the current/past Turf Club staff. It has been an honor and a privilege to work and play with you. Together we have made a wonderful-musical impact on the lives of many in what we consider the BEST LOCAL music scene in the country.
Lastly, it is with regret that we announce the cancellation of this year's GRAND YOUNG DAY #9. This celebration will return. Date and location yet to be determined. Until then SPMC will return to it's traveling state and put on occasional shows around town. LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER, bumper stickers have been issued. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Robert L Rule President-St. Paul Music Club

On a final note, we would like to thank Raleigh for her Texas Taco Tuesdays, which will soon be relocating to the 331 Club: Northeast Mpls. on Tuesday N

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Just another West Bank rumor

Uh, no Bob or Bonnie. Sorry guys!

The Spider John film was really great! Fun, and funny as hell! And poignant as well. GO! It'll only be here through March 31st and won't be available on DVD until a year from now.

Great attending with a lot of the West Bank old-timers and fellow musicians of John's. Members of the audience (John) still standing were told by the smirking MC to "all sit down." His first line in the film was, "So you want me to expound?" and I knew it was going to be a hilarious ride. It was. There were great campy interviews with John and Ray and Glover, and I realized that I loved this film far more than the Ramones End of the Century. Don McGlynn, a longtime friend of John's and brilliant music documentary producer/director did a fine job. I told him that he should do a film on Willie Murphy, to which he quickly replied, "So does Willie!" He can't for the next film but he said he'd like to someday. Stories of excess : ) told in the film rivalled Spinal Tap. You've got to hear it to believe it.

We laughed tons to the very well done typical uniquely West Bank humor throughout the film, such as the scenes inside Palmer's. In one, former owner Florence renowned for her wit, wisecracks, "I call him, 'get it yourself John' because he comes behind the bar and pours his own. When people come in to interview him, I ask them, 'why don't you wait on him, while you're at it?'' I caught Florence after the film and congratulated her on her great "performance," -- not missing a beat, she replies, "yes, but I should have known better than to wave my cigarette inside the bar. Now it's on film and the health department will come after me." I replied, "yes, you're going to jail for that."

For the Q and A at the end, everyone seemed shy to ask Spider John the first Q, so he gets the ball rolling himself, "I have a question! John, why are you using that cane? Well John, I'm glad you asked! I'm getting my hip replaced. Next question." And some prankster in the audience asked him to tell us a joke. This was met by mass groaning, and wails of oh no, and gnashing of teeth, which John blithely ignored and went into the jokes. Yup, pret-ty bad. They were groaners.

I had no idea until the Q and A, that Spider John and Willie Murphy warmed up for the Who in 1969, and for Frank Zappa, and Tom Waits, besides Jefferson Airplane.

The party afterwards at the Kitty Kat was really lovely, with lots of friends, and the fine music of Charlie Parr.

No need to "steal" fiddler Chip Smith (doing a fine job of fiddlin' in the film, during a Boston performance at a cool bar. He showed up on my doorstep this morning after a Palmer's run with John, and we shared fiddle tunes for an hour, very fun. Might still steal him for "old-time's" sake (ha. ha.), since there were 2 tunes we couldn't bring to the surface.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Knotwells, music for "trash like you"

The Knotwells, an absolute favorite band of mine, has a great brand new website created by web designer Suzanne Scholten, one of Gunther's Restless Souls. (I hear she may do a cover of the Knotwell's crowd favorite, "Trash Like You" on the uke at some point.)

I thoroughly enjoy their shows, as do about 300 or so regular followers who wildly dance at their fun parties. Their music defies distinct categorization and is best expressed by them, "Imagine if Bad Religion started out playing barn dances or if Muzsikas had grown up broke and pissed in the midwest--then they might've sounded something like the Knotwells.  This West Bank, Minneapolis sextet's high energy shows have been known to sometimes include belts of dynamite, donkey funerals, and amplified bicycle wheels."

I've seen their shows around the West Bank. They played outside the 7th Street Entry where they were scheduled the night that First Avenue closed, that tragic election day. They've played nearly 70 shows over the past 3 years. If you haven't seen them you don't know what you're missing. But it's understandable because they don't shamelessly promo their shows.

I can't recommend them highly enough. Yet, I don't know when they're playing next. I'll keep you posted. Check their website. They love playing in basements. Ask them to play in yours!

Int'l Film Fest Pullout in today's (Friday) Star Tribune

An update on the Film Fest April 1 - 13! The pullout schedule is in today's paper; you can also go online. Here are some fun details of the fest. A note: this is, bar none my favorite event of the year, with the only exception being running off to play music with friends. While I adore running around listening to music, even that gets circumvented for the film fest. I know I'm not the only one. You'll see Willie Murphy, who doesn't play during the two weeks in lieu of this, and makes sure he's in town, attending his usual 30+ films. So far, my max has been 18, but that's "pretty good for a beginner."

Make sure and check out the great new Riverview Wine Bar, kitty corner from the Riv Theater when you attend films there. It's beautiful and cozy and you can get a wine flite of 4 - 2 oz. samples for $8.

The MFA Star-Ledger
The weekly e-newsletter of Minnesota Film Arts
Quote of the Week

"The first guy I met in Minneapolis like me was sitting around in there, it was John Koerner."

Bob Dylan


The 23rd Annual Mpls-St.Paul International Film Festival is once again upon us. Today's Star Tribune will have a full-festival pull-out that will include brief film descriptions, photos from select films, and other details about the festival. You can also visit www.mnfilmarts.org/m-spiff for complete festival info.

Opening Night Film & Party (Fri., April 1) - we have an exceptionally smart & funny film this year to open the fest, titled CHILDSTAR, starring Don McKellar, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dave Foley & Eric Stoltz. Canadian Director, McKellar will be present to introduce his film, which is nominated for 5 Canadian Academy Awards. HISTORIC STATE THEATER, FRIDAY APRIL 1. 7:30pm $15 members/$20 general public. GO TO THE FILM, are you cultured...or just pretending to be?

**Party to follow at the lovely Woman's Club of Mpls near Loring Park at 10:30pm - 1am. Complimentary Summit, red, white & sparkling wines, Finlandia vodka drinks AND free appetizers & dessert buffet.
***Entertainment all over the entire building, provided by: Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque, Staraoke w/ Arzu, Phil Harder Film Clips w/ live soundtrack by the Creative Electric Orchestra & DJ Jesse Whitney. FREE photo room - capture a shot with your sweetie, make sure to dress up! The Woman's Club enforces a strict dress code: no jeans, tennis shoes - vintage formal wear is always a plus. FREE w/ Film Ticket or $20 without, 21+

Suburban World Theater - this dark venue will open and play host to festival guests the second week of the festival (4/8-4/ 16) - stop in after a movie at the Lagoon and catch a show, eat & drink. FREE ADMISSION for all live shows - bands, dj's and performers from your favorite scenes everyday, with beer, wine and Pizza Luce. TWO silent film scores w/ local bands Spaghetti Western and A Whisper in the Noise, Saturday & Sunday brunches for $5 with Mimosa's and Bloody Mary's available. A complete schedule is online at www.mnfilmarts.org/m-spiff under "festival central"

18 Visiting Filmmakers - this is a record breaking year for visiting filmmakers - we have 2 of the top French Director's today stopping by to intro their films, host Q & A's, not to mention a dozen emerging filmmakers in town to screen their new films for competition, including the new Flaming Lips documentary, produced by local music video producer Rick Fuller. The film is directed by the man who brought us Okie Noodling.

20 U.S. & World Premieres, a deeper program than ever before, with plenty of fresh faces from all over the world. PICK UP A GIANT, FREE program on Opening Night or $1 at festival venues. A schedule is also listed in the Star Tribune insert this Friday in the Variety section. Web site has complete schedule and advance ticket info.

April 1-16 @ Oak Street Cinema, Bell Auditorium, Landmark Lagoon, Riverview Theater, Uptown Theater, Historic State Theater, Crown Block E, & McNally Smith in St. Paul. Catalogs are free to anyone who attends the opening night screening at the Historic State Theatre April 1, but are available throughout the festival at all venues for just $1 Join us for our favorite time of the year.

This year we also sell tickets for every film in advance at brownpapertickets.com. Those tickets will become available on Monday.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

great article on McGlynn and Spider John

By now, many of you may be going, "Enough already, about "that movie' (as Koerner refers to it)," but I just want to point you to a great article about it.

Also, I bumped into an Oak Steet Cin'ner on the street this morning who informed me that this will sell out. I can't wait for the exciting evening. I am hopeful that John will recover fine and continue to play gigs such as Grumpy's and Mayslacks and more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mark Olson & Safety Last at Lee's tonight!

Safety Last & Mark Olson
Lee's Liquor Lounge, 9 pm
101 Glenwood Ave. 612-338-9491

Safety Last plays at 9:00, Mark Olson plays at 10:15

Note from a Safety Last person:
"For those with short memories or just born too late, back in the
early 80s when the first Safety Last was playing at bars like the Longhorn,
7th St. Entry, Duffy's, and Goofy's Upper Deck, they knew Mark Olson
from his band Stagger Lee, another rockabilly band on the scene. 
When Tim formed Solar Knights in 1981, Gary Louris joined Safety Last. 
And after Safety Last called it quits in early 1984, Mark invited Gary to
join his new band, the Jayhawks.  We think it's very fitting that Mark has
asked Safety Last to open the show tonight.  Hope to see you there!"

I personally am hoping that Raz Russell and Victoria Williams are there as well, but I haven't heard how she is doing these days, or if she is in town. This will be a fun one, and a great way to shake off doing my taxes.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Last Spider John Viking show next Sunday 8 -11 pm

Next Sunday is Spider John's last Viking performance until at least Fall. Koerner will feature his main fiddler of many years, Chip Taylor Smith, old-time fiddler from Boston.

Correction to today's Star Tribune article on Spider John -- this regular gig is always about 7:30 pm to 11 pm rather than 6 - 9. John's hip surgery is April 6, then he's going to take some time off and then do his usual summer touring thing.

Spider John Koerner and Tony Glover play the Cedar Cultural Center Sat. April 2nd at the end of the "Been Here . . . Done That" film run. Tickets are $12 adv., $15 at the show.

I had the opportunity to "steal" Koerner's fiddler one night in Maidenrock during a gig of theirs at Ole's Bar. Learning we each played old-time, we stole the earliest opportunity (a break between sets) to play some tunes outside in the park a few hundred yards from the bar. The 15 minutes turned into 1/2 hour, and during a break, Chip thought he heard Koerner playing again. We went back in, to a crowd of 150 saying "There he is! There's the fiddler! There's Cindy! She took him! Cindy stole John's fiddler." Well, you know us fiddlers. Can't stay out of trouble. Koerner was up there playing away, unruffled. He goes to Chip, "Where were you?" and looks at me, and goes, "oh, yeah. She stole you from me," and laughs.

Needless to say, Koerner teased me about the "theft" for a long time. I had a great time playing with Chip, and Koerner kept me informed of how Chip was doing as he recovered from a car crash a few weeks later that could've paralyzed him. Now he's fine and I'll get another opportunity to steal him away from Koerner Sunday night. I told Koerner that I wouldn't do it this time, to which he responded, "I don't care!" So, I said, "oh! Well then I will!" He laughed.

He later played my requested song, Rattlesnake. For a time I was only requesting "Roving Gambler," then it was "Dodger," lately it's been "Rattlesnake.' Soon, I'll simply be requesting that he play somewhere around here again soon.

Spider John Koerner updates continued. . .

Hi folks --

With the advent of this film which I've been excited about for ages, comes Chris Reimenschneider's article which is interesting and captures John's humble humor well. I'm happy that Chris made note of the regular Viking gig as it's a good one, right where Koerner's at home.

For an in-depth interview I conducted with Seward resident Spider John in August (pre-Chronicles "fame") go to my Seward Profile article. That was a really fun interview, covering a lot of territory, the stars, and the sea.

I talked to John at KFAI after his interview there prior to a Juke Joint series performance and he said that the album he did with Willie Murphy, Running, Jumping, Standing Still will be rereleased as a CD from Red House. Hurray! It's a great one. You can read more about their antics on the road with that one, in the Willie Murphy interview I linked you to earlier. Best yet, just come out tonight between 7:30 and 10:30 pm and say "hi' to John, have a foot-stompin' great time, and, don't treat him like a guru. He hates that : ) Chances are very good that his Amsterdam friend, McGlynn, the director will be there tonight as well and will be happy to talk about the film.

Friday, March 18, 2005

"Been Here . . .Done That" Spider John Koerner film world premiere!

Mark your calendars!! The long-awaited event Spider John Koerner fans have been waiting for years for, is here! The new Spider John Koerner documentary, "Been Here. . . Done That" by world-renowned director, Don McGlynn premieres at the Oak St. Cinema, March 25 - 31! McGlynn directed and produced the phenomenal Howlin' Wolf film, and I anticipate this will be truly fantastic.

"As Bob Dylan confirms, Koerner was integral to the Minneapolis West Bank folk scene of the ‘50s and ‘60s. He’s influenced the Beatles, to Beck, to the Stones. Koerner made his mark with Dave Ray and Tony Glover. Later, he tackled traditional folk, and has arrived at a mix of blues, folk and cosmic enlightenment. The film includes trips to Palmer’s et. al, and features a host of local faces and legends."

Be there! Do this!

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnnie Irion

Remember a while back when I said that Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnnie Irion's new CD, Explorer was a new favorite of mine? I featured Sarah's song on my first KFAI show, which you can find and listen to here -- go to Hillbilly Heartbreakers . (When you play it, you'll want to fast forward the show 2 minutes to get to the beginning.)

Tom Hallett, of Pulse of the Twin Cities loves it too, and wrote this terrific review of it. Lucky for us, Sarah and Johnny will be performing at the Cedar Cultural Center on April 13th!

Keep an eye out for my How Was the Show review on that!

Little Man, Martin Devaney, Ol' Yeller at Nomad

Hey, come out and see this really great lineup at the new Nomad World Pub (was 5 Corners) on the West Bank tonight. I checked this new music venue out on Tues (40 Watt Bulb) and it looks great and the sound is really good there. The building is on the historic registry, and is known to have been a bar since 1910. Yes, even through the prohibition.

Little Man is at 10 pm
Martin Devaney is at 11 pm
Ol' Yeller is at Midnite

I haven't seen much publicity on this show, but the bands are definitely some of my faves. Shake off the cold weather blues with some hot music!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where's Cyn?

I'll be going to some great shows this weekend. I'm excited about attending the Andrew Bird show at the new Varsity Theater. He's an unusually exceptional violin player, whistler and composer and the Varsity is the perfect environment to see him in.

There's an excellent profile of the Varsity Theater by Peter S. Scholtes -- it's history, present and future here: "Varsity Cheer"

Tomorrow, Friday March 11, I'll be seeing Kruddler, Popcycle, and Unguided Missile at Hexagon Bar . I've heard great things about Popcycle, and as Unguided Missile have, "played shows with the likes of the Black Eyed Snakes, Bridge Club, Vicious Vicious, Exercise, Tulip Sweet, and Frances Gumm," many bands which I enjoy, I'm sure it'll be a fun night.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Music fun with mash-ups

It was bound to happen. I found Go Home Productions website featuring British DJ Mark Vidler's "mash-ups" of songs. Some of my favorites include: "Ray of Gob" Madonna/Sex Pistols, "Lose My Freedom" Destiny's Child/Devo, "Karma In the Life." I imagine I will love "Rapture Riders," The Doors/Blondie once it's back up.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Wine Recs of Mikal Arnold (lead guitarist, Revolver Modele)

Here are wine recommendations from Mikal Arnold, a wine distributor and lead guitarist of one of my favorite bands, Revolver Modele

"these are my following top ten wines for everyday drinking or special occasions":

1. Charles Ellner 1990 Vintage Champagne (special)
2. J.L. Chave 2001 Hermitage Rouge (special)
3. 2001 Mas Igneus Costers del Poboleda (special)
4. Poisson Vouvray
5. Moillard Nuits Saint George primer cru "Malconsorts"
6. Mas Donis, Montsant
7. Niedemeyer Lagrein
8. Claudia Springs 2001 Pinot Noir, Mendocino
9. Sipacha Garnacha
10. Irreverente, Beiras, Portugal

There may be more items such as this in the future, such as film and literature and music recommendations by your local musicians and artists. Let me know your suggestions.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hillbilly Heartbreakers, Tues March 8, 10 - 11 a.m.

Grab a strong cuppa coffee, and git out on that front porch (even if its brisk, you can handle it), kick back, and tune in to KFAI from 10 - 11 a.m. for wild women fiddlers, and strong singers. I, Cyn Collins will be waking you up with Hillbilly Heartbreakers, an old-time, old-country, alt-country show for International Women's Day. From Molly Maher to Wanda Jackson, from Neko Case to Uncle Earl. If we're lucky, I might even nab some Elizabeth Cotton, who learned to play guitar upside down and generally shook things up. You'll hear some new Sarah Lee Guthrie, Kasey Chambers, Loretta Lynn, and songs from the Crooked Jades and Reeltime Travellers. Mark your calendars to get up and start tappin' your feet. Warning: Not for the faint of heart.

Recent music discoveries

A quick reminder: go see/support Kruddler tomorrow nite (thurs) at the T-Rock. Great article by Hallett in the Pulse about Kruddler, btw. See my earlier post.

2 CD's I heard today, that I deeply long to add to my collection, that I am compelled to talk about. Sarah Lee Guthrie (granddaughter of Woody) and Johnnie Irion's Exploration. Produced by Gary Louris and Ed Ackerson, and featuring Ruthy Ungar (the Mammals) and Jay Ungar (father, and tremendous fiddler also), and Twin Cities' own Jayhawks Louris on backup vocals/guitar, Marc Perlman on bass and Eric Heywood on pedal steel guitar. I have a lot of favorites on this CD on first listen, but especially "Dr. King" by Pete Seeger, "Cease Fire," "Mornin's Over," "Georgia Pine," and "Gotta Prove." All these and others feature great fiddle and vocals and songwriting.

2nd: I was really impressed by the Heartless Bastards at the 400 Bar on Sat. For now I'll say that they were great in their straightforward, tough, raw, strong rock and punk with great vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and piano. (Soon I'll post a full review on HowWastheShow.com -- I'm a contributing writer.) All songs written and sung by petite, tough, and non-pretentious Erika Wennerstrom from Dayton, Ohio, bass by Mike Lamping, drums, Kevin Vaughn. Erika is a deeper, lower vocalist sounding inspired by Janis Joplin, Robert Plant, the Kinks, and way early Patti Smith. Wennerstrom deeply and oft -ferociously sings the heavy blues, punk, swamp rock and '70's Southern and classic rock she/they seem inspired by, including aspects of Led Zepellin, Iggy and the Stooges, and the Ramones. At various times I also was reminded of the Black Keys (who they thank in the liner notes) and of Sonic Youth. Besides the honest, raw, agressive songs about being stuck in bad situations, getting self out, and stridently proclaiming a better future, by writer/vocalist Erika, there is a great cover of Junior Kimbrough's (one of the greatest blues guitarist of the mid-late 20th century, "Done Got Old". This album is highly recommended.

Spider John Koerner film/music update

The time has come! I have been waiting for this moment. The World Premiere: Mar. 25 - 31 at Oak St. of the Spider John Koerner film by highly acclaimed film director/producer, Don McGlynn, of Amsterdam, who did the phenomenal Howlin' Wolf film I saw last fall at Oak St., that is avail. on DVD. It is a favorite music documentary of mine. Mc Glynn, an old friend of Koerner's, has been around and says we have a world center of Blues here. It's not Chicago, it's the West Bank of Minneapolis. At places like the Viking Bar, and the Cabooze. Spider John, one of my favorite musicians and highly influential on too many people to mention, performs free Sunday's at the Viking Bar at 1800 Riverside Ave. on the West Bank.

I'll keep you posted re: music events, etc. around this great landmark event. There will be a new Koerner album soon, possibly available around this time . . . Red House Records will have a table of rereleased recordings at this event, including not previously available for a long time. . . RUNNING, JUMPING, STANDING STILL with Willie Murphy (a vinyl on ebay is going for $175 I hear.)

Tonight on KFAI, Koerner was a performing guest on the House Party between 5 and 6 pm. Besides playing solo tunes live, they played songs off of the Beatles/psychedelia influenced Running Jumping Standing Still album which Koerner and Murphy toured the country with in the late 60's early 70's including Summer of Love, San Fran. This is truly a phenomenal album. Koerner not only noted briefly and quietly the influence on David Bowie (in "a magazine" -- Bowie cited in Vanity Fair last year that Koerner Ray and Glover's Blues, Rags, and Holler's is one of Bowie's top 10 all time influences), and Lennon (who wrote Dave Ray a personal handwritten letter in the 60's saying how much Blues, Rags, and Hollers meant to him, lots, he really loved it), Koerner is featured in this month's MN Monthly Magazine. He noted (in his voice that's often on the edge of quiet laughter, wry) that there must have been some misunderstanding there, as they titled the article: "Koerner: the Original Dylan".

We got to hear on today's show some of Koerner's kernels of wisdom which those of us more familiar with him have heard oft, but never ever tire of. Such as: the human race is nuts. . . he proceeded to give views on the dumb things about recycling, and about talk radio going on about urban sprawl pollution, etc. but no politician, businessmen or religious person EVER talks about the real problem of "too many people." He added we need to grow down, have less children. (yay, him for addressing this). He talked about religion, saying perhaps 10 religious advocates will say the correct way to live. "At least 9 out of 10 are wrong. And you've got to suspect the 10th."

He got calls in, saying agreement to his views, commenting that real estate and commodity prices would escalate with less people (to which Koerner easily replied: for every change to benefit society there's a price, and it would take a while to adjust but it may well be worthwhile). Musical partner Tony Glover called in to make notes of rereleased Koerner Ray and Glover material (I missed the location of this), that Koerner was unaware of till that moment. It was another informative, funny and endearing time with this legendary Stargeezer.

It was a great show overall during which I laughed alot while working in the music library there, stopped in the hall to say "hey" to Koerner, and later went over to his show for the popular Wednesday Juke Joint series weekly at the legendary Viking Bar on the West Bank, which was filled with well over 100 people in this small spot. It's one of the VERY last vestiges of late '60's and 70's and later legendary folk and R and B performers such as Koerner, and Willie Murphy, and many new ones such as Crush Collision Trio and Charlie Parr, and Rena Haus and many many more. I so highly recommend supporting this place and keeping it alive for a few more years, hopefully, in this endangering climate of commercial venues.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Raleigh's Burrito Bash at the Turf! Tues, March 8

Originally uploaded by cyn collins.
Mark calendars! This event is guaranteed to be loads of fun! Featuring plethora of bands, Hosted by MC Renaldo Moon! : John Ewing (who will have past CD's for sale, go buy some, in anticipation of his excellent new one hopefully to be released soon!), Martin Devaney, the Crotch Rockets, the Mammy Nuns, Ol' Yeller, Valet, The Rank Strangers, Kruddler, and Little Man! Hard to believe, but it's all true, all one nite, one place. With Raleigh's great Tex-Mex cookin' --
Only 4 dollars. Music starts at 9.
With Lone Star Beer and Margarita specials all night, Chips & Salsa and Frito Pie specials, too. TexMex music, a pinata and other thematic thrills to be had. A taste of Friday on Tuesday night brought to you by the St. Paul Music Club. Yee haw!