Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Charlie Parr at the Viking Bar this Sunday, 9 - Midnight!

Come down this Sunday night, Dec. 4 to hear Charlie Parr at the Viking Bar, from 9 p.m. to midnight, for free! Spread the word and support one of the best musicians around and one of the most legendary, oldest and coziest music venues in town.

He's coming down from Duluth to play at his favorite venue, the Viking, with Mikkel Beckmen (Crush Collision Trio) on washboard and foot, and quite possibly a phenomenal harmonica player, Dave Hundreiser, a train engineer from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, who's inspired by the legendary Koerner, Ray and Glover. Parr continues the Viking Bar's four decades of hosting many of the best folk blues players in the world.

Parr's riveting original songs sound real old with his gravelly vocals and soulful playing on slide blues, 12-string and banjo. He's inspired by and also covers 1920's and '30's country blues musicians such as Bukka White, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, and Rev. Gary Davis. There are harrowing tales of tragedy, bad luck, poverty and woe. There are murder ballads and songs about injustice that'll break your heart , inspired by his family and by what he's seen on the streets working with homeless. Others are about drunken mishap and mayhem. His haunting brand of footstompin' hillbilly blues will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and make you put your feet to the floorboards.

If you haven't heard Parr, here's your chance, not to be missed! If you have, you know what to do! There's no better way nor place to chase away the end-of-weekend blues. He'll also have his phenomenal brand new 4th CD, Rooster, recorded by Tom Herbers, on all vintage recording equipment.

See you at the Viking Sunday Dec 4, 9 - midnight! 1829 Riverside Avenue, 612-332-4259.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Good Night, and Good Luck." film review

I urge everyone to check out this excellent, thought-provoking film about truth and fearlessness in media, produced by George Clooney, if you haven't already. It's at the Grandview 2 Theater through Thursday at least, and coming soon to the Riverview Theater. A strong depiction of the 50's media as the beginning of the end, the future to come in truth in reporting, and censorship by corporate advertisers and powers that be. CBS Reporter Edward R. Murrow, (brilliantly played by David Strathairn) and his news team, decides to take on Sen. Joe McCarthy and his campaign against Communism, his witchhunt and scare tactics and lies, randomly labelling people such as those engaged in public dissent, and members of immigrant families, as threats to National Security, bearing uncanny resemblance to events today.

In spite of threat to their journalist positions. amidst accusations of lacking neutrality, military warnings, and pulling out by large corporate advertisers such as agriculture company ALCOA, (at one point funding the ads out of their own pockets) they maverickly do an expose of a man who lost his military job as his Serbian father and sister were suspected of being Communists. To keep it balanced they offer airtime spots for anyone to correct them, or say their side of the story. It escalates to the point where Sen. Joe McCarthy takes them up on the offer, only to hang himself by not only not once countering any of Murrow's points ("since he didn't say anything I said was in error, they aren't errors"), and making false accusations of reporter Murrow's afiliations with Communist entities, such as the Industrial Workers of the World, and a socialist author who dedicated his book to Murrow. Murrow said of this: "We talk to each other but I don't agree with his politics. I am not a socialist. He dedicated the book to me because he respected my wartime reporting from London. We can talk to everyone in the world without becoming contaminated or converted."

Inevitably he and other members of his team get shunted to poor timeslots and lose their jobs as a result of their tenacious dedication to revealing a public wrongfully bullied by the system.

There are many fantastic points in this film about the powerful vehicle of television to educate vs. entertain and feed apathy, and about the control corporations have over broadcasting news that may make people feel uncomfortable. Murrow's speeches on the role of journalism, and truth and fearlessness in media and its responsibility to the general public are powerfully inspiring. The grainy black and white film, and the actual footage of McCarthy make it all the more real and intensely compelling.

Clooney's on a roll, fast becoming a favorite bold director -- his next film Syriana, opens in December. There's an interesting article about the making of the film, here: Washington Post

Saturday, November 26, 2005

West Bank Music Legends at the Eagles Club, Now!

Hey everyone! If you haven't heard Spider John Koerner yet, now's the time . . . he's playing in about one hour (7 pm). There's a big West Bank hootenanny goin' on right now (till late) at the Eagles Club located in the Seward neighborhood, 25th St. and 25th Avenue S. to celebrate the life of Dave Ray, who passed on Thanksgiving Day three years ago.

I just heard legendary blues harmonica player Tony Glover with his band V3; amazing. He, of course was a third of "Koerner and/or Ray and/or Glover." You may have seen him commenting on Dylan in the recent film. What perhaps not so many people know is that he was a radio show host in the early years of KDWB where he interviewed Pete Townsend, Robbie Robertson and more, and a music writer for Creme and Rolling Stone, from '69 to '71 in the hottest of music times, interviewing and writing reviews and articles about Jimi Hendrix, Patti Smith (for 30 hours) and Joplin, The Doors, The Allman Bros. He was requested by the two latter bands to play blues harp with them, some of his favorite times. Amazing times and somebody I've got tons of respect for. You can catch him and V3 playing at the 331 Club Dec. 2.

Other players tonight after Koerner are The Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs, who are really getting around this weekend. They're celebrating their new CD, Last Album, Great time band who I've seen near weekly over most of the 8 years they've played Friday's from 7 - 9 pm at the Viking.

It's rumored that Willy Murphy, brilliant musician who I love, is popping by after the Pigs for solo piano before heading down to the Viking. This is not to be missed! That would be about 8:30 or so . . .

Max Ray, phenomenal sax player formerly of the Wallets, and currently playing with X-Boys fe: members of the Suicide Commandos and the 'Burbs, is MC'ing his bro's event. It's well attended by over 100 old(er) West Bankers. You wanna hear stories? Get a feel for what that community is like? Come on down!

I love these old cats, and hanging out with them over the years, hearing their stories and their songs is what compelled me to write my book on West Bank musicians such as those playing tonight, who've played since the early '60's at legendary bars such as the Triangle, the Viking, Palmers, and the 400 Bar. The book will be out early to late Spring, from the looks of it.

A note to KFAI's Jackson Buck fans: he's returning from Florida/Boston to KFAI as their new Marketing Director. He was the instigator of the popular JukeJoint series at the Viking Bar after bands were on his show, Wednesday afternoons that Harold Tremblay is continuing.

A Picture Share!

Como ave jugband

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sound Gallery Open House!

Peep out my review of this event I hot ticketed for Pulse, here: Pulse Music Blog. Boy, was it ever a "hot ticket." It was stunningly huge in every way.

Pulse article, 6th CD Republican Candidate Forum

Everyone, check out my most recent Pulse article Fear and Loathing in Moundsview. Its interesting to know what ultraconservative Republican candidates seeking to replace Mark Kennedy are actually saying amongst themselves. Much of it is appalling and eyeopening, going way beyond the spectrum of what I perceived their platforms and focus to be.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cyn's (and Neil Young's) Birthday Extravaganza Nov. 12 at the Hex

Hey everyone -- I'm celebrating my 40+ birthday, at the Hexagon, November 12! Music begins right at 9:30 pm with New Vintage (formerly Baby Grant Johnson Band), then Kruddler, then Fort Wilson Riot, and then the Knotwells!!! ALL the bands have brand spankin' new CD's, (New Vintage soon to be released) and promises to cover one or more Neil Young faves as it happens to be his birthday, too! (that's something to live up to, eh?) You'll hear excerpts from his new album between sets. I may get Paul Dickinson, of Speedboat Gallery and Frances Gumm infamy to do live underground poetry reading as well! Anyone who was at the Knotwells CD release party with also Fort Wilson Riot, knows what a fun sweaty dance party mess this will be, and if you missed it . . . you have another chance to experience my favorite bands out there right now.

But, there's more . . . if you come early, say . . . 9ish, there'll be phenomenal free East Indian food from master chef Ashok Bedi, owner of Sahib's Restaurant.

40 isn't old . . . my life has just begun in many ways and I'm celebrating my many beloved friends and all their support in my writing, music, KFAI radio, etc. and so on. I can't wait to see all of you there!

Cheers! Cyn

Monkee Business at the Hexagon Friday

Hey! Hey! The Monkees Tribute at the Hexagon will be superfun. Music begins at 9:30 pm. Chris Dorn (Beatifics) will "be bassing with raven and the autumn leaves and
singing a bit too." In between acts they'll be showing stuff from Head,
33 1/3 Revolutions and excerpts from Monkees TV episodes, and the Scooby Doo episode with Davy Jones (my favorite Monkee). Also playing are: XO XO Judy, Izzy, the Chinch Bugs, Ottoman
and the Lazy Boys.