Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Session on West Bank Boogie at Dylan Symposium

Please join me for my session next Tuesday: "West Bank Boogie: The Scene Around Dylan" as part of the Bob Dylan Symposium, "Highway 61 Revisited: Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World". in conjunction with "Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966", the ongoing exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum. Check the website for registration details (day rates and entire symposium).

First, on Sunday, March 25, at 4:45 pm, I'm signing West Bank Boogie books prior to the Dylan
Symposium Opening Reception at the Weisman Art Museum. They're available for sale in the Weisman Gift shop or bring your copy.

On Tuesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. my session is part of "Positively 4th St. and Beyond: Minnesota Accents," chaired by renowned music writer, Martin Keller. This will be held in Coffman Memorial Union, 3rd Floor Room 324.

Here is the overview of the Symposium:
Designed as a lively and stimulating assessment of Bob Dylan’s work, sources, influences, and aimed at a diverse audience of scholars, students, avid fans, journalists, musicians, and other Dylanologists, Highway 61 Revisited will be a landmark international gathering. Speakers include many key writers on Dylan’s work and other scholars of music, American culture, literature, history, and international subjects as well as musicians and writers. Presentations will give particular emphasis to Dylan’s Minnesota roots, his routes to other places, cultures, and musical traditions, and his international sources and impact. Featured speakers include Greil Marcus, Michael Gray, Christopher Ricks, Alessandro Carrera, Anne Waldman, Daphne Brooks, Matt Friedberger, Gayle Wald, Dave Marsh, Thomas Crow, CP Lee, Darcey Steinke, Robert Polito, Stephen Scobie, Dylan Hicks and a line up of Minneapolis musicians, and more.

Bedlam Theatre's Infiamato: An Incendiary Opera tonight!

Rah's on Fire in Infiamato
What better way to celebrate Vernal Equinox than Infiamato, tonight's outdoor spectacle, Bedlam Theatre's first production in their new space on the West Bank! Tonight's performance is "Pay What You Think It's Worth," and is followed by musical performances by Spider John Koerner, Skoal Kodiak, Dreamland Faces, and DJ Beethcake.

Created by Rah Kjos with Dhann Polnau, Infiamato is described as "a fantastical visual journey with stunning fire performance****, otherworldy circus, and the ancient art of shadow puppetry, set to the score of a hauntingly phrenetic nine piece live orchestra. A story outside of time. A meditation on the death card. Transforming and igniting the flame within us all. (but it's NOT a hippie love fest)."

**Fire eating, breathing, wings, fingers, fans, palms, poi, monkey fists, whip, juggling, staff, sculpture, swords, hoop skirits, tail feathers and snail.

If you've seen Barebones Halloween Show, you'll have a taste of what fiery, illusionary surprises and marvels are in store. If not, I assure you, you'll have seen nothing like this in the TC's. Bedlam Theatre has been pushing the boundries of local imagination since 1993.

It's also playing the next two weekends on Friday and Saturday, for $12. Closing night party features music by: The Knotwells, Bloodwall, Dirtyard and DJ Dang.

Reservations and info at 612-341-1038.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chooglin' rocks the Turf tonight; Whiskey lives, and Eagles Club starts St. Patty's Day right

There are so many great things to do this St. Patty's Day . . . here are the things I'm going to see, of the many fine choices.

CHOOGLIN' rawks the roof off the Turf tonight! Drop everything and check out Chooglin' if you haven't yet. If you've seen 'em, I don't need to tell you what to do! Chooglin' is a straight ahead good-time rock 'n' roll band with the best of Southern rock references . . . to me, they're akin to the Rolling Stones/Bad Company or the Band/Iggy and the Stooges rolled into one, (my husband, a former '80s punk bassist says "MC5/Stooges") with their own flavor of truck-drivin' pedal to the metal propulsive rock that you've just got to dance to, if you've still got a pulse. They have one of the best live rock shows in Minneapolis. Chooglin' features former Midnight Evils' guitarist/vocalist Brian Vanderwerf and Jesse Tomlinson, the Fuck Yeahs drummer Shawn Walker who does it Keith Moon style, and former Blame bassist Jeff Johnson laying down the heavy groove. Add to this mix a brass trio from The Horns of Eleganza, and you'll go out of your mind with more intoxicating fun than a bottle of Jamison.

Before them is another charismatic, extravaganzistic all-out psychedelic rock band with great guitar chops and vocals of Christy Hunt, fantastic drummer Chaz and bassist Helz, a wild '70s-esque rock show. Their influences include a gammet from Siouxie and the Banshees, Led Zeppelin, Missing Persons David Bowie, Zappa and more.

In one hour, at 3 p.m. today (till 5 or later) the Liquor Pigs do all Irish tunes at the Eagles Club. The good times continue with the Del Counts at 7 p.m. and there is corned beef & cabbage or Irish stew available.

You can follow Randy and Dave down the road to the Whiskey Junction, reopened as of Wednesday, as they kick off live music beginning at 8:30 p.m. They're followed by Machinery Hill, a fun mix of traditional and modern Irish, and rock.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What's Happenin' this week?

Always, there's far more going on than this . . . but these are a few of my music picks that I list on my calendar for KFAI's Dakota Dave Hull Show.

Cyn’s Picks for the Week March 15 - 21:

Tonight, March 15 —
• Idyllville at the 331 Club, 9 p.m.
• at Gingko, there’s a Songwriter round robin with Dan Newton, Diane Jarvi, Erik Brandt and Noah Riemer, at 7 pm

Fri. March 16:
• Always a great time, the Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs Happy Hour Friday night, 7 – 9 p.m.
• the Nomad Turns 2, their 2nd anniversary party fe; Maria Isa, and more, with happy hour and appetizers beginning at 4 p.m.
• The Belfast Cowboys, Van Morrison cover band, Pre-St. Patty’s Day Party at Lees. Then stay for Michael Quinn and the Bourbon Kings, at Lee’s at 9 p.m.
• Switched at Birth perform at Dulono’s Friday and Sat. 8 - midnight

St. Patricks Day, Saturday, March 17:
• the Delcounts at the Eagles Club, with Irish food available!
• Chooglin’, Ouija Radio and Western Fifth perform at the Turf Club
• Grace Darling and Le Cirque de Rouge Burlesque @ Lee’s
• the 24th Annual St. Patricks Day Concert at1st Avenue with Boiled in Lead, and Savage Aural Hotbed
• Keston and Westdal’s “Truth is Stranger” CD Release party at the Kitty Cat Klub. JT Bates joins them on drums. Kitty Cat Club at 10 p.m.

Sunday, March 18:
• Jen Markey’s Acoustic Sunday Jam, 331 Club, noon to 3!
•, After being a guest on Urban Folk (1 -3) Molly Maher heads down to perform songs from her new CD Balms of Gilead, live at the Ginkgo Coffeehouse, 3 – 5 p.m.
• Dervish at the Cedar, at
• Captain Yonder with 10W40 at the Turf at 9 p.m.
• Chris Pericelli, of Little Man performs solo acoustic 10:30 p.m. at the Kitty Cat Klub! It’ll be his first show back from SXSW.

Monday, March 19:
• The Roe Family Singers are back at the 331 Club, 9 p.m.
• Jazz Implosion Mondays at the Clown Lodge, fe: Fat Kid Wednesdays,starting at 9:30

Tuesday March 20:
• Mick Sterling @ Rossi’s Blue Star downtown at 5:30 p.m. If you haven’t yet, check out this beautiful blue venue
Wednesday, March 21:
• Jackson’s Juke Joint presents Moreland & Arbuckle at 7 p.m.
• Nomad Jazz Series features Tickle Fight, 9 p.m.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Where Eagles Fly, and Pigs Dig Up Roots

Are you experienced with the Eagle's Club? Curious and want to know more? Here's my recent article profiling the Eagles Club in the Bridge, reprinted in the Daily Planet: High Flying Eagles

The Eagles been increasingly popular over the past six months, so much so that often its hard to find a parking spot in its vastly huge (free!) parking lot and surrounding streets. Its really fun to hang out with friends and meet others, tons of room to dance, hundreds of people of all ages and ways of life. And, a separate bar so you can hang out and talk, tons of seating, always some benefit, birthday or wedding party . . . A vast number of us prefer, and will remain loyal to Eagles and Vince's phenomenal growing music programming, even as rumor number 9 flies of a Viking reopening in April. (I feel trepidation about this because I love the historic, legendary aspects of it, but its too small to fit the vast numbers of enthusiastic musicgoers from all over town who love to dance to Willie, the Liquor Pigs, Twin Cities Playboys, the Butanes, Cafe Accordion Orchestra and more, parking is difficult/expensive, sound is bad . . .) if it reopens, hopefully it will cordinate a schedule that works with the Eagles Club, not against. The Eagles Club totally picked up the pieces of the West Bank music scene and grew it and made numerous changes to make the sound better and the place vibrant and cozy for us all. They well deserve our continued allegiance. Not to mention the music is just fantastic.

Mardi Gras was packed to the roof with partiers and fun music. I anticipate equal, if not more fun will be had on St. Patty's day when the Delcounts play and there will be cheap and yummy corned beef and cabbage, and Irish stew for the masses.

Vote For West Bank Boogie! MN Book Awards Finalist!

West Bank Boogie is now a Minnesota Book Awards finalist, hurray! It's one of five in the nonfiction category. There is a new Reader's Choice award this year that will also be given out as part of the MN Book Awards. If you'd like, please take just a mere second to vote for West Bank Boogie here, and please pass this on to any West Bank Boogie lovers you know might want to vote also.

Love, Janis

I LOVED Love, Janis, a phenomenal play that blew my mind. It shifted my perception of Janis Joplin, as it portrayed so well the various dimensions of her: Janis Joplin the performer ("Janis Joplin in a box") and Janis, the not so well known vulnerable lonely loner, intellectual, vulnerable, hopeful individual who kept in touch with her family with her candid letters, upbeat, yet belying the pain and confusion that goes hand-in-hand with the joys of being a famous musician. Gives songs like "Free is Just another word for nothing left to lose," whole new meaning. Performed stunningly by a "singing" Janis who completely channeled her spirit on stage performing over 15 of Janis great songs, and a "speaking" Janis who conveyed her other side and viewpoints of her life via oral letters to her family. Oft the two Janis's appeared on the stage together responding to an interviewer and the effect of them playing off each other and together was riveting and moving, hilarious, thought-provoking and absolutely heart-wrenching. I am a new fan come far too lately and compelled to read up more on her life. I'll start with her sister Laura's book Love, Janis the play was based on. Laura was in fact at the play!!! And talked during a Q and Aafter the play, about her relationship with Janis, thoughts and insights on her life and contributions to music and social change. This was a great, unexpected treat.

Townes Van Zandt Tribute at Lee's

To me, Townes was one of the best singer/songwriters in America, who lived too short a life before he flew out of here for good. Several groups payed fine tribute to him celebrating his birthday at Lee's last Wednesday, including local singer/songwriters Nikki Matteson and her band the Ruemates (featuring Rich Rue). Matteson sings like an angel, plays guitar like the devil, and traversed 3 disparate styles of Townes' with ease, making them her own in a good way, starting with a personal fave, Flyin' Shoes. There were members of Tuesday's Robot, a few bands I'd not seen before (always fun to see new bands), and Bernie King, the organizer of this event. King had a fun stage presence with a gravelly voice like Tom Waites, at one point singing/rapping to an African percussion song, sounding like . . . Steve Kaul said it best: a Nigerian Leonard Cohen. King's great, and I definitely plan to check him out at the Kitty Kat soon! Also playing was Rich Mattson, who quipped Ol' Yeller would've played, but they didn't remember whether Townes was with Lynyrd Skynyrd or that musician with Bruce Springsteen, or . . . natch, he played solo, and nailed Townes. Matteson's songwriting oft reminds me of Townes and he proved this, with his new song "Snow Don't Fall," which like your usual poignant Townes tune, made me shed a tear or two. (At a certain point during the 12 or 15 bands, I needed to take a break from three plus hours of relentlessly sorrowful songs, and hoped there wouldn't be a headline the next day "50 people go home and commit suicide after Townes Tribute"). Then it was the Liquor King (or was it the Brass Pig?) as Dave Babb (Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs) paired up with Brass Kings' Steve Kaul. Their guitars together were so tightly in sync, you couldn't wedge a pick between 'em. They do the best version of To Live is To Fly, rivaling Cowboy Junkies. Then Kaul, with his macabre sense of humor selected to do a weird song he heard on a cassette during a dusty road trip, about a youth finding a bone, digging it up, it becomes a skeleton and they go on a thieving spree. Kaul said hearing this blew his mind, and perhaps it would ours. Yup. Babbs and Kaul are absolutely terrific together, and I most highly recommend you check them out when they duo again, such as when they host this Tuesday's FREE! Cedar Cultural Center Open Mike Night.


I'm Back in the TC Groove, oh yeah . . .

Well folks, so much has happened since last I wrote in November and clearly my blog has been severely neglected. Yet with so much going on, and so many happenings and new news I want to get word out about, I'm compelled to get this thing up and running again. I'll keep up with this blog on a more regular basis, so feel free to subscribe and/or link to my blog. There are multiple postings tonight, but that will not be the norm.

I do my weekly "What's Happenin' Cyn?" calendar Thursdays at 10 a.m. during Dakota Dave Hull's show on KFAI (90.3 Mpls/106.7 St. Paul) and will try to post that here afterwards. KFAI's soon getting a new, beautiful, ultra-navigable website you'll want to check out.

Before I get into cool things I caught after fending off nearly getting pneumonia for the third year in a row, and trying to catch up on fiddle tunes at the same time, I'll just briefly mention those things I missed I wished I could've seen:

Little Man CD review — sweet friend, and phenomenal musician with big soul Chris Pericelli got many of the well-deserved accolades for his hard work and fine showmanship over the years. I was blown away the first time I saw Little Man at the Turf, and have caught several fantastic shows since, one highlight being when he performed at our beloved Oak Street Cinema (RIP) in a tribute to T. Rex prior to a T. Rex film. Congratulations on Automatic Soul, Chris! Sorry I couldn't make the party, but the listening party at the 331 was fun!

Fort Wilson Riot Sing-a-long for their CD to be released maybe June . . . actually the pirate sing-a-long is rescheduled. Yay!

Danny Sigelman's Jammy Party at the 331 . . . sounded so fun. But, he has more in store, so stay tuned here for updates.