Monday, December 27, 2010

Spin With Cyn Picks for the Week Dec 28 – Jan. 3:

Tuesday, Dec. 28:

• The Conspiracy Series at 331 Club fe: the Johnson Twins

• Humanda with All Your Sisters @ 501 Club at 9:30 p.m.

• December residency fe: Dead Man Winter @ Turf Club @ 9

Wednesday, Dec. 29:

• December mini-series at the 501 with Turn Back Now!, @ 501 at 10 p.m.

• at First Avenue: the Hold Steady with the Meat Puppets and Retribution Gospel Choir! First Avenue at 7 p.m.

• The Copper Field and Walker Fields @ Aster Café @ 9:30

Thursday, Dec. 30:

• Los Straitjackets with the 99ers @ Turf Club @ 8

• Black Audience @ Red Stag @ 10

• Giravves with the Shiny Lights @ Aster Café at 9

• Nightosaur with Teenage Moods, Voytek and Hastings 3000 @ 7th St. Entry, 8

Friday, Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve!

• New Year’s Eve 2010 with Mark Mallman, fe: Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps, Red Pens and Koo Koo Kanga Roo @ Varsity Theatre in Dinkytown

• Right around the corner, at Kitty Cat Klub! Strangelights, Voytek and the Goondas!

• NYE at Lee’s Liquor Lounge fe: E.L.nO. and Lucy Michelle the Velvet Lapelles 9

• Communist Daughter, Mystery Palace and Black Blondie @ Cause at 9:30 p.m

• NYE Neighborhood Party fe: The Sex Rays, Reckless Ones, Pennyroyal, DJ Kool Aide, DJ Crunk @ 9

• F* Resolutions, You’re Perfect! An MPLS.TV Celebration At 7th Street Entry with Claps, Slapping Purses, Chelsea Boys and Fort Wilson Riot @ 7th St. Entry @8

• Hairball at Medina Entertainment Center “Ladies of the 80s” at 8:30 p.m.

• NYE with SIMS and Kristof Krane @ 501 Club @ 9

• First Avenue’s New Years Eve Danceteria with GetCryphy, SovietPanda, DJ Smitty, Roy Freedom and more! 8 p.m.

• NYE Cover Night at the Turf Club, fe: Vampire Hands (the Beatles), Leisure Birds (Credence Clearwater Revival), Chambermaids (the Pixies) and Daughters of the Sun (Sleep) music at 9 at the Turf

• BOMP! NYE at Nick and Eddie at 10 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 1:

• Zoo Animal and Tyler Burkum @501 Club 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

• Marijuana Death Squads @ Turf Club @ 9

Sunday, Jan. 2:

• Sunday Night Dance Party with Nick the Feelin Mrozinski and friends at Palmers Bar @ 10

• Trivius Scholasticus Intoxicus hosted by Al Church with music of ? @ 501 Club 9 pm

Monday, Jan. 3:

Glen Hanson 6:30 – 8:30 at the 331 Club, followed by the Roe Family Singers @ 9 at the 331 Club

• Jazz Implosion with Fat Kid Wednesdays in the Clown Lounge @ 10 p.m.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Bedlam: Love Well, Loft Well

I walked out of Bedlam Theatre at 1501 for the last time while it was still rocking - people dancing their hearts out, like they might not dance again, to intense percussive power tools rock of Savage Aural Hotbed. I couldn't bear to see the bittersweet end, saying goodbyes as everyone left the building. I preferred to have my last memory of that place be what I remembered it most as - a place of revelry, wild abandon, a plethora of friends gathering and planning new creative endeavors, having heartfelt conversations, experiencing absurdist hilarity driving us to tears and well-timed beer can "lofts," as co-director Maren Ward instructed us - "Love well, loft well!" before tearing into a Broadway musical song gone awry such as "The Impossible Dream," and "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina."

And, as always, the best part about the building itself - the ability to offer something exciting and different happening in various rooms. Because Bedlam Theatre and Bedlam social were always so big in vision, possessing such largess in creativity, they could never be contained in just one room.

Which is why the recent space at 1501 was the best to date. From the mindblowing, hilarious and thought-provoking "Terminus," (2002, in old space) based on Sci-fi work by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, I was hooked in. Or perhaps better, spun, as the cardboard spaceship whirled around us making us feel we were inside it - it was dizzying like a carnival ride. That's when I knew, I could never experience theatre the same again. Bedlam set new high (and low) levels of expectation from me in my theatrical entertainment - the brilliant mix of humor - from absurdist to outrageous, low-brow to high art, Bedlam was theatre that hit the heart (or kicked you in the gut) about what it means to be human.

Over the five years up till Bedlam's 2007 move to their recent space, I experienced countless Romps, cabarets with a dazzling array of skits and music, good, bad and ugly - with the nugget we'd always wait for with highest anticipation - the 5-minute movie. These were movies, usually with a cheese factor, ripe for satorization, condensed into 5 minutes. From Footloose to Top Gun, the 5 minute movies were action-packed with the highpoints of the original squished together with madness and mayhem - you could hardly follow the plot you would laugh so hard. Often the actors could barely act, they were laughing so hard.

Apropo of the maudlin, rebellious spirit of the final night, the 51st 5-minute movie was "The Empire Strikes Back," with the entire cast going pants-less by the end, the culmination of many calls to "take your pants off!!!" requests from the audience every time a male actor got on stage - which they'd readily, instantly fulfill. (However, when Jon Mac Cole was requested "take off your mustache!" he responded "take off YOUR mustache," to the mustache-less cat-caller.)

March 20, 2007: the Bedlam came in with fire performances, much as they left. The first performance in their new building featured Rah Kojis, Bedlam events coordinator and puppet master Dhann Polnau's newest fire performance, "Infiamato: An Incendiary Opera." As became their signature, the theatrical performances were followed by music, such as Spider John Koerner, Skoal Kodiak and Dreamland Faces. Dreamland Faces would go on to perform Wednesdays for a very long time - I'm not sure how long, but I do know it was a highlight of my week I looked forward to often, chilling out in my favorite bar/music venue/theatre. It was entertainment of the highest calibre, and often most unusual! offered in the coziest of spaces with great food, cheap drinks, and pretty much guaranteed you'd see friends or make new ones.

Music offered over the years at Bedlam shaped what inspires me today in our live local music scene. From the gypsy punk of the Knotwells, to the orchestral, chamber-folk of Dark Dark Dark, to the indescribable dreamy, eerie music of Dreamland Faces replete with saw and accordion of Andy and Karen and the sweet vocals of Randall Throckmorten . . . from the raucous East-Euro-styled folk of girl-bands Old Man Orville and Carpscale Orchester and more recently the grunge-punk of bands such as the Goondas and Tornado, with bands visiting while in town such as NYC's "porch-techno" the Quavers, and Alaskans Ode to the Rhodes and Spirits of the Red City. Too many to mention, suffice it to say, I now bring much of my Bedlam-tinged musical tastes to my "Spin with Cyn" radio show, and booking musical events at various venues.

Nights on the patio, watching films under the stars, then heading downstairs to dance to old-time music or djs. Planning and celebrating new creative endeavors, forming new friendships, catching up with friends from out of town, achieving solace during times of loss and heartbreak, celebrating life and good times. Countless phenomenal memories, but not enough. Unlike the addage, you never know what you've got till its gone, I always knew and appreciated what we had in Bedlam, knew its days in that location would inevitably have to end there someday. Now the time is here for a new era, hopefully one that is as good, or even better fit for this organization, unlike any other in the TCs, leaving a hole in our hearts. Today I feel like the cast of four in Last Romp skit, "Eat Cake," crying while eating the last chocolate cake, or like Miss Puss Puss, experiencing the 7 stages of grief. Yet I remain hopeful - The Bedlam is a thriving creative force that can't be contained. They will do well with a building hopefully found soon, to allow us to experience the radical beauty of Bedlam for years to come.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anti-Valentine's Day fun for the Lonely-Hearts

Anti-Valentine’s Day Fun for the Lonely Hearts

By Cyn Collins

Enquiring lonely hearts (and people who hate Valentine’s Day) want to know! What can you “single ladies” (or guys) do on Valentine’s Day, if you prefer to be social and party rather than curl under a blanket, covering your ears, and la-la-la-ing? V-Day inundates our existence whether we’re coupled or not, so if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. Here are a few of my recommendations to avoid the coupling-oriented places.

The 28th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands at the Cabooze Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m. is “the oldest jug band battle in the known universe.” It is the absolute ultimate in irreverent fun and revelry. 20 bands from across the country duke it out for the coveted waffle iron. The Cabooze is packed to the gills with fun-loving, crazy dancing fools like you. You can bet that by mid-day you’ll be well into your cups and feeling the liquid courage to talk to that cute banjo-player from Wisconsin. Why are so many cute musicians from Wisconsin? It must be something in the beer. You won’t feel alone long, as the Cabooze becomes one big mess of free-lovin’ happy shiny people. If you can’t have fun at this, you should check if the ol’ ticker is still tickin’.

“But wait! It’s 8 p.m., they’re cleaning the floors of the mess, and my heart feels like its being swept out with the trash . . . what do I do now?!” you might ask. The night is young, you might be drunk, and aren’t ready to go home alone (the banjo player you talked to is married).

Well, usually there’s an after-party. At the Bedlam or somesuch. Keep your ears open. Ask around. Ask the judges because 10 to 1 they’ve been invited (bribed, embibed) with further post-battle beverages and good times.

But, if you just can’t handle the sound of one more spoon scraping a washboard, and are tired of getting covered with flying jug-juice (ew), there are a couple other things going on. I recommend you call a cab to get to these – 24/7 (612) 522-4363 - my cab company of choice as they are Minnesota's only green car service, with a fleet of diesel and hybrid vehicles, and are musicians trying to make a living.

Paper Hearts 8 p.m. – Midnight at Rogue Buddha (357 13th Avenue NE) – l’etoile + Rogue Buddha invite singles and couples alike to a big “lovey-dovey” get-together. L’etoile invites you to: “Lay eyes on the current exhibit "Till Death Do Us Part" featuring work by artist couple Karen O'Bryan and RM Hanson while you mingle with sweethearts, pals, and possible love connections!

Write sweet sentiments to your lovers, friends or that sexy stranger across the room on a pink paper heart and pop it in our anonymous "love note" box. We'll be periodically posting them up on the wall for everyone's perusal. Think of it as a live version of "Missed Connections," or a way to say what you really feel to someone you "heart."

Enjoy pink specialty cocktails from UV Vodka, sweet treats courtesy of the lovely dames of Cake Eater Bakery, and saucy love songs from DJ Matt Perkins of MPR/Nomad Pub.

Come party after Valentine's dinner with your sweetie, or gather your single friends for a V-Day flirt-a-thon! (Or after the Jug Band Battle, I say!) We'll even have a cozy makeout room ready and waiting!” - l'etoile

A Soultastic Valentine’s Day 8 p.m. – midnight King and I Thai Lounge Mike Elias is one of the best DJs in town, a favorite on first Fridays at the King and I Thai Lounge. You might not feel lonely or alone (or you at least may feel your sore heart soothed by soul), listening to his excellent soul-music spinning.

Elias says: “It's a night for lovers and a night for lovers of soul music as DJ Fathertime and DJ Mrs McFeely spin the steel wheels loaded with music to make you weak in the knees but strong in the heart.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things I've Done; Things I Look Forward To

It's been a phenomenal past couple months. I've attended numerous great shows, too many to mention. Some highlights I've done, that I recommend, when these bands play again:

Courtney McClean and the Dirty Curls, The Knotwells and Black Audience at the 501 Club - very fun, excellent crowd for a Tuesday. These bands garnered new followers and people wishing for their CDs. I'll keep you posted.

Saltee at Barbette Monday night. They are members of Jelloslave (Jacqueline and Michele on cellos, Gary on Tablas) plus Mike Michel (Bill Mike) on a beautiful old (Fender?) electric guitar and Carnage, beatboxing. Their songs are mesmerizing, transcendental, pulsing, driving and seamlessly flowing various musical genres at their skilled fingertips. I didn't want the music to end. Next performance, and new CD possibly in Mar/April. Keep an eye out for Barbette music on Mondays and Thursdays - following them on Twitter helps.

ARCWELDER and Gay Witch Abortion a week ago at the Turf Club. Really great show. Hardcore and really tight, creative stuff. Fantastic crowd.

Art Shanties opens this Saturday!!! I'm really looking forward to: Art Swap Shanty (Julie and Scott Kesti live downstreet from me!), Black Bania Shanty, (poetry and comedy above by Mary Mack, Paul D. Laura Brandenburg and Steph Wilbur Ashe on top/sauna inside - bring a swimsuit), Reclamation Art Shanty, ArtPost Shanty (send postcards to your sweetie from the frozen lake!) and more.
• After your toes are froze from the lake, warm up by dancing to the Can Kickers "old-timey riot music for dancin'" and The Knotwells at the Hexagon, Saturday night!
Jen Markey's CD Release Party Turf Club Jan. 23. She performs at Palmer's 2nd Thursdays.
Chooglin' residency at Palmer's latenight, the first 3 Saturdays in February!!!

These are but a few, but I'll try to keep people posted more, due to numerous requests beyond my Thursday morning Dakota Dave Hull Show calendar at 10 a.m.

New links I love:
WFMU's Beware of the Blog (yes, still. Biggest, funnest time-waster in the Universe)
Cook to Bang Blog: Recipes to get you laid, and they look pretty good, too. "Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." - The Dalai Lama
Cooking with Jocinda - a friend's food experiences and recipes. Fun!
Arts Communique blog, Sheila Regan's blog on art and performance

My music picks for week of January 14 - 20

Cyn’s Picks for the Week Jan. 14 - 20:

Thursday, Jan. 14 :

• Skinny Longfeet, Tuesdays Robot and STOOK! At the 501 Club at 9:30

• St. Dominic’s Trio at the 331 Club at 9:30 p.m.

• Angie Oase (referred to as Lennon/Dylans lovechild) plays Barbette @10

Friday, Jan. 15:

• Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs at their usual Palmer’s show 7 – 10 p.m.

• Too Many Banjos, the Brass Kings and Tennesota Brothers @ 501 Club at 10 p.m.

• Kevin Anthony CD Release Party, with Glen Hanson @ the 331 Club

• First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase (presented by Radio K), fe: with LEISURE BIRDS, MOONSTONE, NO BIRD SING, PETER WOLF CRIER, RED PENS, SLAPPING PURSES, and TWILIGHT HOURS

• The Rural Alberta Advantage with Dark Dark Dark at the Cedar show is SOLD OUT but will play Dark Dark Dark for you here.

Sat. Jan. 16:

• The Rockford Mules with Dragons Power Up at the 331 Club at 10

• Romantica, Brett Tyler, Farewell Milwaukee and Western Fifth at the Turf Club @ 10

• Paragraphs (EP Release Show), Canyons of Static and To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie at the 501 Club at 10 p.m.

• Pert Near Sandstone with Spider John Koerner at the Cedar @ 8

• Flavor Crystals, The Chambermaids, Red Pens and Gospel Gossip at Sauce at 10.

• Poor Weather Club, The Cankickers, old-timey punk from Connecticutt, with the Knotwells at the Hexagon

Sunday Jan. 17:

• Cadillac vs. Cornbread at Palmers Bar 8 till late

Monday, Jan. 18:

• Pocahontas County at the 331 Club at 6:30 p.m. followed by Roe Family Singers performing their fun Mondays 9 – 11 at the 331 Club

! Tuesday, Jan. 1`9:

Tuesday Conspiracy Series at the 331 Club with Brianna Lane at 9:30 p.m.

Weds., Jan. 20:

• Mike Elias is spinning Funk and Soul at Rosen’s Grill DT on Wednesdays from 8 – midnite!

• Painted Saints, Brad Senne at the Bedlam Theatre at 10

• KFAI House Party presents: Reverend Deadeye from 7 -9 followed by Jake Manders at 9:30