Friday, August 29, 2008

Eight is Enough: The Concert to End Our Long, National Nightmare

Barack Obama said it in his speech accepting the nomination Thursday night- "We love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight." Right he is, and that was the sentiment of Andrew Broder of Fog and Joe Selinski of The Dad in Common when they heard the Republican were coming to town. Instead of sitting on their haunches and bitching about it, they got the Turf Club to donate space and a whole raft of their friends to come down and play a show to support the Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Proceeds at the door and all sales of the posters whipped up by Burlesque of North America went to the campaign, and judging by the crowd there, it was a success. Broder said that it gave him "a warm feeling" to see all these people out.

Cake in 15 was there freelancing for and you can read that at It's a little truncated for space and our miniscule attention spans, but you get the picture- the bill was packed, the room was full in waves and all in all, we got rowdy in the name of freedom and change. Cake in 15 doesn't want to tell you how to vote, but consider Chris Besinger of STNNNG's quote, given to you in it's entirety- "You've never seen a Republican man rock like this. Except Ted Nugent. And his rhythm section are pussies."

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Theater for Foodies

I’ve watched the occasional cooking show on Bravo or the Food Network, but never had I found myself amid such experts until last Thursday, in attendance at a rehearsal for The Cooking Show Con Karimi and Comrades. Revolutionary Chef Mero Cocinero Karimi is here in town to perform his roving cooking show at the Bedlam Theater, and I had the pleasure of being ever so briefly exposed to the many secrets the show contains. These secrets, being secret, cannot be divulged - Mero Cocinero Karimi speaks tersely of the CIA and possible infiltration, and so you must go see the show and discover them for yourself.

Rest assured, however, that you will witness something special. The three comrades in question are Mero Cocinero Karimi, special guest Comrade Katie Rose McLaughlin, and the stage manager Comrade Tsai. Working in a mode that mixes clowning, improvisation and good old-fashioned story telling, they sing, dance, and chop their way through a cooking spectacle that will top anything you’ve ever seen on television, and probably (if you’re like me) anything you’ve ever seen on stage as well. And there’s FOOD! You get to try some! Free tastes!

The Cooking Show also functions as a clever and functional political treatise. Never preachy, the comrades display a lightness of touch & understanding of the deep history behind the dishes they prepare and the stories they tell. By the end of the night, be you Blue, Red, or “Other,” you just might find yourself feeling part of the larger community at whole - One that comes together to experience good art, and leaves with a full mind and satisfied palate.

Go here for the website:

It’s at Bedlam Theater (1501 S. 6th Street, Mpls, MN)
August 28-30 & September 5-7.
All shows @ 8 pm, doors open at 7:30 pm.
Tickets only $20, with discounts for masses, elders, & youth.
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bowl.)

Buy tickets @ 612-341-1038 or

MAEP Gallery: Chaos Quelled, Terror Moves in

The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) Gallery at the MIA was recently the center of public outcry and a PR storm. The resignation of long-time coordinator Stewart Turnquist and re-organization of the curatorial structure under new director Kaywin Feldman created a worry that the independence of the gallery was under threat, profiled in a series of articles by the Star Tribune's Mary Abbe. Things seem to have quieted down as Feldman has promised the continued independence of the MAEP program and the new director of exhibitions and programs, Elizabeth Armstrong, comes highly regarded and with local connections, having done a stint at the Walker Art Center back in the 90s.

Throughout all this brou-ha-ha, the MAEP Gallery has stayed open and continued to show off some of the best work being created in the state. Opening this week in the MAEP Gallery are two shows, "Unconventional Wisdom" and "MILLIONS OF INNOCENT ACCIDENTS".

Show details after the jump!.

"Unconventional Wisdom" features prints by Ruthann Godollei and Mike Elko. Elko and Godollei combine their different printmaking styles with a good dose of tongue in cheek text revolving around the war in Iraq and 9/11. Whereas Godollei's work is in traditional print styles with little selections of text, Elko's broad-sheets recall the pulpy literature of paranoia that graced the newsstands in the 1950s. With these lenses of nostalgia and style, expect a few good chuckles, and some sights for better times.

With Hardland/Heartland's "MILLIONS OF INNOCENT ACCIDENTS" I can't tell you what to expect. What I can tell you is that it will be unexpected, beautiful, exactly produced, tender, vicious and hilarious. HL/HL is the working moniker of 3 artists, recent MCAD grads Eric Timothy Carlson, Crystal Quinn and Aaron Anderson. In line with the surrealist Exquisite Corpse games, they pass their work between themselves and each have a hand in production, resulting in chaotic collages of animal parys, graffiti-like cartoons, tiny detailed drawings and large scale wall works. The kids have been showing around town and across the area and with their communal working pattern, find a way to get back to one of those golden threads of art: escape. In times like these, release away from the ordinary seems often the best way to repudiate it.

Images via Hardland/Heartland.

Opening: Thursday, August 28, 7pm
Gallery Talk with Hardland/Heartland: Thursday, September 11, 7pm
Gallery Talk with Mike Elko and Ruthann Godollei: Thursday, September 25, 7pm
Critics' Trialogue with Anne Klefstad: Thursday, October 2, 7pm
Closes October 26. All events free and open to the public.

MIA Press release here.

(Full Disclosure: This blogger works at the MIA in their Visitor and Member Services.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ruckus on the West Bank

As if there's not enough to do on September 6, add this one to your wish list. The Nomad World Pub once again presents Ruckus on the West Bank. I do have to say I'm a bit disappointed it starts so late. I know for a regular show it seems early, but I quite enjoyed hanging out in the parking lot at the Nomad amongst my friends at 3pm in the afternoon - PBR in hand.

Here are the details per Matt Perkins, booker extraordinaire:

Join the Nomad World Pub on Saturday, September 6 as we celebrate another Ruckus on the West Bank featuring seven great local groups. Cheap beer from Schell's and Grainbelt. Come early and stay late for a great night of music, food, and plenty of Ruckus on the West Bank.

6pm / 21+ / $6 (includes BBQ) (ed. note: nom nom nom)

7:30pm - Bouncer Fighter
8:15pm - Abzorbr
9:00pm - Me and My Arrow
9:45pm - Running Scared
10:30pm - Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles
11:15pm - The Knotwells
12:15am - Dance Band

Storyhill Plays Patio Nights at the Minnesota Museum of American Art

I know what you're thinking. "We have a Minnesota Museum of American Art? Where's that?" "St. Paul" is the answer you desire, and you'll find the MMAA has more to offer than you might expect. For the past five summers the patio at the museum has opened itself to a wide variety of local acts, ranging from STNNNG to Mark Mallman to Storyhill. I was lucky enough to enjoy the Storyhill show from the confines of the museums "cafeteria," as Minnesota decided to bestow a bit of rain on its concert goers.

Once upon a time Storyhill was known as Chris and Johnny. This was the early 1990s and the boys were extremely popular on the college circuit as an acoustic duo. The music evolved and outlasted various geographical moves from each of the men, and finally they became Storyhill. The lush vocal melodies and precise guitar arrangements have created a rock solid fan base for the band. The crowd at the MMAA hooted and hollered for more, bringing the boys back up for more than one encore.

Alas, I am not a writer and lack the words to convey the emotional lift one experiences at such a show, and so I leave you with photos taken in an extremely dark cafeteria at the MMAA on a rainy August night.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

You can listen to the album via the band's label here.
Check out more about the Minnesota Museum of American Art here.

Set list after the jump

Set List

Weave Your Way
What Was Wrong
Well of Sorrow
Full Circle
Better Angels
Happy Man
White Roses
Give Up the Ghost
Joe Snow
Hard Wind
Great Divide
Good Rain

(These may not be in exact order/100% correct, as they were taken from Storyhill's actual set list... and I know they played "If I Could" at the end too)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cake in 15 Goes To A Record Sale!

So, in fear of rain and dire predictions by over-tanned midgets on Kare 11, Cake in 15 decided not to go to the State Fair and spend all that money on deep-fried desperation on a stick. Instead, we hit up the Cedar Cultural Center, who are hosting a 3 day record/book/memorabilia sale extravaganza. Thousands of records in boxes, waiting to be flicked through. All sorts of weirdnesses and musty smells- this could be a problem. To the ambient rock backing of Danny Sigelman's Self Sound Orchestra, we managed to rack up just over 60 records in under 45 minutes... an Olympic qualifying time if ever I saw one. And at a dollar apiece (we limited ourselves to that section - otherwise we may just as well have gone whole hog at the fair) it's not sooooo bad.

The Record and Book Sale runs 10-6 Saturday and 12-6 Sunday. Admission is free. Visit for more info.

PLUS- The Cedar opens its 20th season Thursday, 9/4, with a free show featuring Kevin Kling, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and more!

Full damage after the jump...

The rundown:

Michael Jackson- Thriller (awesome first find of the night)
Paul Simon- Greatest Hits, Etc.
Joan Jett- Bad Reputation
Steve Martin- A Wild and Crazy Guy
The Beach Boys- Endless Summer
Big Brother & the Holding Company- Cheap Thrills (One of the first records I ever heard on vinyl)
Fleetwood Mac- Rumors
Blues Brothers- Briefcase Full of Blues
Chess- Original Cast Recording (ABBA wrote this musical!)
Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Three- I Walk The Line Soundtrack
Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence
Arlo Guthrie- Alice's Restaurant (Anyone have a copy of "Comin' into Los Angeles?")
The Stills-Young Band- Long May You Run
The Beach Boys- Surfer Girl
Elton John- S/T
Talking Heads- Little Creatures (Best band costumes EVER)
Louis Armstrong- S/T (A Harmony records compilation, but it has "Basin Street Blues" and "St. James Infirmary")
Woodstock Two- Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix & More!
Joe Cocker- Joe Cocker!
Evie- Come On, Ring Those Bells (Apparently a staple of Stacy's childhood)
The Story of Star Wars (from the Original Soundtrack- with voice clips!)
The Who- Who's Greatest Hits
Emmylou Harris- Luxury Liner
Madonna- S/T
Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two- Original Golden Hits
Bob Dylan- Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II
ShaNaNa- All-Time Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Hits (Can anyone explain to me why they were at Woodstock?)
Billy Joel- The Stranger
Mozart- Jupiter Symphony
Frank Sinatra- Strangers in the Night
The Shadow- Original Radio Broadcasts
Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Handel- Messiah
Vivaldi- Four Seasons
Benny Goodman- Swing Into Spring
J.S.Bach- The Brandenburg Concertos
The Mama's and the Papa's- If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (Cover shows them in a tub, with a sticker slapped over the toilet so as not to offend our delicate senses)
Janis Joplin- Joplin in Concert
The Rolling Stones- Sucking in the Seventies
Jan & Dean- Jan & Dean Anthology Album
George Harrison- S/T
Robert Plant- The Principle of Moments
Charlie Chaplin- Soundtrack from A Countess from Hong Kong
Bob Dylan- Slow Train Coming
Mahavishnu Orchestra- Visions of the Emerald Beyond
Big Sur Festival- One Hand Clapping (Joan Baez, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Kris Kirstofferson, Taj Mahal & Mickey Newbury)
Donovan- Greatest Hits
Bob Dylan- Dylan
Johnny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues
Bob Dylan- Street Legal (I like how I keep on pulling out those two next to each other)
Simon & Garfunkel- Concert in Central Park
Stand By Me- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Madonna- Vogue (the single)
Bruce Springsteen- Born in the U.S.A
David Bowie- Tonight
Lily Tomlin- This is a Recording
Joe Jackson- Look Sharp! (The craziest pair of white boots on the cover)
Johnny Cash with June Carter- Give My Love to Rose
George Harrison- All Things Must Pass
The Police- Synchronicity
Billy Joel- Greatest Hits


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kicking the Shit Out of My Expectations

Rodrigo y Gabriela, First Avenue Mainroom, 8/18/08

The first thing that popped into my head once Gabriela Quintero began playing her guitar was, "ow." The way she pounded out the percussive sound with her knuckles while attacking the strings on her guitar was one of the most amazing, yet painful-looking, things I'd ever seen. Sadly, I'm forced to admit I expected more stereotypical flamenco music, or even just some sort of Gypsy Kings redux. While that influence is certainly there, it cannot be used to define even the majority of the band's sound. Rodrigo y Gabriela pound out the most beautiful hard rock acoustic guitar my ears have ever absorbed. Of course, it should have told me something when the band's 'Links' page includes the websites for Metallica, Megadeath and Slipknot.

Rodrigo Sanchez began in the spotlight, and stayed there most of the night. Not undeserved, but most of the time it was Quintero's fingers of fire that kept me mesmerized. I haven't seen that sort of magic in a long time. After the second or third number, a large screen backlit the duo with a live video feed of hands on their guitars, or close ups of the strings being strummed by fingers that knew where to go without being told. The video accentuated the effortless fluttering of both players and energized the crowd. It was interesting to see people alternating thrusts of fists and the "rock on" symbol into the air, while others focused on some version of the salsa on the pit floor.

Rodrigo y Gabriela seem to have performed at every festival this summer, and I completely understand why. The pair are lovely and intriguing. They play rock music. Ok, not just rock music, but metal... on acoustic guitars! They mix it with traditional Mexican influences - and a bit of their now-home in Dublin, Ireland seeps in there too. Sounds like a melting pot, doesn't it? Well, it is, and it's amazing.

Download mp3:
Diablo Rojo

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feeling Minnesota?

Usually, this is not my bag. But since I can't stop it and it threatens to overwhelm lives unless I roll with it, here are a few things that seem pretty cool to do during the RNC in the Twin Cities. More info on all events after the jump.
(Photo by Richard Avedon)

Hail to the Chief: Images of the American Presidency

August 2 - September 21 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis
FREE Exhibition

8 is Enough: A Concert to End Our Long National Nightmare
August 27 at the Turf Club, St. Paul
$20 donation requested - Benefit for Barack Obama

Civic Fest
August 29 - September 4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

August 31 - Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

Liberty Parade and Concert
August 31 - Down Nicollet Mall to Loring Park, Minneapolis

Second Annual Black Dog Block Party
August 31 - September 1 in Mears Park, St. Paul

Take Back Labor Day Festival
September 1 on Harriet Island, St. Paul

Wake Up World w/ Daily Show Co-creator Lizz Winstead PLUS Special Hootenany w/Jim Walsh and Billy Bragg
September 2 - September 04 at the Parkview Theater

(Ripple Effect) Day Festival
September 2 on the Capitol Lawn

Event info after the jump!

Hail to the Chief: Images of the American Presidency

August 2 - September 21 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis
Free Exhibition

Designed as a non-partisan view of the American presidency, this exhibition features a selection of original works of art from the MIA’s permanent collection and various historical material from several important private collections that focus on presidential themes. The exhibition comprises more than 90 objects, including paintings, sculpture, drawings, original prints, posters, photographs, manuscripts, glassware, porcelain, and metalwork. Among the objects on display are presidential portraits, including a marble bust of George Washington in classical garb by American sculptor Hiram Powers, candid photographs of former presidents and presidential candidates, including Richard Avedon’s celebrated portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower; presidential proclamations and hand-signed documents; a presidential flag from the Oval Office, and various presidential campaign materials.

8 is Enough: A Concert to End Our Long National Nightmare
August 27, 7:30pm at the Turf Club, St. Paul

Benefit for Barack Obama featuring (with set times!):
STNNNG (12:30AM)
POS (11:45PM)
LOW (10:30PM)
DOSH (9:30PM)

Civic Fest
August 29 - September 4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

CivicFest is a vibrant civic festival celebrating Minnesota and American history, democracy, and the U.S. Presidency. The event, produced by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee, will be held August 29 through September 4, 2008 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
CivicFest is a once-in-a-lifetime family-friendly experience, featuring more than 35 educational and entertaining exhibits, including; historic memorabilia and artifacts, a scale model of the White House, a re-created Convention floor, a stage featuring live performances, an actual President’s official limousine, a full-scale replica of the White House Oval Office, multimedia and interactive exhibits featuring significant historical objects, an interactive kiosk that explores the lives and administrations of the twelve 20th – century Presidents, and a 60,000 square-foot Marketplace, showcasing a variety of products to the CivicFest audience, with an emphasis on locally produced and designed merchandise.

Event Hours:
Friday, August 29 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 30 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 31 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday, September 1 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 2 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 3 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 4 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

August 31 - Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

(Yes, these times are AM)


Liberty Parade and Concert
August 31 - Down Nicollet Mall to Loring Park, Minneapolis

The Liberty Parade is a Minneapolis first - a full-scale art and music celebration, a march in support of democracy and freedom of expression - And, it won't happen without you! Yes, YOU! Pull out your tubas, decorate your bicycles, dust off your art car, build a float, break out your flags and twirling batons, and take to the streets in celebration of your ideas of liberty and freedom of expression.

Concert in Loring Park features: The Dillinger Four, Retribution Gospel Choir, Happy Apple, STNNNG, The Brass Messengers, Mama Digdowns Brass Band

Second Annual Black Dog Block Party
August 31 - September 1 in Mears Park, St. Paul

Sunday, August 31 (3:00 to 10:00 PM) (order of performers TBD)
Carnage, Anthony Cox, Spaghetti Western String Company, Aviette, Backstreet Boogie Band, Big Quarters, Soul Tree

Tuesday, September 2 (3:00 to 10:00 PM) (order of performers TBD)
Boots Riley & The Coup, Ill Chemistry, Junkyard Empire, Kill the Vultures, Los Nativos

Take Back Labor Day Festival
September 1 on Harriet Island, St. Paul

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—representing 2 million working people—will sponsor a festival to celebrate workers’ achievements and to promote a New Vision for the 21st Century that includes:
* Affordable, quality healthcare for everyone;
* Wages that can support families;
* Freedom to join unions without intimidation;
* Retirement security.
Featuring: Billy Bragg, Mos Def, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Tom Morello, The Pharcyde

Wake Up World w/ Daily Show Co-creator Lizz Winstead PLUS Special Hootenany w/Jim Walsh and Billy Bragg
September 2 - September 04 at the Parkview Theater
These shows are 21+

Shoot the Messenger is a NY based comedy troupe performing, Wake Up World, a satirical morning show from the brain of Daily Show Co-creator Lizz Winstead. A live comedy show incorporating multi-media elements, it gives us the world as seen through the filters of Wake-Up World, Americas only 6-hour morning show.

Wake-up World is the flagship news show on 24/7 possibly the worst twenty-four cable news network-ever. Wake Up World is an indictment, both hilarious and scathing - not only of the newsmakers, but of the news media that gives us what ever is easiest for them.

(Ripple Effect) Day Festival
September 2 on the Capitol Lawn

By creating a safe, positive space for artists, activists, and the general public to gather, Ripple Effect will take the energy spurred by the Republican National Convention and use it to create a movement for tangible progressive change.

Through the inspirational power of art and music, Ripple Effect will
attract thousands of like-minded individuals to the St. Paul Capitol lawn, where they will be given the free space to participate in the the burgeoning global movement for justice, equitability, and sustainability.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Good Bands/Last Shows

You know the kids these days, always going to school and getting educated, going off into the world. You think they'd have the courtesy to sit in my living room and just play for my entertainment, goldarnit. Not to be, however, and two local bands are advertising their last shows for a while.

Personal favorite City On The Make, the finest howlin' grandees north of the Mason-Dixon are bringing it home to their 400 Bar stomping grounds. They released their "A Million Bucks" EP there earlier this year, in what has to be one of my favorite nights of the summer. Axe-man Mischa Kegan heads off to grad school in Chicago this fall as front man Mike Massey wraps it up at the U, so look for them to trade the screams and rumbles, enough to cover a whole lot of ground.

It seems too soon to go for newcomers Capitol Jay- their Strangers in my House release and the couple shows they've played this summer were a tantalizing pop-rock flavor, a little sparky promise. Although they have just about sold out of their first printing of their disc, you can download the thing in its entirety from Limerick Records. Check it out and and then shuffle you feet as you wait for the youngsters to come back together.

Show info after the jump!


8pm Doors, 9pm Music, Friday, September 12th
400 Bar- 400 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
With Capitol City Soul Tones and Modern Fonts
Presale $7. $10 at the door.
Message Mike Massey at if you would like to buy tickets in advance.
You can also pick them up at the 400 Bar if youre in the area.
You can also order them online, but I warn you, there is a service fee.

CAPITOL JAY Show info:

7 pm, Saturday August 23rd
The Beat-1414 W 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
$5 at the door.

Download mp3:
City on the Make - Ramona
Capitol Jay - Older Now pt. 1 (New Religion)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bon Iver: Quiet Music in a Big Room

Bon Iver with AA Bondy, First Avenue Mainroom 8/15/2008

It's an ingenious device, the voice. We can use it to call out, to draw in, to make beautiful, uncomfortable motions. Justin Vernon, the now much lauded Bon Iver, does all these things, often simultaneously. Watching the crowd at First Ave there was a palpable desire to sing along; eyes were closed, words were mouthed- but Justin's voice and the delicacy of the songs demand a rapt silence that conveys audiences back to the bedrooms where they first heard the tracks, or to the first shows packed into smaller venues. It's a tightrope act of desire and reverence, and it's enthralling. When Bon Iver closed their set with an acoustic, near a cappella cover of Sarah Siskind's "Lovin's For Fools," cheers would rise up and then be be silenced by a chorus of "shhh" from other crowd members.

Not that Bon Iver has been particularly precious with the songs while they've been on tour- on the road almost constantly through 2008. With the live band rounded out by Mike Noyce on guitars and percussion and Sean Carey manning the skins, they've been having fun, adding new harmonizations, layering in some breakdowns, and giving each other room to play so that their catalog remains small, but not unvaried. Most impressive with the full lineup (including Mark Paulson of The Bowerbirds and Ben Lester) was the giant build-up to the end of "Creature Fear," a full band crasher that had Vernon hopping around his set-up, shaking at the others, and then cutting out to a hanging catharsis.

More after the jump...

Outside afterward, two conversations with strangers (just friends you haven't met yet, right?) brought out the two poles of the show. One man tried to articulate how strange it was to share the music he had made personal with other people. He was trying to make sense of the size of the venue (as were the band, all smiles at selling out the Mainroom). Another young woman was more succinct, "Just shut up and let the beautiful man play beautiful music."

Opener AA Bondy got similar respectful treatment, despite starting 45 minutes late to an anxious crowd. His dead-on early, topical-songwriting Dylan delivery was sharp, and his leavened, non sequitur wit a la Mitch Hedberg (Why is it the greatest Minnesotans are mumblers?) kept the crowd cheering and engaged. One of his songs opened with the first verse of "John the Revelator," a Blind Willie Johnson classic that courses with history. In a later chorus, Bondy cried out "Hey Man," that became a homonym for "Amen," a testament to the call, and praise, of the human voice.

Bon Iver Setlist
Lump Sum
Creature Fear
Blood Bank (new)
Skinny Love
I Believe in You (Talk Talk cover)
The Wolves (Act I and II)

For Emma
Lovin's For Fools (Sarah Siskind cover)

Download mp3:
Skinny Love

Friday, August 15, 2008

Died Young Stayed Pretty

Anyone who knows me knows that I love rock posters. I have a hard time actually not purchasing one when they're available at shows. It's sort of like the rock t-shirt thing I guess. Except I hang these on my walls and get to "ooo" and "ahhh" at them on a daily basis.

Apparently there are other people (besides those freaks over on who actually dig this stuff too. I am not alone!

Died Young Stayed Pretty is a new documentary about the fine world of rock poster creation. These artists work hard and it's pretty amazing some of the stuff they come up with.

"Outside of their own circle, they’re virtually unknown. But within their ranks they make up an army of bareknuckle brawlers, publicly arguing the aesthetic merits of octopus imagery and hairy 70s porn stars. They’ve created their own visual language for describing the spotty underbelly of western civilization and they're not shy about throwing it in the face of polite society. Along the way, they manage to create posters that are strikingly obscene, unflinchingly blasphemous and often quite beautiful."

The Trailer:

More after the jump.
Some of my favorite poster artists are:
Adam Turman

Jay Ryan

Asthetic Apparatus

Acceleration (a review of recent history & R.E.M.)

Ed. Note - This is an introductory post, originally written right after R.E.M's newest album was released. I'm not really this far behind.

Yesterday morning my coffee maker broke. A dull click indicated that it would not, despite the fresh grounds and ten cups of water inside, make any productive use of them.
It sat, unnoticed in its disobedience for a time. I returned for a cup of coffee to find it silent & sullen. My eyes narrowed. I unplugged it and plugged it back in again.

I ruminated on how interesting it would be if I could exercise a similar treatment upon myself.

The coffee machine still did not work.

Also, last night I lost Boggle. Not “loss” within the game itself—I physically lost the entire game. Last I can remember it had settled underneath our dining room table, having been opened and played once, and then left to gather dust and as a constant reminder that I really ought to straighten up the damn apartment. Sickness & business descended, the long process of opening and closing a show, and on one rather sunny day at home, I spent a hurried morning cleaning the apartment. I picked up Boggle and placed it in some other place. Some unknown place. Some hidden corner.

Suffice to say, it’s beyond me. I turned the whole apartment sideways, but the bright yellow and red box eluded me. We played Uno instead.

And so to the point—My favorite band of all, R.E.M., has released their new album recently, called Accelerate. I was too busy to rush out and buy it right away, and Katie Rose managed to get to it before me, leaving it fresh and new and still plastic-wrapped on the table when I arrived home from work one day. I put it in for a spin the next morning, and the whole thing rushed by before I was even ready to listen to it. I’ve returned to it again and again, but haven’t really PLACED it yet. It’s somewhere between the coffee machine and the Boggle game, and I don’t know where that is exactly, if only because the coffee machine doesn’t work and the Boggle game is missing.

More after the jump...

Perhaps it’s unfair, this expectation of automatic placement. Do you know what I mean by that? Automatic placement?

I’m nineteen years old, alone in Minneapolis a little less than a week after school has ended. All my sort-of friends have gone home for the summer and I have only just started my new (first in the cities) job at a painter for Twin Cities Student Painters. I applied for the job, met the boss, and he hired me, after which I said, “I don’t have a car, you know.” And he said “oh.” And looked at me long and hard and then said “I like you. Let me find you a team that you can car-pool with.”

The car-pooling was still in process though, and I was painting with a temporary team during my “training” period, and the locations spanned the wide unknown city in which I had only lived for 6 months. The first day of my new job our location was in Minnetonka. Living as I was in a garden-level studio apartment right behind Hard Times CafĂ© while the actual owner traversed Amsterdam, I had no access to the internet or computers unless I trekked onto campus and logged on at the Wilson Library. Instead, I utilized the call-service feature of Metro Transit in order to plan my bussing routes to the various different painting locations. The phone system neglected to point out that the route it recommended was an express—The bus would only leave once, at 7:35 am. Thinking I could catch a slightly later version of the route, I waited downtown for an hour before realizing my error. My eyes burned as they tried to fill with tears. I rejected the “crying on the street corner” approach, and resorted to kicking the curb instead.

Full of humiliated frustration, I found a pay phone and called Leigh, one of the only people I knew in the entire city. Remarkably, she picked up. Even more remarkably, she agreed to get out of bed, put some pajamas on, and give me a ride from the corner of Hennepin and 4th Street to the far reaches of some boulevard in Minnetonka. I did not lose the job, despite being nearly two hours late. The crew chief gave me a ride home that night, through sweltering rush hour traffic, covered in paint and grime and exhaustion.

I was broke—I had spent the last of my money celebrating the end of the semester by going out to eat a few times, and giving the owner of the apartment in which I was living her share of the rent, some $300. This seems remarkably inexpensive now, I suppose, but then, it left me quite literally with $8 in my checking account and nothing in savings what-so-ever. The painting job would not pay for two weeks. Until then, it was up to me to scrounge for every penny so that I could buy Totinos pizzas at the West Bank Grocery and a loaf of bread for toast in the morning.

My first day of work was on a Monday. The next day R.E.M would release Reveal, their first studio album since Up, which to this day still gets fairly regular playing time along with all my current flavors of the month. Cheapo was holding a MIDNIGHT SALE!, which meant that I could go at closing time and stand in a long line to buy the brand-new CD. I think that Dave Matthews Band had a new album coming out on the same day, as did some other band that was much cooler than R.E.M. at the time… Most of the midnight hipsters were there to buy some other record, but I was there for my favorite band. I had, two hours prior, collected up all the CD’s in my collection that seemed like they might have some retail value and that weren’t essential copies, and brought them in to sell. Cheapo had given my something like $22 for the lot, the only album receiving more than two dollars in exchange being some early Michael Jackson 2-disc set featuring his work mostly in Jackson 5. I had listened to it twice in vague befuddlement, having expected something inarticulately different. Relegated to the back end of my collection, it saved me that night. Without the $6 it fetched, I would not have had sufficient funds to purchase both the new R.E.M. and the loaf of bread that would feed me for the next two days.

I bought the record, and got some promotional stuff along with it free… a poster, which up until my last move hung on my closet door, and some post-cards that I still have in a box somewhere. And of course, the album, which I hungrily tore open and listened to twice that night alone.

Every song felt right—The rain poured around me, bubbled down the drain-pipes and rushed by at eye level, as I stared out at the street from underground darkness. Five of the songs had the word “rain” in them, and they resonated up to this day. I was utterly alone, utterly broke and almost starving, but for the first week every night in the rainy early summer/late spring of Minneapolis in 2001, I listened to that record every night before falling asleep.

I still feel there when I listen to it now. The songs, now so familiar and ingrained and anticipated, were once new and sustaining. The critics don’t agree. Reveal was mostly panned in the states (Although SPIN magazine gave it a perfect 10/10), and faded into obscurity. For me though, it was nothing less than a security blanket. It was absolutely specific, 100 % accurate, and indicated my exact global and emotional position to myself. There was no separation of self and music—We melded, and were the rain, the chord changes, the chipping paint, the missed busses, the incomprehensible loneliness and uncertainly of being alone in a new & unknown city. It all streamed together as one living organism, and when the CD ended I slept.

This is what I mean. It’s a round-about story to get back to my point, but here it is, just the same, in case someone is still reading: I want this new album, Accelerate, to feel like just that. The broken coffee machine and missing board game are a small substitute for the immediacy and desperation of my younger self. Each event that occurs now can be inspected.

“Is this it? Will this be what this record will feel like and mean to me?”

Maybe I’m too old—Maybe you can’t make those connections forever. But each R.E.M. album prior has been indicated, has meant something specific, transcended all the music around it to define a moment in my life.

I’m still waiting for this one to hit me.

Jackpot o'rama

On a daily basis I receive numerous emails about music. One of these emails is a compilation of news headlines from "The Daily Chord" - a newsletter for the SXSW Music Festival. Today's headline from Wired magazine is about Cliff Bolling. Now, I realize you've probably never heard of Mr. Bolling. I hadn't either, but I'm sure glad I know him now.

Bolling has amassed a huge collection of vinyl 78s and has set about on a mission to create mp3s of all of this music. It's a vast collection, thousands of songs deep. "A lot of younger people go to the site, and it's amazing that they hear songs today that originally were recorded 75 years ago. It's pretty cool that people get to listen to this stuff."

All the mp3s are free and you can find them HERE.

You can read the entire Wired article HERE.

Props to Mr. Bolling. Now go listen to something from 1940, will ya?

A Kiss To Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong
Bo Weevil - Teresa Brewer
When the Saints go Marchin' In - Castle Jazz Band

Above is a photo of Teresa Brewer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Please welcome CakeIn15 back! We've added two new staffers as well as more content to be covered. We'll now be posting short concert reviews, CD reviews, photo blogs, art and theatre reviews, as well as thoughtful insights on various multi-media. Our calendar (bottom of the blog) is available for you to add to your own Google Calendar should you wish to do so, and mp3s will be available, as always.

CakeIn15 is proud to introduce:


C.A.S. is a globe-trotting artist, actor, & writer.

Dan O.

Dan O. is a Twin Cities playwright, actor, & bedroom musician.


Staciaann is a Twin Cities music photographer & sometime blogger.

Friday, August 1, 2008


So I'm ravamping this bloggety blog...

Hoping to get more info to you soon.

Stacy Ann