You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2008.
Noted without comment. It’s gets good around the 3.30 mark.
Adult Swim is doing it again. If you’ll remember back a year or two ago, Adult Swim released an EP follow up of the much lauded Danger Doom album. The EP was complete with guest appearances by Space Ghost, Meatwad, and Master Shake. It was titled The Occult Hymn EP, and it was free for download (I can’t find it anymore, you’ll have to buy it.) This time they’ve teamed up with the Ghostly International label to release Ghostly Swim, a free for download compilation (without the animated guests this time). With artists like Dabrye, Deastro, and School of Seven Bells it’s definitely worth checking out.
I offer here 2 videos. Both related, but also very different. It’s amazing what people are doing with the appropriation and alteration of content. Remember folks, this is just the beginning.
My father turned me on to the “Shreds” series.
So last weekend I was pleased to hear that Eclipse Records in St Paul had finally opened the doors to its all ages in-store venue. In a previous life Eclipse was located on trendy Grand Ave. It was dogged by complaints and licencing issues due to the retail/residential locale. Eclipse can now be found on not-so-trendy University Ave, halfway between Porky’s drive-in and Tracks Bar and Grill. Hopefully this new location will allow them to put on louder and later shows more frequently.
I had missed the opening show by one week. Superhopper broke in the venue in fine form I’m sure. I made down last Friday to catch Landspeeder rock out. Those of you who are familiar with all-ages shows you will know that these shows have a few key characteristics. For those of you who are unfamiliar I will list them here.
Sound Quality Most all-ages venues have terrible sound. This can usually be attributed to the fact that most all-ages venues were not music venues in the first place, many are coffee shops or church hall basements. Places that are not necessarily known for superior acoustics. But hey, when you’re 18 it’s not about hearing the guitar solos or the vocals clearly. It’s about seeing live music! It’s not like your going to complain to the management and threaten to take your business elsewhere, because there usually isn’t an ‘elsewhere’. All-ages venues (at least in this town) are not wide-spread. You take what you can get.
Eclipse sounded pretty good as far as all-ages venues go. It’s no Orchestra Hall, or Turf Club even ,but as I mentioned before it’s not about the sound. The space is small and intimate, rectangular and black. Couple the small size of the venue with smaller crowds (due to earlier shows) and I’d happily go to Eclipse over, say, the 400 Bar and a few other local venues.
No Drinking/Talking about Drinking Of course no alcohol is served at all-ages shows, but incidentally one of the things I disliked about all-ages shows when I was underage was all the talk about drinking and getting drunk. Not because I don’t like drinking, but because at the time I couldn’t. It’s as if drinking was the default topic of conversation between songs. “Oh, we got so loaded last night.” “I’m totally not drunk enough yet.” “You’ll need to excuse us, we’ve been drinking backstage.” I can see how all this drunken banter could be frustrating for the underage crowd, but it should also fuel the fire in your belly. It should get you riled up and excited for that time when you are able to attend 21+ shows. It’s a little glimpse into the future, and what you have to look forward to. For better or for worse.
Landspeeder filled this need rather well. If you’ve ever seen Landspeeder play you’ll know what I’m talking about. I actually had a few white russians with the guys at Tracks Bar down the street from Eclipse, so I can attest that they were pretty drunk.
Underage Patrons So everyone knows that all-ages shows are for show-goers of all ages. But the most important demographic are those under the age of 21. The younger the better actually. It’s these people that will be supporting the music scene after the current 21+ show-goers get desk jobs and mortgages, and can’t make it out to 3 shows a week. This is why the return of the all-ages venue to the Twin Cities is so important. While there is no shortage of local bands, there has been something of a recession in the ‘scene’. I almost hate to call it that, a ‘scene’, but that’s honestly the best word for it. For every band that plays on stage there needs to be an audience on the floor. That audience doesn’t just show up out of the blue. They have to come from somewhere, and lately there’s been fewer and fewer of them. As I’ve stated earlier, the music just isn’t as fast and as loud anymore. Sure, there are still a lot of good bands playing around town, some of them from when I was a 3-nights-a-week regular at the local venues, but that scene has moved on. Out of state, out of town, out of touch. What’s left is a generational gap. There just isn’t a healthy scene to pick up the torch and burn the mother down like was done in the olden days.
Maybe I’m just too far out of touch with the scene. As I said before, I’m not going to nearly as many shows as I used to. Who am I to say what’s right and what’s wrong with the scene. But it can’t be denied that the health of the scene relies as much upon the health of the audience as it does the musicians. And the all-ages venue can, and is, a life changing factor in the lives of both show-goers and musicians, and, by extension, the ‘scene’.