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The Black Dog inspires creativity -- its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious tables encourage daydreaming, journaling, doodling and other precursors to art making.


THE SHOWS




Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper


Hot Tickets for November 24 - November 30, 2004
Tuesday 30 November @ 21:58:28
Hot TicketsThe Ike Reilly Assassination...Kraig Johnson & the Program, Cowboy Curtis...Robert Skoro, Dosh, The Monarques...Radio Independence Day...and many other smokin' shows...check your Pulse!



November 24 - November 30, 2004




The Ike Reilly Assassination
@ The Triple Rock Social Club

Chicagoan Ike Reilly’s always been a favorite around the Twin Cities, but the recent release of his sophomore album, The Sparkle & the Finish, has taken that Minnesota love to a whole new level. Drive 105 is spinning the shit out of “The Boat Song” (Reilly’s new-wavey sounding testament to the merits of failure), and the man’s local CD release shows sold out in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. Is Ike Reilly the new Paul Westerberg or something? Those remaining on the fence after spinning Reilly’s somewhat overly glossy record or tired of being inundated with stories about how Ike was a gravedigger/hotel doorman/secret agent in the time he spent away from music during the ’90s would do well to give his live performance a shot though. On-stage with his smoking hot band, the grit and passion with which Reilly imbues nearly every one of his working-man’s rock numbers is striking. With Friends Like These, The Lift. 9 p.m. $12. 21+. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. Nathan Dean

Urge Overkill
@ First Avenue

First Avenue lives! At the time we were going to press last week it was unclear whether the rumors of the clubs reopening were just that, now it’s fact—First Avenue is back and all is right once again with the world (well, OK, there are still a few problems out there … ). So if you haven’t yet made it back to the reopened downtown haunt that remains the Twin Cities’ defining rock ’n’ roll landmark, now is the time. Go there and see Chicago semi-legends Urge Overkill (arguably the people who got the biggest career boost from “Pulp Fiction” of anyone not named Travolta or Tarentino, thanks to the prominent placement of their Neil Diamond cover “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” in the film). The band had been slugging away for nearly a decade at that point and the surprise success actually ended up leading to their dissolution when their 1995 follow-up album, Exit the Dragon, bombed. Reunited now after nearly a decade apart, UO’s blend of punky noise with Cheap Trick-styled panache appears to be aging well, judging by the size of the venues they’re playing as they seek a return to the limelight. There’s plenty of great local talent on the bill for all tastes (Thunder in the Valley for the eccentrics, Claire De Leune for the rockers), so get there early and tip your bartender well – it’s up to us to keep First Avenue alive and kicking. With Thunder in the Valley, The Frogs, Claire De Leune, Blackmarker. 8 p.m. $10 adv/$12 door. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. Rob van Alstyne

Kraig Johnson & the Program, Cowboy Curtis
@ The 400 Bar

In what appears to be becoming an annual Thanksgiving holiday tradition intent on making me embittered about having to miss out on great shows while visiting family on the East Coast, Kraig Johnson & the Program are once again bringing the requisite holiday cheer (and drunken fervor) to the comfortable confines of the 400 Bar. Last year they were celebrating the long-awaited release of Johnson’s debut solo EP and the hope was that a full-length of the sessions the erstwhile Jayhawk cut with the likes of NYC songwriter David Poe, guitarist/producer Ed Ackerson and assorted notable cronies (among them current Paul Westerberg bassist and former Son Volt rhythm section mainstay Jim Boquist) would be released by now. So far no luck—which begs the question, are all the record labels these days really that dumb? To pass on a chance to release the blend of immediately accessible Neil Young/Small Faces-inspired rock that Johnson and his merry band drums up seems inexplicable (but then again I wouldn’t have signed Ashlee Simpson either—and she’s certainly proven herself a major talent). Also on the bill are one of the Twin Cities’ great young hopes, Cowboy Curtis. Featuring former 12Rods members and with their debut produced by Ev, it’s understandable why some are intent on deeming the group imitators. Fair enough, but with a group this young (average age hovering just above needing to look over their shoulder when drinking a beer in public) to come right out of the gate sounding so sharp (“People Song” has my vote for one of the top five local singles of 2004), I could care less if they bear some obvious influences. This will be one of the last chances to catch CC in action before they hole up to record album No. 2, so for anyone who’s yet to catch their hyper-kinetic new-wave nodding love pangs in the live setting, now’s your chance. With TBA. 9 p.m. $10. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. van Alstyne

My Favorite Things: A Songwriters Summit
@ The Bryant Lake Bowl

A well-timed holiday musical treat, “My Favorite Things,” rounds up three of the best songwriting minds among the Twin Cities pop scene’s elder statesmen (John Munson of Trip Shakespeare/Semisonic/the Flops fame, former Suburbs leader Chan Poling and Electropolis main man Steve Roehm) to explore selections from what they deem “the universal songbook.” The evening of classy covers mentions Kurt Weil and Curtis Mayfield—the rest is left to our imaginations. I for one happen to be salivating at the possibilities of where this collaboration (being touted in their press release as a “casual and minimalist affair”) could lead. Featuring John Munson, Chan Poling and Steve Roehm. 8 p.m. $8 adv/$10 door. All Ages. 810 West Lake Street, Mpls. 612-825-8949. van Alstyne

 




Robert Skoro, Dosh, The Monarques
@ The 400 Bar

Yet another bill highlighting both the strength and diversity of the local music scene we all too frequently take for granted. For less than a six-pack of fancy micro-brew one can check out top-shelf folk-pop (Skoro), forward thinking instrumental music (Dosh) and a slyly rocking indie outfit (2003 picked-to-click toppers The Monarques). All three acts have exciting news to report as well. Skoro’s been busy tracking his sophomore album in Chicago with the famed Brian Deck (producer for the likes of Califone, Modest Mouse and a gazillion other big names on the national indie scene), and just got signed by prestigious national indie label Yep Roc records (congrats!). Dosh just unleashed his sophomore home-recorded Rhodes-peppered masterwork, Pure Trash, and is coming off well-received record release shows on the coast, and the Monarques (after spending quite a bit of time off the local circuit and rumored to be kaput) are back with a new re-tooled three-piece lineup and ready to regenerate the buzz they garnered so quickly back in the beginning of 2003, when they seemed to be on the opening bill of every hot-shit sold-out gig in town. 9 p.m. $8. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. van Alstyne



Iffy, The Redstart
@ The Fineline Music Café

A double bill of Twin Cities vets, the funky/funny hip-shake pop of Iffy would initially appear to be at odds with the darker dramatic dirge inclinations of opening act, The Redstart, but the study in contrasts should mean that everyone leaves the club happy (whether you’re looking to party on down or cry into your beer). Iffy, led by brothers Kirk and Kraig Johnson (who also teamed up in famed late ’80s/early ’90s outfit Run Westy Run) have been keeping a low profile as of late, putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to their 2001 debut, Biota Bondo. Then again, Kraig told me they had nearly completed it a year ago when I last interviewed him, so perhaps these are the “refinishing” touches… I digress. Hopefully the new grooves are as much chilled-out fun as past classics like “Double Dutch.” Another band featuring names already well-established with other acts, The Red Start have still gigged sparingly since the release of their debut full-length earlier this year, So Far From Over—probably because everybody in the band is so damned busy with other projects. Led by front woman Wendy Lewis (former leader of Twin Cities stalwarts like Rhea Valentine and Mary Nail) with help from saxophonist brother Greg and his son Michael (a founding member of Happy Apple), a few other Twin Cities all-stars (Martin Dosh of Fog and Jeremy Ylivslaker of the Melismatics) round out the mix. The mournful wail Redstart conjures up as a group can sometimes sound like funeral music for depressives, but there’s a proudly beating defiant heart (and stunning voice) behind all the musical brooding, which manages to hook the listener even as the songs skirt around conventional melodies or arrangements. 8 p.m. TBA. 21+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. van Alstyne

Hip-Hop Extravaganza
@ The Uptown Bar

A roll call of some of the hottest cats within the hottest collectives on the local Hip-Hop scene is ready to blow up the spot at the usually rock-centric stage of the Uptown Bar, bringing back artists who’ve fled to the Big Apple (Odd Jobs’ Crescent Moon) to kick out the jams with some of the TC’s finest young talent. The Doomtree collective and its posterboy P.O.S. appear poised to follow in the footsteps of Rhymesayers Entertainment and its figurehead artist Slug when it comes to wowing the national indie-rap scene. This is a lineup featuring top shelf talent at every slot and those who keep only a casual eye on the Twin Cities Hip-Hop scene couldn’t ask for a better entrance point into the world they’re missing out on than tonight’s gig. Twin Cities Hip-Hop is more than just one artist or record label and the time is soon when the whole scene might just be getting the nationwide props it so heartily deserves. Featuring Crescent Moon (of Oddjobs), Cecil Otter (of Doomtree), Toki Wright (of the C.O.R.E.), Yoni featuring Dessa and Omaur (of Medida), hosted by DJ Nikoless (of Rhymesayers). 9 p.m. $7. 21+. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. 612-823-4719. DJ Fat Beats

Eric Sommer
@ Ginkgo

In the mood for some intricate axe-work, sly word-play, and a respite from the holiday madness this weekend? Head down to Gingko and check out Boston/DC guitarist/singer/songwriter Eric Sommer tonight as he delivers an intimate acoustic performance. Described as part urban poet, part guitar virtuoso and part vocal stylist, Sommer has been compared to such diverse artists as Elvis Costello, Jorma Kaukonen, Joe Jackson and Steve Howe. He’s opened for (and counts among his admirers) a slew of classic and indie rock vets, including John Mayall, Dr. John, Spider John Koerner, Jon Dee Graham and Jonathan Richman. Higher references an artist couldn’t ask for. Don’t miss this one. 8p.m., free, all ages. 721 Snelling Avenue, St. Paul. Call (651) 645-2647 for more info. Tom Hallett

Radio Independence Day
Northeast Minneapolis

As an ever-smaller number of corporations own an ever-larger share of the mass media, local independent media have become increasingly important and endangered. To combat this trend, 13 independent public radio stations in Minnesota are combining their forces to create the Independent Public Radio network. AMPERS will kick off the network by celebrating “Radio Independence Day” Saturday, Nov. 27 in North Minneapolis. The party starts at 8 p.m. at the Times Bar and Café and winds through the night at East Hennepin-area venues, including Jitters, Bobino Starlight Lounge, Conga Latin Bistro, Keegan’s Irish Pub, Vic’s and Whitey’s. For more information check out Ampers.org or call Pat Courtemanche at 612-728-8305 or Janis Lane-Ewart at 612-341-3144. Brian Kaller

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