By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Last Will and Testament: Self-released three-song single, and the world's longest version of "Never Talking to You Again" on Dü Hüskers: The Twin Cities Replay Zen Arcade.
Next of Kin: Glenrustles, Sycamores, John Casey and the Old Possums
Cause of Death: Nerve damage
Lori Wray's slow comeback has ended much too quickly. Wray was a classic folk-pop songwriter in a band that preferred to jam and tinker with arrangements and sound textures. When it worked, the clash of the traditional and ultra-modern methods made for highly original pop music, but the long-term viability was bleak from the beginning. Bassist Jeffrey Herrmann has joined June Sunday, and drummer Dave Domal is in Max Press, featuring Paul Hiraga (Mings).
Last Will and Testament: two-song demo that scored some Rev-105 airplay.
Cause of Death: Blurred vision, overwork
This crew was doomed to a hard life trying to play no-sample, classic power-soul in Minneapolis rock clubs. Once they broke through the door, they antagonized numerous key club managers, and probably played West Bank way too much this winter and spring. New clubs like The Quest or St. Paul's Jazzville would seem to offer a haven, but the members are scattering. Drummer Kevin Washington will attend the illustrious New School of Music in Manhattan. That's a great move for Washington, but a big loss for local bebop jam sessions, and father Donald Washington's exquisite New Day Blues Band.
Last Will and Testament: Afro Soul (self-released CD)
Next of Kin: Mint Condition, Curbfeelers, Westside, Who Are Those Guys, the Jets
Cause of Death: Neglect
Investigators are stumped! This nostalgic pop foursome had just made their CD debut, and seemed to have generated goodwill among local bookers and many influential friends. All they lacked was a fan base and broader critical support. But hey, if a retro-pop band didn't experience unrequited love, what would they write songs about? Ultimately, they were probably greater fans than practitioners of Big Starry pop. If the band carries on in name, it will be without key songwriter Chris Dorn.
Last Will and Testament: Five tracks on SymPOPphony #1: A Collection of American Power Pop.
LITTLE TIN GODS
Cause of Death: Exposure, or the lack thereof.
Reportedly this classic rock foursome was one of many bands left out in the cold after the 24 Bar closed. Their hard, free-form sound didn't cross over much beyond Red Sea, or weeknights at 400 Bar, and plans for a possible double album were scrapped .
Last Will and Testament: Four-song demo.
Next of Kin: Tonal Fog, Vena Cava, Acetylene
Cause of death: Kidnapping
We at CP are beyond objectivity when it comes to Ad Boy--fronted by our estimable food critic Amanda Ferguson. But just ask anybody. It seems ex-Breeder Kelly Deal has relocated here and stolen the boys in the band for her own project, which soon hits the road with the Grifters and Red Red Meat. While it's cool havin' Kelly around, did she have to stick a fork in Minnesota's cutest band? Sigh. P.S.: Fem. voc. seeks orig. project.
Last Will and Testament: Three-and-a-half song single (Prospective).
Next of Kin: Wahinis, Lily Liver, Girl Friday
VINNIE AND THE STARDUSTERS:
Cause of Death: Comic-schtick dependency
I'm too scared to say anything, or I'll get another angry letter from these duplicitous, conceited, juvenile, no-talent rip-off artists. Hey lads, just e-mail it: email@example.com.
Last Will and Testament: An admittedly hilarious comic book history of the band, Stardust Memories, and a "compact disc": "The Girl From Ipanema Wants to Kill Me" b/w "Walk Around Naked" (Ultra Modern).
Next of Kin: Vinnie and the Stardusters
...And the list doesn't stop there: Gneissmaker, Sugarat, Gosh, Bashful Habits, Inspirational Coffee, Sal (formerly Stifblow), Jack Tripper and The Sea also ended this summer. Most of Gneissmaker is playing as Command Module, and half of The Sea is now in Ex Animo... Finally, good luck to Linda Pitmon, who's leaving Fauna to go look for adventure in New York City, at least temporarily. A return to town, and to the band, is not out of the question, but Fauna will carry on with an unnamed drummer in the meantime.
KEEP ON PUSHIN': Enough of this morbid music news. There is an exciting newborn on the scene: Rick Fuller (Harder/Fuller Films, Venison) has launched Earmark Records, whose first products just hit the street. One is the long-awaited Workman's Comp, a cooperative venture with Big Money Inc. Eleven local and regional rockers--including Mezzo Fish, Likehell, King Can, Chicago's 77 Luscious Babes, and Chris Johnson's new project, Royal Pain--take two swings each. Also featured is Push on Junior, whose new EP Want is Earmark's first full-on release. Junior and friends--Tongue, Saucer and Ishkabibble--celebrate the CD with a round-robin rockathon, Thursday at 7th Street Entry, with special guest MC Mike Suade... Also, Harder/Fuller Films producer Andy Grund will broadcast his short film Salt Shaker, starring the Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli on the season opener of Channel 2's MNTV, Sunday at 10:30 p.m.