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
Singer-songwriter Susan Sandberg may have the most prominent film soundtrack tie-in of any local act since the Hang Ups graced Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy. Her song "Hey Batter," with lyrics inexplicably lifted from Western standard "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," helps score the low-comedy smash There's Something About Mary, a film not quite as amusing as the title of Sandberg's spanking-new debut disc Stripping for Jesus.
But longtime Cities y'alternative favorites Trailer Trash have done Sandberg one better by appearing in the feature they help soundtrack. The handsome country swingers just wrapped a scene last week for a film comedy called Herman, USA. Shot partly in New Germany, Minnesota, the movie fictionalizes the well known story of Herman, Minnesota, the town that a few years ago sported 78 bachelors for only 10 eligible women. As you may recall, Herman made "Bachelormania" the theme of its local county fair, and the resulting international media frenzy brought in single women by the thousands.
"This is what's known in Hollywood as a high-concept picture," says producer Patrick Wells, a Plymouth resident, who returns my call from his car phone. Wells hired Trailer Trash after director William Semans's son Mac, a fan of the band, brought his dad down to a show at Lee's Liquor Lounge. "The idea was that the town hires a country rock band for a dance," says Wells, "and the women go wild, dancing all over the band."
Sounds like a typical Wednesday night at Lee's to me.
Calvin Krime furloughed
This Saturday's Calvin Krime show at the Foxfire Coffee Lounge will be the band's last gig. The most sonically adventurous power trio in all-ages pop-punk has decided to disband and pursue separate projects.
"We were around for nearly four years and toured a lot," says bassist and co-vocalist Sean Tillmann over the phone from Chicago. "We just thought we'd have to dig really deep to make another record, and we didn't want to put out anything sub-par." The band's last single (after two albums on Amphetamine Reptile) is titled 3 x 3 for 3 1/2, which stands for "three songs by three kids for 3 1/2 years." Its contents consist of a characteristically Kriminal mix of straight-ahead AmRep throb 'n' thrash and weird electronipunk.
Polyvinyl is putting out that parting shot, plus a CD-single of Tillmann's solo project Sean Na Na next month. Recorded at Dub Narcotic studios in Olympia with indie-pop stalwart Lois singing backup and members of St. Paul's Selby Tigers rounding out the band, Sean Na Na should be lively listening if Tillmann's live show is anything to go on. His naked, Elliot Smithian texture couldn't be more different from the Krime's Avail-goes-to-college pop ruckus. "When you're strumming each note, there's no way to hide," says Tillmann.
Still, Calvin Krime's ferocious combination of tenderness and feedback, best glimpsed on the title cut of this year's You're Feeling So Attractive (AmRep), will be sorely missed. (For more information on the show, call 338-2360.)
Lawyers Love Cool James
Local hip-hop promoter Iroc Avelli is suing LL Cool J for pulling out of a July 20 concert date at Northrop Auditorium. Avelli, who had previously brought LL, Tupac, and others to the Cities, is naming both Famous Artists (the MC's booking agency) and LL himself in the suit, seeking repayment of more than $16,000 in promotional and other expenses.
"We had already promised local television interviews with LL, and planned a special appearance at Planet Hollywood," says Avelli, who claims the superstar's reasons for canceling the concert were invalid. (Repeated calls to LL's management agency were not returned before press time.) Alluding to last month's Rakim no-show, the promoter remarks, "People don't understand how hard it is to get these artists to come to Minnesota." Whether or not stars are consciously abusing their "acts of God" clauses, let's hope some deity is watching over the next national rap headliner, and gets him to the stage door.