Punk Rock Cafe

Punk Rock Café

At first glance, the interior of The Triple Rock Social Club looks a lot like Blondie's on the Avenue, the old club it replaced--a clean, rustic, high-ceilinged neighborhood sports pub. But even before you get a look at the vegetarian half of the new menu, you notice the clientele is sporting flapper hairdos and leather jackets and the jukebox has just switched from "Rapper's Delight" to a trebly blast of hardcore punk. Blondie went red--and green and blue--last month when the West Bank bar at 629 Cedar Ave. was bought, revamped, and renamed by three twentysomethings from the local punk scene.

Erik Funk, of Minneapolis basement heroes Dillinger Four, his girlfriend, Gretchen Steltzner, and a friend from Chicago, Ed Coughlin, opened the Triple Rock with much ado on December 4. (Funk claims the "D4" date was a coincidence, and that he thought of the bar's name before realizing it was also the name of James Brown's church in The Blues Brothers.) The three plan to introduce live music by late summer, after expanding the building into a vacant lot adjacent to its patio.

That's all well and good, but how did a DIY pop-punk singer/guitarist like Funk happen upon an establishmentarian scheme like starting a bar/club/restaurant? "It's one of those things that you talk about drunk after you leave another bar," says Funk. "We talked about it once maybe 18 months ago. But the next morning, Gretchen was like, 'You know, you really could do that.'"

Aside from a jukebox containing Slayer'sSouth of Heaven (which is often programmed in its entirety), the bar has one more essential distinction: "There's no place in this town where you can drink, smoke, and get a full vegetarian menu," says Funk. Sure, but isn't that because alcohol and nicotine--like meat--are viewed by most vegetarians as unhealthy? "I think that's a leftover from the '60s generation of vegetarians," he says. "There are a lot of vegetarians who don't care about health as much as other reasons." Which explains the optionally vegan White Russians and Bulldogs on the drink list. Funk, himself a veggie, also points out the ample carnivorous selection, which includes a burger called the "big-ass meatwich." As with his drink-loving friends in Dillinger Four, the Triple Rock's extremism is nothing if not inclusive.

Greazy go, Greazy come

Speaking of fried food, it seems I jumped the gun last week in saying that popular local funksters Greazy Meal have called it quits ("Symphony of a City," 1/13). True, sources close to the band report lineup chaos, and Greazy's Web site still reads, "No more gigs. Sorry." But the band is merely on a two-month vacation, according to Greazy publicist R.J. Brodsky. Drummer Dave Anania will have to undergo knee surgery for a recent football injury, Brodsky says, and in the meantime band members are rehearsing and traveling. Oh, and a new single containing different versions of Greazy's slow-groove "Funkytown" cover (from a certain mildly engaging local rock-doc of the same name) will be out next month.

Circle Jerks

The most recent issue of Family Circle misspelled the Web site for Val-Pak Coupons (there's no "c" in "valuepak") and by some electronic fluke directed the magazine's five-million-plus readers to the Web site for the local indie label No Alternative. Presumably, most Net surfers are used to making a wrong turn into a porn dungeon or NRA chat-room (of course, this has never, everhappened to me). But No Alternative's Kim Randall says enough Family browsers were nonplussed by cartoonist "Mr." Mike Haeg's logo of a man about to do himself in with both a gun and noose that Family Circle was flooded with phone calls.

Best known (if at all) for his cantankerous local minicomic, Rump, the reportedly well-adjusted Haeg now holds an office job at K Records in Olympia, Wash.

Baby I'm a Starr

Leaving no stone unturned in his fall/winter prez-busting drive, Ken Starr reportedly subpoenaed Twin Cities-based retail chain Musiclandto establish that Linda Tripppurchased her infamous cassette tapes at one of the company's Sam Goody stores (this per a note in Minnesota Law and Politics).

"We were sort of astounded as to why it would be important where it was purchased," Musicland senior VP Marcia Appel told City Pages. She testily added, "We hope this is a rare occurrence in our new justice system." No word yet as to whether Starr has subpoenaed evidence from Monica's favorite television network, MTV.

 
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