By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
The Divebomb Honey: You could say they are doing the Epoxies thing. But Sheila has a great voice, so when they start playing out more and putting out real records, they will be awesome.
D.J. Derrick Olsen (a.k.a. D.O.): Most of the time I would rather listen to Derrick spinning tunes than listen to the bands he is spinning tunes between.
Disaster by Anchorhead: Produced by Rich Mattson of Ol' Yeller, and in the can for a couple of months now, this record gets to the heart of the three-voice, functionally dysfunctional, musical-family donnybrook that is the boys on a typical Friday night somewhere here in town. "Little White Church" is the kind of song I see myself playing on the radio over and over again for many months to come.
This Train Is Gainin' by the Copperheads: A lot of local bands put things down on disc to get some buzz going about themselves, when in fact it takes a few years of gigging to get at the heart of what they're doing and what they want to do. This is a good old-fashioned bar-band record. We serious music heads always have five or six records in our collections that we can whip out as background music for whatever's going on in the sawdust pits of our lives, and this is one of them. Kinda country, kinda rocky, all guts, guitar strings, and Ray's soaring, plaintive vocals.
First Avenue...er, the Replacement....er, That Building at First and Seventh: Let's be clear about something here: Those shit heels at Clear Channel, while good businesspeople, are not good for the creative processes of music. Music, like any art, involves hours of failure and rough edges and loud, obnoxious, and anarchic noise before something beautiful and important emerges. First Avenue is covered in smoke, dust, and oozing sores, but what goes on in there is a French kiss of culture and humanity from a beautiful girl in a bright sundress on a cloudless day. This town would suffer immeasurably if it were to go under or change its mission significantly, and it will be a dark day in hell before I spend a fucking dime in a club run by CC or any of its goons. That being said, I have a keen eye on this venue and a song in my heart over the outcome of the recent trial. I hope that nothing terribly drastic happens there. What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.
James "Taco" Martin at Lee's: I've become a big fan of Taco Martin. Somehow, he's carved out a niche for himself actually making money with club music. He's a businessman, to be sure, but it's hard to talk to him for more than three minutes without realizing that he loves music, loves being in a club full of people who love music, and loves talking about being in a club full of people who love talking about their love of music. He's a catalyst, and he brings energy to the scene because he wants to be there and he wants 6 or 300 of his friends to be there, too. He already has put some asses through the door at Lee's because he understands the nature of the beast, and he lets the beast feed. This is roots-rock honky-tonk, and people want to dance and cry in their beer and sing along to big power-chord anthems. Viva El Taco!
Me, Jason Nagel, Mei Young, David Campbell, Ken Hippler, and our various radio shows: Roots-rock and country music don't have to suck, no matter what they play at K102. If you have never listened to The Other Side of Country, Minnesota Music, KQ Homegrown, or Good N' Country, then you're probably the kind of person who wasn't bothered in the least by Ashlee Simpson's lip-synching and all her bullshit excuses. But let us let you in on a little secret: People work for years in clubs, theaters, and auditoriums actually learning how to tune and play their instruments, write songs, and sing on key. There's a very rich tapestry of this music out there, and there are a lot of great sources for it on some big and small radio stations around here, hitting on all eights for content, theme, and delivery. Maybe we can finally banish the boy bands and little girls in push-up bras off of our airwaves. How long, oh Lord, how long?
Paul Metzger: I hear John Fahey, Robbie Basho, George Stavis, Benjamin Chasny, and an indistinct amalgam of benign tokes from northern India, Turkey, and Afghanistan. It's like the bus broke down 35 years ago and Metzger is still stuck in the sand, his bald head tan and Buddha-like, wafting in the thick of communal smoke. I'm charmed by his non-ego and radical exploration of things not at all of this region.
Charles Gillette: Leave it to an improviser of guitar sounds to recognize that a recent performance photo of an artist believed to be Jandek contains the same left ear as the person who is featured on the cover of Jandek's Blue Corpse and thusly, must be the same dude. As mum is the word from Jandek's Corwood organization, the observations of Charles Gillette are the most sound, hitherto.