By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
R.I.P.: Carolyn Bailey Argento, opera singer for the Center Opera Company. Mary Lundquist, opera singer. George McCracken, bass drummer for various pipe bands. Barbara Tegeder, singer on WCCO radio in the 1930s.
• The Replacements reunite, sort of. Singer Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson record some songs for a new 'Mats compilation, Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? The Best of the Replacements (Rhino), and original drummer Chris Mars drops by to sing backup. As Westerberg later tells Newsweek, his seven-year-old son Johnny is there for the sessions. "He thought we sucked," says the dad.
• Local musician Martin Devaney accompanies former Minnesota Twin Mudcat Grant on guitar during the Kirby Puckett Tribute at the Metrodome. Grant sings "What a Wonderful World," Puckett's favorite song. "He asked me to do it the night before," says Devaney, "which was incredibly scary. I did not sleep a wink. I learned it off the Joey Ramone version."
• SoCal pop-punks NOFX shoot a video for "Seeing Double at the Triple Rock" at its namesake club. Lines such as "It's three o'clock at the Triple Rock/Another round of watching Paddy talk" come to life as Madonna might imagine them, with St. Patrick Costello of Dillinger Four appearing as a bishop surrounded by punk-rock nuns—sexy!
• Approved in January by incoming Mayor Chris Coleman, St. Paul's comprehensive smoking ban takes effect on March 31 in all bars and restaurants. The Gopher Bar gets the first $500 fine, which is reduced to $300 on appeal. Owners announce they will be ordering urinal cakes with a picture of the ban's author, Council Member Dave Thune, on them. At local concerts, meanwhile, people begin raising cell phones instead of lighters.
• "Welcome to Seattle, motherfuckers," says one of the men attempting to rob A Whisper in the Noise at knifepoint in the Emerald City, after a gig opening for tourmates Arab Strap. The musicians refuse to hand over their gear, and the tour manager gets a blow to the face. The robbers escape, and the manager, with his front teeth knocked out, spends a night in the ER.
Four months later, Quietdrive return to their parking place outside St. Andrew's in Detroit and find their van, trailer, and gear stolen. The musicians catch a break when somebody calls their manager using the phone number on one of the stolen CDs. But the would-be informant demands payment, plus a job as Quietdrive's security. Eventually, the FBI helps the band recover most of its gear, though every last personal item is gone except drummer Brandon Lanier's shoes.
In July, Lee's Liquor Lounge owner Louie Sirian is robbed at gunpoint by two masked men who burst into the bar with sawed-off shotguns. "After all I've been through," Sirian tells the Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider afterward, "looking down the barrel of a shotgun didn't even scare me like it should have." The Lee's patriarch had recently lost his wife of 45 years to a heart attack and his daughter to cancer.
• After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from George Lucas, Hanz Solo releases his second CD under the name Hanz Erik and the Hims. Local performers Tom Hanks, and Mel Gibson and the Pants, remain unbowed.
• The fifth annual Geek Prom finds its perfect spiritual home at the Science Museum of Minnesota just as the adult prom motif takes off. In May comes the Goth Prom at the Saloon, the Punk Rock Prom at Big V's, and a prom-inspired fashion show at the Walker (the Un-Prom), with a musical at Hennepin Stages to come (The Awesome '80s Prom). So when's the Metalhead Prom?
• Atmosphere appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live for the second time, and otherwise stay in the hot lights this year, getting love from MTVU, playing Coachella, and appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Through it all, Slug still takes time out to engage in quality flame wars on DUNation.com.
• Dancing in the streets becomes legal in Minneapolis for the first time since 1960, after City Council members delete ordinance 427.240 ("No person shall dance or engage or participate in any dancing upon any public street or highway in the city").
• Some 100 bands play a dozen venues over three days in Duluth at the annual Homegrown Music Festival—sort of a South by Southwest without the music industry, or out-of-towners, or warm weather. (It feels kind of like a post-punk version of the cozy, besieged community imagined by Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion movie, but drunker.) Bone Appetit growl "You fight to win/I fight to kill," but rappers Crew Jones yell the chorus of the fest: "Hurricanes hate our freedoms."
• Between sound collage by Negativland at Creative Electric Studios and jamming by members of Noise Queen Ant and Seawhores outside Grumpy's Bar, a gentler type of percussion happens during Pillow Fight Club Minneapolis. Amid Nordeast's annual Art-A-Whirl festival, children and punkers bash out clouds of white feathers at Logan Park. As the down settles onto the moist grass, a tiny baby is laid down on the fresh feather bed for pictures.