By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
R.I.P.: Jean Kenway Archibald, violinist and librarian for the St. Paul Civic Symphony. Idillio Del Col, accordion player and repairman. Raphael Fraisse, jazz violinist. George Garrett, producer of "Surfin' Bird" and owner of Music City and Nic-O-Lake record stores.
• White Light Riot's Mike Schwandt bashes himself in the head with his own guitar during an opening gig for the Alarmists at the Varsity Theater. Though he doesn't notice it at first, the injury ultimately requires seven stitches. "We tried to put a photo of Mike onstage on our MySpace page, and they made us take it down on the grounds that it might upset people," says bassist Dan Larsen.
• Local music's avant-garde has a field day or three in June, with the national End Times Festival at the Turf Club, the Heliotrope event at Franklin Art Works, and Brother and Sister's summer scavenger hunt at various surreal locations, including a baseball diamond and a highway underpass. At this last spot, confrontational punk band Faggot show up looking like pornographic construction workers, and shout at passing truckers from on top of mounds of gravel. They get a honk.
• Level nightclub becomes Foundation nightclub, with little obvious difference beyond an influx of national hip hop and R&B. Other venues emerging to more prominence this year include the all-ages Toybox, Memory Lanes, the 331 Club, the Eagles Club in Seward, and the Hexagon, where booker Chris Dorn and events website www.minnieindie.com team up in September to host a night of 24 bands performing seven-minute sets on two adjacent stages.
• Otherworldly winds in Bayfront Park finally bring down Duluth's Green Man Festival, along with its big-top tent. Ol' Yeller are mid-song when the canvas comes down on them, though Rich Mattson manages a "that's all folks" guitar riff before being engulfed. No one is hurt, but the stage is rendered useless, forcing Lili's Burlesque Revue to take the main bandstand, "in front of God and everybody," says festival backer Tim Nelson. He adds, "We lost money on the event every year and this was the final nail."
• Standing in the parking lot next to Bean Scene during the North Side's first art crawl, R&B singer Zsamé pauses from her smooth jazz with piano player Wenso Ashby to address the crowd under the darkening skies. "How's everyone doing?" she asks. All right, they answer. "Where are the TV cameras? Where's the media? You know what you'll read about tonight in tomorrow's paper?"
"Nothing," answers a woman in the crowd, "because there's no shooting."
"That's right," says Zsamé. "Something positive for the community, you won't read about it. So you go take this to the news and tell them about it. You write the news."
• The Viking Bar closes after 47 years in business with a word-of-mouth final Monday jam led by Willie Murphy on July 31. Some rowdy regulars mourn by climbing on the bar to dance, others by stumbling to the floor. The event is featured in a new book by Cyn Collins titled West Bank Boogie: Forty Years of Music, Mayhem and Memories (Triangle Park Creative), in which Murphy explains the Viking's importance. "It was sort of the last stand of the West Bank that had music like there was so much of in the old days," he says. Other music venues to close this year include the rock stage of Star Central in Columbia Heights, which goes out with an American Head Charge show in August, and the MALA studio, a legendary punk space.
R.I.P.: Bruce Carlson, leader of the Schubert Club. Joe Carter, singer with the Penumbra Theatre Company and the Minnesota Opera. Max Metzger, conductor of pops concerts at the Como Lakeside Pavilion for the past 56 years. Paul Nelson, pioneering music critic and co-founder of The Little Sandy Review.
• The phenomenon of mixtapes—home-burned CDs featuring local artists rapping over national beats—floods local hip hop. On his own new mixtape The City Pages (now there's one way to get your CD in the paper) Emazin retools T.I.'s "What You Know About That" into "Bout the App" (as in the Minneap), rapping "For my niggas up on Lake Street/All the way to Broadway/Stackin' up the bread, man/We gotta hustle all day." North Side rappers the Street Kingz, who got their start on the mixtape circuit, crack the bottom of the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, peaking at 88 with a non-mixtape debut, Crown Gang Family (Street Kingz Entertainment).
• Low Cost Records, one of two North Side stores that carry mixtapes, is shut down by Minneapolis city officials after a man is killed across the street. At a news conference nearby, Mayor R.T. Rybak announces that the storefront is "a magnet for criminal activity," and that the building is structurally unsound. Other record stores to close in 2006: Soul Survivor up Broadway, Nordeast's Aardvark, and the Dinkytown branch of Know Name Records.