BEST BAND TO LEAVE THE TWIN CITIES IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS - 2000
Except she keeps coming back. Not that fans are complaining. After leaving Tina & the B-Sides last fall with a three-night farewell of roots-blues-rock at the Cabooze, frontwoman Tina Schlieske flew to England, then returned home for the holidays and a gig with her cover-band/B-Sides alter ego Lola & the Red Hots. She has since relocated to Austin, Texas, returning to the Twin Cities this year to play solo and again rejoin the Hots. She'll repeat the pattern this month and the next. In other words, Schlieske is turning into Martin Zellar--that other Minnesota-Texas transplant who is gone-but-not-forgotten mainly because he plays here seemingly every weekend. Tina is too busy to hang here all the time: She's been steadily building a following around the country, billing herself as "Tina Solo" so there's no confusion about her bandlessness. In March she stormed the South By Southwest Music Conference held in her new hometown by taking it from the outside--she invited her surprisingly large Texas fan base to attend her shows at several non-SXSW venues. (She even flew in her sister and old band-mate Laura to sing backup.) Don't be surprised to find her playing an entirely new--and strong--set of songs when she returns, working up some of her hardest-sung material yet for a solo album to be released in late summer or early fall. Absence makes the heart do you-know-what.