CC Club 80th Anniversary, night one, 12/6/13
Photo by Tony Nelson
CC Club's 80th Anniversary
(Night Two recap)
With Tapes n' Tapes, Red Daughters, Pennyroyal, Personhurter, Sean Anonymous, and Hardcore Crayons
CC Club, Minneapolis
Friday, December 6, 2013
The two-day celebration of the CC Club's 80th anniversary did not play out like a scene from the now-notorious New York Times dating piece. Instead, the rare concert series was all about the bar's tight ties with the local musicians who live nearby, who are featured on the CC's jukebox, and who are often found rubbing elbows with other regulars at the Uptown institution. (A lot more of that lore is tucked into City Pages' oral history.)
Even if Tom Arnold and Tommy Stinson were nowhere in sight, it proved entertaining to see which local artists were roaming the room and put two and two together as to which act would play next on the unannounced bill. Somewhere in the midst of rambling speeches between sets would Curtiss A announce who was coming to the stage next. It was set up where the pool tables would normally sit, and a pair of see-thru curtains emblazoned with a glimmering "CC" were a nice touch.
Both nights of the bash proved eclectic and not for the squeamish. Hardcore Crayons' densely layered post-rock noise kicked off Friday night, and it was easy to remark to a companion throughout the long sold-out night that there was more room inside than on some regular weekend nights. Energetic rapper Sean Anonymous used this space to jump into the crowd and worked every interactive bone in his body to hype us up. With breath control that suggested he could rap underwater, he laid out bar after astounding bar of fast rhymes. "It's so weird to be rapping here and not drinking," he said with a laugh. "Just kidding, I'm drinking."
Photos by Tony Nelson
The smiles continued during Personhurter's mix of punk, grind, and thrash, or as they like to call it, boner metal. In between rigorous explosions of growls, riffage, and Mitch Robbie's kit lambastings, bassist Steven Fuller cracked jokes ("This one's about love") and seemed pleased to play instigator in the now-buzzed room of revelers. They even dropped in a birthday song for the CC as soothing as brushing your teeth with sandpaper.
Pennyroyal frontwoman Angie Oase displayed impressive range teasing out prairie punk, lusty alt-country, and straight-up heartfelt rock. It'd be like if Neil Young and Neko Case morphed into one, basically. With all of her energy and harmonica blasts, it felt like she was running laps around her band. Even when Curtiss A joined her for a Jagger-cised take on the Replacements' "Achin' to Be," Oase kept her grip on the room.
Photos by Tony Nelson
Riding that momentum and then some, retro rock enthusiasts Red Daughters opened with the Louvin Brothers' "Satan Is Real," and their voices mixed together as sweetly as whiskey and coke. Their own chest-beating "Black Ice" followed, and the swagger of these guys didn't let up. After the band took turns with the vox, drummer Mark Hanson settled in and belted so hard his shirt flew open. (That might have been his doing, but it was pretty hard to know for sure.) The hardest-working band in the Twin Cities? Quite possibly.
Photo by Tony Nelson
And then, "Tapes motherfucking Tapes," was how Curtiss A said it. Dipping straight back to The Loon, "Just Drums" had this crowd partying like it was 2005 all over again. As Josh Grier and co. revived the recently dormant band -- new project Ginkgo had been his focus of late -- there was no visible rust. Drummer Jeremy Hanson crisply worked behind the kit as Grier's grown-up tantrums continued, and the crowd approximated a wide range of dance moves -- some safer than others. "Insistor" proved the apt finale, and a couple who got into the night's Prohibition-era dress code flew into action up front. Like a good many nights at the CC that came before and will happen in the future, it rattles the temples just to think about it.
Random Notebook Dump: That's such a bad wig that it might actually be his real hair.
The Crowd: Old friends and new friends drinking together.
Personal Bias: There was a good amount of talk of what it would be like to do more-regular shows at the CC in the future. The premise would not be popular among the people who like to play pool on a Friday night, but it would also change the profile of the space that is a landmark watering hole for many. It seems like these shows benefited heavily from the novelty factor, the hushed lineup, and curiosity. Now that the cat's out of the bag and things went well, that's a comfortable place to sit for a bit. Assembling six-band lineups this strong on a regular basis would be a whole different type of challenge. Not to say it couldn't work, though. These nights were fun! Certainly if there's another anniversary show to break up the chill of December next year, count me in.
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