Ian Rans debuts One Men documentary series detailing Twin Cities one-man bands

Ian Rans debuts One Men documentary series detailing Twin Cities one-man bands

We're ecstatic to announce that Gimme Noise is the exclusive launching pad for a brand-new music documentary series. One Men delves into the lives and inspirations behind a grouping of one-man bands performing here in the Twin Cities. It's This American Life for lounge lizards.

These compelling stories come courtesy of former Drinking With Ian host Ian Rans. Shot and produced solo, Rans's show takes the one-man idea seriously for these touching, funny, and wide-reaching biographical sketches. In its first installment, we're whisked to the Hunan Garden in St. Paul for Ray Evangelista's 20-year Thursday night residency. Heck, if you love what you see, you should go check him out tonight!

Here are some words from Rans about the project:

How often do you think about one-man bands? It's probably not too often, and that's fine. I've been doing it for you.

Last year, I realized I knew three people who were one-man bands. I also realized that I had a couple cameras left over from Drinking With Ian that I barely knew how to turn on, let alone point at something. Seeing an opportunity to learn a bit, I decided to go to their haunts set up a couple cameras and tape a live set of each of them performing. I mingled with their audiences. I hung out with the performers. After it was done, I found that their approach and personalities couldn't be much more different. And there an idea was born.

So suddenly I was in the middle of a project. I loaded the gear into the car and decided to interview them one by one and see why they do this. And for reasons I'm still unsure of, I decided to do it alone -- a true one-man documentary.

This first installment focuses on Ray Evangelista. Ray has been playing Thursday nights at St. Paul's Hunan Garden for over 20 years. And when I say he plays Thursday nights, I mean it. Five hours each night. He plays selections from his playlist of 600 songs from 8 p.m. to around 1 a.m. I accidentally stumbled upon him looking for fruit-flavored rum drinks after a Wild game almost a decade ago. I was happy to find the rum drinks, but I stuck around because of Ray's set. He's a perfectly normal guy, but in the surroundings his performances take on an otherworldly air after the drinks served in flaming volcanos are served. His enthusiasm and chops have hooked many a bar goer at the Hunan and his rendition of Earth Wind & Fire's "September" has made even my jaded fingers tap many occasions.

One Men- Part One: Ray Evangelista from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

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