In Da Club: First Avenue's 35th Anniversary Party

Peter S. Scholtes

Rifle Sport destroying "Little Drummer Boy" in the 7th St. Entry would have been transcendent in any context. But musical pleasures and social-historical ones were tough to untangle at First Avenue's 35th Anniversary Party last week. There were the rare reunions, for starters--the pa-rum-pum-pum-punk band's second reappearance this year after a decade-long absence, '80s new wave supergroup the X-Boys, and the Jayhawks, issuing the musical equivalent of a Minnesota goodbye (sweet but kind of boring). There were new bands with old faces (Lori Barbero in Koalas, Earl Root in Aesma Daeva) and old bands with old faces (Polara, Curtiss A, and the Mighty Mofos, who wiped the floor with everyone else). But the highlights were the instant Marvel Team-Ups these events can produce: "She's like MSG. Or money!" gushed rapper Dessa of violinist collaborator Jessy Greene, who then exited the Entry stage to join the Jayhawks onstage in the Mainroom. Then Craig Finn, who had just finished his Mainroom set with the Hold Steady, joined P.O.S. and Dessa on the mic. "After 100,000 Craig Finn imitations at parties, that was Craig Finn doing Craig Finn!" said Dessa. It was that kind of night, culminating in punk bass hero Mike Watt's set of Stooges covers, with Peter Anderson on drums and Kraig Johnson, Gary Louris, and Ed Ackerson on guitar. They invited Craig Finn up for "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and Grant Hart came out to bang piano. It was probably terrible, but who cares?

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