North by Nordeast

NEW VENUE ALERT: In the last few years, a sizable chunk of Uptown's music population has migrated to the quieter, cheaper environs of Northeast Minneapolis. Now what all these neo-Nordeasters could use is a weekend rock club in the heart of their 'hood, filling the gap between Mario's Keller Bar to the north and the Front and Terminal Bar to the south. The lovably backwater neighborhood bar Mayslack's (1428 Fourth St. N.E., Mpls.) could become that club. Until now, Mayslack's has been known for its overwhelmingly unpretentious lack of atmosphere, its Sunday polka nights, and its amateur blues on weekends. But when omnipresent Strawdogs leader (and proud Nordeaster) John Eric Thiede brought his band there this summer, he decided to try his hand at booking the place. Now Mayslack's seems poised for (dare I say it?) a Lee's Liquor Lounge-style revival. Should we expect a working-class watering hole or a hipster hangout? Most likely, it'll be a little bit of both.

Rest assured: The Sunday polka will remain. This is, after all, Nordeast. But on Thursdays through Saturdays, Thiede says he wants to bring in decent, danceable younger bands of a distinctly "American" thread--from Trailer Trash and The Glenrustles to Steeplejack and Flatstor. Still, he isn't looking to bring in anything punkish enough to alienate the original clientele. Under the goodly Thiede, Mayslack's won't introduce any club niches not already covered in town, but it could become a fine stable for the cream of the twang and a new type of audience. The fun starts next week with an opening weekend of rockabilly: The Vibro Champs on October 3 and Twistin' Tarantulas on the 4th. For booking info, get a hold of Thiede at 782-8595.

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