"Sort of like Wired without computers and with a little more art." That's how proud new editor Carty Fox envisions Servo, a free local magazine which debuts on the racks this month. By the looks of Issue #1, Fox (formerly Overblue's bassist and stream-of-consciousness scribe for Cake) is well on his way toward that goal. Despite its sparse design, Servo displays the sort of content, vision, and ad base that usually take self-published rags years to attain. Content-wise, it's a hodgepodge of left-of-center fiction, opinion, music reviews, and Internet gleanings. Visually and attitudinally, Servo reads like an unlikely merger of Cake and mid-period Your Flesh. Fact is, Servo is largely an offshoot of Cake--the two mags have both writers and fonts in common. But Fox insists the similarity will subside with the second bimonthly issue, which will boast a plastic transparency cover, national-caliber contributors, and broader cultural frontiers. Along with papers like The Squealer and Lick, the local indie pulp scene is looking and reading better than ever.
Speaking of which, Cake is transforming. Former creative director/fontmaster Chank! Anderson has taken his talents to his San Diego-based Exploding Font Company, while new editor Hap Mansfield has moved to the fore. Stand by for further details... Meanwhile, Servo's Carty Fox is still involved in music, teaming up with fellow ex-Overbluer Bob DeMaas for a project called Ademordna Rotavele, which should emerge later this year... On the TV tip, the new late-night program Video Nation has been heating up the airwaves Saturday nights at 1 a.m. on WB station Channel 23. The local music video program has featured artists such as Soul Asylum, Shatterproof, Bob Mould, and more (I knew that would catch your eye...).
In other music-meets-technology news, my kitsch-curiosity is piqued by local dance group KMD and the Rave. The "International Touring Sensation!" has carved out a niche by touring the world's hotel ballrooms and resort lounges; now they're home, playing at Gabby's every Wednesday in March. On their self-titled debut CD (which represents an incredible feat, considering it was recorded and mixed entirely on the road), I hear competent if anachronistic romps through club trends of the late '80s and early '90s: New Order/Depeche Mode sheen gives way to C&C Music Factory pop, then slides into a KLF or New Power Generation stutter-funk, followed by some house-diva action and sugary Miami Sound Machine balladry. All in all, it evokes mushy nostalgia of my junior prom, which may betray my age. See you on the floor. (Simon Peter Groebner)
The folks at Lake Street's Extreme Noise, perhaps the truest purveyors of punk essentials and ethics, are throwing a second anniversary sale/benefit this weekend. A year of selling truly underground product at near-cost has set Extreme back in the cash-flow department. So, a weekend of festivities and fundraising is in store. In fact, there'll be in-stores Friday (8 p.m., with the Murders and the Totallies) and Sunday, local demagogue Felix Van Havoc gives a state-of-the-scene address (at 7 p.m.). Accessorize your dissent through numerous discounts and giveaways. Extreme Noise, 124 W. Lake St., Mpls.; 821-0119. (Jim Meyer)
Thirteen years of Boiled in Lead? I couldn't even drink green beer when they came together (and I can't now!). St. Patty's Day rocks again with this annual tradition that seems to catch BiL at their outrageous best. There's also the customary walk-through parade by the Minnesota Pipes and Drums (who will join the Stuart Martz Band at the Fine Line afterward, along with Bedlam Union and Cave Music; music starts at 9 p.m.). There'll also be a set by Barbara Cohen and Little Lizard. New Irish group Field Day opens Saturday. $6/$8 at the door. Music at 6 p.m. sharp. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.
Who's the real Floyd, Waters or Gilmour? Better yet, who's the real Boiled in Lead--the one playing First Avenue Saturday, or former Lead singer Todd Menton, debuting his new band for a St. Patrick's show at the 400? Fortunately for fans, the answer can be both, since the BiL show will end by 10 p.m., in time for bar hopping. Menton's Rune Rockets feature local thespians Michael Sommers (drums) and Kevin Kling (on tuba, didgeridoo and baritone horn). Menton, playing guitar, mandolin, and tin whistle, promises a St. Patty's Eve of loud, rocking Irish trad fare--like a boisterous Waterboys or a "not so disheveled" Pogues. Menton's quick to point out that tonight's Irish theme won't necessarily define the further explorations of the Rune Rockets. John Van Orman, longtime friend of the Irish music and cultural community who's fought off multiple sclerosis to rise in the ranks of international ethnomusicology, provides an opening set at 9:30 p.m. $4. 400 Bar, 400 Cedar Ave. Meyer S., Mpls.; 332-2903.
Finally, the eclectic trad crew Clumsy Lovers should do Patty proud at the Cedar Cultural Centre. This gig marks the last with fiddler Jode Dowling, and the music (not to mention the Guinness) should be flowing. $10/$12 at the door/$8 students. 416 Cedar Ave., Mpls.; 338-2674. ( Meyer/Groebner)
TOGETHER AT LAST
Ready for the strangest musical combo of the year? News has it, via the latest issue of Billboard magazine, that heavyweight punk icon Henry Rollins duets with drag icon Ru Paul on a cover of "Funkytown," the early-'80s disco hit by Minneapolis's own Lipps Inc. Said track will be available on Wonderama, a forthcoming Elektra Records compilation of one-hit-wonder cover versions, due in June. Apparently, the cover contains titillating mid-song banter between the boys, with chaste Hankie exclaiming, "Wrap your long legs around my fine frame," while the ever-fabulous Ru goes on about his "pussy-cat wig" as the two whiz off together on Hank's bike to their funky destination. Now if only we could
get our hands on an advance of the video...
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