The runt is always the litter’s most hearty, dedicated survivalist. Lacking brawn and strength, the runt has to cultivate other mechanisms if it’s to live long enough to reproduce. As in Darwinism, so in music. Tonight’s show at the Triple Rock, which features Unicorn Basement, Baby Guts, Small White, Atomic Annie and A Paper Cup Band, is the first of two release parties for the Runt compilation, a sampler of local and semi-local music that demonstrates just how lush the subterranean ecosystem has become, where bands, like exotic mushrooms, prefer the darkness and privacy of basements and laundry rooms.
Runt, now entering its third year, is the brainchild of Baby Guts’ Taylor Motari. With its beginnings as an unassuming mix CD, it is a hand-picked compilation which favors bands that rarely get mention in our cities’ free weeklies, and, like much of the music it features, it’s a strictly DIY affair.
“It started in 2007,” says Motari. “I was just making a mix CD, and I noticed that all the songs that I listen to on a regular basis are bands that I’ve met. Local bands. So I got 100 CD-Rs and some water based markers, did splatter paint on the CD’s and took it to Kinko’s.” It was a free disc, distributed at Baby Guts shows and circulated among friends. Within 6 months, demand was high enough that a reprint was called for.
In 2008, the music industry has become a sort of bloodthirsty Terrordome, a Royal Rumble between music pirates and major label storm troopers, all in a contest to see who can do the most to harm the integrity of the art form. But Motari and the bands on the compilation have kept a few precious shreds. Like the show itself, the disc is free, and the interests are no more complicated and no less pure than giving exposure to bands that sometimes slip under the radar. Motari fantasizes about the compilation finding its way outside our four little dialing codes, of bands handing them out as they tour like Johnny Appleseeds in black Carharts. “It’s about exposure,” says Motari. “The songs I listen to on a regular basis are local bands. If someone came into Minneapolis from out of town with a CD of all their friends bands, I’d freak out.”
The music is as welcoming as the agenda, spanning riot grrrl, acoustic roots, and bizarro electronica in 20 strides, and it's all presented with the kind of untarnished, benevolent populism that has been all but hunted to extinction up here on the surface.
Monday, November 9th. Triple Rock Social Club. Free. 18+.
The next show will be on Wednesday the 12th, also at the Triple Rock. Until then, get your week started right, and check out the bands. It's the kind of detective work that tends to make you stand up a little straighter.
1. Hangun Man - Luna Beam 2. Dos Gatos - Branches (Baby Guts - Bedsheets 5. Pocket Pussy - Sausage Party 6. I Am The Liquor - Bariwax (Atomic Annie - New Puppy Day 8. Kitten Forever - Slam Dunk 9. Coat Party - Burn The House Down (Unicorn Basement - Witchcraft 11. A Paper Cup Band - Detroit Vs. Farming 12. Lambs of God - Angel Dust 13. Small White - Heart Attack 14. Gumbi - Ritual (The Sleaze - Because of You 16. Les Deux Magots - Suivez la Piste 17. Ladle - Dark Night 18. The Vignettes - Sugar Booger 19. Totally Bible! - Lazarus 20. Sleeping in the Aviary - Girl in the Ground