Tag Archives: Minnesota Music

MORE FAMOUS THAN I THINK YOU ARE

Al DrumsOkay, listen…this is probably more of a former concert photographer’s confessional, but the title will make sense if you just hang in there with me. It’s late (or perhaps early) and I should be in bed, as per usual. I’ve been working on a number of fiction projects lately and just can’t seem to stay focused on one or the other at the moment and so tonight, inspired by music, I subject you to a random meandering–sort of.

I’m not entirely sure why, but tonight Psycho Stick infiltrated my mind. It could be the fact that I’m drinking a beer at the moment and their song “Beer” popped into my head. I’m not much of a beer person. I try. Apparently, I prefer the darker and more bitter beers—whodathunkit!

Anyway, that band popped into my head and I suddenly remembered a time when my husband and I went out to see a large show at the Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota. For some reason, I don’t remember what other bands played that night, but I was particularly interested in Lacuna Coil. They played well and on our way out some really drunk guy mistook my husband for the male singer and wouldn’t let him leave without autographing his shirt. After professing he is not, in fact, that guy, my husband gave in (because the dude persisted) and signed his own name. I’m sure that the dude woke up the next morning wondering who the hell signed his shirt. To this day we laugh about it.

Regardless, as we left, we noticed the band hanging out by their bus at the back of the venue and I actually got to meet the female singer. I was pretty stoked about it, mainly because, as a vocalist myself, I admire her range. Unfortunately, that band has become so popular and over-produced that they just don’t have the same sound anymore, but I digress.

Later I eventually took that band’s photos when they played live at Station 4. I knew them and how popular they were at the time and so it was a personal challenge to remain professional rather than “fan girl.” I think I managed alright. I got some decent photographs too.

Okay, so back to that night…after my husband and I had the little meet-n-greet with Lacuna Coil, we wandered over to The Rock, which was just a few blocks away. Earlier in the evening someone in the balcony at The Myth had tossed down some free tickets to see Psycho Stick at The Rock and so we decided to check it out just because my son, who was in his very early teens at the time, really liked that “Beer” song that played on the radio.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we ended up having a really good time. I never thought the “Hokey Pokey” could ever be so cool and so heavy. About a year later, I ended up taking their pictures too. It was at a different venue but nonetheless, I was pretty stoked about taking photos for a band that was regularly played on the radio. And, of course, there was also the factor of the child with stars in his eyes because his mom was able to introduce him to the lead singer (clenches fist, blows on it and rubs it across chest). Proud moment.

That leads me to the main story. While I knew who those bands were when I took their live concert photographs, there were plenty whom I had no idea who they were. I often took concert photos at Station 4, which was typically known for the metal scene. Oddly, I was never all that into the type of metal they played. “Metal” had changed significantly since I was a teen. Once upon a time it was short for “heavy metal,” which is now referred to has “hair metal,” unfortunately. But now I have given away my age.

At any rate, I did not grow up in the Twin Cities and so did not experience the versatile music scene like many of my friends, acquaintances, and clients did. My husband did. And, so, when I was commissioned to photograph a show that DRI played I did not understand his excitement. He immediately turned into this boy with stars in his eyes. When I did not match his excitement, he asked me if I knew who that band is. Of course, my answer was a resounding “no.”

Oh lord! I never heard the end of it. I still don’t. It was “how can you not know who DRI is?” Of course, I’m probably exaggerating somewhat and only paraphrasing, but the sentiment is the same. I clearly did not know the caliber of the band I had photographed, which was often the case. My husband knew of many of the bands I had photographed and was geeked about it, especially DRI. My reaction was a shrug and “eh.”

In many cases, this aided in my ability to photograph them. Because I did not know who they were or that they were as famous as they were, I did not have stars in my eyes or the “fan” mentality while eyeing them through my lens, which gave me a unique perspective.

The only time this really backfired on me was when a band was fairly well-known, at least more well-known than I ever knew, and they expect me to know that they had some sort of clout. When I treated them like a regular human being but they expected to be handled like they were more famous than I thought they were…well, let’s just say they were severely disappointed. Sorry. No offense. I just didn’t know.

By the way, I know perfectly well who the guy is in the photograph I chose for this post. He is an amazing musician who has had a great distinction here in the Minneapolis music scene. He has since ventured on to greater pastures. But, I thank you, Al, for letting me attempt to play your kit, for teaching my kid, and putting up with my lens in your face.

Sleep tight for me. I’m gone.


FORMERLY KNOWN AS…

Prince SymbolI wasn’t going to jump on the bandwagon that currently surrounds the death of Prince. But, everyone, especially here in Minnesota, seems to have a story to tell or something to say about it. I guess I do too, especially considering how shocked and saddened I was to hear the news.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been a super fan of Prince—I never owned any of his albums or went to his concerts, none of his music is in any of my playlists, I’ve never been to Paisley Park and I don’t feel as though he has influenced my musical taste, singing or writing style as an idol. However, I did go through a Prince phase as a kid where everything I owned had to be purple—those were the Purple Rain days. I was pretty young then, but I remember my mother allowing me to watch the movie, despite the “R” rating.

As time went on, I grew out of that phase and moved on to Madonna and then eventually into heavier and more alternative rock, but I was always familiar with Prince’s music and often knew the lyrics to many of his songs even though they were not in my personal rotation. And, I remember feeling proud that he hailed from my home state. It made the idea of being a successful musician, coming from the humble roots of Minneapolis nightclubs, seem more human, more attainable. It was the idea that a musician could develop a career here without permanently moving to West Coast and, I think, gave some validity to the depth of artistry we have in Minnesota. It is this thought that makes me realize that, despite the above, his music and artistry had a much farther reach and effect upon me than I ever fathomed.

Many Minnesotan’s have stories about hanging out with him or brushing into him in public, doing normal, everyday things. Prince sightings at local clubs were also quite common and the news often spread like wildfire among fans and through the local music scene (even if the musical genre was the complete opposite). I, too, have one of those stories. Mine begins January 18, 2013.

My husband and I went out to see B! at Dean’s Tavern. I stood two or three rows from the stage as they played and at some point, noticed an interesting looking man stand next to me. The rest of the crowd was in jeans and sweatshirts, some even wore bandanas on their heads—the look was more like a mashup between bikers and metalheads, yet here stood this guy, dressed to the nines (at least compared to everyone else). His wardrobe wasn’t overly flashy, but it was certainly appropriate for winter with a very fashionable sweater. A very tall, large man stood right behind him, moved when he moved and seemed to be keeping an eye on the anomaly standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me. I’m not even sure how exactly to describe it, but it just didn’t look like the typical exchange between friends standing next to or behind each other at a concert. He looked more like a bodyguard.

I looked back at my husband and gave him a subtle head nod to get his input on who he thought this dude standing next to me was. He leaned in and told me that it couldn’t possibly be Prince because he is shorter than me. However, I had given this man the once over and knew his shiny dress shoes had a bit of a heel on them. Since I had flats on, that would give him height over me and I’m only 5’ 5.” Again, I looked back at my husband to point this out and then surveyed the crowd to see if anyone else had taken notice. There were a few sideways glances but for the most part, everyone in that room gave him his space and left him alone.

I was surprised. If it was actually Prince, I would have expected people to mob him, but they didn’t—most everyone was focused on B! Halfway through a song, the man cut through the crowd to the front, reached up to the bassist and shook his hand. Then, as quickly as he appeared, he vanished.

I never did get a good, long, look at his face and so I can’t say for certain that it was really him. But I have to believe it was, because who else would get away with interrupting a musician in mid-song just to shake his hand? I later learned the bassist does, in fact, personally know Prince, so it made even more sense to me that it could have actually been him. I mean really, who would have the balls to interrupt a guitarist if they were just impersonating a celebrity?

The following day, between stories being swapped amongst friends and a few news outlets reporting that Prince had been sighted at some local venues that night, I heard he was apparently scouting for drummers (but, you know how the game of operator goes). Prince did, however, play the Dakota Jazz Club later that very same evening.

A few photographs did surface of that night with this man whom many dubbed as “Fake Prince,” claiming that it was not actually him and speculated that if he was scouting or even just checking out music for the heck of it, that he may have sent out look-alikes to throw off the press and avoid a mob so that he could just enjoy the show. But, again, you know how the game of operator is played. Regardless, it will forever remain the moment that I brushed shoulder-to-shoulder with Prince. I will never forget that night. Not ever!

The photo below is a picture my husband took of this elusive guy. The man with the hat is the guy that followed him around. I’m the blonde curls in the very corner edge of the pic. Sleep tight for me, I’m gone.

Prince at B


BREATHLESS

Gothic Person MistThe wave of the record, baby
It turns me on
Strum your strings
And bang your drum, all night long

Don’t think you’re foolin’ me baby
I know that game and I came to play

With eyes wide shut
I’ll take your hand
Lay me down, devour me
I’ll follow you anywhere
Just for the night, if you dare

 

Brace yourself
Are you conflicted?
Conflicted, Conflicted

Like a tidal wave
Obeying the moon
The years pass you by
And suddenly, yesterday is in bloom

Youth stolen in the mist
Like long lost lovers
Unfolded in a kiss

When dreams collide
Are you conflicted?
Conflicted
Conflicted

Click here to watch the video. You can also find The Others on Facebook.

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And, if you are in the mood for a bit o’ light reading, pick up your copy of Meet Mr. G today. It’s a sci-fi short story. It can be found on Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks. You can even write your own review. Sleep tight for me–I’m gone!


DARKNESS

What do you do
When there’s darkness
Inside of you?

Take me away
Away

The black of night
Sinks in your heart
The fountain of youth
Has left its art

The sun
Scorches your skin
Shadows
Become your Jinn

What do you do
When there’s darkness
Inside of you?

When your blood runs cold
Do you wonder
Has your soul be sold?

Has your soul be sold?

****

You can find the Darkness video from The Others here.

Don’t forget to “like” my Facebook page, especially if you would like to find out what Daydreams may come. Check out The Others. You can even find more on our Youtube page or find us on Reverbnation.

If you are in the mood for a little light reading, check out my short story Meet Mr. G. You can purchase it on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. After you have read it, please feel free to write your review on any of the sites. If you do, I will love you forever!

 


THE LETTING

GalleryHip.com

GalleryHip.com

I’m just a product of universal design
My existence is independent
Of him, the way you define
We are good, as good can be done
Take it or leave it, I really don’t give a damn
This world can
FUCK OFF!
That’s right, you heard me!

Open up those
Pretty little veins
Open up those
Pretty little veins
Here we go again
Can’t fight the urge
To drain
Every last drop

All powerful and all knowing
We’re a perfect imperfection
No end cause created
What we are sowing

Cacophonous screams delight my desire

Open up those
Pretty little veins
Open up those
Pretty little veins
Here we go again
Can’t fight the urge
To drain
Every last drop

No matter
How hard I try
I cannot fight
The urge
To drain
Every last drop

Every last drop!

Click HERE to see the video and hear the song.

If you like what you read here, read my e-short story “Meet Mr.  G.” You can purchase it through Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo or Barnes & Noble. It just may appeal to your inner theologian or philosopher, yet tingle your Twilight Zone senses.

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AS I WAS

Because, sometimes, you just need to keep it simple stupid!

imgarcade.com

imgarcade.com

I’ve got nothin’ to offer
Nothing meaningful or profound to say
Yet, they hang on ever whisper
Begging to be swayed

 

 

Remember me
As I was
Remember me
Just because
Remember me
As I was
Remember me just because

I wear a lot of hats
But, not all hats fit
Remember the intellect
Remember the wit

Remember me
As I was
Remember me
Just because
Remember me
As I was
Remember me
Just because
Remember me

Click the link to see the “video” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-YrWr1ek5o

You know the drill–Sleep Tight!