Littttle Minnesota Music talk.
It sounds like the Current’s 5 Year Anniversary Party was a little weird; and not in the good way. First came an update on this page via the Gimme Noise RSS feed claiming that Prince — yup, crushed purple velvet and all — was maybe going to take the stage. All hell broke loose over the Internet waves. Twitter (not a fan of Twitter; Mac Lethal did an awesome song about the Twittemenon) lit up, rumors swirled, and those who had tickets (this thing sold out quickly) felt especially prestigious with news they might witness the last scene in Purple Rain. Turns out, he just sat in the owner’s box the entire time. Not only that, but he didn’t even stay that long. He supposedly left the building before P.O.S. played.
Which brings me to the lineup. I’m not here to rip on any of these bands, besides maybe one. But I will say that this really isn’t the best lineup (collectively; again, got nothing against these artists themselves, beside one) for a Friday night, party type of show, even for the more Mac-using, North Face-sporting, Hybrid-driving of Current listeners. I’m not sure if some of the other Minnesota artists and bands were touring, or booked, or what, but they could have, nay SHOULD have gotten a more lively, fun set of artists to play. Red Pens maybe? Trampled by Turtles (no, they were touring)? City on the Make? Slapping Purses? The Dynamiters? The Chambermaids? No Bird Sing? The list goes on and on and on, this city, these cities, this state, is such a beacon for talent; it feels like the lineup could’ve been better. Then again, who really knows what Current listeners would want, but more on that in a bit.
So that “besides one” band?? Yeah, they’re a band I saw at the “Best New Bands” showcase earlier in the year, The Twilight Hours. Now why the fuck these guys were at the “Best New Bands” show was a mystery to me. YES, I understand both Munson and Wilson (not Dan from that 90′s band; Matt) were in Trip Shakespeare, and that Muson played bass in Semi-Sonic (ooooooohhh), but they’ve been around the Minneapolis music scene since the goddamn 80′s!! Just cause they started a “new band” this year doesn’t mean they should play the “Best New Band” showcase. Those slots should be given to up and comer’s, not aging wankers who rock side to side playing Cities 97 “alt-rock” and like the smell of their own farts. Okay, that wasn’t nice. But I wouldn’t have said that if Munson hadn’t decided to drop names like U2 during his “best new bands show” interview before they played. No one gives a shit about U2 dude, and hurry up and finish ur set so I can see some “new” bands already.
Twilight Hours opened this show and the Gimme Noise report claims the set “failed to really resonate with the mostly young audience who probably aren’t all that familiar with John Munson and Matt Wilson’s distinguished former bands.“ That’s not it though, it’s that they’re SO so fucking BORING. And I wouldn’t be saying this, talking all this shit, if I’ve never seen them live. But I’ve been there. Seeing a band like that at First Ave. makes me wanna play Galaga, go out for a smoke, or talk to strangers. Not a good way to open the show, IMO.
The rest of the lineup featured Lookbook (who are kinda cool in their own right; but again, there’s so many better bands in the Twin Cities right now, I don’t understand the choice), Mason Jennings (he’s talented, and he belongs; it’s just too bad he had to play to a crowd who just sat through two un-lively sets; the last thing they’re gonna want is Springsteen covers and singer/songwriter stuff, no matter how good the songs are), P.O.S. (who everyone loves, or should; and who apparently saved the night from being a complete disaster of a bore), and Solid Gold closed the show (who isn’t bad I guess, but certainly not anything special; this laid-back Electro thing’s getting a little tired; and they LOVE to wear t-shirts that are too small). And that was it. Put this show up again without the Current namesake, it might sell out but only because of P.O.S. And the crowd would be immensely different. Put it up one more time, minus P.O.S., it doesn’t sell out the main room. No way. Poor Mason Jennings was put in such a tough place.
To be honest, though, I’m not sure what the hell Current listeners would prefer. The bands I mentioned (except maybe Red Pens because of their local hype, deserved hype, and legend) probably wouldn’t be up their ally. Too sweaty, too normal, too Rock and Roll. Don’t get me wrong, the Current’s cool and I love what they’re doing to mainstream radio, I just think they’re so concerned with playing music that’s off-kilter, they’re not playing a lot of great music. But it’s all on the listener. Their listeners WANT that, they feed off it, and like all other radio stations, the Current caters to the listener.