Thursday, August 17, 2006

Officially Minnesotan

Eric crossed over to the dark side and is now officially Minnesotan: he participated in a meat raffle in a bar. Yes, whereas in Michigan, raffles usually involve Corvettes or trips to Orlando and benefit high school hockey teams, here they involve meat and drinking.

Tin Cup's is a friendly dive in St. Paul, famous for it's fried chicken and for a polka happy hour on weekends. Maybe it was the Grain Belt, maybe it was Roger Van Horn's Fun Time Accordion, but Eric was inexorably drawn to the tray of tickets. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, here's the official version:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_Raffle

For a mere dollar and a little faith, you can walk away with a big packet of assorted...meat. Not surprisingly, this has little appeal to me, so in this sense I will probably never be Minnesotan.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Five Amazing Twin Cities things, part 2: The Sound Unseen Festival

An annual festival featuring independent music films from around the world, Sound Unseen is designed with record geeks like me in mind. This year there are features on buskers, hip hop, indie rock, garage, and Chinese punk, for starters.

In 2005, I saw "Derailroaded", a bio of Wildman Fischer (of Dr. Demento/”My Name Is Larry” fame) that managed to be touching and utterly bent at the same time. How bent, you ask? It features a Larry Fischer/Rosemary Clooney duet, that's how. In 2006, I look forward to features on the Pixies and Long Gone John, but the big event for me is August 24, when Sound Unseen hosts the new Monks documentary, “The Transatlantic Feedback.” Hopefully, this doc'll go some way to bring these proto-punk godfathers the attention they deserve. Better still, it'll be topped off by a live performance by the Monks’ Gary Burger and friends. I was at an art fair in Loring Park earlier this month and was surprised to find an accomplished metalsmith showing a Monks brooch… when I asked about it , it turns out the metalsmith was Gary’s wife, Cindy! Naturally, I bought the brooch and’ll be wearing it to the show. It’s Monk time!

www.soundunseen.com