BareBones Puppet Halloween – 25 anniversary – creepy but cool

BareBones has been doing outdoor puppet Halloween shows for 25 years. We’ve been going for the last 5 or maybe 10 years. It is one of my favorite Halloween events.

The show is different every year but it revolves around the idea of Halloween being a day when there’s a bridge between the living and the dead. A day when the generations of ancestors and future progeny coexist. One generation learns from the next – hopefully in time for the generations to continue.

There’s also an element of conservation and social progression. Often there’s a scene with fish swimming in the sea until a tidal wave or other tragedy. It’s one of my favorite scenes in show and luckily they reran it this year. A new scene this year includes chipmunks with suitcases. The chipmunks unpack their individual bag, go along with their tasks, then they get moved along by a large boom from above. So they scutter, turn around and set up their suitcase again and do it all over again. Hard to see that without thinking of the homeless encampment, especially in St Paul.

The show includes universal and very local themes. And it’s very visual. I think even the toughest customer in our group liked it, at least a little. But that’s pretty good for an 8 year old boy!

Mostly Minnesota Music on WMCN – Numbers and we prerecorded the show

I love doing the radio show. I have been able to meet new people and this week I learned to do something new – we prerecorded the show because I am actually in Winnipeg. For the interested minority, I used Audacity and I just needed to toggle between MIME (when speaking) and Windows WASAPI (when playing music from Spotify) to get it to work.

I prefer to do the show in the studio, it’s just more fun than my dining room table but it’s always awesome to learn something new!

(You can also find the playlist for the show on Spotify.) Or see the playlist spelled out: Continue reading

Mostly Minnesota Music on WMCN – Color Show & Guest star JOUR – Oct 13, 2018

Heather and I had out first guest and in-studio performance on Saturday. We were delighted to welcome JOUR. (I had just attended and reviewed her CD release on Thursday.) JOUR was great. She played two songs, we interviewed her and we played out with a song (Black Hole) from her latest CD.

For some reason I just knew that JOUR (formerly known as Jourdan Meyers) would be a great first guest. She is very kind and thoughtful. And I mean as in she thinks about things, she studies things, she’s purposeful and that came through in the interview.

Our other big hurdle – we were the only ones in the studio for a while. We didn’t break anything! And actually it was nice to take a breath and study everything a bit with no one watching. Like the first time you drive alone after getting your license.

Here’s the playlist on Spotify.  And our playlist (below). I think we had time to p lay everything but we maybe didn’t stick to the order. Thanks to the people we know and the one we don’t who put out such awesome Minnesota Music

Gear Daddies Color of Her Eyes
Jonny Lang Red Light
Prince Little Red Corvette
Soul Asylum Black gold
Hope Country Lost & Blue
The Jayhawks Red’s Song
The Bad Man Black and White Tv
Farewell Milwaukee Your Eyes Are So Green
Chastity Brown Banjo Blues
Charlie Parr Over the Red Cedar
Golden Smog Red Headed Stepchild
The Last Revel Screaming Blues
Al Church Turquoise Sun
Paul Westerberg Black Eyed Susan
The Pines Lonesome Tremolo Blues
Solid Gold Neon Rose
J.S. Ondara Revolution Blues
Koo Koo Kanga Roo Awesome Rainbows
Mikkel Beckman & Mike Munson Blackbird
POLIÇA baby blue
Gospel Machine Them Young Girl Blues
Katy vernon Lily 14 crayon colors
The Cactus Blossoms Powder Blue
Greycoats John Glenn Blues
Erik Koskinen Red Dress Girl
Judy Garland over the rainbow
Hüsker Dü green eyes
Davina and The Vagabonds Red shoes
Red Daughters Black Ice
JOUR Black Hole

And including one of our PSAs – because it’s important! –

ACT NOW: Not registered to vote? Do it before Oct 16 OR wait until Election day. Save time on Nov 6th and register NOW! Text P2P to RTVOTE (788-683). It’s that simple! OR go online https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationMain.aspx … #PowerToThePolls #Getoutthevote

JOUR – new name, new look, new CD all released at the Cedar Cultural Center

It is fun to watch the metamorphosis of an artist, especially a young artist like JOUR (formerly known as Jourdan Meyers) with such a strong voice. I remember saying years ago that Jourdan had the voice of the sweetest torch singer in town. That’s not what I would say now. Her presence, her voice they feel more full force than sweet. Today she owns herself, owns her voice and is unafraid to use both to their fullest capacity.

Black Hole is a song that exemplifies the dichotomy of JOUR’s new sound. There’s a hint of Americana in the world of Electronica. JOUR’s voice is so powerful it propels a narration but on the side is a very interesting guitar meander. It’s like watching a play that features two conversations at once. Done poorly, it’s confusing. Done right, as JOUR has done it, it’s layered and interesting.

There are several songs like Black Hole that support multiple tunes or storylines that work in part because of the strong vocals that are generous enough to allow the other musicians to take the stage. It’s complex but again JOUR’s crystalline voice controls the chaos so much that it doesn’t feel like confusion it just feels like multiple simultaneous stories coming together.

My favorite song was Revolution; maybe because I appreciate anyone who highlights current events, especially in a time that is so divisive. And it does it with such finesse. Great art comes of troubled times. And the message isn’t overt but it’s purposeful.

Also worth noting, JOUR’s music brings the men on the dance floor. I love to see that support!

Mostly Minnesota Music on WMCN – Places Show – Oct 6, 2018

Heather Baker and I are like old hands on the radio now after our second show today – Mostly Minnesota Music on WMCN at Macalester College. Or maybe we still need to iron out some kinks. You can take a listen and let me know:

The theme this week was places – the theme for next week is colors. Post a comment if you have a request for a Minnesota band singing about colors!

You can also listen to the playlist on Spotify, it’s longer than the show itself because we over prepare.

Our notable moment of the show was the dedication of the first song to Red Daughters. We were waiting for them to play at the 331 Club last night. Sadly the keyboardist, Aaron “Hix” Lee was mugged and shot on the way to the show. I don’t know him well at all but I do remember cutting a rug with him at the Turf Club one night. Gotta love a guy who grabs you to dance and then walks on! (There is a GoFundMe set up for him.)

Here’s a probably pretty close to true playlist: Continue reading

Bye Bye Banshee sings out Deathfolks Magic

Bye Bye Banshee is a new project by Minneapolis songwriter Jezebel Jones. It’s a modern ballad of our final trip through death’s door with nod to ancient themes and characters that have preceded us. It explores death with curiosity and embraces the eventuality with coquettish spirit.

Jones’ ethereal presence sets the stage. The full band around her brings the celebratory feel of a New Orleans funeral march. Her sultry tone in If I Die in my Dreams has a swampy torch singer feel that makes the invitation to her dream equally sexy and scary. You can’t say no.

If the album is a voyage, Pschyopomps is sound of the footsteps into the abyss or dusty trail. There’s room for the instruments to take on their own winds in different directions that pull in different directions.

Skull Rattles reminds me of the Bare Bone’s Halloween show in St Paul. Similar to Deathfolk Magic it is the story of death and life and life after death – but at a community level. Skull Rattles has the unraveling feel of dénouement – of finale but freedom. The narration between songs alludes to previously being under the spell of religion but moving to an understanding that life is a dream – punctuated in the performance with a rendition or rift on Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay.