Tag Archives: 7th street entry

Finally A New Post

16 Apr

It’s been awhile since the last update, but, quite frankly, a lot has been going on for me. For one thing, I’m being laid off from my job of three years in a little over a week or so, and that’s never fun. However, it’s probably more of a blessing than anything as the job and workplace were both pretty horrendous and the communication between “management” and the workers was at every level and time lacking in every single way. And then, last Friday, I learned that my uncle had passed away, so that isn’t the best news to get either. However, I did do some other actualfun things (i.e. concerts mostly) in between those horrible updates.

Crowd Outside First Ave

Crowd Outside First Ave

First Avenue is a venue that I have been frequenting a lot lately. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that they are the big local venue that usually gets the biggest acts (unless it’s a stadium show or something) from around the country. One of the bands that I saw recently is called The Joy Formidable and they are the absolute best new band that I have heard lately. Their album, The Big Roar is exemplary from front to back and their live act is very impressive. This was their first time in Minnesota and so I posted up as near to the front as I could get (second row standing, directly in front of lead singer Ritzy Bryan!) so that I could witness the first time they blew the doors off of 7th Street. Their live act is an explosion of sound that never lets up from the moment that the diminutive and oh so pretty Ritzy gets up on stage and drives hard on those first chords. These guys had a ton of hype and they totally lived up to it. The one thing I wish is that they would have played more songs to destroy my ears, as their set list was blitzed through in short time. It felt like they took more time to set up all their equipment than it did for them to melt all our faces. The place was packed to capacity it felt like, and with another album behind them, they could easily fill out the mainroom, which would make for an even more amazing show, but as it was, it was very cool to be this close to an act that should be making a large roar in the scene very shortly. In case you can’t make out the words, their set list was as follows:

Greyhounds in the Slips

Magnifying Glass

Austere

The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade

Cradle

Buoy

I Don’t Want to See You Like This

Whirring

The Joy Formidable Set List

The Joy Formidable Set List

Ritzy's Pedal Box

Ritzy's Pedal Box

Matt Thomas of The Joy Formidable

Matt Thomas of The Joy Formidable

Rhydian Dafydd Davies of The Joy Formidable

Rhydian Dafydd Davies of The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

For an even more intimate concert experience, I was somehow picked to go and see Iron and Wine perform at The Current studios this past Wednesday. I sat front row once again, and took in some good music. I was impressed with Sam Beam and the way he seemed very shy, but yet very open and talkative at the same time. It’s an odd description, I know, but that’s how he seemed. Very reserved, yet willing to share things that you wouldn’t think he would share. He was a cool dude and the songs were great. I left very impressed… and with an autographed poster as well.

Sam Beam Iron and Wine

Sam Beam Iron and Wine

Iron and Wine Poster

Iron and Wine Poster

Finally, there was my uncle Wayne (though we never called him that, it was always his nickname Ves) who passed away a week ago. He was a great man and, quite honestly, he was my favorite uncle. Seemingly always in a good mood, he loved to golf, hunt and play cards. He taught me how to shoot a gun, how to play cards and about fishing. He and his wife, my aunt Mary, had what seemed to be an almost perfect relationship. They really were soulmates and it was a tragic and very sad way that he left this earth, but he will always be missed and never forgotten. Obviously, he is the one on the left in this photo.

Aunt, Uncle and Cousins

Aunt, Uncle and Cousins

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One of Them Fun, Long Weekends Where Lots of Stuff Happens and Money is Spent Freely

10 Jan

This weekend flew by, but in a good way. I ended up going to First Avenue twice (once unexpectedly) and also checked out a rare car.

7th Street Bathroom

7th Street Bathroom

If you’ve never been to First Ave, here is what the bathroom at the 7th Street entry looks like. Why did I take this picture? I’m willing to bet you can guess my state of mind at that point of the night. Regardless of how drunk I may or may not have been, at least it’s interesting. I mean, the stainless steel urinal is pretty sweet.

And here is a picture of some act playing music. I have no clue who it is, what they were playing or if they were good or bad. But there ya go. I never got to find out who these people were (which isn’t a big deal) because we ended up going to the 7th Street entry to watch karaoke. Well, I watched. Two of my coworkers decided to let loose their pipes and get up on stage. The picture below is one of my coworkers. The other would not allow me to publish his picture. Decide for yourself what that could possibly mean. And that was all on Friday night. Saturday night I ended up right back at the same place for Too Much Love, a Twin Cities dj dance night. I did not intend to show up there, but thanks to alcohol, I did. It was actually pretty fun and even if you don’t care to dance, you can get so much enjoyment from watching other people attempt to shake their ass while totally inebriated.

First Avenue Band

First Avenue Band

7th Street Entry Karaoke

7th Street Entry Karaoke

First Avenue Too Much Love Dancefloor

First Avenue Too Much Love Dancefloor

And then the car. This is a Tesla. It is carbon fiber, based on the Lotus Elise and is completely, 100% electric. This is one of four in Minnesota and costs $158,000. It is extremely cramped inside, hard to get in and out of, has about a 200 mile range on full charge, but looks really good. Plus, the steering wheel is really tiny and fits in my hands really well. I would never want one though as I need to hear the noise of the vehicle for it to offer any excitement for me. I can’t get behind the electric car for this reason. And pumping in fake noise is just wrong. Also, there is no room for golf clubs, and that is a big no no in my book.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster Interior

Tesla Roadster Interior

Tesla Roadster Interior

Tesla Roadster Interior

Coffee Shop, Snow and First Ave

16 Nov

This last weekend I hit up a coffee bar to see one of my old high school buddies and his wife play some tunes, drove around in the snow and then went to First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry.

Corner Coffee in Minneapolis was the site of the performance where John and his wife Jaclyn broke out their guitar, keyboard, bongos and even ukulele. They call their band Cleveland Ave and they played for about 40 minutes and I wish that more people would have shown up because they were really good. I had a great time listening to the music that I didn’t even know that John had the talent to play and it was a good night. Afterward, we went across the street for a few drinks and listened to a really nerdy bartender talk about drugs, video games, zombies, Stargate Universe, kids and lightsabers. It was a bit odd, but he was really enthusiastic.

Cleveland Avenue at Corner Coffee

Cleveland Avenue at Corner Coffee

Saturday saw the metro area get hit with six to eight inches of snow – heavy snow. It was wet and there was a ton of it. And because I own a Subaru, it gave me the opportunity to get out for the first time this fall and do some donuts. Really, I couldn’t resist. The parking lot was just sitting there and the snow was begging for it. It really was whorish snow and I gave it to it. I wish there was more room in the parking lot, but it was good to get some sideways action after going without it for so long.

First Snowfall Donuts

First Snowfall Donuts

But the snow also had an adverse affect. I had other plans for the night (Saturday still), but they were dashed by the snow and so my backup was to head to First Ave for some musicalness. Elite Gymnastics played their normal set – loud, booming and hard to understand lyrically – (Four Lokos and all) and then the main act, Matthew Dear came up to play. He is described as a DJ, a dance-music producer, an experimental pop artist and a bandleader. The music was pretty decent and if I was in a better mood (or had some more drinks in myself perhaps) I would have been in a more dance-tastic mood, but as it was, I simply listened and tapped my foot. I do have to say that having listened to a bit of his music from the album as sent to me by a coworker, it was much, much better in person, as is the case most of the time. I think it really helped that he had a band to back him up so they were actually playing real musical instruments instead of simply hitting buttons on a keyboard or playing around with computers and beats (which they were as well) but there were also drums, a trumpet, guitars and a bassist. So if I were to take anything out of their performance it would be: Real instruments with electronic beats = great, computer generated beats only = meh.

Matthew Dear 7th Street Entry First Ave

Matthew Dear 7th Street Entry First Ave

Next weekend? Possibly basketball and art. We’ll see.