Tag Archives: first avenue

Been Awhile Huh?

28 Feb
Farmer's Market Carrots

Farmer's Market Carrots

Here’s a few pictures that I’ve been meaning to post recently. Enjoy them with your eyes if you will.

State Street

State Street

Madison Sunset

Madison Sunset

Red Wing

Red Wing

Train near a bluff

Train near a bluff

Tree on a bluff

Tree on a bluff

Minneapolis Skyline

Minneapolis Skyline

It's a me... Mario!

It's a me... Mario!

R.O.B.

R.O.B.

The Heartless Bastards

The Heartless Bastards

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

The Current's 7th Birthday Party - Polica

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Red Bull Crashed Ice - St. Paul Cathedral

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Red Bull Crashed Ice

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Around Minneapolis

11 May

Just thought I would toss up some pictures from around Minneapolis. Nothing fancy, just the usual stuff.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Moses was Catholic?

Moses was Catholic?

Lake of the Isles

Lake of the Isles

West River Parkway

West River Parkway

35W Bridge

35W Bridge

Minneapolis Skyline

Minneapolis Skyline

Flowers

Flowers

Spoonbridge and Cherry

Spoonbridge and Cherry

First Avenue

First Avenue

Downtown Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis

Tree and Reflection

Tree and Reflection

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

First Ave Concert and Some Randomness

29 Mar

This weekend had its ups and downs, and I’ll start with the ups just for my own well-being I guess. Turns out that the Rural Alberta Advantage put on a heck of a show. I saw their sold out show at First Ave this past Friday and they played every song they have in their repertoire. The opener was James Vincent McMorrow from Ireland who sang some pretty good tunes, but some of them were too quiet for the Mainroom and you could hear a ton of chatter from the crowd as they waited for RAA to come on stage. I do believe that the drummer for RAA takes some sort of wonder drugs or loads up on caffeine or carbo loads before the gig, because he wails on the drums fast and hard. At the end of the night, for the second encore, they played to the sold out crowd from the stairs on the side of the venue. Amazingly, without any microphones to help them out, they pulled off a very quiet song as the crowd listened intently and stayed hushed the entire time.

James Vincent McMorrow

James Vincent McMorrow

Rural Alberta Advantage

Rural Alberta Advantage

Rural Alberta Advantage

Rural Alberta Advantage

I also got this sweet poster in the mail. I find it cool how they incorporate the small districts and neighborhoods of Minneapolis like they do. Mine is the Carag neighborhood near Lake Calhoun. And finally, my dad finally gave in and bought himself a kayak. He’s been talking about doing this for a long, long time and bit the bullet. Menards had them on sale and so he went out and got one. It’s not too bad I guess for a basic kayak and is all most people really need if they just intend to paddle around a lake or something for a bit. I’ve thought about getting one, but I don’t really need one if I think about it and I can’t afford one now anyway, which is directly related to the downer of the weekend. But I’ll talk about that at a later date and time.

Minneapolis Poster

Minneapolis Poster

Dad's Kayak

Dad's Kayak

Another Weekend, Another Freebie

15 Feb

My weekend was jam packed with lots of free sporting activities. Friday night featured a Gopher hockey game while Saturday night was spent at the Target center watching the Timberwolves. Admittedly, both of these teams are not very good in their respective sports. However, as both tickets to these sporting events were free, I saw no reason not to go and watch two bad teams.

Mariucci arena on the University of Minnesota campus is not someplace I would ever think of ending up. I am a big Sioux hockey fan, so to be in the building where the hated Gophers play is a bit of a shock to the system, especially since the Sioux were not even playing them. No, it was the Gophers vs. the Denver Pioneers, and the only reason for going was that the ticket was free, and it was in a suite, with free food, and drinks and TV’s and nice amenities. The catering was from Famous Dave’s (so not good at all for you vegetarians out there) but they did have some superb potato chips and those amazing cornbread muffins… and cookies, always cookies. So the food was good (and still free), the seats were great (and still free), but the actual hockey game was kind of a let down. The Gophers really didn’t try all that hard, the product looked anemic and the fans were nothing like I imagined. In fact, the building itself was really tiny. But I guess I got spoiled in The Ralph, which is pretty much a shrine to all things hockey.

Mariucci Arena - Suite Level View

Mariucci Arena - Suite Level View

Catering in Suite

Catering in Suite

People in the Suite

People in the Suite

Warm Ups - Denver vs Minnesota

Warm Ups - Denver vs Minnesota

My Lucky Chuck A Puck

My Lucky Chuck A Puck - Wasn't So Lucky in the End. Didn't Win 😦

Gopher Student Section - Goldy Gopher Crowdsurfing

Gopher Student Section - Goldy Gopher Crowdsurfing

The next day, it was off to watch another horrible team, but this one a bunch of “professionals,” simply meaning they get paid to play (which they shouldn’t). The Timberwolves actually had an OK crowd for a Saturday night, but there was still plenty of opportunity to move into the lower level and snag a much better seat than some nosebleeds where we started. Again, the ticket was free, and I even ended up getting a NEW CAN COOZIE! This was a great thing because I was in need of a new one, and it was FREE! Here you can see the starting nosebleed seats, and the much better lower bowl seats where we ended up. Thank you lax Target Center security.

Target Center Nosebleeds - Timberwolves vs 76ers

Target Center Nosebleeds - Timberwolves vs 76ers

Lower Bowl Target Center Seats

Lower Bowl Target Center Seats

NEW CAN COOZIE!

NEW CAN COOZIE!

Saturday I also made the apple pie hooch I mentioned in a different blog post. As you can see, I now have a fully stocked liquor cabinet with this stuff. It tastes just like apple pie and warms the soul. Such a great late winter/early spring drink.

Apple Pie Hooch

Apple Pie Hooch

Plus, this guy had some sweet shoes, they were pretty much pink and yellow and orange in a camo/duck hunting pattern. They were amazingly horrible to look at, but he rocked em as hard as possible.

Kicking Shoes on this Dude

Kicking Shoes on this Dude

Don’t walk… Rock!

Don't Walk - ROCK!

Don't Walk - ROCK!

And yes, George Costanza lives. This is his car.

The Costanza Mobile

The Costanza Mobile

First Avenue Best New Bands of 2010

28 Jan

First Avenue held its annual “Best New Bands” this past Wednesday, with it being the 2010 edition of the event. Previous years have featured acts like Lookbook, Red Pens and Peter Wolf Crier, so this year needed to live up to some high expectations. Frankly, I’m not sure if it did or not, as there were some acts that just didn’t work for me. But then again, I didn’t stay the whole time either, but I heard that Pink Mink really brought it.

I did enjoy both BNLX and Phantom Tails, and they were certainly the highlights of the night for me. Phantom Tails played a great set that was highlighted by whale songs at the beginning and the top hatted keyboardist wailing away on both the keys and drum kit (not simultaneously as that would most likely have literally blown my mind). BNLX followed them up with a roaring, guitar-frenzied rendition of “When Doves Cry” that was, for me anyway, better than the original… but then again, I’m not a huge fan of the Purple Yoda. Other acts that nightincluded Grant Cutler and the Gorgeous Lords, who I have heard before and played their low key, brooding music that is totally different from anything that was played when he was in the electronica, pop-oriented Lookbook (a band I really, really wish was still around). That was followed up by the insanity of BadNraD, an 80s synth pop, guitar shredding maniac. I actually sort of liked some of the stuff he played, but it got old pretty fast too. Bands that I did not see included Hastings3000, a one man act that was trying to do his performance from Hawaii over Skype, which totally did not work and was when I left. I was really hoping he would be there in person as he was one of the acts I was really looking forward to seeing. The others were Pink Mink, a rock and roll quartet featuring female leads that has been drawn comparisons to The Runaways, The Goondas, a crazy band of misfits who go crazy on stage and jump into the audience, and a dub step Jayhawks cover band featuring various members of other local bands. Of those last three, I was only wishing to see Pink Mink, but I’m sure I’ll catch them at some other time in the future.

I took a few pictures – none of which are that spectacular as the lighting was dark (obviously) and the camera on my phone is wack in bad lighting. HOWEVER! You can watch the video that I have also included. It is a recap of the show and features all of the acts that were there, PLUS watch out at 2:26 for a big dude in a green stripey shirt as the camera pans over the crowd, because THAT’S TOTALLY ME!

Phantom Tails at First Avenue

Phantom Tails at First Avenue

BNLX at First Avenue

BNLX at First Avenue

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