Sunday, April 13, 2014

Farewell Transmission: a tribute album to Jason Molina released by Rock The Cause

It's always fun to run into people I haven't seen in a long time at a show.  Last night's Enemy Planes show at Cause was one of those nights.  The crowd was packed at Cause.  It was almost too small a venue for the crowd.  Soon it will be.  But, since they are intrinsically linked to Cause Spirits and Soundbar through at least one of them working as a bartender for the venue, it was a fitting place for their show.

Enemy Planes Facebook Cover art

Likewise, I would be remiss if I didn't find something new and interesting to show people at the show.  Between the great music and the high energy of the crowd, there was one such point that stood out to me.  Apparently Enemy Planes joined My Morning Jacket, Sarah Jaffe, and Others in covering songs by Jason Molina for an album now being released by Rock The Cause, a local non-profit record label.    Though I had never heard of Jason Molina, a quick Google search showed the tragic tale of an impressive musician with a fair number of releases under his belt struggling with the age old problem of alcohol abuse.  He died last year as a result of his vice.  This album fits with Rock The Cause's purpose with a message of appreciation for the artist's life and creativity.  Available now on iTunes for $11.99  It's an great mix of music in tribute to the late Jason Molina.  Thank you to Rock The Cause for their desire to support the local music scene and incorporate that into a cause worthy of recognition.

Thanks again to Enemy Planes, Back Pocket Hymnal, Puff Puff, and Mississippi North for putting on an incredible show last night.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Enemy Planes and other local music shows this week

As I have said before, this winter in Minnesota was tiresome.  The local musicians I love here are the traction that keeps my feet firmly planted in this harsh climate.  Since I have not been writing regularly about the music scene  this winter, I should start by pointing out one of the most impressive local bands I've encountered in recent months.  The band Enemy Planes has only been performing for a short time, but they have already released an incredible CD that became my anthem for the late winter months.  Their dreamy pulsating songs have been the soundtrack to my life since I first saw them at a house party in February.
The haunting melodies of Enemy Planes remind me occasionally of the affinity I have toward M83's album Hurry Up we're still dreaming.  

Definitely check them out.  They are very fun to see live.  In fact, they are playing at Cause Spirits and Sound Bar in uptown Minneapolis later today Saturday, April 12th, 2014.  They also will be playing at the Midwest Music Festival in Winona, MN, Saturday April, 26th.  Find out more about them and their music at

Enemy Planes was one of the bands who I've learned about through the Monastery House parties.  These parties have grown in scale and scope into impressive showcases of local musicians with a long list of bands eager to play.  These gatherings have even produced some music videos which have garnered attention from some mainstream music media.  Twice The City Pages has included videos shot in the basement of this house for their top 10 must see Minnesota music videos for the week.

Top 10 Must See Minnesota Music Videos featuring Moving Parts at The Monastery by Erik Thompson Thursday April 10th, 2014

Top 10 Must See Minnesota Music Videos featuring Phantom Tales at the monastery  by Erik Thompson Thursday March 27th, 2014

If your looking for some more local music to go to this weekend there are also a couple more shows besides Enemy Planes going on this weekend.

La Madness and Hot Damn! are playing tonight Saturday April 12th 2014 at Mayslacks in northeast Minneapolis, MN.

Also tonight, The Jelly project will be joining the  Nationally Touring Texas Hippie Coalition and The GooDBarS at POV's Sportsbar in Spring Lake Park, MN.

Since I'm pointing out local shows to go to, I should give you a few more for the upcoming week.  Next Thursday April 17th, 2014 Dream Crusher, Simon Calder band, Glow Mechanics, and DJ DT will be performing at the Kitty Cat Klub in the Dinkytown area by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

On Friday April 18th 2014 MeMeMe will be having their CD release party with Circle of Heat at Midtown Tavern in Mankato, MN.

I will conclude with the events scheduled for next Saturday, April 19th, 2014.  Next Saturday will be National Record Store Day, so Hymies Vintage Records will be having their annual block party.

The Electric Fetus in Minneapolis will also be having a Record Store Day celebration with live music.

In Saint Paul the newly opened Barely Brothers Records store will also be having music from The High Crimes.

Then later in the night there are a few Shows as well.  Three Nuns and  Gun and my friend Nathan Reeder will be playing for the Westbank Hullabaloo at Acadia with a litany of other musicians.

Two entertaining local indie rock bands Via and La Madness will be playing at The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis, MN along with The Mayberry Riot and Dragich and the Trainwreck.

And, since the next day will be 4-20 Aitas, Perigrin Perspective, and  Vibes for the Tribes will be looking for positive vibes at the Driftwood Char Bar in South Minneapolis.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Forward Out Of Hibernation

The winter is gone!  Well...  ok, that may be overstating it.  It's technically spring now, since we passed the vernal equinox on March 20th.  However, Minnesota has remained cold and snowy.  The snow pack we accumulated over the winter remained frozen in large slabs of occasionally melting ice across the frigid tundral climate.  Not only that, the weather remained cold enough for the snow to continue flying unabated by the longer length of the spring days.  This winter has been tiresome for the spirits of the hardened souls living here.  Compounded with the intensity of the overbearing winter, this season has been particularly tumultuous in my own personal life.  After getting hit by a car while biking in december, my life was tossed akimbo as the questionable safety of winter biking was confirmed.  Biking had been my primary mode of transportation.  The snowbanks, which encroached far enough into the streets of Minneapolis for officials to limit parking to one side of the street so emergency vehicles could traverse the narrowing lanes, made the margin of space for bikers disappear.  After my parent's bought a new car and generously gave me their old car to drive, I was relieved of the wearisome burden of winter biking unsafety.  But, with a car came new financial obligations that stymied my ability to attend the shows I love.  That being said, this winter has been somewhat of a dark period for my writing as a result.  However, that is not to say there was nothing to speak of.

Music aside for a moment, another one of my favorite activities was much more affordable to me this winter.  Despite being a sport that many other people have to pay significant money to enjoy, I worked at Hyland Ski and Snowboard area this winter as a chairlift operator so I was able to snowboard for free all year.   This year I progressed quite a bit in my snowboarding skills.  I only once recorded a day of riding with a friend, but I put it to music by the local band the Moving Parts.  I used the song Noel as the background music for the video I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

At the end of the winter, just before the end of the snowboarding season at Hyland, my life was changed dramatically again when I was invited to live with some of my musician friends in the house near the University of Minnesota known as The Monastery.  I had decided to move out of my lonely efficiency apartment at the beginning of January 2014 because I realized the expenses of car insurance and gas for the used car my parents gave me gobbled up all the disposable income I had enjoyed while biking.  I had originally made plans to live with friends of mine from the band Thee Evil Creatures.  However, I needed to wait till the rental agency found someone to rent my apartment, or till the end of March, because I gave my two month notice a day past the January 5th deadline for an end of February move out.  Then, during one fateful week in February, everything came into place.  I casually mentioned to my friends at the monastery that I was in transition from my current place to a tentative place with some friends of mine.  It came up that they had a room opening up, and they offered it to me.  Within a couple days I found out from the rental agency that someone wanted to move into my old place.  Additionally, the person wanted to move in the very next week.  As a result, the rental agency asked me to vacate as soon as I could to allow them time to prepare the apartment before the lease signing.  Therefore, I quickly packed all my things into boxes and prepared for the move.  That started a whirlwind of change blowing through my life.  Within a week all my life plans had shifted dramatically.  Now I am living in a house with 13 people that hosts house parties once a month where half a dozen local bands perform to a bustling crowd of interesting people.

With the matters of my own life out of the way, It's time to finally highlight one of the winter event's I haven't covered yet.  On February 21st, 2014 the music video for the song "The Free People" by Moving Parts off the album "Music from the Monestary" was released.  I got a chance last fall  to be a part of this music video, along with quite a few other friends of the band, .  The shooting was done at the Monastery house wher I now live months before I moved in.

That will be all for now, but I assure you there has been quite a few event's, releases, and other happenings I intend to relay eventually.  Thanks again for reading.  This spring and summer promise to be abundantly full of energy and creativity.  Look forward to more soon.