Good riddance to The Sunrise Inn in South MPLS, but if you want to say your “good whatevers”, do it now. Want to watch some USA footie with other fans? Brits + Fulton show the World Cup Qualifier matches. Ah dang, it’s the last show ever for Secrets favs Disasteratti at Reverie. The all vinyl, powder on the floor, foot-scootin’ party Hipshaker! is back at Kitty Cat Klub. Get the best of the long-forgotten Oughts at Y2K: That’s WHAT I CALL 2000s hosted by DJ Jonathan Ackerman at honey. It’s a pre-KLITUATION bash at Silk Haze: MicaMay & Keezy Special Guest: Tiiiiiiiiiip at the Nomad. Why would you go see any of the new movies when you can go to The Trylon and see Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, a part of their women filmmakers series. Actually, Trainspotting 2 is getting good reviews and opens this weekend at The Uptown Theater. There’s also some super good film from Indigenous filmmakers still going on at The Walker Art Center.
The indoor beer for charity festival Hops for Hunger 5.0 returns to the Solar Arts Building. Everyone has to see the Asemic Writing: Offline & In the Gallery at the MCBA, and this party with translators and Ghostband is a good option to do so. The MN Opera celebrates Mexican music with a cool free performance. New exhibition opens at the Kolman & Pryor gallery in Northrup King—Sensitive Indicators, paintings by Betsy Ruth Byers. Equilibrium (EQ) is the Loft’s Spoken Word series and this weekend it features the Loft’s Spoken Word Immersion Fellow, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem with Giles Li. The North Star Roller Girls pay tribute to The Purple One with their next bout Purple Pain at the Lee & Warner Coliseum. The Rocky Horror Picture returns to The Uptown Theater‘s midnight madness.
Rebel Donuts will pop-up at Anelace Coffee, one of the best coffee spots. Lonesome George Thorogood still cooks and also swings by the State Theater. Grand Cafe is doing an oyster pop-up, continuing their pop-ups. Red Stag Supperclub has a few seats open for their fancy foodie dinner that features menu items from purveyors around the foodie scene. Celebrate Air Max Day and honor the innovative kicks with a party at Constantine. Name your show at Amsterdam Fartsterdam Slam and you automatically get included in our picks, but UnderCurrentMPLS’s lineup of underground bands is killer, too.
One of the biggest, baddest, best dance parties in MPLS + STPL returns! The all female lineup of The KLITUATION and DJ KEEZY again takes over First Avenue’s Mainroom with a grip of DJs, MCs, performers, cameos, and more including: Coco and Breezy, DJ Shannon Blowtorch, DJ KEEZY, Sarah White, BdotCroc, Maria Isa, Lady Midnight, K.Raydio, The Lioness, Vie Boheme, and many, many more.
Hey, thanks for reading to the bottom of the email. You’re special. And that’s why we want to send you to this amazing party. If you check out any of the video recaps from the last installment, you’re going to want to go and you’re going to want to dance. And we want to send you, because you’re going to have fun—that’s why we’re giving away a bunch of tickets to this party! Just reply and let us know who you’re going to bring for a chance to go for free!
It’s, well, stunning that local artful noise rock outfit STNNNG, favorites of many MPLS + STPL music makers, have been making music as original and powerful as they have, for as long as they have, and as they continue to do—STNNNG’s loud poetic journey continues this Spring with a brand new album, Veterans of Pleasure, which arrives on March 31st.
Before the record’s debut and their sure-to-be wild release show at the Entry on April 14th with Gay Witch Abortion, we checked in with frontman Chris Besinger on the current state of STNNNG, recording with audio legend Steve Albini, their songwriting, and the look of the new record.
Secrets of the City: It’s often impossible to schedule a coffee meeting with just one person, much less five dudes that have been together long enough to do five full length albums. How does STNNNG manage to get together? Project management software? The draw of alcohol?
Chris Besinger: And when you add in other band demands, families, kids, dogs, etc., it can be a struggle. Unless we give ourselves a firm deadline we’d never get anything done. In this case we made a decision write a bunch of songs for a record, booked the studio time and made sure we were basically ready when the dates rolled around. Booze helps.
Why go back to working with quasi-underground recording celebrity Steve Albini? Did you owe him money because he’s a card shark?
I can’t remember if he was playing online poker between all the takes this time or last time, I think that was last time. Steve is very easy to work with, he’s smart, he’s fast, when you say “I want this vocal to sound like this one Ken Nordine record” he not only knows what you are talking about he has the microphone. It seems like people have a lot invested needing him to be an asshole or a larger than life figure or something, he’s basically just about the most mellow person I know. Of course, if you ask for his opinion his going to give it to you, whether you like it or not.
The new album has that mix of classic-intense-energetic-STNNNG on tracks like “King Vulture” and classic-lost-in-the-swelling-ocean-of-sound STNNNG on tracks like “That Other Place”, which is awesome. Do you think STNNNG has a characteristic sound? Is it something the band goes for or avoids or neither?
The best songs just feel right when we are writing them. Sometimes when we are writing the songs an idea will bubble up and someone will say “Naw, that’s too obvious, too much like something we’d do” and other times we will be working on something and it’ll be, “this doesn’t sound like us”. We are just trying to please ourselves and I’m sure we have a signature sound, but I don’t know if I can really identify it, I’m too much in the center of the hurricane to notice. Everyone in the band has their own thing, their own ideas, what they want to add to a tune, so hopefully our sound as it were is all of our voices speaking in unison. Or a less bullshit answer might be, now we just try to write stuff that isn’t super hard to play live.
I remember seeing STNNNG play at MCAD several years ago and thinking “these guys should only play places like student lounges, beaches, prisons, etc., because they’re too good and original for just the same old bars”. Do you think your music is more suited for any types of venues or are you still happy to play shows at the Entry because the sound is really good and they have those big beers and you get a crossover wristband?
The Entry is awesome to play because it is the place to see a band as an audience member, best sound, best lines of sight, best vibe. I enjoy playing the weirder, not exactly-venues-venues as well, they can be a ton of fun and I like to be able to really connect with the audience, physically, psychically. No matter the location I do my best to get our point across. I don’t know if we could deal with a prison, I’d probably get killed. My wife is constantly annoyed, worried, rolling-her-eyes at my onstage behavior. “I hope I have our medical insurance card on me” is her oft repeated line when I try to balance on something high up or aggravate some teenage girls or some other similarly life-threatening act.
And the crossover wristband is not to underrated, I saw Erykah Badu in the Mainroom once!
Is this cover art, the painting “Bacchanalia” by Reynier Llanes, the best album art of the year of any band? It’s just magnificent.
It isn’t just the best album cover of the year, it is the best album cover ever. People should stop making album covers because we just perfected it.
Since many of our readers don’t read anything except fake news, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler, so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.
News: Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den to close, ‘re-birth’ at Mr. Steven Snuggery.
Notes: We’re just going to share some of the press with you: “Mr. Steven’s Snuggery will be an adult drinkertainery…and let’s just say it again…heavy on the adult content. It will feature a variety of martinis and drinkable drinks and secrets. Mr. Steven loves to say, “Booze and women…the pleasure is all mine.” It will be a cross between low tech Godzilla and high brow hookers (without the hookers) who are in love with outer space! If this doesn’t make sense or sound good, well…that’s okay. It will be open soon enough for your drinking pleasure and conversational pain. Mr. Steven’s is R-rated (language, themes, and art).” We don’t think other folks are really sharing the news because they’re not sure what’s going on.
News: The City of MPLS is suing “Rehab Addict” Nicole Curtis.
Notes: We’ve never seen that show, but we do know Curtis and her fan base from her previous dust-ups with Lisa Bender and the City Council Woman’s opposition in Whittier. Apparently Curtis bought a Northside house for $2 but couldn’t get a building permit she needed so the required work wasn’t done and now the house is a problem and the City wants it back. We don’t really care about the ordeal, but if you need some popcorn this afternoon, check out the rehabber’s interactions on twitter.
News: Homeland Security was checking tickets on the Green Line this morning.
Notes: Well even if it’s nothing to sinister like routine training, here’s what we’re not excited about: The quasi-military presence of Homeland Security just popping up in our highly politically charged environment. We can’t imagine how imagine how already spooked immigrant residents feel to see agents in tactical vests covered in zip tie handcuffs.
One of our favorite hometown bands—thanks to their undeniably dance-y sound, impressive stage presence, and overall good vibes—Daniel & The Real Feels will be helping First Avenue live up to the “Danceteria” part of the club’s tagline on Thursday. Along with Daniel’s brand of glamorous rock, the bill includes the deconstructed sounds of Airpark and poppy psychedelic of Lazy Scorsese, and we want our readers to join us on the dance floor at The Entry. Thursday, 7:30 PM. $8 advance, $10 door.
Just reply to this email you’re interested in throwing shapes back at Daniel for a chance to win.
Out of all the correspondence we get, people asking for more lead time on cool events is our readers’ biggest request. (Where to get razor-style motorized chairs is next.) So with that in mind, here’s a quick look at some stuff that’s currently on our radar for this weekend. We’re also going back to our big stack of happenings since folks weren’t crazy about the breakouts.
Good riddance to The Sunrise Inn in South MPLS, but if you want to say your “good whatevers”, do it now. Get an early peek at the new exhibition The Weather Diaries at the ASI with a party that includes RONiiA, cocktails, fashion talk, and more. Ah dang, it’s the last show ever for Secrets favs Disasteratti at Reverie. The all vinyl, powder on the floor, foot-scootin’ party Hipshaker! is back at Kitty Cat Klub. Get the best of the long-forgotten Oughts at Y2K: That’s WHAT I CALL 2000s hosted by DJ Jonathan Ackerman at honey. It’s a pre-KLITUATION bash at Silk Haze: MicaMay & Keezy Special Guest: Tiiiiiiiiiip at the Nomad.
The stacked-with-programming two-day-long Black and Funny Improv Festival kicks off at HUGE Theater. It’s the Second Annual Smoke Signals beer party at Insight Brewing. Speaking of beer, Hops for Hunger 5.0 returns to the Solar Arts Building. Everyone has to see the Asemic Writing: Offline & In the Gallery at the MCBA, and this party with translators and Ghostband is a good option to do so. The North Star Roller Girls pay tribute to The Purple One with their next bout Purple Pain at the Lee & Warner Coliseum. DJ Keezy’s The KLITUATION, one of the biggest dance parties in MPLS + STPL, returns to First Avenue with a ton of special appearances. The Rocky Horror Picture returns to The Uptown Theater‘s midnight madness.
Rebel Donuts will pop-up at Anelace Coffee, one of the best coffee spots. Lonesome George Thorogood still cooks and also swings by the State Theater. Celebrate Air Max Day and honor the innovative kicks with a party at Constantine. Name your show at Amsterdam Fartsterdam Slam and you automatically get included in our picks, but UnderCurrentMPLS’s lineup of underground bands is killer, too.
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Just wait til you see his logo, we cannot wait to debut it. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Coping it sweet in Northeast, MPLS on a random weekday might find you pondering your lunch time happy place. Low and behold I found mine at The Bulldog Northeast. Now you should have at the very least heard of this place or hopefully had a drink or something here. It’s got cred. Menu is Burger-forward and we’re into it. So I went with the Peanut Butter and Bacon burger which should be called the Knife and Fork burger. We will get to that later . . . Let’s start with the beef. The grind is brisket, sirloin, and chuck. Golf clap. The pack is firm. Chef knows medium and flavor of the beef is dialed. It’s topped with a Surly spiced peanut butter that is now and forever part of my fam. Is anyone listening???!! Bottle that shit! STAT! Sorry I get carried away. Next up on the burger is an apple-wood bacon that works beautifully on this super concoction. This whole thing is kind of a breakfastie hangover super crave town munchies ensemble. When you need to flat-out crush, this is it folks. Now they put a fried egg on it with a little Wood’s maple syrup. The runny egg always adds nice flavor to meat. Instagram Stories were made for this. But with these specific ingredients the egg is really the Pope Francis. Brings it all together and almost can’t live without. A keystone if you won’t. That brings us to the bun. The croissant. A noble choice but it just can’t hold up. Sweet and buttery and perfy choice to pair with these ingredients, but if your looking to hold this burger you might have a messy ordeal on your hands. Hence the Knife and Fork burger. Love the flavor of this ride. Sweet, full bodied and bold. It’s not hiding nor covering up. Just satisfying the soul.
Scorecard: Flavor: 8.7 Presentation: 7 Originality: 10
Bulldog Northeast, 401 E Hennepin Ave, MPLS; thebulldognortheast.com