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Archivemnartists.org2000s 2005

73 Items



Mic Trout’s Hand-Embroidered Corduroy Blazer: Homegrown

via mnartists.org

May 2005
by Chris Godsey   May 20, 2005 Please, someone give me one good reason not to leave Minneapolis and move back to Duluth. I want to stay, but it�s tough to figure out why I should. Three easy responses have to be automatically disallowed, on the basis of their utter thoughtlessness and stupidity: 1&2. �Because there�s more to do down here,� and its even more ignorant, arrogant twin,� Because there�s nothing to do up there.� 3. �Because there�s more diversity and open-mindedness down here.� Weak, every one of them. �More� and �nothing� can be relative concepts�volume seldom guarantees uniqueness or quality. And rules of proportion ensure that Minneapolis will always have a much higher population of white, racist, fag-hating, fundamentalist dullards than Duluth. Also: condescend carefully, because while you�re dismissing the Duluth arts scene as cute and quaint, with only freakish spots of credibility, snobs in Chicago and New York are making the same mistake about Minneapolis. I�ve lived down here since the end of December. The artistic�especially musical—Utopia I�d expected to find has proven illusory. Opportunity is infinite, but it�s also prohibitively expensive. Minneapolis kicks Duluth�s ass in hosting big-name national acts, although I can afford so few of those shows that I could live in Duluth, drive down here for the same number of shows, avoid daily assloads of traffic, $5 Miller High Life bottles, and legions of dour hipsters, save money, and actually gain significant quality of life. Well, I�d miss hanging out and writing at Bev�s Wine Bar while Moose and Sadie�s is under construction, but one lovely coffee joint cannot negate an entire culture of self-congratulation. Even local and low-cost music in Minneapolis isn�t so low-cost�8 bucks every night at the 7th Street Entry! Doesn�t it make sense to live in a place where it�s possible to afford seeing decent, interesting bands every night instead of just living vicariously through whatever Jim Walsh and Molly Prismeier write in �In Da Club� column? in Duluth, during the Homegrown Music Festival, 80 local bands, solo artists and DJs played nine venues for $13. That�s 13 bucks for an of music, in a city where the most expensive beer you can buy (at least at any of those nine places) costs four bucks (and tastes the same as it does when you pay more), where the most important venues are within a five-minute walk of each other, and where only one place was sold out (and that was only for one show). Not every weekend in Duluth features 80 acts. But more than those 80 exist, and every Duluth weekend does include multiple opportunities to see very good local shows (not to mention frequent Minneapolis, regional, and national acts). Homegrown started on Thursday night, with an all-local-music DJ set during the Starfire Lounge at Fitger�s Brewhouse. Four solid hours of Duluth music. Across the hall, in the brand-new Red Star Lounge, $8 martinis and a constant hip-hop bump would have made sophisticated Metro dwellers feel right at home. Friday and Saturday are the heart of Homegrown. Multiple venues host music from 8 till 2, but the places to be this year, depending on your tastes, were Pizza Luc�, the NorShor, the Red Lion, the Brewhouse, or the Tap Room. Pizza Luc� on Friday. He lived in Minneapolis for a time, while leading a band called the ATF. put his 2002 record at number 7 on its list of 10 best local releases for that year. He moved back to Duluth a while ago, and no one but him knows why he didn�t play out for a few years, but he�s back at it. If Luce weren�t so loud, more people would have heard his wise, engaging lyrics, and not just the sweet, agile acoustic guitar that perfectly complements the words. and two of his Duluth buddies—bassist Matt Livingston and drummmer Eric Pollard�filled Low�s time slot. Two days before, Sparhawk had posted a message at Low�s Web site (www.chairkickers.com) that reads, in part, �Low has to cancel the shows we have booked in May and June—perhaps beyond…. I have not been very mentally stable for the last while. Due to this, touring at this time has become too much of a burden on everyone involved…. And it is too much to ask those around me to have to put up with that any more.� Much of the audience still didn�t know about those events, and Sparhawk started the set by apologizing for Low�s absence. Over the next 45 minutes, the hastily-convened trio played a brilliant, emotional, aggressive set of covers by local folks, starting with the song �There Will Always Be a Suicide,� by early-�90s punkers 18 Dimensions of Love, who played the Recycla-Bell on the night of Low�s first live show. Sparhawk is a genius of conveying unspeakable emotion via guitar (anyone who witnnessed his stunning guest solo during Pedro the Lion�s version of �Revolution Blues� on Feb. 12 at First Avenue will understand). He created painful, shredded transcendence on a Telecaster during tunes by unsung talent Bill Reichelt; �80s heavy metal parody/tribute rockers Bone Appetit; and ambient masters if thousands. It was a historic…