Where Did The Party Go?

What Happened to the Party?

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

Last weekend at the Rex the Alrights played for a modest crowd, which is typical for the college off-season.

Each year that goes by it feels like live music is dwindling at the local bars, but the National talent coming through gets a little better. Sitting and watching The Alrights was like a trip down memory lane, and an opportunity to people watch.

One notable moment was when two women who were in maybe their 50s strutted out on empty dance floor and danced to the music. They were brave to go out there, but over by the bar was a young guy who looked a bit like McLovin from Superbad. He was pointing at the women dancing and trying to make a joke at their expense to attract the girl he was lurching on.

The girl shrugged him off, but it really showed the different experiences of the bar scene. The young try to fit in to a point of paranoia while the seasoned veterans have lost the rose-colored view that made them care what people think.

When will the Little Black Books play a show again?

Mark Lindquist has some lyrics in a Little Black Books song where he says when he sees a band “he stands in back, with the kids.” He also sang about liking the harder stuff and the experience of seeing live bands and bumming around Duluth’s nightlife. Lindquist’s gift of encapsulating moments of his life and exposing them musically in a universal form of rock is the biggest secret of local art. His music is timeless and represents a local charm that makes Duluth different from any other city.

As the years go by it seems like the people who had everything going for them in the music scene are now growing quiet. Like in Fear & Loathing when Thompson describes the great music of the past as a wave that crested and then receded back into the sea. Who would think that in 2009 that original live music would be a shadow of what it was back in 2005?

Justin Timberlake finally won me over with “Motherlover”: Go towww.NBC.com to watch the uncut video.

It is crazy to think back even further to the 1990s era and how alive music was and how many genres there were to choose from. One funny example is a band like Color Me Bad having a second life through skits by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake (Motherlover & *%& in a Box).

There were artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Billy Joel, and other late 1980s mega-stars being outshined in the early 1990s by NWA, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and an entire new generation. There were just so many bands and so much music through the 1990s that I have to wonder how it will be looked at through nostalgic glasses 10 or 20 years from now?

Maybe we will look at the 2000s like we look at the 1980s? Madonna shocked like Britney Spears does, Michael Jackson dances and sings like Justin Timberlake does, Donald Trump Yuppies became The Donald’s Apprentices, and This Old House became 24/7 with HGTV.

Jack White comes to Minneapolis with his latest incarnation The Dead Weather at First Ave on July 27th.

The only true throwback of rock we had in the 2000s was Jack White. He owned the 2000s first with The White Stripes, then The Raconteurs, and now with The Dead Weather. He truly is the one high note of originality that also has the spirit of rock in him. He mixes Jimi Hendrix’s or James Gurley’s experimental styles with a Detroitsensibility that was baptized in fire by MC5, Alice Cooper and The Stooges. With The White Stripes he was almost like Bowie in his Ziggy days, with The Raconteurs he was like Dylan rustling up songwriters for The Traveling Willbury’s, and The Dead Weather is for those who think he was never hard or rough enough. See the lineup and learn about the band, it is very different and will maybe win over the last few people out there who don’t thing Jack White is up there with the rock and roll greats.

Little Richard & Chuck Berry are coming to The Black Bear Casino July 12th. If you don’t believe me that this is a show you can’t miss, just listen to Bob Dylan…

There is one last point to make in this rant. Please try to make it out to see Chuck Berry and Little Richard at the Black Bear Casino next month! In the latest Rolling Stone Magazine interview with Bob Dylan he talks about how there is no one who can compare to Berry.

“In my universe, Chuck is irreplaceable,” Dylan said in the RS interview. “All that brilliance is still there, and he’s still a force of nature. As long as Chuck Berry’s around, everything’s as it should be. This is a man who has been through it all. The world treated him so nasty. But in the end, it was the world that got beat… His presence is everywhere, but you never know it. I love Little Richard, but I don’t think he performs as much as Chuck. And he’s certainly not as spontaneous as Chuck… Chuck can perform at the drop of a hat. Well, Little Richard, he can too, actually, but he doesn’t.”

Seeing these two greats on the stage so close to home is truly an honor. This will be your last chance to see these artists so close to home and is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

If you are into rock and roll and miss this show you are a poser and no better than that McLovin kid who was laughin’ at people for having fun and enjoying music.

On a side note Bob Dylan said in that same interview about Northern Minnesota:

“You’ll never see another town like Duluth,” Dylan said in the RS interview. “It’s not a tourist destination, but it probably should be. Depends on what season you’re in there, though. There are only two season: damp and cold. I like the way the hills tumble to the waterfront and the way the wind blows around the grain elevators. The train yards go on forever too. It’s old-age industrial, that’s what it is. You’ll see it from the top of the hill for miles and miles before you get there. You won’t believe your eyes. I’ll give you a medal if you get out alive.”