Thursday, October 8, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Each and every week at about this time (give or take a day) and whether you want us to or not, TATSOL is proud to bring you...not so live, direct from someplace in Hollywood, California...the latest episode of Another F'n Podcast with Izzy Presley! Episode #77 (Part II) is now available for your listening pleasure!
This week! Jeff "The Great Bobboo" Bauer returns to talk Packers, Packer Fans, Vikings, and NFL Fantasy Football week 5. Then! Part 2 of the first ever Drunken Summit on Another F'n Podcast! If you joined us last week, you kind of already know where things were headed. To recap: Izzy has, in studio, Alex Kane (guitarist from Life Sex Death/ The Richie Ramone Band/ Antiproduct) and Ace Von Johnson (guitarist from L.A. sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat), as well as beer and Jack Daniels. As we pick up here with part II, some quantity of said beer and JD have been consumed...and the conversation continues!
In the words of Aerosmith..."Just push play." If you think you can handle it.
-Another F'n Podcast with Izzy Presley/ Facebook
-Izzy Presley Productions.com
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
(Photo: NYCDreamin Archives)
As we begin to roll firmly into October, it just kind of dawned on me yesterday that I have heard absolutely ZERO information/press/etc. about a CBGB Festival 2015 in New York City.
The first edition of the multi-day music and film festival kicked off in hot, sticky July of 2012. Returning for a 2013 edition, the festival was moved to October. This seemed to be a sensible move on the part of organizers as by October, the summer temps have cooled considerably and, presumably, more people are actually in the city in October, not so many out of town on summer vacation. Theoretically this would mean better attendance for all of the events surrounding the festival. This idea held for a third year, as the 2014 CBGB Festival was held October 8th - 12th.
For 2015? Nada. A quick visit to the CBGB.com website yesterday reveals that they have recently upgraded things there, adding some additional content and just making things look nice and slick. Oh, and the tap seems to have been turned back "ON" in regards to merchandising. After a few years of scaling back the number of items on offer, there are several new CBGB t-shirts/ sweatshirts/ and other miscellaneous logo branded swag to be had now. ZERO mention of a 2015 Festival in NYC.
Visiting to CBGBFest.com one is greeted with event information and promotional images from the 2014 edition. Nothing has been updated here for 2015. So finally, I searched "CBGB Festival 2015" in Google News. That turns up very little information as well, but just enough to deduce what is most likely happening here.
First, there was this bit of information, published HERE while the 2014 Festival was still taking place, seems to indicate there were actually plans to not only go ahead with another in 2015 but to expand the Festival in 2015 to...Fort Lauderdale, Florida, of all places. We've seen and heard nothing to indicate that this plan actually moved forward.
And! Back on October 20, 2014, just a week or so after the 2014 CBGB Festival wrapped up in New York City, website Bowery Boogie posted the following bit of interesting news that seems to spell out the immediate future for CBGB Festival organizers: lawsuits and litigation.
"[The complaint] says CBGB cut SWP out of this year’s festival and now intends to produce the festival itself, with help from Numbers and Figures Inc. and iDEKO, which are run by former executives at SWP who helped produce previous festivals. SWP says it has suffered millions in damages, since all its efforts this year to contact vendors, negotiate permits with the city, hire staff to man the event and create an operating budget “are now for naught.” CBGB Festival allegedly grew out of, but now includes, the Times Square Festival, which SWP claims to have created in 2010, just after Macy’s decided to change the route of its Thanksgiving Day Parade to bypass Times Square.
CBGB recognized the “rare opportunity” of such a festival and “aggressively pursued the opportunity” to be part of it, according to the complaint."
So, it would appear, that after three years, the CBGB Festival is no more. If we find out differently, we will be sure to update right here as soon as we hear something...anything...to indicate otherwise.
One From The Archives: 10/06/03 Vanity Fair in Concert /w/ Sheryl Crow/ Debbie Harry & Chris Stein/ Mya/ More @ Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC, NY
Monday, October 5, 2015
The Gorgeous One and I had a great time checking out "The Walk" in Imax 3D on Saturday evening. The story, as mentioned previously, is set in New York City circa 1974. This is a timeframe that already inhabits the "I wish I had been there" space in my brain quite frequently. Pondering this yet again yesterday after viewing the movie, I went to that modern marvel known as Youtube, searching simply "New York City 1974." This superb CBS-TV News docu-short from 1974 appeared at the top of the results list. Here, CBS News men Warren Wallace and Andy Rooney report on the "two sides" of "New York City, 1974."
Saturday, October 3, 2015
We have long enjoyed the Philippe Petit story of how, on the day of August 7th, 1974, he and a small renegade support crew managed a feat of daring so amazing and so mind boggling, high above lower Manhattan, here we are still retelling it and celebrating it today, 41 years later. Now comes the latest telling of the tale, a high-tech, Hollywood thriller, in theatres now, "The Walk." We will be seeing this one just momentarily here I do believe...
(Photo: NYCDreamin Archives)
Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Brynn Arens' beautiful, custom made Brynn Co. speaker cabinets (several of which can be seen on stage in the above recent photo of his band "The Oddfathers") have already caught the attention of the likes of legendary rock record producer Jack Douglas and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, among others. And now PremiereGuitar.com has taken notice as well:
"Minneapolis, MN (October 2, 2015) -- Looking for a great sounding, retro-inspired speaker cabinet to pair with your favorite guitar amp? Check out the stunningly cool offerings from Brynn Co., a Minneapolis-based company founded by guitarist Brynn Arens. Arens specializes in finding vintage console radios from the 1940s / 1950s and converting them into killer-sounding speaker cabinets for guitar amps."
Read the complete article at PremiereGuitar.com:
-BrynnCo. Launches Studio Deluxe and Pro Cabinets
And! If you are in the Twin Cities area and would like to see or hear a BrynnCo. model in person, stop by Groove City Guitars (189 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul, MN) - they are the exclusive local dealer for these amazing sounding, visually appealing cabinets.
Tonight! 10/03/15 Ratt's Juan Croucier/ Maiden Minneapolis/ Downtread @ POV's 65, Spring Lake Park, MN
Friday, October 2, 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
B.O.C. / Blue Coupe Drummer Al Bouchard Shares His Time, Money and Music Know-How With New York City High School Students
(Photo: NYCDreamin Archives)
Blue Oyster Cult / Blue Coupe drummer Al Bouchard - 07/04/15 - Waconia, MN
Spotted this great news item earlier today via Fox5NY.com. When he's not out on the road being a Rock God, former Blue Oyster Cult and current Blue Coupe drummer Albert Bouchard is generously "paying it back," donating his time, money and decades of musical knowledge and experience to one group of very lucky New York City alternative high school students.
Another F'n Podcast with Izzy Presley: Episode #77 - Alex Kane (Life Sex Death / Richie Ramone Band) & Ace Von Johnson (Faster Pussycat) - Part I
Each and every week at about this time (give or take a day) and whether you want us to or not, TATSOL is proud to bring you...not so live, direct from someplace in Hollywood, California...the latest episode of Another F'n Podcast with Izzy Presley! Episode #77 is now available for your listening pleasure!
This week! Well! Last night's epic session to record this new episode went over 4 hours! So, to spare you a four hour show in one sitting, Izzy is splitting this one up. Part I, first two and half hours of the show are now available as this weeks episode. If you survive that with your sanity intact, make sure you check back next week for the conclusion - Part II! Also! No football talk this week, but fear not, Jeff "The Great Bobboo" Bauer will return to round out next weeks episode as well.
So! What the hell could possibly be happening on this weeks show that requires a four hour episode? Glad you asked! Alex Kane, guitarist from the criminally underrated 90's cult-favorite Life Sex Death and now with The Richie Ramone Band, finally stops by to talk the L.S.D. years, growing up in Chicago and being a vegetarian, his thoughts on 80's singers and he also sets the record straight on the homeless rumors about Stanley from L.S.D. Then! Former Another F'n Podcast guest Ace Von Johnson from Faster Pussycat returns, swinging in on Izzy and Alex's conversation. Needless to say, things sort of just escalate from there!
So crack something cold, and kick back, press play and join the party.
-Thanks for listening! Don't forget to check back next week for Part II.
-Another F'n Podcast with Izzy Presley/ Facebook
-Izzy Presley Productions. com
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
So this was supposed to be the final hurrah for The Oddfathers. It was advertised as such on the event page on Facebook. It was also mentioned as a real possibility in this brief promo video for the show that features Mr. Wonderful himself.
So there was that. But that...was then. It the interim from the time this show in Albert Lea was announced a few moths back until just a few weeks ago, something changed. We began to hear that this might not be the final show after all. Then, this was pretty much confirmed to us a few weekends ago at the big Barn Party 2015 shindig out in Stillwater. The Oddfathers blew the roof off the joint there and we were glad to be hearing that there would be still more to come by all accounts. If you missed the Barn Party, we just posted a review with some photos and video from that show. You can read that HERE.
So! The Gorgeous One and I had not been planning to attend this show in Albert Lea. She had to work until early evening and it just didn't seem like it was going to work out for us. Then, a few days prior, our old car died. It served us well for over four years and it was just time. As a result, for a few days we were without wheels and so it was really looking like we wouldn't be going to any show on Saturday.
Early on Saturday afternoon though, after some looking around, I picked out the new ride and got it out on the road and found it quite nice to drive. It seemed like a good car. So a few hours later when The Gorgeous One called and said she was off an hour early, I suggested we take the new wheels for a real test drive and make the just over 100 mile drive down to Albert Lea to check out the car - and the band of course. She was game for this, I kind of figured she would be. Around 7:00pm, back in our new car we were soon cruising down I35W at 80-85MPH with the windows rolled down and the tunes cranked up nice and loud. The car ran smoothly and with no problems and about an hour and half later we were pulling into Albert Lea, quite pleased that we had made the decision to come.
This was the second trip to Albert Lea for The Oddfathers. They played the same venue, The American Legion Post 56, back in May of this year and had gone over very well at that show (see review HERE). Organizers Scott and Jamie Lynn Fielding were chomping at the bit to have them back again just as soon as possible. They obviously have good taste. That May show was the first for the band in some time, saw the stage-debut for new guitarist Dan Hansen and also featured the return of keyboardist Ken Steinhardt who had previously sat in for a few songs with the band about a year prior at the "In Part I" CD release show. Ken also appears on the bands studio recordings to be found on their "In Part I" and "In Part II" releases.
This time around the band would be playing as a four-piece once again as Steinhardt had prior obligations that were rumored to have included copious amounts of strong German beer, Sausages, Sauerkraut...and Lederhozen. As such he was unable to make it in for this one.
Introducing, once again, The Oddfathers.
Just in case you haven't been paying attention here for like...3 years now!
Brynn "The Oddfather" Arens - Lead Vocal/Guitar
Tom "Mr. Wonderful" Cook - Drums/Vocals
Krys "Vino" Baratto - Bass/Vocals
Dan "Damn Handsome" Hansen - Guitar/Vocals
(Photos: Bryan Kuntz - NYCDreamin Archives)
Despite plenty of pre-show promotion, it was clear by the time the band went on that attendance for this show would not be stellar. Only around 150 people were in the house as the band went on stage sometime around 10:30pm, give or take. But it was clear also that the band had every one of those people's full and undivided attention pretty much from go, starting off with a rollicking show opener of "Hey You!"
After putting The Gorgeous One on the spot with a question about which CD the next song appeared on, the band set off into a somewhat lackadaisical sounding rendition of "Shake You Up." Not really sloppy, just...loose-er sounding than usual.
By the end of the song, The Oddfathers backbone powerhouse Mr. Cook had already smashed his snare, necessitating a replacement be brought up before the third song of the set could commence. Brynn said it, "He's the best, folks, you heard it here." Then they went right into the swaggering "Chasing Saving Grace" and that seemed to snap the guys all back together into a bit tighter feel than they had achieved in the previous song.
After brief introductions to the rest of the band while they got ready to play the next number, Brynn stepped to his center stage mic and strummed a few chords and sang a few words from a song that I would guess not too many in the room knew. Maybe three or four people did. I was almost peeing my pants though, looking at the Gorgeous One across the room to see if she was recognizing it too. She looked back at me and I could tell from her smile that she knew. The song was "Change." It's an old Flipp tune. Very special to hear any of that stuff whenever it rears its head occasionally. And then, without warning, it was right into a smashing performance of what is probably my all time favorite Oddfathers song, "Don't Say You're Lonely." And they totally killed it! Near the end of the song, Dan steps forward and unleashes a blistering solo, his guitar tone sounding just...white hot. It was great. As I said above, comfort zone achieved.
The next number, "The Automatic Man," is a dirty little ditty about some anonymous lady's favorite, pleasure inducing, night-stand dwelling secret "friend." So bad! With the vibrating guitars near the ending and all, it's all about the innuendo folks. And the groove. Plenty of that, laid down at almost obscenely loud levels all night I might add, by stage-right occupant Krys "Vino" Baratto who's presence on that stage is always smooth and ice-cool and should never, ever be understated.
The band didn't hesitate a second before finishing "Automatic Man" and tearing right into "Great Big Dummy," a fast paced, silly kind of rocker that people seem to enjoy. Then, taking things down a notch, Brynn introduced the song "Bleecker Street," an ode to the many now gone record shops that used to dot the streets of the Lower East Side New York City neighborhood that the song derives its name from. Just a few days after this show, word came from a few friends in New York that yet another record shop was closing.
Having slowed it down for just a few minutes for that sad but true tale, it was time to take it right back up to eleven and let loose some real rock and roll. "Whisper In My Ear," one of the harder rocking songs in the bands repertoire, followed. The whole band looks to be having a total blast as they cruise easily through what is as good of classic rock song as you're going to find anywhere. One that should be heard by so many more people. Could be huge! I still fuckin' believe it! I've been screaming it at the top of my digital online lungs here for three-plus years now since before they even played a show! This band...something special! By this point in the show I was thinking that it was really, really good news they were not calling it quits just yet. This, despite the fact that a trio of "Happy Retirement" balloons tied to the custom built Brynnco speaker cabinets on stage-right, said differently.
I kind of knew we were probably nearing the end of the show when Brynn called our mutual pal Mr. Mark Skaar up on stage. Mark had made the trip up from Iowa for the show and I think he was plenty surprised to hear himself being called up to the stage. After hugs all around, he was invited to kick through a spirited cover of Kiss' 1974 debut album track "Let Me Go rock N Roll." This was really cool and fun to see, Mark has been among the most hardcore and vocal supporters of The Oddfathers for some years now. He gets it. He is true "Family." And he rocked it like a pro! Nice job Mark! *A friend of Mark's who was there to check out the band (her first time seeing them) captured the moment on video.
Sticking in their "covers mode" for an additional few minutes, the band pulled up their very cool Prince/Replacements/Lynyrd Skynyd medley of "Purple Rain" / "Can't Hardly Wait"/ "Free Bird." I don't think, when they originally put this thing together last year for their appearance at the Twins game, that they thought they would still be playing it a year and a half later as part of their regular set, but it is really cool, it goes over well with audiences, and so it stays. I quite enjoy it myself, and they've never seem to play it exactly the same way twice.
And then, all too soon as is always the case when we see The Oddfathers, it was time for the final song, one more blast of spirited rock and roll from the best-dressed rock and roll foursome in Minneapolis. They had this entire room at attention now and they were about to finish them off with the first song that I ever heard by the band, played on a radio broadcast a few years back, a song that has been closing the show for most of the bands live performances since those first shows some years ago now, "Another Tear Goes Dry."
This band never disappoints. And with the final notes of the final song of the night fading, "Retirement" didn't seem to be much on anyone's minds at all. I was already wondering when and where the next show was gonna be and if we're gonna be able to make it? Nothing has been announced just yet, but something should be...and soon I would think. As soon as we get a date, we'll pass that along right here at TATSOL of course. And you can always keep track of all the latest goings-on with The Oddfathers guys on their Facebook page HERE.
Post-show, the band and a group of about twenty friends, fans and crew slipped away down to the "Hospitality Suite" located in the basement. A comfortable enough room, there were plenty of seats for everyone and a table full of food and drinks that were on offer for anyone who was interested. The band, still high on the energy of the show, good-naturedly chummed around with this group, signing some autographs, posing for some photos, having a lot of laughs. At one point everyone in the room snuggled up nice and close on one end of the room for a few group photos. I believe you can see those on the bands Faceboook page. After that just the guys sat at the other end of the room in some folding chairs, mugging for another quick round of photos snapped by multiple shooters.
By now, the hour was getting a bit late. It seemed things in the "hospitality suite" could go on for any length of time. We faced a longer than usual drive back home, in a "new" car at that, so we said our goodbyes and made our way out of the room and back up the stairs, leaving the good times and the laughter of friends at a party for a "Retirement" that really wasn't...still echoing behind us.
So stay tuned...there is indeed more to come from The Oddfathers.
And of this, we are quite pleased.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
An End Of Summer Tradition Continues! 09/12/15 Sights and Sounds from "The Barn Party 2015" @ Stillwater, MN
Let me start here by first saying that there is not much in this world that would keep me from attending an Ace Frehley show when he is within reasonable travelling distance as he was just two weeks ago. Not much at all. And...it was a good thing that we had already had the opportunity to see him in Clear Lake, IA back on July 5th or this would have been an even more difficult choice for us to make.
On one hand, announced back in Spring, the big two-day "Grand Rocktember III" festival at Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN - featuring a lineup including the aforementioned coolest man on the planet, Mr. Ace Frehley, along with the likes of Twisted Sister (doing their final show of 2015), L.A. Guns, Great White, Skid Row, Lita Ford, Tom Keifer and more. We actually began making plans to attend this almost immediately after it was announced. But...we wisely held off on purchasing tickets figuring there was no real rush on the matter.
And then...the date and band lineup were announced for "Barn Party 2015. The Oddfathers, The Hypstrz, You and Who's Army, Deb Brown Band/Blonde Faith. Same great lineup as last year essentially. The date? 09/12. The very same Saturday as the Ace show at Grand Rocktember. No!! Shit! How could this happen?!? Talk about worst case scenarios! I thought my head would explode upon learning the reality of this situation.
A semi-private, for-those-in-the-know kind of party, held in a big, beautiful old barn located on a property just outside of Stillwater, MN, "The Barn Party" always brings together a large cross-segment of the Twin Cities area music scene and a lot of people that surround and support said scene in various ways - collaborative associates, fans, friends, family. "The Barn Party" has been taking place here each summer for literally decades now. We first got wind of this whole thing just after the 2013 edition, and it was made clear to us by a friend in the know that we had to be there the following year. It sounded like a do not miss kind of event, so we went. And it was as advertised...a real "barn burner" if you will. (Click HERE to read our review of Barn Party 2014.) Great music. Hanging with friends. Making new ones. We had a total blast and vowed to make a return trip this summer.
So it was with some degree of difficulty that we stuck to that decision. On Saturday, September 12, The Gorgeous One and I were up and on our way to Barn Party 2015. We would have to settle for getting reports of how great The Ace was from some of our friends who were going to be at the Rocktember Festival. And we could always watch video from the show on Youtube after the fact. Not quite the same, but what are you gonna do?
(Photos and video: NYCDreamin Archives - unless otherwise noted)
After making the roughly one-hour drive out to Stillwater, we pulled in around 2:30pm, among the first to arrive. Our friend "Deuce," who we met at Barn Party 2014, spotted us driving in and told us to go look for his car in the parking area in the field just down from the barn. It wasn't too difficult to find. During the next few hours this field would slowly fill in with cars, trucks and campers, bringing a few hundred like-minded people out to enjoy some end-of-summer revelry and lots of great live Minnesota-style rock and roll.
In no real hurry to get up to the Barn, and wanting to take full advantage of the beautiful weather the afternoon had to offer, Deuce, his girlfriend Lisa, The Gorgeous One and myself set up a small circle of chairs and visited for some time while listening to a playlist that ranged from Blue Oyster Cult and Deep Purple to Icon and Mercyful Fate. More people continued to arrive and we greeted some of them as they drove further into the parking area to set up their own little camps for the evening. At one point while we were tossing around the idea of getting some food together, we noticed that a group of five hot-air balloons were flying overhead, their occupants no doubt looking down at us all and wondering what the hell we were up to exactly.
As the day passed into the late afternoon, we decided it was probably as good a time as any to get some food cooked up and have a bite to eat before the music got underway up in the Barn. We unpacked the grill and got that set up and going and a few minutes later we were grilling up a bunch of well seasoned cheese burgers, the smoke from our grill nearly choking out the very understanding guys parked next to us in the process.
Baked beans, a few bags of Doritos, cold Cokes and ice water rounded out our modest little feast. Deuce and Lisa had come prepared as well, bringing their own burgers and brats that they threw on the grill. So we wound up with some extra burgers and as we ate up what we could, we offered the extras to anyone and everyone who walked by. For a while there were no takers, but then, soon enough all of them had disappeared. We were just happy to be able to share the extras.
Meanwhile, The Steve Kenny Trio with Ted Olsen and Miguel Hurtado kicked things off up in the barn, providing a nice pleasant backing soundtrack for our dining and conversation down in the parking area. Although we could hear them just fine, we didn't see any of their set directly. Thankfully, Tom Wigren was already up there, getting some of their set on video!
(Video: Tom Wigren)
After sitting back and continuing our quite random discussions for a bit after our meal, we decided it was finally about time to take a wander up to the Barn and check out what was happening up there. It was still relatively early in the grand scheme of things. People were still arriving but things were definitely getting underway.
Groups of people were meeting up all over the place and lots of laughter could be heard amidst snippets of conversation as we walked around. The Steve Kenny Trio had finished up by this point and a bunch of people were getting things changed over and set up for the next band. We wandered around a bit, keeping an eye open for people we knew, taking a look at some of the goings on while we waited for the band to start.
Among the first things one noticed upon entry to the barn this year? Pigs fly! O.K. One. One pig flew. In circles. For hours. Until he ran out of flying juice. But it was amusing while it lasted.
Adults will be...kids. Just inside the barn, there was a table with several B&W photocopies of the event flyer. And a few boxes of crayons. Throughout the evening people would randomly stop by and color for a few seconds or a minute or so. I wish I would have thought to stop and take photos again at the end of the night, it would be cool to see how they all turned out. I hope someone kept them.
"Suds For Slim"
The Barn Party is a definitely a BYOB kind of thing, you're certainly free to bring what you like to get you through the evening. In years passed, the local VFW or Legion (or Lions or Elks or whoever the hell it was) also provided beer and/or wine from a booth they set up. Due to some kind of local ordinance or change in the law or something, this was not a possibility this year. The Powers That Be and organizers in charge of the Barn Party overcame this obstacle by bringing out a few kegs of tap beer to quench thirsts. They also turned this circumstance into an opportunity to raise some additional funds for former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, a well loved local guy who is/was a friend and inspiration to quite a number of people in attendance. Slim and his wife have had a very hard go of things since he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2012. Since then, the local music community here has taken every opportunity to help them out when and where they can.
"Smoke For Slim"
And thanks to the generosity of others, even more cash was raised for Slim! One guy had a table set up with a bunch of custom, one-of-a-kind glass pieces and assorted other stuff for sale. He was donating 15% of each sale to the Slim Dunlap fund as well. I overheard him mention to someone that he might have been a bit "smoked up" when he made this sign for his table.
...and still the people continued to arrive. Not quite as many as the previous year it seemed to us. But with that Ace show up in Hinckley, a Tommy Stinson show in St. Paul and L.A. soul-rockers Vintage Trouble playing in Minneapolis...there was an abundance of events to choose from on this beautiful, end-of-summer evening. We just wished they had all chosen to come join us out here in Stillwater. But for those of us who were there, the fun was just really getting started.
While we waited for the Deb Brown Band to go on (while they waited for their drummer to appear) we ran into some more friends of ours, including Rich Sweson, founder of HotDealsMinnesota.com. We first met Rich at the Barn Party last year and we have found ourselves with some common friends and at a few events since then. In the course of our conversation, we mentioned our recent trip to Duluth and Rich was kind enough to offer up some useful information on rock/agate hunting locales a bit closer to home.
Figuring the band had to be almost ready by now, we excused ourselves from that particular conversation and made our way back up to the barn and found a good spot to stand and watch and listen.
The Deb Brown Band/ Blonde Faith
*For some reason when I uploaded this video a "thumbnail" was not assigned to it, Despite this, just push play like usual and it will play for you, I promise!
After watching Deb Brown and her band finish up their set we wandered back outside to get some air and to make a trip down to the car to grab some hoodies. The sun was fading fast and we could feel that the air temp, very pleasant all day, would be chilling off and quickly.
Soon enough we spotted and met up with another group of friends and for much of the next hour-plus we spent a lot of time ensconced in a comfortable old White and Green 1978 RV catching up with them and meeting some of their friends. Details of this particular little get-together shall remain as memories only for those who were part of it, you know who you are if you are reading this. Good times...as always. And, as such, unfortunately, we completely missed the next band on stage, Kurt Nelson and You and Who's Army. Thank god for Youtube so we can see at least some of what we missed.
You and Who's Army
(Video: Russ Myrman)
While we were busy visiting with still more people outside, You and Who's Army finished up their set.
Long running Twin Cities favorite garage rockers The Hypstrz were up next. We missed about the first third of their set as well. No disrespect to either of these bands, we were just really enjoying ourselves and the company we were keeping and sometimes it is really difficult to walk away from good conversation, cool stories and laughter with friends, even when the music starts. Thankfully, someone, this time Paul Lundgren, was up in the barn with video camera to capture some of the action.
(Video: Paul Lundgren)
While the Hypstrz were still blasting away, nearing mid-set on stage up in the barn, someone was busy lighting off a good number of fireworks down in the yard near the bonfire. I figured there would be only one or two, but they set off quite a few. They seemed to explode kind of low and were quite loud and fun to watch right above our heads.
(Photo: Heather Feather)
(Photo: Heather Feather)
And then there was this. Last year, someone had launched a few of these "Lantern Balloon" things after it had gotten dark out. They had looked very cool as they sailed away into the sky. Our friends Heather and Tom had managed to get one from the people who had brought them last year. At the appropriate time, it was hauled out and assembled. After a bit of preparation it was all ready to fly. Trez Cook (pictured below), nephew of Oddfathers drummer Tom Cook, did the duty of carefully holding the balloon for about 5-8 minutes as it slowly expanded with the hot air produced by the small flame at the base.
(Photo: Heather Feather)
When it was fully inflated, he gave it a gentle nudge upward and set it loose...
...as a suited-up and ready to play Oddfathers guitarist Dan Hansen and I pondered whether it could possibly start a forest fire or even burn down someone's home if it landed on a rooftop someplace. We nervously laughed off the possibility. "They wouldn't sell them if they are dangerous, right? Right?!?" Anyway, we had bigger and better things to concern ourselves with. The hour was getting late and it was nearly time for the his band to go on.
For fans of The Oddfathers, it has been a bit of a quiet and confusing year. After closing out 2014 and beginning 2015 with some months of inactivity, it was announced this spring that guitarist Casey Gooby had decided to leave the band. This was followed by rumors that the bands May gig in Albert Lea, the first to feature new guitarist Dan Hansen and keyboardist Ken Steinhardt, might be their last. Then came word that there would be more live shows, but just how many and where and when was anyone's guess. So, naturally, we were pretty excited to see they were announced and confirmed as one of the bands returning again for the Barn Party.
Coming on with a lot pent-up energy and a "ready to kick some ass" attitude, The Oddfathers took to the brilliantly lit stage and wasted no time in asserting themselves as a dominant musical force for the evening. In only their third show of this calendar year, it was evident right away that further rehearsals with Hansen and Steinhardt have paid off, the band sounding tighter and more focused than they had back in May, Steinhardt's keyboards blending in to the material much more seamlessly this time around while simultaneously adding another layer of sound exploration within. Guitarist Dan Hansen also looked and sounded quite a bit more confident and at home with his place in the band.
Deviating from the setlist (see below) just slightly, about mid-set, frontman Brynn Arens introduced his younger brother, the supremely talented Los Angeles-based graphic artist Kii Arens, in town for the Barn Party and hanging with a group of his friends on the floor, watching the show. The next thing you know, Kii and former Kik Tracee vocalist Stephen Shareaux are climbing on stage to join the band for a stomp through Kiss' 1974 classic rock anthem "Let Me Go Rock 'n' Roll." Thankfully Paul Lundgren caught this one on video!
(Video: Paul Lundgren)
This was kind of a big deal to any Flipp fans who were there to witness it, I know I was totally having a "I can't believe this is really happening" moment. For those who are unaware, Brynn and his brother Kii (who used to be known as "the world's worst guitar player" Chia Karaoke) were in a band called Flipp that some of us still have so much love for despite the fact that that band came to an abrupt end a dozen years ago already. And of course Stephen Shareaux had some brief history with Flipp in the early days of the group as well, doing vocals on an Flipp's recording of another Kiss classic, "Love Gun."
As The Oddfathers continued on with a few more of their catchy, well-crafted original songs, I noticed that it didn't seem quite as packed in with people as it had earlier in the evening, but still a good number of people remained and they offered up enthusiastic applause and encouragement after each song. The band was clearly connecting with their audience, something we always enjoy seeing them do.
As they have been doing for some time now, the band included a Purple Rain (Prince)/Can't Hardly Wait (Replacements)/Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd) medley near the end of their set, paying homage to a few "local boys done good" and to those legendary Dinosaurs of Southern Rock as well.
With the time getting late, Brynn, Tom, Ken, Dan and Krys had just a few more songs to offer up before it was time to call it an evening. They pulled up all the reserve energy they could muster and finished up strong with blazing renditions of "Eight Track Stereo" (not on the setlist)...
and "Another Tear Goes Dry."
And when their set was over and the band left the stage after taking their bows, the custom-built Brynnco speaker cabinets were still smoking and the stage was a wreck...
I was pretty certain that a good number of first timers will be joining the ranks of The Oddfathers "family" of fans and friends after this performance. They (and all the rest of you reading) will get your next chance to see the band sometime soon. There are indeed more shows upcoming. And you know that as soon as we have information on those that we will gladly pass that on to you right here at TATSOL.
Once the music stopped for the evening, a good number of people headed out for their cars in the parking lot/field area. We stuck around and visited said goodbyes to several people for a while before we too joined the exodus of those who had decided not to spend the evening. We had originally intended to stay the night, sleeping in our car. As the evening temps dipped down in to the high 40's, we decided against this, opting instead to get on it and make the just-over-an-hour return trip back home to sleep in a warm, comfy bed. Plenty of others stayed on overnight as they usually do, the party lasting well into the early AM hours no doubt.
Little did we know at the time, but this was to be the final concert adventure for us in our beloved little red 1999 Ford Escort. Long story for another time (or maybe not) but we are just very lucky that we didn't find ourselves broke down on the side of the road someplace between Stillwater and home at 2:30am. We made it home just fine and thankfully the car waited until about a week later to give up the ghost.
And...we heard that Ace totally killed it in Hinckley.
To which we can only say, "Of course he did!"
Still not enough for you?!?
Lots more photos and video on the Barn Party 2015 FB event page HERE.
...and they're already working on the next one! Maybe we'll see you there next year!
Very special thanks to the following people for the kind use of additional video
and photos: Tom Wigren - Paul Lundgren - Russ Myrman - Heather Feather.
Thanks also to Pete and Fiona Cushner for hosting another one for the history books!