33rd ANNUAL JOHN LENNON TRIBUTE and MN Beatle Project Vol. 4 Release Party
Presented by 89.3 THE CURRENT and CITY PAGES
The Minnesota Beatle Project is a collaborative effort on behalf of the Minnesota music industry to provide support for music and art programs in Minnesota public schools. The albums feature esteemed MN-born-or-based musicians performing originally arranged compositions of their favorite Beatles songs. The album also features Minnesota public school student bands that have been recipents of Vega donations, as well as album artwork created by by students in Minnesota public schools. 100% of net proceeds from The Minnesota Beatle Project are used to rebuild and enhance music and art education for children in Minnesota public schools. Minnesota Beatle Project funding has provided the opportunity for more than 25,000 students to participate in music and art programs statewide.
During the intermission:
A Minnesota Beatle Project Showcase featuring Vol. 4 artists
John Mark Nelson, Big Trouble, and Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers
Minnesota Beatle Project CDs and LPs will be available for purchase at this show.
Born at the exact moment the age of Aquarius dawned, the enigma known as Curtiss A began his not-yet ended trip to nowhere. Named after a 20th century Minneapolis downtown landmark , the Curtis Hotel, Curt’s just glad his Dad wasn’t facing south or he’d be Lemington A. His Mama was a Lewis so he always felt an affinity to “Uncle” Jerry. Curt hints at the possible assignation with Carl Perkins when she waitressed at the Flame. He’s also fond of that old chestnut about Dave Dudley drying out in the basement in the Moorhead before he could tour behind “Six Days”. “I was fascinated by Little Richard and Bo Diddley and all the other giants of my wonder years.”
Curt’s first band was the FIENDISH THINGIES (after a George Harrison “Help” quote) in Oklahoma City 1966. “First Gig, first joint, first UFO all in one night”. The first band that meant anything to anyone was WIRE. Formed in 1969, they lasted through numerous personnel changes until 1973. The boys took a year off and reformed as THUMBS UP (Gary Rue’s idea) and once again lasted about three years, with numerous permutations, one of which was christened SPOOKS. The band collided with the new wave and became the springboard for the entertainment machine known as CURTISS A. Slim Dunlap and Frank Berry provided the sturdy skeletons. Slim became the replacement Replacement and Frank recorded “She Got Sex” with the PISTONS.
Mark Goldstein had been in SKOGIE and the FLAMING PACHUCOS with Rick Moore (the provider of Demi’s surname), but returned to the Midwest after a bad experience on the coast. He enlisted the SUICIDE COMMANDOES and Curt (As Buzz Barker) to record the “underground hit” “Land of the Free”. “I Don’t Wanna Be President” continued in the political rant vein. Three LPs were recorded for Twin Tone during the 80s, the highlight of which was the last, A Scarlet Letter, produced by “Big” Al Anderson (while he was in NRBQ). The next LP was to have been produced by Peter Holsapple and the dBs, but life got in the way. “We did two small East coast jaunts together. Really a good memory”. Peter became quite busy as R.E.M.’s utility player. Family tragedy caused Curt to retire for a year until Bongo coaxed him out of his self-imposed exile.
Since then, he’s done the Lennon Tribute annually and several iconic Elvis shows represented by live CDs. Two hard to find, out-of-print CDs also exist, legendary Over at Slims and Make it Big (recorded at the late Gary Snow’s Cathouse Studio R.I.P.). Currently performing in town.
Over the past decade, it has only gotten easier for artists to upload music and potentially get it out to a mass of strangers on the web. As there are more and more musicians employing these techniques every day, standing out is a challenge, but 18-year-old folkie John Mark Nelson has been scooped out of the Bandcamp fray. Nelson's popular trajectory has more to do with a pleasantly constructed presence on the web -- with the all-important "Minneapolis" tag -- than a lengthy run in local clubs. So far, anyhow. According to his Facebook page, rehearsals are in the works for full-band performances leading up to the release of his second full-length, Waiting and Waiting, out in August.
The two songs from that album have garnered the approval of 89.3 FM the Current staffers Andrea Swensson, who did a piece on Nelson in May, and Jon Schober, who just recently wrote about "Reminisce," the second song to emerge from this upcoming batch of songs. "There is now no doubt in my mind that John Mark will be one of the most talked about local musicians during the latter half of this year," he writes. And this will certainly be the case on their station as we get closer to an on-air performance July 8. This fresh graduate of Minnetonka High, who is heading to McNally Smith College of Music in the fall, is indeed worth some level of fuss in these early steps in his career. In the case of "Reminisce," you have a bank of harmonies as rich (or richer) as the Fleet Foxes', and an attention to detail in the crafting of the arrangement that some vets can never master fast enough to keep pace. In short, Nelson's songs already sound like they belong alongside the mainstays of the indie-folk up-swell currently figuring into our daily lives on radio, commercials, movies, and certainly spilling out of live music venues of all sizes. [Reed Fischer, City Pages]
Let's be frank: Big Trouble took a kind of cavalier attitude towards '07. But a new year brings new things, and believe me: '08 belongs to Big Trouble. and Barack Obama. Let me just reiterate: Big Trouble is a place where dreams come true. We're not demanding. We're not "high maintenance." We're flexible, fun, and generally down for whatever. Want to enjoy some instrumental music, including sly covers of Death Cab for Cutie, The Zombies, Bjork, and Angelo Badalamenti, plus originals? We got you covered. Need a band that can ably back any kind of artist, from singer/songwriter Rob Skoro to rapper P.O.S.? We got that, too.
How about some original music with some original words from Alexei Casselle aka Crescent Moon of Kill the Vultures and Roma di Luna. Damn, man, we've already recorded an EP like that, and it's coming out March 6 on Afternoon Records. In short, we're coming to your town (if you live in Minneapolis or Saint Paul), but we're not coming to tear it down. We'll just be over here, blowing your mind softly. When not being in big trouble, the members of Big Trouble play with Heiruspecs, Joanna James, Martin Devaney, Jessy Greene, Supreme Privacy, and some other people. They've been joined onstage by Robert Skoro, Bill Caperton, Annie from Awesome Snakes/Soviettes, Ben Weaver, Stook, P.O.S. and I think that's about it. They also sometimes play basketball. Guys you like from bands you love playing songs you know without the crappy words in the bars you drink at in the cities you sleep in. The Twin Cities are in Big Trouble.
Rising from the snowdrifts and frozen lakes of Minneapolis comes Molly Maher & her Disbelievers, carving out a place for themselves with cinematic visions of love lost and found with landscapes filled with real timeless roots music. Using Molly's plaintiff vocals and honest writing, she makes the highway seem lonesome at first, but armed with lush guitar hooks and driving rhythms, she'll never let you lose your way.
THE DISBELIEVERS - Maher’s backing band is made up of a stellar crew of musicians. It’s a sweet blend of folk, bluesy, electric-organified and country-fried rock. Disbelievers include but are not limited to: Erik Koskinen, Paul Bergen, Steve Murray, Richard Medek, Frankie Lee, Javier Trejo, Peter Sands, Dave Dahl, Brett Brdas, and Billy Hawn.
Molly has toured nationally with acclaimed singer-songwritter Marlee MacLeod as her bass player and opening act. She took on the Great Lakes in the Fat Lip folk/blues trio, Hookhead & Mare. She has played the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, the Zephyr Club in Salt Lake City, Uncommon Ground in Chicago, the Engine Room in Athens, Georgia, Shim Sham Club in New Orleans, Ground Zero in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and back up the river to her hometown, Minneapolis at the Turf Club, First Avenue, and Lee’s Liquor Lounge. She has shared the stage with a diverse group of national acts, including Los Lobos, Michelle Shocked, Ralph Stanley, Richard Buckner, Marc Cohen, the Waco Brothers, Hot Club of Cowtown, Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Charlie Parr.