Rachel Hanson at the 331 Club

Rachel Hanson on stage at 331 Club in Minneapolis.

A couple of times, back about three years ago, I caught the solo act of a super shy young girl named Rachel Hanson at the Sheeley House bar in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin.  Even then I could see the potential through the shyness.  I remember wishing at the time that I could see her in a few years.  Well it has been a few years and my Facebook told me I had an opportunity.  A Tuesday night of music and here I am at the 331 Club in Nord East Minneapolis.   I was not disappointed.

La Grolla Restaurant on Cathedral Hill

I was casting about a little bit this Thursday evening.  I was thinking some of hitting an Italian restaurant I found online down by the Mall of America.  It seemed like a long way to go though for an unknown.  I found a couple of them in south Minneapolis but didn’t feel I had $ufficient fund$.  I needed to look a little under my own nose.  Just a little over two miles’ walk, up cathedral hill.  It was a beautiful night for a walk, with a promise of a good meal once there.

American Hitmen at Jimmy's Juke Joint

We decided to go out for music one, and only one night this weekend.  In the end we decided to make it Friday night.  As we were walking out to the car I was thinking that the choice would be to see Bumblefist down at O’Leary’s in Eau Claire.  But then as we rolled out of town I just pointed us north.  It is a bit of a drive, but on stage at Jimmy’s was a national act.  American Hitmen on a U.S. tour and a free show at Jimmy’s.  This just seemed too good to pass up.

[This was in my "Unfinished" folder.  Even a lower grasp of the language must be presumed]

Hollywood Undead at First Avenue

Hollywood Undead on stage at First Avenue in Minneapolis

It was a case of buying the tickets so long ago it was sort of surreal the date had finally arrived.  In downtown Minneapolis, the bar First Avenue was playing host to Hollywood Undead with of course special guests.  It was a Tuesday night show, so The Wife was likely to be free to come to the city.  Close to our anniversary.   It seemed like a great time and as it turned out it was.   The weather was perfect.  A little dinner after the show.  A superb night in the big city.

Crush at O'Leary's Bar & Grill

We had already committed to go to Eau Claire for the night to see some music.  We wanted to see Layne Yost’s all John Denver concert at the Unitarian Church, but that was an early show so I was casting around to see what else was going on.   Really there was a whole lot of nothing.  Oktoberfest in Chippewa Falls, and a couple of other end of year flings in other close by towns and most of the bars seemed like they took a bye-night on having a band.  What I did find though was the band Crush playing at O’learys.  We found them to be an unexpectedly good time.

Layne Yost covers John Denver

Layne Yost with Jon Shimoda on stage at Unitarian Church

Saturday night the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Eau Claire played host to a special fund raising concert for the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.  It was Layne Yost playing the songs of John Denver.   It was a concert Layne has played a couple of times already in the area and I managed to miss them both.  I really didn’t want to miss this, because it is a special event concert, who knows, maybe it will be the final performance.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Layne’s voice, great guitar playing, Jon Shimoda on bass in an acoustically wonderful place to hear them.  I was glad I was there!

Halestorm at The Myth

I think it was about three in the afternoon when my Facebook started to light up.  Friends expressing remorse that they were not in St. Paul.   What?  I’m in St. Paul and bored to tears.  What the hell is going on?  Why do people want to be here?  It wasn’t until my friend The Fan posted that I had some actual details.  She was on day two of what turned out to be a three day recovery from food poisoning and was going to miss her all time favorite female performer.   The Fan is never wrong about a show.  Her politics on Facebook maybe another story, but a show never.  I had to go.

Woodshop at Mears Park

Two days of hot and muggy with only a day of transition to sweatshirt weather and dry.  But if you were wearing that sweatshirt, it was a beautiful day to sit outdoors.  Today at Mears Park in downtown St. Paul was just such a day.  In the band shell a mixed three piece band, guitar, drums and a guy who seemed to revolve around the harmonica, washboard and Kazoo.   So with some sunshine and oldtimey blues, my lunch hour was a pretty enjoyable thing.


If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism. 

Hunter S. Thompson