So The Wife was in St. Paul on a Friday night. She was there to pick me up and bring me back home. Home to a place where I get to live out fully half of my life, all in the confines of two days. But somewhere, in between those two lives, we managed to wedge in just a small slice of our own this night. And what we did with that time …Well, after dinner at Gandhi Mahal (outstanding!) near Lake St. and 27th Ave. And a sunset with friends on their new deck… It was Shaw's Bar in Nordeast Minneapolis for Blues.
I haven't really gotten out much in my past weeks of work as I live out this weird half life in St. Paul. Usually there are some kind of errands to be done. Possibly contrived missions, sent from home with the intent of keeping me out of the bars. Anyway, schemed or not, I had been keeping fairly busy every evening. Then suddenly in this past couple of weeks I have gotten out to see several shows.
A long time area favorite band has undergone a change. Volume One winner for the past seven years of the people's choice, _Best Blues Band of the Chippewa Valley_, Mojo Lemon has had a major personnel change. Recreating themselves and rebranding the band name to "Mojo" they are developing a new sound. I can't give them an unequivocal thumbs up. But, I was happy with what I got.
A few weeks ago I was seeing some blues in Nordeast Minneapolis on a rare Friday night in the city. That night it was Howard Luedke playing at Shaws Bar and of course it was a great show. But that night I was also talking to people. Telling them that I was usually in the city on Tuesday nights. I was complaining to them that there was no live music to see. One woman, corrected though. Telling me there was great music every Tuesday night, I just wasn't looking in the right spot. I tell you what, it didn't take me much to rise to that challenge.
There is nothing I like more than walking into a place far away and seeing one of our local bands at a big city venue. I think it is cool when a band from here can be seen on a far away stage so I try to never miss it. Tonight it was Howard Guitar Ludtke and his band Blue Max on stage in front of a packed crowd at Shaws Bar in Minneapolis. A great show on a warm night with spring in the air.
This year was Decadent Cabaret #36, the weather was nice, the roads were clear and the bar was packed with people. For thirty six years people have been attending this amazing, one of a kind indoor music festivals. I have never seen anything like it. A band starts. Sings about four songs and then they tear down and setup another band. In about fifteen or twenty minutes they have another band ready to go. You can see a lot of music in one night. It is also billed as a night of fishnet, and I was happy to see a fair amount of it in the crowd.
Last weekend I published a bunch of stuff I had written earlier in the month and it caused a bit of uproar after I said a band hadn't been paid by a bar. My comments seemed to set off a bit of a Facebook tsunami and made me feel like I really should respond in some way. So to start off, here is the un-edited thread as it was posted on facebook.