Dammit. First the Twins take two of three from the Brewers, now this. When are we constructing those toll booths at the borders?
Minneapolis was beautiful this weekend. The Triple Rock Social Club is in a very nice part of town (near a college, i think), and the skies were not cloudy all day. We pulled into the parking lot to see Soundman Jason opening up the club. After unloading our gear, the remainder of the pre-show evening was spent BS'ing with Jason about fellow Milwaukeeans he knows and the Minneapolis scene (this part of the conversation was subtitled "These Damn Kids These Days Starting Bands That Suck, God"). One by one the other bands showed up and we got to meet the lovely lads of Mise en Place for the first time, including Shaun, their drummer, who invited us up in the first place and hooked up the Triple Rock for us.
Jason's words of caution: this was the best weather Minnesotans have seen all year, and there were only 12 people paid at last night's show. Therefore, expect barely any turnout as most people are chilling in their yards with lawn beers and grilled meats. Well, i can't say i'd have blamed them, since that's what i did pretty much the entire weekend when i wasn't in another state.
However, as we sat in the restaurant/bar section of the Triple Rock, taking in the unmitigated glory of the Triple Rock po' boy that the Wizard ordered (let's be clear--this was not a sandwich. This was a massive pile of potatoes, chicken, and cajun spices with two hunks of bread in the middle of the pile to offer an illusion of structure. The other bands gathered around and "ooh'd" and "ahh'd" at the pile of amazing), we soon discovered that Jason was going to be proven wrong! Before the show even started he wandered over to our table and said, "hey, we already have made more at the bar than we did all last night!" Final tally at the end of the evening, on this Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend? 91 paid.
We just have excellent luck with Sundays before Memorial Day, i think. We did one of those in Madison a few years ago and it was gangbusters.
The show itself was beyond great. Mise en Place play this great blend of indie-math rock with nice screamy, piercing guitar leads. The Slats are, of course, The Slats: fucking excellent. Their sparse Wire-like post-punk was in fine form as always. NOTE: They are heading out for a few shows in July and are hitting The Vault in Milwaukee on, i believe, July 14th or 15th. Check out their MySpace for the dates and hit that shit. You will not be disappointed, especially when they launch into their amazing freestyle political raps. No, i'm serious. It's awesome and not the least bit cheesy whiteboy.
As we set up to play in the middle slot, all i could think about was how Shaun had spent so much time building us up on stage, saying it was an "honor" to play with us, and all this really flattering stuff that basically led me to think, "Oh, shit, we'd better bring it." We set the tone early by soundchecking our vocal mics with INXS lyrics, and then launched into the "Defenestrate Me/Paulding Light" twofer to kickstart things. People went BIZONKERS. We've had entertaining shows in Minneapolis before and played to decent responses, but this was crazy. Get this: people were laughing at our banter. Wtf. I think this was partially because when i explained that one of the songs was called "Black Holes Resonate in B-Flat (Baby)," Jason started conversing with us from the sound board, saying stuff like "wait, are you serious? They do? Holy SHIT. You guys have blown my mind. No, wait, tell me more about this." Meanwhile we're waiting to start the next song and he's all "i have to know more." What's to know, dude? 50 octaves below human hearing! Look it up!
I think when it's all said and done, we're gonna get a LOT of mileage out of that song. Let this be a lesson, kids: songs about love and relationships and feelings are LAME. Songs about nerd shit get people talking.
Mise en Place, being the generous, amazing dudes they are, donated their share of the door to us, which resulted in us being able to triple the band fund after gas (no, the band fund didn't start with much). After an extended post-show schmoozefest, in which apparently a few people told Yale that we were the next Brainiac (a sentiment i write off to excessive alcohol intake and the fact that i dedicated "Black Holes" to Timmy Taylor in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of his death last week) and the booking agent explained that he missed our set, but based on what people were saying about us he wanted us to come back soon and could he get our contact info and a CD?, Shaun hopped into our van to drunkenly navigate us back to his gorgeous home in Edina to crash for a few hours before we had to get the Wizard back to Milwaukee for work.
This is where things get a bit embarrassing for Shaun, and if i were a nicer person, i'd probably stay silent, but fuck it, it's funny. After pulling over twice to allow Shaun to throw up, we made it to his place, where we met his incredibly excited dog, Paul Stanley, and where he and his wife had set up spare rooms for us to sleep in for the night. We never found the spare rooms because Shaun went to the bathroom and inadvertantly stayed there. In the morning as he saw us off, he explained that he woke up on the bathroom floor with his dog licking his face and his glasses in the toilet. I immediately regretted not owning a decent digital camera for about the fifth time this month.
Shaun, do not be embarrassed. Thom from white, wrench, conservatory is still plotting revenge on me for what i did to his bathroom on New Year's Eve. We've all been there, sport.
After an uneventful drive home i crashed for four hours, then went back to (HiFi practice compound and Wizard abode) the Church of Murray for Memorial Day grilling and illegal firepit. For once, the weather even on Memorial Day itself (which is normally rainy and miserable in Wisconsin) was nice. I couldn't have scripted the weekend better. No, not even if we had gotten to play Shaun's copy of Guitar Hero II.