Saturday, March 22, 2014

331 Club 3/20/14

It was the first day of Spring on Thursday. Finally. Although, the lows are back in the single digits for the next few days, so it hardly feels like it. But Thursday was 40+ degrees and sunny and I played a show to celebrate at the 331 Club - one of my very favorite venues to play.

Mary Bue opened the night. She's a fantastic singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist from Duluth. Really lovely voice and songs.

This was a different set-up for me as I was joined for pretty much the entire show by my friends Laura and Colleen Borgendale. They sang back up. It was just and my acoustic (and my uke). It was our first time filling a whole set with just the three of us and it was a lot of fun. Singing with others is fun. And these two harmonize so effortlessly.

Setlist for 331 Club 3/20/14
  • Minnesota
  • The Party
  • Lens
  • I Wanna Know
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Here
  • A Story
  • Letting Go
  • Blue Whale
  • Yesterday
  • Adore
  • For the Time Being
  • Cast a Spell

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Miley Cyrus at Xcel Energy Center 3/10/14

My friend was given free tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert on Monday. So we went.

I have not been quiet about my absolute love for Miley's song "We Can't Stop". I love pop music and I get incredibly frustrated with people who are so quick to dismiss a good pop song because the person singing it didn't write it or is song by some sort of "pop tart". I understand just not liking a song. There is a lot of music a lot of people love that I just don't understand. But the dismissal I hear about Miley has less to do with her songs and more to do with her sticking her tongue out all of the time and being "raunchy". Which is stupid. As I know most of those same people adored Madonna back in the day when she was the raunchy one, slithering around in a sexed up wedding dress on the floor of the MTV Video Music Awards.


I'm also not going to lavish praise on Miley's catalog of songs because there is a lot of shit there. A lot. But when my friend and I posted on Facebook that we were going to this show - or free, people were perplexed. Why? Why would you do something like that??? I thought you had good taste in music. 

Why? Why would we? Because it's fun. And it was so much fun.

Our tickets were in a suite pretty close the stage. There was free beer and food. The night was already off to a good start.

Then Miley appeared...

 ...out of an image of her own face on a tongue slide.

From the very first moment this show was all about the fun. The raunch levels that people were so aghast about were so very minimal. To me, she seemed like a woman completely self-aware about the image she partially created and has had partially built up around her by everyone else. On the giant screen at the back of the stage, during costume changes and dance interludes, were videos seemingly mocking her own image. Lots of tongue sticking out.

Miley herself appeared confident and in charge. She owned the stage. She entertained. Yes, she did it in high-cut leotards, but so what? Yes she grabbed her crotch a few times, but so what? So did Michael Jackson and Madonna. So do countless other male pop stars. I spent my tween years lusting after 20-something New Kids on the Block members literally thrusting their crotches in the faces of teenage (and younger) girls much to the delight of said girls and their mothers. Where was the uproar?

I was only familiar with three of Miley's songs going into the show: "We Can't Stop", "Wrecking Ball", and "Party in the USA" - though the latter I'd only heard maybe once - and all of these songs came in at the encore. But I still enjoyed the show. She did play a series of covers on a smaller stage: Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe", Outkast's "Hey Ya", Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and another I was not familiar with and they were fairly decent stripped down covers. She really can sing. I think it would benefit her greatly to sing more softly and play with her voice a little more, but the music she sings doesn't really allow for that.

The show was one big spectacle for sure, but I mean that in a good way. At one pointed I tweeted that I felt like I was in a bag of skittles. Bright colors bouncing along everywhere. Puppets and dancing. It was ridiculous, in the best way.

Dancing puppets.

I left the show liking Miley Cyrus more than I did when I got there, which really is the point of a live show (and it was live - did I mention that? There was no doubt her vocals were live). And after a very tough couple of weeks that I keep meaning to write about but I just don't have the energy to summarize, it was exactly what I needed.

You see her rollin', you be hatin'.

On the big screen, completely covered.

She requested we turn our phones into flashlights. I don't know how to do that. Looked cool, though.

Giant dog statue. Because she can't be tamed.

Pre-encore departure via giant hotdog.

"Party in the USA" grand finale.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kitty Cat Klub 3/8/14

Last night I played a set at the Kitty Cat Klub for Savannah Smith's Pledge Music Launch Party. I played solo. It has been forever since I played solo. Needless to say I was a bit nervous. But I pulled out some old songs and some brand new never before played live ones and that is always fun. I even brought the uke along.

Savannah Smith is an amazing uke playing singer/songwriter with the most dearest voice. She has an EP our that you should definitely check out and stay tuned for her album. This is the first song recorded for it and it is amazing.

I always enjoy playing with Martin Devaney. He's just a classic. Good songs. Good stage vibe. Good guy.

As always, totally appreciate my husband for coming to my shows and taking all of the pictures.

My next show is March 20th at the 331 Club. First day of Spring! And we are going to celebrate. Mary Bue will be playing some songs and I will have the lovely Colleen and Laura singing with me. I really hope to see you there!

Setlist for Kitty Cat Klub 3/8/14
  • Leave (first time played!)
  • Letting Go (first time played!)
  • Can't Even Tell
  • The Party
  • The Paul Simon Song
  • Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
  • Introvert
  • Adore
  • Thursday
  • Cohabitate
  • For the Time Being