Sunday, July 28, 2002

Hi Robot Wars:

Sorry for non-updates. I'm feeling sad about leaving Minneapolis. I haven't told you half the stuff that happened here cuz I was having too much fun, staying out late and drinking too much.

Many pilgrimages to the sacred places: First Ave./7th St. Entry; the Red Dragon; the Turf Club; Nye's Pollonaise Room (best lounge in the world, with gold sparkle booths shaped like pianos); Lee's Liquor Lounge.

Lee's is a roadhouse/hipster/white trash place where you're dancing between four swingy 32-year-old office chicks and a drunk homeless Indian guy (you're supposed to say "Indian" here, dunno why). That guy Dan from Soul Asylum goes there a lot. They have beer in bottles and cans, a stuffed jaguar, a giant swordfish, a collection of Elvis statues and a bunch of JFK shit. The night I went, the World's Best Cover Band played, Two Tickets to Paradise.

When I say they are the world's best cover band, I mean it.

Not only are they a real band of actual musicians, they also do wacky intuitive medleys. They have the good sense to play "Jesse's Girl" followed by "My Best Friend's Girlfriend." But then they mix up songs that shouldn't fit but are connected by one thing: a bass line, a rhythm, an attitude. ("Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" + "Tubthumping" + Smashmouth's "Rock Star." Or "Comfortably Numb" + "Hotel California" + "Suicide Is Painless.") It's kind of sick.

They play T. Rex's sorta-rarity "Raw Ramp," including the prelude where he sings, "We got drunk on the day like a-hit was wine."

They are obsessives and nostalgists but they have no reverence, and no cynicism. That's a neat trick.

Their last song of the evening was "Can't Hardly Wait" and the bar lit up, including the aging ex-frat boys, singing all the words and swinging their bottles. Everyone knew that song by heart but me.

The lead singer, Mike, is moving to L.A. like half of Minneapolis, so it was specially sweet to see one of their final shows. I played tambourine on "Maggie Mae" and they christened me with my own band member name, Peggy DiCarlo.

Then the other night I went to my Minneapolis Ye Rustic Inn: the Red Dragon.

Someone played "Jane Says" on the jukebox. I hear more Jane's Addiction at the Red Dragon than in L.A. Then they played "Californication."

All this, and more, is why I love this place. It is eternally open to music. It just wants to have a good time.

Maybe cuz of the weather, people get it that you got to get it while you can.

Like my friend PJ: When he was in high school, he and his buddies got in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing foozball for two weeks straight.

He said it wasn't half as hard as touring.

His band's first gig was at New Band Night at the Longhorn, the same night the Replacements had their first gig. He didn't watch their set though because after his band played they went backstage and drank heavily.

PJ's moving to LA too.

Got to get it while you can, babies.

Go get it.

I gotta go get it.

I'll shut the fuck up now.



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