4-2-2015 Frogleg @ Bunker’s mpls

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It’s a dream come true waiting to happen when you think about the funky future of my fave band out there Frogleg. In my seasoned years of listening to & dancing to live music scenery, I’ve never been more excited about an emerging rising star on our beloved scene.

As for this enchanted evening, there was something in the air it seemed. It was as if everyone knew that Frogleg was gonna blazingly bedazzle the trip taking lucid cosmic seeds of the universe celestial.  And then, of course, it happened.

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The spirited seething robust crowd kept growing all night while the Fleg continued to escalate & intensify their every freaking groove & funktastic voyage. The high friendly energy giving vibe was an absolute high in itself.

What unfolded at Bunker’s turned out to be what I believe to be one of Frogleg’s best ever shows of their mindblowing mere 3 years so far as a young band. This over the top talented group moves me like I had never dreamed possible.  My often daring dancemoves have never been more passionate & sincere.

The first sizzling dizzying set was fully fraught with mostly original delicacies like inspired ramble sandwich of “Blessed” > “Lonesome & a long way from home” > “Blessed”, wonderful flowing originals “The Vines”, “Lost & Looking” & “Skyline Blues”.

2nd set bristled rampantly electric blasting open with the enigmatic “Lucy Hill” (a personal fave that I named my little red Subaru after) > Toots’ “Sweet & Dandy”, adventuresome flegstrumental “Mash Pierre”, dancefloor ragers “Valentina”, “Oak Tree Branch”, perhaps the hottest best ever blowout redition of “Little Sleep” & closing colossal & damn hard on Doors’ “Peace Frog” flegacized.

Wickedly woeful 3rd set struck wide open with “Vieques”, “Walls of the fort”, ridiculously careening “Carolina Ron”, “Longing” > Funkadelic anthem “Good Old Music”, “Up in the Blue”,  jimi fired “Manic Depression” ending the sexy exquisite night with the supernatural sultry take on “Compared to what?”  All in all, a slam dunk of soul fired funk.

4-2-15Fleglist

It’s too good of a feeling not to share when you’re excited for years simply because the band you love the most is promisingly poised to succeed spectacularly.

Are you Flegsperienced?! I see all this leading towards Frogleg’s eventual ultimate unrestrained whirled domination feeding off the frenzy of furious full force legging of the universe at large. You can quote me on that. Thanks. Freak out.

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4-1-2015 Rebirth Brass Band @ Dakota Jazz Club mpls

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Perhaps the reigning brightest star on the New Orleans brass band scene, Rebirth captures their real world culture like no other by simultaneously mobilizing dancers with their energy spawning music while bringing about the intriguing enchantment of their native city. I liken this experiential double duty phenomena to the constant converging confluence of a mighty river like our shared Mississippi.

Rebirth’s rollicking rhythmic swirling swoon of second-line street funk attracts music lovers & festive fun seekers of all walks & dances of life. Myself included. For the past 32 years, the band has simply brought their music to life on stage taking the audience along for the freewheeling wild ride. With racy anthemic signature songs like “Do whatcha wanna” & “Feel like funkin’ it up”, Rebirth lives to rock you & knock you. They’ll increase your love for brass bands & New Orleans exponentially.

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The late set at the Dakota served up fresh & funky fare hotly mingling tradition & roots with their own time stylized fantastico sound. Brazenly diving deeply into songs by Professor Longhair “Go to the Mardi Gras” & Fats Domino “Walkin’ to New Orleans”, RBB warmed up the stage for an escalation. Then comes a welcome blast of their party crazed sexy songs like the downright dirty “Casanova”, fired up “Rebirth groove”,  & booty grinder “Your mama don’t dance”. All funk broke loose at the end with dancers getting up everywhere making the whole club a big dancefloor including the stage itself. Once the band was urging the crowd on, I knew it was gonna blow up in a big bodacious fun way. Yes, it did.

Founder, tuba player & Rebirth anchor Phil Frazier aptly describes their potent mix of jazz & funk as “junk music’, which I feel pushes the soulful vibe to the point of bodily pleasure revealing an overwhelming desire to move in everybody even the musicians themselves.

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1-19-2013 The Radiators @ Tipitina’s

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No live band has ever enticed my funky soul out of my body to dance more times & in more ways than the Radiators from New Orleans.  This 2nd final show of this highly radiant Rads Reunion was nothing less than a miracle for the greater gyrating fishhead nation to behold.

Proof positive of this was seen on stage, the dancefloor & everywhere.  The magic had returned.  And it was more spectacularly pleasurable than ever.

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My mind & body blazing first set stellar apexes were the “Holiday” > “Get your rocks off” > “Holiday” wide mouth opener, passion filled “#2 Pencil”, party ode “I like my poison”, stoner swansong “Smokin’ Hole”, shiny rarity “Gimme a rainbow”, uppity “Salty Jane” & longstanding theme song “Wild & Free”.

2nd set flailing faves for me were high voltage electric “Lucinda” opener, dylaniating “You ain’t goin’ nowhere”, careening precariously “Creepin’ Vine” > “Hold back the flood” > “Doubled up in a knot” > “Love is a tangle” > “Mountain jam” > “Lonesome whistle blow” > “Chevy 39” mollifying the massive molten medley & the best dreamiest sweet love song of all time “Lovely You”.  A true Zekestarpiece.

The delectable irony flavored encores were teasingly “You can’t always get what you want”, headgasmic underground dance meltdown medley manic “Hardcore” > “Pump it up” > “Trouble comin’ every day” > “Shake your body down to the ground” > “Hardcore” & finally Zeke’s fabled “Lost what they had”.

This so happened to rank up with the best ever weekends of my whole life surrounded by my sweetest fave peeps. I thank & love all of them especially those in my closest proximity. Also wanna thank my longtime friends the Rads along with Josh & Kenny & Tip’s. On top of that, everyone who came.  Y’all freaking rule. Please come on back soon.

Frankie & me party backstage.

Frankie & me party backstage.

Notes:

Honey Island Swamp Band rockingly opened up.

Rads 01/19/2013
Tipitina’s
New Orleans, LA

The coach Dag rips & shreds.

The coach Dag rips & shreds.

Set 1:
Intro
Holiday >
Get your rocks off >
Holiday
Loup Garou (tease)
Go back
All meat (tease)
#2 pencil
I like my poison >
Where was you at?
Smokin’ Hole
Gimme a rainbow
Last Getaway
Big chief (tease) >
You can’t take it with you >
Grow fins >
Mardi gras in new orleans >
Land of 10,000 Dances
You can’t take it with you
Papaya
Let us get together (tease)
Salty Jane
Wild & Free

set 2
intro
Lucinda >
Theme from the Magnificent 7 >
Cissy Strut
Open the door poor richard (tease) >
I shall be released
You ain’t goin nowhere
Ain’t no grave (tease)
Creepin Vine >
Hold back the flood >
Doubled all up in a knot >
Love is a tangle >
Mountain jam >
Lonesome whistle blow >
Chevy 39
Love trouble (tease) >
My gal
Lovely you

encore
You can’t always get what you want
Hardcore >
Pump it up >
Trouble comin every day >
Lets dance, let’s shout, shake your body down to the ground >
Hardcore
Lost what they had

Freak advice: I strongly urge you to buy these live show downloads if you dig ’em like me & if so, you help out the Radiators as funds go to them with each sale. Thanks to Jon Hart & Eric Vandercar for recording, mix, etc.

Link: 1-18-2013 Radiators @ Tipitina’s (livedownloads)

Link: 1-19-2013 The Radiators @ Tipitina’s (livedownloads)

 

There’s stealth vids of all 4 sets shared by Special Agent #69. Here’s the finale one, the rest are easy to find.  Enjoy.

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1-18-2013 The Radiators @ Tipitina’s

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At the time, one of my fondest dreams was wildly coming true as the Radiators (my fave freaking band of all time) was getting back together at our beloved home court Tipitina’s for 2 nights of their stupendously unpredictable greased up fluid driven fishhead cocktail music. Alas, this was upon us.  And subsequently we were on top of it.

The Rads, who actually rehearsed (possibly a first in their 33 & 1/3 years together), came out completely swinging leaving not a trace of doubt that they went out on top & were back fully freshened nastily with their epic electrifying display of their deepest hottest blazing music that has been the soundtrack to so many of our lives for decades.

The occasion at hand here was the 35th Anniversaries of both Tipitina’s & The Radiators simultaneously celebrated for 2 parties of the highest possible order.

Some of my fave peakitudes of the 1st set were the moistening mixer “Crazy Mona” > “Hey Mona” > “Crazy Mona”, “Wrong Road”, “Cocktail music” & “Like Dreamers do”.  My 2nd set high fliers were the opening triple whammy of livid “Lowlife”, sensual “Stealin a Feelin”, lethal “Little Sadie” & peppered with fiery “7 Devils” (here’s where I danced the most extreme), slyly seductive “Soul on Fire” & ripely rancor “Screwloose” encore finale.

This fever dream come true was first sparked many months prior & by the time the first notes were struck, there had been immense built up buzzed up hallucinatory feverish pitch. The anticipation was positively super charged with excitement swimming rampant amidst all the fans & friends & even band members as we were happily plotting rendezvous adventures & then converging from all over the map. Let’s do it again.

As seen here, our beloved recently departed dear friend & krewe king Karl Bremer was right up in the front row, as he should.

Notes:
Rads 01/18/2013
Tipitina’s
New Orleans, LA

Art by Frenchy

Art by Frenchy

Set 1:
(Intro)
Law Of The Fish
Blind Crippled & Crazy
Crazy Mona->
Hey Mona->
Crazy Mona
Honey From The Bee
Wrong Road
Barnburner
Your Funeral and My Trial *
Bottle Of Red Wine
(Hey Y’all It’s Frankie’s Birthday)
Confidential
Cocktail Music
City of Refugee >
Break On Through  >
City Of Refugee
I Don’t Speak Love **
American Woman (tease)
Shoot Out The Lights ** >
Nail Your Heart To Mine
Like Dreamers Do

Set 2:
Lowlife
Stealing A Feeling
Little Sadie
Early Bird Cafe ***
Seven Devils ***
Wild Horse ***
Sunglasses On ***
Soul On Fire ***
(Kenny’s Call Em Back)
Bring It On Home ***
Screwloose
(Outro)

* Sonny Boy Williamson song
** w/Darcy Malone Boye & Johnny Malone on backing vocals
***w/Mark Mullins on Trombone

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2-1-2012 Dark Star Orchestra @ First Avenue

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DSO was opening their tour here detonating spin worthy Grateful Dead recreation right down the street from my abode. Walkable (danceable on the way home) lucid spastic delighting heady dance party at our best room in town. It’s no secret this Freak longs & loves to Dark Star (as an action verb).

The 1st Ave main erupted as DSO named “Southbound Winter Tour” opened feverishly with a dynamic freakadelica laced “Bertha” cascading spiraling into “Greatest story ever told”. We had lift off.  From there DSO explored regions like “Bird Song”, “Big railroad blues” ending on a high hitting head-on floor greeting “Music Never Stopped” > “Don’t Ease Me in”. Peeps were clearly flourishing in hallucinations & rhythms.

2nd set rumbled vivaciously to open with the highest octane fueled “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know you rider” before slipping away from sanity to dropping down “Estimated Prophet” > “Terrapin Station” meltaway.  Also grazing astral goodness like “The Wheel”, & the savory “Sugar Magnolia”.

DSO 2-1-12 by Laura

Next the encore soared open with a goosebumps urging “(it’s all over now) Baby Blue” adding their lagniappe of freak fill raging to finale with a full tilt “Let it rock”.  We had splashdown.  Too much fun for humans.  Dance floor & ceiling were full.  Me too.

China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider

Freak FYI: The sweet hot show they remade was 4-19-1985 @ Philadelphia Civic. This was the DSO’s 2021st show.  That is absurdly cool.  Makes me wanna go on tour.

The Psychoactive Staff • We Freak.

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1-23-2012 Keb Mo, Anders Osborne @ Guthrie Theater

Anders & Keb lead the charge on “A Better Man”.

The highlight (like serendipity) came when someone in the crowd loudly asked for “Henry”, this lit up Keb Mo visibly & not too long after he was handed his steel resophonic guitar proceeding to give the lucid tune a fantastic rootsy ride through the story.  Wondrous.

[Freak on the wall: Keb rolled with it joking that Henry may come out to play even though he wasn’t on the setlist. Keb simply nailed it like never before. People were gasping in total amazement. No one there will forget this.]

Two of the best singer songwriters alive & kicking billed together was a dream come true for music lovers like me. Plus this state of the art intimate venue the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage is truly magnificent.

The show or shows were over the top from the get go.  Anders was indulging himself fully spontaneously combusting up the joint with his energized passion fired demeanor.  He played a handful of dark to darker masterpieces like “Mind of a junkie”, “Me & Lola”, “Goin’ Down” & some winsome uplifting odes like “Summertime in New Orleans”.

Anders & I have been friends for a few decades now & are nearly the same age. We both revel in storytelling & comparing notes on our creative paths. Our friendship is deep from this bond. For that I am blessed.

Keb’ Mo’ (born Kevin Moore), came out flailing with his loyal ace band enticing us with brilliance like “The Whole Enchilada”, “Inside job” (that’s my guess), “Come on in my kitchen” > “Am I Wrong?”, “We don’t need it”, “Walk back in” & bringing out Anders for an inspired “A Better Man” conspired climax (a song that Keb & Anders wrote together).

Thanks to Anders, Keb & all the krewe + special thanks / shoutout to presenter Sue McLean (SMA) for kindly bringing this epic show to us.

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1-18-2012 JJ Grey & Mofro @ the Varsity

Whenever JJ Grey & I see each other, small talk is lost immediately to vivid focused conversations about things like connection, creativity, inspiration & writing.  All key hallmarks of our blessing rich lives & our inner callings.  It’s uplifting & refreshes me. We also talk about fishing & music.

You don’t need me to inform you that JJ tells a mean story weaving words & images like no one else around.  I learn from the best.  He has it down to a wondrous advanced art.  We talked about passion being the fuel & how you merely have to keep moving forward driving on that energy & naturally good things result.

JJ & me

As temps dipped below zero, deep south soul spiked sensation Mofro did the funky honors of firing up a wildly enthusiast crowd at one of  Minneapolis’s best large venues The Varsity. They delivered with a scorching hot fervor that very few bands are able to bring to the live stage.

Some of the soul intoxicating elixir were songs like dance inducing “A Woman”, rootsy “Country Ghetto”, soaring “Brighter Days”, funk tinged “Dirtfloorcracker” & “Georgia Warhorse”, which he dedicated to his strong granny & her resilient ancestors.  Other standouts were “Hide & Seek”, anthem like “Everything good is bad”, sultry “Slow hot & sweaty”, succulent “Orange Blossoms”, decadent “Ho Cake”, enticing “Sweetest Thing” before the hammer dropping  down home encore “Lochloosa” & sizzling sexy finale “On Fire”.

(FreakNote: I was unable to find any vids of the show so this will serve for now .  I will switch this out with Varsity 1-18-12 footage later if possible.)

It wasn’t until later that I realized that every songs played was an original.  Also to be noted that I know of 2 people for sure who say that this was the best live show they’d ever seen.  That’s the highest praise available. And it was that good.  Trust me.

Rock & Roll Party in the Streets

Afterwards, I was graciously invited to party on the Mofro tour bus. It was there that I enjoyed the company of my longtime friends Andrew & Anthony (from the Greyhounds), Todd Smallie (ex Derek Trucks Band), along with JJ, Chris Delucchi (talented Mofro sound engineer) & the rest.  Genuinely an honor & a pleasure.  In parting, I gave them my version of a bus blessing for the road as they prepared to jump back on tour.  I hope to find them again soon.  You should too.

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7-15-2011 The Suburbs @ Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater

Credit the Suburbs for inspiring an 18 year old me (stoned) at the dorm to make up my own crazy dance for their song “Music for Boys”. My dilemma was that it was a spastic spectacle that was too dangerous to dare in public.

Rattle My Bones

Under a freakish full moon in aquarius, the ‘Burbs delivered convincingly to their most adoring local longtime friends & fans myself included.  Dreamily “Music for Boys” got me down front early for this anticipated Zoo show. Not enough room for my dance but radius to groove mightily.  This was just about sunset.  The party had just begun.

Other luminous gems were the luscious “Love is the Law”, flirt flailing “Rattle My Bones”, “(I like) Cows”, urgency fed “Waiting”, sizzling “Tape your wife to the ceiling”, personal fave “girlfriend” & old school Beej channeling muse “Drinking with an Angel”.  Chan & Beej were funny & totally dynamic up front leading the show. The horns & other musicians all shined profusely & in the most pleasing of ways.

The movingly music permeated night for me was more proof that my life was made better by these wonder inducing experience that I seek out.  Really fun amped up crowd for this rock spiked show.  These fans love to party.  And dance.

Truth be told, I have been a rabid fan of the Burbs going back to when I was 17. By 19, I was raging dancing it up at the Cabooze & the Ave.  High & free.  Never to be the same again.  Thankfully.

Sunset at the Minn Zoo

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6-17-2011 Florence + the Machine @ Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater

Visibly gorgeous & beaming, Florence Welch is a mysterious musical enigma.  She exudes passion & restless emotion.  Her body swirls & spins creating nuances.  Propelled & compelled.  Her every gesture & movement no matter how subtle seemed rhythmic & sensual.  Florence becomes her music on stage.  A vision to behold.

The surreal scene could not have been more perfect for this dreamlike nocturnal transmission at the Zoo.  There was magic about to occur.  This could be felt in the air.

From the first notes of “My boy builds coffins”, it was apparent that this was a unique earthly gift extending much deeper than music.  This dark enchanting music could be pulled from the pages of Edgar Allen Poe.  It’s dreamy yet macabre with intonations of passionate violence yet not nightmarish.  A feverish mesmerizing balance of dark & light, sweetness & spice, chaos & calm.

Other early delights were the mercurial “Drumming Song”, candied Candy “You’ve got the Love”, breathtaking “Howl”, senses swirl “Between 2 Lungs”, pulse raising “Cosmic Love”, going acoustic for the lovelorn “I’m not calling you a liar” & “Hurricane Drunk”, new songs fiery hot “Lay me down” & (first encore) heated intensity strewn “Bedroom hymns” (only 2nd time played).  Other intensifiers were rabid “Rabbit Heart (raise it up)” & final encore “Dog Days are over”, which were amongst the most energetic & wildly recieved.  I love that she has a harp players in band.  That adds a wonderful enhancement.

Personally, I have a special fondness for the name Florence as it was the name of my beloved great grandmother (ironically from England).  It’s also the name of a cool sleepy coastal town in Oregon where I went to play in the sand dunes. And now it’s the name of my newest fave English singer.  That’s a triple play.  I’m out at the plate.  What a show!

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5-26-2011 Rebirth Brass Band @ the Cabooze

Minneapolis is one of the only cities in the nation to have an actual homegrown brass band scene.  Thanks to Jack Brass Band who continually bring this New Orleans street setting home & everywhere they go.  Rebirth’s been cultivating that groove for decades now serving as mentors to bands brandishing brass instruments.

These spirited musicians all share one wondrous common ability, they know how to get people dancing.

Jack Brass Band fabulously led off the night with splendor & rising energy at the CaboozeRebirth turned up the heat & subsequently stirred up the brass enticed booty bouncing funk soul.  They saucily sauntered thru swagger spiked sets of their most dance worthy songs.  The 2nd set was ripe with such succulent treats  & freak faves as “Rebirth Got Fire”, “I Feel Like Funkin it up”, “Casanova” & Big Easy theme song “Do Whatcha Wanna”.  The show was action packed & high powered as the onstage antics propelled the thrusting dancefloor.

The show was pulsating with hard winded passion & unrestrained party down candor.  Luckily for the Twin Cities, prestigious ballistic brass purveyors like Rebirth frequent our clubs & festivals.  New Orleans vibe.

If & when you are ever in New Orleans, please do yourself a freakin favor & seek out some high quality live brass band treasures.  They should be just about everywhere.  Feels like the heart beat of the old music they have down the Mississippi.  Savor this magic.

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