Danimal (aka Dan Luedtke) has been a bright and shining light (or at least a glittery one) of the Minneapolis underground music scene for years. For one thing he hollers and pounds the keys in Gay Beast, currently one of the hardest working bands in Twin City land. Gay Beast are one of a crew of bands carrying on the good fight on behalf of both the neo-No Wave movement and the experimental queer-core music scene along with the likes of Shearing Pinx, Aids Wolf, and Cacaw among others. In addition to the racket, Danimal creates eye-popping jaw-dropping silkscreen artworks as Danimal Garafffixxx. In a city that already has some of the best DIY printers in the country, Danimal’s posters and record covers stand out.
Danimal worked his buns off to help make the amazing HSaSH#3 happen, as band curator, interior decorator of 1419, and hype man (check out this interview). He also collaborated with the awesome force that is Brute Heart‘s Jackey Beckey, who coordinated the beautiful parade through the West Bank that began the evening. Jackey, and most of the musicians in the parade, also leads music into the street on May Day, as well as with the Barebones Puppet group. Together, she and Danimal put on an amazing show and helped to create an unforgettable experience. THANKS!
Jackie Beckey leads the May Day Parade band
Danimal was nice enough to sit down with us for our last House Show as School House artist/curator picnic. We, along with a great crew of folks from the Walker, 1419, and the show the night before, all got into the nitty gritty of representation, safe spaces, choosing our audience, and lots of other juicy bits.
I wasn’t too familiar with James Linbloom before inviting him to curate a House Show for the House Show as School House series. Our mutual friend Clint from De Stijl records suggested I contact him saying something along the lines of “He’s the most together guy I know” when it came to organizing something. As it turns out Clint was right and James set up a great show. Like Clint, James runs a great small sized record label called Roaratario that releases an impressive array of left-field, out-field, and no-field weirdness including Knife World, Paul Metzger, Pauling Oliveros, Joe McPhee and others. James was game to curate an event and the rest is history.
James, along with some of the organizers of 1419 and Open Field among others, gathered at a picnic table and had a great talk about the challenges of curating a commons, how to organize chaos, what we’re teaching through modeling with our events and much more.
The HSaSH series is reaching its 3rd and final event and we couldn’t be more excited. This one is going to be amazing. In the words of one of the curators, the luscious Danimal..
Jackey from brute heart is organizing a marching band to play during a parade from Riverside park to Curry Park (by the bedlam) at 9pm.
there will be stilt walkers, glow stick capes, and critical fierceness.
Parade lands around 10pm in curry park and then people will migrate to the 1419 space (1419 washington ave across the street from the southern theater) and music begins at 11pm.
Thunderbolt Pagoda at xxxusa - photo by Sharyn Morrow
We had our second House Show as School House on Friday and it was a mind ripper!
This one was curated by local record mogul and a veteran of new American weirdness – James Lindbloom. As a favor to us, James put together his first house show since a 1999 gig he did for No Neck Blues Band, and boy is it good he came out of retirement. James started things off with the space/time collapsing heavy psych ofThunderbolt Pagoda. They were followed in relatively short order by the circus skronk and hard swing of local “supergroup” Synchrocyclotron. Finally after a bit of a stretch The Bottom Jobs with special guest George Cartwrightplayed it cool with a warped and heavy hard-bop set of tribal drumming and barry sax that went from Miles to Evan Parker, iced off with some serious rant.
Holly chatting with George Cartwright - photo by Sharyn Morrow
The event took place at a local DIY institution that shall as a courtesy go nameless. A large warehouse in a surprisingly accessible part of town, it fits the mold of American art-punk style industrial space mix-use, from the paradigmatic example of Providence’s Fort Thunder to Oakland’s 379 4oth Street to L.A.’s The Smell to Baltimore’s the Bank. A bit more raw and un-fluffed than my last visit a year ago, it still had that nice combination of anything goes and keeping it cool. Not the first show this particular cement box has seen and not the last.
Special thanks to Sharyn Morrow (aka Massdistraction) for letting us use her awesome photos above.
Tom Loftus is a rock of the local DIY music community. He’s the founder of Modern Radio Records, a Twin Cities based label that’s put out a large array of indie, punk, noise and avant-rock awesomeness form the region and beyond. In his own words…
The focus of the label is to support the artists and provide an atmosphere where they can focus on their art. We are following in a long tradition of artist-oriented independent record labels where profits are secondary to the creative process. Ultimately we are simply music fans who want to share the music we love.Historically, the majority of the artists we’re worked with have been or are currently based out of the Twin Cities. We are proud of the place we live and to be part of such a vibrant arts community.
I first met Tom when Boxleitner, my old band with George Chen (of Zum, Chen Santa Maria, Common Eider, King Eider and KIT fame), came out East from the Bay Area and were hosted by Tom and the boys from Signal to Trust. We played a very memorable show at the House of Gung Fu (due the the dust in the basement and my ears I thought it was the House of GUNK Fu) and for the next decade we continued to be friends and collaborators.
Tom was gracious enough to agree to Curate one of the House Show as School House events and met with us the next day for a nice conversation about DIY culture, the relevance of House Shows today and how that culture does or doesn’t affect the rest of our lives.
Tom Loftus with hand painted knuckle tats by Hanna Mae
The first House Show as School House went off like a pack of bottle rockets next to a fire! Without a doubt, this came as close as one could hope to being the Platonic Ideal of a house show – “The House Show”. It had it all: great music, cute kids, cops, speeches, drunken debauchery, hula hooping, a keg, a dance party, hand painted knuckle tats and much more…
Star Spangled Blammo!
The house which hosted the event is named the “Community Gardens” and is famous as a long standing DIY show house. Their big event of the year is an annual 4th of July party. They missed it this year so they decided to host one on the 23rd instead as part of HSaSH. Things kicked off bright and early at 5pm with a BBQ, fireworks, decorations, snow cones and other shenanigans. From 5pm till after dark various folks gave speeches devoted to the topic of “Freedom”. Speechifiers included Rayna, Mr & Mrs. Classical, Tigger, and giving his 4th annual speech was local comedian and Swedish immigrant, Nils Lindahl..
Following the speeches were performances by a host of local awesomeness switching off between the crammed living room upstairs and the moldy basement below.
Robust Worlds (above) started things off. This was Chris Rose from Vampire Hands’ debut solo show. He was followed by To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie in the basement. Invisible Boy, aka Chris B., also of Vampire Hands, performed a lovely solo set of post-crooner psychedelia upstairs in the living room. Strong Bones lay down some heavy boogie in the basement and were followed shortly thereafter by an absurdly drunk Daughters of the Sun who got sweaty bodies moving with their beautiful percussion riddled soundscapes.
A night of great songs and beautiful noise… check back later for more photos, videos and audio of the performances and other action.
It was a portentous moment as we walked up the street to Community Gardens for the first event in the House Show as Schoolhouse project and were passed by the police. We knew where they were headed. Much of the night we were rocketed back to a time some of us have not felt in a while.
We’ll be having our first picnic/discussion this, Saturday, afternoon July 24th. We’ll be posting more documentation from the show at Community Gardens as well as the conversation within a day or so.