Archive for the The Learned Man’s Take Category

Red Fang at Mill City Nights

Posted in Concert Reviews, Culture, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Local Love, Mind Inversion Exclusive, News, Reviews, The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

Red Fang at Mill City Nights was great… Yeah, except for the fact that Mill City Nights doesn’t allow you to take cameras within the venue. Naturally, since I infrequently contribute to a music blog I enjoy catching a show featuring one of my favorite bands, and maybe taking photos. Red Fang is absolutely about the things I love; drinking beer, partying, being broke, living in Portland (well maybe not that), and being hyper-trendy by just being original. I thought for a moment that I could get into Mill City Nights and snap some photos for a write-up; I was wrong. That is why this post has no photo.

Wednesday, June 4th, hours before the show, I sit at work watching the clock and contemplating either (a) selling the extra tickets I purchased, or (b) begging my other friends to join me. When Red Fang announced their show in Minneapolis I scooped up 6 tickets (the limit), because when Alt-J came I couldn’t have purchased enough tickets. I thought Red Fang would sell out in a heartbeat. I was wrong. I had 6 tickets and no takers. 7 pm hits, Dan texted me to let me know he had made it, he was in. I told him no worries, biked home, and put on my rocking pants and downed a rum and coke. Dan, Ryan, and Caroline showed at my house at about 7:45 pm. I was about 5 ribs deep in dinner and 3 beers down and ready to go. Meanwhile my camera battery was charging in the living room. I was prepared to get some epic shots.

8:30 pm we bike to the venue- all 4 of us, about a 1.5 mile jaunt. I bring an extra lock, we lock our bikes to a tree, and this is where the problem begins; firstly, Dan has a 3 inch pocket knife, as do I, that security over zealously locates on his person, and they lose their shit. I sell my 2 extra tickets no problem, at face value, just before I step in line to get groped. Dan’s knife is about as threatening as safety scissors. He puts it by the bikes which are locked to a tree. The security lady finds my knife. I also hide my knife next to the tree. After all of this I get back in line and I reach the security lady again, and it’s, “open the bag…” In my bag is a Sony Alpha 390, and an extra lens. The lady gives me a quizzical look and I am confused. She says, “That can’t come in, you’ll have to put it in a car.” I tell her I biked, she says “too bad”. More security converges on me, they laugh and tell me they can take care of it, but I won’t get it back. I am completely baffled. I am not allowed to take photos? Why can a paying patron at a venue not bring a digital camera within the premise? I must ask… Apparently this is Mill City Nights’ policy, unless you are press. See www.millcitynights.com/frequently-asked-questions

There was really no answer, just “those are the rules…”

I am totally blown away by this claim. I purchased my tickets, I brought in 5 other people who effectively spend money, which amplifies the business Mill City Nights generates, and I am not allowed to bring in my personal camera to document my experience. This is completely fucked. Worst service I have ever had…

Two security guards; the lady and another guy shake their heads and tell me it is impossible to get inside with my camera. Their meat-head manager is standing above them with arms crossed. He is looking on disparagingly- specifically at me, confirming a good find to his subordinates. He laughs in his salmon colored button up shirt, in his fake tan and straight teeth. He shakes his head too, and acknowledges the good work by his cronies.

I literally am confounded. I make suggestions. To everything I say the answer is “Nope.” “We just can’t do it.” The manager tells me I can request a “press pass”, “just go inside and ask for a press pass.” He says. I think: Okay, why can’t I just go inside with my camera? Surely I am not going to leave it out here with these unhelpful individuals, and my camera is not dangerous, or anything that would cause a problem. This was clearly a power trip in progress. Give some people an inch and they go a mile.

I am holding up the lines, my friends are waiting. I walk inside, I ask for a “press pass” which, of course, I am denied. I am told by the man behind the counter “sorry”. He puts his arms in the air as if that is a good enough excuse. I walk back with Dan to the security guards and their manager.

At this moment I realize there is no way I am bringing my camera in, at least in a functioning capacity. I suspect the “press pass” is for paying members of the media; I wonder what City Pages et al. pay to get the best photos. I think of how they take away competition by putting a price on it, a proper monopoly. It goes to show you who and what runs the city of Minneapolis, at least publication-wise, and I mean advertisements and currency.

Dan tries to reason with all 3, and miraculously they ponder some alternative aside from me biking home to store the camera…

The guards tell me to take my camera out of the bag so they can inspect it. They tell me because I brought an extra lens I cannot bring it inside, certainly. However, they say maybe if I take the battery out and give it to them I can keep the camera, it’s that or give up my baby. I hand over the battery, they assure me that they are not responsible for it being lost or damaged (even with it in their possession). How convenient. The guard takes my battery rendering my camera useless and won’t guarantee its safe keeping- fuckin’ thanks. Mill City Nights at its best; the worst.

The show itself was a different story. The crowd was alive and ready to go. I saw some local punk types and some out-of-towners alike. The opening act was a treat- I forget the name because of the hubbub which took place upon entry. But they played their part well.

Now, we are front and center sipping on PBR’s, naturally, and waiting in anticipation. I look in front of the gate to see some preppy kid with a Canon snapping photos. He is wearing a multi-colored button-up that his mom probably ironed before the show. To my amazement, another cameraman wearing almost identical attire steps in front of the gate as well. They are snapping like their lives depend on it! They are even escorted by security, ha! Presently, I see why I wasn’t allowed to bring my camera. These guys had it covered, they must be important. The first act ends with some drum solo a cappella bit. It was interesting. I was ready for Red Fang.

Exit first band left stage pursued by a bear- in the darkness of the room and the lights of the stage. Sound check for Red Fang goes off without a hitch. I can see every member of Red Fang plain as day. They came to rock. Some guy with dreads asks me about the camera situation, I tell him I am not with any publication- I don’t work for City Pages or Vita.mn. He is more inquisitive. I tell him I am a spy. I am here on a secret mission, almost foiled at the gate. I am sort of famous now at this show- kind of neat. He asks me about the make and model and scoots in front of me to get a better spot. He is completely confused about the camera situation. I don’t think he even cares.

Red Fang starts up. The whole show is a rush of energy. The smell of sweat and vomit creeps into my nose. They play most of my favorite songs from their first 2 records and some new ones. The crowd goes nuts. Red Fang is probably not used to seeing mosh pits, being from Portland and such. They asked the crowd if there is a problem, if we were mad at each other. The crowd settled a bit only up until the last few songs, which of course were the most noteworthy. “Wires” started the last 3 song stretch and everyone went crazy again.There was one mediocre song in the mix and then they brought it home with “Prehistoric Dog”. I was very satisfied with the performance, and the in-set banter. These guys are savvy and clever.

The set was great, both bands rocked the house. There was just enough quality music to leave satisfied. During the show I was scanning the stage watching the versatile artists, each contributing to the wall of sound. My head was sort of sideways waiting for another row of legs and bows to be thrown, but up until the final song it was subdued and comfortable.

The highlight of the night was definitely the douchiness of the staff at Mill City Nights, top-tier lameness. A one-star Yelp review is in store.

I would advise people not to bring a camera, even if they care to capture their experience (one they paid for). The staff members are not kind, not friendly, and strictly in the business to make money. Their rules are oppressive and somewhat demeaning. Not to mention it’s embarrassing to be subjected to adversities because of a camera, in front of others while the security people and manager get a boner. My camera by no means is anything super fancy. It is a point-and-shoot with a decent lens. Whatever the reason for the no-camera-policy, I think it is completely backward. As much as I want to believe it is for a logical reason the signs point to money and local publications influence of material output. I certainly can’t outdo them sans my battery. I suggest avoiding this venue outright if you believe in freedom of press, but if you must go to see a favorite act make sure you don’t bring anything for documentation purposes. Or, as they say, just get a “press pass”, especially if you want to snap some photos for fun on an amateur camera.

This snafu was on par with the T-shirt salesmen at the Converge show needing a break, I had money on hand. He was about to cry to the union. But that was another time, another story.

Ryan B.’s 25 Most Influential Albums (in haiku)

Posted in The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, March 30, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Ryan's Most Influential Albums

Finally, we are at the end of March, and the time has come for me to put the closing bell on the Mind Inversion tribute to the recently popular Facebook meme on your most influential albums. I’ll have you know that, like most lists I make, the albums for this list were brainstormed rather quickly, and I think that’s a good thing. If an album were actually as influential as I thought, their importance should be fairly easy for me to recall. Truthfully, I’ve never really become too embarrassed about any album that I own; sure, I may have made some questionable choices in my youngest years, but somehow I’ve always seemed to have a remarkably good bullshit detector when it comes to music. What follows is a journey through the albums that had the biggest impact on forming my tastes and such over the years. If you really love the music I post about, read on for a brief reverse-chronological (moreorless) recounting of my most influential albums. For better or worse, I’ve written them out as haikus for your enjoyment!

25. Nachtmystium, Assassins: Black Meddle, Part I

Sick, twisted, subtle
Black metal psychedelia
With soul of Pink Floyd

24. Deerhunter, Cryptograms

Melodies so sweet
And a massive wall of noise!
A new Sonic Youth?

Continue reading

Tim’s Top 10 Albums of All-Time (At Least To This Point)

Posted in Mind Inversion Exclusive, The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Tim's Top 10 Albums of All-Time (At Least To This Point)

I have to tell you all that this list was one of the hardest things I’ve had to get myself to do, because I knew it wasn’t going to be anywhere near easy. Even while going through this list I had to constantly change things because I felt something was missing. This list (to the best of my abilities) contains the quintessential list of albums that shaped my taste in music. To be put another way, I don’t know where I would be without these albums. I can also say that I feel that each one of these albums is timeless as well a masterpiece. So without further ado…

Top 10 Albums of All-Time (In Order from 10-1)

live-at-leedsThe Who – Live At Leeds (Deluxe Edition): Honestly I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to this album. I remember buying it in the store years ago, and it cost me just about thirty-five dollars. It may be the best money I’ve ever spent on an album. This album truly shows the pure rock fury of The Who. If you have ever had a doubt in your life as to the legitimacy of The Who, please listen to this album. The original album was released with just 35 minutes of the 120, and this album has all of it. This is one of the greatest live albums of all time, no doubt in my mind. Every single member of The Who sounds precise and musically sound. This also might be the heaviest material you will ever here from The Who. From the rapid fire boulder crashing drums of Keith Moon to the lion roaring vocals of Roger Daltrey this album is everything a live album should be and more… Continue reading

Erik’s Top Ten Albums of All-Time

Posted in The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, March 5, 2009 by Erik Burg

Erik’s Top Ten Albums of All-Time

Pretty obvious, I think you know what you’re getting yourself into here. We here at Mind Inversion want you the reader to better know where all of us writers are coming from, as far as what’s changed our lives musically. So we’ll be running a special once a week for the next month, accompanied by Sound Immersion #2, that will be spotlighting our favorite music. I have the fine pleasure of starting this all off, which is pretty exciting. I’ve always thought about albums as “my favorite” much like I’m sure any person has, but actually having to compile a definitive top ten list seemed daunting. But alas, after many cuts, I finalized a list that I’m extremely happy about.

#1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – Lcd Soundsystem.Where would I be today without this album? Well for starters, not on this blog, not listening to music, and quite possibly actually finding lil wayne to be an enjoyable artist. This one album single handedly changed my life… Continue reading

Album Spotlight: Dark Was The Night

Posted in The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, January 23, 2009 by Erik Burg

BUY BUY BUY (subliminal message)

Curing AIDs, one triple vinyl at a time.

So maybe you don’t buy albums, maybe you’re one of those so called “pirates” out there sailing the web taking what’s not yours. Well it’s time to reconsider this terrible habit that you’ve formed, and buy at least one album in 2009. But what album should I buy Erik?! Well my friends, despite stellar releases from the likes of Animal Collective and Andrew Bird already this year there is without a doubt an answer to that question.

Dark Was The Night is that album. All proceeds go to world AIDs research and cure development through co-operation with the Red Hot organization. The album is a collaboration of 32 exclusive tracks released on double cd or triple vinyl on February 17th on 4AD records. So yeah, it’s pretty obvious why you should be buying this album. But what’s so special about this other than that’s for a good cause Erik?!

Let me guide you again, dear friends. For starters the tracklist enlists some of, if not every indie giant in the music industry. I mean come on, they even got Sufjan to come out of hiding for this amazing compilation. Let me give you the rundown:

Andrew Bird, Antony + Bryce Dessner, Arcade Fire, Beach House, Beirut, Blonde Redhead + Devastations, Bon Iver, Bon Iver & Aaron Dessner, The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez, Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti), Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues, The Decemberists, Dirty Projectors + David Byrne, Kevin Drew, Feist + Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear + Feist, Iron & Wine, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Kronos Quartet, Stuart Murdoch, My Brightest Diamond, My Morning Jacket, The National, The New Pornographers, Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch, Riceboy Sleeps, Dave Sitek, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, Yeasayer, Yo La Tengo.

Easy to see that it’s an exhausting list, and that it truly does cover almost everybody influential in the industry. And if that list isn’t reason enough to buy this album than nothing probably will be. Come on folks, it’s all for a great cause and Dark Was The Night is shaping up to be absolutely amazing so go out and shell out 20 bucks for an album once in your life and enjoy the feeling of walking out of the store with a tangle album while also contributing to a great cause.

4Ad is giving everyone an advanced look at every track on the album in the following weeks too before the album officially releases on shelves. Each week 4Ad is releasing a track or two on their website or on different blogs around the web, and a few tracks have already been featured. Two of them in particular grabbed my attention and have been on play non stop around my room, Sufjan Stevens’ track “You Are The Blood” and The Dirty Projectors + David Byrne’s “Knotty Pine.” The two tracks are are pretty stellar pieces that are different from the normal catalogue tracks heard from each artist, but it’s a good change for both parties involved. Sufjan’s track is over 10 minutes long and changes pace at so many different points it’s hard to describe it as one thing or another.

Check them out for yourself though, and be sure to keep your eye out for the release on February 17th. Please, I urge you to do the right thing, if only for this once.

mp3s: Sufjan Stevens “You Are The Night” and The Dirty Projectors + David Byrne “Knotty Pine”

Dig Deeper: 4Ad Records Red Hot Organization