La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


Wolf Parade - 8/9/06 - First Ave.

Wolf Parade returned to Minneapolis yet again to support their fabulous 2005 debut Apologies to the Queen Mary. As this was the third time we would be seeing them on the one album, their set was very familiar. To our surprise, they opened with a choice not from the album. I was not sure if it was a b-side or a new one, but it was one they played the last time we saw them at 7th St. Let's call it "I'll Sing You in Songs." The follow consisted of more familiar songs from the album such as personal favorite's "it's a Curse," "Shine a Light," and "Fancy Claps." The band did not seem to have everything together during the first half of the set, taking much time inbetween songs and not giving some of the best songs from the album just representation. They really picked things up during "This Heart's on Fire" and "I'll Believe in Anything" which was definitely the high point of the evening. Sprinkled into the set were a couple new songs, one of which was brought out during the encore and had a tight guitar hook along with pounding drums and swirling keyboards (hey, not too different from the best songs off Apologies). The night ended with an entended version of "Dinner Bells." While seeing Wolf Parade is always fun, I am glad to say I got to see them pre-mainstream indie stardom before they owned the First Ave mainstage.

A Silver Mt. Zion - 8/7/06 - Varsity Theater

Neo-political side project of Godspeed You Black Emperor members A Silver Mt. Zion entertained Minneapolis at the fantastic Varsity Theater. The perfect venue for such an occasion. We sat high about the crowd on the side of the Theater and had a perfect view of the stage. The band toook the stage and opened with one of the newer songs off of Horses in the Sky "God Bless Our Dead Marines." Efrim announced to the crowd that this was their 99th show together, but first widespread American tour. The band played very tight together in the intimate setting. At many times thoughout the set, they all stopped playing and harmonized together. Though none had fabulous voices, the sincerity in their voices was apparent and was felt thoughout the crowd. All was not hushed during the set though, as the band was full force during the opener and other selection from their catalog.

The bands encore consisted of them stating that they weren't going to go through the bullshit of leaving the stage, waiting 5 to 10 minutes while we all clapped until they came back to the stage. They simply stated that they would annouce when the last song of their "set" would be, and then the following would be the "encore." The last song of the set ran about 30 minutes long as the band fell into an spacey experimental noise-a-athon, "followed by the "encore." It was the perfect setting for an intimate band. While they were no Godspeed, they proved that they are not just a side project, but a more intimate interpretation of the music they like to play.


Ween - 8/1/06 - State Theater

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!! Is there any better band out there? Not in my book. So as you can tell I was very excited to learn they were playing in my neck of the woods. I was a little surprised at the choice of venue, as the State Theater seems more apt to attract more intimate shows, but bring 'em on anyway. The night was billed as "An Evening with Ween," which means there was no opener. The crowd was all ready to seen Ween and only Ween. Looking down on the stage was the one and only Boognish. An icon if there ever was one. Opening their set with no hesitation with "She Wanted to Leave," Gener tells a tale of fruitless love amid the cruel seas. Charging their way through their set, they followed with fairly straight forward versions of "AIDS" and "Spinal Meningitis," possibly two of their most offensive songs, yet the crowd most certainly did not take offense as everyone sung along.

Things became more and more jammy throughout the night as they went into extended versions of "Voodoo Lady (definitely needed) and........"Pandy Fackler" which really was not necessary. Gener left the stage during the song as the keyboard jam extended to the nearly 20 minute mark and had me wondering if he was coming back. But of course, Gener was johnny on the spot as he ran back like a hero to save everyone from the doldrums of hippy jamminess. The set contained a very wide variety of older stuff from God Ween Satan such as the superb "Fat Lenny" to newer stuff from Shinola such as the rawkus "Gabrielle." Thrown in for good measure was a cover of Eric Clapton's "Cocaine," which followed "Bananas and Blow" appropriately. Highlights of the night included the progressiveness of "Buckingham Green," the power pop balladry of "Even If You Don't," and post break-up theme song "Baby Bitch."

Even selections from 12 Golden Country Greats (Powder Blue and Help Me Scrap the Mucas Off My Brain) were rendered during their acoustic encore set. The showtime ran up the the three hour mark. Much of the engery of the set was lost during the annoyingly long Pandy Fackler jam, and I felt very confined to my spot in the venue being that we had assigned seats. Another disappointment was the lack of new songs, considering they are in the process of finishing up their new album. But all in do time, and not many bands can hold a candle to Ween's live show. And when they come back to the cities again when the new album is out (which they most certainly will, as they sold out the State) I'm sure it will be at a more appropriate setting and newer songs will become live classics. Long live WEEN!.


Phoenix - 7/24/06 - Fine Line

A bunch of us scored free tickets to see Phoenix at the Fine Line. While I am not a huge fan of The Fine Line, I am a fan of free tickets to see a fun band. What made the show really enticing is that I had read that The French Kicks were opening, which would have been a really fun double bill. To our disappointment, it was not the French Kicks opening, but The M's. The M's set was fairly short, and frankly fairly uninteresting. Phoenix took the stage after a short set change and opened with the opening track "Napoleon Says" off their new album. While the new album is a slight departure from the slick, dancey jams from their previous two releases, the new songs translated well live. Rollicking tunes like said opening songs, "Consolation Prizes," "Long Distance Call," and Second To None" were peppered throughout the set. Mixed in were fantastic picks from the previous two album such as the smooth "Run Run Run" and "Everything is Everything" from Alphabetical. Highlights on the night included a smashing version of their most rocking song "I'm an Actor" in which their drummer (the French Fabio sporting the flowing locks and poofy shirt buttoned down mid chest) beat his drums like an unwanted step-child. They did not pull any surprises in the encore as they came out with the neo-disco song "Too Young" from debut album United, probably their most popular song. Weird moment of the night was when they played the electronic mashup portion of "Funky Squaredance" from United. I surely recommend seeing Phoenix if you are at all a fan of the album. Very enjoyable live performance.