Still pretty much riding high off the David Bowie exhibition documentary I saw last week. DAVID BOWIE WHY CAN’T I BE YOU. The best part was when the avant-garde Japanese fashion designer put on his reading glasses to read a statement. Kansai Yamamoto is, I hope, designing for Lady Gaga now, but maybe she’s too mainstream?

It’s still about another six weeks until my birthday celebrating my real-life loves, plus Bowie, plus Chicago, plus Chicago pizza, and I’m trying to get more Berlin-era Bowie into my life before I go to the MCA and see his synthesizer from those days. I’ve got all the glam rock Bowie albums of the early ’70s, more or less, but now’s when it’s time for late ’70s/early ’80s stuff.

Is this not one of the greatest videos?



I had another extremely musical weekend. I saw Spoon! I’ve loved Spoon since college, over 10 years, and this is tragically the first time I’ve seen them live. The opener, EMA, made me nervous for the show. Insofar as I hated EMA. And it gave me pause to what I might expect from Spoon, but they were really excellent. You never realize until you see a whole set just how much tambourine and keys Spoon involves.

Saturday was breakfast at a new place in my neighborhood, which the manager said will soon a) have a liquor license, and b) be 24 hours. Can you imagine? Coming back from the bars and then drunkenly getting eggs Benedict at 4 AM? I love where I live.

Then I exploited my boyfriend’s Netflix and we watched the Big Star documentary I’ve wanted to see for a long time. It was really good, and I even managed to make it through every time they showed any of “Thirteen” without crying. Even the Elliott Smith version! Award fodder, Itellsya. Here’s the trailer for the doc. It’s worth your while. Then YOU pick the song. I’ve been listening to “The Ballad of El Goodo” lots, personally, because I think it’s a perfect summer-transitioning-to-fall song.

September gurls, volume 1: I went to Ely.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to hang out on a Sunday, running errands and making grown-up dinner and wearing stretchy pants. Reason #1: two weeks ago I spent a weekend in Ely with my best friend and her husband and 8 bottles of homemade wine. Let’s start there.




I'm gonna have to go up north more often. I have literal bedfuls of dogs there.

I’m gonna have to go up north more often. I have literal bedfuls of dogs there.

I went up north, and in between yoga and making mushroomy dinners and drinking A LOT we saw some Anishinaabe dancers at the Harvest Moon Festival.

These Anishinaabe dancers at the Harvest Moon Festival were considerably more picturesque than the chili tots or wild rice/walleye pizza, although those tasted way better, I assume.



Still behind on my posting. We’re gonna have to live with that. It’s been a bonkers busy two weeks.

Let’s make this short. This happened:

I was here.

I was here.

Here is one of my not-very-good pictures, among many, of THE FIRST REPLACEMENTS SHOW IN MINNESOTA SINCE 1991. It had the single best logo I’ve ever seen, and I was actually going to buy a t-shirt–I’ve long since stopped buying concert t-shirts, since I realized that my love of bands don’t always last forever (see: Lit.) This t-shirt would’ve been worth it, but alas, I do not wear a men’s small, which was all they had by the time I made my way to merch.

This show was worth paying double face-value to a dude on Craigslist. It was worth having to park a mile (a literal mile) away. It was worth standing all night after having stood all day at the racetrack. The Replacements aren’t even my favorite band in the world–I love them, no doubt, but I probably love Husker Du more. Maybe. But the opening chords of “Favorite Thing” got me a little verklempt. And it wasn’t just me.

Other points of awesomeness:

*My boyfriend is now officially sold on the Hold Steady, because you can’t not be once you’ve seen them live

*Craig Finn very politely squeezed by me

*The mayor of St. Paul came out and proclaimed it Replacements Day, with “whereas”es and everything

*Paul Westerberg did “Skyway,” solo, acoustic as the first encore

*And they did two encores

*There were several covers, most notably the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which they dedicated to Slim Dunlap

Here’s a fan video of “Unsatisfied,” the last song of the night. Suffice it to say, there was a LOT of Replacements listening this weekend.


I have AT LEAST two posts that I need to write (the books! how I went Up North and came back bruised and battered! ) but let’s keep this going.

Last weekend. Up North. Like a good Minnesotan. It was a good road trip, and the Replacements Pandora station was on, as ever, but Ben and I also decided that we’d listen to the Dinner Party Download on the way home. Benjamin Booker was one of the guests–and I do really like “Violent Shiver”–but his dinner party playlist was pretty impressive. I’m becoming more and more sold on Parquet Courts. Now can I be cool?

Also, I’ve never been a Harry Potter person, but now that I know Daniel Radcliffe and I share a love of etymology I might need to rethink.




I gave incomplete due to the show I saw at the State Fair. It was so good.

* the Cactus Blossoms (I missed them because my boyfriend insisted on a bacon-wrapped turkey leg, but I can vouch for their goodness)

* Har Mar Superstar: it was so weird to be seeing him in broad daylight in a massive stadium…but it was such a perfect thing to be singing along with “DUI” under beautiful skies

* Cloud Cult: I’m a little meh about them (but love “Everybody Here Is a Cloud” passionately) but: painters onstage! yes!


Turns out they were a fox and a skeletal rabbit. The paintings, not the band members.

Turns out they were a fox and a skeletal rabbit. The paintings, not the band members.

* Bob Mould: I saw him once before and also was a little meh (not about his performance, because he puts on a real rock & roll show) but about his music, but now I’m a believer. Also, every time he plays a Husker Du song I feel like I’m seeing rock history/making up for the bad luck I had being born where I was 20 years too late. Also also, he ended on “Celebrated Summer” (perfect) and segued into the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song (perfect perfect)

*Brother Ali (he was really the headliner but we only stayed for half because of my boyfriend’s job starting at stupid o’clock AM.) I forgot how he has the best voice of any MC in Minneapolis–it’s a lot fuller and more resonant than most. I also forgot that “Us” makes me almost-cry. Which brings me to:

*DOOMTREE. Good lord. Amazing. So much energy! It looked like they were having so much fun! I put a very high premium on bands looking like they’re enjoying themselves. I’ve been listening to them almost nonstop since Saturday night. I think “Team the Best Team” is my favorite, I think, but “Bangarang” has a video (starring Har Mar! Synergy!) and I like to sing it to my cat. (“Beats? Sound the same / Cats? Sound the same”) Yeah, I’m that girl.


Meet me on the mighty midway


Even if it’s 10 AM, you eat Sweet Martha’s while the gettin’ is good.


I will never tire of this man and his shirtlessness.

Oh, and this is where you can find Ben and me recommending fair food for Minnesotan musicians. I daresay we put considerably more thought into most of our answers than a lot of our compatriots on the blog did.


Everything that is good about the Minnesota State Fair is right here.


* A literal bucket of cheese curds

* Jello salad ice cream (actually super good)

* Mini donut beer (I was really into it)

*  Cone of Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies

* Organic watermelon (which made me feel better about eating a bucket of cheese curds)


I can connect about 33% of my life to “Parks & Rec,” and I feel like Leslie would really be into this statue dedicated to “all Minnesota women.” Tom would be into the Jacuzzis in the tent next door.