It's Only Rock and Roll, But I Like It
Having just returned from a weekend of fun and relaxation visiting my 87 year old grandma in beautiful Dubuque, IA, (I finally beat her in golf) I was catching up on the local news when I ran across this, courtesy of Peter Scholtes at Complicated Fun. It seems that there are rumors floating about that legendary Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue may be on its last legs. I damn near dropped my drink (four fingers of Powers Irish whiskey, to be exact) when I read this.
First Avenue, and its counterpart Seventh Street Entry, has been a local live music mainstay since the early seventies. Throughout the past 15 years I have seen artists like Jonathan Richman, The Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy, Shellac, Killdozer, Cracker, The Cramps, El Vez, Sonic Youth, Semisonic, The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, The Magnolias, The Pogues, Matthew Sweet, Catherine Wheel, Negativland, Hank Williams III and countless other bands on the venue’s two stages. I have stood for hours inside the smoky Entry to see numerous new band nights. I have seen nudity on stage and debauchery off stage. I have gone to work with an ear splitting headache and the stench of stale beer on myself too many times to mention. I have seen moments of sheer brilliance and moments of utter incompetence…and I have loved every minute of it.
I cannot begin to tell you what the loss of First Avenue would mean to the perpetually influential music scene of the Twin Cities area. The number of quality national acts they offer in unsurpassed, they consistently provide local artists a venue and, through the Developing Arts and Music Foundation, they give these artists the chance to build an audience.
So, please, if you live in the Twin Cites area or will be planning a visit here soon, support First Avenue. Become a member of D.A.M.F. Join me when I see punk pioneers X on 7/15, Bardo Pond at the Entry on 7/12 and The Fall on 6/27. Stop by the club and check out Club 241 on Wednesdays, Ritmo Caliente on Thursdays or Danceteria on Fridays and Saturdays. Buy your tickets early and often, for you may not get the chance tomorrow.