You are currently browsing the archive for the Events category.

In the past we have always posted “Alice’s Restaurant Masacree” on Thanksgiving day, but this year we thought we’d post something new.

We hope you have a good holiday, and that you enjoy “The Turkey Song.” We’ll see ya tomorrow!

turkey song


The latest release from the Hymie’s Records label is a debut LP by a band who have been playing here for years. Lonesome, Stoned and Drunk by Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band is in stores now, available online here and through the label page on this website. This album was lovingly produced by Brian Herb, who has been mixing the music at our annual block party for a few years now — in fact, the entire project is very close to us because so many good friends have been working on it together.

The Beer Back Band sounds like an updated version of the classic Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and the Strangers or Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, with hints of Dwight Yoakam thrown into the mix. Lead guitarist Ross Fellrath adds the spark to burners like “Whiskey” and “Asshole,” and also honky tonk flavor to the ballads with his pedal steel and baritone guitars. Bassist Marc Cohen and drummer Joe Klingelhutz have a natural knack for country, and the band has been playing these songs together for years now. Joe played with Whiskey Jeff in Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Annandale’s premier lounge act, before forming this group to focus on Jeff’s songwriting.

We’ve been singing along with Jeff’s songs here at Hymie’s, at the Hexagon or the Triple Rock for years. Jeff’s songs are funny and irreverent one moment, and heartbreakingly sincere the next. His misadventures in life and love are laid out without shame, so you can laugh ’til you cry in your glass of Templeton rye.

12003863_10153800178189445_855026252704498853_nThe LPs are packaged in a classic Folkways style jacket, complete with liner notes by Twin Cities promoter and country DJ Craig Drehmel (DJ Truchstache), and country music legend Sherwin Linton. The cover photograph was taken by our friend Aimée Pjipers — check out some of her art here. Our goal was for this record to look as good as it sounds!

We have a few releases in the works for 2016, including a Live at Hymie’s compilation, but we are especially excited to add these awesome guys to our catalog! We hope everyone will enjoy Jeff’s songs as much as we have.


Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band’s record release show for their debut LP is this Saturday night at the Eagles Club #34 at 10pm. Also performing are Gabe Barnett and Chokecherry. Facebook event is here.

Tonight is a second show here at Hymie’s for punk favorites Kitten Forever and a first for OAKS, the Minneapolis duo who released their first full-length record with Modern Radio Record Label earlier this year. Animal Life‘s eight tracks are weightier than our usual impression of two-member bands, to the extent we’re impressed by the inventiveness of bassist Jim Kolles and guitarist Erica Krumm.

When we first heard the album, we thought of Lou Reed’s famous remark about songwriting: “One chord is fine. Two chords and you’re pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.” The best of its drum-machine driven minimalist jams fall somewhere in between post-punk goth and the Stooges. A standout is “List for the Desert,” a song which proffers the pop potential of minimalism and approaches the quality of classics like Closer and Bauhaus’ Flat Field.

Animal Life‘s dark themes are discordant with what we’d expect having come to know Krumm and Kolles through the record shop as compassionate and active supporters of the local music community, and folks we’d describe as sincerely sunny and sanguine. Perhaps this is a testament to the cathartic quality of songwriting. There’s a moony-eyed sentimentality to “West,” which was released as a video in August, and the album ends with what we’re taking to be a positive message in “Soft One,” with the rhythmic lyric “today the sun is higher” reminding us the harsh seasons of winter always come to an end. The melody repeats itself and the album fades into a cacophony of dwindling feedback.

If you’re not familiar with Kitten Forever, but you’re a fan of feminist-leaning punk rock, you’ll enjoy this endearing documentary about the trio produced by The Lowertown Line earlier this year. They’re an awesome band and always a great live act, so yep tonight’s show in the shop will likely be crowded!

OAKS and Kitten Forever will perform here at Hymie’s at 7pm tonight. As always, this is a free and all ages show. Both groups will have merch for sale, though. And their records are gooood!

pop wagner

Pop Wagner’s 1988 album Disco on the Bayou might look like a novelty along the lines of Saturday Night Fiedler, but it’s actually a great combination of his familiar cowboy stylings and cajun classics like Clifton Chenier’s “I Yi Yi.”

Pop has about ten albums dating back to 1977, and on them he performs with lots of favorite local musicians: Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire and Bob Bovee, to name a few.

A genuine, old fashioned cowboy, Pop is also known for his rope tricks and tall tales, as well as his hand-made mohair cinches for you equestrians out there. You can find out more about that from his website (here).

Pop is next performing on Saturday November 28th at Patty and the Button‘s annual vaudeville show at the Heights Theater (details, on Facebook, here). Other performers include the awesome Adam Kiesling, the Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers, Christina Baldwin and master of the mighty Wurlitzer organ, Harvey Gustafson. Other special guest include tap dancer Miss Molly and puppeteer Liz Schacterle. It’s an afternoon matinee, and last year we had a fantastic time with the kids!


rank strangers the box

Celebrating their silver anniversary, Rank Strangers have released not one, not two, but three albums this year. The third of these, The Box, is the subject of a release show/25th anniversary party tonight at 7th Street Entry. While producing a vinyl tryptic isn’t an unprecedented undertaking (the endearing and inventive folk duo Sudden Lovelys released three LPs in 2012, which we featured here), it is undeniably an impressive accomplishment. Few bands last twenty-five years, and fewer still hit their stride entering that second quarter century. Rank Strangers might have been a darling during those years when Minneapolis might have been Seattle, but that was a long time ago and today the band is better today for its unencumbered independence. The Star Tribune‘s reliable Chris Reimenschneider, who Thursday featured The Box by pointing out the band didn’t make one of the best local rock records of the year. “They released three of them,” he wrote on Thursday.

We’ve already featured the first two records (Lady President here and Ringtones here) and we’ve spent nearly a year speculating on how the trilogy would be resolved, and whether its recurring themes — royalty, power, revolution, the end of the world — would be connected. If there really had been “a Rosetta stone or map key” as we speculated when Ringtones was released, we’re too slow-witted to find it. We called Mike Wisti’s typed lyric sheets “maddeningly dense” in that post, and we’ve pored over them as we have played these albums over and over. Once again the lyric sheet reads like Theodore Kaczynski’s manifesto if it had been edited by Tom Robbins, and while we get tangled trying to connect dots which may not be there, we enjoy the albums even more knowing the words (we are famous for making up words when we don’t know the actual lyrics — you should hear our impression of “Lady Marmalade”).


There is nothing on the third album as dramatic as the reworking of “The Last Piranha” which appears as the penultimate track on Ringtones and first set us towards the theory it would all lead to a grand conclusion. Instead, after an hour and a half of anxiety over the end of times and everything leading up to it, Mike Wisti ends the trilogy with an assurance that “paupers and teachers reach out for preachers” and a simple flourish. T.S. Elliot told us this is the way the world would end.

Honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Like its predecessors, The Box is filled with catchy, inventive pop tunes, often in the vein of those late-era new wave records which found aging punkers exploring new directions and running out contracts. “Global Warming” is a brief interlude which approaches a genuinely serious topic without commentary, but provides one of the most enjoyable melodies in the trilogy, and on the other end “Bird Flu Blues” actually embodies a sense of anxious dread.

The straight ahead rockers on The Box, a couple reappearing reworked from the previous albums (“The Lone Piranha” and “Halloween Arrives”), are worlds better than the middle-of-the-road stuff praised as presentably pious in the church of pop mediocrity. “The Empire of Dresses,” with an awesome sounding bass line played by Davin Odegaard, is one of our favorite songs of the year. And “Lone Piranha” here is presented with more energy than on the first album.

Over the past few years Mike Wisti has engineered some uniquely mad records in Albatross Studio, most notably Grant Hart’s epic The Argument, which portrayed Milton’s “Paradise Lost” with aching intimacy at times (put Hart’s “I Will Never See My Home Again” in the context of the 2011 fire in his childhood home, and yes this is a subject which hits close to the heart here at Hymie’s). The Fuck Knights’ labored psych- rock sophomore statement Puke All Over Themselves (feature on our blog here) was recorded in Wisti’s studio at the same time. Its seems like these projects and others have bled into Rank Strangers’ willingness to try new things in this trilogy of albums. The result through three albums has been extremely successful without falling into the pitfalls of Sandinista!, which even for fans like us has overlong moments of indulgence. The three albums by Rank Strangers this year are pleasantly compact and cohesive, and it’s been a real pleasure to finally be able to listen to the three together. We expect all three are albums which will be favorites of ours for a long time.



Rank Strangers release show for The Box (and 25th anniversary celebration) is tonight at 7th Street Entry. They will also be playing here at Hymie’s along with J.W. Schuller tomorrow night at 6pm.

Today is Veteran’s Day, a national day of recognition which began in commemoration of the end of World War I, sadly once called “the war to end all wars.” Our deepest thanks to those who have served our country, especially the more than 350 men and women from the upper midwest who have sacrificed their lives to protect us from Islamic terrorism since September 11, 2001.

On a lighter note, here is “Army Blues,” a 1941 single by Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys.

We first heard a few songs from The Fuck Knights Puke All Over Themselves when Dave visited the amazing Albatross Studio for an interview two and a half years ago. With the album’s release show at the Hexagon Bar inked into our li’l black book for (when else?) Friday the 13th, the time frame begs the question: how long does it take to make a garage rock record these days?

We might have known the Fuck Knights‘ second album wouldn’t be the what we’d expect to follow Let It Bleed, a tape-saturating orgy of distorted vocals, frantically-driven drums and feedback fury. What we heard that late night in Mike Wisti’s included ensemble hand claps, Stax-sounding bass vamps and tunes that turned closer to Their Satanic Majesties Request than 12×5.

fuck knights

Maybe we shouldn’t expect less from the band which never ceases to surprise. Yep, once endorsed as “a way cool psychedelic garage band” by Maximumrocknroll,” Fuck Knights were always headed in the same trajectory as Brian Jones’ wide-eyed explorations with the Rolling Stones. And the Fuck Knights’ founder, G.D. Mills, is no less an iconoclast than Jones, though hopefully longer for this world.

We sat down for a beer with Mills here at Hymie’s last week to once again chide him over the band’s name, but also talk about the relationship between the Fuck Knights’ first and second albums, and the awesome bill of bands for their release show on Friday. Here’s a li’l of what we talked about…

Hymies: When we first heard tracks from Puke All Over Themselves, it was alongside songs from Grant Hart’s magnus opus, The Argument, which was being recorded at the same time you started working on this album. The Argument, which was a pretty labored-over album, has long ago been swept from the ‘new arrivals’ bin, and you’re album is just coming out. What took so long?

GD Mills: Money. I drive a taxi. Everyone else who’s played in this band are service people, tending restaurants or doing whatever else to get by. If I had an advance from some label, or if I were independently wealthy or had rich parents, then it wouldn’t have taken that long.

We play a gig, and the best we make is something like seventy-five dollars. Per gig! And that’s before you pay off your bar tab, and on that night you might sell one record. There’s no money in this and that’s why it took so long. But I wanted to do it well, and that’s why work [at Albatross] with Wisti. The recordings are entirely analog. Until we mastered it for the CD to go for the manufacturer, it’s entirely recorded and mixed in analog.

Hymies: How would it be different if you were independently wealthy?

Mills: It would have been done a lot more quickly. Either way, I had to make something better than the first album. It was really important to me, because of lineup changes and because of what I wanted the band to be.

And I should mention it was co-released last fall by two Italian labels, Area Pirata in Pisa and Boss Hoss in Pesaro. This is just the first time it’s been available here, which obviously is really important to me.

Hymie’s: Taking your time in that studio had its benefits. When I was there Grant Hart was there working on The Argument.

Mills: It helped us with that Brian Jones attitude, to try everything but the kitchen sink. We did that. ‘Oh, here’s this instrument, let’s use it.’ There’s that instrument, try that next. Grant had all kinds of stuff set up, and we come along in between the weeks when he was working. And, ‘What’s this?’ Once it was these tubular bells hanging from the ceiling, and I asked about them. Mike just said, ‘Grant is using those. You hit ’em with this little mallet.’ So we tried that. He had his twelve-string guitar there and we used it on “13 Dead Cats.” There was also a bouzouki, which we used.

Hymies: The album explores a lot more territory than Let It Bleed.

Mills: I was trying to escape being typecast. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed, whatever you’d like to call it. I listen to so much music, just like everyone here, and I have a wide frame of reference. With the first Fuck Knights record, I was focused like a laser beam on making a garage punk album. And here I’m reacting against that. There was the thesis, and the second step is the antithesis, which is this album. The third one, the Tarzan tape, is the synthesis of the two. You know, like Hegelian dialectical reasoning, now the synthesis will be the thesis of the next step.

So that’s why there’s short things, some Motown girl group stuff or some Stax leaning stuff. They’re asides. I kept them short because if we took it to a full length it would be corny, like ‘Now we’re gonna be … a reggae band.’ However we do incorporate dub into one of the instrumentals.

People confuse method acting with the person, the performer. It’s not the case a lot of time, with the actor, or with me. People confuse me the person with me the method acting garage rock dude, and that causes a lot of misunderstandings. Especially in a small town like this.

Hymie’s: How much of the new album is Fuck Knights the band, and how much is it G.D. Mills and his band?

Mills: It’s both, because there’s so many itirations of the band. And there’s also pockets where people weren’t there and it was just me. And Mike was the only other person. Can you play the guitar while I play the drums, and I’ll finish the song out doing each overdub. Bass, singing, handclaps, whatever it would be. It helped to have Mike playing the guitar, to keep it in synch. Otherwise it starts to sound like one guy doing everything.

Hymie’s: But has Fuck Knights become like Alice Cooper, where it started out as a band and eventually Alice Cooper became his identity.

Mills: [Laughs] Or its like Raw Power, where it becomes Iggy and the Stooges.

There’s I think three different bands on the album. To round it out there’s stuff which is just G.D. Mills. And every song is mine in the sense that I wrote them. Or in some cases wrote seventy-five percent of what I wanted and worked with David from Liquor Beats Winter, or Jason Medieros, or Ben Bachman from Nightingales, and we’d finish it. Structure it out. That’s how it had been with Joe [Holland] and Joe [Hastings]. That was a divicive thing when Joe Holland left, that I had taken songwriting credit. The person I’m working with needs that credit to feel invested, so those songs are credited that way on the new album.

Hymie’s: Do you need to have a name, like Iggy and the Stooges, at this point?

Mills: I don’t want to change the name, because I’ve already invested so much in it, Fuck Knights as a band. And why do I have to change the name as the band changes? Either way, I’m not going to call it Sir Gregory and his Fuck Knights. The Velvet Underground after John Cale split was still the Velvet Underground

Hymies: Even on that last record.

Mills: And that one, Doug Yule, the King Kong album or whatever. For me the other reason to keep the name is that I wanted the three albums to be my legacy with this band, just like the three Stooges albums. There’s the goal.

Hymie’s: Not that we’ve ever been fans of the band’s name. It’s hard to put on the marquee here when you play in the shop.

Mills: I never thought it was offensive. The word ‘fuck’ isn’t offensive to me, and I wasn’t interested in airplay. I never gave a fuck about it. In Europe we were Make Love Knights, and Caballeros de Fuck, and in France we were Chevaliers de Amor. I don’t think we were trying to stir the pot with the name. We just thought it sounded cool.

Hymie’s: And the title of the new album, Puke All Over Themselves?

Mills: It’s poetic in the sense that it’s excessive. I’m exploring all these ideas in excess. I’m not focused on one thing, like with Let It Bleed.

Hymies: And the look of the new album is different. Where in the past Fuck Knights singles and the first LP had ghoulish cartoons on the covers, almost like R. Crumb meets the Cramps, Puke All Over Themselves has pretty designs. Even the release show poster has the style we’ve started to associate with the Fuck Knights, but the album cover is different.

Mills: Yeah, I did that. I wanted to connect with those classic records which inspired me, Odyssey and Oracle or Their Satanic Majesties Request. It’s also, again, to make it different from the first album.

Hymies: There’s a pretty awesome list of bands on this poster, too. Tell us about the show on Friday.

Mills: We’re gonna bring in a second PA, and have a second stage between the bar and the stage you’re used to. And go back and forth from there. I’m calling them “Target Arena Stage” and “Xcel Center West Stage.”

And these are my favorite bands since I’ve lived in Minneapolis. They’re all fun and awesome and there songs are well-written. Cozy, what can I say, they dress awesome and their songs are great. Fuck Knights tried to play Cozy once, and there songs have little nuances that make them hard to learn. Just like the Ramones. You think it’s easy, but there’s little things they do different. I love that band, they might be my favorite in Minneapolis.

And Narco States, you know those guys. And they were on one of my Four Way Split compilations. What Tyrants, I’d never heard of those guys, but they asked us to play a Monks tribute, probably because of the record we did with Gary Burger. And I told them we could only learn a few songs because we were working on that tape, and they insisted come along and play your own songs for the rest of your set. Then these guys came out and BOOM! They sounded exactly like the Monks. They had the whole energy two, that palpable energy. It was amazing, like you were in Hamburg in ’65 watching the Monks.

Rounding out the bill are Driftwood Pyre, who have a new album out [We have these in the shop], which is like a phoenix reborn from Bridge Club and First Communion Afterparty, FCAP to those of us who were there. And Dead Skull. I really liked the quote from Pork Magazine where they said this band was like AC/DC meets Black Flag. So all Minneapolis bands I’ve come to really love.

Fuck Knights’ album release show for Puke All Over Themselves is Friday the 13th at the Hexagon Bar. Details on Facebook and more about each of the bands can be found here.





« Older entries

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.