Upcoming Show: The Prince Family Reunion at Cabooze in MPLS June 5th, 2009

3rd Annual Prince Family Reunion Poster

During his heyday in the 80’s as the reigning Purple King of Minneapolis, Prince built an astonishing music empire. His creative output could not be contained it seemed and the king surrounded himself with a funky court of many talented artists and musicians who either were backing him in his many bands over the years, or would benefit from his seemingly-endless supply of songs in their bands and projects.

Most of these musicians would move on to non-Prince projects whether it was due to Prince’s short-attention for a given project or frustration over Prince’s princely ways.

Last year on the eve of Prince’s 50th birthday, a collection of his former sidemen and friends gathered at the legendarily cramped Cabooze bar in the West Bank area of Minneapolis to celebrate with an all-star jam. While a cryptic “Jamie Starr” was listed on the marquee, the man of honor didn’t make an appearance, the show was a greatest hits of his catalog as well as the associated acts like The Time and The Family. This is apparently the third annual Prince Family Reunion, and this year we see that “Alexander Nevermind” is listed on the bill!

This year’s show will take place Friday June 5th and tickets are $20, $25 at the door. There is also a very limited number of $50 V.I.P. passes which will gain the holder a meet-and-greet as well as access to the V.I.P. area. Doors are at 8:30PM and the show should start at 9:30. From the Cabooze calendar:

Prince Family Reunion featuring (Click on the links for more information):
St. Paul Peterson (The Time, The Family, The Truth)
Susannah Melvoin (The Revolution, The Family)
Michael Bland (New Power Generation, Soul Asylum)
Kirk Johnson (New Power Generation, The Truth)
Dez Dickerson
(The Revolution)
Ta Mara/Margie Cox (Prince, Ta Mara & The Seen)
Dr. Fink
(The Revolution)
Bobby Z
(The Revolution)
Stokley (Mint Condition)
Jellybean Johnson
(The Time, The Family)
Chance Howard (Prince, The Time, The Truth)
Mike Scott (New Power Generation, Justin Timberlake)
Eric Leeds (Prince, New Power GenerationThe Revolution, Madhouse, The Truth)
O’Dell (Mint Condition, The Truth)
Kip Blackshire
(New Power Generation)
G Sharp (Jimmy Vaughn, Dr. Mambo’s Combo)
Tyka Nelson
(Prince’s sister)
Donnie LaMarca (The Truth, Bobby Caldwell)
Brian Gallagher
(Prince, Greazy Meal)
Jerry Hubbard (The Time, Jesse Johnson Revue, Ta Mara & The Seen, The Truth)
Pepe Willie (Prince, 94 East)
Alexander Nevermind (ummm, right)
& a very special MAZERATI Reunion featuring all the original members!

In addition to that list from the press release, Paul “St. Paul” Peterson posted on the Family 2.0 Facebook page confirmed that he would be at the show along with Susannah Melvoin. Since Jellybean and Eric Leeds will be there this likely means that we will be treated to a “Family” reunion! It would be cool if they could coax Wendy and Lisa to make the trip west…

Based on the list of players above it sort of seems like this event would be difficult to pull off considering how some members wouldn’t have worked together in any of Prince’s projects or otherwise. The key to this seems to be the band listed as “The Truth” which shows up on a number of the members’ lists of bands.

The Truth was an all-star lineup of former Prince-related sidemen who performed regularly in the Twin Cities in 2006 and 2007, and released a CD of one of their performances in 2008. The band consisted of “St. Paul” Peterson on bass, vocals, guitar and keyboards, Jellybean Johnson on guitars, O’Dell on guitar and vocals, Jerry Hubbard on bass, guitar, keyboards and vocals, Chance Howard on bass guitar, bass synth, and vocals, Kirk Johnson on drums and vocals, Eric Leeds, on saxophone, keyboards and vocals, and Donnie LaMarca on keyboards.

The Truth was managed by Jeff Taube of Mid-America Talent, which is also putting this show on, so it all ties neatly together. The press release also mentions other “Very Special Suprise Guests” so it will be interesting to see who else shows up. Aside from Alexander Nevermind himself, Wendy & Lisa would be cool, and maybe Morris Day?

As with any project like this one, you end up with some folks who were notable in Prince’s camp (St. Paul, Susannah, Jellybean, Eric Leeds, Bobby Z., Dr. Fink, Dez) and you end up with some sort of questionable relations– Ta Mara was really more notable as Jessie Johnson’s protege, however, Prince did sign her to Paisley Park and recorded an album, but never released it– hiding in a vault somewhere in Chanhassen, I suppose. Mint Condition was a band discovered by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis of The Time fame, but since they are managed by Mid-America Talent and are part of The Truth, they get to be here.  Tyka Nelson is Prince’s sister, and not really part of his direct musical career. G-Sharp toured with Prince during the Diamonds and Pearls World Tour– his band backed Carmen Electra who was the opening act.

Pepe Willie is an interesting part of Prince’s history (and a VERY IMPORTANT ONE according to his website), but unless this group was going to play 94 East or Grand Central songs (both early Prince Bands), I don’t think his addition to the lineup is essential.

The Mazarati reunion is pretty interesting. The story of Mazarati is similar to the Margie Cox story in that it is one of a Prince relation casualty. Mazarati was founded in part by Brown Mark of The Revolution. After some local buzz surrounding a demo of “Stroke” that was played at First Avenue by a DJ, Prince took an interest in the band and signed them to Paisley Park. Prince wrote their biggest single “100 MPH,” but the most noted story surrounds what would become one of Prince’s biggest singles “Kiss.” Prince gave them “Kiss” as a rough demo. After spending the day rebuilding the song from the ground up, Prince took the song back and added his own vocals and some production touches. He didn’t even bother to remove the background vocals that were done by Mazarati! So, maybe Mazarati will do “Kiss” at the show? You can hear their demo of “Kiss” at their MySpace page.

It turns out that I have a family thing to go to in the Twin Cities that day, so my wife and I are talking about going to this. I’ll provide a show review and pictures here!

Click Here to visit the Facebook Event for the Prince Family Reunion

Click Here to read the  interview I did with Wendy & Lisa about their new album!

Upcoming Show: Reunited Jayhawks to Play Minneapolis Basilica Block Party 7/10/09

It seems that the reunion of Gary Louris and Mark Olson which produced the fantastic Chris Robinson-produced Ready For The Flood, has grown enough for them to consider some Jayhawks reunion shows.

“Since Mark and I are buddies again,” Gary said in a quote from Billboard.com, “and the fact that Karen [Grotberg] is now willing to do some shows because now her daughter is old enough for her to leave for periods of time, it’s just become for viable.”

Right now, the only confirmed U.S. date is the massive Minneapolis Basilica Block Party on Friday, July 10th which has them sharing the bill with The Black Crowes and Mat Kearney. Continuing the Crows-theme, The Counting Crows play on Saturday along with Twin Cities ex-pats The Hold Steady and Matt Nathanson. Tickets go on sale 4/24, and you can pick individual day passes or a pass for both days. No ticket prices are announced, yet.

As, for future Jayhawks shows or the possibility of touring, Louris says, “Our approach is to look forward. I think the plan is that we’re going to play festivals, next year we’re hoping to play Bonnaroo and things like that. We’ll see if it grows from there… But if we continue and we’re loving it, then of course you need new songs.”

Upcoming Show: Santigold in Des Moines @ People’s Court 5/29; First Ave. 5/28

Santi White aka Santigold formerly Santogold is kicking off her first North American tour on May 21st in San Francisco according to New Music Express.

 The 20-date tour makes a stop at Bonnaroo on June 20th, and the Roots Picnic in Philly on June 6th as well as some key stops in the Middle-west– a surprising Des Moines stop at People’s Court in Des Moines on 5/29 (yay!) and First Ave in Minneapolis on 5/28 and a stop on June 6th in St. Louis.

I’m not sure why the Windy City didn’t get invited to the party, but them’s the breaks, I guess!

Santigold’s eponymous debut album came out in 2008 and blew up all over the place with no less than five singles including the “L.E.S. Artistes” which seemed to be on every TV show and commercial as a soundtrack. The album is genre-jumping, but fits comfortably next to bands like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and M.I.A. (the latter sharing some tweaking from Diplo). The 80’s New Wavish anthems and forays into Ska were a permanent part of the greatest hits at our house last year.

Santigold will be joined on this tour by DJ Trouble Andrew who worked with her on the Pixies-divining “I’m A Lady” as well as Philly MC Amanda Blank. Check her MySpace to hear her flow over a Diplo remix of “I’m A Lady.”

Click Here for Santigold’s MySpace Page

Click Here for Amanda Blank’s Website

Click Here for Trouble Andew’s Website here’s his MySpace Joint

Click Here for IowaTix, to order the tickets for the People’s Court show. Click Here for the People’s Court MySpace page.

Click Here for the First Ave Event Calendar

Mar 27 2009 8:00P
Ultra Music Festival Miami, Florida
Mar 28 2009 8:00P
Roxy’s Chicken Jam Mammoth, California
May 21 2009 8:00P
The Warfield w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew San Francisco, California
May 22 2009 8:00P
Empire w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew   Sacramento, California
May 24 2009 8:00P
Cuthbert Amphitheatre Eugene, Oregon
May 25 2009 8:00P
Sasquatch! Festival @ The Gorge George, Washington
May 28 2009 8:00P
First Avenue w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 29 2009 8:00P
Peoples Court w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew   Des Moines, Iowa
May 31 2009 8:00P
Rams Head Live w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Baltimore, Maryland
Jun 1 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Boston, Massachusetts
Jun 3 2009 8:00P
Phoenix Concert Theatre w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Toronto, Ontario
Jun 4 2009 8:00P
Metropolis w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Montreal, Quebec
Jun 6 2009 8:00P
The Roots Picnic @ Festival Pier Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 7 2009 8:00P
The Norva w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Norfolk, Virginia
Jun 9 2009 8:00P
Terminal 5 w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew New York, New York
Jun 10 2009 8:00P
9:30 Club w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Washington DC, Washington DC
Jun 12 2009 8:00P
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Manchester, Tennessee
Jun 13 2009 8:00P
Barcardi B Live @ The Pageant w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew St. Louis, Missouri
Jun 15 2009 8:00P
Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Austin, Texas
Jun 17 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Houston, Texas
Jun 18 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Dallas, Texas
Jun 21 2009 8:00P
Hollywood Bowl / KCRW World Festival Series Hollywood, California

Free Download: New Lyrics Born! “Funky Hit Records” Upcoming Shows

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Lyrics Born released his last album Everywhere At Once— in fact it was released just under a year ago! (4/22/08) Not one to rest on his laurels when there is inspiration– LB has been spending time in the studio working on the release of his next album to be titled As U Were to drop this fall.

To help spread the buzz, LB has made available for FREE the old school stylee track “Funky Hit Records.”  “Funky Hit Records” is a tribute to classic 80’s style hip hop– a different direction than the production of his last two albums using only beats and scratches to propel the track from Trackademicks. A fun track with trademark tongue-in-cheek bravado from the man LB. The song has a video produced by Justin– the guy who handles all of the on-line activity for the Lyrics Born camp including the LBTV videos.

In other news, Lyrics Born is making a quick jump to the Midwest in April with Joyo Velarde and DJ D-Sharp. They’ll be at The Majestic in Madison, WI on April 14th, and Trocadero’s in Minneapolis on Friday, April 17th! I’ll be at the Minneapolis show, of course!

Apr 8 2009 9:00P
The Nightlight Lounge – Bellingham, WA Bellingham, Washington
Apr 10 2009 8:00P
Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR Portland, Oregon
Apr 11 2009 8:00P
McDonald Theatre – Eugene, OR w/ The Roots Eugene, Oregon
Apr 14 2009 9:00P
Majestic Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 17 2009 8:00P
Trocadero’s – Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 18 2009 8:00P
Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA – Adam Theis with special guest Lyrics Born San Francisco,

Click Here to download “Funky Hit Records” from the forthcoming As U Were.
Click Here to visit Lyrics Born’s website
Click Here to visit the LBTV YouTube Channel with the video for “Funky Hit Records” as well as a bunch of other videos.

B-Sides in the Bins #28: Amazon.com part 2 – Limited Warranty

Neon, tissue box, sexy legs, and moody band shots...

Neon, tissue box, sexy legs, and moody band shots...

Limited Warranty – Limited Warranty (CD, Wounded Bird WOU 513, 2007) ($8.89)

It’s with slight trepidation and risk of any “cred” that I may have gained over the years that I write about this purchase. Limited Warranty is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me and is probably tainted and tinted by the gathering fog and mist clouding my memory of this band.

Limited Warranty was a band from Minneapolis that won the Star Search bands competition in 1985 which landed them a big cash prize and a single that was pushed for radio play. That single “This Is Serious” b/w “Never Enough” was recorded with former Psychedelic Furs drummer Vince Ely producing. The single enjoyed lots of airplay in the Midwest and toured extensively. They were eventually approached by ATCO, a subsidiary label of Atlantic to record their first album released in 1986.

This album, produced by Brian Tench who also worked with Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark, Bow Wow Wow and other New Wave Acts,  along with its first single “Victory Line” seemed to do really well. The album certainly got a lot of play in Dubuque on KLYV-105. Some of this, I believe, was because one of the member’s uncle was the station manager. Limited Warranty played in the Dubuque area quite a bit as I recall. I saw them play the Dubuque County Fairgrounds for a M.A.D.D. benefit with a couple of other bands. My brother Steve used to have the poster for this show “Fun-Tacked” to his bedroom door. We also saw them play the Circle in East Dubuque in the winter.

According to this very informative site on Limited Warranty, the band was recording demos for its follow-up album on ATCO when they were dropped from the label. Some of this material was included on their self-released EP called Domestic 7. They came to Dubuque around this time and made an in-store appearance at TJ’s Music World and did an interview on KLYV around this same time telling their story and pushing the EP. I bought the EP on cassette, and I still have it. I also picked up the album on cassette out of a cut-out bin at Musicland in Dubuque. I had always intended to rip these two releases to CD or mp3 but never got around to it.

Apparently, if you wait long enough eventually everything will be released on CD. While I was looking on Amazon for the Wounded Bird releases of the Del Fuegos first three albums, I was looking at the Wounded Bird site and found that the Limited Warranty album had already been released on CD since July of 2007! So, I ordered this one along with the first Del Fuegos.

Listening to it now, it certainly brings back a lot of memories. It is the pop hook-laden album I remember it to be. I had a co-worker listen to it, and his comment was that while it was pretty good and well-done, it was missing something that would have pushed it to the levels of label-mates INXS. I think it has something to do with the missing teenage angst or some level of darkness. It sounds as good as some of their contemporaries like the Psychedelic Furs, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Duran Duran, or OMD would have been turning out. The closest they get is the song “Domestic 7” about old folks homes with its samples of old people talking. The production is a bit thin, unfortunately, but very clean. I think this is a result of this album never having been released on CD so we are getting the limited bandwidth of the cassette or vinyl master. So, it could stand a remastering. Nevertheless, it’s cool to hear these songs again.

Thanks to Brian’s World for his Limited Warranty website— complete with mp3 samples of all of the releases!