Friday, July 10, 2009

Meat Puppets still got it

I had plenty of time to wonder what the Meat Puppets would be bringing to the table, or to the stage, as it were, last night at the What's Up Lounge. Nothing against opening acts, Machine 22 and Captain Eleven, but I was on duty for the paper with the mission of reviewing the Puppets, so, knowing the show started at 8, I left my house at 9:30 hoping to get there as the second act was finishing up. No such luck. The first act wasn't even nearing its end.
So for a couple of hours I mingled a bit and watched as Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets wandered in and out of the room of 150 people or so, dressed for a book club meeting, or a jaunt to the mall, in faded gray jeans and an even more faded button-up shirt, his long gray hair tied loosely back in a ponytail. In this room of mostly 20-somethings, with a few easily identifiable Meat Puppets fans from way back (sitting calmly in skirts and slacks toward the back of the room), Cris stood, sipping a drink, bothered by only one fan for an autograph. Otherwise, it was unclear if I was one of a handful who knew who he was.

Twenty-nine years. That's a hell of a long time to be doing this. I sat with the band's tour manager, who informed me this tour was about getting back to the band's roots doing club gigs. More contact with fans. This was the first time the band ventured outstate in Minnesota, having played only in the Twin Cities. In addition to Mankato, Duluth and Rochester were also on the roster.

It's a cool idea. After all this time and experience, with a great new album of material to play, the band would choose to play smaller, more intimate gigs for the fans. Of course, one has to wonder if they had other options. I wondered if the trouble in the band's past had caught up with their fame, overshadowed the music. Cris's terrible drug addiction and prison time for assault, which drove a temporary wedge in the band. Would this show simply be a band going through the motions? Surviving on name recognition?

Hardly. Halfway through their first song, "Sewn Together," the title track to the new album, it was clear these guys were here for themselves as much as the fans. The sound was much lighter than the first two bands that went on. The Kirkwood brothers sang in harmony. They weren't shredding their guitars and screaming into the microphone. In fact, if anything, their vocals were a bit subdued, with the intricate guitar work taking center stage. But they had an incredible energy, so obviously happy to be on stage playing together. There was a spirit about them, like they were grateful to be alive and to be a band.

I commented to a friend of mine I bumped into during the show about that energy. He said something like, "Compared to other bands that play here, though?" Immediately I thought of what Cris said on the phone when I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago. The Meat Puppets had taught Kurt Cobain that a band's energy isn't about volume. It comes from the music. They proved that to be true last night. There was even some crowd surfing going on, which I certainly didn't expect from a band touring a quiet rock album filled with vocal harmonies.

Improv seemed to also be a big part of the show. Songs stretched on twice as long as the album versions, with the brothers playing off of each other to keep the music going. Even songs from "Meat Puppets II," made famous from the "Nirvana Unplugged" concert, were stretched almost beyond recognition. To Nirvana fans, songs like "Plateau" and "Oh Me" from "Unplugged" became Cobain songs with the success of that album. It was nice to see the Kirkwood brothers reclaim them.


  1. Glad the local newspaper didn't cover, you know the, local band playing.

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  3. Yes, who cares about the local music when someone with a little fame comes thru and you need to fawn over them. At least have the common decency to go the whole event and discover new music locally grown. Help get them some publicity.

  4. This is exactly why the Free Press is NOT a good news source. As a small town newspaper you should be covering news from LOCAL people as well as the main show.
    The Free Mess era of crappy reporting continues.

  5. Hello. The article needed to be focused, and the most appropriate angle for the evening was the Meat Puppets.

    I already have written about The Soviet Machines, when they were named that, with another article planned about their forthcoming album. I will not write about the opening act for that show, assuming they have a release party, just as I didn't write about the opening act at a Meat Puppets headlining show.

    Last night was about the Meat Puppets, and I would have been folly to ignore the national act in favor of the local one.
    Thanks for reading!

  6. wow. sorry you had to sit through a local band who's memebers have done more for the music scene of Mankato in the past 15 years than just about anyone else. I'm glad your night wasn't wrecked. this reveiw is insulting.

  7. Sure, the article needed a focus, but you actually dissed the local bands. "knowing the show started at 8, I left my house at 9:30 hoping to get there as the second act was finishing up. No such luck. The first act wasn't even nearing its end." Very uncool.

  8. I see your point, Jill. But I really meant no offense. I was there for work, so what I meant to say was that I intended to be there only for the band I was reviewing. The opening bands were not offensive, the late hour was. It was a matter of time. I could have worded it more carefully.

  9. Looking through your archive, I fail to see where you've reviewed one local band. Perhaps you could rub the stars out of your eyes. Green Day is not from here. The Meat Puppets (awesome as they are) are not from here.

    There is fantastic music in Mankato, but with friends like you, who could know? I've been playing original music in Mankato as The Schmoejoes for 5 years, after moving from the cities where I opened for everyone you probably would have fawned over up there.

    When I first got here, I thought there was a supportive music scene in Mankato, but it only goes as far as the bands and the fans of music. Most bars, with the notable exception of the What's Up Lounge, stick with the entrenched cover bands.

    The local coverage is crap, and your blog goes to show where your focus is - national acts that *might* come to Mankato get more ink than the local guys who've busted their ass for years to bring good music to the people who care.

    Yeah, the Meat Puppets were the focus of the article, but the dismissive attitude that Captain Eleven and the Soviet Machines got was unnecessary and unwarranted.

    Perhaps if you start reviewing bands from Mankato, you can find one to rave about. A couple extra people show, and eventually Mankato might be a city that's not a Rolling Stone joke, and the locals can get some recognition they deserve.

  10. Uptight much? If you've been trying for years, we've already heard your song, as it goes. How many articles with the SUBJECT of a national touring band do you read include a write up on who opened? None. Why is this article that hard to digest? It's clear the subject was Meat Puppets, so why whine about whether the openers got credit? Silly. Amanda has defended her points more eloquently than I, but seriously folks, lighten up.

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  12. Just an FYI, everyone, if you don't see your comment here it is because it contained profanity or insulted another commentator. No trash talk, please. I will, of course, approve all comments that are constructive. But please keep it clean. If you have a comment not posted, please feel free to clean it up and resubmit. Thanks.

  13. eriklee82 - how would you know? Local bands regardless of swellitude can't get asses in the seats if nobody knows. How many people could name more than 5 Mankato bands without the Google? I've played Ribfest the last 2 years, Solstice the last three, and have gotten 5 lines written about us - as in "The Schmoejoes - 8pm".

    Hell, I'm not even from here. I didn't play the show last night - I was just there and enjoyed it. Perhaps the instant dogpile is unfair, but this has been an issue ever since I moved to the area. Obviously, the author has hit a sore spot - local artists are tired of being ignored in favor of people who's biggest connection to Mankato is that they screwed someone from here.

    The title of the blog is "...MANKATO'S ENTERTAINMENT SCENE", not 'Who I want to come to Mankato'.

    Don't like the heat? Don't be disingenuous. Change the blog to reflect what's discussed here, namely, non-Mankato bands.

    Which, as we're based in scenic Waseca, and are playing tomorrow in Northfield (with another Waseca band, Paraphasisa) would ironically include The Schmoejoes.

    See you there.

  14. Hello everyone. I'm hearing a recurring theme in some of these posts, including ones that I haven't been able to post because of the profanity: Local media ignores local bands.

    Certainly, that has never been my intention. So I thought, in the spirit of doing some good with all of this disucssion, maybe I could offer insight into my point of view as the only arts reporter at the paper, and you'll all have a better idea of how to gain more attention.

    Please also know, that none of the following is stated in a sarcastic fashion. I'm shooting straight.

    I wish I had time to go hang out at bars and hear all the local bands and determine that way who gets a story. That's not the case. Two jobs, and my full-time one at the free press also includes a monthly magazine. Not complaining, just explaining. ...What I'm saying is, a lot of the time, I can't come find you. I need you to come to me.

    If I see a band name on the roster for the Wine Cafe, why would I say, "That would make a great story." I'm writing for a wide ranging readership -- age and demographics. So I need an angle. Good stories about local bands have included: father/son duo performing at Solstice on Father's Day (Steve Murphy and son); local elementary school teacher fronts blues band (NiteRail); reunion show of greatly missed local hard rock band (Diskord).

    What I'm saying is, how can I have ignored you if you've never introduced yourself? Some of you who have felt ignored, you should e-mail me or stop in to introduce yourself. Tell me what kind of music you play. Give me an angle that will be of interest on a human level. Not just "We play blues. Please do a story on us." Actually, any band who comes forward on the local level and just states that gets a story. It's called the Meet the Band series. It's a Q&A with local bands ... (more in next comment)

  15. But it's hard for me to read "You ignore us," when this is arena is the first I'm hearing from you.

    The Meet the Band series has proven to be good exposure for local bands. Plus, it's a great way for even your fans to gain some insight into the band you might not have had. Plus, it's a Q&A, so you get to expound on your thoughts without much editing. That doesn't happen in a feature.

    But if you shoot me an e-mail, introduce yourself and give me an angle I can work with, then a feature story is always a possibility. Have you been playing together 10 years and are embarking on your first out-of-state tour? That's an angle. Did you break up for a time because of illness, or maybe everybody went out and had babies, and now you're back together ready to do this again? That's an angle. Releasing your first album of oringal material? Etc., etc.

    I understand that some of you might think I should just be going to bars and writing about every band that calls Mankato their hometown, but that wouldn't be serving my readers. I have to give them something of interest to read that appeals to a whole lot of them. So if you help me find that, then I can help you. But please don't assume that I'm going to see your name on a bar Web site and call you for a feature. And, in my opinion, it's a bit unfair to say that that amounts to me ignoring you.

  16. Hi, I'm the singer of captain eleven. First off I just wanna say I'm not offended we didn't get coverage in Amanda's blog. The Meat Puppets deserved whole-heartedly every bit of press they've gotten in this blog. Great guys and one of our favorite rock bands for many years. We were support for the show, which gained us new ears and hopefully new fans having opened for them. I do want to say there is an extreme lack of local scene coverage in the Free Press and always has been, but that's never stopped our scene's bands from getting great turnouts at shows. It's no secret that you get out of it what you put into it. Captian Eleven, as well as other bands in town, have independently developed the skills to effectively promote our bands, most times more strategically than an article in a local paper. There have always been and will always been highly-talented bands emerging from this town and the surrounding areas and there will always be a very close-knit group of friends and "family" that will give back to said bands. In the case of Captain Eleven, we are extremely honored to have been the opening band at this very special event. We certainly don't have the history or the hits that the Puppets boast, but we take care in writing and performing our songs in hopes that a few might dig what they are hearing. We also worked very hard as a group to advertise the show through many channels, had awesome commemorative posters silkscreened, and provided donuts for everyone to munch on. The fact is, we contributed to the turnout as well. It is important for Amanda to realize as she moves forward covering the "BIG" acts that the "scene" bands and club staff DO deserve to be painted in a positive light. Being an entertainment writer for a city's paper - however small or large - carries an obligation to cover the arts. Don't discourage or take away from what's going on behind the scenes or at "ground level", cause if a club is confident in an opening band appealing to a headlining band's fanbase, there's gotta be something to them too. An entertainment writer should also be hip to the innerworkings of local nightlife and know what to expect when a small venue attempts to put on a 21+ show... they NEVER start on time, and that should be engrained in anyone's head if they've ever been to a concert anywhere except the Target Center! Sorry, show's gonna be LATE!!! Anyways it was a great time for all. And for all those that are getting super hot about the topic, not being covered in the articles isn't gonna stop my band from working our a**es off to get you to come out and see us for the first or 7th time. You'll know, regardless of a Free Press write up! Thanks Meat Puppets!!!

  17. Hi Captain Eleven. Before last night, I knew your band name and that was it. I would gladly have included you in the Meet the Band series or a feature (if there was an angle we could work out) at any point had you guys come talked with me, or shot me an e-mail to introduce yourself. Now that we have connected, I hope we'll be able to do that.

    For you and everyone else who think the scene (I'm assuming you mean music exclusively) isn't being covered appropriately, I'm open to suggestions and story ideas. Feel free to e-mail me any ideas you have at I'm also happy to share with you all stories I've done on local bands and shows. I think you'd be surprised.

  18. Hey Amanda... you know... I've grown so used to my bands NEVER getting any coverage in the local paper that I didn't even think of coming to you for a write-up! don't take that the wrong way, it's just been that way... but let's figure something out for sure. I know of a ton of local bands that would wanna get in on it too (i.e. The Sold Outs, Revilwen, MidLife, the Paineaters (formerly Rhythmaplex)). maybe you could do a local punk showcase or something and squeeze a bit of everything goin on into one article? Talk about interresting... -Jason

  19. Hi Jason. Sounds goods. But local bands do get coverage in the paper. I have many examples. Most of those bands came to me and told me about an upcoming show or an album.

    It's frustrating to think that just because a band books a gig they think I'm going to magically hear about it and do a story on it. Bands have to be active in public relations -- press releases and other contact wtih local media.

    I'm happy to do Meet the Bands on any of the bands you listed. They should shoot me an e-mail at, and I'll send them all some questions.

    Also, we just did a big story on the history of punk in Mankato, so a look at today's scene might make a good and timely story. I'll schedule something and give you a call. If you could help me come up with a bunch of other punk band names in Mankato, I'll contact some of them, too.

  20. Jon: How would I know? I lived in Mankato for years and have many friends and family members in bands both in the Kato area and in other cities, so I'm quite familiar with the process, actually. You also prove Amanda's later points: Local bands can't get asses in the seats if nobody knows...well whose fault is that? The band has to be relentless in self-promotion because local acts are a dime a dozen in any city...what will you do to stand out? Make shirts, give away demos, set up a website/myspace, make stickers/patches, contact the local newspaper entertainment writer when you're playing (!), etc. Maybe you do all of that stuff, but if you're expecting one unsolicited article or blurb to promote your show and get asses in the seats when you haven't made the effort yourself...that's pretty weak.

    Kato was similar when I was there...and I agree it's a sore spot for local acts...but this is the wrong place to pick that battle. The Captain Eleven guy has the right idea and attitude. Kudos.

  21. How far back does this "history" of Mankato punk go back? Have the Haugens been contacted? Al Montgomery, Adam Harlodson, Jim Pappas, Bill "The Load" Nelson, Jeffery Schnobrich, the people that ran Skanks? Thats just off the top of my head, some of the originators of our beloved scene. Without them things would not be the same.

    As much as I loved the Marti's days, things were going on close to ten years earlier. Maybe Jeff can hook you up with a Sick Thoughts fanzine or perhaps Mark Abraham could share his flier collection.

    Maybe you already had all of the above covered, maybe not, I'd hate to see my "Old School" peers overlooked, especially in an article on the history of MANKATO punk rock.

  22. Now, on to local bands getting coverage. Sans a few blips here and there I'm not seeing it in the Free Press. Never really have and I don't expect to, maybe I'm just apathetic about it. It's always been DIY on the part of bands, that was because it had to. Although I would assume if you want to report on the happenings of the Arts and Entertainment in Mankato you would actually go and see local shows, pretty easy to find out when when bands are playing, I do know the Whats Up Lounge has a website and I'd be willing to bet other local venues do as well.
    Investigative reporting we'll call it. :)

    Thanks for taking time to address these issues.I hope you will search, and I hope bands will send you information on upcoming shows for some promotion.

    Bands, same thing applies with the MN Music Hour drop us a note on our MySpace and we will be sure to let our listeners know the skinny. Fridays 6-7pm 89.7 or online at


  23. eriklee82 - All your points are good - in theory. In practice, those things get the attention of people that are predisposed to already be at a show. Bands want new people. The paper reaches those who aren't going to see a sticker in the What's Up bathroom.

    You'll notice that even the C11 guy says, "I've grown so used to my bands NEVER getting any coverage in the local paper that I didn't even think of coming to you for a write-up!"

    I think that points to the issue. All the promotion that C11 had done past and present did not garner the attention of the local entertainment writer. They've got the website, etc, ( and some of the greatest posters I've seen), and it did no good in this case. Idea and attitude be damned, the system failed.

    I don't expect the local press to come up and take a solo, so I guess I hoped that I wouldn't have to help them find a local story to write about.

    Rather than blathering on with more self-serving-appearing anecdotes, I gotta go get ready for my show.

  24. Hi Jon ... from The Schmoejoes, is it? Have we met? Because you make it sound like you've been banging on my door for five years and I've ignored it.

    Reality: No, putting a poster up at the What's Up Lounge will not get my attention. E-mailing me and saying, "Hi, I'm Jon from The Schmoejoes. I've been playing shows in the area for five years, and I wondered if you'd be interested in doing a story about us."

    In case any of you haven't noticed, the state of the industry is at it's worst. Mandated furloughs, layoffs and endless budget cuts have affected our newsroom. It's just me running the show for arts. If you would like to know how I spend my work shifts, I can tell you, but it absolutely does not involve the luxury of hanging out at the What's Up Lounge just waiting for the opportunity to discover your great band.

    Forgive my sarcasm, but it has never been my job to promote you. It's my job to inform and entertain my readers. Nor am I a talent scout. I wish I had time to "discover" you, but I do not. I love writing about good bands. But it doesn't happen because I've got all this time on my hands to wait for you to show up at Pub 500 one night.

    Were any of you aware of the Meet the Band series before now? Or did you just miss all of those issues? Do you know about Close-ups? Many of you are making generalizations about coverage when it seems you are uninformed.

    You might want to put in a little legwork to promote yourselves to me before you make statements about being ignored. I can't ignore you, Jon, if we've never met. It's not hard to get yourself a spot in the paper. But it's lazy to think it's my job to come discover you and, due to your stellar performance, put you on the front page.

  25. C'mon. Let's not get the undies bunched. It's patently obvious that there is a problem, be it understaffing the the Free Press, communication between bands and yourself, and/or the fact that the 'industry' sucks, as it were.

    I originally came on here to protest the offhand way I felt you dismissed the guys who opened for the Meat Puppets. I and some others vented some frustration at a system we didn't understand the workings of. I don't need to get in a 'who works harder at their jobs' pissing contest. As I see it, James Brown won, and we're all whiners.

    It's fantastic to know I can email you, and perhaps get some ink out of it. That's something that I, and apparently quite a few others were not aware of.

    Perhaps I was heavy-handed in my objections, or chose my words poorly. I'm guessing I don't need to explain to you how that might come back to bite you. I can see my choice of the word, "ignored" has bothered you.

    You and I want similar things. You want to write about great bands, I want to read about, see, and be in one.

    Let's knock off all the bitching, work together, and do our damn jobs.

    BTW, can I use, "...just waiting for the opportunity to discover your great band" and "Stellar Performance!" on the SJ's website?

  26. Any bands interested in being part of the band series, please e-mail me at Any bands with a good angle for a feature story, please feel free to e-mail or give a call, 344-6388.

    Jon: No, it's not OK to use those quotes.

  27. Greetings,

    I manage the Meat Puppets, and by default, also handle their road management when I can.

    Forums like this serve many values but chief amongst all is that it serves the overall voice of a community of arts, artists, and the individuals who promote the same. In that community, it is important to discuss "what could be even better". Forming bonds happens when we take time to reflect on viewpoints of everyone.

    So, I loved this dialog. The passion behind everyone's thoughts and comments is why things can and do improve. Ideas must become discussion before there can be creative and effective action.

    I want to share how we approached this gig, with the idea it may prove instructive for other musicians.

  28. (continued . . .forgive any redundancies)

    It is no longer a miracle for a band to launch its career without the aid of a label, at all. Cloud Cult is a great example. Tapes N Tapes, too.

    So, the scene now is remarkably like 1982, when mainstream media did not know nor cover the underground. Except, thanks to the web, there is a 10,000 multiplier effect over the 'zine scene that was so prominent in the early 80s. To tap that energy, bands need to rethink the old "30 big national markets" method of touring.

    Having been around Minnesota and midwest music scenes dating back to the early 1980s. (and longer, gulp . . . I saw Molly Hatchet at a Mankato college hall in 1979), I am a GRASS ROOTS believer.

    The past three weeks, we have played Rock Island, Waterloo, and now, Mankato, LaCrosse, Rochester, and tomorrow, St. Cloud, and Wednesday, Duluth. (Then we disappear from the area, for the next 9 months!)

    Why is that?

  29. (continued)

    Simple. We think it is increasingly important to go to smaller markets and give people a chance to see us. They know our music. They can follow us from afar, but what better joy is there than to get up close and sweat with us? It's a natural rush. So organic in its nature, that you know it is REAL. Not some adulation b.s. (Although, come on, we enjoy that, too!)

    The past three weeks have been amongst the most satisfying for this band, because they are musicians first and foremost, and they get off like any red blooded musician does, playing to a jacked up crowd. And discovering the music you made at some point in your career has reached and been approved by Mankato (or LaCrosse, etc.) residents, there is tremendous pride in that discovery process. And what better way to affirm that than to come to town and play?

    And talked about jacked up crowds. We were amazed at the number of people in the audience singing every word to every song. Tossing around 260 lb. men, like rag dolls. (Watching punk hair cuts mingle with Ryan's crew cut!)

    It is okay for Amanda to suspect any and all motives for us to play Mankato, and wonder whether a band with the prominence of the Meat Puppets chose to play Mankato for the reasons I gave her, or for other reasons (lack of options). But the truth is, knowing John Fogerty played the city a few years back, and as John is one of our heroes, we have always followed that guy's moves, no kidding!

    Others are advised to do the same.:)

  30. Here's the big picture at work, though. John understands there are music lovers everywhere, some not always able to commute to the nearest big town for a show. And it's true. The four of us can travel in one car to every city we play. Should we do that, or expect 20 fans from Mankato to commit to driving to the Cities?

    And the rest be damned? The answer was in our action. WE CHOSE MANKATO.

    Sure, parsing up dates means the audience may be smaller than if we played just one major 1st Avenue gig. But again, the band does what it does for the love of being musicians. As
    we operate that way, everything else takes shape and you do develop a deeper level of support. It's just a blue collar attitude, that from hard work comes deserved rewards.

    Which leads to the primary issue of the forum here. What should bands expect in terms of coverage?

    The Puppets did not wait for the Free Press to contact us. I knew about Amanda's work from her coverage of Quietdrive. So we contacted her. I am sure Ryan did the same. It led to an interview and an article. Not wanting the article to be all about the band's past (fun as that is, it is the past), because the band has come back for many reasons, but central to all is, it is not done making NEW music statements. And the new album (here comes the hype!) is a fantastic piece of work that we want everyone to witness.

    Bands need not do everything themselves . . . although they should start with that exact premise. Nothing happens until you make it happen.

  31. Now, look at all the ways you can connect to that "larger" audience. The promoter will help you (and if not, never play a show for that promoter). Again, Ryan flyered, called press, called radio, and talked the show up. We booked this way back in March, and gave him loads of resources to use. That was one step.

    The other steps were, we called everyone we thought would help us. We provided a story for Amanda (and as a true reporter, she reserved her judgment on those reasons right up until she saw the gig, and maybe she still does! That's a good reporter.) I think our actions speak way louder than any words, we were there to play. The check is necessary, but a great show will always do wonders to the goodwill that keeps fans coming back, over and over. So, music first. Everything else follows that.

    I have a few last things to mention.

    Captain Eleven gets all of that. They are obviously doing what they do from the heart.
    Cris was in the room to see them, and loved the band. Loved their musical ideas. Loved their energy. And he was truly stunned to see the care they poured into the posters they made at their own expense. One of those will now adorn his music wall at home in Arizona.

    That sums up everything we believe in. You travel to broaden your knowledge and your life experiences. As a musician, you get a unique chance to do that over and over. Along the way, you meet people who know your work, and people who support your work. But until you make the effort to reach them, you will never grasp how deep that love runs.

    So on to the next town, and the next, and the next . . .

  32. post script . . .

    I had never met Amanda before, but I believe Ryan introduced us. At any rate, there she was, notebook in hand, working away, and watching everything going on. Her writing reflects that.

    She also was more than happy to chat with the musicians from Machine 22, when they introduced themselves. I watched that, and saw someone who does appreciate it when a band takes the time to establish a face to a name.

    I bet everyone here, would find the same professional persona I did.

    You are in good hands with her, provided you muster up the story.

    Hope to see all of you again.

    Dennis Pelowski
    Meat Puppets Management

  33. Jon,

    this is the best quote ever. Use it instead, if I could be so bold to suggest it.

    "As I see it, James Brown won, and we're all whiners."

  34. Thank you very much for the feedback and thoughtful response(s). Good luck with the rest of your tour.

  35. Dennis, this is Anthony from Captain Eleven. That was a very elegant, well thought out response. Thanks again to the Meat Puppets for choosing Mankato.

  36. Dennis - thanks for weighing in, and bringing some cool water to a hot thread. You remind me what I'm doing this for, and it aint press - it's to make good music that I like to listen to. If someone else enjoys it, then they have excellent taste. And may receive a complementary T-shirt. With the best quote ever on it.

    Amanda: It's easy to be a dick on the internet, and easier still to have one. I should have made the first move, before I made the last one.

    I'll let you know when The Schmoejoes are doing something interesting, beyond antagonizing the local press. I'm sure when you come see us, you'll have some quotes for me then. And maybe a punch in the arm for old time's sake.

  37. No hard feelings, Jon, or at least there won't be after I publicly rip apart how you do your job. Fair is fair, right!?
    ; )