Sweet Music

It’s no secret I’m addicted to live music. The more I go, the more I want to go. It’s kind of preposterous, except that it’s not. There are very few things in this world that make me feel so alive (sorry, I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true) and so, like a rat who has figured out which pellet spits out the tasty treat, I keep going back for more. I can feel the top of my head pop open and my heart fly around the room. And I can’t wipe the grin off my face for days. That joy, that juice, it lingers and lingers. The problem (if you can call it a problem) is that we are lucky lucky lucky here in the Twin Cities. It’s so easy to go, really not much more work than going downtown for a meal -you  just wear flats. At certain times of the year it’s actually hard to choose who to see. Obviously, I can’t go every night, or even every week (nor would I want to), but I’m not going to lie, when I pass something up, my mind wanders over to that loud, sweaty space as I’m wrangling the kids to bed and I can’t help but wonder what sort of magic I’m missing out on.

This past couple months I’ve seen some gems – a trifecta of beautiful ladies and then the amazing Fitz and the Tantrums, which you knew about. I’m not going to torture you with my amateurish and annoying reviews, but to the extent that I’m going to be reading this blog when I’m an old biddy, sunning myself on a chaise lounge in Florida like a tawny lizard, I want to get it down. Just so I can say, boy oh boy, have I seen some things, Marco! Did I have some times, Marco! (Marco would be the pool boy). I want to remember, because even right now when I’m living it, sometimes it’s hard to believe.

First up. The queen. The QUEEN! Ms. Lauryn Hill. At First Ave. After all these years. We knew she was going to come on late so we had our sitter come at ten o’clock. Yawning and moaning after the kids were in bed, I was so close to letting myself fade away, but Dash and a little green tea pushed me through. Once inside, she sent out her DJ and wild horses couldn’t have dragged me out of there. Five children later, she’s as incredible as ever. Truly one of my top five shows ever. (Five is an extremely elastic number in my world, but I really mean it this time.)

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Then came Dessa. Young, smart, drop dead gorgeous, girl-about-town and CEO of the Doomtree Collective. Big Red, Nanook and I became fans after she curated a hip hop series at the Guthrie and wanted to see her perform. We knew she could rap, we didn’t know she could sing. Boy, can she sing. And she’s really into collaborating, as you’ll see from this clip. We saw her at The Cedar which had partnered with the Jerome Foundation to commission local artists to create and perform new work together. Really cool. She’s brainy, wordy, sexy and funny. What’s not to love?

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And last but certainly not least was Robyn, the pint size powerhouse from Sweden. Thank you to Rosalita for spearheading this adventure. And when I say adventure, I mean adventure. She, Nanook and I were instantly engulfed in the happiest, gayest First Ave crowd I’ve ever experienced. She’s a little Madonna (but with a good voice), a little Gaga (without the theatrics), a little Gwen Stefani, a little Pink. And not for nothing, Europeans have such a different sensibility with regards to what it means to be sexy. She’s as sexy as the day is long, but sexy like Bjork: smart, empowered, unique sexy. Quirky sexy. Some of our artists could take a page out of her book, fo sho. She’s a fiesty, kick-ass pixie and I could have watched her and danced with the gays all night. She is phenomenal – total electronica, 80’s pop, and it’s infectious. We got the fever and spent another happy, silly, dancy few hours at the Saloon afterwards with Rosalita’s hilarious hair posse. Top five, people!

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And finally, Fitz and the Tantrums. Talk about lingering joy. They were SO GOOD. Thank you to Creeper Bud for turning me on to them and insisting that it was not an option to miss this one. I would drop everything to see them again. Only next time I suspect it won’t be at Bunkers. Lucky us. Lucky, lucky us.

Now where’s that Marco with my drink?

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