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Prince/ AP photo
A local legend is joining the late-night wars, at least for one evening.
Prince's appearance Wednesday night on "The Arsenio Hall Show" won't be limited to a musical performance. Promotional material insists that he's "taking over" the program, which makes you wonder if his well-received turn on "New Girl" has him convinced that he can handle a comedy monologue.
It's not the first time Prince has appeared on one of Hall's programs. He famously burned a Star Tribune review of one of his shows on the set of "Arsenio." Will he play pyromaniac again? Will he announce the release date of his long-anticipated new album?
Find out at 10 p.m. tonight on WUCW, Ch. 23.
Whether or not you caught Poliça on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night, you may still want to check out the online clips of the band’s performance. The Minneapolis throb-pop quartet played a powerful version of "Spill the Lies," a highlight from its "Shulamith" album, for the ABC airwaves (posted below). It also played a second song not featured in the broadcast – a song not featured on any of their records, in fact. It’s a cover of Lesley Gore’s 1963 girl-power anthem “You Don’t Own Me.” Obviously, it sounds quite different and darker (and pretty awesome) in their hands. Click here to see the clip.
The other interesting post-script on last night’s Kimmel appearance was drummer Ben Ivascu’s wardrobe choice, a “Drone, Not Drones” T-shirt. That’s the most high-profile appearance yet of the mantra made famous by Low’s Alan Sparhawk at Rock the Garden, and it is particularly good timing.
Minneapolis scenester Luke Heiken, the man behind the campaign, is putting together a 28-hour drone concert Doctors Without Borders benefit concert, tentatively scheduled Feb. 7-8 at the Cedar Cultural Center with a rotating cast of musicians (including members of Low). More details on that soon.
Anyone who envied Ivascu's T can buy their own shirt at Dronenotdrones.com, also benefitting Doctors Without Borders.
Dale Watson hasn’t yet left that overpriced condo heap known as Austin, Texas, but he might be closer to affording a little lake place here in Minnesota after his appearance last night on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” The old-school honky-tonk hero and Lee’s Liquor Lounge mainstay took to NBC to tout his new album for Red House Records, “El Rancho Azul,” which became the St. Paul label’s first release to ever make it to Billboard’s country album charts (it debuted at No. 57).
Letterman himself reportedly got a listen to the record and made the request to get Watson on the show. You can tell by the clip below he was genuinely excited to have him. The performance might have been the biggest broadcast audience Watson has played to since his last time on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Dale will be back in our neck of the woods for another Lee’s gig on July 29. He’ll also be at Rollie’s in Sauk Rapids a night earlier. Then he will return less than a month later to the Minnesota State Fair – where he’s a favorite player on the Heritage Square stage – for multiple sets Aug. 22-23.
Anyone who didn’t know or had forgotten how much of a guitar god Prince really is, last night’s two-song performance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” was a lesson that will stick. Members of Fallon’s house band, the Roots, also got an education on never lending one of your prized instruments to the purple guru, because he might not take care of it very well.
Introduced by Fallon as “one of the most legendary and influential musicians of all time,” Minneapolis Celebrity #1 returned to the NBC airwaves for the national unveiling of his all-female band 3rd Eye Girl, the hard-rocking group he debuted on the final night of his three-night stand at the Dakota in January. That’s right: He brought an almost metallic rock band to a jazz club. Got a problem with that?
Clearly, the Fallon crowd didn’t mind the heaviness, as fans ate up his opening song “Screwdriver,” which was released as a single of sorts a few weeks ago via the new site 3rdeyegirl.com. He got even heavier and screwier in the second tune, “Bambi” (reinvented from his 1979 eponymous album), which ended with a crescendoing guitar solo that lifted so high Prince finally let the instrument fly high into the air and crash to the ground. See the video below. Turns out, it wasn’t even his guitar.
According to Roots frontman Black Thought’s Twitter feed, the instrument belonged to their guitarist Kirk Douglas. Here’s one of a few tweets about it via @Blackthought: "#Prince borrows @kirklloyd guitar, uses during @LateNightJimmy show, refuses to autograph THEN slams it to floor in the end! #rockgodstatus"
And another one: "Kirk your sh[**] is BROKE son!...it's bleeding son... BADDD. #theinstrumentformerlyknownas"
Douglas also tweeted a photo of splintered pieces of the guitar afterward. Presumably, there are no hard feelings over the incident, since the Roots guys were all clearly in awe of the appearance. Roots drummer and bandleader Questlove is well known to be one of the biggest Prince fans around, enough to be headed back to Minneapolis next Saturday for ex-Revolution drummer Bobby Z’s second annual tribute/fundraiser bash A Benefit 2 Celebrate Life at First Avenue, featuring other Prince alum and Fallon’s fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph’s tribute band Princess. Questlove will get here early enough to spin a DJ set on Friday night.
Another reminder of how much PBS’ “Austin City Limits” has changed its tone since Bob Mould himself called Austin home in the mid-‘90s, the former Hüsker Dü co-leader is featured in this week’s episode of America’s longest-running TV music series. The show will air locally on TPT 2 at midnight Sunday (as in right after “Saturday Night Live”), and again on TPT Life at 10 p.m. Sunday.
The producers for the show -- which was an exclusively all-twang affair up until the ‘00s -- coolly paired the ex-Minneapolitan with Southern Cali rockers the Delta Spirit to fill out the second half of this week’s show, making one excellent episode based on two of last year’s best concerts locally. For the TV cameras, Mould and his feisty bandmates Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster whittled down the set they played on tour last year, with some of Sugar’s “Copper Blue” and one song from the new “Silver Age” album rounded out by three Hüskers songs (you can see the set list here; or better yet, wait for the show).
The “ACL” episode is one of three new ways to see Mould on the small-screen. Ahead of his Feb. 28 “Late Night” appearance, Jimmy Fallon’s website just premiered the surprisingly comedic video for “Star Machine” (from “Silver Age”). Was Wurster a “Second City” cast member before he played in Superchunk, or what?
Meanwhile, the concert film from the all-star tribute to Mould at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in November 2011 -- titled "See a Little Light: A Celebration of the Music and Legacy of Bob Mould" -- is now available as a $10 stream/download. A DVD version of the movie was also funded through a recent Kickstarter campaign. The show featured Dave Grohl, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler (the Hold Steady), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Ryan Adams, No Age and Grant-Lee Phillips playing his songs, along with Bob himself. You can hear snippets of the songs for free here.
Oddly enough, there happens to be some Hüsker Dü news to report, too: Chicago reissue label Numero Music is prepping a new limited-edition of the band's first single, "Amusement" b/w "Statues" to be released for Record Store Day (April 20). The 7-inch set will also include "Writer's Cramp" and "Let's Go Die," two other tracks from the same Blackberry Way studio session as "Statues." The remastered version of "Statues" is newly posted online. These tracks have gone out to collectors in various forms over the years, but there's excitement for the single nonetheless. Perhaps it's the first baby step in a long-overdue and highly justifiable retread treatment of the band's catalog, which Mould hinted at in our interview with him last year.
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