In his second Soul Asylum hometown appearance without founding guitarist Danny Murphy, frontman Dave Pirner acted more like he was at home than he did during last December's concert at First Avenue. Last Friday at the Skyline Music Festival at Target Field, Pirner played "Homesick," dedicated "Without a Trace" to Slim Dunlap, mentioned that he wrote "New World" on a cold night walking home from the old Artists' Quarter and reminisced about going to see the Twins at the old Met Stadium as a kid with his dad, Donald. Then he invited everyone to sing "Happy Birthday" to his dad. Pirner, who lives primarily in New Orleans, even mentioned his own son, and brought out some Minnesotans as extra musicians, including Cloud Cult's Sarah Elhardt Perbix and "local legend" Larry Long. Welcome home, homeboy.
The reality of Reelz
Reelz poobah Stan E. Hubbard impressed at the TV Critics Association press tour this week in Hollywood by emphasizing how his St. Paul/Albuquerque company is stepping it up, with major documentaries, pickups of Canadian productions and, most notably, reality programming. The presentations for "The Capones," a series that follows a "Sopranos"-like family that runs a pizza parlor, and "Hollywood Hillbillies," which Hubbard accurately described as a cross between "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," were nothing less than traveling freak shows. I.W. almost got a case of whiplash when these panels were followed by one promoting a new documentary that argues that John F. Kennedy was actually killed by an inexperienced Secret Service agent whose gun accidentally went off when he tried to locate where Lee Harvey Oswald's bullets were coming from. Reelz may be going down a more sensational route, but the bottom line is that this kind of programming, however trashy it is, can bring eyeballs.
Much-hyped L.A. indie rockers Foxygen apparently got a little too hyped Monday night at First Avenue. During their first song, wild-man lead singer Sam France fell into the barricade in front of the stage and broke his leg. He "attempted to jump up on one of the monitors at the front of the stage and his momentum ended up causing the monitor to tip over, which sent him flying down into the pit," concertgoer Chris Dumpert told I.W. The L.A. indie rockers finished the song and then guitarist Jonathan Rado told that crowd that France was hurt and that the show, after five minutes, was canceled. An ambulance took France to a hospital. First Avenue is offering refunds and no makeup date is scheduled, though Foxygen tweeted: "Sorry Minneapolis — we will make it up to you, we promise." The band also tweeted that France had surgery: "On the bright side, Sam will probably have a cool cane or something." The group then canceled two gigs but said it hoped to give a "more subdued" performance this weekend at a festival in Oregon. However, late Wednesday Foxygen pulled the plug on the Pickathon fest, too.
Taking it Hoff
Kate Hoff is boldly going where she hasn't before: acting with no clothes on in the Fringe Fest show "Fashion Risk, or the Accidental Nudist." Hoff, who by day is vice president for development of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, is appearing as one of 11 cast members in her friend Natalie Rae Wass' account of her own upbringing by a father who was a nudist and a mother who went along with it because Dad went to Mom's quilting shows. "I think I'm a well-adjusted woman and that all bodies are fine, but am also dealing with the reality that I'm the largest body out there," Hoff told I.W. Her husband, Bob Weidman — who will premiere his own rock comedy in the Fringe, "Now It's Art," this weekend — has been very supportive, she said. "After he watched a rehearsal I asked him if it was hot, and he said, no, it's the furthest thing from sexual."
Congrats to Target's lead music buyer Anne Stanchfield for being named one of the top young talents in the music business in Billboard's 40 Under 40 list. Based, of course, in Minneapolis, she was praised for Target being the No. 2 seller, behind iTunes, for Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience." Stanchfield, 36, joins broadcasting heavyweight Ryan Seacrest, producer Dr. Luke, manager Scooter Braun and Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, among others, on the list. I.W. thinks Billboard should have recognized the triumvirate that runs First Avenue, which Rolling Stone has celebrated as one of the nation's top spots for live music: executive VP Dayna Frank, general manager Nate Kranz and talent buyer Sonia Grover, all under 40.
Starring First Avenue
It's not exactly on par with "Purple Rain," but First Avenue is featured prominently in a new Dawes music video that premiered this week. The clip for "Most People" shows footage from before, after and during the Los Angeles rockers' sold-out two-night First Ave stand in July. Among the highlights are a scene of the band members posing with fans under the Dawes star on the facade of the venue and a short shot of the club staff cleaning up the cups and beer cans from the dance floor. While there's a little footage from other venues, too — including the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, N.C., and Grimey's in Nashville (not that we care!) — most of the video focuses on First Avenue. Dawes has repeatedly stated its love for the club and the Twin Cities on the whole, which still ranks as its No. 1 market. This should only add to the mutual love.