Rhymes, tears and positive vibes

"We are here to celebrate the beautiful life of a beautiful person," said Slug, welcoming First Avenue concertgoers to Tuesday's tribute to the late rapper Mikey (Eyedea) Larsen. As TVs scrolled baby photos, graffiti tributes and videos, a slew of local acts dropped in for mini sets. Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle of Roma Di Luna played a gut-wrenching acoustic cover of the Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" Said Alexei, "Last time I was with Mikey he picked up a guitar and started playing this song. I thought it was appropriate in more ways than one." Eyedea's longtime partner, DJ Abilities, was somber yet purposeful as he blared E&A tunes, culminating with a crowd-pleasing spin of "Smile." The biggest surprise came when anti-folk hero Kimya Dawson -- best known from the "Juno" soundtrack -- took the stage. The late rapper was an avid fan, Slug explained. Dawson played old favorites and the new song "Walk Like Thunder," with the chilling line "People my age are not suppose to die like that" -- a song that saw indie hip-hop stalwart Aesop Rock join her onstage. At evening's end, Larsen's mother, Kathy Averill, poignantly read a piece her son had written years ago and implored the crowd to do one thing in her son's memory: "Improve who we are as people." Fittingly, a massive freestyle session concluded the show. "This dude pushed everybody he loved to do everything better," Slug said before exiting the stage alone.


'I'mma let you finish ... your flight'

Apparently, no microphone is safe from Kanye West -- even at 36,000 feet. While details are sketchy, a YouTube video surfaced earlier this week in which the rapper is heard rhyming over the speakers of a Delta flight bound from Minneapolis to New York (he was in the Twin Cities doing radio spots to promote his upcoming album). While you can't see him in the video, he's heard rapping "Gold Digger" into the public address system. While a passenger told the website HollywoodLife.com that West was rhyming from inside the cockpit, that sounds far-fetched, even for an attention-starved superstar, Besides, the P.A. system used by crew members is located in the cabin. So why'd he do it? Maybe one of the flight attendants looked like Taylor Swift.


A Misfit walks out

"I ain't no G.D. S.O.B.," Glenn Danzig famously sang with the Misfits -- lyrics that the operators of the Cabooze and some of his Midwest fans might beg to differ with after the punk/metal hero abruptly canceled his Minneapolis show Tuesday. According to Cabooze booker Jason Aukes, Danzig walked into the club for soundcheck with his namesake band, then walked out, saying, "I can't play here." Theories were that Danzig wasn't content with the security setup -- though at his request the Cabooze brought in metal detectors, a first for the club, Aukes said -- or that he thought the stage was too small and the ceiling too low. Advance ticket sales weren't bad: about 550 (half the club's size). With another 100 or so in walk-up tickets, Danzig might've stood to make $12,000. Instead, both he and the club took a sizable hit.


Stanley's says 'Shhh'

After only a month of trying to commingle a cozy new dining space with loud rock 'n' roll, Stanley's Northeast Bar Room has decided to drop the latter element -- but only until it can bring the noise upstairs. The reborn northeast Minneapolis nightspot (formerly Stasiu's) canceled its band bookings for the month after some diners complained. Instead, the second-floor party room is being refurbished to cater to rock patrons. "They are going to make the upstairs look a little more vintage and rock 'n' roll, and really give it that Nordeast edge," said booker Christy Hunt. That'll take a few months, though. In the meantime, look for quieter acts downstairs, while the noisemakers are moving elsewhere, including Friday's show with the Funeral & the Twilight and Citizens of the Empire, which has been moved to Nick & Eddie.


Encore, encore

Schubert Club recital patrons are accustomed to having their standing ovations rewarded by an encore or two, as the gracious Renée Fleming delivered earlier this season. Apparently the lovely trumpeter Alison Balsom didn't get the memo before her glorious St. Paul debut this week. She took a half-dozen bows and then exited stage left. Never mind. The beautiful blonde Brit and her nimble piano collaborator, Richard Bishop, will be welcome anytime for a rerun of her dazzling reprise of themes from Bellini's "Norma," his tender account of Chopin's Nocturne in D Flat Major and their sizzling Gershwin tunes. The versatile Bishop even got Spanish guitar soul from the Steinway on a suite of folk songs by Manuel de Falla.


Perky Pinetop

In his return visit to the Dakota Jazz Club Tuesday, blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins, 97, played longer than he did last year. His spirits were good, his timing fine and his voice a little soft but firm and expressive. He conducted his sidemen with authority (including guest Twin Cities guitarist Jeremy Johnson). He remembered the words to all his old tunes. What was missing was his short-term memory. He played "Down in Mississippi" twice, sandwiching the barrelhouse treat around "How Long Blues." Pinetop also forgot how long he was supposed to perform. After 35 minutes, his manager approached the legend and took him outside for a smoke. And then Pinetop held court with fans on the sidewalk. We should all enjoy our 90s like that.