Coming soon to an airport near you: a live music venue.
McNally Smith College of Music and the folks behind Republic bars won a bid Monday to co-pilot a pub with a permanent music stage inside Terminal 1 (Lindbergh) at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The new hangout — modeled after a music venue that’s a popular feature at the airport in Austin, Texas — will be a Republic brand pub with a McNally Smith College of Music Stage inside it. Both entities will be involved in picking the musicians to play there. It will be housed in a relatively prime location between the C and D gates where a Quiznos and a newsstand are now. It will feature Minnesota musicians during “peak travel hours” such as 4-7 p.m. weekdays, although the exact booking scheme, layout and design have yet to be determined.
“We know from experience it can’t be anything with a loud snare drum, or the TSA will come and tell you to knock it off,” said Chris Osgood, community relations rep at McNally Smith College of Music. The St. Paul music college has been involved with pop-up performances throughout the airport over the past year.
The programming also probably can’t involve songs like “Burn It Down,” a standard by Osgood’s own band, the Suicide Commandos.
The veteran guitarist was unnaturally pitted against his longtime musician friend John Munson (New Standards, Semisonic, etc.), who was helping pitch on behalf of another joint venture between the Cedar Cultural Center and Bryant-Lake Bowl/Red Stag restaurateur Kim Bartmann. Their bid lost out, however.
“Either plan would’ve been a great addition to the airport,” Osgood said.
While Republic isn’t known for live music, it employs many a musician. Also, co-owner Matty O’Reilly is a co-proprietor of Excelsior’s 318 Café, a haven for the kind of acoustic music that will likely fill the airport venue’s schedule.
“We have a killer music community here, and it’ll be a blast to literally show it off to the world,” O’Reilly said.
Austin’s airport music venue, Ray Benson’s Roadhouse (co-helmed by the Asleep at the Wheel bandleader), has been copied at the Nashville airport with a smaller version of the famed Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Otherwise, MSP could be the only other airport with such a space.
Tentative plans are for construction to begin after Jan. 1 and be completed in summer.
It’s still not entirely clear if and when the doors are going to close on Nye’s Polonaise Room, but the staff is throwing a farewell party in a tent outside the Minneapolis supper club Saturday and Sunday since the revered post-war bar could be shuttered at year’s end — and it’s hard to throw an outdoor bash in late December in Minnesota. Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, St. Dominic’s Trio and the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band perform Saturday (3-10 p.m., $5). Sunday features the Belfast Cowboys, New Primitives and the polka vets again (2:30-9 p.m., also $5). … Tilia restaurant in Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighborhood is also hosting its Augtoberfest block party Sunday with Two Harbors, Umami, Ryan Traster and the first local Howler set in quite a while (3-8 p.m., $5.) …
Curtiss A and Jerks of Fate head up a benefit Sunday at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul for Johnny Rey after the longtime Flamin’ Oh’s guitarist and Doomtree father figure (literally) had surgery for kidney cancer. KYX and Rey himself will also play (4-8 p.m., $7 minimum cover). … For the final night of its Minneseries stand at the Nomad Pub, Fergus Falls-rooted flower-pop band Daniel is putting on a live 1970s-style variety show next Thursday with TV cameras, interview bits and guests including Jaedyn James & the Hunger and Madison band the Sharrows (10 p.m., free). …
Just three months after the last Replacements show, Tommy Stinson has a new album in the can and a new all-star band that will make its Twin Cities debut Sept. 12 at the Turf Club in St. Paul, with drummer Frank Ferrer (Guns N’ Roses), bassist Cat Popper (Ryan Adams, Jack White) and guitarist Steve Selvidge (Hold Steady), who’s filling in for Stinson's primary new sideman Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes). …
Congrats to Enemy Planes, which beat out 13,000 other acts in the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands and as a result get to play the Hard Rock Cafe in the Mall of America this Thursday night. Oh, and the Minneapolis sextet also got to join Kings of Leon and Avicii on the lineup at the Hard Rock Rising fest in Barcelona last month and has an optional development deal with Island Records.