Saturday, October 7, 2017

10/7/17 - Slackers - Aberdeen, S.D.

Set One:
| Poet (Who Didn't Know It) | Destiny, She Drives a Rolls | Prelude/7-Eleven | Stan | Rush Hour | Long Day With My Thoughts | Veronica | Starman [David Bowie] | The Date | Clone U | Underneath the Sweet Love | Bad Credit | Breathe You In |

Set Two:
|  Walls (Circus) [Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers] | Modern Age | Hell-Bent Woman | I'm a Bad Mamma Jamma (Who Works at Wendy's) | Mystic Princess | Fluffy Little Hands | Moon Over the Water | Lord Only Knows [Beck] |

| Downtown Liquor Store |

Poster by Tony Kollman
It's that time again: Aberdeen Junebug season. We've got a new album out in the universe and we wanted the good people of Aberdeen to join us in the celebration of Stan,Vol. 1, available now at all the regular digital retailers and streaming services. As Anthony said tonight, it's an album release with no physical album. All digital, baby. 'Cause we're hip to the times, yo.

We started the night with some familiar favorites from previous releases, but then headed right into the story of Stan in its entirety. "The story of life, love, and junk food," as Anthony remarked tonight.

After an extended jam on Veronica, and Dustin remarked on how much is cost us to license the song from Junebug, we veered from the album track list to pay tribute to David Bowie, who is greatly loved by us all.

Media darlings.
We got back on track with The Date, which Anthony pointed out included some "under the shirt" action happening in the crowd. As it should be. He asked if the dude wanted to clone the lady. Boom. Natural segueway.

After a solid first set, andafinereception to the "new" tunes, we took a break to towel off. Because, after all, as Anthony and Dustin reminded everyone, that sweat comes from love. And our love isn't disgusting. Guaranteed.*

*Not a guarantee. Love sweat may actually be disgusting.

To begin Round Two, we paid tribute to the mighty Tom Petty whom we lost recently. . He was an influence on us all, and he will be missed.

The second set consisted of good ol' favorites that got the booties shakin'. Anthony mentioned that a certain mother of his requested a certain song about a certain person who worked at a certain fast food joint. Whether she was referring to Bad Mamma Jamma or not, that's what we played. She danced. I think it was good. Dustin mentioned that we play this song sometimes, but it never gets the reaction it does when we play it in Aberdeen. Some dude yelled out, "It's because we all work at Wendy's!" Touché.

Anthony revealed tonight that the moon originated right here outside Aberdeen at Mina Lake.We then paid tribute to our moon overlord by playing Moon Over the Water.

They called for an encore. But Dustin wasn't sure, due to the sweat in his eyes. He asked for an eye massage, but no one answered the call. Regardless, we closed out the night with a stirring rendition of that old Aberdeen favorite, Downtown Liquor Store.

Aberdeen didn't disappoint, once again. After the show we had some hugs and beers with many friends, new and old. We LOVE playing here. Lamar has a good thing going with Slackers. We can't wait to see you all again.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/17 - Twin Cities Pride - Minneapolis

| Destiny, She Drives a Rolls | 7-Eleven | Stan | Starman [David Bowie] | Veronica | The Date | Clone U | Underneath the Sweet Love | Fluffy Little Hands |

Poster by Tony Kollman
It's always fun to play at Twin Cities Pride. It's definitely a highlight for us every time we do it. There's always so much love in the air, and we are proud to be allies to our friends and family who identify as members of this community. Not to mention, the stage crew is always super friendly and good at what they do.

Today's set was pretty straightforward, short, and sweet, consisting mostly of material from the upcoming album Stan. But the theme was mostly about love and togetherness. It's so nice to play in Loring Park, and it was a beautiful day too. Happy Pride, Twin Cities!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

6/13/15 - Junestravaganza! - Melgaard Park - Aberdeen, S.D.

| Come Together [The Beatles] | Good Vibes | Rush Hour | Like a Spy (Not the Stalker) | Place | Destiny, She Drives a Rolls |

And so it was that we descended upon Aberdeen yet again for a Junestravaganza! The original plan was to have a festival of local Aberdeen music, hosted by Junebug in the Melgaard Park bandshell. As it turns out, the bandshell has been condemned and it's roped off with caution tape. Thankfully, the City of Aberdeen, who granted us the permit for the festival, provided their mobile stage in lieu of the original plan. It worked out. Aberdeen provided some really great local acts, and we're really glad they could all gather on one stage to share the day.

On the Junebug side of things, when we took the stage, we took the stage with our brand spankin' new, sparkly, shiny bassist, Travis Lorentson. He's a great fit. He's got the musicianship, the vibe, the groove, and the right attitude, humor and personality to survive us miscreants.

This afternoon's set was short and sweet. We intend to rock it to the fullest tonight at Slackers. However, we did have a very good set. Aberdeen heard "Rush Hour" for the first time this afternoon. Anthony introduced it by pointing out that there is no rush hour in Aberdeen.  There IS rush hour in Minneapolis, and according his eloquent words: "It sucks."

We whipped out "Stalker" for the first time in a long time. It would have been dedicated to my mother-in-law Diane, had she been there. But she wasn't. And I guess we dedicated it to her anyway. It's her favorite song of ours.

You know, we actually intended the set to be even shorter than it was. But as it went, we decided to extend it. We threw in a rare performance of "Place." It's a been awhile since that one reared its beautiful head. And we finished with "Destiny." Good, solid little set.

It was a beautiful day in the park. Blue sky, without a cloud, sun shining, beautiful humans sitting in the grass. It was a dream. Thank you, Aberdeen. AGAIN.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

9/27/14 - Secret Circus Music Festival - North Branch, Minn.

| Modern Age | Prelude / 7 Eleven | Stan | Please Please Me [The Beatles] | Mystic Princess | Fluffy Little Hands | Veronica | Rush Hour | Heaven's Just a Mystery |

Poster provided by
Secret Circus Festival
We piled into Tony's in-laws' Suburban and headed up North. It's not often that we all head out in one vehicle. It makes sense, obviously, but it rarely happens. This time it did. Band bros on the road. Or something like it.

Outdoor festivals are always a fun gig, so we were looking forward to this one. There were folks camping on the grounds, which meant that we were just part of the soundtrack of their day. Roll out of the tent, grill up some food, pop a cool one. Hey, there's some music happening. Sweet. We were one of the many musics.

When we got there, we pulled up to the fest, got our VIP passes and proceeded to the artist area. Snacks, beers, shade, chairs, like-minded musician-folk. It was glorious. There was even a sweet elderly dog. We were warned that the dog would bite, but I would be surprised if it even had any teeth left to do so. The dog was awesome and really just laid there. Good mascot.

Junebug poses with their spikiest fan.
When we took the stage, we noticed that our biggest fan was right down front center. Yes, that coniferous tree that follows us from show to show was there in its full glory. We even posed for pictures with it afterward. Our entire set was dedicated to the tree, who stayed right down front for the whole performance. Dedication is what we look for in our Junebuggers. The tree's got it.

It's always a good sign, and you know you've made it, when you're playing a show and you can clearly hear someone shout out, "Who are you?" "We're Junebug!" Dustin replied. That's a christmas tree!" he said, pointing to our biggest fan.

We played a good set. The sunshine and the breeze really bring out something good in us. And seeing concertgoers enjoy it all is good too. "A cemetery's a perfect place to... raise your kids," is a line which was uttered today. There was also a hearty belch after the "pudding's in the proof" line. Furthermore, today we unveiled the live debut of "Rush Hour," a newly recorded song off the upcoming album Stan.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

8/29/14 - Honey - Minneapolis

| Modern Age | Prelude / 7 Eleven | Stan | Please Please Me [The Beatles] | Destiny, She Drives a Rolls | Mystic Princess | Fluffy Little Hands |

Poster by Tony Kollman

It was a weird night. It was a fun night.

I always like descending the dark staircase that leads to the Honey dungeon. Although I know that good times, music, and beers await, something in the back of my psyche says, "dungeon, Will Robinson!" It's a nice place. I dig it.

You know how you have one of those nights? Where, like, a lot of stuff just goes wrong? Our pals in the opening band had one of those nights. I felt bad for them.

In addition to arriving right at start time due to circumstances beyond their control, one of their members didn't have his instrument. He quickly left to get it. Spoilers: by the time he got back, their set was pretty well over. There weren't many folks there to start out the night either. Like I said, I felt bad for them. They're good folks. I mean, they have their own comic book, for pete's sake. We don't have a comic book. The good news was, they cut some dude's hair on stage.

(fig 1.1) Night's beginning.
Ours was a short set, but sweet. We started tonight with "Modern Age". We've never really seen that as a set opener before. Change is good, though, and it worked out well. It ends with a great energy which was a good way to get the ball rolling.

We continued the trend of playing some of the new stuff ("7 Eleven" right into "Stan") as well as what are becoming some old Junebug standards ("Destiny," "Mystic," and "Fluffy"). We almost, almost played a brand new one from the upcoming album called "Rush Hour," which we've been working on for an upcoming recording session. Anthony nixed it for time. Don'choo worry. It's coming.

As the set began and as it went on, more and more folks filtered in. It was a decent-sized house by the end. The applause got louder as the night proceeded. We were pleased and surprised with how it filled up as opposed to how sparse the population was just before the night began (see fig 1.1). 

This was our last in-city show for awhile. We have one more show left, out of town. We'll be buckling down and focusing on the recording of the next album.

Until next time, Junebuggers...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

8/7/14 - Amsterdam Bar & Hall - Saint Paul

| Prelude / 7 Eleven | Stan | Please Please Me [The Beatles] | Destiny, She Drives a Rolls | Mystic Princess | Law & Order Theme [Mike Post] | Fluffy Little Hands | Chosen Ones | Beards | Veronica |

Poster by Tony Kollman.
We descended upon the Amsterdam in St. Paul for the first time tonight. Great atmosphere, great stage, great beer, great staff. We've become pretty good band-friends with What Tyrants and Moving Parts. It's always good to get together with those guys and make the music happen. We did so on the brightly colored stage of the wonderful Amsterdam Bar & Hall. I did so with Heineken in hand. The bar is called Amsterdam, after all. 

We hit 'em with the new stuff right off the bat. The first two we played tonight are the first two on the upcoming album we're working on. It's a decent flow. Give 'em a taste and leave 'em wanting more. I don't know how many times I've typed those words in this archive. But there it is again.

All the pretty lights, as seen from
behind the drum kit.
We didn't have a lot of time to fill tonight, so we made sure to hit some of the favorites: the typical Destiny, Mystic, Fluffy, you know. We tried out our new arrangement of "Chosen Ones" again. It's okay. It's definitely fun to play. I hope it translates well to the listener. 

We closed 'er out with "Veronica," which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I heard Anthony's acoustic demo for this song years ago and I couldn't wait to get it into our repertoire. Now that it's here, I consistently advocate for its inclusion in our setlists. Tonight it served as a great closer. 

Random notes: What Tyrants was kind enough to offer the use of their drum kit tonight. The Amsterdam frites are delicious. There was a woman in the crowd that looked eerily like the girl I dated my freshman year in college. It wasn't her, but Dustin and Anthony knew exactly who I was talking about when I mentioned it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7/19/14 - Christensen's Big V's - Saint Paul

Set One:
| Beards | Destiny, She Drives a Rolls | M'Lady | Moon Over the Water | Modern Age | Hell-Bent Woman | I'm a Bad Mamma Jamma (Who Works at Wendy's) | Refrigerator | Soul Shaker | Prelude / 7 Eleven | Veronica [w/ extended jam] | Chosen Ones |

Set Two:
| Mystic Princess | Fluffy Little Hands | Last Night | Stan | Give Yourself | Handlebar Mustache | Poet (Who Didn't Know It) | Crossroads |

| Post-Show Jam |

Poster designed by Tony Kollman
It's not often in the Twin Cities that we'll play a show just us, no other bands. But that's what tonight was. Just the 'bug. Only the June'. This did mean that we got to pull out some tunes we don't always play, and it allowed us to freely jam a bit and experiment.

The crowd wasn't very big tonight, but we made the most of it and had fun. We have to give it to our die-hard fans. I'm gonna call these ones out by name. Becca, Monica, and Robb are almost always there. They were definitely there tonight, cheering us on as always. We kind of threw caution to the wind and gave those who were there our all. And they got to hear some stuff night that no other crowd has or will.

Shoulda been there #lastnight
 I've gotta say, even though the crowd wasn't big, we still put on a good show. At one point, the sound guy even came out from behind the board and started dancing. Dustin (an occasional sound guy himself) noted that "it's hard to get a sound guy out on the floor."

During a lull, when someone was tuning or something, Dustin mentioned that one of his favorite businesses on Snelling just closed: Affordable Coffins. "Now I don't have a coffin guy," he lamented. "Who's your coffin guy?"

As I mentioned above, there were some experiments and new things tonight. Firstly, we approached "Soul Shaker" in a different way. It was a little laid back and a little more groovy. "Chosen Ones" was different tonight. We've been working out a new, more upbeat and driving arrangement and we debuted that tonight. Then there were some things that only tonight's audience will hear. For example, at the end of "Veronica," we just kind of kept on going with a unique jam. Furthermore, at the end of the second set, Dustin, Dillon, and I all remained onstage and finished out the night with about fifteen minutes of an ambient jam. It felt fantastic. 

At the end of the night tonight, our buddy (and superfan) Robb really came through for me. When I was breaking down my hardware, I dropped a nut that goes on my hi-hat. I could feel it roll on the wooden stage, but I didn't see it. I feared that it may have rolled off the stage, into the narrow crack between the stage and the wall and onto the floor, where I feared it would be lost. I was trying to peer through the crack to no avail. Dillon asked what I was doing and approached from a different angle. He  got on the floor and lifted up the skirt of the stage and was using his iPhone light to try to help me. He thought he saw it under there. I wasn't so sure. What I was sure of was that underneath that stage, where there is about a foot and a half of clearance, there was a lot of stuff. Setlists, broken (and whole) drumsticks, guitar picks, beer bottles, plastic cups, dirt, spider webs. I knew I was going to have to crawl under there and get filthy. But I had to in order to have a complete hi-hat for the next time I play. As I was contemplating my impending journey into the abyss, Robb comes up and says, "I can do it if you want. I'm smaller than both you guys." And while I would have been perfectly capable of doing it, I was also damp and sweaty from having just played two sets. Filth would cling. I took Robb up on his offer. He borrowed Dillon's phone as a flashlight and became my own personal tunnel rat. When he emerged from his journey, he presented me with not one, but TWO nuts like the one I lost. He said, "I didn't know which one was yours, so I grabbed both." Not only did he rescue my own hardware, but he came up with a spare. What a guy. Thanks, Robb.