First Avenue’s Best New Bands Was Entertaining for All
I went to the “First Avenues Best New Bands..” on January 25th. The evening started by using the Park and Shop Ramp (less than 2 blocks from the First Avenue). The ramp was convenient, inexpensive, clean and safe.
I am not a music critic nor do I usually write about bands as I seldom see live entertainment anymore. I did go to “First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2019” on January 25th. The reason I went was to see my nephew’s band “Green/Blue” play. The other bands that played were Loki’s Folly, FruitPunchLoverBoy, The Mae Simpson Band, Muun Bato, Nur-D and Under Violet. Rather than describing each band and their music style, I am posting some short YouTube clips of each of their performance courtesy of First Avenues Ann Treacy.
I was very impressed with the bands that I was able to see (I did not see all of them). The event looked to be a sell- out. Security at the front was thorough (I even got a pat down). As a side note, back in the 70’s, First Avenue was known as “Uncle Sam’s” which was a disco place. When I first started dating my wife, we went there a couple of times.
This was not the first time I saw Green/Blue perform, but it was a longer performance this time in a better venue, so I enjoyed it a bit more. The band has been described as a combo of punk and psych. I have no idea what that means. The only thing I can compare it to was the Blind Shake, which Jim Blaha performed with for over 14 years. I think the Green/Blue band sounds different with a gentler style than the Blind Shake. The performers in the Green/Blue Band are Jim Blaha, Annie Sparrows, Danny Henry and Hideo Takashi. While the Green/Blue band itself is fairly new on the scene, the performers are all experience and accomplished musicians who were previously with bands that “made it”.
Jim Blaha, the founder/leader of the band was previously with The Blind Shake for nearly 15 years. Guitarist Anne Sparrows and Drummer Danny Henry were with The Soviettes which started up in 2001, disbanded in 2006 and got back together for year in 2010. Since then Annie and Danny have performed in a 2 person punk rock band called the Awesome Snakes. Bassist Hideo Takashi played with the Birthday Suits and France has the Bomb. All the bands mentioned have achieved significant notoriety with the Minneapolis alternative rock scene.
After the Blind Shake dissolved (sort of) I don’t think that Jim had a really strong desire to be in another band. He initially just focused on his music, writing and recording songs in his basement. While Jim was helping Annie with a project, he played some of his recordings. She gave Jim a lot of feedback and said she would come over and play this music anytime. Annie shared the recordings with Danny, who basically said “what we are doing now is over”. Hideo Takashi came in as the last piece. Hideo had previously told Jim that if he ever starts something new, he wants to be part of it. Hideo never played base before.
It will be interesting to see where Green/Blue goes. While punk rock is not my preferred genre, I really enjoy listing to this band. They are all “surrounding” 40 years of age, and good friends. As Danny stated” We’re not trying to ‘make it.’ Those days are gone. I just want everyone to hear these songs.”
I ended up using the Park and Shop ramp for this event. It was only 1and ½ blocks from 1st Avenue. It was easy to get in and out of, safe and was inexpensive. (See the special event parking rates).