Wu-Tang Clan at Epic

posted by Mojo Marshall

Saturday, January 7
Epic Nightclub
10PM | $30 | 18+

The Weekend Movie Recap: 10/21/11

posted by Rolocop

Well, you’re better off renting this Sylvester Stallone arm wrestling movie than seeing any of this weeks new movies.  Granted, I didn’t see all of them so maybe one is good, but I wasn’t impressed with what I saw.  And OVER THE TOP is pretty freakin’ amazing!  They just don’t make em’ like that anymore.


Opening this weekend:

JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN – I wasn’t crazy about the first one, but it was a huge hit (only in England) and now we have another one.  With the exception of one clever bit that spoofs the free-running action scene in CASINO ROYALE, the movie is mostly filled with uninspired bits and stale old jokes. Wide Release Rating:

THE MIGHTY MACS – Carla Gugino gives a solid performance as the coach for a girls Catholic School Basketball team in the early 70’s, but the script is generic and the direction by-the-numbers.  It tries too hard to be a feel good movie, but it’s mostly pretty dull. Wide Release  Rating:

THE THREE MUSKETEERS 3D – I honestly haven’t seen that many screen versions of this story (liked the 1993 Disney version all right), but this isn’t a very good place to start.  Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil) crams too much CG imagery in this period piece that it almost seems like it’s Science Fiction.  The acting is atrocious (Logan Lehrman, Orlando Bloom, and even Christoph Waltz are pretty terrible), the action scenes are filmed and edited in a way that makes it seem like we’re watching a sparring program in The Matrix, and the script is awful.  At first it felt as if it may be dumb fun, but turns out that it’s just dumb. Wide Release Rating:

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 – Missed my screening since I haven’t seen the second one.  Liked the first one good enough, but these sequels don’t interest me.  Maybe someday…  Wide release.

MARGIN CALL – The Lagoon and Southdale



WEEKEND – The Uptown

Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and Sonic Updates

posted by Andrew Cross

Batman: Arkham City (Out Today)

It’s been a slow burn of details about Arkham City leading up to it’s release and I think RockSteady has got a lot to live up to. Early word is they have and even exceeded any high expectations. I still find it kind of crazy that I’m hyped for a Batman title. Back in the day, his name was synonymous with terrible video games. Like, a LOT. Arkham Asylum changed all that, so my excitement for this sequel is boiling over.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Out 11/1/11)

Once again, Naughty Dog is showing film studios how a proper blockbuster should look.

Sonic Generations (Out 11/1/11)

I have to fight the Perfect Chaos boss from Sonic Adventure again!? That boss didn’t make any sense in the Sonic universe. Then again, the universe Sonic and his pals inhabit is cluster fuck anyway. A new demo will be out tomorrow on Xbox LIVE and October 25th on PSN.

The Original 7ven @ State Theatre

posted by Richard Gill

As the poster explains this is the ORIGINAL Time. When’s the last time Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis played Minneapolis? Yeah, I don’t remember either. Don’t miss this.

Doomtree Blowout VII

posted by Mojo Marshall

Tickets are on sale today at noon!

The Weekend Movie Recap: 10/14/11

posted by Rolocop

TAKE SHELTER – Michael Shannon plays Curtis, a family man who lives with his wife and daughter in a small town in Ohio.  He’s got a respectable blue collar job and is well liked within the community.  But then he starts having unbearably intense dreams about severe storms, and possibly the apocalypse.  Are these just dreams, or are they visions?  Curtis is frightened and his instincts tell him to expand an old tornado shelter located in his backyard.  He takes out an expensive loan and takes extended leaves from work to build this shelter.  But he’s conflicted.  Part of him believes that a storm is coming, but another part of him tends to think he may be getting a mental illness, since his mom is schizophrenic.  He becomes so obsessed with his new mission, that he begins to alienate his friends and family.  He must choose what is more important in his life.

In recent years, I have not been the biggest fan of Michael Shannon, claiming that he acts weird and odd just for the sake of it.  But I’ll be damned if he didn’t blow me away in this excellent character study of a man slowly growing mad.  He doesn’t overact at  all (like I’ve accused him of in the past).  It’s a complexly layered performance, that hits all the perfect notes.  You see him as a lovable husband, a playful father, and a loyal protector.  And once he goes past the point of no return, Shannon’s performance is completely intense and engaging.  There’s a great moment when he gives a speech about the “great storm that is coming” while at a town function, that is uncomfortably haunting.  His character is also written in a very balanced way that it doesn’t feel like he’s just hitting one note.  He’s extremely conflicted, and that’s what makes you feel sympathy for him.  If Michael Shannon doesn’t get nominated this year, I’m going to be absolutely outraged.

Director Jeff Nichols brings a distinct style with a strong vision to the story.  This is only his second film (first being SHOTGUN STORIES, which I will now seek out), and already he represents a strong voice in the filmmaking world.  It’s a brave, bold film that can only be made by a fearless filmmaker.  The script is also fantastic.  The supporting cast is strong, especially Jessica Chastain as Curtis’ wife.  This is the fourth film I’ve seen her in this year, and probably her best performance (and that’s saying a lot).  She really wants to believe her husband, but he’s doing so many outrageous things that she just can’t.  It’s another complex character.  There are many memorable set pieces, specifically during the dream sequences.  There’s one dream with Curtis is in his house when the storm hits, and every object in the house floats up. Visually striking! And the film’s conclusion is immensely satisfying, and can be taken literally or figuratively.  Very cool!

For those of you who like to be shaken up at the movies, and walk in to the theater for an unforgettable experience, then TAKE SHELTER is the movie for you!  It opens at The Uptown Theater, and I highly recommend that you DO NOT MISS IT!  Easily one of the very best of the year!  Rating:


THE THING – John Carpenter’s THE THING is one of my favorite horror films of all time.  Love everything about it, and also made me scream (loudly) and jump the first time when I saw it (when I was 18!).  I was pretty skeptical when they announced this remake.  I hate the very ideas of remakes.  But, then I discovered while watching that this isn’t a remake, it’s a prequel!!!

Taking place in 1982 (when the first film was made), Norwegian scientists in Antarctica discover a flying saucer buried beneath the snow (which made for a pretty clever pre-title sequence.  Loved seeing a Snow Cat wedged between two glaciers).  They call in an American scientist (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, looking like an 80’s Pheobe Cates) who specializes in thawing out frozen specimens.  She arrives to discover that the Norwegians have found an alien being.  But, of course, it’s not dead.  It breaks loose and begins to terrorize the scientists.  Just like Carpenter’s film, the thing can imitate cells and absorb them.  Therefore it can transform into anyone of the humans, which makes it hard to trust anyone.

What I really liked about this was that it is not trying to top the original.  What it does try to do is pay it tremendous respect and that’s where this film succeeds.  The design of The Thing and the way it transforms is just like the original.  Human heads and stomachs opening up, serving as the mouth for The Thing.  I also liked that first time filmmaker Matthijs van Heigningen Jr. kept the original’s slow pace, and stayed very close to Carpenter’s simplistic direction.  In many ways, it feels like a Carpenter film.  They even use the “John Carpenter” font for the movie’s credits, and incorporate Ennio Morricone’s theme from the first one into the music score.  Very cool!

The acting is solid all around by everyone, though Joel Edgerton doesn’t really have a whole lot to do.  But he’s good with what he’s got.  My only real complaint and the reason why it doesn’t reach the same level of awesomeness as the original is that the characters are just okay.  There’s nothing wrong with them, and they’re not even poorly written.  But in the original, every single character is memorable and there are so many quotable lines from that film.  Not so much in this one, but that’s because it doesn’t have Kurt Russell or the amazing Keith David.

That’s not to say that there are no good scenes.  There are many great ones.  The action set pieces are very well thought out and shot.  Creepy, suspenseful, and the most important thing is that they’re very fun!  The finale even brings the scope of the film to new heights.  The visual effects are surprisingly good.  Surprising to me because I hate CGI so much.  But they are integrated very well here, and it seems like a lot of time and care went in to make sure that it looked incredibly close to the makeup effects of the original. Also, make sure to stay during the closing credits as this new film completes it’s circle with the original.  Awesome!

It’s not a classic like the original, and if you go in thinking that was the goal of the filmmakers, then you’re most likely setting yourself up not to like it.  However, I think it’s a decent companion piece to Carpenter’s film, and if you have an open mind you should agree with me.  A fun monster movie!  Wide Release  Rating:


BLACKTHORN – Love westerns!  That’s all there is to it.  Sam Shepard plays Butch Cassidy, who is going under the name James Blackthorn.  You see, he really didn’t die in a showdown with the Bolivian army in the early 1900’s.  He survived and has been living on an isolated ranch in Bolivia for 20 years.  He decides to travel back to the U.S. to visit his nephew (possibly Sundance’s kid), and on the way meets a young man (Eduardo Noriega) who robbed an enormous amount of money from some miners. He claims it’s because it was his money.  He asks the legend to help him get away from his pursuers.  At first Butch hates him, but it doesn’t take long for the two to form a bond as they travel together.  It’s not a smooth journey though as they encounter bad guys and lawmen along the way.

This film reminded me of the revisionist westerns that were seen very often in the 70’s, like THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN and THE HIRED HAND.  It has a very realistic approach, and is quite effective for the story.  It’s nice to see Sam Shepard in a meaty role again (it’s been far too long) as the grizzled Butch Cassidy.  He dominates every frame he’s in.  Noriega holds his own with Shepard.  I also really enjoyed Stephen Rea as the lawmen McGinley who has been tracking down Butch for most of his career, and is now an eccentric drunk.

The direction is kept simple, as is the script, which occasionally flashes back to a younger Butch and Sundance to explain a few things.  The film didn’t blow me away, but kept me interested throughout.  It starts out a little slow, but I eventually became involved well before the halfway point.  Folks who enjoy a good old fashioned western will definitely get a kick out of this one.  It’s not the best the genre has to offer, but Shepard makes it more than worth your time.  At the Lagoon.  Rating:


FOOTLOOSE – Gah!  Another remake?!?  Boo!  I sure hate remakes!  And what the heck is Craig Brewer (director of HUSTLE & FLOW, BLACK SNAKE MOAN) doing helming this movie that no one asked for?  I liked the original Kevin Bacon movie, though it’s not my favorite 80’s film.  It’s a fun movie, nothing really more than that.  But it surely didn’t need to be made again.  Sheesh!

Just like the original, it’s about a dude named Ren who moves to a small town that doesn’t allow dancing.  He becomes friends with the preacher’s daughter and rebels against the system.  That’s about it.  Buuuttt………. you know what?  It’s actually pretty good.  The film opens with a bunch of kids dancing to Kenny Loggins’ Footloose, which is a pretty fun and energetic sequence.  And then… BOOM!  A car smashes right into a truck killing everyone.  Definitely a bold way to start a breezy Hollywood film, right?  You see, director Brewer is a brave filmmaker.  You’d know that if you’ve seen his first two films.  And while this one isn’t quite up to that level, at least he infuses his rawness and reality into this remake.  He co-wrote the script, and that helps.  This version follows the same beats as the original (Ren being accused of taking a joint, the chicken sequence is now a school bus race, Ren’s angry dance, and teaching a rhythm-less hick to dance), but has a slightly different take on them.  I also like that the movie has a very diverse soundtrack.  All of the 80’s songs from the original are in flick in one form or another.  But also, there is country, hip hop, rock, and even some grunge.  I loved the use of Smashing Pumpkins’ Window Paine (from Gish!!!) in a pretty intense scene.

The acting is fine.  A little cheesy on occasion, but hey, so was the original.  Kenny Wormald as Ren is fine, though I’m not sure what’s up with his mid-90’s hairdo and wardrobe.  He’s supposed to be from a big city, so he should have better fashion sense.  But I found that amusing.  Dancing with the Stars Julianne Hough has the right amount of attitude and can even do a decent job during emotional scenes.  Dennis Quaid as the preacher is more cornball from the actor, and that’s okay with me.  Miles Teller did a great job as the Chris Penn character too.

It’s a cheesy feel good flick, just like the original.  It has a nice updated flavor, but gives the appropriate amount of respect to the first one.  I would say that this movie definitely eclipses recent dance films like the STEP UP series, STOMP THE YARD, and YOU’VE GOT SERVED.  This is a fun movie that was actually made by talented people.  The trailers for me, looked horrible, so I was pleasantly surprised that this remake is fairly entertaining.  Don’t write it off until you see it folks!  Wide Release.  Rating:


Also opening this weekend:

PUNCTURE – It was nice to see Chris Evans taking his time off from being a superhero to do this low budget independent about 2 hot shot lawyers trying to win a gigantic lawsuit case.  Evans gives a bravely raw performance as a young drug addicted lawyer, but his co-star is also the film’s director and he sticks out like a sore thumb.  I could see that they were trying to cut the film’s cost by not hiring another star, but Mark Kassen doesn’t have the acting chops to hold his own with more experienced actors.  Too bad, cause the film isn’t terrible.  At the Lagoon.  Rating:

THE BIG YEAR – The trailers make it look like this huge slapstick comedy.  What they don’t tell you is that it’s a movie about competitive bird watching without hardly any comedy.  Which would be fine, but there is nothing really compelling here.  It’s not a serious drama nor a straight comedy.  It’s in that safe middle ground, like a mediocre sitcom.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are nicely subdued, and it was nice to see Brian Dennehy, but the movie didn’t take itself seriously enough for me.  I think there’s a real interesting movie here, but it needs to have a more naturalistic approach (like INTO THE WILD) for it to be fully engaging.  Instead it was pretty boring.  Wide Release. Rating:

THE WAY– I love Martin Sheen, but this (lousy) sitcom-like approach to serious material is embarrassing to watch.  Very disappointing entry from Emilio Estevez.  It felt more like it was written by hack Nia Vardalos.  Every supporting character was a contrived, cookie-cutter caricature.  Hated this one!  Rating:

TOAST – At the Edina.

PUTTY HILL – St. Anthony Main

The Other F Word Interview: Brendan Kelly

posted by Richard Gill

In anticipation of THE OTHER F WORD having its Minneapolis premier this weekend as part of the Sound Unseen film festival I decided to talk to a few of my fellow “punk rock dad” pals and get their opinions on what it’s like to be a touring musician in a scene that’s historically a young person’s genre while at the same time trying to be a responsible parent and good role model for your kids.

The last person I talked to for this little project was Brendan Kelly. Most are familiar with Brendan as the outspoken frontman of The Lawrence Arms and The Falcon who is known as much for his drunken / funny stage banter as he his for his critical views on everything from The Warped Tour to George W. Bush. However, in recent years as his touring schedule has decreased he has turned much of his attention to his daily blog, Bad Sandwich Chronicles, where he continues to share his opinions on such varied topics as juggalo culture, the artistic merits of Lady GaGa, various awesome Sean Nader stories, and more often than not the daily routine of being a parent. He’s a great writer, a pretty alright guy, and you all should be reading his blog on a daily basis. Also, he writes a lot so this interview is a bit longer than the others.

Anyway, enjoy.

SBC: The Lawrence Arms toured pretty heavily for the first several years of existence but have slowed down considerably the last few. How much of that is due to you having kids and how much of it is due to all of you not wanting to spend 9 months out of the year living in a van?

BK: Well, it’s not really such a cut and dry situation. Our band sort of reached a kind of weird tipping point when my son was born. Up until then I think we all felt that we were giving it our all for pretty limited returns, but then suddenly I had a kid and as a result I was sort of sidelined for about six months while I learned how to be a dad and in that time our band got vastly more popular. The thing is, we didn’t ever experience that popularity as an active band. In the time while I was readjusting, the other dudes made some moves and by the time I was ready to come back and tour, our guitarist had decided that he didn’t really want to be on the road anymore. I can’t blame him for that, obviously. He sweated blood in that van for eleven years and it was only marginally rewarding in terms of empirical and financial success. I can’t bust a guy’s balls for not wanting to get back in the van for the twelfth year.

I’m still completely into going on tour as long as it’s something that can bring home money. That’s obviously more of a pragmatic concern when you’ve got kids and when going on tour, in my case, means that the primary daytime caregiver is gone so other, more expensive arrangements have to be made. It really does become about the bottom line. There’s no doubt about it. Traveling the world playing music is a luxury and having kids is an exercise in living without luxury. I think it would be very profitable and fun for the Lawrence Arms to tour, but I took a break and then suddenly everyone didn’t want to get back in the van, and so I’m home now. It’s not that my kids have stopped me from touring, it’s that we never got the experience of being ‘grownups’ on tour before we HAD to stop for a second and now that people have jobs and girlfriends and lives and are used to sleeping in beds and taking showers, I guess it doesn’t seem like something to throw yourself back into as a 35 year old. Makes sense. I’m just bored shitless standing around texting in the park all day long and I’d like to play some shows. Sigh.

SBC: A number of punk rock singers have done kids records (Mike Park, Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids, The Brats On The Beat record with Matt Skiba, Jim Lindberg, etc). Since having kids have you thought about doing something like that? Do you sing / write songs for them at home?

BK: Interestingly, my son doesn’t like when I play guitar. He says things like “dad, not so loud” when I play at home. My daughter seems to respond better, but she’s still pretty small so she’s unfortunately governed by the rules shaped by her brother, which essentially frown on any and all guitar playing or singing. I am positive that if my kids liked music I’d consider doing a kids record, but for now music still seems like something completely separate from parenting to me, for better or worse.

SBC: In what ways, if any, has coming from a punk rock background shaped your way of parenting? Moreso, has it been difficult growng up with the question authority mentality and now finding yourself in the role of authority figure? If not now, since your kids are both still pretty young, do you see that becoming an issue in the future?

BK: I don’t know. I’m a staunch believer in the power of genetics, so that makes things kind of tricky in this regard. Here’s what I mean: my mom likes to suggest that the reason that I’m a voracious reader is because she read to me every night as a kid, but my take on that is that I’m the product of the kind of person that reads to their child every night, so I’m gonna be the kind of person that reads, regardless of nurture. My parents weren’t ‘anti authority’ per se but they’re both kind of semi-radical thinkers. It’s my working theory that my kids are gonna be the same way. The misconception about punk rock is that it just rails against authority. That’s kind of naïve though. People crave and require authority. People who rail against the government just are more drawn to the authority of thinkers like Zinn or Gandhi or the guys in Crass or whoever. People who are nihilists or wastoids point to examples of how nihilism and wastedness can be awesome, but that’s just a different kind of authority. If you say, “man, fat mike just does drugs and parties and he’s AWESOME, so that’s what I’m gonna do” isn’t that just making someone who’s wasted and awesome your authority? There’s really no such thing as a ‘no gods no masters’ mentality, in my experience, and as such, I think I just have to work within the parameters of who I am to teach my kids the lessons I’ve learned in my experience as a person who walks around and does things in a confusing world. Punk rock is part of my spectrum of interests, just like football or cheerleading is part of someone else’s spectrum of interests. At the end of the day, you’d be a fucking boob to liken your parenting style to football and that’s how I feel about likening it to punk rock.

SBC: You’ve been pretty open both in songs and on your blog about your past experiences with drinking and drugs. Have you thought at all about how you’ll handle the inevitable conversation about drinking and drugs when it comes up with your kids?

BK: Again, I’m kind of a pragmatist when it comes to this stuff. My wife and her family all enjoy drinking. Both sides of my family are drinkers. I’d hate to say it’s inevitable that my kids are gonna at some point get super wasted and decide it’s awesome and then do it again, but again, it’s simple genetics. I’m concerned with being a good person around them and being cool and not blowing my top all the time and teaching them how to be respectful to themselves and others (not that I’m awesome at any of that. That’s just my mission statement as a dad). What they do with drugs and alcohol is ultimately their business, which is not to say I won’t be concerned or that I won’t become involved if I see something developing that I see as a problem, but people are people and my parents had a fucking ZERO percent success rate talking me out of doing things while playing the role of upright citizens. I’d rather be somewhat honest and relatable and hope that I could offer my expertise when and if those issues come up. It’s worth mentioning that I’m not advocating laissiez faire attitudes towards the discussions regarding substance abuse or “Just being friends” with my kids, because I think that’s a shitty cop out and a fast path to making shitty kids. I just mean that I’ve seen people who have successfully dealt with their demons and/or awesome lifestyles with the help of parents or peers who are honest about their own demons. I’ve never seen someone who acts like they are infallible help anyone out of any situation, ever.

SBC: Along the same lines, in the film there seems to be two camps of raising kids. The “we’re gonna bring this child into our lives but we’re not gonna change the way we live” AKA the Fat Mike way and the “my entire life changed and I just can’t go out like I used to” AKA the everyone else they interviewed way. Which side are you on? If it’s the second one in what ways has your life changed since having kids.

BK: This is a tricky one, because there’s really something to be said for just being awesome, continuing to be you and just trusting that your kids will see that and be down with the situation because they recognize your vitality. People who have parents who compulsively create and maybe travel and work long hours and entertain lots of friends tend to admire that a lot. It seems to be the kind of thing that shapes growth and engenders a real bond and respect. That being said, kids are a fucking nightmare. I’m not rich. I’m not even really employed. As a result, I’ve gotta take care of my kids all the time. How has my life changed? I wake up at 6 and go to bed at 9 every day. I have a lonely beer at 3 instead of at 10 and I spend all day in the park or at the museum instead of driving around in a van. Being a parent is hard and it sucks. There’s absolutely no one who is being honest who can disagree with this statement. I love my kids, but I hate parenting. Parenting is just an exercise in sleep deprivation, being a dick and a killjoy, and watching your things get destroyed while you just pile up guilty baggage about how you’re fucking up the psyche of a perfect little person every time you check your email or let them watch tv. It’s hard. Parenting ends relationships and makes people kill themselves and even do horrible things to kids. It’s not easy and it’s rarely fun. Being around my kids is fun, it’s my life’s greatest joy (besides getting blowjobs), but there’s no doubt about it, those times when it’s the most fun is when they don’t need parenting and I can be around them and just watch them do their thing. Then my boy pushes my daughter down the stairs and I have to be a parent and it becomes hard again. Fuck.

SBC: There’s a line in the film by Jim Lindberg where he says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “As punk rockers we thought we were gonna change the world and maybe the way we do that is by raising our kids a little better than our parents raised us.” (note: the actual end of that line is “the way we do that is by rasing better kids”. Pretty much the same idea.) Do you think that’s an accurate statement?

BK: Sure. My parents were divorced before I was born and I never really thought anything of it, but now as a dad in a four person family, I’m amazed by how much more dynamic this homelife is than the one I had. I will never get divorced even if my wife were to do fuck my dad or decide she hates me. I think it’s too important to be there for the kids as a unit. I’ll move into another room or sleep on the floor and forgo everything before I’ll put my kids through that. Sounds kind of wild eyed and naïve, but I feel like this is the contract I signed when I decided to have kids. You stay with the mother of your children forever or at least until they’re adults. My parents’ generation essentially invented divorce. They also invented corporate colonialism and soulless advertising to children and all sorts of bullshit I want no part of. Just because my parents were more concerned with being self actualized and having fun in their forties than raising a kid together (and I don’t want to sound bitter because I’m not. I have a wonderful stepdad and stepmom and a half brother and I wouldn’t know any of them if my parents hadn’t divorced) and using excuses like “well, it’s better than raising him in a house where there’s fighting,” that’s not the way I roll. Not very punk, perhaps. But fuck it. Fuck punk rock if it means being a shitty, lazy asshole that only answers to my own tip of my own Maslow’s pyramid.

SBC: What’s your favorite kids show?

BK: I hate when my kids watch Dora or Diego because it makes them misbehave. I hate the fresh beat band. Everything else is my favorite by default.

Ticket Giveaway: Boris at the Varsity

posted by MP Johnson

Boris is cool. So is opener Coliseum. This show runs the risk of being awesome from start to finish, provided Tera Melos holds it down.

Thanks to the Varsity Theater, one lucky winner (and a friend) runs the risk of getting into the show for free. To enter, send an email with the subject line “Who the hell is Tera Melos?” and I’ll randomly pick a winner Thursday afternoon. Good luck!

The Other F Word Interview: Dan Schafer (Vapid)

posted by Richard Gill

In anticipation of THE OTHER F WORD having its Minneapolis premier this weekend as part of the Sound Unseen film festival I decided to talk to a few of my fellow “punk rock dad” pals and get their opinions on what it’s like to be a touring musician in a scene that’s historically a young person’s genre while at the same time trying to be a responsible parent and good role model for your kids.

Dan Schafer is best known for his membership in such well known punk rock bands as Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, Sludgeworth, The Methadones, and most recently Noise By Numbers, and Dan Vapid And The Cheats. He’s also hands down the most awesome dude I ever met through my previous career as merch guy / tour manager for hire. Out of all the people I’ve been on tour with he’s the one that I keep in touch with more than anyone else (which, admittedly isn’t that much lately since we both have kids). It’s very interesting for me to see people treat him like some sort of punk rock hero because that’s not how I see him at all. If anything Dan downplays his, for lack of a better word, fame which in my opinion makes him that much more the embodiment of what being in a punk band is all about. Everyone is equal, no one is above anyone else.

Dan’s a relatively new father so I was interested to hear how things have gone thus far for him and how he plans on approaching his role as his son gets older.

SBC: Neither of the bands that you’re in at the moment have really done much in the way of extensive touring. In the future do you see yourself spending as much time on the road as you used to or just doing short tours here and there so as not to be away from your kid for that long of a time?

DS: Tours here and there. Being a musician and my wife a chiropractor means I stay at home and watch the baby. As most parents can attest, childcare is very expensive and the bands I play in don’t make enough to compensate for the price of daycare. My plan is to play music as much as I can while maintaining my role as a father and husband.

SBC: How tough was the decision to leave Screeching Weasel in terms of your personal beliefs / feelings about that whole situation vs. knowing that you were about to have a kid and the money you made with that band would certainly be helpful?

DS: Technically, we were fired when we forwarded our statement to Ben before it made it to punk news. But who cares, really. It was very difficult and stressful because I wanted to keep my job and minimize drama. But I also knew after knowing Ben (Weasel) many years I would be fired and become his newest target or object of hate if I publicly disagreed with his behavior. I also believe that If i had privately discussed his “Ben Weasel act” as he likes to call it, the outcome would have put a strain on our working relationship that has had lots of ups and downs throughout the years and ultimately lead to the same result. He was my employer and I was an employee. Period. So there were no good options. Having been put in this position before my wife and I were about to have a baby was very nerve racking and stressful at the time. As anybody about to have a child can attest, having a baby can be financially stressful.

SBC: In what ways, if any, has coming from a punk rock background influenced your thoughts on parenting? More specifically growing up with the whole “fight the system”, “question authority” mentality of that whole scene and now being an authority figure yourself. Is that someting you plan to instill in your child in terms of values, etc.?

DS: I think the point, at least for me, with punk rock was being yourself. Being who you are, being an individual. Growing up I felt like an outsider and didn’t relate to a lot of other kids and loved music. So, eventually I discovered punk rock and it spoke to me. I think what I want to install in my son is for him to pave his own way. To have the courage to be himself even if he occasionally takes some shit for it. And to think for yourself, not blindly follow the crowd. Asking questions is how you find truth, how you get to know who you are. I want my son to feel comfortable with who he wants to be.

SBC: There’s a line in the film by Jim Lindberg where he says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “As punk rockers we thought we were gonna change the world and maybe the way we do that is by raising our kids a little better than our parents raised us.” (note: the actual end of that line is “the way we do that is by rasing better kids”. Pretty much the same idea.) Do you think that’s an accurate statement?

DS: Yes. But it’s also a question for ourselves and our own shortcomings, however painful it might be. We all have them and need to accept it rather than fight, deny or runaway from them. Our parents thought they had our best interest in mind and did plenty wrong. I think it’s only natural that we will fall into problems from our generation as well. Maybe if we acknowledge our shortcomings we can better understand them and be better parents. We will never be perfect and that’s okay. Most parents in my experience have trouble or some kind of “blind spot” when it comes to themselves or their kids.

SBC: In my home my son likes when I play Cheap Trick or Ramones records just as much as when I play Yo Gabba Gabba or Sesame Street songs. Being that you’re a pretty big power pop guy have you thought about doing a kids record in that style? Because if anyone could do it it’s you.

DS: I haven’t heard any kids music/records yet and the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. But, never say never. I’m a new a dad. We’ll see what unfolds. It would be interesting to do a follow up on punk rock parents every few years to see how perspectives have changed. I’m sure you’d see some big changes.

Better Late Than Never: The Weekend Movie Recap 10/7/11

posted by Rolocop

THE IDES OF MARCH – George Clooney’s 4th directorial effort is this politically charged drama. His debut, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND was a terrific ambitious film.  His second, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK was just as good but was a much more restrained picture.  His 3rd, LEATHERHEADS, was a bit of a misfire that tried to capture the same wacky spirit that the Coen Bros. bring to many of their comedies.  I am happy to report that Clooney is back to form with his latest.

Ryan Gosling plays a young man working on a political campaign for a senator (George Clooney).  I won’t get too much into the plot since the real joy of the film is watching it all unfold.  The cast of characters include Clooney’s loyal campaign manager (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the rival’s campaign manager who will stop at nothing to win (Paul Giamatti), a snoop reporter who will do anything to get her story (Marisa Tomei), and a young intern who falls for Gosling (Evan Rachel Wood).  Being a political film, of course there’s double crosses, scandals and a few twists.

The script, co-written by Clooney and based on an off Broadway play, is full of great characters and crackling dialogue.  Not unlike a David Mamet film, it’s full of suspense without any thrilling scenes.  Just razor sharp dialogue.  All of the performances are top notch. Again, Ryan Gosling is something of a triumph as the confident campaign veteran, who may think too highly of his own abilities.  It’s an Oscar worthy performance, but I fear he may not get nominated due to his other great performance in DRIVE.  They could cancel each other out.  Clooney is mostly in the background, but he’s the perfect person to play a “too-good-to-be-true politician.  Hoffman gives what could be the best performance in the film, or maybe he just has the best dialogue, who knows?  Either way, he’s an absolute joy to watch.  Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and especially Evan Rachel Wood also give very memorable performances.

Clooney’s direction is top notch, and I can honestly say that this is his best film as a filmmaker.  Every shot is carefully thought out.  It’s subtle, but there are lots of long takes and Clooney knows how to let his actors breathe, not over editing scenes like so many other directors do now these days.  I also have to mention Alexandre Desplat’s fantastic 70’s inspired score. Bravo!  I would compare this film to another excellent political drama, THE CONTENDER, which is one of my favorite recent films of all time.  I am not a political person at all, so it’s going to take a movie that has top notch writing, acting, photography, music, and editing to keep me engaged.  And this one is a winner all the way.  It’s got my vote as one of the best films of the year.  Wide Release Rating:


Also opened on 10/7:

REAL STEEL – People are comparing it to ROCKY with robots, but it’s more like OVER THE TOP with robots, mostly due to the father/son angle.  The first 30 minutes or so weren’t very good, and features an embarrassing mugging performance by Kevin Durand, but as the movie goes on, it’s surprisingly watchable.  Or course it’s absolutely predictable, but it’s well executed with some pretty believable effects.  Not a bad movie by any means, but it didn’t blow me away.  In fact, I had more fun watching my daughter love it, than I had watching the actual film.  Good for families and most undemanding viewers will enjoy it.  So sue me if I wanted a bit more. Wide Release.  Rating:

MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE – The story has heart, but I found it to be sloppy in it’s presentation.  Couldn’t really get into it.  At The Edina. Rating:

HAPPY, HAPPY – At The Uptown


THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 – The Uptown (midnight shows only on the weekends)

The Other F Word Interview: Josh Cain

posted by Richard Gill

In anticipation of THE OTHER F WORD having its Minneapolis premier this weekend as part of the Sound Unseen film festival I decided to talk to a few of my fellow “punk rock dad” pals and get their opinions on what it’s like to be a touring musician in a scene that’s historically a young person’s genre while at the same time trying to be a responsible parent and good role model for your kids.

The first person we’re gonna hear from is Josh Cain, guitarist and founding member of Minneapolis’ own Motion City Soundtrack. Over the last several years MCS has logged more tour miles than most of their contemporaries so I was interested to hear if / how that would be changing now that Josh has 1 1/2 year old at home. It’s a short but sweet interview so enjoy.

SBC: Motion City Soundtrack recently played Yo Gabba Gabba. How did that come about and now that you have a young child yourself do you feel like you maybe appreciated it a little more than people in the band that don’t have kids?

JC: Our manager is a talent buyer for Detroit Live Nation (and) he worked it out for us. Yeah, I was super stoked! Dot and I already love watching that show (so) it was amazing to be on stage with them and have her see that.

SBC:MCS is notoriously a very heavy touring band. Now that you’ve had a child do you see the band slowing down at all or going just as hard since you have the added financial burden of supporting another person?

JC: I think it will be a mix of both. Longer breaks but when we release a record I think it will be tour, tour, tour. That is going to bum me out but it is important cause that is how I provide for my family.

SBC: Mark Hoppus has a great line in the film where he comments on how he never imagined he’d have to get the edited versions of his albums to play for his kids. While MCS is pretty poppy and upbeat musically the lyrics can be pretty dark and deal with some really heavy issues. Your daughter is still pretty young but do you eventually see that being an issue when she want to listen to you band?

JC: Luckily I have edited versions of all our records for her to rock to, unfortunately I need to get better at not swearing.

SBC: Both you and your wife come from an indie / punk rock background. In what ways, if any, has that influenced your parenting or how do you see it influencing your parenting in terms of values, religion, etc. as your daughter gets older?

JC: Both Jill (and I) were brought (up) with religion in our childhoods but have since removed that from our life so she will be brought up sans religion and we will teach her to be a loving and compassionate person that is grounded in common sense.

SBC: There’s a line in the film by Jim Lindberg where he says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “As punk rockers we thought we were gonna change the world and maybe the way we do that is by raising our kids a little better than our parents raised us.” (note: the actual end of that line is “the way we do that is by raising better kids”. Pretty much the same idea.) Do you think that’s an accurate statement?

JC: Haha, I like it. I think we always try to do better than our parents (not that I think my parents did a bad job). I think of it more as a challenge because for me my childhood was great. Now I need to give Dot what I had but even better. This is the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever had in my life (and I am) beyond stoked for the future.

The Other F Word at The Ritz Theater

posted by Richard Gill

This revealing and touching film asks what happens when a generation’s ultimate anti-authoritarians – punk rockers – become society’s ultimate authorities – dads. With a large chorus of punk rock’s leading men – Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath – “The Other ‘F’ Word” follows Jim Lindberg, a 20-year veteran of the skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem ”F–k Authority,” to embracing his ultimately authoritarian role in mid-life: fatherhood.

Other dads featured in the film include members of Rancid, Black Flag, TSOL, US Bombs, Circle Jerks, Bad Religion, skater Tony Hawk, Art Alexakis (Everclear), Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), Tony Adolescent (The Adolescents), Fat Mike (NOFX), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), and many others.

This incredibly funny and poignant picture may be marketed as a film about “punk rock” dads but it’s really a movie for anyone with kids. The way they make a living may be different than that of most adults but the daily ups and downs of trying to be a good role model are something all parents can relate to. Although it mainly focuses on then Pennywise singer Jim Lindberg and his struggles with being away from his family so much it’s the interviews with everyone else that are the highlights of the film. I suggest keeping the tissues handy when listening to Duane Peters talk about losing his oldest son in a car accident. It makes you look at the man in an entirely new light.

In anticipation of THE OTHER F WORD having its Minneapolis premier this weekend as part of the Sound Unseen film festival I’ve decided to talk to a few of my fellow “punk rock dad” pals and get their opinions on what it’s like to be a touring musician in a scene that’s historically a young person’s genre while at the same time trying to be a responsible parent and good role model for your kids. Those will go up throughout this coming week.

Saturday, October 15
Ritz Theater
7:30 PM | $15

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