Few things can get me out of bed at 4:30am. One would be an earthquake if they happened at a noticeable level in Minnesota, the other is the opportunity to catch Steve Seel and Jill Riley of The Current’s Morning Show on location, plus free coffee!
Rolling into the Longfellow Grill right around 6am gave me some sense of accomplishment. It was a very sleepy, hungry accomplishment but damn it, I was there. It also happened to be a national holiday of sorts: National Donut Day. With the lack of a national brand like Dunkin Donuts in Minnesota, a number of local shops have popped up over the past few years including Glam Doll Donuts and Mojo Monkey Donuts to name a few, and we’re all better for it, in moderation of course.
A cavalcade of guests trivia and music were a big part of the reason I decided to go to the Longfellow Grill in Minneapolis. Another was to get a glimpse at how radio works and all of the behind the scene happenings. When you listen to Steve and Jill, it becomes a seamless program of features, music and guests. The only hiccups come when a laughing fit works its way in.
The first guest of the morning was John Moe, who hosts the wildly popular Wits program at the Fitzgerald Theater in St Paul, MN, and is on the morning show every Tuesday morning to talk all things technology in a segment name “The Throbbing Hive”. Topic of the day: that pesky and sneaky Prism program. I think I’ve already said too much about it.
Trivia Mafia joined the show to play two rounds of trivia, where questions about; what else; music were asked and required rather fast answers in order to win a “semi-fabulous prize package’ You can find these guys all over town, running trivia on various nights at fine establishments such as Pizza Luce, Green Mill, Amsterdam Bar and Hall, and more. Check their website daily for locations and times.
One of the regular contributors to the Morning show is CHOW’s Supertaster and Heavy Table food editor James Norton. This week, he brought in different types of mayo, or mayonnaise. One that struck a number of people as a dangerous proposition was the vegan mayo. This is about as natural as a cat having a liter of puppies. Jill was brave enough to give it a try, putting herself in harm’s way, and saving a number of curious onlookers from a crime of food science.
Soon enough, it was 8am and the bar was open. Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers and Mimosas began to make their rounds, and the restaurant became a little more lively and boisterous. Lucky were those that did not have to head to work in the next few hours.
Caroline Smith performed two songs off her up-coming, secretly-title-track-titled album, along with one other alongside fellow band member Jesse Schuster, in front of a bustling Longfellow Grill. “Buy Me Summer” was the first, and quite remarkable song, followed by “Child of Moving On”. The third song was titled “Closing The Doors”. I am going to recommend that you follow Mezzic on Twitter (@Mezzic), as I will make it my mission to make the followers aware of her new song releases. I can tell you that it was quite a tremendous album.
Michael Rand local sports writer for the Star Tribune newspaper. He has a blog that can be found on StarTribune.com. I would offer you more information on what was discussed, but I must admit I was waiting to get some more coffee. Hey, the Cactus Blossoms were up next and this is a music blog.
The Cactus Blossoms from Minneapolis do not just play Country music, they are playing your grandfather’s style of Traditional Country music. Their sound reminded me of being awake at 2ish am, watching one of those Time Life infomercials, discovering Hank Williams Jr’s music and sound for the first time. If you live in the Twin Cities, The Blossoms have a Monday Night residency at the Turf Club, but it is quickly drawing to a close after a long, successful run. They are recording a live album at the Turf on Friday, July 5th, and their final Monday night gig is July 22nd. If you haven’t seen them before, I would highly recommend you make a point to see their show.