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Luce Cuts Back on Music.


This might be old news by now but not to me. Pizza Luce is cutting way back on music especially lower drawing local bands. You can read a thread aboout this topic here. So what does that leave Duluth with? The Tap Room, Brewhouse, Sir Ben's. Duluth's "scene" continues to shrink. What happened to the glory days? I have pretty much stopped contributing but where is the next generation? What is the next great age of Duluth aRt going to be?



viva la recyclabell

viva la Alamo

Oh my god, someone remembers the Alamo? Wow. Maybe you know who it was that ate all my cookies. Or took my NES. Damn punks!

But yeah, I'm sure there are still a few places for original local bands to play, but I'll be damned if I know where. Maybe I'm too old. Maybe all the cool kids are playing awesome small shows in a secret location far away from the bar scene. We can only hope. As for me, I'm outta here.

So who DOES have local rock music? There are a ton of the more folky/jammy places, but what about the rock? Or the punk? Or the electro/clash/fuzz/spaz? Or the dude in the sleeping-bag reciting the alphabet? I miss those days...

Well this may leave Duluth with said venues, but really... with all due respect... how is a heavy band going to go over at the Brewhouse, or Sir Bens, or Beaners? How is original / "undanceable" music going to go over at The Tap Room?

Is Luce -really- losing a ton of money from local shows with a low turnout?

This is complete speculation, but I'm sure that Luce cutting back is a combination of wanting people eating later and not leaving when they see they have to pay $5 to get in. These potential financial problems are both exacerbated by bands playing on stage.

If you look at how packed RT Quinlan's gets some nights, I'm sure that is at least partially a consequence of people not wanting to pay a cover at Luce, combined with the fact that a pint of Summit there costs a ridiculous $4.25.

However, I can't imagine that Pizza Luce is bleeding money. This decision is probably just a stab in some new direction to see if it's more profitable.

I guess the more important issue is the original question that Starfire posed: What is the next great age of Duluth aRt going to be? And more importantly, who are the people that are going to make it happen?

I could go on for a while, but I've got work to do.

I think what this town needs is enthusiasm -- people getting excited about making stuff happen, purely for the fun of it. It seems to come and go.

Personally, I never really liked watching shows at a pizza parlor anyway.

Early warning: Rock Show/Valentine's Ball at Emerson, February 11th. Be there or be somewhere else.

We need the NorShor to open back up!!!!

I agree that the Luce was not a very good place to watch shows. What's up with RT's? Do they do live music anymore?? In my experiences, Duluth has always been up and down. There were the glory days of watching Zen Idenity (which was really the best band to come out of Duluth)at the Incline Station every week in the early 90's that gave way to the awful "Blues Scene" that almost killed this town. I think that if someone could buy the Kozy Bar and clean it up a bit it would be a blast.

What about the Norway Hall above Robin Goodfellows?? Is that a good spot??

Maybe kick out those comic book people and have a good ol beer hall in there serving 3.2

Sorry comic book people.

Nothing personal.

Andy: From what I understand... the dude that runs RTs doesn't want live music again. He's been asked many times but has always said 'no'.

And about Barrets post... enthusiasm is how the MAC got started, and people were excited about it but never participated. True there were other factors at hand... but maybe there are some other persons that are willing to get together and start up something like it again.

"Maybe kick out those comic book people and have a good ol beer hall in there serving 3.2
Sorry comic book people.
Nothing personal."

You, you... comic bookist! ;)

Seriously though, the place has horrible accoustics. It has all the ambiance of a school auditorium.

From my experience the owner of RT's only wants to do shows on special occasions, holidays, etc. He does not want to take business away from his bread and butter which are the regulars. Great shows every time, though. The lack of good venues in Duluth is a big part of the issue, by the way, what is going on with that pool hall? Another huge aspect, that has only been touched on, is the participation or lack there of. There only needs to be a few good promoters and coordinators. People need to show up in order for good original shows to keep happening! I've put on way too many shows where only a hand full of folks showed up. This having only to do with where I put them and what night of the week it was on. Believe me, when you're competing against Chicago, Minneapolis, and the like you are going to get a Sunday or Monday night in our modest, little town of Duluth. With that, you're lucky to get the booking agents to consider Duluth in the first place. Granted, these are national bands and original music that I am speaking of, I always made a point of booking top notch original band(s) as opening acts. A huge reason why I all but stopped booking/promoting shows is the "more hip than thou" attitude, that to me, is a huge part of why we are in this predicament. Think that boycotting a venue is the answer? Watch how quickly we end up right smack dab where we are now. Someone hit the nail on the head when they said we need to be inclusive and not exclusive. I find it extremely ironic how our goals are focused on similar political, environmental, and ethical issues while we choose to fight among ourselves therefor dissolving any chance for a good scene.

We must cut the Gordian knot of cliqueish hipsterism.

We must jettison all coolness.

We must create a riot of inclusivity. The 'shor will eventually reopen and there should be cabaret's every night. Top hats, raucous drumming and lacey underpants.

Do we know if the forthcoming Irish Pub will have a stage?

Only a dedicated conspiracy of devoted weirdo's can turn this scene around.

Perhaps a ludicrous confederacy should be schemed up; a rolling tour of music, spoken word and goofy performance art playing obscure venues, like really obscure, for instance the Scarlet Building next to Union Gospel Mission has a grungy sort of charm and needs a purpose.

But being a relative newcomer, I can only imagine how cynical lifelong scenesters must be.

I think coolness gets in the way. Coolness is a trap and we've all got it bad.

I resolve to be excrutiatingly awkward and inclusive even at the risk of sounding...wait for it...


Don't fret about this, I know that Pizza Luce is being a Bitch about this whole Local Music thing, but the fact of the matter is that the local music scene isn't dying. The bands need to be more resource full and use their cretive powers to help remedy this situation.

Listen Up!
Log On!

just give up and move to chicago. Just kidding! But I am feeling a little lonely down here....te he!

On second thought perhaps extreme exclusivity is the way to go. Run the Norshor as a private club? Bluecollar hellfire club?

Hire a big bouncer to say stuff like "Yeah, you ladies are in..., sorry pal, no mukluks" etc

Good point about the MAC, (flat)eric. I've always had this sneaking suspicion that while people often talk about loving the music, they actually love the booze far more. While they give lip service to "supporting" venues, the only way to get them to do it is to give them liquor in exchange for cash.

It sort of reminds me of when they had plays at Luce, and people all of a sudden were talking about the importance of supporting local theatre. EXCUSE ME? I have never seen any of you at any other theatre production. Oh, wait. That's right. You can't get shitfaced at those plays.

aaahh the "glory days" ... why you young kids may not remember when THE ONLY PLACE TO PLAY WAS THE SHISHKABAR...yes I said it SHISHKABAR..back then we made our own rock, not having it brought to us on a pizzaplate..it made us hungry and thats what makes a good scene..malnutrition!.I welcome the luce' tightening...frankly as a grey haired dead rockstar, I was tired of being shunned by the age-ist pierced-eratti there (especially the really hot ones with nipple peircings)....get mad...GET PUNK!! GET IN YOUR BASEMENT where all good rock belongs!!!!!FORGE A SCENE...rule#1 only book shows the wknd after payday...duh

The scene will transform over time into something expansive and decadent, then contract again and everyone will get glum and creative.

Spring. I promise. Maybe earlier.

On the flip side, can we get a little less tawk and a little more rawk here? Really. Putting together a one-night show *anywhere* is by no means rocket surgery. To be a little more explicit, "DO" and "YOURSELF" are two of the more important words in DIY.

it seems rather ridiculous to me, as a band, to expect a venue (be they pizza parlor or pawn shop or penni purveyors) to do your work for you. Though, from my personal experience, this is apparently the expected norm. Make me posters. Advertise my show. Send out my press releases. Coordinate my sound. And pay me. There is a word for this and this word is called "lazy."

There are many, many buildings in this town that can hold ~100+ people. Just because they don't have some dude out front wearing a name tag that says "booker," doesn't mean they're out of bounds.

* door cover ($ for door till)
* ID checker/cover taker
* posters
* press releases

That's it. There's smaller details, but this shit isn't that hard, kids. Example:

:::Mama's Bar Hoedown:::
Rent = $0
Posters = Ad = $60
Door Person = $25
Sound = $0 (bands taking care of their own sound--prices may vary)
COSTS: $105
Bands = [Profit - Costs] / # of bands

And I could have cut out the ad and done the door myself and cut the costs by 80% (and hired sound and increased my original total by maybe x2). It was in Superior. There were maybe only 150 people. It wasn't the bestest or the rawkinest or the ├╝berest. But, bands played, people seemed to have an ok time, and I received a phone call from Mama the following Monday thanking me for the show and commenting on how *nice* everyone was. Total work time for me was under 6 hours.

And just one more thing: FYI, talking like a bitch:

"Why don't we play with bands like Boku or the Alrights? Because i think those bands are, uh, well... they're not bands i enjoy or have a ton of respect for and i do my best to play with bands i like and respect. Not to mention the fact that those bands' audiences would be slackjawed and retarded watching us play. I've been forced to endure that shit before."

is one of the greatest ways to get yourself put to the bottom of any booker's list. Just an FYI.

Most people don't get terribly excited about lack of respect or slackjawed retards--who, coincidentally, are frequently referred to as "customers" and "fans." (Correct me if I'm wrong, but fans of the Alrights and fans of Boku Frequency were just referred to as retarded slackjaws? Nice.) I know I personally like to work with people that are nice and easy to get along with and friendly and are trying to do hard work themselves. FYI.

In conclusion, woe to the venueless band, thine time of hardship and duress shall soon be neigh, as the pixy-winged rock & roll fairy descends from the heavens to sprinkle venue dust across the land with glittering stages and competent sound persons and cover charges not-too-low and not-too-high and audiences not too slackjawed and free booze tickets for all. Picking up instruments one-by-one, the pixy-winged rock & roll fairy shall play them; freeing all from their bondage of independent musicianship, yet creating exactly the correct and most harmonious tones as to please even thine most fickle. The pixy-winged rock & roll fairy shall become the band. The pixy-winged rock & roll fairy shall become all bands. The alpha, the omega and that devil rock sign one makes with their hand. Freed from the shackles of self-promotion and the devilish tasks of creating opportunities and venues for thine own art, all shall be free--finally free--to blog full time.

Spring. I promise.

About a month after moving to Duluth, I attended the Free Republic of Duluth Presidential Debate at Washington Galleries. I was awestruck and super happy I moved here. Just remembering it makes me laugh. I think that event would make a great model for an independent, democratic, music scene.

Wouldn't it be great to hand your cover charge to the Scottsman to see a band booked by Mr. Nice?

I agree with you Adam. It's not hard to throw together a show. But it's even easier to bitch about it. What i find interesting is that so many people who are complaining about Luce's new policy always said how much they hated playing at Luce. Boo hoo. And as for mattoafilmscore, he is a talented musician but one the biggest assholes to have to deal with. He does nothing but insult anyone that doesn't like what he likes. It's too bad for the people that play with him. All nice and super talented guys from my experience. I don't mean to come on here and rip on someone, but this is the type of eletist attitude that makes venue owners not want to book bands. Who wants to deal with that? The good ol' boys have a saying, don't shit where you eat.

So because I have made fun of / berated Trampled by Turtles (aka Stabbed by Hobos) and some other bands, I now have to worry about being at the bottom of a bookers list. Great... just what I needed. I guess thats what I get for having opinions.

rule #2 --Book shows you want to see. In the end, enjoyment is the only reward you can bank on....or is that enjoying your end is the reward you get for banking...no it's ..you can bank on the reward of me enjoying your end.

I would love to see something like the MAC again. Unfortunately I go to school full time and have 2 jobs so I can't be the one to "do it yourself" I don't know anyone who can really. It needs to be a "D.I.T (do it together)" effort. I'd love to be a part of getting something like this going, but can't do it alone. We can sit on the internet and talk about what used to be and what's wrong with what is, or we could talk about what we can do about it.

What about Gartman? Gartman brought his golden guitar from NYC to save Duluth's music scene...how soon you forget.

I am actually on board with Maria... its not about DIY, but more DIT. And no one is innocent of this (not even me), but every band in Duluth has their little "cliques" and are rarely seen associating outside of said group.

One band gets a gig, and helps out their friends' bands by getting them gigs opening for their band. Thats great and everything, but what about all the other bands? Acually sounds more like DIFYAYF (do it for yourself and your friends).

Yeah if a big name comes into town you want to get some good bands on the bill to open to keep the people happy / entertained.

*rolls eyes*

Why not give some highschool kids a chance at opening for a big name band... or whomever. So they may not be a band the venue / booking person likes, so what, give them a chance.

Viva DIT!

So... what now? This is essentially the same friggen conversation we had when the ripsaw ripped... A lot of talk about what we should do. DIY/DIT... etc. Anybody gonna do something? anyone, hello? I am not musicaly talented (trying to fix that) but have other skills. What should we do?

I agree the luce' is not a great place for shows, and am not particularly sorry it is getting all wimpy.

(incidently it'd be nice if the local duluth college radio actually did SOMETHING to support the live sceen other then an ocassional(rare) interview. friggen john z... need a decent program manager. *grumble grumble*)

fear not, hold still...there is great news on the horizon...large forces are at work and soon there WILL be a wonderful non profit venue for you kids and your crazy non profitable music...keep your eyes on the plumber's crack.

goddammit! don't look at my butt.

perhaps he ment the plumber's drugs?

keep your eye on the plumber's crack while he goes to the truck and gets some "draino".

"The Plumber" would make a good gangster name.

Don't mess with the plumber or he'll rearrange your pipes.

Words to a who now?

Never heard of 'em. Must not be very good.


Duluth IS WAY TOO SMALL for cliques of any kind. Seems some are trying to out-cool each other, which is very nerdy. Face it: you are small-time artists in a small time time. If you want to fail in a bigger way, move to the Cities.



Duluth IS WAY TOO SMALL for pseudonyms of any kind. Nothing greases the wheels of fearless opinion-mongering like anonymity. Yeah!

I have a dream. I have dream of clique street battles (something in the style of "The Warriors" but with much more ironic detachment). A to-the-death fight for clique supremacy!

You all know it's coming. Ignore the giant Elephant Six in the room if you want, but know this: I'm-a-gonna clique the shit out yo' hipster posse AND take their wallets. Be they hand-crafted, hempen, fair-trade twill or the old-timey, nylon with velcro featuring some ironic culural reference like the Go-Bots: You will be relieved of them! You will be relieved of your Northern Waters punch card! You will be relieved of your clique's clubhouse key! (No Squares!)

Best sharpen your spear. There can be only one.

Stay gold, PonyBoy.

Clique Wars: Final Banter

Duluth Clique Posse and The Exclusive In-Joke

Clique Wars II: Sudden Freshness

We just didn't "clique".

My glock goes "ca-Clique".

Duluth Clique Posse guest starring The Courtesy Flush

Can I take your picture?
Wait for it...


Wow, Burly, "Warriors", "Outsiders", and "Highlander" references all in one swell foop. All I need now is a "Noonan", "Coke and taco" and "Immanuel Kant was a real pisant..." and I'm kicking back in a moldy, burnt orange recliner, swilling Falstaff, and watching 'Nova take G-town to the rack. Ahhh, '80s dorm-geek chic...

(by the way, this is by no means meant to be ironic, I am truly impressed and a little nostalgic..)

Lets start a game show featuring obnoxious judges and clique trivia based on real or imagined Duluth art scene shenanigans.

Clique vs clique for cash and prizes, podcast and vlogged for the masses.

so this pixy-winged rock & roll fairy and the plumbers crack sound promising.

If you need a hand with either, I've got two.


and for the college radio comment. I've been opening KUMD's mail for 3.5 years and the only local discs we get are ones from bands with distribution deals.

I would love to see more local music in the college programing library. Unless you want to get day time air play,don't send things to Ziegler, send them to "attn: college radio"

If you gave a disc to drew at some point, it's not in the library for all to use, it's in his backpack.

Hahahaha Maria... good point about Drew.

KUWS has also been doing local music for years and years now... and I tried to get people to start sending their stuff directly to the station and no one ever did. Hell, you dont even have to mail it, just stop by and drop it off and say "this is some local music, I am wondering if maybe you could have someone review it and possibly play it".

Hey, it's free promotion (or at least, it is the cost of postage to mail a cd). Hell, you don't even have to mail a cd in with artwork and all that... if you are low on copies just burn a copy of it, throw a label on there, throw it in a case with a piece of paper with a tracklisting, band name and contact info and mail that in.

Edgewood the problem is that someone needs to get it rolling. A lot of people said the exact same thing you did. Why don't you do something. Anyone anyone

wait. it's okay to not like everyone and everything all the time always, isn't it?

No, mayday, you're wrong. Everyone should be just the same as everyone else. It makes for really good Top 40 Oldie Hits that you will love when you're 74.

Shake hands or die.

i'm fucking awesome. if your opinion is not EXACTLY the same as mine, i will destroy you.

i am selfish, do nothing to help others, only watch my own ass and could care less about any other musician in this lame town.

the only reason i started that fucking zine with paul was to stroke my gigantic ego. while i tried to keep it hidden, my plan was to sucker people in by 'exposing' all these bands in town that no one knows about because they don't know the right people and then BAM (!!!) i'm going to cram 50 pages of ME down your fucking throats!

yes! that's fucking awesome! yay for me! yay for being a dick! yay for people that hide behind screen names for their internet shit talking!

I have a not-so-fresh feeling.

I was wondering what that smell was.

Oh mattoafilmscore... you so crazay!! You make me wanna have yo babay!


What Duluth needs, eh?




professionalism? most of us have professionalism coming out of the blisters on our fingers at the shitty day jobs we work. you know, the thankless ones we maintain and put off trade school for so we can be afforded the opportunity to take a tremendous financial loss to pusue the music we, until very recently, love.

loved. sorry.

eric, if i were ever to get knocked up by a state champ, it would be you. sorry greg. i'm sure you're bummed.

I wasn't talking about the bands or musicians.

I *was talking about the venue owners and bookers, the *press, the cops, the mayors, the general contractors...better cut if off there.

Regardless, the point I was making was that in the myriad of these discussions continue to pop-up, the underlying issue is that some people percieve that the Duluth-Superior music scene is missing a magical box, and once that magical box is found, everything will be easily fixed.

I can only speak from experience to the fact that even when the creative community up there was thriving, the most beloved music and arts venue, the Norshor, wasn't *paying* bands.

What is that? That's unprofessional. No wonder the momentum couldn't be maintained.

Here's the kicker, the question has been raised, "Where are the younger bands?"

I know where they are. They're playing at the underage venues.

What we're seeing now is the by-product of losing Le Petit and Recyclabell. As crappy as those venues were at times, they were a breeding ground of values and norms that an independant music community needs.

I think Malincovic is on the right track with his publication. That's a product that kids are gonna see and touch and remember.

The next step is for the older bands to take their music out of the bars, where it really isn't doing anyone any good, and take it to the kids. There are kids out there who want to form bands. Find 'em. Get their bands, no matter how seemingly off or misguided, onto opening bills wherever you can.

If you *truly value creativity as a resource, manage it like one. Do your part to renew it. If you're hangin' around to pay lip service to the music community, you're just another Andy Olson, but like 5 times worse.



(and to add to dave's post)

... and damnit, don't stand up for yourself or others when you think something fucked up is going on... something that will hurt a ton of people. that apparently makes you a shit talking crybaby that does nothing for the *scene* except bitch and moan.

don't call out bands that are full of shit. don't call out clubs that are full of shit. don't call out writers that are full of it... and if you must, by all means DON'T VOICE YOUR OPINIONS IN PUBLIC!!! keep your opinions to yourself, or better yet, stick to talking shit behind peoples' backs. that and kissing everyones' ass is the only way to get ahead in this city.

off to be a bitch,

Kids, kids, kids turn your ipods off for a second, unplug the damn computer and think for yourselves for a minute or two. With everyone living with music plugged into their heads non-stop it's no wonder a good "live" show is hard to find. Music is now packaged as a product more so than ever and the trickle down effects have landed in Duluth. Big deal! Time to get creative and re-invent this town. The talent and the get go is out there waiting to be tapped into. So after I finish this cocktail and joint and get back from the Twins bar later on I'll maybe do something about it. Enjoy it loud, enjoy it live!

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