Hey, Nate!

First and foremost, I’d like to introduce you to our new bass player, Nate Thomsen. We’re thrilled to have him aboard.  His musical instincts and creativity are going to be a big part of the future of King Fish Crow.  It’s been quite a smooth transition over the past month.

Our man, Shane, has decided to pursue other avenues. We can’t say how grateful we are to call him a friend and to have been able to share the stage and the creative process with him on bass.  We wish him the best of luck.

For Nate’s inaugural show, we figured we’d head down to Falconer Vineyards in Red Wing and play three hours of music.   He’s learning every original song we have and a handful of covers.  So come on down to Red Wing this Saturday and welcome Nate to the band.

We’re looking forward to setting up on the deck at falconer Vineyards and taking full advantage of the natural setting. I hear it’s beautiful and the wine and pizza are phenomenal as well.  Pack the car, bring the whole family and get ready for a foot stomping fun time.

As a final note, I have a story to tell. I was driving to the Bunker for rehearsal along my usual route when I was caught in some traffic along Cleveland, north of Como Avenue.  I saw flashing lights ahead and as I slowly approached, I saw a bus pulled over to the side of the road with the appearance of an emergency stop and not one of its many scheduled pick ups.  The flashing lights were from an ambulance and as I approached the scene, I thought maybe someone trying to cross the road had been hit by the bus.  When I passed the bus, I gawked a bit, glancing to see if there was blood in the road.  There was none.  I drove on and we had rehearsal.  I had no idea what happened.  A few days later, I was listening to local AM radio when I heard a story about a bus that had to make an emergency stop on Cleveland and Carter a few days earlier.  I turned the radio up and I heard a story about how a woman riding the bus had gone into labor and a man on the bus, not a doctor, had helped her deliver the baby right there on South bound public transportation.  The bus pulled over and an ambulance arrived to bring the mother and newborn to the hospital.  It made me think that I should expect life more than I expect death.  Too often I expect the worst.  And I should not.  Expect life.  Tell the stories.  And have a wonderful week.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”      – Norman Cousins

Big Ol’ Reunion Show

And we’re back!

This Saturday we’ll be at the Driftwood celebrating 10 years in the Bunker. Every band on the bill has spent hours in the Bunker’s cozy confines. There will be the reunion of Babies Making Babies and the long-awaited reunion of, Galaxy Drive, the founders of the Bunker. Jaguar Queen spent time in the bunker under the name the BatmanZ and King Fish Crow will close out the night with new songs and old songs and stories about the Bunker.

Music will start at 9 and there is a $5 cover. Galaxy Drive will have free CD packages for the first people through the door. Get your copies of A Remnant Remains and Crumbling Little Things while we still have a few copies left. King Fish Crow may just raffle off a couple merch packages throughout the night. We’ll see ya there!

“Saturday night is your big night. Everybody used to fry up fish and have one hell of a time. Find me playing till sunrise for 50 cents and a sandwich. And be glad of it. And they really liked the low-down blues.”     – Muddy Waters

Drew is Back!

Birds are chirping. Leaves are budding. Plants are blooming. There is such an explosion of life happening all around us. In the cellar temp of the Bunker, we’re cleaning house a bit and rehanging some of the sound foam that did not want to cling to the walls by our first method of adhesion.

We’ve come across some adversity. We had some big hopes and didn’t make the cut. The struggle is real. We’ll take a look in the mirror, batten down the hatches and right the ship. No one said it was easy.

And here’s the best news we’ve gotten in a while, you could say, we’ve called in a ringer. Drew Brown returns.  That’s right.  Drew is back in the Twin Cities and he’s back in the band. We couldn’t be happier to have him back in the fold. Expect to see him at shows from here on out playing saxophone, banjo and guitar.

“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.”     – John Muir

“Birds Sing Where I Walk”

We’d like to thank everyone who came out to Acadia Café. It was definitely short notice, but it was fun to jump on the bill.  It was one of the best Wednesday nights I’ve had in a while.  Dave broke a sting on the first song, but other than that the set went well and the crowd was warm and welcoming as we closed out the evening.

We have a date and a venue for the 10 Year Bunker Reunion Show. It will be held at the Driftwood Char Bar on Saturday July 28th.  The night will start with the band that christened the Bunker so many years ago, Galaxy Drive.  Jaguar Queen, formerly in some iteration, the Batmanz, will follow and Babies Making Babies will make a dramatic appearance.  The night will close with the current Bunker house band, King Fish Crow.  It is to be a fantastic reunion and celebration of bands that have sweat in the stifling august heat of our cherished practice space.  Spend the night with us as we go all that way back to the year 2008.

In other really cool Bunker news, Liz was chosen to be the artist for the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. We’re ecstatic for her.  She’s an amazing artist and if you didn’t know already, the secrets out.   Love ya, Liz, cheers and Happy Birthday!!!

“Yes sir, I am a tortured man for all seasons, as they say, and I have powerful friends in high places. Birds sing where I walk, and children smile when they see me coming.”     – Hunter S. Thompson

Bunker Blizzard

The Bunker Reunion will be remembered for the unprecedented April blizzard and as a party for the adventurous.

King Fish Crow showed up by right around three without much ado. Corey did get his car stuck in the snow a couple times circling for a parking spot, but we were all hands on deck and rocked him out both times.

Once we piled into the Bunker and took our jackets, boots, gloves and hats off, we began to settle in. We turned on our amps and plugged in the crock pot of slow cooked pulled jerk chicken that Beau prepared. We had bottled water, beer, bags of chips, an assortment of gummies and cookies and, of course to be healthy, bananas. It could have snowed all weekend. Oh wait! It did.

The highlight of the bash was that Drew was back in town for the weekend. He brought his saxophones, banjo and mandolin. We were all thrilled to find out he’s moving back to the Twin Cities from Madison. As of early May, he’ll be back as a full-time member of King Fish Crow!

Most of the bands pulled out because of the weather and its totally understandable. We had a few friends venture out in the snow and hang out with us for a while. The Bunker Reunion show wouldn’t have been a reunion without some band getting back together and playing a few songs. Luckily, Invisible Machines made an impromptu set with three quarters of their original members and excited those gathered in the Bunker with some of their danceable ditties. King Fish Crow didn’t hold back and we played through our entire catalogue. The night was also the first night King Fish Crow used the Live video function on Facebook. We got a pretty good reception on that platform and we may do more of them.

Even with only a fraction of the people we invited making the wintery trip, we learned something. The Bunker is an ideal practice space. But the Bunker is just not big enough to host more than ten people at any given time. There just isn’t room.

There are some murmurs about getting Galaxy Drive together in better weather. But if it happens, we’ll give you some elbow room and have it at a real venue.

This week, King Fish Crow will be performing at Acadia Café at 10 pm. It may be just in time for another April snowstorm. And why not? Come out and join us for an unpredictable evening of weather and rock steady beats.

Finally, I have to say, “Thanks.” I’ve been writing this blog, BunkerFuzz, for over a year now. You have made it completely worthwhile. Here’s to more music coming out of the Bunker and plenty of Fuzz to follow.

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”    – Booker T. Washington

Bunker Reunion Show

It’s been a decade in the making. Unbelievably, we’ve been in the Bunker for ten years.  This Saturday is the day to celebrate everyone who has followed their musical dreams through the halls of Kooler Sound.

The party is hosted by King Fish Crow. Expect them to play a few sets throughout the afternoon and evening.  There will also be performances by Jaguar Queen and possible reunions of Invisible Machines and Empty Set.  Follow us down the hall to the Bunker Jr. for a special performance by Vs. Hair Vs. Hair.  The evening will culminate with a long awaited Galaxy Drive reunion.  Galaxy Drive has not played music together since our last show at Tiffany’s in 2010.  Coincidentally, it was also the last night of live music at Tiff’s as well.  It’s been 10 years since the release of our debut album, A Remnant Remains. Saturday is sure to be an epic occasion.

Over the past few weeks, Galaxy Drive has gotten together to dust off some of our favorite originals. We’re looking forward to sharing them with everyone.  King Fish Crow is primed for the weekend return of Drew Brown.  It’s going to be great and we are giddy to play some of our new tunes with our old sax man.  Reunions upon reunions are expected.  This will be the biggest blowout ever held at the Bunker. We hope to see you there.  But space is limited.  So get the password, bring your own beer and we’ll see you on Saturday for a short history of Bunker tunes.

I’m hoping some of the great people we’ve had in the Bunker over the years will share their Bunker stories. And if all goes as planned, the evening should shift into an all-inclusive Bunker jam.  So bring your guitar, a bass or a kazoo.

‘No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.”     – Robert Southey

NPR Tiny Desk Contest

This past week, we stepped outside of our normal routine of rehearsing new material and we recorded a live video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. It’s the first time we’ve entered this contest or anything like it.

I forgot all about it and we almost missed the deadline. If it wasn’t for our friends, Wailing Loons, posting an entry video, we would have.  So last Thursday, I asked if anyone in the band had a ‘tiny’ desk and Shane came through.  The desk is a big deal.  I was planning on shooting the video on a GoPro, but I couldn’t find the cord to charge the darn thing.  So it started to look like we’d have a classy cellphone video.  Turned out Corey had the cord I needed and we shot the video with the GoPro after all.  I set up the camera on a tripod and we crowded behind our desk.  We took four takes and used the live audio from the GoPro.  If we would have planned ahead a little better and known the contest was creeping up on us, we could have used a mixed Tascam track for the audio.   It also would have been nice to see Corey in the video and maybe even have Liz a little more front and center.  But hey, we entered a contest.

The song we entered into NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest is called, “1,2,3,4” and will be on the album we are in the process of hashing out. The video is of the third take.  Take a moment and check it out. Thanks, friends.

“You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself.”     – Epictetus

Is It Spring Yet?

Hey everybody, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and happy first day of spring. It may not have felt like spring today and I heard a local weather forecaster say something about a “snizzle” on the first day of “sprinter,” but I’m hardly deterred.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, check out the Unicorn Song by the Irish Rovers.

This past Saturday, Beau and I started tracking “official” demos for our next recording. The afternoon wasn’t without an initial setback when my acoustic guitar pickup wasn’t working.  It forced me to use my electric to record the tracks.  So we laid down a click track, rhythm guitar, scratch vocals and a drum track for “After the Last Parade” and “I Never Got to Say Goodbye.”  I’ll have to come back and record acoustic on the tracks and in the next couple weeks we’ll get Shane to lay down bass, Dave to lay down electric guitar, Corey to lay down keyboards and, last but definitely not least, we’ll get Liz to sing her vocal parts.  Then we’ll repeat the process on ten more songs.

In other Bunker news, the Ten Year Bunker Reunion show is coming up quickly. I’ll be making a facebook event soon and I can’t wait to see all of you and share a decade worth of Bunker stories.

It was great to meet up with my friend Mark at the Bunker last night, but man, did I stay out too late and pay for it today.  Stay tuned for a collaboration.

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us.  Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”     – Henri Nouwen

Working Towards Demos

I started a new job two weeks ago. I’m in a shop at a place that installs windows into storefronts.  I have to remember to wear my gloves or I’ll cut my hands up.  I got a nice blood blister today…from a measuring tape.  Last week, my second week, I drove into work as the sun was rising.  There were some pretty great blues and oranges in the sky.  This week, it’s been dark when I walk into the shop.  I’m trying really hard not to be completely exhausted at the end of a shift.  Eventually I’ll get used to it.  Right?

The new job has rearranged my schedule.  I’m trying to use my time more wisely. I go to bed much earlier.  Wow!  When we meet up at the Bunker to work on new King Fish Crow material, we’re doing the work I really want to be doing, work I can pour myself into.

For the last couple weeks, we’ve been continuing to plug away at new tracks. We’re moving towards official demos of songs projected to be on our next album.  It’s a process and the songs progress at their own rates.  We’re in a spot that we cannot rush.

This past Thursday was the last rehearsal that we all arrived at the Bunker in the dark.  I can almost smell the spring.  But this isn’t my first March.

“Just follow your dreams and be patient.”     – Angelique Kerber

An Anniversary

A year ago this past Sunday, King Fish Crow bundled up and shot a music video for our song Sweet Desperation at Lake Nokomis.   We had hoped for snow, even expected it.  It was February in Minnesota after all.  But on that February 25th, we were bestowed with only the cold.  If we would have shot the video this year, on the same day, we would have been trudging through ten plus inches of snow.  Alas, to know that we cannot control everything and trudging has many connotations.

Check out the video we made last year for Sweet Desperation. It’s an anniversary!

Here’s to making it through another winter. Here’s to spring.  I’m definitely looking forward to t-shirt weather.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.”     – Rogers Hornsby