Thursday, February 28, 2008

Upcoming Shows: February 28 thru March 4

Thursday, Feb 28 2008

Jazz Jam @ Urban Stampede - 8:00P

River City Jazz Trio @ ’l Bistro (Canad Inn) - 8:00P

Open Mik Night @ Mike’s Pizza - 9:00P

The King’s Head @ O’Really’s Irish Pub - 10:00P

Friday, Feb 29 2008

Concert @ EGF Eagles Club @ Eagles Club - 6:00P

School House Rock, Jr. - The Musical @ Fire Hall Theatre - 7:30P

Still Fighting It @ Sanders 1907 - 10:00P

Saturday, Mar 1 2008

School House Rock, Jr. - The Musical @ Fire Hall Theatre - 7:30P

Recital - Livingood & Pfeifer @ Josephine Campbell Recital Hall (UND Campus) - 7:30P

Jarrod Schell @ Sanders 1907 - 9:00P

Sunday, Mar 2 2008

School House Rock, Jr. - The Musical @ Fire Hall Theatre - 2:00P

TobyMac & Jeremy Camp @ Alerus Center - 6:00P

Monday, Mar 3 2008

Middle School Choral Festival @ Chester Fritz Auditorium 7:00P

Pluckstruck @ Tabula - 7:00P

Tuesday, Mar 4 2008

Open Mic @ The Hub - 10:00P

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Awards

For those who didn't watch, Herbie Hancock won for Album of the year for "River: The Joni Letters," which is a fantastic album. If you don't have it, get it.

Anyway, it's only the second time a jazz album won that honor, and I'm really, really happy for Herbie. What an awesome musician!


A few weeks ago I was in Anaheim, CA for the Winter NAMM show. As I alluded to before, this is a colossal event - probably the second-biggest music gear show in the world, and definitely the biggest in North America.

It's like any other trade convention in that manufacturers from near and far are peddling their wares to retail buyers such as myself. While there, I get to wear the coveted blue badge, which elicits solicitation from the sales-types: "Hi... Matt, are you interested in carrying this, the latest line of nose flutes?"

"No, thanks... um, could you point me toward the Moog booth?"

Needless to say, to a gearhound like me, it's heaven. Literally every current piece of musical gear can be found in the cavernous 1.2-million square-foot convention center. Yeah, that's a quarter-mile of gear and aging rock stars. A fun activity is to watch all the cats who were semi-famous and still have that long-hair, leather pants, strung-out look. Paul Stanley and I had a weird eye-contact "moment." I left feeling a little scared, but thanks for that anyway, Paul.

Anyway, glitz and glamour aside, the show was a good place for me to re-center myself in my primary occupation, which is to sell the stuff to folks like you. As I've said somewhere, maybe here, I like to think of myself as more of a faciliatator than a salesman - I am a musician myself and I'd like to think I'm providing a service to those who are in my shoes (or anywhere on that path). The NAMM show usually provides me insight into how to better do that by way of product demonstrations, learning seminars, and general networking with others in the business.

That, and I got to spend a week in my "backyard," (well some may call it the toilet - I am from Northern California) which happened to have a gorgeous week of 75 and sunny - sandwiched between two of the rainiest weeks they've had in 5 years. I rented a Nissan Altima (which pretty much rocked - 500 miles on one tank?!) and spent a couple of days reconnoitering various music stores in the Inland Empire as well as just taking in the sights and sounds of greater L.A. If you don't know - I actually like driving in L.A. There's so much to see and the traffic - as long as you expect it and aren't in a hurry - gives you time to reflect. I've told my wife many times that I just need to get out and drive sometimes.

Eating at TK's burger shack on Huntington Beach was a highlight. Oh, and I consumed lots - I mean lots of Mexican food. I also got to take in a few shows - Joey DeFrancesco's organ trio featuring the legendary George Benson on guitar, and one of my idols, Stevie Wonder, was the special guest at the Yamaha dealer show.

As I said all of this serves to educate and re-focus me so I can do a better job for you. Meanwhile, we picked up a few new product lines: ESP/LTD guitars, and Washburn guitars. There have been some really killer guitars trickling in from these guys and our acoustic room is about as full as it's ever been (over 100 guitars). We also firmed up our commitment to Pearl drums, a brand I can barely keep up with inventory-wise they are so popular.

I also came up with some new programs and projects that will hopefully serve the music community in Grand Forks. The first will be the Popplers Meltdown Fest on Saturday, April 26th - right here in the store. I already have 9 groups signed up to play and there will be food, door prizes, etc. A fun day for sure.

Stay tuned for more. Until then - thanks, L.A., for your hospitality and beautiful weather!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Upcoming shows: February 6 thru 12

What, no gigs on Friday?

Wednesday, February 6

Open Mic Night @ Speedway - 9:00P

Still Fighting It @ The Blue Moose - 9:00P

Thursday, February 7

Live Jazz @ ’l Bistro (Canad Inn) - 8:00P

Jazz Jam @ Urban Stampede - 8:00P

Open Mik Night @ Mike’s Pizza - 9:00P

Reconcile @ O’Really’s Irish Pub - 9:00P

Driver Mooth @ Crosstown Lounge - 10:00P

Saturday, February 9

Prairiegrass Bluegrass Festival @ Empire Arts Center - 7:00P

North Country Fiddle and Dance with the Tickwood String Band @ Grand Forks Senior Center - 7:30P

Wheat Missile @ Mike’s Pizza & Pub - 10:00P

Grampa’s Amp @ The Hub Bar - 10:30P

Tuesday, February 12

Open Mic Night @ The Hub Bar - 10:00P