Monday, March 21, 2011

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - @ The Dakota Jazz Club 3/19/11

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra on Facebook

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra homepage

Interview Jearlyn Steele of WCCO did with Lisi Wright last Sunday 3/13/11

So, this is just a (hopefully) brief review of the show I attended last evening at The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis (before heading over to The Kitty Kat Club to see Brute Heart).

I have been listening to a lot of Jazz and Bluegrass-incorporated music of late with The River Empires, Dean MagrawPunch Brothers, even Lehto & Wright to a point. And TGCO 1st album from 2009 Lookin' For a Little Strange.

Namely due to knowing about TGCO's new record All out of Peaches and the Double CD Release show at The Loring Theater, which I skipped due to weather/parking among other factors.

So, this next show they had, having felt bad about not making the Loring Theater show, I was certain I would attend. It was also a "DVD Release" show of sorts, as TGCO have made short films that are kind of amusing, from memory. And they decided along with their new record, and new covers album, to release a small collection of short films they've made.

But as far as the show itself, the performance was rather good, probably better than the 1st time I saw them. They played various tunes from both of their original full lengths Lookin' For a Little Strange and All out of Peaches, and the covers albums (they have 2, titled "Songs We Didn't Write" volumes 1 and 2). And a 1 or 2 not on them, namely Rush's YYZ.

Probably my favorites/highlights being "Dark Matter" "Odd Men Out" and the new tune "The Blaze"  among others.

And they performed 2 sets, which is always nice.

I guess I can't avoid adding some thoughts that were not as favorable. Specifically about The Dakota Jazz club.

I had already had dinner, and only desired to see the band play there. I walk in and ask to pay for 1 ticket, and they tell me "okay, we'll include that on your check." And then I end up sitting down, not on a table, but a seat behind the tables area. Kind of scrunched in to be honest. A waiter asks (more like suggests) if I wanted something to drink after giving me a glass of water.

I tell him, no, but I would like a plate of the french fries. he asks, "with the BĂ©arnaise sauce?" and I say yes.

So, he does bring me the fries eventually with the BĂ©arnaise sauce. Failing to mention the price being $5 for the fries and $3 just for the sauce, lol.

Now, I used to go to The Dakota often back 5-10 years ago when it was in St.Paul in Bandana Square. I really liked it there. It was intimate, usually not crowded, and very welcoming. I even went once on my Birthday and they let me in for free. But ever since they've moved to downtown Minneapolis, it honestly does-not-seem-the-same.

They're even booking non-Jazz artists (Keri Noble, Jazz?), lol. They seem more $-driven than ever before. I'm not sure why, other than to survive. But Lowell has always come across as a great stand-up guy. But, my feeling about his venue is not what it once was, just on costs of shows and the food. And to add to that specifically, the French Fries are not even made or the same kind of french fries they used to serve in St.Paul. They're not even CLOSE to as good as they used to be.

Again, why is that? I suppose I could ask, but I never considered it.

Also another less than desirable situation last night, at least for part of the show, the women next to me were chatting it up pretty good. Fine. Maybe they weren't even there to listen to the music? I have no idea. But I wished I had said something to the staff to seat me in one of the tables. Now, maybe the tabled seating has some kind of minimum bill or extra cost, I dunno. Or maybe they were all reserved, but the open tables I saw were for people who were coming later.

I just consider the fact I spent $24, for a concert that was $10 + a less than tasty plate of french fries and a glass of water. Does that seem reasonable? I guess if/when I ever do see another show at The Dakota, I am refusing to order anything unless something is stated I am required to, which I may just skip the show or possibly just order 1 soft drink and that's it.

The Artist Quarter doesn't expect you to order food or a drink, at least I don't recall. Neither does The Cedar (or Celtic Junction or Dreamland Arts for that matter). And the sound issues have never been a problem there. Nor are there typically *reserved* tables or chairs, at least if there are, there aren't as many.

Not to mention how I feel about Downtown Minneapolis, lol (or how I failed to get Wifi there, but that's a minor issue, not so much having to do with the club I suppose).

I guess until I have a better reason to believe, The Dakota may have found the "how the mighty have fallen" category to a point, which I suppose I can't say is really new, given I recall having a similar experience there seeing Hiromi a few years ago.

I mean it's not the sound itself, nor the actual performances by the artists. And it is nice how The Dakota books artists I like. But their prices, the tables, being downtown Minneapolis, and pushing the food thing, at what is to me, 1st and foremost, *A Concert*, and not necessarily supposed to be a dining/after-dinner-drinks experience, just doesn't leave me with the most desirable reasons to go back there. Maybe I'll feel differently, but for now, I do not.

Related - The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra - On Kare11

note: a review of The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra's new record All out of Peaches should come soon.