There’s nothing I dread more than February, the middle of winter, other than perhaps Wednesdays, the middle of the week… until now.
Early last week good old Facebook informed me that Brian Laidlaw and friends from Yes!Let’s Collective have an outstanding gig (a residency called “February Colonization”) at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in downtown St. Paul every Wednesday of February. Thank goodness someone else realized how badly we need something to look forward to on the lamest day of the week during the grayest month of the year.
The music feels like folk/folk-rock, but don’t let the easy listening (the kind that makes you want to sing along) fool you. Brian is an obviously talented writer whose poetic, geographic, and rather intellectual lyrics carry the listener along a true narrative arc. These musicians love to play, and the joy they so clearly take from their art is contagious.
Amsterdam Bar & Hall is spacious enough to not feel crowded, designed with acoustics in mind allowing for conversation (not shouting!) while musicians are on stage, and offers a selection of Dutch-inspired beverages and snacks sure to warm the body while the music warms the soul. Its high ceilings and industrial dark interior seem a little cold at first, but the atmosphere is colored with warmth and intimacy once the music starts.
I am now looking forward to every Wednesday this month and am no longer counting down the days until February is over. Brian has also handpicked other local musicians to play with each night – musicians that had inspired him when he first came onto the Twin Cities music scene. The final Wednesday, that magical extra leap year day Feb. 29th, is promised to be a big celebration with all sorts of musical collaborations from the entire Yes!Let’s Collective and special guest Lucy Michelle.
Viewfinder posts are your opportunity to “show & tell” about the everyday arts happenings, interesting sights and sounds made or as seen by Minnesota artists, because art is where you find it. Submit your own informal, first-person responses to the art around you to katie(at)mnartists.org, and we may well publish your piece here on the blog. (Guidelines: 300 words or less, not about your own event/work, and please include an image, media, video, or audio file, and one sentence about yourself.)