Posted in Music, Getting the word out, Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Eating & Drinking (aka Restaurants), tagged Brad Kern, Creative Kidstuff, Elinor, Elinor Artful Adormnments, First Avenue, Grand Ave, Grand Meander, Groveland Tap, Jeremy Messersmith, Semisonic, Summit Beer, the Nook, Trip Shakespeare on January 1, 2011 |
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People Just Need a Reason to Go Out, to Buy, to Visit, to Shop: That’s my theory of local retail and dining.
Here’s where it’s worked for me (and Minneapolis/St. Paul businesses) in 2010.
Groveland Tap’s “Save the Nook Saturday” - Backstory: the venerable Nook burger shop on Hamline Avenue was gutted by fire on December 14th, closing the restaurant for the next few months. Commiserating with the quickly-out-of-work Nook staff, Groveland Tap hosted a fundraiser on Saturday, December 18th. For every pint of Summit beer purchased, the ‘Tap donated $1.50 to a Nook Employee fund. Why it worked? I waited 45 minutes with my husband and 2 kids for a table in mid afternoon. One of the servers told me it was busier than their Fish Fridays during Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, or their Facebook Voting Day Special. Twenty kegs of Summit later, they raised $6,700. We had no plans to go out for dinner that night, but let’s just say we did our best to help the Nook employees.
The Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA) shopping spree along Grand Avenue in St. Paul: The Grand Meander. Did we need to make glittery popsicle stars at Creative Kidstuff? No, but it sure helped me spy on what my kids wanted from Santa.
Shopping parties with Chocolate at Elinor Artful Adornments in St. Paul. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, what business doesn’t have longer hours? Exactly, so how do you get people to come to your place? Make it a party! Make it fun! Bring a friend and save some money! That made Elinor stand out this holiday season.
PHOTO BY STACY SCHWARTZ
First Avenue’s Benefit for Brad Kern in October. I had no clue who Brad Kern was, I was just excited to see Semisonic–a band I once flew to Amsterdam just to see–live again. People attend benefits or buy at silent auctions to help the stated cause, but also because they receive something valuable in return. Imagine my surprise in hearing Toolmaster of Brainerd while reading First Ave’s Twitter feed. So what did I receive? A rare chance to hear a mostly reunited Trip Shakespeare and discover a new fave: Jeremy Messersmith.
The Current’s top 89 of 2010, which is why I’m writing this blog on New Year’s Day listening to the rebroadcast at www.thecurrent.org, marking songs, and bands that I liked, but whose names I never caught over the year.
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Posted in Getting the word out, Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Music, tagged Adam Levy, Arzu Gokcen, Babes in Toyland, City Pages, First Avenue, Pink Mink, Semisonic, the Honey Dogs, the Jayhawks, The Replacements, Trip Shakespeare on November 27, 2010 |
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Last night, I went to First Avenue for the Tribute to the Replacements show celebrating the 25th anniversary of Tim. The ‘mats, disbanded in 1991. I saw them a few times growing up and collected all their LPs like most avid Twin City fans. Last night’s show (an annual event) was a lot like the shows I remember – loud, disorderly, and pretty undecipherable.
Actually, the lyrics were pretty clear — no drink induced slurring — and passionate. I just wish I knew who the bands were. They all announced themselves when the took the stage, but the only band I could understand was the Honey Dogs. And I had already recognized Adam Levy, anyway.
The crowd looked a lot like me — people who had been to a lot of shows and now wisely wore ear plugs. Ear plugs are great to protect your ears from pounding base beats emanating 3 feet in front of you, but they make mumbles all the harder to understand.
Being totally out of touch with current bands — I seem to hit a lot of old favorites (the Jayhawks, Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare etc) now that I’m back in town– I thought I was hearing Babes in Toyland, only to discover this morning it was Pink Mink I enjoyed so much.
So what to do? First Ave already does a great job of marketing themselves virtually (Twitter, Facebook, and a super-robust website) and in the club with multiple screens publishing related Twitter feeds (sorry, I keep forgetting to take a photo of that). But the bands? Many have great websites, but that doesn’t help in the Main Room.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the City Pages review if you want to read about how awesome the music was and see the set list!
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