Thursday, March 10, 2005

Three Doofuses and a Sexy Drummer

I'm not sure if that was a rejected name for their band or not, but Aaron was a member of a band called 44, or Forty-Four, or Phorty-Phour, or Forety-Fore!, or some variant thereof. Pfourty-Pfour was a destined for legendary status in the Minneapolis independent music scene, but then a series of mishaps ensued -- one bandmember fell in love with a French actress and flew off to Paris to track her down, and he hasn't been heard from since; another attempted re-enacting Robert Pirsig's journey from the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but this time on a motorized unicycle (the trip didn't come to a good end); one of the band's concerts ended in controversy after some confusion in the design specs resulted in a stage prop only being two-feet high instead of twenty feet (which made it look even worse when a dwarf came on stage to dance around it); another show ended in a fire breaking out on the stage when one of 44's amps couldn't handle its jury-rigged "Setting #12"; and the final straw came when the band's bass player slept with the drummer, resulting in a child (surprisingly, a legitimate child, since the bass player had previously married the drummer in a burst of astonishing foresight).

Anyway, to make a long story short, 44 only managed to record a single album before suffering a fate not unlike that which befell The Wonders in That Thing You Do!. But what an album it is -- lyrics of penetrating insight into the human condition, mingling love sentiments that are by turns wistful and searing with turns of phrase that allude to political troubles in Ireland, Canada, and Okinawa; guitar work that reminds one of the bastard love child of Andres Segovia and Edward Van Halen; and a hidden track wherein each band member solos with the Minnesota Orchestra. (It's a very hidden track. Only one CD player in 10,000 is capable of rendering it.)

And now you can hear that album. It's called Free Land Wall, and it's the last album by a once-rising but now-defunct Minneapolis bar band you'll ever need.

UPDATE: In comments, Aaron points out that he was only the bass player on a couple of tracks. So be it. And another band member points out some things the bandmates have been up to since they stopped making music together. I do think that Dan errs when he says that my identifying 44 as "a defunct band" implies that the bandmates have hung up their axes and dutifully reported for duty at various Twin Cities-area temp agencies and jobs behind the counters at Kinko's. I think everyone knows that just because a band breaks up doesn't mean the individuals from that band stop making music. Look at the Beatles. Not even Yoko could get those guys to shut up.

(And no, I'm not comparing Krista to Yoko. Not even close. Krista's way hotter than Yoko.)

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