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Dairy Queen is a Royal Pain for Local Songwriter Zaq Baker

Plus a 'Minneapolis Sound' museum proposal, Lady Midnight's night, and self-promotion disguised as a plug for non-commercial radio.

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Dairy Queen/Facebook

Maybe Call the Song “Her Lactose Highness”?

Zaq Baker wrote and recorded a song called “Dairy Queen,” about a woman slogging through the drudgery of a corporate marketing gig, and people seemed to like it. Enough people, in fact, that a litigious corporation of that name found out about the track and had it yoinked from streaming platforms without so much as a cease and desist. (Thanks DMCA). This bummed Baker who, like most musicians, would prefer his song to be heard rather than not heard. There’s (kind of) a happy ending in sight here: After a blizzard (legal disclaimer: word used in the non-trademarked sense) of communication between Baker and DQ, the Bloomington-based company is rescinding its takedown so long as Baker doesn’t use their logo on his album cover. Till that happens, here’s a live version you can still hear. (Don’t tell the ice cream people.) By the way, if you’re thinking of writing a song about Racket, we would never (probably) do this to anyone. Unless it’s bad. Or you have a lot of money for us to take.

A Jellybean Museum?

You may know Jellybean Johnson as the drummer for The Time, Or from his collaborations with Prince. Or from his more recent work with the Jellybean Johnson Experience. Or you might not know him at all, in which case it would be useful if there was a place—a museum, for instance—where you could learn about him and the other early architects of that particular local funk variant we call the Minneapolis Sound. Well, Mr. Johnson is way ahead of you. Earlier this year, he launched a website to establish just such an institution on the north side of Minneapolis. “The museum will offer artifacts, films, audio recordings, oral histories, interactive media, graphics and visuals to bring the history of the Minneapolis Sound and its creators to life,” according to the organization’s website. It all seems to be in the very early stages still, but it’s not the worst idea we’ve heard. 

The Other Side of Midnight

Lady Midnight began the year (more or less) with a virtual reality experiment, and she’ll close the year (more or less) with an actual reality experiment. She’ll be performing her 2017 debut album Death Before Mourning in its entirety at Icehouse on the night before the night before Christmas. Pianist Kavyesh Kaviraj, drummer Miguel Hurtado, and producer Medium Zach (who you can read about here) will be backing Midnight, and there will be performances by pop/R&B singer Mayda, Lydia Jones & Zhané of New Black City, drag performer Silvestrey, and Atlanta DJ Adora Tokyo. The evening is dubbed “Lady Midnight’s Last Mourning,” which has a suitable “out with the old” ring to it, and it’s subtitled “A Multidisciplinary Celebration of Life and Death.” “Multidisciplinary?” I hear you say. “Does that mean there will be puppets?” What a silly question, my strawman friend. Of course there will be puppets, courtesy of Oanh Vu and Andrew Young. You can find more info on the event here.

What Were You Doing at 11 O’Clock Wednesday Morning?

Sorry, that made me sound like a cop. Anyway, at that time I was chatting with Doc from KFAI on his program Desert Island Discs. Every week, he makes a combo playlist of his picks and his guest’s, and this week the show was centered on the timely theme of “the best of 2021.” You can listen to our playlist here. You can also see us here, though I don’t advise it as I am clearly dressed to be on the radio, in full couch slouch, though I did shower that morning. You can also see my Racket T-shirt, which you too can own. (Well, you can own one just like it, I mean. Or, I guess, this exact shirt, if that’s what you’re into and the price is right.) More end of the year stuff in this space next week. Till then, here are some show listings for the vaxxed and crowd-comfortable:

Friday, Dec. 17

Laska with Present Company and Mike Kota @ Amsterdam

A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Nate Hance Trio feat. Kijana @ Aster Cafe

Bodeans @ Dakota

L.A. Witch with Black Widows and Big Salt @ Fine Line
Soul Asylum with Low Rats and The Mood Swings @ First Avenue

Yuletide Sweater Ball – Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins, Sans Souci, & Doug Otto & The Getaways @ Hook and Ladder

Olson/Espstein/Olsen @ Icehouse

Yam Haus with DNM and Keep For Cheap @ Palace Theatre

Luddgang, Uncle Jesse’s Comb, Chairmen Chair and Oeurth @ Palmer’s

Kinda Kinky & Friends Holiday Show @ Parkway Theater

Maggie Rose with Them Vibes and Dylan Hartigan @ 7th St Entry

Eptic @ Skyway Theatre

Trailer Trash @ Turf Club

Sabby White @ Uptown VFW

Full Catholic with Serious Machine, Dark Bunny @ White Squirrel

Saturday, Dec. 18

Flip Phone Presents… Emo Nite @ Amsterdam

An Evening with Laura Hugo @ Aster Cafe

Funky Sweater Party 10 @ Cabooze

Johnnie Brown—Remembering the Legend: The Music of Lou Rawls @ Dakota

Taylor Swift Night @ Fine Line

The Belfast Cowboys’ Musical Musical Mistletoe! @ Hook and Ladder

Phil Heywood @ Icehouse

Cody Steinman Trio @ Icehouse

DJ Snuggle Presents: A Muja Messiah Birthday Bash @ Icehouse

The Jayhawks with Matt Wilson & his Orchestra and The Scarlet Goodbye @ Palace Theatre

Lifestyle Shakes, Serious Machine and Pleasure Horse @ Palmer’s

Wanderer, In Search Of Solace, Rot, Wringer @ Part Wolf

PHUN: A Tribute to Phish with Dream Of The Wild @ 7th St Entry

Virtual Riot @ Skyway Theatre

Trailer Trash @ Turf Club

The Bad Companions @ White Squirrel

Sunday, Dec. 19

Fuzzy Math @ Amsterdam

Swing Brunch with Patty and the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

An Evening with Chris Koza @ Aster Cafe

Robert Robinson: An Evening of Gospel, Christmas and Me @ Dakota

Delphia Cello Quartet @ Icehouse

Nightchurch @ Icehouse

Church of Cornbread: Cornbread Harris and His Band @ Palmer’s

Miss Myra and the Moonshiners @ Palmer’s

Gully Boys (December Residency) with The Sonder Bombs, niiice. and Blue Venus @ 7th St Entry

Winter Solstice Party:Space Monkey Mafia, The Immaculate Beings, Irie Minds @ Uptown VFW

A Holiday Unspectacular @ White Squirrel

Monday, Dec. 20

Nachito Herrera’s Cuban Holiday @ Dakota

Zacc Harris (Residency) @ Icehouse

Black Wine with Trading Faces and DJ Nanobyte @ 7th St Entry

Chef Sounds @ White Squirrel 

Tuesday, Dec. 21

The NYChillharmonic + Band Practice @ Icehouse

Ratboys with Double Grave @ 7th St Entry

Trevor McSpadden & Mary Cutrufello @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, Dec. 22

Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience: The Night Before Christmas @ Dakota

Nights with Tim @ White Squirrel

Thursday, Dec. 23

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas with The Misdemeanors and TYSM! @ Amsterdam

MN Songwriter Showcase hosted by Nick Hensley @ Aster Cafe

Louis Armstrong Night w/ Southside Aces @ Dakota

Bluegrass Under A Green Tree – Johnson Brothers, Brotherhood of Birds, Buffalo Galaxy, and Frog & The Bog @ Hook and Ladder

Lady Midnight’s Last Mourning @ Icehouse

The Toxenes, Cola Horse and The Erratix @ Palmer’s

Glow Mechanics (Album Release) with Mickey Breeze, Jada Brown and Adriatic @ 7th St Entry

All Tomorrow’s Petty (December Residency) with 2Fäst4thëDëvíł and Wayne and the Boys @ Turf Club

Turn Turn Turn (Thursday Residency) @ White Squirrel