(Purple Snow compiler Jon Kirby with Spike Moss at First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN)
In the city of Minneapolis, as in the Numero Group office, November 11th is Spike Moss Day. For those of you who do not have the genesis of the Minneapolis Sound committed to memory, Spike Moss was the director of The Way (Uhuru) Community Center on Minneapolis’s Northside from the late ’60s until the ’80s. Located at 1913 Plymouth Avenue, The Way provided a sanctuary and a stage for musically active teens during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Many of the Minneapolis Sound’s principal players developed their chops (not to mention their competitive spirit) on the donated equipment strewn about the center’s basement. Still, other youngsters joined the dance troupe, the drum corps, or the basketball team (see below). Nowadays, Spike’s name comes up most often when the police beat up a homeless person or gang violence reaches a fever pitch and he is called to intervene. Despite his decades providing a voice for the voiceless, he constantly rebukes the title of activist. “All of us in this fight are freedom fighters,” he recently told the Northside’s community newspaper, Insight News. “An activist has no goal. Freedom is a clear goal… and I’m clear.” We celebrated Spike Moss Day last year, and we’ll celebrate Spike Moss Day next year. Because Spike Moss is awesome. Thanks again, Spike!
(P.S. Will pay TOP DOLLAR for your gently used THE WAY basketball jerseys!)
(The Way in the beginning)
Filed under: Purple Snow | Tags: Andre Cymone, Congressman Keith Ellison, First Avenue
When venues say “Plus Special Guests,” rarely do they mean Andre Cymone. Integral to the Minneapolis Sound, Cymone contributed generously to our Purple Snow campaign and is doing a bit of electric barnstorming ahead of Tuesday’s Midterm Elections. He’ll be performing at First Avenue as part of the legendary venue’s Get Out The Vote concert, hosted by Congressman Keith Ellison of MInnesota’s 5th District (the fighting 5th!). During 2012’s election cycle, Cymone’s patriotism rendered the anthemic “America.” Last week, he released “Vote,” which you can listen to below or download for free.
Filed under: Purple Snow
Colour us honoured to accept the Association of Independent Music’s award for Special Catalouge Release of the Year. We got word last night that a panel of 23 judges selected Purple Snow from a field of 40, which included releases by Nightmares on Wax and Small Faces. We’ll be totting this thing around like its the Stanley Cup when we return to the UK in September. Surely this thing is good for at least one round of drinks, yes?
Lewis Connection alum and Purple Snow honoree Pierre Lewis has held down many piano benches in his day. But it is his gig with the Commodores that has been putting the most mileage on his passport lately. Below are just a handful of the far-flung stages that the Commodores have lugged Lewis on most recently. With Festival Season in high gear, keep you eyes peeled for the Commodores at festivals and fairs in YOUR city. Because you’d hate to miss an opportunity to get your Purple Snow or Lewis Connection or 94 East autographed by this globetrotter.
UPDATE: According to Pierre, the last picture was from Vienna, France. We regret the omission.
Filed under: Purple Snow
Although many of the photos from Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound were rescued from the attics and basements, shoeboxes and glove compartments of countless Twin City players, a few dozen of the most striking (including the cover photo) were taken by one man: Charles Chamblis. During his +20 years crisscrossing Hennepin and Ramsey counties, he amassed quite an archive of Kodak moments, keeping nearly as many 8×10 prints as he sold. Poor health forced him into retirement in the late ’80s, and he passed away in the early ’90s with a few thousand photographs in his personal archive. A decade later, his daughters took a moving van full of full-color memories to the Minnesota Historical Society, who gave them a home.
Now through February 16th, 2015 Sights, Sounds, and Soul: Twin Cities Through The Lens Of Charles Chamblis will showcase a wide selection of photos from “The Pictureman,” revisiting family reunions, neighborhood get-togethers, mom-and-pop businesses, and of course musical acts. Stop by the gift shop and pick up a copy of Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound and a heaping helping of these Knudsen’s Caramels, which kept Purple Snowman Jon Kirby alive during many a microfiche marathon.
The Minnesota Historical Society is located at 345 W. Kellogg Street in St. Paul, MN. Visit MNHS.Org for more information.
Filed under: Purple Snow
Although we love all of the sons and daughters of Purple Snow equally, 94 East has thrived as a crowd favorite, due to the box-set starter pistol “If You See Me,” which has also made its way onto a best-selling 45 (b/w “Games”).
Willie maintains a healthy rolodex of far-flung industry ties, so you never know when he and bandmates Kristie Lazenberry and Marcy Ingvoldstad might end up on Central Florida’s UHF band via a vehicle like the Upbeat Dancer Show. The gang was on UDS last November, and are back with with more music, more moves, and more lights. This link even offers some behind the scenes footage of the trio being generally lovable.
Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is available now, and 94 East’s party starting/function affirming “If You See Me” b/w “Games” is similarly ready to ship.
Filed under: Purple Snow | Tags: Andre Cymone, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Sound
Of the numerous strange, beautiful, and magical moments captured within the clothbound odyssey that is Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, this image of bassist Andre Cymone has continued to stand out. Who manufactures such a shirt? What are they advertising? And where can we buy some? (Anyone from the Twin Cities who can make some sense of this campaign, please do.)
Between rolling out a new album and preparing for an upcoming show at Minneapolis’s 7th Street Entry, the Cymone estate found time to make good on several kidding-but-not-kidding conversations about reproducing these garments. We suppose now the only logical course of action is to send Andre Cymone a T-shirt of Jon Kirby wearing a T-shirt of Andre Cymone wearing the “Let’s Talk Dirty” T and repeat process until the universe collapses in on itself.
Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is available now and forever from our website, or wherever fine records are sold.