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High Hopes and Thin Air

I’m not sure when I first came across Nick Cave and The Birthday Party. MTV’s 120 Minutes definitely played The Mercy Seat but I’m positive I was a fan before that. In the mid 80s I discovered KFAI radio. I’m still impressed that my shitty little boom box could pick up that weak signal from Minneapolis all the way out in White Bear Lake. But I know I listened to an “alternative” show on Sunday nights. And on one of those nights I taped The Birthday Party’s Release the Bats. Pre-internet, I would scribble down the names of bands in a notebook, hoping I had the band/album/song names close enough that I could go to a record store and find what I was looking for. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Nick Cave perform in Minneapolis many times. Tonight I will be seeing him again. And just the other night, I attended a screening of Mutiny in Heaven, the documentary about The Birthday Party. Over the years I’d learned bits and pieces about the band’s history. But seeing it presented so cohesively really helped with the big picture. And yikes. It’s amazing any of those young men survived beyond their youth.

And youth is fleeting. Somehow my own son is 24 already. We celebrated quietly this year, with a few friends over for dinner and a screening of The Princess Bride in the backyard. Thankfully, the weather cooperated. Though it certainly did not this past weekend. With the heat and humidity so high on October 1st, the Twin Cities Marathon had to be canceled. A first for the event. I recall other years where runners were more concerned with frosty cold snaps. Though we seem to have a cold front moving in. Just in time for next weekend’s final installment of Open Streets in Minneapolis. This time our neighborhood. I’ve decided to set up a yard sale in front of our building to take advantage of all the foot traffic. We’ll see how that goes.

Mutiny in Heaven

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