As I type, I’ve got about 30 minutes before Troy Reisenauer picks me up and we head down to Les Dirty Frenchmen‘s global headquarters on Main in downtown Fargo, North Dakota for another Thursday night practice session. I have my earplugs in my front pocket, and I’m not afraid to use them: as we all get longer in the tooth, these sorts of measures are necessary. I don’t think many of us are eager to burn the punk rock candle at both ends the way that, say, the Ramones so dutifully did — punk rock road dogs for life.
Anyhow, earlier today — because universities were cancelled due to a death blizzard — I had a chance to review and prep for lectures I’m co-delivering with Angela Smith at North Dakota State University. Smith and I are rotating here and there, so that I’ll pick up a block of week-long lectures — American History, 1877 to the Present — intermittently throughout the semester. Today I revisited the required course book readings for the start of my lecture on Monday. The topic is the contested American West, and chapter 17 of the book opens with Frederick J. Turner. So this in turn induced me to yank several works by and on Turner off my shelf this evening, and currently I’m revisiting Allan Bogue, Frederick Jackson Turner: Strange Roads Going Down (U of Oklahoma Press, 1998).
I’m about ready to dash out the door, pick up Molly from work and grab lunch at Lucy’s with two long-time friends, Tiffany Johnson and Justin Vinje. But I wanted to upload a photo from last night, my second practice with Fargo-based punk band, Les Dirty Frenchmen. Last January-February, two of the Frenchmen, Todd and Troy, collaborated with the Punk Archaeology un-conference at Sidestreet Grille and Pub. A couple months after that, they said their drummer was moving to a non-Fargo location (I think the Twin Cities), and they asked me to consider taking up the drums for LDF. I said sure, I’d be glad to.
I keep fiddling with the panoramic feature on my iPhone 4s, and so here is what it looked like from the drummer’s perspective last night in the LDF top secret practice space. I think we might start working on some new songs, too. One of those is titled, “Budget Fracking,” a kind of absurdist nod to the Bakken of western ND. Long live local punk.
A quick concluding note on the punk archaeology unconference from this weekend at Sidestreet Grille and Pub in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. Since history, archaeology and life require us to put ourselves in the shoes of others, I wondered if it would be interesting for non-drummers to have access to a drummer’s view during a sound check. So here is a still photo of the stage from the vantage of the Audio-Video team from the University of North Dakota.
View of the stage from the Audio-Video sound station.
And here it is from another angle, a drummer’s view of the sound check (this brings up the fact that there are always more than two sides to a story, or history):