Banda Macho!

Banda Macho!
L to R: Sam, Mike, Luke, Nato, Matt

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Xmas News Update (And Details Of Our Grumpy's Residency)

Hello, everybody! Nato here, on Christmas Day Night, taking a break from playing with the three dogs who live at my parents house to write you a big old update on the Blue Diamond Band's upcoming (and even recent) activities.

I'm playing a few solo sets over the next two weeks - in Milwaukee, Brooklyn NY, and Columbus OH. Then, the band will be popping up here and there around the upper Midwest in January, so keep an eye out.

Ok, on to the good stuff. Grumpy's Bar in downtown Minneapolis has booked us for a residency, every Saturday in February. We'll be playing two sets each night, but to make each night special, we've asked some friends of ours to join us on the various shows. And we're going to make each night a little different as well, with special events and the like. Check the show listings on the right side of the page for more info.

Most important, on Saturday February 18th, we are going to try a project called Karaoke with the Blue Diamond Band! Here's how that works: You pick a song, maybe something you've wanted to sing with a band but never got a chance, and let us know that you want to sing it by emailing (put the word Karaoke in the subject line). In the message, let us know the song, artist, and particular version if necessary. Depending on how obscure your request is, it would be helpful if you include a sound file of the song - any quality will do.

We'll take the first 11 or 12 requests that we think we can pull off in the order we get them, learn them, and then on the night of February 18th, we will be your backing band on the song you've chosen! Hopefully, this will be a fun and awesome (and hilarious) kind of show, and if it works out, we'll definitely do it again.

Click the link to read some guidelines describing what kinds of songs we'd be willing/able to learn...

1. 50's and 60's rock'n'roll, rhythm'n'blues, rockin' soul and pop, like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, the early Beatles, stuff from garage band comps like Nuggets, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, the Rolling Stones, the early Who, and so on.

2. Classic country of top-notch quality, like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and that sort of thing (hey, we'd probably do Steve Earle or Dwight Yoakam too).

3. Proto-punk and glam like the Velvet Underground, the MC5, T-Rex, some David Bowie, you know the deal.

4. Punk Rock - everything from the 1976-77 Ramones/Clash/Buzzcocks era, to the good shit from the 80's and 90's (from hardcore through pop punk - sometimes both at the same time), on up to the bands of today like the Marked Men, the Reigning Sound, Toys That Kill, King Khan/BBQ, Against Me!, and the like. Part of why we're doing this live band karaoke is so that people can sing songs they'd never get to do at a normal karaoke night, and we think this section is a good example of that (and the next section is not...).

5. 80's pop, but be warned, we're going to be very picky with this genre! Don't request the sort of 80's hits you'd sing at an average karaoke night, or even Staraoke. We're not learning the Cars or Madonna for this, sorry. But we'd learn something by Prince, or the Cure, for example, especially if it's a song we aren't sick of...

6. Really good hard rock, like Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Alice Cooper, and a few others. Like I said before, we're very biased in favor of doing songs that people usually don't get to sing at karaoke nights.

7. The handful of good songs that made it onto the radio in the last 10 years. Examples: "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green, "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" by the White Stripes.

8. Any weirdo or novelty song, including original songs by "Weird Al" Yankovic, but not songs of his that are parodies of other songs.

9. We hope that we get at least one or two requests for songs by Twin Cities bands/artists from any era... songs that we can handle, anyway.

10. No Billy Idol, no Bon Jovi, no Journey, and no Foreigner.

11. Anything by Hickey, and anything by Spinal Tap.

Ok, ladies and gentlemen, start your requestin'! Send them to

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