April 10, 2002 | Ripsaw
As a few of you might already
know, Duluth’s very own NorShor Theatre will host Geek
Prom this year. Sounds fun. A little lightheartedness would
do us all good this evil time of year where the thought of
spring teases us like a topless Fuzzy’s waitress in
need of crack money. Fun.
What’s even more fun
for me is the a-priori knowledge that Vinnie and the Stardusters
will fill the headlining music spot at Geek Prom. The Studmustard
(as we Dustheads fondly refer to them) is my third favorite
band in Minnesota. They moved up two spots from five to three
after inviting this humbled columnist to join them for their
first annual “Save the Twins” concert at the Turf
Club in St. Paul last winter. That was cool business, and
if the House vote of a new Twin’s stadium construction
last week is any indication, our plan worked. Vinnie and the
Studmustard saved the Twins from baseball’s contraction
plan. Their newest hit song, “The Day They Took the
Twins Away,” proved once again that the pen, in song
form, will always strike harder than any sword that the devil,
Bud Selig, could ever hope to swing.
I’ve been a Vinnie fan
since 1989 when the City Pages, under enormous pressure from
Husker Dü fans, published their “Rock Star Manifesto.”
After reading that bible for rock and roll subverts, I went
on to collect every album the Stardusters ever put out. But
to me the best way to introduce you to the Studmustard is
to let them tell you in their words what they’ve given
the subversive music world. The following is an abridged version
of Vinnie and the Stardusters history taken from their book,
45 record and 3-D coloring book (which came with trading cards,
crayons and 3-D glasses) “Stardust Memories (Whence
Spring 1995 | Bob Stinson (of
the Replacements) is invited to perform with the Stardusters
at the First Annual Final Show Ever. He asks if he’ll
get any drugs or sex. Even after finding out that he’ll
get none, he agrees. But then forgets to show up. Soon after,
he falls into a slump and dies.
Spring 1995 | Sneaking backstage
to a Nirvana show, the band tries to give Kurt Cobain a Vinnie
demo tape. Kurt snubs them and walks right by. Two months
later, Cobain falls into a slump and dies.
Fall 1996 | City Pages gives
the Dusters an “Award for Indecency” for their
X-Mas song, “I Saw Mommy Fisting Santa Claus.”
Two months later the weekly paper is bought out by the Village
Voice and massive firings occur.
Winter 1996 | Band member, Eric, infiltrates the Twin Cities
Reader by freelancing in an attempt to get more coverage for
Vinnie. After 20 years in business, the Reader folds within
three months of Eric’s arrival.
Winter 1998 | The Dusters announce
that they will award Twin Cities radio station REV 105 one
copy of their “Tin Album” in exchange for “constant
airplay.” The song gets played once (constantly for
three minutes). The band feels snubbed by the station. Less
than two months later, REV 105 is forced off of the air.
Winter 1998 | Vinnie sends
Dr. Demento their newest CD, “Novelty Music for Casual
Sex,” for constant airplay on his weekly radio show.
Dr. Demento plays only one song (constantly for three minutes).
Less than a year later Dr. Demento’s brother, who lived
in Minnesota, falls into a slump and dies.
Summer 2000 | Vinnie and the
Stardusters decide to give a gift to the world: the release
of CD, The Baroque Wind Sessions, in exchange for constant
stereo airplay. The album of classical music played note for
note in surf\punk style goes virtually ignored. That year,
Brittany Spears reaches Number One on the music charts.
Winter 2001 | Vinnie decides
to write, perform and record one song to help raise money
to save the Minnesota Twins from contraction. The Minneapolis
Star-Tribune and KMSP 9 rave about the song and give the band
considerable coverage during their Save the Twins Concert
weekend at the Turf Club. Two months later, baseball commissioner,
Bud Selig, announces that he will not appeal the court’s
decision to make the Twins play at least one more year.
Spring 2002 | Duluth entrepreneur
Paul Lundgren asks Vinnie to perform at the First Annual Geek
Prom at the Norshor Theater after his first choice, Trailer
Trash, asks for far too much money. Vinnie agrees and immediately
contacts fellow subvert Mark Lindquist to discuss how to best
go about offending Duluthians so as to be never asked to return.
Lindquist suggests playing one set of nothing but cover versions
of this region’s most loved folk band, Willowgreen,
but with new alternative lyrics about farm animals and the
devil. Vinnie agrees and quickly puts money together to retain
a cheap lawyer.
You can be a part of Stardust
Memories this very Saturday by attending the First Ever Geek
Prom\Last Show Ever in Duluth for the Studmustard.