Thank you, The Dan Band!

So Anna, Cherry Mae, and I played Mill City Nights a week ago as the opener for The Dan Band. It was a shit-ton of fun. Everyone at Mill City Nights (which is the name of the venue, not a series of concerts, which is what I thought. Heh) was super nice and professional. Our set ran 5 minutes short of our allotted time, but Nick told me that was okay in the music world. I lost my phone, but then I found it again two days later (it was still at Mill City).

The crew at Mill City Nights let us sit UNDER THE STAGE! Okay, but once Dan started we had to leave. hahaha. They probably just wanted us out of the way. We were into it.

The crew at Mill City Nights let us sit UNDER THE STAGE! Okay, but once Dan started we had to leave. hahaha. They probably just wanted us out of the way. We were into it.

Photo by Ryan Hype!

Photo by Ryan Hype!

Photo by Todd Pernsteiner!

Photo by Todd Pernsteiner!

Photo also by Todd Pernsteiner!

Photo also by Todd Pernsteiner!

Dan Finnerty and Court, making a really awkward face.

Dan Finnerty and Court, making a really awkward face.

After the show, I got led by a couple of really cool fans to O’Donovans, across the street from First Ave, and Dan and most of his band were there, along with some other new friends from the show. I chatted for a while with Gene, one of the suited back-up singer/dancers. And I ordered a fantastic brie and fruit and cracker something or other. It was heavenly. I want one now.

Remember when Courtney went on Tour?

Oh Curlfriends!  First off, according to the fancy stats shit here on WordPress, we have a few more of you in the mix, and WELCOME TO YOU is what I say!  I think I have promised to write more blog entries more than any other resolution I have ever made (it’s like the public personality’s version of losing weight or saying “I’m sorry” less or spending more time with the kids). And I am making it again for 2015. More blog entries in 2015.  It’s already Jan. 6 and I’m already writing WAY too much for the hefty task of writing TWO BIG-ASS entries catching you all up to date with Curls happenings and stuff (a tour update, which is this one, and a 2014 recap). We’re redoing our website real soon and The WebMaster said that we shouldn’t worry about a blog, that it’s hard to keep up, and it’s time-consuming. But honestly, I’d just be surfing Facebook and not writing new songs anyway, so I may as well just tell you a story or some shit.

SO I WENT ON TOUR.  I attempted to write some stuff about it.  Here’s the beginning of what I started writing after my Nov. 7 show in Duluth:

Curlfriends!  How’s your world?  So I (Courtney, doy) was in Duluth a mere 26 hours ago, leaving the sleepy seaside town having forgotten about 20+ CDs at The Red Herring Lounge, where I played the night before.  Played, and obviously, did much more. Enough to forget our CDs (which I didn’t realize till I was pulling up into my driveway in St. Paul). But no worries! I got another box for going down south (like, literally, to The South, United States, that’s not a cunnilingus reference) and I’m sure they’ll all sell like hotcakes.

Post-show with Rannah Hey... I MEAN Hannah Rey... *hic*

Post-show with Rannah Hey… I MEAN Hannah Rey… *hic*

Duluth superstar Hannah Rey and I rotated sets till almost bar-close, then I

The show in Duluth was a freakin’ BLAST.  Local songstress with the voice of an angel from sexy hell, Hannah Rey, played in rep with me.  We did three sets each (the last one being some serious drunk self-indulgence)

That’s it. That’s what I wrote about Duluth.  I did post an update on my IndieGoGo page about Kansas City:

WELLLLLLL. It’s been a few days since I’ve written and I’m over halfway through my tour (only 3 more shows)! Lo siento para no escribando.  That was a horrible Spanish translation of “I am sorry for not writing.” 

I see I gave you a good lowdown on Duluth, which is awesome because I hardly remember it now that it’s been over a week.  And I’ll have to do this city by city because I only get 2500 characters per post!

KANSAS CITY!

I arrived in Kansas City around 7pmish at my friends’ Jess & Val’s place. They actually live in Overland Park, Kansas, which is a skip and a jump away, but when I got to the place, Val had picked me up a fifth of Jameson and Jess poured me a beer.  

I met Jess & Val through my NYC friend/old co-worker, Carly Comando.  Carly herself is an amazing musician and tours all over with her husband & bandmate, Tom, as Slingshot Dakota.  Carly met Jess when they started working together after Carly moved to Pennsylvania (this is a couple years after I left NYC for MN).  Then Jess & Val moved to Minneapolis, and Carly hooked me up with them, THEN a year or so later, I walked into Pizzeria Lola to get a job WHERE JESS WORKED, and then we started working together.  It’s a triangle of employment, y’all.  (I can say that now, I’ve lived in the South for the past 4 days).   We’ve all worked together, but not all THREE of us together.  Whhhaaaaaat? Anyhoo.  

Jess & Val kindly offered to drive me to the venue so that I could party it up proper.  One thing that makes comedy music easier than stand-up comedy (and there’s a few things, to be sure) is that I can do it pretty well when I’m tipsed.  Well, as long as I know the song.  

(In Duluth, I almost bailed on “Pity Phuck” because I couldn’t remember the chords, but the audience convinced me to just *sing* it while they, surprisingly consistent in rhythm, clapped along. It was pretty fucking awesome)

We walked into the bar and promptly discovered the open mic I was following was not to finish until midnight, which meant I was up *after* that. J & V were fine with it, and I even did a few songs in the open mic and got a couple of people to STAY as a result.  There were probably 20 people there at the fullest, but I had a few that stayed till the bitter end, including this adorable guy named Mark who played the mandolin on “Joe Biden” and “Safe Words” with me.  I could tell he wanted to make out with me, but I just didn’t have the beauty sleep to spare! Next time, Mark, NEXT TIME!  

Kansas City, ladies and gentlemen.  Then I went to Dallas, then to Austin, then to New Orleans, then to Nashville, then to Iowa City, then played a homecoming show in St. Paul.

Hm.

I feel like giving you a tour update almost two months after the fact is self-indulgent. And honestly, I just want to let myself off the hook.

… and also because I want to see what the tour MOVIE says.  I mean, I HAVE to do that for the IGG backers, so let’s just do that.  My first executive decision of 2015.  No official written tour story, just the movie. So, more time for the important things!

Like writing more blog entries.

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT! Remount of “The Sex (Ed) Show!” in Duluth on Jan. 24!

Curlfriends of Duluth (and others willing to travel)! We are so honored to have been asked to remount our 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival smizash “The Sex (Ed) Show!” at Teatro Zuccone through Zeitgeist Arts in Duluth! We’ll be there on Jan. 24th, as part of a double bill with Sandbox Theatre’s “Marie-Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bete Du Gevudan.”

BONUS: Although these two shows are very different, I saw Sandbox Theatre’s “La Bete” during the Fringe, and as you would expect from Sandbox, it was captivating, scary, and enchanting. We are extremely honored to be on such a dynamic and entertaining bill!

Click right here for all the info and to buy tickets!  OKAY? OKAY!

I don't think any of these shows actually have to do with gay, generic beer.

I don’t think any of these shows actually have to do with gay, generic beer.

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT! We’re opening for The Dan Band!

Okay, this isn’t *new* information, but it is if you don’t follow our FB or Twitter. Who knows if you’re out there? It takes all kinds.

Anyhoo, we’re opening for The Dan Band at Mill City Nights on Jan. 16, 2015.

Who’s The Dan Band, you ask? (and if you didn’t ask, you pay way better attention than I do)

The Dan Band is the most famous band we’ve ever opened for, so this is most exciting!!  That night, the Curls joining me are Anna and Cherry Mae!!

You can totally get tickets right here!  AND THERE IS A GROUPON!

But I’m blogging about it because there’s a sweet story about how rad people can be.

I met Laura as a co-producer on the 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival (we may have met before, but as you may know, I am horrible at remembering people about 75% of the time). She’s a PR maven; good at her job and knows her shit. Recently, she exuded, “Courtney! You guys need to open for The Dan Band!” And me, being the pop culture luddite I am, said, “Who?” We looked together on her phone, “oh yeah”s and giggles were had. I put The Dan Band on my radar.

A week later, I saw in The City Pages that The Dan Band was coming to town, so I took a picture of the ad and texted it to Laura to say, “Speak of the devil! Look who’s coming to town!” But she texted back, “You have to open for them. I’m going to contact their booker.” And she did. And doors were knocked on and messages were relayed back and forth, and now we have one of our biggest gigs we’ve ever had. I’m just saying that Laura is awesome.

So, yeah. Hope to see you there!

Our friend Bill Young, 1982-2014

I haven’t written about my friend Bill Young’s death yet due to a few things happening in, well, life. And, I just couldn’t yet. I couldn’t process another friend dying. Another comedian.

Bill died in the wee hours of the morning on Dec. 12. Just hours after many of us went to go see Gus one more time, lying in his coffin. The next morning, I was having a work date at a coffee shop with some girlfriends when I got the news from a friend via Facebook IM. I stumbled down Lyndale Avenue sobbing and screaming. Literally. I’m sure I scared some natives.

Just at the very beginning moment of our community accepting that Gus Lynch was gone, we lost Bill Young.

Bill's memorial Facebook profile photo for Gus. And now a bunch of us have it in our houses, thanks to our friend Andrea, who gave out a framed version at Bill's memorial.

Bill’s memorial Facebook profile photo for Gus. And now a bunch of us have it in our houses, thanks to our friend Andrea, who gave out a framed version at Bill’s memorial.

Bill Young, by the way, said about Gus after his passing, “Gus Lynch was a contentious motherfucker.” Not untrue, bless our Gus. But that’s definitely not something you can say about Bill. As it was made clear by the… couple hundred people? at Bill’s memorial last Thursday (I was a mess just thinking about how I had seen so many of the same people just a week earlier in the same situation for a different person), Bill was deeply loved and admired and will be greatly missed.  Here’s the perfect tribute to Bill from his best friend, fellow comedian Mike Brody.

I feel like I got to know Bill best through social media and his fantastic blog, Young Notions. It is a really wonderful example of how freaking funny Bill Young was. My very favorite entry was this one about flossing. Warning: it ends with Bill being “dead,” if that’s something you’re sensitive to, but it’s seriously so fucking funny.

For a little while, I lived down the street from Bill and my friend/his wife Jena (they divorced earlier this year), so I would stop by and say hi once in a blue moon for whiskey lemonades and a chat. Sometimes I’d be out front on the stoop at my place, and Bill would be on a walk during his endeavors to be healthier, and he’d stop and chat with me for a moment. And I’d inevitably invite him in for a smoke. He accepted once or twice.

One time he made me cookies too. That was a few years ago. And he drunkenly tried to kiss me after I gave him a ride home one night. It was funny and sweet, though he was pretty embarrassed. It was one of those “we’re hugging goodbye, but we’re not on the same page re: hug release.”

Bill was an amazingly talented comedian and he was a kind, kind soul. I remember him having my back on a few occasions, whether on Facebook, or when I needed a ride somewhere.

Watching the funniest assholes I know cry is heartbreaking. Through the deaths of these two friends, I am growing closer to my comedy friends, and our relationships are growing deeper. I will be forever thankful for that. I wish it could have happened without the sacrifice of these two pillars of the Twin Cities comedy community.

Travel safe, Bill!! You did, in fact, save us all.

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I think this is the only picture of me and Bill Young (also Alvin Irby and Sid Oxborough!)

 

Happy Festivus from The City Pages!

SO THIS HAPPENED:

Screen shot 2014-12-24 at 12.23.56 PM

We, Me & The Dirty Curls, were deemed a music ARTIST OF THE YEAR by the Twin Cities’ own “alternative” weekly, The City Pages.

Say what you will about many things about The City Pages, it’s still our top weekly rag and it’s a FUCKING HONOR, ladies and gentlemen!!!!

Thank you so much, to everyone that has helped us to this moment. It’s been a rough end to 2014 and this made it hurt less.

Have a lovely night tonight wherever you may be, and hopefully you wake up tomorrow to a warm smile, a warm meal, in a warm bed.

Love, Court & The Curls

Rest In Paradise, Gus Lynch

The first time I met Gus Lynch, in 2009?, he looked like an over-sized leprechan. I may have been influenced by the fact that he approached me in front of Kieran’s Irish Pub.  He also had a big red beard at the time. And I think he was carrying a pot of gold.

Me and Gus at the Akumal Comedy Festival, 2013

Me and Gus at the Akumal Comedy Festival, 2013

ANYWAY, he asked me about the Rockstar Storyteller open mic we had started a couple months earlier and had just finished for the evening. I don’t remember our exact conversation, but I remember being excited about meeting this new performer who made me feel like I was a part of something great with his warm inquisitiveness about how to become involved.

Gus doing stand-up comedy at Siberia in New Orleans. Gus was a great stand-up comic and actor, as well as a husband and father.

Gus doing stand-up comedy at Siberia in New Orleans. Gus was a great stand-up comic and actor, as well as a husband and father.

We learned that Gus died yesterday. I say “died” and not “passed away,” because I had the pleasure of getting to eventually call Gus Lynch my friend, and I know he would probably just prefer I tell it straight.

He fell off a pyramid in Mexico while vacationing with his family. He broke several bones, punctured a lung, and did not make it through surgery. *EDIT: he did make it through surgery, but died of a cardiac arrest the next day.

Gus Lynch was a huge force. I am not unfamiliar with what that’s like, though I don’t think Gus and I share similar brain chemistries, or if we did, he hid it way better. But Gus was large, physically and meta-physically, and he was loud and he was misunderstood, I think, by me. But he fell off a pyramid. I feel like, for what I know of Gus, that was the way that would sell the most tickets to the great playwright in the sky’s blockbuster movie about Gus Lynch, hilarious, gruff, lovable and tough action star.  He fell off a fucking pyramid. In Mexico.

At this year's 10000 Laughs Festival, at Bedlam Lowertown. Taken right after Gus gave me a rightfully hard time about taking pictures of the shows and not cutting out the empty tables.

At this year’s 10000 Laughs Festival, at Bedlam Lowertown. Taken right after Gus gave me a rightfully hard time about taking pictures of the shows and not cutting out the empty tables.

Gus, there were moments I was scared of you. You were instant business the moment you felt like you weren’t being respected or taken seriously, and due to my past experiences with loud, brash men, you automatically had a one-up on my power, and I was a little fearful of you.  But you always, always respected my boundaries.  (I should make it clear in case this sounds weird: Gus and I were friends, collaborators, and contemporaries. That’s it.)  And you were such a champion of my work. Thank you for believing in me over and over again.

In the days we didn’t know were Gus’ last, he and I had a very short back-and-forth on the ole Facebook. It doesn’t really matter what it was about, but it was a personal turning point for me, oddly enough, in what I felt was standing up for myself and picking battles.  And I felt like it was enough for me to send him a message telling him no matter what our differing opinions, I still love him.  The message was also thanking him for getting me on The Hell Yes Festival in New Orleans… something I had neglected to do till that moment.

I never heard back from him, so he may have died annoyed with me.  But I know it would have been a temporary thing; I am a fiery lady and he’s a fiery dude and I know that he liked, respected, and appreciated that about me, or was learning to, as I was learning to about him.

In New Orleans, with Brittany O. and Adam Quesnell

In New Orleans, with Brittany O. and Adam Quesnell

BUT, a couple weeks before, one of the last times I saw him, we sat next to each other at a Hell Yes show at Siberia in New Orleans, and I don’t even know what we talked about, but I remember having that lovely heart-to-heart friendship connection spark with him, an earnest moment where I didn’t feel the need to have my guard up, which I do around intimidating men, and he was a big ole teddy bear. I am super grateful for experiencing that moment with Gus. We’ve had a lot of really fun times, most especially in Akumal, Mexico for the Akumal Comedy Festival, and Gus has been a champion of mine for years, since the START of the Dirty Curls he’s been a fan, no matter what (even through the 2010 Rape Joke Thing!). Gus has taken care of me comedically and socially and probably even bought me a drink or two.  Ha! That reminds me of the time he asked if I had my Akumal coin (I’ll tell you later), and I didn’t.  An hour later, he whips his out with 3 other comics at the bar, and I had to pay for the round. Sonofabitch.

UPDATE: you can read the story about the Akumal coin here in The Growler’s article about Gus.

Court, Jen, Gus, and Quinn at Akumal, 2013

Court, Jen, Gus, and Quinn at Akumal, 2013

I thought I knew Gus until that moment in New Orleans a few weeks ago. It just felt like a moment of vulnerability that I had never seen in him. We were both drunk or inebriated in some fashion, of course, but you know what inebriates do.  You can’t drive, but you can see much better, at least during part. I really regret not getting to know Gus better, I feel like he would have been one of the people to really push me through this tissue I refuse to break (I’m experiencing a lot of creative resistance right now, ugh, boring).  But perhaps this is what it took. The imagining of the future of our friendship due to his death, because as scary as Gus was to me, and I feel like, based on the testimonies of our mutual friends I love and trust, Gus would have been a little hurt to know that he freaked me out a bit.  But I think he would have put his arm around my shoulder and said something like, “Boy Named Sue,” a cryptic way of telling me that he did it for my own good.

Oh, Gus. You are in the hammock on the beach in the sky, my brother. Party on.

Gus in party form.

Gus in party form. This is a photo of a photo by Scott Brown.