Monthly Archives: October 2012

Metz @ 7th Street Entry

I don’t see many hardcore shows, but I’ll more actively seek them out after attending a pulverizing set by Toronto group Metz last night. It was another Entry showcase of an ascending band to a sparse crowd. Opener Buildings were just as loud, and looked to be hard to top, but somehow Metz came out tighter, stronger and more compelling. From what I’ve read they’ve been honing their craft in Toronto bars for some time, and the power of practice was evident. I shot this video stage right in front of the equipment box where everyone throws their coats:

Cossetta outdoor patio (so far)

Took a stroll through the skyways all the way across downtown to the Xcel and ultimately Cossetta, that West Seventh Italian food institution undergoing seemingly endless expansion.

Last summer, it was reported that a separate fine-dining restaurant, Louis, would open with spectacular rooftop views of the Cathedral of St. Paul by August. Well that isn’t done yet, but plans are still in place to finish it this winter or early next spring, I believe (an employee was filling us in about this but I was not paying close attention).

Not stunning, but could be fun on a Saturday night watching people stumble in and out of McGovern’s.

However, some of the second-floor outdoor seating is indeed finished, and it’s pretty cool. Nothing too fancy, but a patio wraps around the West Seventh and Chestnut Street side of the upstairs dining area. Heat vents are installed, so I’m wondering how long the restaurant will keep the seating open as the weather cools. The day we went was about 65 degrees, balmy, so they weren’t really necessary. On West Seventh, the rumbling truck traffic is almost unbearably loud, so we moved down along Chestnut, where the auditory experience isn’t much better because the restaurant pipes in blaring kitschy pizza-pie tunes all along the patio.

Those black overhanging contraptions are outdoor heating vents.

The second-floor eating space, which I thought adequately large in Cossetta’s previous rendition, is now massively expanded to cafeteria-sized proportions. Downstairs, the food lines are longer and more numerous, but no less confusing. If you’re a first timer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with choices and make a rash decision (wait I wanted that!).

Food was great as usual, gorgonzola salad had tasty ingredients covered in homemade blue cheese. Pasta was masterfully cooked. I’m looking forward to see what Louis can offer, hopefully a great wine list and maybe a late night happy hour, or am I asking to much?

Inside Cajun 2 Geaux

One of the Twin Cities’ newest food trucks, Cajun 2 Geaux, is planning to make a “geaux” of it this winter with hearty soups like seafood gumbo. I produced this video for work (the owner is a Lexington resident), but it applies nicely to this blog too. Enjoy:

Penfield and Cedar Street – it’s loud and dusty in St. Paul

Walk most anywhere downtown St. Paul these days and the dust is flying. Here are a couple of videos I shot, one from yesterday and the other from late last month:

Laurel Halo 7th Street Entry

While Grizzly Bear played for five hours or whatever in the Main Room, all the *cool* kids at First Avenue Monday night were in the 7th Street Entry for Laurel Halo and Ital. Didn’t catch any of the headliners because Halo’s set ran late and I had to catch the 11:47 94 back to St. Paul, but Halo is who I wanted to see anyway.

Set started slow, with loads of electronic squelching and stuttering beats. It warmed up toward the end, when she dropped a couple tracks with blasting bass lines that drowned out any other sound her table full of cords and consoles were making. Halo sings in a type of monotone cry and maybe picked up her microphone only three times throughout the 40-minute or so set. Her Pitchforked coronation CD “Quarantine” led me to believe she commanded more star power but the project is clearly still very experimental – mostly electronic noise as she bobs along shrouded in blue light twiddling knobs.

Funny and dumb: A guy watching jumped on stage, grabbing the performer’s bottle of Jameson and poured himself a drink. Nothing happened. Very small crowd of U of M weirdos, probably the thinnest I’ve seen at the venue, but not surprising given the bill. It was refreshing after Sunday night in a cramped Turf Club for Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.