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Sound Unseen's window into 1981 Minneapolis

Posted at 3:55 PM on August 21, 2007 by Euan Kerr

I spent a fascinating time this morning viewing a close to final edit of "7 Nights at the Entry." It'll be the opening offering at this years Sound Unseen Festival.

Back in 1981 Paul Stark of Twin/Tone Records arranged for a video crew to tape performances by all the bands who played the Seventh Street Entry, the sideroom of the iconic First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis between the 2nd and the 8th of September. The idea was to capture footage of Twin/Tone bands, or bands which the label might sign.

Using a three camera set-up hooked up to a mobile control room in a Winnebago parked outside the club, the crew taped more than a dozen bands including the Replacements and Husker Du.

The other bands are less well known, but include musicians who went on to make names for themselves in other bands. You can see Mark Olson of the Jayhawks rocking out on a stand-up bass in the film. In fact the film includes the entire Jayhawks line-up, it's just they are all in different groups.

Unlike many live videos made at the time, this is very well shot, and the sound is remarkable. Produced by Rick Fuller, the 90 minute compilation features a couple of songs from each of the bands, and opens a very watchable window on a moment in history when the Minneapolis music scene was about to explode.

Shortly after the concerts, Husker Du released its first album "Land Speed Record." It was also recorded at the Entry, and launched the band nationally.

There are only plans to show the film once at present, although there is always the chance of further screenings at a later date.

August 2007
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