Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Elysian Fields - Minneapolis

When I lived in Decorah, Iowa in the mid-90s, there was a bar there, probably from 1993 to early 1995 called Orrsey's. I won't go into the details on where the name came from, but it was Dave Orr's bar. The bar opened up soonafter I moved to Decorah, and actually had live bands just about every weekend. Most of the bands were of the cover variety, but there were a few bands that played their own music.

One of the bands that I enjoyed was called Elysian Fields. I realize there was some other band that burst onto the scene around 1996 with the same name, but I assure you, the band I'm talking about was not that band. The one I'm referring to was from Minneapolis. They self-released a CD, and then I moved away in April 1996, so I never knew what happened to them.

This is the unfortunate problem with the internet. These days, any kid with the software can record songs and get a Myspace page. Myspace is very helpful in providing bands a quick start to allowing people to access information about the band AND their music. I would have killed for Myspace in the late 80s/early 90s.

What I have often found as I've travelled and moved around the country in my post-college years is that just because you think Band X is the shit in say, Ames, Iowa, or Decorah, Iowa, someone who lives in Florida may or may not feel the same way, since they didn't see the band in the bar in your condition. It's almost like a "I Guess You Had to Be There" situation. What you get in a live show, you don't necessarily get on the CD.

Elysian Fields used to play a lot of their originals, and in fact, I'm pretty sure they stuck to the ones that would later be on their CD. They also did some covers that I liked. They did "Sister Luck" by the Black Crowes, they did "Sucker" by Mott the Hoople, and while I was never a big fan of "End of the World As We Know It" by REM, they did that, and it was a crowd favorite.

I enjoyed their originals which ranged from an almost MC-5-like "DC-X", the straightforward rock of "Ether", the plodding "A Couple Weeks" and the Zeppelinesque "Sometimes Why".

These guys came back into my consciousness a few weeks ago when I was taking the garbage and compost out. Or maybe I was shovelling the driveway. I just remembered that on the live version of "A Couple of Weeks" they would get to the middle part and sing, "Forty years ago, drifting through the snow, I lost my way, could not go" and we would chant it back at them. Because, you know, it was fun. And we were drinking brown liquor. Whenever I'm out in blowing snow, I am reminded of those lyrics.

So, anyway, I went looking for them on the internet the other day (as I have several times over the past few years) and came up with nothing. So I was hoping that someone out there, maybe up in Minneapolis way, would know about them or some of the members and what they're up to these days if I put a footprint on the internet out there about them.

Labels: , ,