Tag Archives: live show

Saturday, Nov. 14th Video Premiere and Pre-CD-Release Show!!!

Mark your calendar!  Saturday, Nov. 14th, we will be performing in Jim’s basement, previewing our new music video, and offering digital downloads of our new album!  This is big news in my world, as I have been waiting for this moment for a loooooong time.  It’s finally here!

This party is by invite-only.  Odds are, if you are reading this, you are invited.  If you are a friend of mine, you are definitely invited.  Please feel free to email or Tweet at me if you have any questions.  Official invitations will be sent via facebook and email.  Please let me know if you believe I have accidentally left you off the list.

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Try Try Again.

Lisa, Mrs. Morgel, and Toby at the Minnesota State Fair

Lisa, Mrs. Morgel, and Toby at the Minnesota State Fair

We played at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday morning, where I was able to make a couple of appearances on live TV – I was acting like a jackass behind one of the local TV newscasters.

The show was okay.  Suffice it to say, we have sounded better.  But it wasn’t our fault, entirely.  The good news is that we got to eat as much bacon as we wanted for free.  I had one slice, but Nathaniel had two.

I showed up for the gig without a guitar amplifier, which is usually no problem.  But, at this gig there were no monitors…big problem.  Nathaniel, our fill-in drummer of the day, and Ryan were unable to hear both my vocals and my guitar – a recipe for disaster.  We played valiantly, but in the end, we were unable to overcome the fact that Nathaniel and Ryan had no way of telling where we were in the songs. Oops!

BUT, none of that really mattered, because the sound guys had the actual floor speakers turned so low that even the crowd of 200 people could barely hear us, and most of them were too busy talking and eating bacon to notice that we were even there.

So, I took away a few lessons from the experience:

  1. ALWAYS bring a guitar amp.  ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS!  I am even considering bringing an extra vocal monitor to events that might not supply them.
  2. Don’t play gigs that lead to a negative cash flow.  Okay.  This isn’t going to be a hard fast rule.  If it was, I would never be able to play another gig again.  In the case of this gig, though, we had to pay $53 just to get into the fair and park.  That’s some expensive shit to play a show where people barely notice that we are there.
  3. Sometimes cool venues don’t equal cool shows.  The State Fair is awesome.  It truly is.  But that doesn’t mean playing a gig at the State Fair will be awesome.  Like other cool venues we have played (The Boat Gig, The Fine Line), the State Fair just isn’t a good venue for a band like ours.  Some of our best gigs have been at rinky-dink places like The Terminal Bar and Hexagon Bar.

All that said, I am glad that we played the show.  Sometimes it’s better to try and fail than to never try.  I really believe that.

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Thank You for Last Friday at the Terminal Bar!

Dudes. We rocked the Terminal Bar last Friday night! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Here are some photos:
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And here is a short video of “Kirsten Dunst”:

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Live at Colin's Birthday Party @ Dubliner Pub in St. Paul

Colin turned 30 last Sunday, and here’s the video to prove it!

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Live from My Living Room!

Today, for kicks, I decided to try streaming and recording a live concert from my living room. And hot damn! It worked!! Check it out:

I think I will try to do one of these regularly… Plus, with UStream, you can interact with me live if you happen to be online while I am recording. I’m going to mull this over a bit, and I’ll let you know how it develops.

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Terminal Bar – HELL YEAH!!!

Ummm…Maybe my title overstated what transpired last night. Maybe not. The Terminal Bar show last night was a blast. My voice felt great, and Ryan and John totally nailed their parts. Put simply, we were in a groove, we were rocking it, and we didn’t take any prisoners. I was dancing and working it so hard that I probably sweat out a cow, myself!

Then, afterwards, the two booking guys were beyond kind and blew more smoke up my ass than I ever thought possible! They were really nice, supportive, and really dug our show. In fact, they liked it so much that they asked to have us back on a weekend night (read: $mucho dinero$). YEEEEHAWWW!!!

Does anyone have any photos from last night?

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Sweat. Rock. Terminal Bar.

Sweaty Toby

That photo above is of me immediately after John and I laid down a mean 12-song jam in my apartment last night.  It is HOT up in HRRRR!!!

Tonight, my band will be taking it to the streets!  One night only!  The Terminal Bar.  Us, our instruments, and a gaggle of America’s finest citizens.
We go on at 9:30ish.  I actually don’t know the exact time.  They told me that we go on second.

See you there?

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Dinkytowner with Charlie Van Stee, Shivering Fits, and Lisa McGuire

I read today that Wednesday night’s Charlie Van Stee Trio show might be one of their last as a band, which saddens me.  Those guys have been staples of the local scene for some time.  Though, I guess if they are exiting the local stage soon, I am glad that I get to do one last hurrah with them.  We have probably played more shows with the CVS Trio than any other band in the Cities, and Charlie is one of the finest songwriters around.  It has been and will continue to be a pleasure sharing the stage with him in whatever form his music takes in the future.

Oh! We go on at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday; plenty of time to partake in those $5 pitchers – yeeeeehawwww!!!!
Double Oh!  Shivering Fits are a kick-ass guitar/drums duo, which I LOVE!  Remember the days of Arthur Dent?  Those were the days.  Actually, I still have some copies of the Arthur Dent EP if anyone is interested.

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Dubliner Pub – Yeehaw!!!

Lots of fun at the ol’ Dubliner Pub on Thursday, I tell ya!  JFK, LOUDRAY, and all sorts of rowdy hooligans showed their faces.  Check it out:

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Acadia Cafe Wrapup – March 18, 2009

I had a blast playing the Acadia Cafe tonight!  Eliza Blue warmed up the stage for us, and we, in turn, warmed it up even more for Jack Ventimiglia, who is a fresh face from Detroit, MI.  Jack really played some nice songs and provided a great close to the evening.

Dave sat in on the djembe tonight, which was a lot of fun!  He talks a lot on stage and at one point even noted that he was going to steal my thunder or something like that, which was pretty funny at the time.  I’m not sure I have any thunder to share, but he is certainly welcome to it. The crowd was great – more rowdy than usual for the Acadia.  At one point they started clapping in rhythm, so I asked them to keep it up while we burned through “Quittin’ My Job”.  Then a couple of songs later, I saw Eliza clapping along, and I asked the crowd not to leave her hanging, and they abliged by adding their claps to hers.  A fun night, I tell ya!  Here are some photos courtesy of the beautiful Lisa M. and me:

And here are some videos:

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The day after a great show is always kind of depressing.

The day after a great show is always kind of depressing. Last night I was a rock star, and today I am Toby Cryns, mild-mannered computer geek. Last night I was empowered and could potentially change the world. I had a microphone. Today I have a blog, which is a much more passive device.

I think part of what makes movie stars go crazy is that they never feel like they’ve “made it”. That is, they have to keep making popular movies or throwing temper-tantrums in public to remain famous. They are always one step behind the curve. In that sense, I suppose I am lucky. I am so far behind the curve that I can’t even see the damn curve! haha! It’s looming somewhere in that messy haze on the horizon, over by those mountains in the distance.

Lots of great things happened last night. We raised $321 to help organize local renters in their fight against slumlords. We were introduced, Illinois-style, by one of the finest statesmen in these United States, Mr. Jim J. Lots of friends came out to support the cause, and many of those friends brought friends along. It’s always nice to play to a crowd of supporters, and last night was one of those nights where I was just overjoyed to see all the smiling faces in the crowd. It warms my heart and gives me motivation to do it again next year!

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Practicing Like Mad for Saturday's Show!

Our drummer, John, can’t make it to the show on Saturday, so we have been working with a fantastic guy, Dave, to round out our rhythm section for the show. I am happy to report that after three practices, it is clear that Dave will totally kick ass on Saturday.

Just in case you missed it, we take the stage at the Hexagon Bar at 11:45 p.m. on Saturday. Music starts at 9:30 p.m.

I love playing with different drummers, because they change the way that songs are played. For example, a song that used to be a shuffle turns into a rock rhythm. A couple of mysterious cymbal crashes appear, and now we have a rock anthem. It’s like I’m playing new music!

Also, I have brought Noah on board to produce the new record, and he is totally kicking ass! We are looking at an April release! Yooohaaa!!!

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Can We Fill Those Seats?

My dad recently asked the question on Twitter, “Do you really want to be famous?”, with the following video of Britney Spears getting harassed by the paparazzi:


So, I have been thinking – Do I really want to be famous? I don’t know. On the one hand, the end goal of pretty much any musician on the planet is to be totally famous – Britney Spears famous. But really, in my heart, I don’t want that. I want to lead a normal life, have a wife, kids, friends, etc. I don’t want to worry about getting a bad photo of me published in Us Weekly. God knows there is enough fodder of me on the World Wide Web already to give inquiring minds years worth of comedy, should I ever become famous.

The good news: I probably will never be famous. The bad news is the same as the good news. It’s weird. It’s like when I bake cookies, and all I want to do is eat them, but if I eat them I will feel gross afterwards. But I love to eat them, so I mow them down, and then I feel gross afterwords. *breath*

What I would LOVE, however, is something in between. I have always wanted to be able to play shows locally to packed houses. Tapes ‘n Tapes is doing it. They played a sold-out show at the best rock club in town last week. That’s where I want to get. I want to be onstage with a huge crowd, and know that I didn’t have to put any work into filling those seats.

“Why?”, you ask? Because I have spent the last month working my ass off, holding meetings, lining up bands, working with charities and booking guys, and promoting my band’s annual fundraiser. Maybe it will be a success, maybe not. That is the risk we run when we do things like this at the grass-roots level.

We have been fortunate to get Minneapolis’ hottest band, Solid Gold, on the bill as well as my old pal, Jenny Dalton, who is making quite a name for herself in the Midwest. Then there is my totally awesome band as well. And let’s not forget The Brutes, who also kick ass!

The point is this: This Valentine’s Day show is coming together with the help of all sorts of hard-working folks. We have community organizers, bands, friends, and friends of friends supporting us in this venture. It is going to be a great show. But the big question remains, “Can we fill those seats?”

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Dinkytowner Last Night

Holy cow, did we ever rock it last night. I haven’t felt so good about a performance in a long time. We were well-practiced, Ryan hit his quota of half a beer before we took the stage, John was hot on the sticks, and I was caked in sweat by the end of it all. My ever-longening rockstar hair was also a factor.

Today I am tired, worn out, and ready to do it all over again.

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Valentine's Day Fundraiser

Valentine's Day

I am working with Minneapolis Family & Children’s Services on a fundraiser concert for Valentine’s Day Weekend. Do you think Friday the 13th or Saturday the 14th will be better for getting people to show up? On the one hand, Saturday seems better, because folks will be out and about romancing each other and making each other hot. On the other hand, people might get too hot to make it out to the show. But will Friday be any better? What do you think?

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Emotions Run High at Dinkytowner

So I played the Dinkytowner last night with two of my favorite people in the audience, Jim J. and Lisa M. I love playing for them! It was a solo show, lacking the flair of my kick-ass band, but it was a kick ass solo show, nonetheless. And I’m not just saying that. Here’s why it kicked ass.

Many times, I play a show, my fingers burning over the fretboard, my voice hitting all the high notes, but my soul never feeling a connection to the audience and the room I am playing in. Last night was not that case.

Last night, I sang songs with a reckless abandon. Like when Old Yeller goes and fights the bear. Or when the dogs in “Where the Red Fern Grows” chase that coon up the tree. I was feeling the raw emotions of the evening. I really felt like I was singing from my gut and connecting with people even though my voice was a bit off and my fingers continually hit the wrong strings.

It felt good.

PLUS, I have video!!!! I set up my macbook in front of the stage and recorded the show. Hopefully the video looks and sounds good (I haven’t viewed it yet…).

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Eagles vs. Rockets KICKED SERIOUS ASS Last Night at the Acadia Cafe!

Photo of Toby taken with Mac Photo Booth

Photo of Toby taken with Mac Photo Booth

Last night’s Eagles vs. Rockets show at the Acadia Cafe kicked some serious ass.  We had some minor issues with sound to kick things off, and we took our dear time about developing momentum, but the final four songs were played from heaven on high!  Ripping through Ticky Ticky Tembo, Con El Sol, Revolution, and Woman Engineer in succession to end the set, we built up up up until in a final fury of post-teenage angst, we angrily pounded our respective instruments until they broke down and wouldn’t serve us any longer.  I remember looking over at Colin and thinking, “Oh shit!  He’s gone berzerk!” during the final four bars of Woman Engineer.  Wow.  Simply amazing.

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Eagles vs. Rockets this Friday at the Acadia!

I would be overwhelmed with joy if one or two of you showed up to the Acadia this Friday, Nov. 7 to support the second live performance by my new old band, Eagles vs. Rockets.  The band features my former Corrupt Senators, Speakeasy Heroes, Big Jerry, Cryns #3, and JC & the Moonshine Band mate, Rev. Bob Serrano, on the bass guitar and Pocahontas County‘s Colin “the Czar” Anderson channeling Kanye West on the banjo.  We will have T-Shirts and cds for sale and display.  Hope to see you there!

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Tonight at the Dinkytowner!

I will be running a solo set at the Dinkytowner tonight from 10:30-11:30 p.m. I hope you can make it!!! I will be opening for local hip hop all-stars, Fik. Enjoy!!

Google Map of the Dinkytowner

(Here’s a random photo of me in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden standing next to what appears to be a llama.)