Tracker Pixel for Entry

Getting caught with a Mr. Meaner

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | June 28th, 2017

Some of my favorite interviews are with musicians and bands. They’re often relaxed, casual, and I might get a drink or two out of them. Of course, we were at the Bismarck on the night of the interview because, as banjoist Mike Schmidt put it, “The Bismarck is for business,” putting an emphasis on the first syllable.

That certainly was the case with Fargo band Mr. Meaner, who split much of their time between the Empire and the Bismarck downtown. “We live in dive bars,” said Logan Hanson, the guitarist, vocalist, and lyricist for the band.

Mr. Meaner is quite a large outfit, comprised of Logan Hanson, guitarist, vocalist, and lyricist; Mike Schmidt on the banjo; newcomer Austin Miller (originally from Cincinnati) on mandolin, violin, and guitar; Andrew Meyer on bass; Will Burns on drums; and Danijel Zeric on saxophone.

The members of the group have plenty of musical pedigree outside of Mr. Meaner, as well, with Will Burns having played for SOTOS (short for SH*T on top of SH*T), Bottle Wound and Still; Danijel with Wicked Bees; Austin with Run Rabbit Run, and Logan with My Pizza My World and Bottle Wound. Will and Logan will be pulling double duty on Friday, June 30th at The Aquarium, where Bottle Wound and Mr. Meaner, which they are both members of, will be performing for a KRFF benefit concert.

Logan described the music of Mr. Meaner as “kind of like punk” but also “kind of jazzy with swing traditions,” saying it was best described as “swing punk.” In any case, it’s truly an eclectic blend of genres and instrumentation. The band saw its genesis about four or five years ago, with solely Logan as a member. About three years ago, both Logan and Mike went on an unrelated, purely acoustic tour with the bands My Pizza My World and Robber’s Roost.

After they returned from the tour in Texas, they “got serious” about Mr. Meaner, as Mike put it. Since then they’ve slowed down. At least three of the band members have moved into the same house together and Logan “tricked” their drummer into making Mr. Meaner a priority, as he put it. The band is very committed to the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ethos, preferring to do everything band-related from recording to making and selling merchandise to even distributing the music either by themselves or through others they have befriended in the musical community.

In essence, they are trying to bypass the big record labels, who they believe commoditize music and constrict artistic expression. The band is currently working on recording a six-track EP that they hope to release by September and currently have one track recorded for, but are overcoming some temporary technical difficulties in mixing, as they recorded all of the instrument tracks separately. Logan said there are a couple of labels committed to the DIY ethic, called Sweater Weather and All We Got, that he has considered releasing the material through, but otherwise they plan to self-release.

Logan also recruited Austin, who has experience in graphic design, to help design merchandise and the like while we were there having our drinks. I’m fairly certain they had already settled on that before the interview but the impromptu recruitment got a good chuckle out of us. If you are making plans for the night of Friday, June 30th, it’s hard to get more bang for your buck than getting to watch several local bands perform to benefit local radio at the Aquarium. Be sure to stick around and watch both Mr. Meaner and Bottle Wound, as well as all of the other bands: Swing Low, Kwaician Traylor, Germ Circus, Diane Miller, and The Young Thoroughbreds, as well as the comedians Joshua Dullea, John Narum, Alex Acevedo, and Tim Jones. You'll be supporting local talent and having fun while doing it.

IF YOU GO 

KRFF Benefit 

Friday, June 30, doors 6:30pm, show till 1am 

The Aquarium, 226 Broadway N, Fargo Tickets $8, 21+

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…