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:

FARGO – At times, William Henry Hoehn’s conspiracy to murder trial flows like an episode from “Law & Order.” Jurors and observers are on seat edges, necks craned, listening to Hoehn’s mumbling lies and hesitant admissions…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comPhoto by Anne BradleyValkyries of the Valley will invade the North Dakota Apartment Wrestling Federation (NDAWF) for Brawl-esque, a variety show that will be held at Prairie Brothers Brewing Company…

Best Bets

Spirit Talk

by HPR Staff

Thursday, September 27, 7-9 p.m.Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo, 2021 16th St N., FargoGet in touch with the other side! Sunny Dawn Johnston will help you reach the spirit world in this two-hour, eye-opening event. This is a group…

It’s bad enough when his word versus her word regarding sexual assault gets out in a high school hallway, but can you imagine it spreading throughout the national news media? Imagine reliving those events every time you turn on…

We failed to educate the players of “flag” footballI passed all of the American history courses in Morrison County District 54, Little Falls High School, and Moorhead State Teachers College, but I’m often appalled about what…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comAs I sat across from my wife at Himalayan Yak Tuesday evening, it dawned on me that time had slowed down. So often when we go out to eat, we are in a hurry. We get anxious when we aren’t greeted…

Music

Back in the saddle

by Sabrina Hornung

After a long hiatus members of Teenage Lobotomy reunited for the first time in 22 years at Center Fest in Robinson North Dakota this summer. With influences such as Husker Du and the Circle Jerks their high energy immediately had…

Director Craig William Macneill speculates on the infamous legend surrounding Massachusetts murder suspect Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie,” a long-germinating labor of love for star Chloe Sevigny. Working from a screenplay by Bryce…

It may be cliche to say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but when wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch found out that his 15-year-old daughter Abby Balkowitsch was following in his photography footsteps, he was…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

In the approximately three years I’ve been writing for the High Plains Reader it seems I’ve always circled back to comedian Adam Quesnell. First, I wrote about his farewell show before he set out from Fargo and the comedy…

When walking into the new space on 1st Ave N that now houses Drekker brewing, one can only say, “Wow.” The majesty of the interior is unprecedented for a brewery in the region and provides a feeling of awe and astonishment.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

by Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on…