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This coming Thursday is a big day for Ryan Paul & The Ardent, as we will be releasing the Cute Souvenirs EP, which we recorded with my good friend Matt Patrick.  The show is at the Bryant Lake Bowl, and the City Pages was kind enough to write a little bit about it, so check that out.

NOTEWORTHY: A couple of my good friends and former students Alex Young and Mark Schwandt will be joining me on drums for a massive drumageddon to close the show.  I’m not kidding.

The incredibly kind and talented Jeremy Ylvisaker sat in with RPTA at last Friday’s show at the Turf Club.  Here’s a clip of us playing the Smith’s “Death of a Disco Dancer,” which got pretty out of hand…

Ryan Paul & the Ardent will be at the 331 again tomorrow night, so come check that out if you’re free. No cover.

And, interestingly enough, the above flyer Ryan made for the show was named City Pages’ Flyer of the Week this week.  I didn’t know there was such a thing.

My friend Ryan Paul from Ryan Paul and the Ardent fame just sent me a link to this video of The Walkmen playing live at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. Now, I don’t normally like to use this blog to poke fun at people, but I just can’t resist with this drummer.  I like The Walkmen’s music, but I had never actually seen Matt Barrick play up until I saw this video just now, so I compiled a short list of what I imagine he’s probably thinking as he plays…

“You know, a lot of people have spent a lot of time studying how to make this instrument sound good.  I don’t care about any of that… I just want to do it differently for the sake of being different, regardless of how bad I might sound.”

“How can I possibly get to my rack tom mid-groove while my right hand is glued to the hihat?  Oh… maybe this way…”

“My wrist hurts.”

“I have no idea why sound engineers always complain about my snare hits being too weak and inconsistent.”

“It sure is fun using this big bouncy exercise ball as a drum throne.”

Disclaimer: If anybody knows what Barrick’s left-over-right technique is all about, feel free to comment on this post with some insight on why anybody would ever play that way.  Also, to be fair, here’s a video of me playing with RP&TA playing at the Turf last month, so you can make fun of that if you want to.

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For those who enjoy the music of Ryan Paul and The Ardent, we’ve launched a new live downloads site for the band. All the music is free, so grab whatever and disperse it however you want to. The site will be updated periodically… as in, like, every time we play a show and somebody happens to record it.

I got some more new Paiste cymbals this week… a full set of Giant Beats. They are so boss.  Giant Beats were made back in the late 60’s and used by John Bonham until they were discontinued and replaced by the 2002 line in ’71.  They were reissued a few years ago, and I’ve just now been able to get a set.  The rig is 15″ hats, 18″ and 20″ crashes, and a monster 24″ ride.  The ride is seriously one of the coolest sounding cymbals I’ve heard in a long time.

Ryan Paul and the Ardent shot some local tv stuff the earlier in the week, and I brought the hats and ride.  And then I used the full set last night at a Sanoski gig.

UPDATE: It turns out the RP&TA video shoot was actually for a website devoted to Minnesota Arts.  The stuff we filmed that night is now up and streaming.  Check it out.

I’m thankful for all the studio opportunities I’ve had lately, and last night I updated my myspace page with some of the new tracks.  Included in that would be the title track from Joel Hanson’s new record, What If It Is, due out next month.  We’ll be playing a release show at Church of the Open Door on October 16, so put that in the calendar it you’re a Joel fan.

Also on the myspace player is a track from Vicky Emerson’s next record, Long Ride, which will be releasing next week.  Vicky is a dear friend currently living in NY and melting faces with her “americana Norah Jones” vibe.  There’s also a track called “More Of You” from the alt-country band I’m in called Ryan Paul & the Ardent, and you should go check the RP&TA gig calendar because we’ve got a bunch of shows coming up.  Lastly, for those who remember my band from college Look Alive, I posted the title track from our new record, The Already Not Yet, and you can get that full album for free from noisetrade.

Rock and roll.

Ryan Paul & the Ardent celebrates the release of the debut record, La Vita Nuova, tonight at the 331 in Northeast Minneapolis. The show is free, and 21+.

I expect to see everyone who reads this blog there.  Everyone.

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6/21/09 Update: The good news for those of you that couldn’t make it to the show is that someone in the crowd caught some cell-phone footage of the show.  The bad news is that it’s cell-phone-footage quality.

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Ryan Paul & The Ardent is the “alt country” band that I play with from time to time, and we’ve got a new record dropping in a few weeks. Mark your calendars for June 19th at the 331 Club for the release show.

The “How Was The Show” blog has a feature post on the album, including a sneak peek at one of the tracks, if you want to check it out…

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Tonight I’m playing a couple gigs with Ryan Paul & the Ardent, an alt-country-ish thing I’ve been apart of for a little while now. We’re closing out the night with a late set at Lee’s, but before that we’ll be at a very cool event in downtown Minneapolis for Urban Ventures. It’s the release-show for a benefit compilation disc recorded at the Urban Hub studio, one of the youth centers operated by Urban Ventures. We tracked a tune for the album a few months ago, and I really like the mission of this organization. I suppose it’s just a standard “get kids off the street” kind of thing, but the folks at Urban Ventures seem very sincere and they’ve had a great effect in the Minneapolis neighborhoods. Disregard the RSVP thing, and come check it out tonight if you can!

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