This Weekend In Kato: Six Thrills for Saturday


Ross Kleiner & The Thrill


Okay, humans. Saturday’s going to be a little intense. The last few weekends have featured a singular event that burns a bit brighter than the others, but this weekend? You’ve got options, Mankato. Let’s dive in:

Ross Kleiner & The Thrill [Wine Cafe, 9:00 pm]

This MPLS roots-rock crew bash out rockabilly and rhythm & blues jams with a self-aware retro flair. They frequent the Mankato scene in their circuits through the Northland (these dudes work), so this isn’t necessarily the weekend’s must-see event. However, their throwback nods to surf rock and filthy blues have a cross-generational appeal; the sounds are vintage, but their vigor is palpable. Also, they’re easily the bitchin’-est band that frequents the Wine Cafe, so if you want to hang at one of the coolest bars in town without having to endure white-grandpa “blues” and/or redneck twang, this is your ticket.

NYDM 5-State Regional Chapter Toys for Tots Benefit [The What’s Up Lounge, 8:00 pm]

Okay, for the uninitiated, this event might be a little confusing. Toys for Tots is, obviously, a charity run by US Marine Corps that collects toy donations to be distributed to impoverished children. The NYDM (New York Death Militia) is a nationwide club that, aesthetically, resembles a biker gang, but instead of selling meth and being dicks for no reason, they’re actually really nice people that are way into death metal.

So, let’s lay this out: We have an organization that collects government paychecks in exchange for extensive training on how to kill foreigners collaborating with a club founded by Mortician‘s Will Rahmer–a guy that was once charged with stealing a taxi cab at knifepoint while on tour in Poland–for a kid’s charity event. And there are metal bands playing!

Acanthostega and Compulsive Mutilation both feature members of Face of Oblivion, the former plying black metal and the latter pimping two-man goregrind. Human Bashing is a local brutal death trio, Ugly is a synth-charged hardcore band out of Blue Earth, and Mastiff, shockingly, isn’t a very large dog. Five bands, five bucks. Donate a toy and the cover’s only a dollar.

Dimebag Darrell Tribute Show [Buster’s Bar, 8:00 pm…?]

Yeah, they’re still doing these things. Apparently, this one is “celebrating” the 10th anniversary of Dime’s death, which is just a bizarre thing to do. I mean, if you’re going to pay tribute to someone that passed prematurely, shouldn’t you celebrate his life? Having a show on the guy’s birthday would be a hell of a lot more appropriate than commemorating the day he got shot in the head in front of a few hundred people.

If anything, this reminds me to be thankful that I never got that RIP DIME tattoo that I considered for 30 Jager-drunk seconds 10 years ago.


I only know about this show because I saw a flyer plastered to a cooler at my liquor store (PJ’S, WHAT), but I didn’t take the time to snap a photo because I had fistfuls of Surly. (Hey, Buster’s: What the fuck is the Internet?!) From the best of my recollection, support comes from local-ish coresters HeirAfire and the way-righteous WarRooster, who debuted a new track last weekend that sounded like Sabbath running on Torche‘s supercharged battery power.

The headliners? Obviously-monikered Pantera cover crushers Cowboys From Hell. Admittedly, that’s a better title for a redneck-metal tribute act than say, Use My Third Arm. Or Find Me A Stallone


Garbage Kat & Skills Album Release Show [Chopps, 9:00 pm]

Since revamping their interior, Chopps has become something of a hotspot for EDM and homegrown hip-hop…

…okay, look, I’m not going to pretend that I’m well-versed in either genre. Yeah, I want to wear Robyn like a backpack and take her to parties, but I can’t pretend that I’m legitimately hip to dance music.

And while my college roommate was a battle MC, affording me dalliances with the hip-hop underground, I basically torched myself on the whole thing about 10 years ago. But, I can testify that when a local / regional hip-hop event such as this one goes down, all uneducated, preconceived notions about the culture’s focus on materialism goes out the window. This is socialism in action, people. Everyone gets together, works together, rhymes together, drinks together…it’s a pretty cool scene.

But don’t listen to me. I’m pulling this out of my ass, three OverRated!s deep with a cat perched on my lap. If you want true details, talk to Fuzz.

The Fattenin’ Frogs [NaKato, 9:00 pm]

When the NaKato isn’t hosting a bluegrass band, they’re usually a haven for a roots-rock band with a ripped-from-a-past-decade gimmick (see: The Thrill, Ross Kleiner and). Minneapolis’ The Fattenin’ Frogs deftly fills both criteria, making them an ideal dance n’ jam act for hipsters, hippies, and boomers alike.

Nothing can bridge generational gaps like a banjo.

 So, Jordan, which show are you hitting this weekend?

Well, I’m glad you asked! Actually, instead of “supporting the scene,” I’m going to be working, cramming for finals, and watching UFC 181.

Yeah, it’s a top-loaded card, but who wants to miss Anthony Pettis’ return, where he has the potential to walk through one of the greatest lightweights in the sport’s history, Gilbert Melendez? Or Robbie Lawler taking his second shot at Johny Hendricks and his welterweight strap, hoping to cap one of the most unlikely comebacks in the young sport’s history with a (hopefully) vicious KO of one of the most well-rounded, nuclear-handed wrestlers we’ve ever seen? EVERYBODY, THAT’S WHO.

Have fun, Mankato. #justcarrot