The Very Boring Rally


See our schedule for dates & times for these and other acts.

Maria Bamford

Performing Friday, August 22, 2008, 8:30pm to 9:30pm.


What 37-year old comedian stars in her own web sitcom on, stars in the new Comedy Central series, "The Comedians of Comedy Tour" (as well as in the independent film of the same title out on NETFLIX), is in Variety's TOP TEN COMICS TO WATCH, has been the talk of Montreal, Edinburgh, Aspen, Kilkenny and Melbourne Comedy Festivals and was voted by Comedy Central viewers as one of their Top Ten Favorite Comics?

ME! MARIA BAMFORD! That's who, sweetpeas!

Now I will go on about myself in the 3rd person!

Maria started her performing arts career in Duluth, Minnesota at the age of 11 where she starred in the Chester Park Elementary production of "How the West Was REALLY Won!" (Conservative message that didn't include the perspective of indigenous nations). A short 24 years of self-discovery and secretarial work later, look at her now! She is certainly on some kind of predestined journey!

  • NETFLIX "The Comedians of Comedy Tour"

  • Comedy Central's "The Comedians of Comedy Tour"

  • Los Angeles Magazine's COMIC TO WATCH (2005)

  • LA WEEKLY Pick of the Week
  • Variety's Top Ten Comics to Watch
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

  • Comedy Central Presents...Maria Bamford

  • Comedy Central:
 Premium Blend, USO Tour,
 World Comedy, Tough Crowd
  • International TV:

  • Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor on PRI

  • Best in the Festival Melbourne Comedy Festival Winner

She starred in a pilot pitch by Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder for animated development that was tentatively titled "The Trial". That's right! Maria's talent is not limited to comedy!

She also performs comedic voiceovers!
She is a series regular on the animated Nickelodeon series CatDog and has been a guest star on Oxygen series Hey Monie!, the Cartoon Network's Home Movies and played a spider in Charlotte's Web II (a straight-to-video deal).

And recently, Maria landed roles as Mrs. Beady- the Neurotic Farm Wife in the movie and TV versions of BARNYARD, creations of Steve Odekerk and Nickelodeon Animation. Some of her other credits include, STUART LITTLE 2 (small part), LUCKY NUMBERS with John Travolta (pretty big part), Dharma and Greg (very small part) and The Trouble with Normal (medium-sized part). Yeah, pretty awesome, huh?

On a more personal note, Maria is taken!
No more "singles" material! Thank God! Or thank the being/spirit/alchemy that creates goodness and love! We're not really sure!

Junior Brown

Performing Saturday, August 23, 2008, 9:30pm to 11:30pm.


"A lot of people tell me they don't like country music, but they like what I am doing," says Junior Brown. "I hear that line more than anything else," which is ironic because a couple of licks is all it takes to erase any doubts concerning Junior's stylistic allegiance. His music combines the soul of country and the spirit of rock n' roll.

In Junior's case, playing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to rock showcases on the West Coast and his hometown of Austin, Texas, *crossover* is not synonymous with watered-down or light-weight. He says of his ever-growing legion of converts:

"Just about the time they label me as some old time honkytonk singer, I throw something new in there that surprises them. And then they'll appreciate the traditional styles of country music too. Do something to wow them without ruining the roots of country and they end up accepting the music that they would have been prejudiced against."

Following years as Austin's best-kept secret, then a few more as the town's one must-see act for visiting musicians and label heads, Junior Brown and his music have since found an audience far beyond the Lone Star border. Junior's first two albums (12 Shades of Brown and Guit With It) have helped establish him as a crowd favorite from Texas roadhouses to the hippest clubs of New York City and Europe.

There's usually a wide-eyed look accompanying one who witnesses Junior's unique instrumental prowess for the first time... or the second, or third, for that matter. Junior invented his own guitar, one that combines the standard 6-string guitar and the steel guitar. He calls it the "guit-steel."

"I was playing both the steel and guitar, switching back and forth a lot while I sang, and it was kind of awkward. But then I had this dream where they just kind of melted together. When I woke up, I thought 'You know, that thing would work!' They made double-neck guitars and double-neck steels,so why not one of each?"

A call was made to guitar maker Michael Stevens, whose expertise made the dream a reality, and around 1985 the guit-steel was born. Last year Junior once again enlisted the services of Stevens to make a second guit-steel, a cherry-red axe affectionately nicknamed "Big Red."

In Junior's hands, the guit-steel is an amazing tool, a means to creating some of the hottest, most heartfelt playing heard in years (and in a town like Austin, that's saying something). His talents have led major magazines like Musician to herald Junior as a genius. Life magazine honored him as the only contemporary musician included in their "All Time Country Band," and Guitar Player magazine's 1994 "Best of..." listings made him their #1 lap steel player, #2 Country Artist, and #3 country album (Guit With It).

Instrumentalist is only one of the hats the 43-year-old is comfortable wearing – along with singer, songwriter, and producer – and he is equally adept and impressive in each role, having turned professional as a teenager in the late 60's.

"There was always music of some kind in the house when I was growing up. My Dad was a piano player and so I started playing little melodies on the piano before I could talk. We lived out in the woods outside of Kirksville, Indiana and there's a lot of country folks out there. I used to hear country music over the radio, Ernest Tubb and others. When we got a TV, I watched his show, and I've always been a big fan of his."

Once Junior started his own career, he met Tubb several times, and Tubb offered him some stern advice: "Keep it country, son." Junior says:

"He [Tubb] was concerned about country music getting watered down. He wanted young people to get a hold of it and get as wild as they wanted instrumentally, as long as they brought it right back down to the country, backing the singer and to remember that they're in a country band."

Junior's admiration for Tubb inspired one of his better known songs, My Baby Don't Dance to Nothin' But Ernest Tubb.

In the mid-80's, Junior taught guitar under Leon McAulliffe, the legendary steel man for Bob Wills' Texas Playboys at Oklahoma's Hank Thompson School of Country Music, part of Rogers State College. He even passed on a little more music to one student – it was there that Junior met "the lovely Miss Tanya Rae," the talented woman who would become his rhythm guitarist, backup vocalist, and wife. "I kept her after class," Junior laughs. They married in July of 1988.

Junior and Tanya Rae decided to seek out the best environment for their musical vision. The place was Austin, Texas, where the lines between various musical styles and genres have always been a bit blurry. They set up shop at the legendary Continental Club, where slowly but surely their appearances there got people talking. "It's music for everybody," he says.

The Conquerors

Performing Saturday, August 23, 2008, 7:00pm to 8:15pm.


The Conquerors convene only when convenient for the individually cantankerous, curmudgeonly, callous & cocky members. Their justified & ancient leader, Keith Patterson is so riddled with aches and pains that it is a miracle when he leaves the house, if ever. Periodically he is strapped to a gurney and transported to a secret location; upon arrival a painful device called a Bison is strapped on him and he is then barely enabled to participate in the ritual racket-making.

The enabler in this scheme is a saturnine and well built tradesman called Adam "Sluggo" Fesenmaier. He is dedicated to his own pleasures and has little time for non-sense, save for pushing Patterson's wheelchair when necessary. Concluding his caretaking duties, the Fez retires to the basement pedal testing chamber and gives all present an extended earful of the latest in electronic squall. After rummaging through the Blackmore & Montgomery catalogues, he repairs to a nearby tavern to either talk shop or on occasion, cause "bovver". Then quietly returns to his family, on the right side of the tracks.

Stopping by for a few short minutes, from an editing suite way 'cross town, is the man who will bring this meeting to order (and in tempo)- Mr. Bonnie Greg. Diplomacy and drumsticks are the tools employed by the slightly hunched batteur. The organization would have collapsed early on if not for Bonnie's subtly strongarm tactics in finding floors to kip on (and preventing Patterson being buggered by a 400 lb. "Bear"). His 17 year old son tolerates him at home, barely, in the deep south of Minneapolis.

Completing the foul brew of humanity, David J. Russ was forced into this loathsome brotherhood only after two successive choir directors vanished amid the curdled atmosphere of the cavernous clubhouse. And by virtue of the fact he is also the landlord ("you're not living here, are you?"). When not snarling "what the fuhuuck?!!" at his aging co-conspirators, DJR can usually be found collecting awards for swindling young Lutherans and making pancakes. Most recently he invoked the furor of the Bible belt after claiming to be "bigger than Levon Helm!"

Simply put, The Conquerors are of little use to, nor humble toward the Rock community. They offer no soul salvation or redemption via the powers of their music, as most orchestras in this day and age are wont to claim. Despite it all, this motley collection of groovy grandpas can still slake the world's collective thirst, if only because they don't brew Falstaff anymore.

Nordic Angst

Performing Friday, August 22, 2008, 10:45pm to Midnight.

Nordic Angst is an American term used to describe the darkness of Nordic culture, as in Ingmar Bergman movies. The musical ensemble by this name attempts to blend traditional Nordic folk music with a contemporary american sensibility. The results bridge the foreign to the familiar, the past with the present and seriousness with humor.

The group's leader, Arna Rennan, shares her knowledge and passion for Nordic music with her longstanding friends, Brian Dack, Doug Greenwood and Cathe O’Bey. Her recent studies at the Institute of Folk Music in Rauland, Norway has provided her with a wealth of material dating back to the middle ages to the present, which is represented on the new CD, Big Brother - Little Brother. The instrumentation stretches beyond the traditional with Arna providing vocals and accordian, Brian on accoustic guitar, Doug’s electric guitar interpretations and Cathe on the upright bass.

The group first came together in 1999 to open for a concert with Hoven Droven, at the Norshor theatre in Duluth. Arna’s passion for Nordic roots music was contagious to her “Angst” friends and reinforced by the groups brought here by NorthSide to the Nordic Roots Festivals at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Their influences are many while the end result is unique to Nordic Angst through their personal interpretations.

Members of the ensemble have performed extensively in the Midwest, including:

  • The University of Chicago Folk Festival
  • Minnesota Folk Festival
  • Two Harbors Folk Festival
  • Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa
  • Hjemkomst Festival in Moorhead, MN
  • Nisswa Stammen
  • Festival of Cultures in Duluth, MN