At the end of the night, one thought kept repeating in my mind: Mark Farina is one funky dude. A close second? “I effing love you, Minneapolis.” But that could have been the White Claw talking.
(For the more visually-inclined, hit up a full album of pics here)
Going in, it seemed a little risky scheduling a party at 5 on a Friday when the majority of working folks are at the end of their week, likely well past “fuck this shit o’clock.” But you know what? It totally worked.
The rooftop of Hewing Hotel is an optimal one for those prone to wandering. From a variety of vantage points to watch the DJ sling tunes, to a close proximity to a bar, to a patio behind the aforementioned DJ, you can move wherever you want if your placement gets to feeling stale. The music is pumped throughout, too, so you won’t miss a thing on your walkabout.
If you do go to the rooftop at Hewing, make sure to hit up the southwest corner, away from all of the action, for a beautiful, unobstructed view of Minneapolis’ skyline.
Mark Farina is not glamorous, he is not an attention-addicted drop junky, and he gives the top 40 a wide berth. (That alone kinda makes you want to see him, doesn’t it?) Instead, Mark Farina is a purveyor of plateaus, gliding from one track into the next flawlessly, seemingly without effort, while towing a line that gives the crowd what they want and knowing what’s best for them.
Intermittently, local stalwart Chuck Love stepped up to the table and provided live accompaniment on everything from shakers to a child size french horn (I think?) to a melodica. The novelty of each instrument gave way to Love’s skills as an everything player, providing a live sound that blended perfectly with what Farina had on his platters.
His Friday journey took us through several flavors of house, disco, and funk, before finally landing with my favorite and most sacred of cows, Tom Waits.
Allow me to explain: Every so often, some ambitious, musically well-seasoned random decides to push boundaries and remix something that people haven’t heard before, something nobody else will touch. It’s not a bad move, strictly speaking, and it’s a move that’s worked out well for quite a few people. But if that random’s remix gets anywhere near Tom Waits’ beefy catalog, it’s like an instant Whammy for me. A red light. A bad egg. You get the picture.
Then along comes Mark Farina at the end of the night, as I’m watching a lightning storm in the not to distant distance with my special lady friend, and I yell in the least romantic thing possible into her ear, “TOM WAITS?!” If I was a dog, my haunches would have gone up before quickly settling back down as I listened and liked what I heard. I was charmed by the song in exactly opposite of the way my special lady friend was charmed by my exclamation. Again, that can probably be explained by White Claw.
Local PR outfit Vimlab keeps bringing Mark Farina back to Minneapolis for a reason, a great one, and one I highly recommend seeing for yourself. The Hewing Hotel rooftop has a solid, helpful, and humorous staff, a stellar view of the city, and a flippin hot tub. Do yourself a favor and get yourself there for a nice afternoon dip and do me a favor and invite me, wouldja?
I work, live and play in Minneapolis.
I try to tell the story of the people that create music and experiences through pictures as well as through words.