If you like your Sunday breakfast with a side order of percussion, Savage Aural Hotcakes might be just what you’re looking for. The brainchild of Stuart DeVaan and fellow bandmates of the longtime local music group Savage Aural Hotbed, this brunch-hours get-together happens in a warehouse near Washington Street and Lowry Avenue NE.
For the last nine months, the arty gathering (its name a play on the band’s moniker), has attracted artists, musicians, poets, scenesters, politicians and more, every second Sunday of the month. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (the hours are as relaxed as the atmosphere), around 50 to 75 people may wander through the studio, table-hop, schmooze, argue, and palaver, while dining on the aforementioned cakes, sausages, mimosas, and perhaps a Bloody Mary or three. An occasional jape might be heard, too.
At some point, a hat gets passed, which DeVaan says covers about half of the expenses. The rest come out of his pocket.
The studio’s collection of pipes, steel drums, gongs, chimes and other things to bang on comprise most of the instrumentation, along with bass guitars. Some of the pieces played featured sustained sections of cross-sticking, 64th-notes, signature changes, and they got really loud, too!
DeVaan said fellow Hotbed member Mark Black “Came up with the idea a while ago. We all felt it would be a way of building a small local community, bringing people together, and away from a lot of the ‘barking’ on social media.”
A first-time visitor should be prepared to dodge large objects, slide sideways through tight clusters of people, allow for the changeable decibel level, and make room in one’s personal cultural comfort zone for oddities and high spirits seldom encountered before noon.
DeVaan plans to invite local mayoral candidates, and has more musicians lined up for future spots on the tiny stage.
The next event is Sunday, October 8, when Hotbed Studios in association with Savage Aural Hotbed, and the Nordeast Poetry Wresslin Federation (NPWF) holds their “First Annual Poetry Wresslin” competition. As their flyer says, “Come see the poetry fight of the century as we pit Tom (THE TRUTH) Cassidy against Don (Facts, only the facts) Shelby in a no-holds-barred poetry bloodbath!”
Yes, that Don Shelby, whom DeVaan knows from their years working together at WCCO. Will Shelby bring a harmonica to the fight? Will Cassidy try some of his mentalist tricks? Those questions went unanswered, but DeVaan noted “Some profanity may hit the proverbial fan, so bring kids with a PG-13 perspective.” And those who show up at 10:30 a.m. can join a free 30-minute workout with Andria Johnson and Sarah Leahy from Northeast Fitness.
It should be noted that an extensive search of professional wrestling associations and leading poetry journals throughout the United States failed to produce any references to the Nordeast Poetry Wresslin Federation. One might reasonably assume that this event is not sanctioned by either of those groups.
Below: Stuart DeVaan, Mark Black, Bill Nelson and Dean Hawthorne at Savage Aural Hotcakes. Then: Pineapples. Finally: Attendees at the event. (Photos by Mark Peterson)