From a day-to-day work experience, not much has changed for Jason Lardy. He runs a marketing company and although his clients have had concerns and questions, everybody has really stayed the course. The larger change has come from his side gig. Jason also runs a radio show at Macalester College, which due to covid, has been converted into a podcast.
Blast Beats n’ Bicycles talks about metal. Specifically, metal music and metal bikes. In the first hour, he talks about music, while the second half is focused on bicycle-related discussions. It’s a weird mix that brings together pro racers, local bike advocates, and metal artists like Bill Lindsey from Impaler talking about their new album. It’s niche in a really good way and one that Jason developed through his history of discovering music.
“My parents still kick themselves for this day, but the first record they ever bought me when I was 10 was Kiss Destroyer. And so that led me down the dark path,” shares Jason.
That album was a direct entry into rock and roll. He discovered reggae while at Macalester College, then naturally progressed into ska. His love for live music bloomed in the 90’s when he saw Ipso Facto play as often as he could get into a show, and supported all the reggae bands in the Twin Cities.
In the Absence of Live Music
One of the great things about Macalester studios is the performance space. During covid, Jason has invited a bunch of local bands to come in and record. They broadcast the songs live on the air, along with using a SoundCloud account to share the audio. He’s been fortunate to develop some strong relationships with bands and keep live music going during the pandemic.
His thirst for discovering new music has also remained strong as he often goes to Electric Fetus, Rock Paper Scissors, and other record stores to talk to the employees. He’ll share his interests and take recommendations on what he should listen to next. (There’s also another side of him that’s old and says that nothing good was made after 1992.) As an avid supporter of local music, he’s missed the ability to purchase merch from bands at live shows, a tradition that he knows puts more money directly in the pocket of the artist.
“One of the greatest things about having a radio show is getting to connect with local artists. Most of the really exciting stuff that is happening, is at the local level. So to find a really good local band that’s recording and doing innovative stuff is a lot of fun.”
Jason had been wanting to see Timisarocker perform for quite a long time. He’s followed their “Live from Quarantine” series of YouTube videos and found them spectacular to watch. Their cover of “When Doves Cry” by Prince sticks out as well, adding another reason to sign up for the contest. When he won the opportunity to see live music inside The Parkway Theater, just three blocks from his house, he asked if the band would have a merch table.
Covered in sequins spelling out his name, Tim Dooley wasted no time in raising the volume with “Apollo” to kick off the private performance. His identifying swagger and strut adding to the energy of the show, the four-piece band filled the space with attitude. The glitter reflection of his outfit dancing around the room like butterflies.
“Irresponsible Kids” came with a powerful pledge of allegiance, expertly weaved into the song. In covering “Holding Out For a Hero”, the punk-pop side took over with an extended guitar solo and lighting fast bass parts. Stopping to point out the custom microphone stand on stage, made from the skin of two castrated bulls, Tim shared that the same person who made it also made Colonel Sanders’ cane that he was buried with. If that isn’t a rock n’ roll at its finest.
Timisarocker engaged the audience of two with a singalong on “9:00-5:00”. The infectious punk chant echoing through the theater, beers cheering and saluting the daily grind of work.
“9 to 5, boy this is tired
A slip of the finger can burn me like fire
9 to 5, payback my payback
A job is a job is a job”
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The Meaning of Live Music
As fans, we all miss the live music energy. But talking frequently with artists, Jason reminds us they also get energy from the audience. When you see the audience simultaneously bobbing their heads or dancing, or just responding with a cheer at the end of the song, it’s invigorating and so much a part of their experience as band members. A live stream lacks that immediate feedback loop.
Jason shared his biggest gap is the communal aspect. When you’re looking at somebody across the stage or standing next to you and the song ends, the potential high-five and non-verbal shared experience is so fulfilling with live music. You can’t replicate that now through a screen.
“I remember my first concert when I was 16, standing right up against the speakers at this civic center. My heart is changing because of the bass. That was a revolutionary moment for me. I seek that out and just love that experience of not only the community but the overwhelming sound that comes off of a live performance.”
Listen and follow Timisarocker at the links below.