Corner PRJCT - daniel dean

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So when Gail DuBrow was here, some of you heard me talk about my proposed corner - that occupied by the shuttered Viking Bar. I've been working on several interventions and possibilites for events inspired by the Viking's 40 yr role in the musical and cultural geography of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The Viking opened during the hippie heyday of the neighborhood when the West Bank was known as the Haight-Ashbury of the Mid-west but remained throughout the crime-ridden 80's and up through the area's transformation into complex haven for refugees, gutterpunks, students and the few hippies that remain. With many other established and thriving bars in the area serving up some of the same music once performed inside the Viking, one might not recognized what it's absence signifies. By degrees, perhaps there's not much missing; another dive bar, worn tables and chairs, cheap beer, etc. But it's not the place so much as the music and the people gathered around the bar over many years that can't be replicated. I propose a series of actions centered around a the bar's musical legacy that I refer to as Viking Radio. Here I am purposefully co-opting the Viking's name to create a direct connection but also for its synonymous association with pirate radio since I intend to pursue some of these actions without permission or within a gray legal area.
Beginning with a very basic mobile setup, I strapped an amp, speakers and car battery to a dolly and wheeled it up to the Viking's door. I plugged in my iPod and began to play my Viking Radio playlist, composed of audio files stripped from YouTube videos captured inside before the bar closed on 2006. The audio isn't perfect, like the bar, and you can hear the chatter and ambiance of it's former life while rough cut blues blared forth from my DIY radio setup. The only way to experience this version of Viking Radio was to walk by and many did - I even met the daughter of Papa John Koerner when she recognized his song playing from down the street - he used to play a weekly set at the bar and is still one of the legendary figures attached to the history of the Viking and the West Bank. I'm gonna go meet her brother, Cadillac, who plays a weekly Sunday set at Nomad this week, feel free to join me. And this Viking corner for for more music and activity to come:

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