And in between songs Matt Olson would make observations about the Foxfire kids: “You kids hug each other a lot. ” MATT OLSON [singer, Smattering]: I felt a little bit like everybody’s big brother or something. I know I sound like a grandma: Everyone was well behaved! DIERS: I worked a job downtown at one point and would oftentimes go buy an underwhelming, slightly overpriced turkey sandwich from Elizabeth rather than dump seven dollars at Subway. S [Stefon Alexander; Foxfire barista; rapper; singer, Building Better Bombs]: We would make up ridiculous sandwiches and then put them on special.
Every time you see your friends, you hug them like it had been years. Minnesota in general — most people are a little self-conscious, a little uncomfortable, wanting to be cool and progressive, but also stuck in this conservative anxiety, especially younger people trying out new identities. FINK: I remember one of our band ordering some kind of sandwich because of the name — a heavy metal band, a “Sabbath sandwich” or something like that — and then being mad because he didn’t read what the ingredients were and he hated what was inside. One style was to make one sandwich taste like it’s two sandwiches, so if you have it one way it’s like a roast beef sandwich, and if you flip the sandwich over you get turkey and Brie.
“These teenage bands do really well and they’re really appreciative of having a place to play where all their friends can see them,” Larson told the Star Tribune at the end of 1998.
Today, it’s hard to imagine another place like the Foxfire, especially right in downtown Minneapolis.
The first show I went to was the Glory Record and Antarctica.
JAMES DIERS [writer; singer, Love-cars]: Getting it to sound good was comparable to solving a Rubik’s Cube. It takes a minute for people to even know it’s there.
I remember lining up an interview with Tom and doing a little segment for the show. Half a year in, I started working part-time as a barista.
LINDSEY THOMAS [City Pages music editor, 2004-2006]: I moved to Minneapolis in 1999.
GOKCEN: You sold so much merch at those shows, too. We had a T-shirt that we were selling for five bucks, styled after a high-school gym T-shirt from the ’70s.
I see those T-shirts on people every so often now — “Oh!