Meet the Staff

The Artist
Mark Trehus has been hawking vinyl on the corner of 26th & Lyndale for a quarter-century.  He was originally hired to manage Oar Folkjokeopus upon its post-fire re-opening in 1985.  For several years, he managed Oar Folk while co-owning the Treehouse Records label (whose roster included the Pagans, Ray & Glover, Cows, Unsane, Babes In Toyland, The Bastards, The Mighty Mofos, The Funseekers, and TVBC).  When Oar Folk owner Vern Sanden decided to get out of the game in 2001, Mark opened Treehouse in the same space.  Everything from the staff to the vintage posters covering the walls to the ugly brown carpet remained the same.  As Treehouse approaches its 10th anniversary, Mark has been busy with his new label Nero's Neptune (featuring releases by Spider John Koerner, Charlie Parr, Michael Yonkers, Paul Metzger, Vampire Hands, Dark Dark Dark, Zak Sally, Damin Eih, ALK & Brother Clark, and more).

The Commander
Dan Cote was just shy of 22 years old when hired as the assistant manager of Oar Folkjokeopus in September 1999.  He had been a regular Oar Folk customer since he was fifteen, when his mom drove him in from the suburbs to purchase Fugazi tickets.  One day while working at his soul-sucking corporate customer service job, he walked out of his office and through the building's main foyer, just in time to see all the factory workers (mostly immigrants) collected and sat down on folding chairs.  He watched as the company's new owners informed them they were closing the plant.  It was like a mass execution.  He left for lunch break and decided to stop at Oar Folk.  As fate would have it, that was the day he saw the "Help Wanted - Full Time" sign taped to the front door.  After the transition from Oar Folk to Treehouse, Dan was named manager of the new store - a job he has held ever since.  In addition to running the store, Dan co-owned the Heart of a Champion record label from January 1999 until February 2011.  Now 34, Dan lives in the Armatage neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis with his wife Maria, 16-month old daughter Charlotte Lorraine, and three-year old yellow lab Sophie.

The Professor
Terry Katzman was a manager at Oar Folk in the early '80s.  Around the same time, he was Husker Du's soundman and the co-owner of their Reflex Records label.  After the 1984 Oar Folk fire, he moved a few blocks east to open his own shop.  Garage D'or Records was a Twin Cities institution at 26th & Nicollet for over a decade.  In the late '90s, the Professor was forced to move Garage D'or into a smaller space on Lyndale & Lake.  He made a go of it for a couple years before closing up shop in early 2001 (around the same time as the Oar Folk-Treehouse transition).  The Professor found a full time gig shortly after, but eventually joined the Treehouse staff, too, on an extremely part-time basis.  He works approximately one Saturday per month and does the sound at all in-store performances.  He keeps the Garage D'or name alive in the form of a record label.  The Garage D'or Recording Co. has, in recent years, specialized in essential archival and reissue releases by the likes of the Suicide Commandos, the Suburbs, and L73.

Ruckus came to us as a shy, quiet 21 year old in 2008.  Now she has homemade tattoos on her arms and blares T-Rex and Jesus & Mary Chain albums during her shift while fending lonely indie-rockers.  (Ever see this Onion story?)  When not rocking behind the Treehouse counter, she can be found rocking the stage with her bands Gospel Gossip and Is/Is.


The Groundhog
Brian was recently brought back for his third tour of duty at Treehouse.  The 'Hog was simply born to rock.  He's been selling records from behind the counters of stores or behind merch tables at his shows for over fifteen years now.  He's been all over the U.S. and Europe with his band Chooglin' over the last couple of years and can also be seen regularly at Palmer's, the Turf Club, or the 331 Club in his country cover band The Huckleberrys.


The Guru
Nick is the most recent addition to the Treehouse staff.  As with all of our staff, he had been a longtime regular customer before crossing the line to the other side of the counter.  His vast IT skills (not displayed on this page) have already helped to bring our mostly computer-challenged staff into the 21st century.  It's probably not obvious to the general public, but his behind-the-scenes innovation (as well as his flexible schedule) has been a godsend to us.  Musically, Nick's band The Icy Shores just called it a day after a long run in town.  He also co-wrote "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground"  --  the lead track on Antony & The Johnsons' 2009 album The Crying Light.