Monday, February 14, 2011

That old Minneapolis sound.

Yesterday I was running, and had a shuffle going on the ipod. 4 of the first 10 songs were from "Zen Arcade". Pretty weird. The playlist is about 600 songs. So I started thinking about the only time I saw Husker Du -- at University of Chicago on their last tour (no one knew at the time - well, I guess the band did) in October 1987. Soul Asylum opened. I was never a big Soul Asylum fan. The whole Winona thing was pretty bragable, but I think she must have been a fan of ballads or something.

I saw Sugar play several times over the coming years. I also saw Grant Hart's band, Nova Mob, play the Cat's Cradle in the early 90s. It was at the previous location on Franklin Street, and maybe 25 people showed. I played pool with Grant, and he was pretty cool. My friends and I also threw the frisbee in the parking lot with the opening act, another Minneapolis band called the Magnolias. They were hilarious, and had that certain innocent Minnesota je ne sais quoi that makes Minnesotans generally pleasant to be around. I think we had a twelver in our car as well.

The guys in the Magnolias didn't give off the vibe that they just might incinerate the place with their 40 minute set, but that's pretty much what happened. They played a few of the jangly late-Replacements vintage guitar pop songs, but most of it was just straightforward garage punk music.

At the risk of earning the opprobrium of my blogmates for not being able to wait to Friday, here's a great example of the latter:

and an insanely catchy specimen of the former:

Frontman John Freeman re-made the band in 2007 and it looks like they're still at it. The tunes on their myspace page are really good. Check them out.

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