A Power of Ten

Slug's love bug, Kat Bjelland's exorcism, Dave Pirner's throbbing shins: Ten years of local music served on ten great platters.


Amy Carlson, local music writer

1. Run Westy Run, Green Cat Island

Tony Nelson

2. Babes In Toyland, Fontanelle

3. Jayhawks, Hollywood Town Hall

4. The Hang Ups, So We Go

5. Dylan Hicks, Poughkeepsie


Simon Peter Groebner, former host of Radio K's Off the Record (KUOM-AM, 770)

1. The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Oh Brother Where Art Thou? (Japanese version)

2. 12 Rods, Split Personalities

3. The Hang Ups, So We Go

4. The Blue Up?, Cake and Eat It

5. Balloon Guy, The West Coast Shakes

Two Great Local Records You'll Never Hear


Smoke's Ten Best Local Hip-Hop Singles

1. Lil' Buddy, "Woo Woo"

2. Abstract Pack, "Yes"

3. Raw Villa, "Negotiators"

4. Lil' Buddy, "What's the Haps?"

5. Highlight Entertainment, "Chocolate Tye"

6. Slug, "Nothing But Sunshine" (from the Anticon Presents: Music For the Advancement of Hip Hop compilation)

7. Dead End, "My Deed Are Done"

8. Jon Doe, "Kamikaze"

9. Steppa Ranks, "Young Girls"

10. Yock-Man, “All Night”

Smoke is host of Friday Night with Smoke 'n' Delite on KMOJ-FM (89.9)


Two Great Local Records You’ll Never Hear

7 Days a Week

Tommy Stinson's four-piece Perfect was axed by the Restless label just as the band was about to release a full-length followup to 1996's When Squirrels Play Chicken EP. The completed album will probably never see the light of day, and that's a shame. Produced at Ardent Studios in Memphis by Jim Dickinson, who calls it "the hardest thing I ever did in my career," 7 Days a Week is just dirty power-soul.

It's also the best album any of the Replacements have made since 1987's Pleased to Meet Me. "Making of an Asshole" alone would be worth retail price. In what might as well be a parable about his treatment at the hands of every record label he ever knew, Tommy sneers, "The day that you were born, they dropped you on your head/They waited till you cried and then they dropped you once again."

Stinson also played bass on the album--the first time he'd done that since the 'Mats. "The more we could get Tommy to do, the better it got," Dickinson says. "He's the walking embodiment of rock 'n' roll." (Anders Smith-Lindall)


The Last EP

Guitarist Steve Salett once admitted that his influences were "pretty boring," citing Liz Phair and Pavement as the new middle of a new road. Yet his band Deformo recorded one of the most tuneful and original slacker-pop records of the decade--and just as the group was breaking up.

Forgoing the big-budget studios they tried out while making their previous album and EP, Deformo burrowed into Mike Wisti's legendary basement studio, Albatross, over the summer of 1998. They brought in plenty of vintage harmoniums, guitar effects mechanisms, and guest musicians (including Lily Liver's Missy Greer). The results--handed out to fans as an eight-song CD at the band's farewell show in January--sounded like Half Japanese doing John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb," a narcotic set of relaxed, lo-fi tunes to go with Salett's Johnny Cash/Ethel Merman vocals.

"Some bands do better in basements," says Wisti. "I definitely think that they were the kind of group that makes their best recordings just hanging around." (Scholtes)


Ten Local Singles to Wear Out

1. Cows, "Slap Back" (Amphetamine Reptile, 1990)

2. Ninian Hawick, "Scottish Rite Temple Stomp" (Grimsey, 1995)

3. Prince, "Cream" (Paisley Park, 1991)

4. Gear Daddies, "Little Red Corvette" (Crackpot, 1992)

5. Babes in Toyland, "Handsome and Gretel" (Insipid Vinyl, 1991)

6. Woody McBride, "Basketball Heroes" (Communique, 1997)

7. Hammerhead, "Peep" (Amphetamine Reptile, 1991)

8. Big Red Ball, "She Ran Away From the World" (Prospective, 1991)

9. Next, "Too Close" (Arista, 1997)

10. The Spectors, “Oh How to Do Now” (Oxo, 1993)  

Two Made-in-Minnesota Gems

Son Volt
Warner Bros., 1995

Even on first listen, Trace's familiar melodies and analog glow feel like going home, a sense only reinforced by the album's many local ties. Arguably the high watermark of the No Depression movement, Trace was written by Jay Farrar as he drove the Mississippi between New Orleans and Minneapolis in fall 1994. His band--three of them Twin Citians--rehearsed here, recorded in Northfield, and, in June 1995, played their first gigs together at the Uptown and the Entry. (Smith-Lindall)


Janet Jackson
The Velvet Rope
Virgin, 1997

With the ninth Jackson child's sixth concept album, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did more than lend Janet's newly soft-core murmur the requisite lower-body thrust. They internalized damn near every rhythmic trend of the decade: Timbaland's drum 'n' stutter, quick-stepping house, and walloping slabs of techno. The Edina duo personalized the results so thoroughly, you'd almost think they'd invented the gamut themselves. Which, when you consider that Flyte Tyme had fairly mechanized the whole of R&B, isn't so far off the mark. (Keith Harris)

Three Great Reissues

1. Halo of Flies, Music for Insect Minds
(Amphetamine Reptile, 1991).

As hostile and seamy as Big Black or Pussy Galore, this mod-garage band of the Eighties (fronted by Amphetamine Reptile label maven Tom Hazelmyer) summoned a widely imitated yet essentially inimitable punk roar.

2. various artists, The Big Hits of
Mid-America: The Soma Records Story, 1963-1967 (Simitar, 1998)

Two discs of the raw, stupid teen-rock sound that scared Dylan out of Minnesota, from "Surfin' Bird" to "Run, Run, Run."

3. Suburbs, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Suburbs Have Left the Building (Twin/Tone, 1992)
They gave new wave a good name before A Flock of Seagulls came along. (Scholtes)

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