Everybody Wins

Polls and punditry for the best new bands in town

 

3. Revolver Modèle (37)
GENRE: LOVE WILL TEAR US APART AGAIN... AND AGAIN... AND AGAIN...

What The Voters Say: "I really don't understand why any band other than Revolver would win Picked to Click. Normally, I'm not a conspiracy guy. It's probably true that the internal politics of the Twin Cities music scene isn't worth the time of any self-respecting Knight of Templar, and these ballots seem, at first glance, free of any shadowy Masonic influence. But if Revolver doesn't win, it's a sham. They have a lead singer who wracks his skinny body in agony, undergoing his own personal exorcism each show, a guitarist with a great forelock and a beautiful wall-of-sound tone, and a catholic rhythm section anchored by a nun. There's no contest." --Steve Marsh, freelance writer

 

4. Brother Ali (36)
GENRE: HIP HOP BEYOND THE PALE

What The Voters Say: "I don't know if I believe in hip hop anymore, but I believe in Brother Ali. He knows a good hero when he sees one--and he obviously sees one in himself. He calls the chunky albino in the mirror 'sexy ass me.' He's an idol to us, the ugly motherfuckers. Don't hate him because you're beautiful. Just listen to him tell a story. It's not enough for Brother Ali to rap about kicking some wife-batterer's ass. He has to add an ironic detail, like the wife calling the police on him. There's always that shadow of doubt with him. That's where he keeps cool." --Peter S. Scholtes, staff writer, City Pages

 

5. Mike Gunther (35)
GENRE: LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SIN

What The Voters Say:"Twin Citizens probably thought their souls were perfectly fine... until Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls took the stage. On Every Dream That's Dropped and Died (Heart of a Champion), dime store revivalist Gunther juggles salvation and sin like a whiskey- warped southern soul, tugging the guilt and faith strings of even the most jaded--all this with the down-home harmonics and clunk 'n' shatter traditional instrumentation of the Restless Souls. Gunther won't actually save anyone, but lines like 'Just because I have no faith/Don't mean no promised land' have seen sinner and saved alike singing along." --Mark Baumgarten, music editor, Willamette Week; former editor, Lost Cause

 

6. So Fox (24.5)
GENRE: 20TH CENTURY PUNK FOR 21ST CENTURY FOXES

What The Voters Say:"I've never been much for fashion. That gene passed me by at birth. I've got all I can do to get up in the morning put on an old pair of dirty sweats and a T-shirt and stumble out of the house with my hair looking like I don't own a mirror. I guess that's why I gravitated toward punk rock. There was something about this scraggly scene of misfits that led me to believe fashion was actually a faux pas in the world of rock. However, that theory doesn't hold water when it comes to local punk-rock outfit So Fox. They've got the look. They've got the style. They've got the beehive! Forged from the ashes of local favorites Selby Tigers, front woman Arzu has kept the spirit of late '70s punk and retro fashion alive. With call and response vocals, killer guitar riffs and a mesmerizing live performance, So Fox have blasted their way onto the scene and into the hearts and minds of the Twin Cities." --Ben Crew, editor, Twin Cities Hardcore Journal

 

7. Bridge Club (20)
GENRE: I THINK THE WHITE STRIPES DRANK TOO MANY RED STRIPES

What The Voters Say: "Two months ago, this band bored the piss out of me. Then they lost their singer and grabbed me by the balls. Their lack of a frontman meant that the remaining three members didn't have to play around a vocalist; it freed them up to mesh as an instrumentally savvy rock band and gave them space to extend guitar solos indefinitely without fucking off behind a singer with nothing to do but wait. They play with an energy that could raise the Titanic, then sink it again." --Sam Sawyer, publicist, First Avenue/7th St. Entry

 

8. Ice-Rod (19)
GENRE: SLIMMER AND SHADIER THAN THE REAL SLIM SHADY

What The Voters Say: "Ice-Rod is proof that you can't judge a rapper by his Sean Johns. With his mustache, rattail, and fluorescent pink running shorts, he may be the only MC alive who's not afraid to sell concert T-shirts adorned with puffy paint. Yet the second he gets onstage, you can see him as hip hop's poster boy. Like a dadaist Eminem, he compares the female body to a skate park, instigates a food fight, and teaches you how to fold a paper airplane, all within one continuous absurdist rant. But for Ice-Rod, every rhyme has a reason: When the crowd takes his broken boombox beats as a call to arms--and they always do-- you're left there with mashed potatoes on your pants, paper cuts on your hands, and a big stupid smile on your face. --Melissa Maerz, music editor, City Pages

 

9. Big Ditch Road (17)
GENRE: HIGHWAY TO HECK

What The Voters Say: "Wait, you mean alt-country doesn't have to be a derivative carpetbagging exercise? Big Ditch Road's pedal steel made me tear in my beer more than once. And I'm not a crier, dammit!" --Rob van Alstyne, music editor, Pulse of the Twin Cities

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