Doomtree, Solid Gold, and Vampire Hands deftly dot Minneapolis's music timeline in '08

Crack open our Twin Cities Local Music Yearbook and reminisce on an effed-up year

Omnipresent local musician Brian Leighton, lead singer of G.B. Leighton, announces that he has been diagnosed with cancer. Known for playing nearly every night of the week, Leighton is a huge presence in the local scene and among local charities. A benefit concert is quickly set up to raise money for medical expenses, and Leighton undergoes surgery to have a tumor removed. By the end of the year Leighton reports on his website that he has successfully undergone treatment and is cancer-free.

Minnesota Public Radioannounces it will be discontinuing The Morning Show, the Current's early-morning programming hosted by Dale Connelly and Tom Keith (a.k.a. Jim Ed Poole), by the end of the year. Keith retires in December, and Connelly goes on to launch Radio Heartland, an online program that mimics The Morning Show's folk-based style and format. The Current also hires a new program director, WXPN's Jim McGuinn, after Steve Nelson leaves to become the program director for MPR News.

NOVEMBER

On the night of the election, Bob Dylan plays a very sold-out show at Northrop Auditorium. Before his final song ("Blowin' in the Wind"), he took a rare moment to opine on the political climate: "I was born in 1941," he says. "That was the year they bombed Pearl Harbor. I've been living in darkness ever since. It looks like things are going to change now."

P.O.S., Dessa, and Sims at the Doomtree CD-release show
Daniel Corrigan
P.O.S., Dessa, and Sims at the Doomtree CD-release show
"We're called Tape 'n Tape": Josh Grier and Jeremy Hanson play during the RNC
Stacy Schwartz
"We're called Tape 'n Tape": Josh Grier and Jeremy Hanson play during the RNC
Semisonic, reunited at River Rocks
Steven Cohen
Semisonic, reunited at River Rocks

Prince causes yet another kerfuffle by seemingly expressing his disapproval of gay marriage in an interview with The New Yorker. The controversial quote: "When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, "God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, 'Enough.'" After the controversy is spread around the blogosphere, Prince retracts the statement and says he was misquoted.

Minneapolis-based folk label Red House Records celebrates its 25th anniversary with a compilation CD and show. The label has helped to cultivate an impressive lineup of roots and folk musicians, including Red House co-founder Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky, and locals such as the Pines, Storyhill, and Peter Ostroushko.

DECEMBER

The Triple Rock Social Clubcelebrates its 10th birthday with a smattering of sold-out shows, including a two-night stand by roots-rockers Lucero and a CD-release show for owner Erik Funk's own band, Dillinger Four.

After a few years off the radar, Heiruspecs return with a new album and a First Avenue headlining show. The new record, simply titled Heiruspecs, finds the band experimenting with a variety of styles and falling into a very comfortable, time-tested groove. "We're all in a place right now where we know what we want as a band," guitarist Josh Peterson tells City Pages in a feature on the group.

Another band that has spent some time in radio silence, the Hopefuls, re-emerge with a new lineup (missing Erik Appelwick, who left the band last year to join Tapes 'n Tapes) and a new album, Now Playing at the One-Seat Theatre.

The day after his release show for his new album, That Kind of Day, T.D. Mischke is unceremoniously fired from AM 1500 after 14 years as an on-air host for the station and more than 20 years in radio. The move outrages Mischke's large cult following in the Twin Cities. The station refuses to disclose the reason for the firing. Mischke's AM 1500 co-worker Nancy Fox remarks: "I don't think anyone saw this coming."

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