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BEST OLD BAND Minneapolis 2002 -

When this storied trio reunited last January for a surprise performance (their first since 1994) at First Avenue's annual staff party, over-30s gaped with reverent nostalgia. Under-30s and recent immigrants to the local scene paid attention to the band's three-directional experimental excursions if only because the band's three-directional experimental excursions made for such disorienting background music. But a recent Turf Club show was awesome. Guitarist Paul Metzger permitted himself no noodling, a particularly impressive feat considering the sheer volume of notes he generated. Bassist Scott Evans (the only non-original member) and drummer Fred Votel each generated a dynamic flurry, independent of his rhythmic counterpart and yet aptly complementary. By the time the band skittered through Monk's "Well, You Needn't," grizzled scene vets were giggling and grinning like TRL tykes at an 'N Sync show. You've been waiting all your life to hear art-damaged surf-rock that flits around like jazz but crashes home like punk...and you never even knew it.

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