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BEST OLD BAND Minneapolis 2003 - Flamin' Oh's

The trick isn't just how to play rock 'n' roll, it's how to be rock 'n' roll. And if the Flamin' Oh's demonstrate anything, it's that the secret is simpler than you think. Still playing raucous 75-minute sets around town with their original '70s lineup, but without late keyboardist Joseph Behrend (who wrote one of the band's funniest songs, "Medical Mess"), the Oh's endure by sticking to the basics: tunes tunes tunes, played with heart heart heart. Listen to The Flamin' Oh's Live at Moby Dick's 1983 (issued this year on Art Records), and you can't help noticing how little two decades of indie rock have improved upon this basic approach. As "Kari in Indiana" writes on the band's fan page: "The music, the dancing, the staying up all night, the Longhorn bar and Hartley Frank, the road trips, the fans, the loving, the fighting, the Jack Daniel's, the walking the streets all night, the music, the playing, the music, the playing. It had to end or we would all be dead." Or, we would all have to be dead for it to end.

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