Ten local songs the Minnesota Twins should play at Target Field

Minnesota Twins phase out local music programming, amp up Top 40 hits

In 2010, the Minnesota Twins won 94 games and were Central Division champions, but last year they slid to 63-99. Chalk this collapse up to injuries, disastrous pitching, or Delmon Young, but don't discount the role that a musical shift may have had in the drastic misfortune that was 2011.

The team's music director Kevin Dutcher, who pumped up the team for six Central titles since 2000, was ousted in favor of 96.3 NOW alum Dan Edwards. Ever since, a mix of local music has been replaced by pop hits, and people like the Hold Steady's Craig Finn aren't happy about it.

Before this season gets too out of hand, here's a plea: Get some local jams booming out of Target Field pronto. And we're not talking admittedly apt tracks like Soul Asylum's "Misery" or the Replacements' "Take Me Down to the Hospital." Here are 10 energetic songs by locals to keep Josh Willingham's bat popping and to ensure Jeff Gray isn't the winningest pitcher on the staff.

10. Trampled by Turtles - "Alone"

RT Rybak crowd-surfing at Trampled by Turtles show (VIDEO)
Trampled by Turtles at First Avenue, 4/11/12

Judging by the number of folks wearing Twins caps and other regalia at the sold-out Trampled by Turtles release show at First Avenue last week, it's sure bet that there are a lot of people in the crowd who know this material already. Mayor RT Rybak likes TBT enough to crowd-surf to them. "Alone" is deceivingly delicate song, but once you get a few thousand people echoing that "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh," you've got a rally cry in the making.

9. Enola Gay & Apeshit - "Miami Ice (I Did it All 4 U)"

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You want to get people on their feet? Enola Gay's thumping bass and the simple instructions to "keep it moving" are going to help us stay warm out there until the gametime temperatures get out of the 40s on the reg. 

8. Mike Dreams - "The Lights, the Life" (Dubstep Remix)

What we can say for the dubstep phenomenon is that it's not that different from the Jock Jams phenomenon. Music with dramatic builds and drops meshes well with a professional sporting event, and if you want the youthful contingent coming out, you gotta remember that 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" is already 21 years old! This means the song is only slightly younger than Mike Dreams, the overwhelmingly positive rapper who leads the way on this track.

7. Plain Ole Bill Feat. Tomorrow Genius and Brother Ali - "Let Em Through"

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Joe Mauer needs a new, hard beat to get in a few practice swings before heading into the box, and this Plain Ole Bill cut is a sure-fire amplifier. Hearing Brother Ali booming "Let 'em through" on the hook can be heard as a push to the rest of the team to let their talents come through too.  

6. Is/Is - "Fire"

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Not everyone is going to feel like bobbing their heads to hip-hop, so look to the dynamic rockers Is/Is to provide a sludgy alternative to raise spirits. Pull out that sweet riff at the :54 mark and put it anywhere during a game!

Is/Is - Fire from Is/Is on Vimeo.

5. Mally & the Sundance Kid - "Shine"

This new one off the forthcoming The Last Great... is totally a Denard Span jam. We know he's got Ace Hood's "Hustle Hard" on his iPod already, but this MaLLy moment is straight-up inspiration. Both of these guys know what it feels like to be on the verge of a breakout, and here's the song to do it.

4. Howler - "Back of Your Neck"

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Love them or really love them, Howler has one of the most infectious local rock records in recent memory. While the backs of our necks are getting scorched in mid-July, this summery surf rock has the ingredients for getting the wave going and sending some beach balls sailing around Target Field. 

Howler: "Back of Your Neck" from Spunk Design Machine on Vimeo.

 3. Retribution Gospel Choir - "The Stone (Revolution)"

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People instinctively love to clap at baseball games. John Fogerty has got a lot of miles out of that with "Centerfield" AKA the "put me in coach" song. Here, we've got Alan Sparhawk and co. taking a revolutionary stance, and inspiring some sophisticated clapping patterns at the outset.

2. Bloodnstuff - "Give Me a Call"

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Until the starting pitching really hits its stride, this barnstorming hit can be the theme for the Twins calling to the bullpen. Either that or give it to the AC/DC-loving Justin Morneau as he gets back into the habit of swinging lumber for the fences. (Special thanks to Jon Schober.)  

1. Night Moves - "Headlights"

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Night Moves is gearing up for a lot more eventful evenings beyond the ones they've already accumulated, and why not share them with the Twins? This twangy, harmonica-fueled slice of retro soul has everything you want from that moment when the sun dives behind the horizon and the bright lights illuminate the stadium and our proud franchise. Bob Seger is smiling somewhere.

Minnesota Twins phase out local music programming, amp up Top 40 hits

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