Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: #10-1

Categories: Lists
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10. Babes in Toyland
Origin: Minneapolis | Active: 1987-2001 | Songs: "Bruise Violet" and "Sweet 69
Kat Bjelland is one of the nastiest female vocalists, period. Although the woman who adeptly howled, growled, screeched, and cooed through the band's three studio albums was a transplant from Oregon, Babes in Toyland's sludgy punk was born here in the Twin Cities. In the early- to mid-'90s, Bjelland and co. helped launch the trend of pairing babydoll dresses and Doc Martens, and really there was no more apt attire for the Babes' subversive anthems. This band was so badass that they kicked Courtney Love out of it, and Beavis and Butthead were admittedly huge fans. -Reed Fischer
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9. Hüsker Dü
Origin: St. Paul | Active 1979-1987 | Song: "Makes No Sense At All"
Hüsker Dü perfectly captured the raw energy and restless urgency of the Twin Cities in the '80s, churning out one boozy, blistering anthem for the underused after another. Infighting and drug abuse didn't keep the trio from recording some truly memorable thrash albums, and their shambolic live shows added to their growing local mystique. While their less abrasive later material would help lay the groundwork for the alternative scene that would follow in the '90s,Zen Arcade and New Day Rising were potent and tempestuous. -Erik Thompson
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8. Information Society
Origin: St. Paul | Active: 1982-1997, 2006-present | Songs: "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)," "Peace & Love, Inc.," and "Walking Away
If Depeche Mode had spent more time listening to Kurtis Blow, maybe they'd have beaten Information Society to the punch. Seeded in mastermind Kurt Harland's Macalaster College dorm room, this sample-heavy new wave act proved to be a local blue light special on truth, and fueled countless retro dance parties since the mid-'80s. The sheer fact that a clip of Leonard Nimoy uttering, "Pure energy," lifted from an episode of Star Trek made it into the band's calling card hit shows that this rotating cast of synth-pop provocateurs weren't playing by anyone else's rules. -Reed Fischer
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7. The Time
Origin: Minneapolis | Active: 1981-1985, 1990-1991, 1995-present | "Cool," "Jungle Love," and "Jerk Out"
"You all want to learn a new dance?" Morris Day boastfully asked his audience during the classic track "The Bird." Who knew that generations later we would still wouldn't be too fat to fly? Originally another creative outlet for Prince and his compulsive songwriting, the Time ended up being a touring rival of the purple one, and one of the most entertaining bands this city has seen. Numerous artists have sampled or covered Time songs over the years to much success. Plus you have Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who made the careers of Janet Jackson, the S.O.S Band, and even Kevin Garnett. - Lars Larson

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40 comments
Tery526
Tery526

What about jazz and classical? Many amazing TC musicians who should be on this list

Jim Testa
Jim Testa

Did anyone else mind that the photo of the Replacements did not include the best musician from that band (and one of the most important Minneapolitan guitarists ever)?  RIP Bob.

Angie
Angie

Babes in Toyland, where are they now? Courtney is STILL making music and grabbing headlines. Love her or hate her, that is rock and roll. Sorry, babes.

startseeingsculpture.com
startseeingsculpture.com

even though I've seen and conversed with 3/4 of the top 20, CP is a for profit rag and unfortunately spins the same artist week to week, decade to decade. CP in my mind is a TV guide format informing or what i Should miss, no way defines Mpls/St. Paul

Ron
Ron

Bruce McCabe belongs on there somewhere either the Lamont Cranston Band or Hoopsnakes

Krp218
Krp218

How is Trampled By Turtles nowhere on this list?!

Michael
Michael

Eyedea belongs here.  Additionally, Dylan should have the number one spot.  Dylan's cultural impact blows Prince's out of the water.  He impacted music in a way that Prince couldn't hope to reach.

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

BTW, is the CP staff actually paid?  

I'd gladly put together Top 10 or 20 lists for you as I'm well read; I actually listen to music, including local artists; and I've done plenty of traveling outside of MN.  I'd actually do it for FREE.

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Who came up with this list?  Honestly, this list is suppose to be MN's top musicians.  That said, Eyedea, Next, and Jonny Lang are definitely in the top 20.  One could argue that Mint Condition, Cloud Cult, Charlie Parr, and Mason Jennings also belong on the list.  Oh well, at least I got in a good laugh today.  Thanks CP staff.  

PutSomeRanchOnIt
PutSomeRanchOnIt

Since lists are fun, how about another one for great Twin Cities bands that never got much, or any, national recognition (cough cough Rank Strangers, Jamie Ness and Your Loving Tiger cough). This list has great artists, but it's more of a "Minnesota's Greatest Hits" album than a "Best of Minnesota" album.

Apickinandagrinnin
Apickinandagrinnin

Living in many places in this great country (including being born in the great state and city of Minneapolis, MN), I have yet to see a region with such an inferiority complex. Honestly, who GAS if Prince was born here! And Boob Dylan? Gimme a break!

"No other musician born in Minnesota has had Bob Dylan's enduring cultural impact"?Ya think? No other musician born in this HEMISPHERE has the same impact. Hell...if you remove a little town called Liverpool, I'd argue, the world and I'm not even much of a fan.

Yagervideo
Yagervideo

"Atmosphere is the Prince of his decade. "  You realize Atmosphere is a group right? Not a guy. You hiring anyone else who doen't do their homework and doesn't know how to write? I need some PT work.

david
david

No Brother Ali?!? He is 10x what Atmosphere is.

Mike
Mike

wut, no bruvva ali?? lol

lasagnacat
lasagnacat

I disagree with this list! It does not exactly reflect my personal preferences!

Erik Hess
Erik Hess

Minneapolis/St. Paul: #1 City for List Placement Disagreements

(Nice shout out to the Andrews Sisters, way to put it into perspective actually)

Zinovy
Zinovy

Eddie CochranThe TrashmenThe Monks

Mac Wilson
Mac Wilson

The rankings are subjective, so I won't nitpick in that regard. But no Semisonic? With "Closing Time" they had a bigger hit than anyone else on the list except for Dylan & Prince (and maybe "Runaway Train") and the entire Semisonic/Trip cadre warrants at least some recognition. Honestly thought Cloud Cult would make the list somewhere, too.

Anyway, cool project. It'll inspire lots of debate, which was the intended purpose. Sincere kudos.

Laura Hoenack
Laura Hoenack

It is awesome that you included the Andrews Sisters.  Nice job!

Melissa Summers
Melissa Summers

You know what I love about these lists?  The fact that we have so many choices that people can complain about what's missing and be right.

41yearold
41yearold

I can see being paid to actually write, but to make a list?  I can't see any reason someone should be paid for that.

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

I'm assuming you wanted to state Brother Ali is 10X than Slug, which isn't the case.  

Koiki001
Koiki001

In my opinion, eyedea (aka michael larsen) should've been on there somewhere.

Mike
Mike

oh, he was on yesterdays list. lol (again)

Holly
Holly

Trashmen are from Iowa.

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

It was painful leaving them off. Same goes for Arcwelder, the Trashmen, Lipps Inc., and Tay "Chocolate Rain" Zonday. 

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

They're definitely my favorite inclusion. Amazing harmonies; they steal the show on a few tracks of Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas" album, including the best-ever rendition of Jingle Bells.

Thanks for keeping it interesting CP!

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

Yeah. Ever truly "settling" a topic that's based purely on taste is a losing battle.

Mike
Mike

the trashmen > any hiphop

Zinovy
Zinovy

In the words of Lester Bangs, writing in Rolling Stone in 1972, "Eddie (Cochran) may have imitated Elvis vocally even more than a dozen or so other stalwarts of the day such as Conway Twitty, but his influence on pop consciousness of the magnitude of The Beatles and The Who was deep and profound".   I heard the Information Society inluenced Bob Dylan.   Strange that local tastemakers woud have left off such a profound artist.  Says a lot about our local tastemakers, donnit?  ;)

Zinovy
Zinovy

Reed.  You ranked information society #8 and said they beat Depeche Mode to the punch.  That is all I have to say.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

Damn the local tastemakers! Groupthinkers!

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