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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