Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekly musical interlude

DULUTH, Minn. -- I've been hanging out in my hometown this week which is why I've been neglecting my blog. I'm working on something I planned to post while I'm here, but it doesn't look like I'll have it done in time. This will have to do for now.

When I lived in Duluth I never fully appreciated how good the music scene was in this state. Of course we all knew about Dylan and Prince and then Soul Asylum broke out nationally for a bit. The Jayhawks was an influential band in the early days of the alt-country movement.

But only recently have I rediscovered some of the music I overlooked in my youth. Bands like the Replacements and the Suburbs have found their way into my CD or mp3 players more and more often these days.

This week's musical interlude doesn't involve any of those bands, though. I was all set to find a clip of the Replacements, preferably "Here Comes a Regular" or "Unsatisfied," but didn't want to spend too much time digging up a good, non-cover version. The Suburbs' "I Like Cows" would have been good, too, because it provides the perfect soundtrack for the drive through Wisconsin I took to get here.

Alas, I've settled on something from The Hold Steady, a band based in Brooklyn but with roots in Minneapolis. Lead singer Craig Finn's voice is an acquired taste, so be warned. But the song -- "Constructive Summer" -- feels right for the occasion.

It should come as no surprise that I'm drawn to the lyrics as much as the music. Of particular interest to me in "Constructive" is the line, "Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger."

Enjoy. See you back in Chicago!

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