Category: Friday 5ive

Friday 5ive: The Ice in Me

No Foreigner. No Vanilla ice. Just five songs with references, however vague, to ice. Did you commute in and around Minnesota Thursday? Did it suck? These songs, in my book, do not. Enjoy!


Rock*A*Teens – Black Ice

Hüsker Dü – Ice Cold Ice (I know, I know, this video is Bob Mould and Dave Grohl, not Hüsker Dü, but it’s good and not of the “old beat up VHS cassette” quality of most of the live Hüsker Dü footage.)

Joy Division – Ice Age

The Dismemberment Plan – The Ice of Boston

Metallica – Trapped Under Ice

Friday 5ive: 5ive Who Passed in 2014

I’ve always enjoyed the “year in review” shows that find their way onto the tubs starting January 1st. Of particular interest has always been the list of people who have died over the course of the year. It’s not so much a morbid fascination with death and mortality, rather it’s a bit of a reminder that life goes fast and sometime people who die tend to slip off the radar rather quickly. A ton of musicians left the world in 2014. Here are but a few that I won’t forget.

Pete Seeger, January 27th. This is Your Land.

Bob Casale, Devo. February 17th. Freedom of Choice.

Tommy Ramone, Ramones. July 12th.
Blitzkreig Bop.

Big Bank Hank, Sugar Hill Gang. November 11th. Rapper’s Delight.

Ryan Grahn. Egypt. December 16th.
Dirty Witch.

Ryan is the least famous person on this list… by far. I grew up listening to punk rock in a west-central Minnesota town of 13,000. I spent more weekends than I can count traveling to the Fargo/Moorhead area to see bands in the early- to mid-90s. Ryan Grahn played in a number of those local acts ranging from noise bands, to straight-up punk rock and everything in between. He was a class act – a good spirit, musician and all around nice guy. He’ll be missed. Egypt was one of his last bands. They’re still active. If you like the stoner/doom rock, check them out.

Friday 5ive: The Thin White Flu, Instead

I had grand plans of seeing the David Bowie Is exhibit in Chicago this week before it closes January 4th, but life got in the way and I was stuck home with the flu. Here’s some Bowie covers to make up for my loss:


Golden Smog – Starman

They put it on an album, but luckily somebody recorded this portion of a live version at the Cedar.


Dandy Warhols – The Jean Genie

Something they’ve done live, but it’s more fun to listen to them stumble through this album version.


Nine Inch Nails – I’m Afraid of Americans

A perfect combination for me: “Earthling” Bowie is one of my favorite phases of his, and I listened to NIN every time I mowed the lawn at age 14.


M-Ward – Let’s Dance

Doesn’t have to be bigger to be better (or equal, in this case)


Beck – Sound and Vision

And now for something completely different.

Friday 5ive: Winter’s Coming

The cold is settling in. Winterblot is at the Triple Rock on Saturday and Surly’s new facility opens today, so it would feel out of place today to feature anything but heavy metal from northern climates. Conveniently, Scandinavia is full of metal bands past and present, as illustrated by this map that made the internet rounds a couple years ago. With so many bands spread across many nuanced styles of metal, choosing just five was a tall task. I realize I’m only scratching the surface. Here are some of my faves:

Candlemass (Sweden) – Bewitched
My favorite unintentionally hilarious video. Ridiculous by today’s standards, but about what you’d expect from a limited budget in 1987.

Highlight: guitar “solo” while wearing a cast


Bathory (Sweden) – Home of Once Brave
From the album “Hammerheart” which, if you weren’t already aware, is the namesake of Lino Lakes’ own HammerHeart Brewing. Pretty much epitomizes epic, poetic viking metal.


At The Gates (Sweden) – Slaughter of the Soul
Man, this sound was 90’s metal. Listening to stuff like this I’m instantly whisked away to age twelve in my friend’s basement, playing Sega Genesis and acting like I knew what all three buttons did.


Amon Amarth (Sweden) – Twilight of the God of Thunder
Crisp, calculated shredding with a savvy frontman who seamlessly jumps between self-aware banter and a menacing death growl; it’s easy to understand why these guys are so popular.


Finintroll (Finland) – Under Bergets Rot
Self-described “trollish hoedown metal”? Sold.

Friday 5ive: Karaoke Gone Bad

I associate karaoke with this time of year. It’s the holidays – you’re gathering with family and friends but it’s dark, cold and you can only spend so much time with them before you need a break. This is where karaoke at your hometown bar seems like an tinsel-wrapped oasis in the holiday wasteland. So let down your guard and sing like no one’s listening. Beware, though, I’ve made poor choices in the past and here here are five of them.  Avoid these potential pitfalls to when picking your song.


The Too Quiet Song: Waylon Jennings – Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?

Simple, stately and so minimal that as soon as the DJ hits play, a black hole appears and voids the room of all sound and spirit. Congratulations, you’ve killed the vibe.
This may be the greatest backdrop in the history of backdrops


Too Fast to Keep Up: Busta Rhymes – Gimmie Some More
There’s a reason you and I aren’t doing what Busta does.


Should’ve Checked the Lyrics First: Led Zeppelin – Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?
I got a woman, wanna ball all day

I got a woman, she won’t be true, no no

I got a woman, stay drunk all the time

I said I got a little woman and she won’t be true
A song about falling for a prostitute and I sang it with my wife. Insult to injury, in the last few measures (album version) Robert Plant drops the phrase “keep ballin” no less than fifteen times.

Packers! (0:54)


There is a Mic, You Don’t Need to Yell: Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills
I can’t fly a plane or hold a tune…much less scream one. So here I sit in some stage of grief, admitting to myself that I’m not Bruce Dickinson.


Impossible Vocals: Queen – Somebody To Love

Unpredictable pacing, a range covering octaves and a significant need for backup singers; songs like this are best left to the icons who made them famous.
How good was Freddie Mercury? This good – playing a piano scattered with Heinekens AND singing flawlessly.