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Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Suicide Commandos

Posted in Music,Putting One Foot in Front of the Other by bourdaghs on the November 23rd, 2010

I’ve just stumbled across this very nice video clip introducing the Suicide Commandos, the godfathers of the Twin Cities musical scene that produced the Replacements, Husker Du (add an umlaut or two there), Soul Asylum, Trip Shakespeare, Golden Smog, the Jayhawks, and eight dozen other great bands you’ve never heard of. The clip combines archival footage with interviews and concert footage from the reunion gig they did earlier this year as part of a tribute to the late Bruce Allen, guitarist for the Suburbs (another fabulous band from the scene).

In 1977-8 (which is to say, my junior year in high school), the Commandos defined cool in Minnesota. I only got to see them play a couple of times in their heyday, because I was too young to get into the Longhorn and the other clubs around town, but I wore out my copies of their records. They really laid down the cultural pattern that other Twin Cities bands would follow: they insisted on fun, on an ethical rejection of pretension (no mohawks or safety pins allowed!), and on an appreciation of the revolutionary potential of pop. They even covered the Monkees’ “She,” except the line “why am I missing her/I should be kissing her” morphed into a commentary on the Nixon/Ford national security bureaucracy: “why am I Schlesinger/I should be Kissinger.”

“Complicated Fun,” the last song the band released (and later a Target TV commercial jingle), is one of the great unknown rock anthems of our time.

Find more artists like The Suicide Commandos at Myspace Music

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