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Minneapolis hardcore

minneapolis hardcore band
Minneapolis hardcore is a form of hardcore punk that has evolved since the mid-1970s Minneapolis-St Paul featured a lively music scene in the 1960s and 1970s that included an established tradition of local indie labels and live music venues The Litter were one of the protopunk bands to emerge from the scene in 1966 Their heavily distorted guitar amplifiers played a high volumes became the signature sound for many punk bands that emerged much later A punk rock scene started to coalesce in the mid-late 1970s around Jay's Longhorn Bar and Oar Folkjokeopus record store The first recognized punk rock band from Minnesota was the Suicide Commandos, who formed in 1975 Their first 7" EP was released in 1976 They released another 7" EP in 1977 before recording their LP later that year on Blank Records, a sub-label of Mercury Records


  • 1 History
    • 11 1980s
    • 12 Decline
    • 13 Revival
  • 2 See also
  • 3 Venues
  • 4 DIY
  • 5 Record labels
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links



Along with Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Chicago, Minneapolis was a preeminent scene for punk rock in the early/mid-1980s Early venues included Jay's The Longhorn Bar, which hosted the Suicide Commandos and touring acts, including The Plasmatics, and the Police on their first US tour

Goofy's/The Upper Deck, which was located above a strip club just off of Hennepin Avenue, was a major spot for early hardcore and presented popular all-ages shows, as well as Duffys, which hosted early shows by Flipper, Black Flag, The Nig Heist, Circle Jerks, Willful Neglect, Discharge, Nina Hagen, The Meat Puppets, Minutemen and many other bands and radical artists who rose to a level of international fame in the following decades

WADE-ESSC-CALHOUN-WILLFUL-N/ Wade Calhoun, lead vocalist of the now defunct hardcore outfit Willful Neglect Photo circa 2003

First Avenue and 7th Street Entry also hosted all-ages shows for the young scene which quickly established itself on the map with local bands including Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Final Conflict, Loud Fast Rules later Soul Asylum, Otto's Chemical Lounge, Outcry, Skullfuck, Ground Zero, Idol Threat, Exmo 6-Desmo, The No-Dicks, Rifle Sport, The Warheads, Man Sized Action, and Red Meat, Timbuktu, and rare &th St Entry appearances by punk "all-star" bands such as The Velvet Fruit Tree, The Used Toilet Papers Bob Mould, Grant Hart, Don "The Baptist" Holzschuh, of the Warheads, and Tom "Tippy" Roth ,Guitarist of Man-Sized Action, and The Noble Mice, among others

The legendary punk zine Your Flesh by Ron Clark and Peter Davis was based in Minneapolis, as was Urban Decay Zinester Saint Vitus holds heavy sway from the era and area

Independent record stores supporting the local punk scene include the original Northern Lights records on Hennepin Ave, Treehouse Records formerly Oarfolkjokeopus in south Minneapolis and Cheapo Records in St Paul

The early to mid-1980s Minneapolis hardcore movement included both UK sound-inspired leather punks and a large skate punk contingent, with Uptown Minneapolis as the heart Both scenes hosted many garage shows for local and touring bands The skate punks congregated at The Alternative Bike Shop The Alt in Uptown The UK influenced punks earned the nickname McPunks for hanging around the Uptown McDonald's bus stop The Minneapolis bus system, immortalized by the Replacements pop-punk song "Kiss Me on the Bus", was the artery connecting punks from Minneapolis Southwest High School and St Paul with a ride to 7th Street Entry and Northern Lights Music

Some of the bands from the early to late 1980s era were Final Conflict, not the California band of the same name, Skullfuck, Willful Neglect, Misery, Iron Fist and Outcry Final Conflict released one 7" EP "In the Family" on local Reflex Records Reflex was run by Terry Katzman, then manager of Oar Folkjokeopus and also released records by Hüsker Dü, Articles of Faith and two compilation tapes "Kitten" and "Barefoot and Pregnant" Skullfuck recorded a demo,

but no copies survived Willful Neglect from St Paul released two 12" EPs on Neglected Records that were re-issued on CD; Wade Calhoon & James Wallin of Willful Neglect recorded their Made in the Shade album released in November of 2014 Red Meat was another hardcore band that released only a demo tape Island of the Dogg later, some of the tracks by Red Meat re-surfaced on the Lung Cookies compilation LP Outcry released 1 lp and 1 7"EP and were influential among the straight edge and skate punk crowds

In 1987 Blocked Out was formed out of Minnetonka, MN With singer Greg Anderson, guitarists Chris Pierre and Keith Pichelman, bassist Steve Erickson and drummer Jim Alden They were very influential in the suburban punk scene Only released an EP on tape before breaking up in 1991

On Oct 2nd 1987 Punk icon and legend GG Allin played a show backed by Mpls band The Fuckin' Shit Biscuits in the 7th St Entry This was the only show that GG Allin ever played in Mpls


In September of 1983, the strip bar/hardcore punk venue Goofy's Upper Deck was permanently shut down by the city after "a certifiable riot" causing upwards of $4,500 in damages Midway through Minneapolis band Final Conflict's set, the electricity was shut off by the bars owners and chaos ensued Mike Etoll maestro of the offbeat absurdist comedy punk combo Exmo 6-Desmo pulled a toilet from the women's restroom floor then threw it through a plate glass window sending it crashing to the sidewalk two floors below A large homemade smoke bomb was ignited, filling the bar with thick yellow smoke The liquor was stolen from the bar by, as some witnessed, the owners of the club This theft was eventually blamed on the crowd in attendance, many of whom were underage Soon a passel of MPD officers appeared on the scene with pepper spray, and began indiscriminately beating people with their batons one arrest, and one excessive-force complaint later, Goofy's Upper Deck was no more The loss of Goofy's Upper Deck was the first blow to the visible Mpls punk scene After a violent Black Flag show in 1985, stage diving was banned at First Avenue Three years later the decline of the bar-venue Mpls punk scene progressed rapidly With the breakup of Hüsker Dü, the once public Mpls hardcore/punk scene moved underground The slam dancing, stage diving, skate punk crew that drove the small mid-80s Positive hardcore scene evolved into rap and metal, and Queercore electronica Mpls UK punks began booking independent house shows in place of performing in commercial venues During this period of change more conservative bands emerged creating a more sanitized, commercial and professional environment with the intention of making major label record deals this schism caused greater demarcation between the commercial and non-commercial bands within the ever-evolving punk/hardcore scene Incidentally, the Mpls Goth-Metal and Darksider scene never died, feeding off of the strong Christian/Pagan Scandinavian roots of the Midwest, joining forces in content and spirit with the 90's Early Norwegian Black Metal scene

As the punk scene moved deeper underground, a homegrown Midwest rock ethic coalesced into what would become known as alt-country Minneapolis became a leading alt-country scene led by the Jayhawks, with supporting musicians out of the old post-punk scene playing for Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, etc In fact, Wilco played their first shows at 7th Street entry

The late 80s saw the more commercially viable bands and musicians, such as Paul Westerburg of The Replacements, and Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü follow the hardcore trend away from punk, towards a more expansive and mainstream hard rock/pop sound Around this time bands like the Cows, Halo of Flies, and Babes in Toyland developed a sound that re-established Minneapolis punk originality, blending a dark attitude with droning noise and distorted rock Local label Amphetamine Reptile arose to publish the new style


In the early 1990s the 7th St Entry hosted regular hardcore matinees featuring new bands with divergent styles

The band Misery provided a nucleus for what became an internationally envied crust punk scene in Minneapolis Taking their influence from UK bands such as Discharge and Amebix, Misery blended dark and heavy hardcore with an influential anti-authority political stand, encouraging the political punk and DIY scene in the area, which started to flourish [1]

The Scrods from Roseville, friends of Misery, toured the Midwest area and released a 7" single called "Voyage into Hell", a humorous, but scathing, socio-commentary on the poor quality of communications between local metal and hardcore scenes

Blind Approach from St Paul championed the new style of Straight Edge hardcore popularized by New York bands like Warzone They released two 7"s and toured the USA Guitarist Matt Henderson went on to join Agnostic Front

The Libido Boyz from Mankato, MN played melodic and poppy hardcore punk and released several 7"s and LP and did some extensive touring

Cock ESP was and is one of the more outlandish and original bands that is rooted in the hardcore & gutter punk school of music Although this extreme metal noise and art enigma does not use the conventional structure of the western musical construct, it embodies the spirit of All-Star Wrestling, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and the chaotic heart, sonic assault, and serious live on stage injuries in the zest and zeal of some of the oldest and most notorious, violent, and stupid punk outfits

Hardcore fractured into several subgenres with sometimes competing political, ideological and artistic viewpoints Profane Existence Collective formed in 1989 and released records, produced a fanzine and booked shows THD started as a radio show, but also was a house doing some basement shows and had a record label The Sonic Warp Collective took up booking all-ages shows for a while after First Avenue stepped back from doing all-ages punk shows

In 1994 a group of local punks and hardcore kids including Dan and Mandy of Profane Existence, Felix of Havoc Record and Jason of THD, among others got together to open Extreme Noise Records, a long-running DIY co-op punk record store The new store provided a center for the scene A new DIY venue opened as the Studio of the Stars and hosted many shows during the summer of 1995

Some former Minneapolis hardcore musicians made careers with other bands, such as Todd Trainer of Rifle Sport, now in Shellac Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü had a long solo career Dustin from the Libido Boyz was in Snapcase for many years

In 1999 Twin Cities Skins and Punks TCSP formally formed and began helping promote local TC bands in the DIY scene and set up all-ages shows Their goal, as posted on their site, is to make DIY hardcore accessible to as many fans as possible while maintaining the punk ethic of being against "The Man" – "This was and continues to be the all ages DIY punk rock scene, defined as a participatory subculture controlled by those who comprise it: the punks We believe that packaged tours with no ties to the local punk community utilizing outsider booking agencies without sharing the stage with local acts , thereby fostering local growth, reduce their music to a mere product and represent the very antithesis of punk TCSP banned together to combat these forces, keep influence over the scene in the hands of people with a vested interest in the music and movement and provide a positive and inclusive alternative to the impersonal herding of the club scene"[2]

See also

  • List of Minneapolis hardcore bands


  • The Triple Rock Social Club, a popular hardcore venue in Minneapolis It was owned by some of the members of Dillinger Four It closed in 2017
  • NOFX's 2006 single "Seeing Double at the Triple Rock", from the Wolves in Wolves' Clothing album, is a tribute to the Triple Rock club where they also filmed the video for the song
  • The Beat Coffeehouse
  • Memory Lanes Punk Rock Bowling
  • The Hexagon Bar
  • Station4


The Minneapolis hardcore and punk scene has a strong DIY ethic Accomplishments have included community-sponsored venues to basement shows to an all-volunteer independent record store Extreme Noise Records[3]

Record labels

  • Havoc Records
  • Profane Existence
  • Organize and Arise

Neglected Records


  1. ^ stinkbot March 5, 2012 "MISERY interview" Profane Existence Retrieved November 20, 2019mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ Thecspcom Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Extremenoisecom

External links

  • Twin Cities Hardcore
  • Twin cities hardcore journal zine/tv show/websource
  • Urban Decay #2- 1985 punk zine PDF[dead link]
  • Urban Decay #3- 1985 punk zine PDF[dead link]
  • Twin Cities Punk Message Board
  • TCSP
  • The Minnewiki, a wiki of Minnesota music, featuring articles on dozens of Minneapolis hardcore and punk bands
  • Post-funk rock rebels thrive in Minneapolis New York Times October 27, 1985
  • New Moon Rising: The Return of Eclipse Records Pulse of the Twin Cities March 22, 2007
  • Organize and Arise! Minneapolis based punk and hardcore DIY forum
  • Goofy's Upper Deck Facebook group Facebook group dedicated to the history of Goofy's Upper Deck
  • KITTEN 1999 NOTES Terry Katzman's notes on the 1999 Kitten Compilation reissue CD

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