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So, There’s a Rock Band Made up Entirely of Minnesota Sheriffs

Plus a Bad Bad Christmas, a good local music playlist from the Current, and DEMO needs your stuff in this week's music roundup.


If these sheriffs are rockin’, don’t bother knockin’.

It's Friday, and you know what that means: our weekly rundown of local music recordings, shows, news, and oddities. OK, maybe you didn't know that. But now you do.

Cop Rock

When Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson rolled his SUV over near Alexandria this Tuesday, an incident that’s being investigated as a DUI, we all had questions. And the biggest question of all, of course, was “Who are the Brassholes?” 

According to its published agenda, the 2021 Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association 136th Annual Winter Conference (the event Hutch was attending before his foray into officer-involved off-roading) closed out with a performance from the Brassholes. This information inspired a very intense Racket investigation that discovered… a Facebook page. “The Brassholes Rockin Sheriffs are five Minnesota Sheriffs who also play music - quite well!” that page announces proudly. 

The members are Pat “Picker” Eliasen (Cook County), Rick “The Riff” Fiedler (Wilkin County) Scott “Strings” Rose (Dodge County), Troy “Tambourine” Dunn (Rice County), and Scott “Sticks” McNurlin (Goodhue County, retired), and they indeed are or were all sheriffs of the counties listed parenthetically after their names. Here they are struttin’ through Skynyrd’s classic beta anthem “Gimme Three Steps.” Here they are getting the crowd moving with the Marshall Tucker Band. All I can say is, there are certainly worse things sheriffs could be doing. 

And here’s a different kind of musical Sheriff.

Bad Bad Hats Chomp into Christmas with “Sally Sweet Tooth”

Musicians love the holiday season, maybe because it’s the one time of year everyone seems to pay attention to music. Also, you get to write about stuff you don’t during the other 11 months. For instance, could Bad Bad Hats have recorded “Sally Sweet Tooth,” about a girl who prefers cookies to presents, any other time of the year? Uh, sure, I guess, but it would have been really weird. Tonight, the Hats hold their second annual Winter Ball at First Ave, an event that started in 2019 and is now in its second year. (Math sticklers will note a discrepancy here: They had to skip 2020 for obvious reasons, smarty.) Opening for the Hats are Nur-D and VIAL (read this profile, it’s fun I promise) both acts who’d be worthy headliners in themselves.  

Let’s Listen to 89 Local Songs from 2021

Tis the season for end-of-the-year Spotify playlists, as Charles Dickens once famously said. And Diane, who has taken over the Current’s Local Show on Sunday nights, serves up a fine one with this collection of “89 Notable Minnesota Songs of 2021.” (Yes, it’s actually 88 songs, because Low Rats are not on Spotify. Again with the math!) In other Diane news, she’s got an album release show in the Entry in January 2022, the day before my birthday. In other Current news, the station is asking listeners to submit their Top 89 of 2021. If you want some ideas, let me plug my own partial playlist, from the first half of 2021. (I got a little distracted with this new job after that and dropped the ball.) Racket’s Official Position on lists is that they’re a good way to mark the passage of time and to share your tastes and interests with others. 

DEMO Announces Wildly Ambitious Archive Program

The Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO), the local nonprofit music preservation organization lodged in the Lyndale Avenue White Castle, does good work, and sounds like they want to do a lot more of it. DEMO has just announced the Minnesota Music Archive Project, an endeavor as worthy as it is ambitious. The org is looking to gather up “every obtainable commercial or promotional recording by independent Minnesota musicians.” If you’d like to provide recordings, or would just like more information, you can find it here. Best of luck to ya, DEMO!

And now, as always, the music listings:

Friday, Dec. 10

Capital City Cabaret @ Amsterdam

Illennium Night One @ Armory 

The Maeflies @ Aster Cafe

Rock the Halls @ Cabooze

Kurt Elling @ Dakota

Ashley McBryde @ Fillmore

Emo Nite @ Fine Line

Bad Bad Hats with Nur-D and VIAL @ First Ave

Trailer Trash’s Trashy Little Xmas @ Hook and Ladder

J.E. Sunde + Ultra Violet @ Icehouse

Jung Yeller, Serious Machine, and the R.I. @ Palmer’s

Lissie @ Parkway Theater

Boy Dirt Car with Falcon Arrow and Trash Catties @ 7th St Entry

Dabin @ Skyway

Arlo McKinley with Jeremy Pinnell @ Turf Club

Careful Gaze, OKnice, GOODLUCKRY,  Love, Ulysses @ White Squirrel

Saturday, Dec. 11

Baldocaster, d.notive, Tonebox, Makeup, and Vanity Set @ Amsterdam

Illennium Night Two @ Armory

Billy Johnson’s Black Dog High @ Aster Cafe

Hide Under the Covers: It’s a Punk Christmas @ Cabooze

Jose James @ Dakota

Starset 2021 @ Fillmore

Surfaces with Mills and Public Library Commute @ First Ave

Trailer Trash’s Trashy Little Xmas @ Hook and Ladder

Brunch with the Neighborhood Trio @ Icehouse

Chris Bates Trio @ Icehouse

Muun Bato + Seafarer @ Icehouse

Leslie Rich and The Rocket Soul Choir with High On Stress @ Palmer’s

Mark Mallman’s Fifth Annual Peace on Earth Holiday Show @ Parkway Theater

Black Market Brass with Duniya Drum & Dance and Douala Soul Collective @ 7th St Entry

Svdden Death @ Skyway

Church of Cash with the Jensen Sisters @ Turf Club

Buffalo Nichols @ Turf Club (Clown Lounge) 

Hipshaker @ Uptown VFW

Brandon Jordahl, Worm Grunter, Moonfish @ White Squirrel

Sunday, Dec. 12

Jet Black Monte and Mark Ross & the Three-Nineteen @ Amsterdam

Illennium Throwback Set @ Armory

Swing Brunch with Patty and the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

Tim Houlihan, Paul Madsen, & JJ Benson @ Aster Cafe

Jose James @ Dakota

Red Hot Django Peppers @ Icehouse

Ben Cook-Feltz @ Friends @ Icehouse

Nightchurch @ Icehouse

Lifestyle Shakes, Free Truman, Loser Magnet, Fever Gleamin’ @ Mortimers

Kai Brewster’s Millions @ Palmer’s

Gully Boys (December Residency) with Raffaella, Boyish, and Ivers @ 7th St Entry 

Shiner and Spotlights @ Turf Club

Monday, Dec. 13

The Peterson Family @ Dakota

Zacc Harris (Residency) @ Icehouse

Merisi, Birth Order, Radiator Girl and Battery Eyes @ 7th St Entry

Subtle Transients @ White Squirrel

Tuesday, Dec. 14

JD McPherson with Joel Paterson @ Cedar Cultural Center

The Peterson Family @ Dakota

Houndmouth with Ona @ Fine Line

Eli Gardner Band @ Icehouse

Trevor McSpadden and Mary Cutrufello @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, Dec. 15

MN Songwriter Showcase with Nick Hensley @ Aster Cafe

Morgan James @ Dakota

Allen Stone @ Fine Line

Rachel Kurtz @ Icehouse

Poolboy, Stanley, Bathtub Cig @ 7th St Entry

The Glorious Sons @ Varsity

St. Paul Mudsteppers @ White Squirrel

Thursday, Dec. 16

Harbor & Home (EP Christmas Release Show) @ Amsterdam

The Minneapolis Songwriter Rounds @ Aster Cafe

BoDeans @ Dakota

Holiday Evening with Wild Colonial Bhoys @ Hook and Ladder

Annie Mack Band + Lakee @ Icehouse

The Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs @ Palmer’s

The 3nds (Finding Novyon, Jane October, Natural) with Miradores Del Sol and Bakarii @ 7th St Entry

Nita Strauss @ Skyway

​​All Tomorrow's Petty (December Residency) with Lanue and Daryl Crow @ Turf Club

Turn Turn Turn (residency) @ White Squirrel

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