The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Soul Asylum's long-awaited release of a new album, "Delayed Reaction" in July of this year, ended a 6-year album-drought for fans, and perhaps garnered new fans.

    Soul Asylum?  My usual question is: yes, no, or meh-be?  Were they ever, or are they currently, on your radar?

    I've continued to associate Soul Asylum as a 1990s band, but the fact is, they were formed in the early 1980s; they did not have commercial success for close to 10-years, hence, the connection to the later decade.   Their "Grave Dancers Union" was a mega-commercial success, with their hit single, 'Runaway Train', now a classic.    They actually played at Bill Clinton's first inauguration.   

    Most of their fame in their early years came from touring, rather than studio recordings.  In fact, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, they were well-known and popular for their dynamic stage presence.   They continued to be underdogs commercially, but that didn't stop them. They toured with Husker Du (another Minneapolis gem.  Hey, they toured with Cheap Trick at one point, too.  Now that's saying something, don't you think?  :)

    They've done some gracious, but not overly sticky, public service / socially conscious endeavors with their music.  Most notably, their "Runaway Train" music video featured pictures of missing children, with a help-line number provided to report information.   They did a benefit concert for their cancer-stricken band mate, Karl Meuller (RIP).   

    They're known for some kitschy music, too.   Song-writer Dave Pirner has a knack for that.  The band has an interesting mix of sound that's impossible to pin down, and were thought to be 'grunge' before grunge, alternative, punk, 1970s style rock/country, all with being a bit self-effacing and fun to behold.  "Runaway Train", "Black Gold", "Misery" -- just to name a few of their hits.  

    BTW, current line-up includes ex-Replacements and current G N' R Bassist, Tommy Stinson, former Prince drummer, Michael Bland, and original band mates David Pirner, and Dave Murphy.

    Do you own any of their albums?  Thoughts, anyone?   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from xXR3S1NXx. Show xXR3S1NXx's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Ive heard of them before and thier song runaway train, but i never really thought of them as a premier band. Always kinda seen them as a one hit wonder that just faded back into obscurity.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Believe it or not I own 5 of their albums.  Grave Dancers Union was the one that got me into them, and I still think it's an excellent album.  I then bought the couple of albums after that one and the couple before.  One of their earlier albums, Hang Time, is probably my second favorite by them.

    I would say the quality of their output has been uneven, but at their best they did really good stuff, that rocks and has some brains and heart in the lyrics. 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Perhaps I should know more about them, but I don't.

    Of course, I am very familiar with 'Runaway Train' , while a decent song, I never really fell in love with it enough to investigate who was playing it.

    I'm somewhat like everybody else in that if the song that gets airplay doesn't grab me , I kind of forget about it.

    On the other hand , there are some groups with very little popular music that I did fall in love with, for example : Oingo Boingo. I first heard 'Dead Man's Party' when I saw the Rodney Dangerfield movie 'Back To School.' I heard that one song and couldn't get it out of my head for days. This was right around the time I bought my first CD player. the CD 'Dead Man's Party' was the first CD I purchased along with 'The Clash' debut.

    But I am straying from the subject, sorry.

    While I would say Minnesota bands Husker Du and The Replacements are among my favorites, another Minnesota band from way back is easily more favorite than any of those....The Trashmen.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to xXR3S1NXx's comment:

     Ive heard of them before and thier song runaway train, but i never really thought of them as a premier band. Always kinda seen them as a one hit wonder that just faded back into obscurity. 

    They're not a premiere band -- do they need to be in order to be good or worth a listen?   

    From what I've read, they like their under-dog status and it seems to suit them nicely.  

    They're far from one-hit wonders, but as I said in my post, while they have made it on the national stage, they were, and will always be, prominent in their home region.   



     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     Believe it or not I own 5 of their albums.  Grave Dancers Union was the one that got me into them, and I still think it's an excellent album.  I then bought the couple of albums after that one and the couple before.  One of their earlier albums, Hang Time, is probably my second favorite by them. I would say the quality of their output has been uneven, but at their best they did really good stuff, that rocks and has some brains and heart in the lyrics. 

    Well, you certainly have earned the right to an opinion with 5 of their albums.   Nice.  You seem to be spot on re: the uneven quality of their albums, including the fact that their last album from 2006 wasn't much of a hit.   

    Does it make sense to you that the first few times I heard "Runaway Train" I thought it was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?   

    Here's the review of their 2012 album,  FYI.  Scroll down and you'll see a sampler for the entire album, short takes on all the tracks.   It's nice, if you want to save it and listen when you have a chance.   

    http://www.allmusic.com/album/delayed-reaction-mw0002369741

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from leafswin27. Show leafswin27's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Is Tommy Stinson that desperate? Just kidding... although I was never a fan.. For my liking they were kind of the Nickelback or Maroon 5 of their day

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Mrs. Matty is a bigger fan than I am and introduced me to some of their lesser known stuff.  For me, they were always pretty good but not one of my favorites.

    Agreed their pre-"GDU" is somewhat better (fwiw...I don't like "Runaway Train".)  "And The Horse They Rode In On..." is a pretty good listen...and to me, their most consistent studio effort...but again, not stellar.  (Someone once told me they kind of suffered in the shadows of The Mats and Husker Du, but I can't vouch for that.)

    That said, they are rooted in a sort of upper-midwestern post-punk aesthetic that can be quite appealing.  They clearly had some peer influence on the Jayhawks/Wilco/SonVolt family of alternative roots rock.  Soul Asylum has been around for a long time...quite a while passed before they got much notice outside of MN.  I can respect their hard-working ways if not always the fruits of their labor.

    On the plus side, their "After The Flood" live disc might be my favorite overall SA release.  It's such a small crowd and venue, they evidently enjoyed themselves, and it shows through the music.  Their cover of "Sexual Healing" should not be missed.

    Other tracks I like: We 3, Can't Even Tell, Brand New Shine, Beggars & Choosers, Never Too Soon, Shut Down

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    Funny thing about the Runaway Train song, I didn't like it that much when I was hearing it on the radio, but when I owned the album I began liking it more and more.  I now think it's a beautiful song with some really exceptional lyrics.  The words capture the feelings of being lost and lonely quite eloquently.

    My other favorite tracks on that album are Black Gold and Without a Trace-another anthem of loneliness. 

    I think this band came along at a time when I really needed a new rock band and they fit the bill for me.  Some meaning in the lyrics, good rock hooks and melodies, a kind of rebellious spirit.  

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Funny thing about the Runaway Train song, I didn't like it that much when I was hearing it on the radio, but when I owned the album I began liking it more and more.  I now think it's a beautiful song with some really exceptional lyrics.  The words capture the feelings of being lost and lonely quite eloquently.

    My other favorite tracks on that album are Black Gold and Without a Trace-another anthem of loneliness. 

    I think this band came along at a time when I really needed a new rock band and they fit the bill for me.  Some meaning in the lyrics, good rock hooks and melodies, a kind of rebellious spirit.  

    [/QUOTE]


    You've inspired a new subject on songs that don't strike you initially....and those that do.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to leafswin27's comment:

     Is Tommy Stinson that desperate? Just kidding... although I was never a fan.. For my liking they were kind of the Nickelback or Maroon 5 of their day 

     

    They're not a favorite of mine by any means, but I don't get your comment.   Nickelback?

     A wildly commercially successful, horribly dervivative, formulaic completely unoriginal band that is reviled and loathed more than Creed (yes, they seem to have managed it).   They're a punchline, if they're lucky.   If any band is a cliche, it's Nickelback.  

    Maroon 5, I know nothing about, other than a few hits on the radio, none of which I can stand; pop pap, IMO.  

    I don't mean to give you a hard time, but Nickelback is seriously messed up.  :P  :)

    If you don't like Soul Asylum, that's your opinion and valid in and of itself, as we always say.  You don't even need to explain it, and I am not in any way offended either way.  But if you really think they are analogous to the bands you mentioned, you must think they're a horrible band, and should at least expand on what you mean, because that's pretty harsh condemnation.  

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

     Mrs. Matty is a bigger fan than I am and introduced me to some of their lesser known stuff.  For me, they were always pretty good but not one of my favorites. Agreed their pre-"GDU" is somewhat better (fwiw...I don't like "Runaway Train".)  "And The Horse They Rode In On..." is a pretty good listen...and to me, their most consistent studio effort...but again, not stellar.  (Someone once told me they kind of suffered in the shadows of The Mats and Husker Du, but I can't vouch for that.) That said, they are rooted in a sort of upper-midwestern post-punk aesthetic that can be quite appealing.  They clearly had some peer influence on the Jayhawks/Wilco/SonVolt family of alternative roots rock.  Soul Asylum has been around for a long time...quite a while passed before they got much notice outside of MN.  I can respect their hard-working ways if not always the fruits of their labor. On the plus side, their "After The Flood" live disc might be my favorite overall SA release.  It's such a small crowd and venue, they evidently enjoyed themselves, and it shows through the music.  Their cover of "Sexual Healing" should not be missed. Other tracks I like: We 3, Can't Even Tell, Brand New Shine, Beggars & Choosers, Never Too Soon, Shut Down 

    I never thought of Soul Asylum as a chick band.  :P    

    But seriously, they may have a big chick following; in their mid-western home region, their fans seem to have a continued warmth for them, just as lots of Boston-area bands do here.

    I'm not a huge fan of "Runaway Train" either, as it wore out its welcome.  I'm not a huge fan of Soul Asylum, for that matter; they're a "middle of the spectrum" band that found their niche and stayed there.  

    This is why I was taken aback to see that they were formed around 1980; another band that's hitting the 30-year mark intact.   I also give them credit for being a real, hard working band from that standpoint, as it actually might be a case of "music for the love it it" rather than for the money.  

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     Funny thing about the Runaway Train song, I didn't like it that much when I was hearing it on the radio, but when I owned the album I began liking it more and more.  I now think it's a beautiful song with some really exceptional lyrics.  The words capture the feelings of being lost and lonely quite eloquently. My other favorite tracks on that album are Black Gold and Without a Trace-another anthem of loneliness.  I think this band came along at a time when I really needed a new rock band and they fit the bill for me.  Some meaning in the lyrics, good rock hooks and melodies, a kind of rebellious spirit.  

    I also like "Without a Trace" for similar reasons.   It would be nice if you got to see them touring with another band some day.  



     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from leafswin27. Show leafswin27's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to leafswin27's comment:

     Is Tommy Stinson that desperate? Just kidding... although I was never a fan.. For my liking they were kind of the Nickelback or Maroon 5 of their day 

     

    They're not a favorite of mine by any means, but I don't get your comment.   Nickelback?

     A wildly commercially successful, horribly dervivative, formulaic completely unoriginal band that is reviled and loathed more than Creed (yes, they seem to have managed it).   They're a punchline, if they're lucky.   If any band is a cliche, it's Nickelback.  

    Maroon 5, I know nothing about, other than a few hits on the radio, none of which I can stand; pop pap, IMO.  

    I don't mean to give you a hard time, but Nickelback is seriously messed up.  :P  :)

    If you don't like Soul Asylum, that's your opinion and valid in and of itself, as we always say.  You don't even need to explain it, and I am not in any way offended either way.  But if you really think they are analogous to the bands you mentioned, you must think they're a horrible band, and should at least expand on what you mean, because that's pretty harsh condemnation.  

    [/QUOTE]

    Not a problem at all. I have always thought to each his/her own.. I have the same feelings about nickelback and Creed as you do.. I just remember kind of having the same feeling about Soul Asylum back in the day.. I probably didn't give them a chance... I was so into the Replacmetns and husker Du from Minny I always kind of though Soul Asylum was a wanna be...  I didn't much like their sound..  Somebody to Shove was cool..But wasnt into much else

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I never thought of Soul Asylum as a chick band.  :P    

    But seriously, they may have a big chick following; in their mid-western home region, their fans seem to have a continued warmth for them, just as lots of Boston-area bands do here.

    I'm not a huge fan of "Runaway Train" either, as it wore out its welcome.  I'm not a huge fan of Soul Asylum, for that matter; they're a "middle of the spectrum" band that found their niche and stayed there.  

    This is why I was taken aback to see that they were formed around 1980; another band that's hitting the 30-year mark intact.   I also give them credit for being a real, hard working band from that standpoint, as it actually might be a case of "music for the love it it" rather than for the money.  

    [/QUOTE]


    My wife doesn't seem to fit your definition of "chick" then.  As it turns out, there are very few people whose opinion on popular music I value more.  And she has the experience and pedigree to back it up - very much despite the DMB obsession.  FWIW, she IS a midwestern gal - Detroit born and bred - with industry ties and a concert attendance track record that rivals and probably exceeds my own. 

    Eagerly looking forward to your thread on "chick bands", though....

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: The Minneapolis Band that Could: Soul Asylum

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

     My wife doesn't seem to fit your definition of "chick" then.  As it turns out, there are very few people whose opinion on popular music I value more.  And she has the experience and pedigree to back it up - very much despite the DMB obsession.  FWIW, she IS a midwestern gal - Detroit born and bred - with industry ties and a concert attendance track record that rivals and probably exceeds my own. Eagerly looking forward to your thread on "chick bands", though.... 

     

    I was only kidding about the chick band comment, as I (female) created this thread, and when you said it was more of your wife's (female) influence that got you to take a second look at them ... I connected the two, in jest, and didn't make it obvious that I was poking fun more at myself than the band.   My bad, or at least, my ill-placed humor there.   :)    My ex's mother moved to Minneapolis / St. Paul for a few years (job-related) and loved it; she was a native of a small-town in Michigan.  It's a long story, and one not worth telling here, (he was born in Lansing, but grew up in outside NYC) but my ex had an affinity to some bands from the midwest as well.   

    Wasn't insinuating that your wife like's chick bands; you seem to have taken it as a slight -- it wasn't.   The DMB thing didn't even enter my mind (and I don't consider them a chick band, even if I don't know the definition of one).  :)

    I seem to have hit a raw nerve -- sorry.   Not for nuthin, in my world, respect and valuing someone else's opinion doesn't necessarily equate to agreeing with them.  You could disagree with your wife's musical opinions (for all I know) and that wouldn't  lessen the overall value and regard for the opinion(s), IMO.   And it doesn't matter how you derive that respect -- I respect my nieces's opinion, and she's hardly been to any concerts in her life. 

    I think we did have a discussion about chick bands a while back, but there was no consensus, from what I recall.   Singers / bands that attract more chicks then males?  Sure, that happens.  Insofar as a thread, I'll think about it.   Not tomorrow, though ... 

     

Share