Local Current Blog

Rock the Garden 2012: A 20-year history of this year’s acts

When cheeky young frontman Jordan Gatesmith remarked that the Twin Cities music scene experienced a 20-year lull between the heyday of bands like Prince, the Replacements, and Hüsker Dü and the popularity of his own band, Howler, he sparked an expansive and involved conversation about the health of our local music community.

And while the dialog from both sides of Gatesmith’s argument has provided us with some legitimate ways to analyze where we’re at as a “scene,” it’s worth noting that there’s been plenty of action in the Twin Cities over these past two decades. Take the bands playing this weekend’s Rock the Garden, for example. As you’ll see in the timeline below, the last 20 years have been an especially important and influential time for the artists that are popular today.

Here’s a crash course in the last 20 years of Minnesota music history, as it relates to this year’s Rock the Garden acts — Howler, Doomtree, Trampled by Turtles, the Hold Steady, and yes, even New England native Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs — to get you primed for tomorrow’s show outside the Walker Art Center. And be sure to follow @LocalCurrent on Twitter and check back during and after the fest for all our coverage of this year’s event.

Timeline graphic by J. Zachary Keenan / MPR