Minnesota music scene gets national exposure

5:41 PM, Apr 25, 2012   |    comments
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Trampled by Turtles perform during Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival 2010
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  • MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota music scene has a rich tradition. Now it appears the rest of the country is seeing that as well. Tuesday night, Duluth band Trampled by Turtles was on the Late Show with David Letterman. Wednesday night it's the Twin Cities' own Polica on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

    "Polica has kind of come out of nowhere," said Jim McGuinn, Program Director for 89.3 The Current. "I'm hearing from our peers and people are kind of blown away."

    But these two are not the first local bands to get national exposure on a late night TV. In fact our time in the spotlight goes way back.

    "One of the most famous appearances was when The Replacements were on Saturday Night Live in the 80s," said McGuinn. "It was chaos in the best possible rock and roll kind of way. Maybe that set the tone for Minneapolis rock on TV."

    Following in their footsteps, earlier this year Bon Iver also performed on SNL. In 2010 Gayngs appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and in 2007 hip hop artist Brother Ali took over Conan O'Brien's stage.

    "If you're a performance guest, if they ask you to sit on the couch that means they really liked you," said Brother Ali.

    That's exactly where he ended up.

    "So he called me over to the couch and had a big vinyl copy of 'Undisputed Truth' at that time and held it up," said Brother Ali. "It was really cool."

    And despite what some might think, these appearances are more about exposure than selling records.

    "You always check your SoundScan to see if there was a boost in album sales and I don't know that there is," said Brother Ali. "I don't think those shows give you the immediate tangible boost."

    "Television is a lot more fragmented than it was in 1964 when the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show, so you're never going to see that happen off of one appearance today," said McGuinn. "But it all adds up in making a band more nationally known."

    (Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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