Escape from New York

Lucky Jeremy and the New Minneapolis want to be A-No. 1.

Keri Carlson

Lucky Jeremy’s band, the New Minneapolis, pokes fun at the old St. Paul versus Minneapolis rivalry. In the absence of a certain loud-mouthed governor, that rivalry has died down considerably of late, but several years ago it was ferocious. In the years following the demise of the Speedboat, Minneapolitans were simply too cool to cross the river. That is, until a stubborn group of St. Paul musicians including Jeremy, Sean Tillman (of Har Mar Superstar and Sean Na Na fame), the Selby Tigers, Tulip Sweet and many more banded together and practically refused to leave the Turf Club.

Eventually the two sides came to a truce – realizing splitting the music scene in two only weakens it.

“I don’t think anyone really cares anymore. I see everyone everywhere,” Jeremy said. “It just means I drive a lot more.”

It appears Lucky Jeremy teamed up with Minneapolis to challenge and duel another larger city – this time Brooklyn, N.Y. Jeremy scoffed at the Brooklyn music scene, which he said is overly trend-conscious and “rides a wave that already happened.” He once played a show where all the other bands came from Brooklyn and all looked bored on stage. “If playing music isn’t fun there’s a lot of better ways to make money,” Jeremy averred.

On his latest album, “Call It What You Want Ö But This City Is Mine,” the track “Ride That Wave Brooklyn (Way to Go Assholes)” – as if the title were not enough – begins with “I see your leather suit, and I see your cowboy boots. Your ‘fuck the world’ tattoo, but I just don’t believe you.” Even Harlem gets a dose of Jeremy’s ire when he barks, “Harlem is burning but no one listens ’cause the burning is just a symptom. So what if it all burns down tonight?”

It is not just fake music scenes that upset Lucky Jeremy, though. All of “Call It What You Want” rumbles and roars through Jeremy’s bitterness. No one escapes his rants, as seen in “Nihilism Country Tune,” where he rambles, “If a priest falls in church and there’s no God around, when he hits the ground will he make a sound?” His voice shrieks like a paranoid 13-year-old. He often sounds like squealing tires or a stubborn car engine. It’s not pretty, but it’s not unlistenable, either. His edgy vocals only demonstrate his anger and eagerness while the New Minneapolis stomps classic trashy bar punk.

Near the end of the album Jeremy exposes the true purpose of his music: “There’s only one way we’ll all get through this. Put the song in their ears and make them move.” It’s a battle strategy. He will attack with his

music. What first began as a battle between Jeremy and Minneapolis and turned into Jeremy-takes-on-Brooklyn could very easily become Jeremy versus the world for his next album.