Sing along with Superhopper

Oren Goldberg

It’s normal for an indie rock band to be a little fun and crazy, but Superhopper really takes the cake.

Sitting down at a benefit show they played last week at the Borealis in Dinkytown, I expected to watch the show from a distance. Once the music started, though, I quickly found this to be an impossible feat.

I had to shake my ass. So did most of the other people who came to see Superhopper. Nick Shuminsky’s loud-as-hell drum set had so many drums on it that it took up most of the stage, forcing singer/guitarist Kermit Carter, bassist Bill Muller and keyboardist/trombonist/singer Mathew Piaselki to play on the dance floor, which rapidly filled with previously unenthused dance machines.

Superhopper’s loud, fast rock was so anthemic that everyone started singing along. Piaselki’s spastic form of dancing is so awe-inspiring that I can’t help but dance along with him. They played several songs from their latest CD, The Days of Wine and Whiskey, about work, annoying customers, and drinking. They sang about the kind of stuff that most any twenty-something (and even Bill, their 30-year-old bassist) can relate to.

In the show’s afterglow, I met the band in the VIP lounge. I attempted to do an interview, but due to exhaustion from dancing I was more than a little stumped for original questions. Before I knew it the band was passing my notebook around, writing things in it like “It might be 3 inches, but the damned thing spins,” and “Other than Bill, Superhopper prefers making love to quickies.” And I can’t possibly neglect to mention their list of turn-ons (including things like “St. Paul,” the “Malachi Constant,” and “being inside”) and turn-offs (things like “super-groups without enough super” and “every Styx album after the one with Mr. Roboto”). Bill added his turn-ons separately: “silk sheets and fireplaces.” He then explained that he has no turn-offs. “Beggars can’t be choosers,” he said.

Interesting shows? They’ve played a few. In Pennsylvania they once played a firehouse. They’ve played backyards, patios, even a Rio Bravo restaurant. The energy level never seems to die down with these St. Paul rockers. One time, Kermit tells me, they played a show behind some record store on a grassy field in Ypsilanti, Mich. to a crowd of “smelly dogs and hippies that hated us. It was real weird. But we play weird shows at weird places, because it’s all about the music, really. I mean, if there’s one guy in the back of some field in Ypsilanti that gets us, that’s all we care about. We just like to play music and have a good time.”

Superhopper plays Saturday at Bon Appetit (421 14th Ave. S.E., Mpls. 612-379-3002). Plate-o-Shrimp, The Unstuck and The Goochers open. 10 p.m. 18+.