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Hockey Night

Hockey Night comes from a storied Minneapolis, Minnesota tradition, one where frozen winter nights are tempered with hard drinking and dry, self-aware pop melancholia. The Replacements are the patron saints of this upper-Midwestern spirit, and Hockey Night follows in Paul Westerberg’s stumbling footsteps through the deceptively happy-looking snow.

Keep Guessin’, Hockey Night’s debut full length begins with lead singer Paul Sprangers’ sarcastic voice — one that will draw a myriad comparisons to Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus — telling the listener in his matter-of-fact sing-speak, “It’s getting tougher to turn off the radio / So let’s lie down and not get up.” Like the Replacements’ best work, Hockey Night’s “For Guys’ Eyes Only” has an upbeat punk feel to it.

The big, bold sounds on Keep Guessin’ are in part due to the unique arrangement of Hockey Night: The band has two guitarists and two drummers. Alex Achen and Adam Harness rock the live shows and the recorded album on dual drum kits, creating a more complex rhythmic structure on much of Keep Guessin’, particularly “Saturday Night Gallop,” which gives the impression of a horse clomping through a three-minute crowd pleaser.

Hockey Night is currently on tour. They’re playing a handful of dates with Lookout Records labelmates and former Band of the Day Troubled Hubble (read more).

Hockey Night tour dates:

7/13, New Philadelphia, OH (Konkos Coffeehouse) 7/14, Iowa City, IA (Gabe’s Oasis)*7/15, Chicago, IL (Metro)*7/16, Minneapolis, MN (Big Vs)*7/22, Minneapolis, MN (7th St. Entry)7/23, Indianapolis, IN (the Patio)7/25, Rock Island, IL (Brew and View)7/26, Lawrence, KS (Replay Lounge)7/27, Springfield, MO (Outland Ballroom)7/28, Norman, OK (Opolis)7/29, Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves)7/30, Austin, TX (Emo’s)7/31, Dallas, TX (Gypsy Tea Room)8/2, Albuquerque, NM (Launchpad)8/3, Tucson, AZ (Plush)8/4, San Diego, CA (Scolaris Office)8/5, Visalia, CA (Howie and Sons)8/7, Los Angeles, CA (Spaceland)8/9, Portland, OR (Berbatis Pan)8/10, Seattle, WA (Crocodile Cafe)8/12, Yakima, WA (Grant’s Brewpub)8/13, Boise, ID (The Bouquet)8/14, Salt Lake City, UT (Monk’s House of Jazz)(* – with Troubled Hubble)

Links: Hockey Night official site