Ritland Daily Ramble #15

Quote of the day
Jesus is my American idol.
– Andrew Broder

The Cloak Ox
Fog was one of my favorite local bands of the ‘00s. Their music mixed a dizzying array of sounds. One song would be a mixture of heavy guitars and a thick hip-hop beat, the next a tender acoustic guitar ballad, the next a jazzy, meandering instrumental. Their live shows were as unpredictable. As a showman Broder is lovingly endearing.

Last year Broder’s new band The Cloak Ox released their debut LP Shoot the Dog. It’s been deservedly highly regarded in indie rock circles, especially locally. Curious North, the blog I write for, published my review of it yesterday and you can read it here.

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Now playing
Lately I’ve been enjoying sitting in my living room and reading. Today I listened to The Beatles’ Hard Days Night and Past Masters Volume One, The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut album, album two of Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979, and, currently, Jethro Tull’s Benefit.

I’ve been reading The Beatles Anthology. It’s quite inspiring reading about how John and Paul wrote songs, who the band was influenced by, and how they lived in their early years. Each member has a unique perspective that is fun to hear. Reading early sections about right before they hit big in America influenced me to listen to a couple of their albums and the first Rolling Stones album. Which is more straightforward blues than the Beatles, obviously, but is no less endearing, or well-done.

I plan on writing a review of Twin Cities Funk and Soul but I’ll just say that it’s worth every penny, if not for the music than for the liner notes, which are an entire magazine about the artists on the compilation and the Twin Cities soul scene in general.

When I was a kid I bought all sorts of awful classic rock because I could buy it cheap used on LP: Seger, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, so many others. A band of that sort that I still enjoy very much is Jethro Tull. They had a unique sound and feel. Their songs are big and the band behind Ian Anderson is tight and funky. They get written off too often but they’re certainly better than many overdone classic rock bands that have better reputations. AC/DC and Van Halen come to mind.

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Picture of the day


The original Jethro Tull, English writer and agronomist who invented a horse-drawn drill around 1701.

Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North and writes frequent Daily Rambles. Ramblin’ On catalogs his writings on culture, music (including his own projects), sports, religion, and many other topics. You can reach him via email here.

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About Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a journalist (http://www.ramblingon.net) and musician (http://www.erikritland.com) from Minnesota. Rambling On, his blog and podcast, has been releasing seriously fun content about sports, music, culture, and more since 2012. He has written and recorded almost 10 albums of unique rock n' roll/alternative rock/Americana since 2002.

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