Military Special

Military Special


Formed just two years ago, Military Special has enjoyed a rapid ascent through the Minneapolis scene, thanks to their frenetic live show and devout following of fans. Their dance-tinged party rock has been compared to the Klaxons, TVOTR, even Devo. Civil Union is their debut full-length album.


Military Special has quickly become notorious for their rollicking sets of electric party rock—and for spreading their unique brand of beer-fueled mayhem across the grain belt.

Founded officially in 2007 by former bandmates Joe Schweigert and Peter Blomgren, the band went through several different permutations in its earliest days before settling on their current, six-member crew. James Shaff has played with the band since its inception, and Charlie Smith since they began playing live. Danell Norby met Schweigert while studying in Amsterdam in early 2007, and joined the band a year later. Matt Robshaw became the band's third drummer in 2008, following Geoff Freeman and Jake Hartnett.

Though they have been compared in the press to Bloc Party, TV on the Radio, and LCD Soundsystem, the band cites influences as wide-ranging as Devo, New Order, Gap Band and The Time. Of course, having grown up in '80s Minneapolis, the band seems equal parts Revolution and Replacements—borne at the confluence of "Purple Rain" and "Let It Be."

They released their first album—a self-titled EP—in September of 2008. Twin Cities music press greeted the album warmly, and praised the band for bringing some dance tunes into an otherwise determinedly folk-and-shoegaze scene. Six months later, Military Special returned with their full-length debut "Civil Union," and was praised for their seamless melding of electro and indie rock.

The live show truly has to be seen to be believed. In the Twin Cities, few acts have fans as fiercely devoted as Military Special's, or as ready to dance: limbs and bodies bounce across the floor, clothes are ripped off, shoes removed and tossed on stage; to quote one recent booker: "People go nuts." And Military Special loves it. In town, they have become the unofficial band of last call, playing right up to (and often well past) the flashing lights, packing the floor 'til 2AM—or whenever.

And for the immediate future? With another five months of Minnesota winter looming, Military Special looks forward to hunkering down and working on their next record, and hopes to hit the road in search of warmer climes.


Civil Union (LP) [March 2009]
Military Special (EP) [September 2008]

"City Lights" on NPR [March 2009]
"Warrant Error" on NPR [August 2008]
All songs nationwide on indie/college radio

Set List

A typical set includes about eight songs, for example:

Live Forever
Controversy (Prince cover)
City Lights
Waste It
Space Humping $19.99 (Lifter Puller cover)
Factory Floors >

Sets range from 30-45 minutes.
Repertoire is approx. 15-20 songs at any given time.