The 757s

The 757s

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
BandRockAlternative

Hazardous---Not recommended for straight laced. Comedic stance. Bad disposition. Powerful. Able to withstand malt force. Sleek. Timeless and Stupid. The 757s.

Band Press

HowWasTheShow - 02.15.08 – Pat O'Brien

The members of The 757s have been around the block a couple of times in other bands over the years (Bellwether, Nova Mob and Mosquito Ranch among others), but don’t really look worse for wear. Sure, it’s obvious that they are a bit older than many new bands in Minneapolis, and it’s also true that bassist Paul Pirner has a more famous sibling and guitarist Seth Zimmerman has an uncle from Hibbing that you may have heard of, but what is also clear is that they want to carve their own path without riding coattails or being accused of doing so. They built this from the ground up and with The 757s, the members may all have found just the right chemistry. First things first: These guys are capital-L Loud. The music, which is a mix of The Replacements ragged thunder and The Who’s jetliner roar, ends up sticking in your grey matter almost immediately. It’s exceptionally catchy and it’s obvious these guys aren’t in it for the money anymore – there’s not even a whiff of last-gasp desperation – they’re doing this for the fun of playing loud, live music and everyone in the room is a benefactor.

These guys are definitely a band to watch (and watch often) in 2008.

-Pat O'Brien

http://bit.ly/cNkdYc

My Old Kentucky Blog - 01.17.08 – Luftmensch

You probably haven't noticed, but I've not championed a Twin Cities band since coming aboard MOKB. This has been eating at me, especially since I've lived here for many years and understand the importance of supporting one's hometown. Sadly, I hadn't heard any new(ish) bands that clearly embodied the "Cities sound" until I stumbled upon The 757s' Tell the Pilgrims It's A Potluck (available now from Automatic Recordings and iTunes). Man, the 757s take me back...way back. Back when every dive on the tundra with a power strip, a microphone and a liquor license was booking live music and selling $1.50 pitchers on Buck Pitcher Night. Back when we swathed ourselves in flannels and tukes to keep from freezing, but didn't have anyone to tell us we were grunge. So long ago that Chuck Klosterman hadn't even invented Fargo.

I'm not going to say too much more about this record, except that I've been listening to it repeatedly. If you're looking for a shortcut to understanding The 757s, The Replacements are certainly a safe place to start, but that's overlooking the thousands of forgotten Midwest bands whose sound and spirit pervade these eleven tracks. The levels are pushed into the red and left there to fend for themselves. It's honest, impudent and urgent. Not surprisingly, it's frequently sloppy and occasionally transcendent. It's an absolute blast.
And it's over too soon.
-Luftmensch

http://www.myoldkentuckyblog.com/?p=2115

Reveille Magazine - 12.21.07 – Andrea Myers

The 757s - Tell the Pilgrim It's a Potluck
December 21, 2007

Given the band's lineup, it's no surprise that the debut album from the 757s plays like a dissertation on the quintessential Minneapolis rock sound. Even their heritage suggests that they nestle comfortably into the branches of the local family music tree: bassist Paul Pirner is the brother of Soul Asylum frontman Dave, while guitarist Seth Zimmerman is the nephew of Bob Dylan. Jimmy Peterson is best known for his work with Bellwether, while drummer Steve Sutherland played in Nova Mob with Grant Hart. But judging from the straightforward, unassuming nature of their new album, Tell the Pilgrim It's a Potluck, the guys in the 757s aren't the kind to care about their place in the tiers of local notoriety.

In fact, the whole record is so unpretentious that songs can fly by unnoticed on first listen. Despite the fact that Pirner, Zimmerman and Peterson share vocal duties, it's hard to tell who is singing which song; the lyrics and melodies are folded into a heavy blanket of chugging, relentless rhythms and slightly fuzzed-out guitar distortions. It would be easy to list a handful of Minneapolis bands from the past who have their fingerprints on the 757s' sound, but the group doesn't sound like any of their forerunners in particular. Instead, their songs come across as earnest confessionals from a group of guys who have been around the block, who have taken everything they have learned about rock and roll with a grain of salt and funneled it into the beginning of yet another new band.

The disc kicks off with the catchiest song, “1981,” which reminisces about the early '80s over a heavy early '90s grunge churn. The melody of “Leader” sounds like a slightly altered version of the Replacements' “Achin' to Be,” while “Favorite Song” is decidedly anthemic and hook-laden, despite the singer's attempt to convince you that “this is not your favorite song.” And though the songs continued to grow on me with each repeated listen, the one thought running through my mind as I delved into the 757s was “man, I can't wait to see these guys live.”

There is an intentional looseness to the band's first album that I can only imagine transfers well to the stage. Though their songs sound fresh, there is an inherent feeling of nostalgia that ties the songs to one another and the band members to their respective histories, and the music is just as much a soundtrack for clinking glasses in remembrance of days gone by as it is a reason to get excited about what is yet to come.
-Andrea Myers

http://bit.ly/atl1gB

HowWasTheShow - 12.22.07 – David de Young

The 757s @ The 400 Bar
December 22, 2007
The 757s
Question: What band would walk on stage and toss off an introduction of simply ,“We just ran out of beer so we’re gonna make this kinda quick?”

Answer: The 757s.

The wry humor of Jimmy Peterson (Bellwether, Missing Numbers), guitar player / vocalist for The 757s would weave its way through tonight’s meandering set, which began at a beginning and ended at an end, but in the middle was a no man’s land of anything goes.


They opened with “1981,” the killer opening track off their debut CD Tell The Pilgrims It's A Potluck, and a song that live or on disc will set your head nodding for sure, though you may even be inclined to dance – albeit, somewhat slowly. As part of the older set of rock and rollers, the song is dear to my heart because of the kind of reverse nostalgia that runs through it. It doesn’t sound so much like 1981 did at the time, but it sounds kind of what it does now looking back. There’s something oddly sinister in the way Peterson paraphrases “Rapture” by Blondie: “So, let’s go blast off on a sure shot, hey, don’t stop, it's uh punk rock.” He has a way of sounding tough, funny, and passionate all at once, and the way that line is tossed off is a perfect example.
It’s safe to say that “1981” casually blew my socks off, the band attacking it with both vigor and abandon. With Seth Zimmerman on other guitar, Paul Pirner on bass, and Steve Sutherland on drums, this band is a bit of a super group, and their collective experience shines through. All band members share vocal duties and according to the liner notes on the disc all members contributed to the song writing. You can feel that variety of style throughout the album, with who sings the lead as a probable clue into who had the biggest hand in penning each track.

And so the set began, recklessly, yet in a way that got everyone's attention, and Peterson's introductory comment about the beer suddenly fit perfectly.

Most songs from the disc got played tonight. “Safe” was up second (just as on the disc), sounding a bit like a long lost Soul Asylum song (in the vein of say “Cartoon”). Or maybe that had something to do with the fact that it was sung by Pirner, whose voice does sound remarkably similar to his brother’s (Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum).

A reference to 90s Twin Cities musical heroes Run Westy Run preceded the rocking, “Can’t Hardly Wait” era Replacements-like “Leader.” I couldn’t make notes fast enough to keep up with the off-the-cuff remarks by Peterson, nor the near random musical quotations that came out of nowhere between songs, including a bar or two of “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel.

Paul Pirner was mid song on “Nevershine” when about 20 (I kid you not) Santa Clauses walked into the bar (sounds like the set up to a joke) to drink, dance and be merry. Zimmerman sang “Repeater” while Peterson tore it up on guitar and the Santas (Santae?) danced, filling the dance floor for the first time this evening. “Thanks a lot, good night everybody,” Zimmerman deadpanned at the end of the song with the same dry humor with which Peterson had opened the set. Need I say the chemistry amongst this band is perfect? It seemed the set was about to go the direction of old Replacements shows, i.e. straight to hell, but exquisitely.

You should have been there to hear Paul Pirner sing Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” then segue into The Who’s “My Generation” with a lyrical twist “I hope I die before you get old.” Peterson then quipped (and keep in mind that they’d only played five of their own songs by this point) it would only be Zeppelin covers the rest of the night. That wasn’t the case, but when he immediately broke into another Zeppelin riff and the band followed suit, you couldn’t be sure. Next came “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller and Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town” prompting someone to shout out for “The Cowboy Song.” Instead they got “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone, and if this sounds crazy, imagine it all happening rapid fire over the course of about four minutes. It was hilarious, and I snorted once or twice (and again just now remembering it all.)


And the set wasn’t even half over! More 757s songs followed, including “Shoegazer” and “Washington Ends,” and 757s t-shirts were thrown into the audience, and 757s stickers were unceremoniously unrolled onto the floor so people could start sticking them on themselves, each other, and anything else within sticking distance.
Somehow Jonathan Richman’s “Pablo Picasso” made its way into the set, as well as what I’ve decided is my favorite song on the 757s album, “Suzamsterdam,” (which is even better live) to close out the evening.

I wouldn’t say this is the way every band should run a rock show. In fact, it’s probably not a good idea unless you know exactly what you are doing as the 757s clearly did. But damn if it wasn’t a fun and memorable night.

The 757s play next January 5th at Stasiu’s.

-David de Young

http://bit.ly/awyM0a

Star Tribune - 11.21.07 – Chris Riemenschneider

The 757s turn it up to 11 on their new CD
November 21, 2007

Normally, it's not a good sign when a band clears a room. I had the opposite reaction, though, the first time I saw the 757s.

A band of veteran players too seasoned to care much about being liked by anyone else, they hit the stage at the Nomad Pub a couple months ago to headline the Ruckus on the West Bank and made a lasting impression.

The room was mostly full of cute, wee-sized, college-age Radio K listeners in Urban Outfitted punk gear (i.e., the kind of kids who most often go out to see live music, so God love 'em). A brooding, downbeat, Radiohead-loving band called North went over well in the slot before the 757s. It couldn't have been a poorer setup for the noise that followed.

The sound system at the Nomad literally hit overload. The music -- a bastardized blend of the Replacements' thunder-n-blunder, Guided by Voices' melodic rip and the Who's meaty and bouncy -- was dirty and damaging, and it was beautiful.

Even one of the four guys in the 757s, Jimmy Peterson, winced the first time he heard fellow singer/guitarist Seth Zimmerman crank his amp at their very first practice. That first gathering was literally their only rehearsal before going into the studio to record their debut album, "Tell the Pilgrim It's a Potluck."Seth was playing at airport-level volume," Peterson recalled, providing an explanation for the band's name. "I looked at him like, 'Are you serious? Is this really what you want to do?' And Seth is such the ultimate optimist, he said, 'That's the dream, isn't it?'"

Dreams for these guys -- all dads with young kids and birthdates around 1968 -- don't come cheap anymore. Peterson watched two excellent previous bands dissolve: Bellwether and, in recent months, Missing Numbers. Drummer Steve Sutherland was a part of Grant Hart's post-Hüskers band Nova Mob.

As for Zimmerman and bassist Paul Pirner, they're both undoubtedly leery of rock's fame game thanks to their uncle and brother, respectively (Bob Dylan and Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner). Zimmerman nonetheless made an admirable go of it with Tangletown in the '90s, while Pirner has played around in bands including Best Red and Mosquito Ranch.

"We're all of the similar mind-set that we don't want to deal with any of the B.S. of being in a band, just the fun stuff," said Pirner, who could be mistaken for his brother when he steps up to the mike.

"There's no lifeguard at the gene pool," he quipped.

Pirner, Peterson and Zimmerman share vocal duties in the 757s, which might be the ultimate sign that none of them is in it to be a rock star. "Tell the Pilgrim," however, proves that they don't take the band lightly. Besides that brawny sound, there's ample brain and heart in the songwriting (also a shared chore within the band). The disc opener, "1981," reads like a short story on the death of disco, and tracks like the feedback-ridden "Undermined" and "Shoegazer" are laden with all-too-believable characters and vivid imagery.

Songwriting apparently comes easier than planning rehearsals and gigs for these guys, who are at work on a second album even as they celebrate the release of the first one Saturday at the Fine Line (currently their only gig on the books).

"We're going to try to make it down to Chicago and play around here when we can, but there won't be any big tours or anything," Peterson said. "Most of our ambition is in the music. That might be the thing that turned some people off [that night at the Nomad]: The days of earnest rock -- or earnest anything -- are over."
-Chris Riemenschneider

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/11917181.html

Star Tribune - 10.09.07 – Chris Riemenschneider

Ruckus on the West Bank
Sunday, September 9th, 2007

The second annual Ruckus on the West Bank at the Nomad Pub caught my eye Saturday. Except for a few familiar names, the two-stage indoor/outdoor fest featured a lot of newcomers....
Inside, I caught two promising newcomers: North, a moody, arty, organ- and piano-laden quartet wearing near-matching ties and vests. With echoes of Editors and Radiohead, the band's pretty but powerful music was a bit too downbeat for a music event called the Ruckus. But it's definitely a band to watch.

For opposite reasons, the same goes for the 757s, a band whose members will never be mistaken for rock stars – just the nephew and brother of rock stars, thanks to guitarist Seth Zimmerman and bassist Paul Pirner, respectively – but they went for broke anyway. As in broken ear drums. The band also features Jimmy Peterson (Bellwether, Missing Numbers) and another vet on drums, Steve Sutherland. They all sing. Soundman Ryan Olcott had to twice ask them to turn their guitars down, they were overpowering the Nomad's system with their boozy, "Tim"-era-Replacements-meets-"Bee"-era-GBV sound. Quite humorously, they cleared the bar of a lot of the cutely dressed, babyfaced indie-rockers, which I took as a good sign.
-Chris Riemenschneider

http://ww3.startribune.com/blogs/poplife/2007/09/09/ruckus-on-the-west-bank

My Old Kentucky Blog - 01.12.09 – Dodge

Seems like only yesterday I was singing the praises of The 757s' debut, Tell The Pilgrims It's A Potluck, but I'll be damned if that isn't ancient history. Truth be told, there are only two acts in the Twin Cities I'm really jonsing for new material from: The 757s and P.O.S. Details on the latter are few and far between, but I'm working my sources. I can tell you quite a bit more about the new one from The 757s.

Gaggle of new songs. Check.

Scorched earth live show. Check.

Cover art by John Alspach at Shiny Robot. Check.
(www.shinyrobotstudio.blogspot.com/2008/12/keeping-track.html)

Seems like all that's left to do is slap a release date on this bad boy, but therein lies the rub. Our friends in The 757s are caught in a game of label roulette. I realize that I'm running the risk of becoming a modern day Soupy Sales, but if anyone reading this is employed by a wealthy douchebag and isn't above skimming a little off the top, I don't want to discourage you from helping to get this record into the racks.

After much pleading, and a few threats of grievous bodily harm, the guys were good enough to share a couple rough demos; fruits of their recent woodshedding. Grab these tunes now and maybe you won't have to buy the reissue in ten years.

Star Tribune - 2009 SXSW Review – Chris Riemenschneider

Star Tribune/print:

AUSTIN, TEXAS - As another hyperactive installment of the South by Southwest Music Conference wound down Saturday, Jimmy Peterson addressed the 23rd annual spring soiree from the stage as if it were an old friend with a bad rep.

"I don't care what they say about you," the singer/guitarist of the 757s said. "You're a good time."

"...Peterson's summation and his band's electrifying performance were both hard to beat last week, when more than 40 Twin Cities acts made the pilgrimage to Austin -- most of them simply looking for the good time that the all-for-fun veterans in the 757s had found."
- Chris Riemenschneider
http://tinyurl.com/c8gg64

Star Tribune/Pop Life:
BEST BAND I SAW ALL NIGHT: The 757s. And that’s not hometown favoritism talking. The foursome of Twin Cities music vets (Jimmy Peterson, Paul Pirner, Seth Zimmerman, Steve Sutherland) had twice the enthusiasm and volume of many bands half their ages, and their cover of Grant Hart’s Huskers classic “Diane” amounted to three of the hardest-rocking minutes of the fest. They have a new album coming soon on Eclectone that could seal the deal for them.
- Chris Riemenschneider
http://tinyurl.com/d97gtc

Facebook / Chris Riemenschneider
Top 15 acts I saw at SXSW 2009:
1. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (TX)
2. Devo
3. Metallica
4. The 757s (MN)
5. Heartless Bastards (now TX)
- Chris Riemenschneider
http://tinyurl.com/dzgngx

My Old Kentucky Blog 7.13.09 – Luftmensch

The 757s : Freeway Surrender

Writing about music is a balancing act, and I have often suggested, that, if left unchecked, it quickly devolves into Mab Libs for the cool kids. Many readers are OK with this, as the paint by number technique allows them to identify bands whose sound or style might be simpatico with their tastes. Most bands don’t mind it either, since it delivers new listeners to their doorstep, with cash on the barrel head. But this kind of writing gets to be a drag, and it’s in everybody’s best interest to shake things up from time-to-time. Conveniently, after a few teases, Freeway Surrender, the sophomore release from The 757s has finally received formal, widespread release. I’ve been enjoying these tunes for a couple months, so given my familiarity with the record, as well as my mostly amiable relationship with the band, I figured this would be a great opportunity to try something a little different.

Always On The Outside should be read as a précis of Freeway Surrender. Guitarists, Zimmerman and Peterson, masters of tahtib, circle their prey, each flashing a supremely-honed blade of lethal sonic vim and vivacity. Their steps, calculated, yet swathed in supreme languor, lest suspicion be aroused in the quarry. They attack without provocation, buttressed by the relentless rhythm section of Pirner and Sutherland, toiling in low-end lockstep. Like a heavyweight sensing his opponent’s will diminishing and legs unsteady, the aggressors redouble their pummeling, landing each note with the ferocity of worn glove leather on defenseless flesh. Stunned, the weary combatant lurches. The assailants, roused by the imminent kill, let forth an ear-shredding din as the strident mass careens madly into the inexorable chorus.

Maybe not. So, scrapping that mess, I decided to give The Lost Generation a whack at it.
I stare at the page, bare but for where I hurriedly wrote Freeway Surrender. Twice more I write each of the words, underlining for emphasis. I want a beer, but I am not to drink until my writing is done for the day. Being midday, the cafe is quiet. I watch people hurry past the large window in time with the single note guitar lines of Crash And Fade; unforced, but not uncomplicated. The 757s are pop music savants, distilling ear candy through an older brother’s record collection, adding a secret handshake of solidarity to all who still revere Fair Warning. The songs are criminally catchy, yet delivered with a level of insolence certain to alienate fragile listeners. This hurdle is well-documented in the annals of Twin Cities music. I recall a basement party at the turn of the 90s, where I drank in front of a TV as to not miss the premier of I’ll Be You on MTV. Few in attendance recognized the significance, and fewer still shared my enthusiasm. The evening ended with me nearly in a row with several of the hosts , while my associates, whose habit of filching beer instigated the altercation, took flight. That was how I learned to not drink with cowards.
True story, but it somehow misses the point.

So, I’ve determined that The 757s are just a bad band. Not bad, in terms of “these guys suck,” mind you, but a bad band to try to write about in extravagant prose. String together page after page of adjectives and ill-conceived metaphors, and you’re not one bit closer to explaining why Freeway Surrender is a fantastic album than you would be if you made a list of everything the band ate during the recording process. As much as it pains me to use the word, this is an undeniably fun record, one better suited to listening to while driving around on a summer day, than snowbound in a cabin an hour north of Duluth. The 757s are throwbacks, and not unlike our hometown nine, they do all the little things the right way. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that these guys cut their teeth in the music biz back when a Pro Tools operator was the guy with the two-year votech degree who snaked your toilet. At a time when taxi drivers and glamour technicians are conversant about Auto-Tune, it’s reassuring when a band like The 757s is able to win over audiences at SXSW with a little of that old Twin Cities black magic, and a lot of volume.

This is not to suggest that The 757s are rawk dinosaurs, passing time until their eventual extinction. The performances on Freeway Surrender are much improved from the debut, and the entire record no doubt benefits from more time in the writing and rehearsing stages. The rough edges of Tell The Pilgrims It’s A Potluck have been planed, but instead of rendering this batch of tunes toothless, this attention to detail allows one to truly appreciate just how well-written these songs are. Pop culture references, inside jokes and homage to the big hitters of music history aside, this record is, at its very core, 11 great pop songs that will stick to your ribs like a steaming bowl of Quaker Oats on a cold, January Minnesota morning. And if the record’s closing (and strongest) track, The Blind Will Lead The Naked is any indication, The 757s are a band whose best work still lies ahead of them.

YouTube: The 757s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7GPEAObO04&hl=en&fs=1&]

City Pages - 09.10.08 – Will McClain

The 757s live up to their name with roaring, explosive rock

By Will McClain
Published on September 09, 2008 at 12:25pm
The Boeing 757 was once, and in many ways remains, the gold standard in air travel. We know it for its enormity and raw power; those three little numbers are a symbol of grandeur. The Minneapolis rock band that borrows the craft's name has not reached such lofty heights, but it rockets ahead on a true course fueled by experiencfe, passion, and ridiculous volume.

The 757s' live shows are noteworthy for their brash, sometimes caustic atmosphere. The crew flows loose and loud, often leaving audiences scrambling for ear protection like so many ground crew on the tarmac beneath a jumbo jet. "It's a great sense of joy," says bassist Paul Pirner. "There is something to be said for going balls-out onstage on a Friday night." The band, whose drummer Steve Sutherland once played a show with a child's drum kit, seems prone to all manner of onstage misfires and mayhem. "Stuff is almost guaranteed to catch fire," says Sutherland. He isn't joking.

A listen to the band's inaugural album Tell the Pilgrims It's a Potluck isn't nearly such a harrowing experience. While it's easy to hear how the group's stripped-down rock sound translates into a feverish live show, the record itself is an altogether pleasant experience, comprising smart (but not unnecessarily deep) lyrics and uppity chord progressions. Guitarists Jimmy Peterson and Seth Zimmerman share lead vocal duties with Pirner; each ponies up a different brand of smoky rock 'n' roll rasp. The rotation keeps the playlist fresh through the record's 11 tracks.

The 757s released the record last November after entering the studio with just a single rehearsal together. The longtime friends had designs on a Clash cover band, but immediately scrapped the idea in favor of making an original record. The group worked with Mike Wisti at Albatross Studios to put the album to tape, writing much of their material in the studio.

"With us, practice doesn't make the end result better," explains Zimmerman.

What the guitarist may be hinting at is the track record of the 757s' individual members, all experienced musicians (and experienced fathers); Peterson rocked with Bellwether and Missing Numbers, and the others have each been part of some great local acts. "We all bring certain things to the table," says Pirner. "When you get four people that can really play their shit, you've got a band. The reason I play is guys like this." A couple of the state's noteworthy musical families are represented in the group's ranks, but we will speak no further of that here; a little research will satisfy those itching to know.

Notably absent from our interview is de facto ringleader Peterson. His bandmates take a few obligatory jabs at him, then herald his influence over the 757s. "Jimmy has more raw talent than anyone you could meet," proclaims Zimmerman. "No one can really do what he does. When he suggests things, you'd be stupid not to listen." Such influence is present in standout Potluck tracks like "1981" and "Susamsterdam." Asked to pinpoint Peterson's musical appeal, Pirner insists, "He has that genius-slash-sociopath combination going for him."

For a band that largely operates from the position that rock went belly-up in 1982 circa the Clash's commercial hit Combat Rock, a bit of sociopath may be in order. Whatever the recipe, it works, at least thus far. Potluck is listenable all the way through, an increasingly rare rock phenomenon. Tracks like "Repeater" and "Favorite Song" rejoice around solid, upbeat hooks that make for a great road-trip record.
The curious should catch up on the 757s quickly, as the band plan to release their latest disc, already in the can, shortly. Slightly more rehearsed, the record will feature handpicked tracks from two albums' worth of new material—and there will be power tools. There may also be more focus. "This record narrows the margins," says Zimmerman of their musical vision.

And so, the 757s continue on down that expansive musical runway. Unlike their airborne namesake, the band have proven they're more than just loud—any dumb kid with the wattage can be that. Instead, they're a group of seasoned musicians with their heads on straight and the chops to deliver the songs.
And yes, to blow things up.

http://www.citypages.com/2008-09-10/music/the-757s

Borangutan 5.5.10 – Skelly

The 757's Release the Last Laugh
May 5th, 2010

Author: Skelly

“I love rock-n-roll. I think it’s an exciting art form. It’s revolutionary. Still revolutionary and it changed people. It changed their hearts. But yeah, even rock-n-roll has a lot of rubbish, really bad music.”
True enough Mr. Nick Cave, yet once in awhile isn’t it refreshing to find a bit of gold tinfoil among the rubbish?  It’s these precious and new-found artifacts that remind me why I fell in love with The Beatles, Billy Joel, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, KISS, Neil Young, and so many more.  Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend  who was complaining about the annoying number of part-time musicians in the Twin Cities who create a lot of clutter (or rubbish?) for all the full-time musicians to wade through.  It’s hard for any object to stand out in a pile of rubbish, but if the music is shiny enough, just maybe it’ll be plucked and taken home.

Take, for example, The 757's new album Last Laugh.  I’ve been listening to The 757's for some time now.  I like their straight up and no nonsense approach to rock and roll – guitar heavy, drum heavy, and not too lyrically cumbersome!  While I consider myself a fan of the lyrically esoteric Thom Yorke, most of the time I want what The 757's hit me with.  “There’s no truth like the whole truth, there’s no news (and) the last laugh is on me and you.”  Simple, but something you can easily take to the memory bank!

I’m such a sucker for the hooks, and hooks will be had on this record.  That’s the beauty of Last Laugh.  The 757's have here established a new pop foundation, dealing us the bare-knuckle rock and roll at each opening note, but following it up with sweet melodies less apparent on 2009's Freeway Surrender.  A sort of “put ‘er there, pal” as the band hoists you from the ground.  They clearly want us to know and feel this from the opening tune “Sarah Saw It Coming” and onward.

Speaking of, here is “Sarah Saw It Coming” just for you, and hey 89.3 The Current, how about some love for this song?  We want it!

City Pages 8.19.09 – Will McClain

The 757s: Freeway Surrender
By Will McClain Wednesday, Aug 19 2009
The 757s simply rock. Their take-us-or-leave-us, gimmick-free collective persona is somehow so passive it's in your face. The Minneapolis pop-rock act's latest album, Freeway Surrender, improves upon their solid debut and presents in vivid detail a band quite comfortable in their own wicked skin.

Freeway Surrender's production value is punchier than that of its predecessor, Tell the Pilgrims It's a Potluck, while retaining the band's organic feel. Bassist Paul Pirner's lows are warm, drummer Steve Sutherland's drums are full, and the overdriven dual guitars are crisp, as evidenced on "Always on the Outside" and "Teenage Logic." The disc's 11 tracks cut to the chase and split quickly, making the package a visceral listen that never wears out its welcome. Those still fetishizing physical releases will be pleased with the tactile experience of Surrender's weathered cardboard packaging and cover art.

Guitarist/vocalist and primary songwriter Jimmy Peterson leads the musical attack on opener "Amateur," which hits early with a lunging verse that smacks of Fugazi before unfolding into a decidedly peppier chorus. For linear listeners, it transitions smoothly into "Shirley MacLaine," a curiously titled, cleverly penned piece that proves to be one of the album's standout tracks. Its lyrical hook, "She's a dreamer for the modern age/And she's got visions just like Shirley MacLaine," rasped by Peterson and backed by the band's oohs and aahs, sticks like mental peanut butter.

Other notable offerings come courtesy of bassist/singer Pirner. When his eerily familiar voice isn't providing an ideal backdrop for Peterson's rants, it fronts barnburners like "Crash and Fade" and "Stagnation." His up-tempo tunes tend toward simple, repetitive choruses made for thrashing the night away in some anonymous dive. Pointed, personal lyrics in songs like "Always on the Outside" dovetail with Peterson's irony and sarcasm ("Your narcissism is only mediocre").

Like their predecessors who helped forge Minneapolis's alternative-rock scene, the 757s prove that a bunch of regular guys playing simple, well-written rock 'n' roll can be relevant. Freeway Surrender is a fully realized vision from a group of experienced musicians who understand that the real thing needs no gimmick, that if you rock well, they will come.

Star Tribune - 4.30.09 – Star Tribune - Chris Riemenschneider

Music: Age against the machine
The Cities' most veteran buzz band has produced a timeless second album.

By CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, Star Tribune
Last update: April 30, 2009 - 11:41 PM

"Kids these days don't get how cool you used to be."

There are a lot of people Paul Pirner could be referring to when he sings that line three-quarters of the way through "Freeway Surrender," the lively sophomore album by middle-aged buzz band the 757s. Is it about himself? His brother Dave? One of his fellow middle-aged bandmates? Maybe even Lawrence Welk (referenced earlier in the song)?

Whoever it is, it's one of the many times the 757s' disc -- out this week on Eclectone Records, with a CD party tonight at the Uptown -- will leave you pondering both the subject of the song and the irrelevance of youth in rock 'n' roll.

"He's not the kind of guy for giving up," singer/guitarist Jimmy Peterson also intones in "Amateur," the grinding opening track. "He's going to try it one more time."

Formed in 2007, the 757s have become poster boys for that one-more-time crowd -- 40-or-older scenesters who are not yet ready to retire from the scene. And thank God and Grain Belt for that. In the same way the Hold Steady rose up opposite Brooklyn's arty-farty dance-rock scene, the 757s seem to thrive off distinguishing themselves from the throngs of Mac-equipped, MySpace-buoyed, tight-T-shirted young indie-rock bands around town. Not that there's anything wrong with those bands (although something is amiss with Mouthful of Bees' new sophomore CD).

All four of the 757s -- including singer/guitarist Seth Zimmerman and drummer Steve Sutherland -- played in bands that rippled through the scene in the late '80s and '90s, including Bellwether, Tangletown, Nova Mob, Missing Numbers and Mosquito Ranch. They named this band after the airplane-level noise they hoped to make, and they purportedly rehearsed just once before recording their 2007 debut album, "Tell the Pilgrim It's a Potluck."

"Freeway Surrender" is tighter and more refined than "Pilgrim," but not too much. Musically, anybody who owns a Replacements, Soul Asylum, Who or Guided by Voices record will get it right away. Song-wise, the band members stepped it up a notch, producing a bunch of anthems for the aged (and maybe a few for the ages), including the aforementioned Pirner song, "Stagnation," plus the punky gem "Crash and Fade" and the winning losers' ode "Atrophy."

You'll know these guys aren't young turks just by the fact that they named a song after Shirley MacLaine (another of the best cuts). Even their one track that sounds as if it could be a youthful anthem, the steaming rocker "Teenage Logic," is actually a rant against an older guy who can't get his act together: "You're sadly unemployable and totally underinsured."

Once again, a thousand guesses who that one's about.

St. Paul Pioneer Press - 12.20.07 – Ross Raihala

Holiday shows make the season bright:
December 20, 2007

Finally, here's one I missed the first time around. Last month, local sort-of supergroup the 757s issued the lovingly messy disc "Tell the Pilgrims It's a Potluck," a must-have for folks who dig good, old-fashioned boozy Midwestern rock that never takes itself too seriously. Jimmy Peterson might be the most recognizable face in the group, given his time in Bellwether and Missing Numbers. Drummer Steve Sutherland, meanwhile, used to play in Nova Mob and the other two guys have bounced around in numerous bands, although they may be best known for their famous relatives - Paul Pirner's brother Dave sings in Soul Asylum and none other than Bob Dylan is Seth Zimmerman's uncle. They play what they're calling their "first annual holiday show" tonight at the 400 with Terry Eason, Porcupine and a bunch of freebies (CDs, candy canes and ear plugs).
-Ross Raihala

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