I went to college at Moorhead State, back when it was called Moorhead State University, not University of Minnesota – Moorhead or whatever letterhead-clogging name it’s using now.
I put myself through school using a combination of student loans, $1500 in savings, a part-time job at the library working until midnight, and a gig as a Resident Assistant (RA), which involved doing rounds at 2 a.m. Which made getting up at 6 a.m. for my 7 a.m. mass communications law class a real bummer.
Don’t think I was an overachiever, though. Trust me, I wanted to slack off; I just couldn’t afford to.
Being an RA saved me, because it meant I got free room and board. And, being an introverted shy girl from a hick town meant I had instant friends in my fellow RAs. Whoever was on duty that night would stay up for the 2 a.m. rounds by playing endless games of cards (hearts), drinking illegal amounts of beverages (Mt. Dew), and getting our fellow RA Jay Kalk, who worked at Erbert & Gerbert’s, (the better version of Jimmy John’s, if that is even humanly possible) to bring home free sandwiches after his shift.
For various reasons, Jay was awesome. He was sweet, nice and funny. And in a band. A band that I first saw play at The Underground at MSU, playing ska music right around the time another band called No Doubt was getting attention on the West Coast. Jay was one of the lead singers in an 8-piece band called 3 Minute Hero, which featured guys playing trumpets, trombones and saxophone in a high-energy mix of ska, reggae, surf and mariachi.
The band was together for awhile and disbanded in 2000. Then last week, they came to Minneapolis for a 3-show reunion.
Both Jason and I were absolutely giddy. Because out of a combined 900 CDs, 3 Minute Hero is the ONLY band whose CDs we both own.
I hardly ever like going to concerts because I hate standing for long periods of time, and at the 3 Minute Hero show at the Fine Line, I was crammed up against the bar most of the time. Unfortunately for my feet, I was determined to stay until I heard my two favorite songs: Spider Monkey and Rubber Room. Luckily, an old college buddy offered us his table when he left and we were able to make it to the end of the show – 1:45 am, probably the latest I’ve stayed up in 10 years, which made me feel extremely old when we were leaving and hordes of 20-somethings were just arriving downtown to the dance clubs.
You can’t NOT move your feet to 3 Minute Hero songs; they’re so infectious and front man Jeff Nelson does a fantastic job of getting the audience involved. Besides Jay, I also know trumpet player Bryce Blilie, who once told my college friend I had a nice butt.
Anyway, if you like the sound of ska, you should really give 3 Minute Hero a listen.
They’ve made three albums, two of which you can find here:
Bingo – 1997
Everyday Ninjas – 1999
Operation Brown Star: Special CD Release Edition – 2000
Rating: 5 out of 5 pickles