1. Because last year's show at First Ave was stellar, even with the attempted P-Funk cover.
2. Because the band was just in the studio working on a new album last month and didn't get the memo about resting on its laurels.
3. Because even though I very much like Radiohead and own a few Captain Beefheart records (can't say I listen to them, though), I'm not really a music snob. So I don't look down on a band just because it landed a semi-schmaltzy No. 1 hit and the singer dated a movie star.
4. Because when I'm in New Orleans, I go see Kermit Ruffins at Vaughan's or Geno Delafose at Mid-City Lanes. When I'm Austin, I see Bruce Robison at the Broken Spoke or Dale Watson at the Continental Club. I'm in Minneapolis, and Soul Asylum at First Ave is what you go see.
5. Because when I moved to Austin still in high school in the late-80s, I caught one of Soul Asylum's First Ave gigs around the holidays and knew I'd always want to move back to the city where I grew up.
6. Because I'm tired of going to shows where I feel old going in (at 37) but then I leave in time to watch Letterman (since the young bands can't muster up more than hourlong sets).
7. Because the sight of Tommy Stinson (Replacements) and Michael Bland (Prince) playing behind Danny and Dave never gets old from a Minneapolis music fan standpoint.
8. Because raising a glass to Karl Mueller also never gets old.
(Photo by Daniel Corrigan, for First Ave)