Ten years ago Hockey Night was just a bunch of four track demos from a chill bro in Red Wing, MN named Paul Sprangers (who may or may not have contributed to this video about people from Minnesota who use knives inappropriately). When he wasn't popping wheelies, hanging with dubious Julies or performing in spazz-punk trio The Renegades (with drummer Alex Achen and guitarist Scott Wells), P penned songs that would later be compared to Pavement, Thin Lizzy, T. Rex and The Wyld Stallyns.
In 2003 I ordered their debut LP Rad Zapping, and the boys included an additional CD-R with "Hockey Night Demos" scribbled on it. Kind of like they knew Zapping was "OK" while future material would be "pretty nasty." And indeed, that series of unnamed dueling axe-wizardry was so righteous, so scrumptralescent, that three years later Daytrotter would dub it "the most wickedly great, face-freezing guitar lines this side of the apocalypse or pearly gates."
In 2007 after the crew surprisingly failed to achieve interplanetary harmony, guitarists Spranger and Wells left the band to sign with DFA Records. Blog chaos and verbal shivving ensued; we spent two years poring over 2005's Keep Guessin' for clues.
The road was for us
It paved the ocean with trust
Started a band, but man
We never took care of all the Renegade rust
Hockey Night - Renegades (from Keep Guessin')
What happened, bros? While we may never fully know, Hockey Night's latest status signals an era of enhanced vibes is directly ahead: "BAD STUFF + PEACE ATTACK = FREE ENERGY." And regardless of which guitar rock era you most covet, there can be no doubt that "Dream City" is a proper summer 2k9 jumpoff. It's light, it's tight, verses end with the words "tonight" and "allright." Maybe we can move on.
Free Energy - Dream City
PS - would hate to be whoever stayed inside to work on the wikipedia entry for summer, although they did a pretty decent job.