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John Lamb, Published April 04 2012

Pair of hipster musical wolves invade F-M

If you go

What: Yelawolf, Soulcrate Music

When: 8 p.m., Friday

Where: The Venue at The Hub, 2525 9th Ave. S., Fargo

Info: Tickets are $20 in advance and $23 the day-of-show. Fees may apply. (866) 300-8300.


What: Guitar Wolf, The Transistors and Birthday Suits

When: 10 p.m., Monday

Where: The Aquarium, 226 Broadway, Fargo

Info: Tickets are $10


FARGO - Call the trapper. Indie music has an animal problem. Wolves have invaded and staked-out the hipster music territory with some of the pack roaming into our area this weekend.

Fargo can expect two waves of lupine invasions in the next few days. The first attack occurs Friday night when Alabama rapper Yelawolf brings his scrappy hip-yawp howl to The Venue at The Hub.

A friend and collaborator with both Eminem (who produced Yelawolf’s newest CD “Radioactive” and released it on Shady Records) and Kid Rock (who sings on the new single “Let’s Roll”), Yelawolf is already making a move on a follow-up disc.

Two days later a foreign variety of lupus canis stalks the F-M scene when Japan’s power trio Guitar Wolf bares it’s snarling Ramones-like punk and rockabilly style at The Aquarium Monday night. In a nod to the Ramones, all the band members share a surname; Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf and (you guessed it) Drum Wolf, becoming a rocking brotherhood of the wolf.

Scientists, or rather, music writers, have been tracking these various wolf packs since noticing outbreaks in various hipster scenes around the world. Sea Wolf emerged from Los Angeles in 2003 about the same time Wolf Parade and We and Are Wolves both crept out of Montreal to some critical acclaim. Australia’s Wolfmother and Wolf & Cub both came up from Australia in the early 2000s.

Guitar Wolf predates them all. The rock group was formed in Nagasaki in 1987, about the same time glam rockers Cry Wolf started primping on the Los Angeles scene. Those acts were each predated by the Long Island, N.Y., Lithuanian folk-core group, Steel Wolf.

The former likely descended from ’60s rockers Steppenwolf (which took the name from Herman Hesse’s novel), who, like so many rock bands f that era, were likely inspired by blues legend Chester Arthur “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett.

Technically, 18th century German composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the alpha of all descendent musical wolves – particularly rock bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

And we haven’t even mentioned all of the foreign bands whose name means wolf in another language, like Estonian folk metal group Metsatöll or Amarok, the enviro-friendly Spanish prog rock band that took its name from the Inuit word for wolf.

Then there’s the Swedish heavy metal band, Wolf, which apparently didn’t bother trying to figure out what its name meant in Swedish since the group sings “hits” like “Full Moon Possession” in English. At least Wolf could have been like fellow Swedish punks Wolf Rodeo which at least added to the name. And that group shouldn’t be confused with Rodeo Wolf, which may not be a band, but has a great Farmville account on Facebook.

There are more musical wolf acts coming with pups like disco punks Wolf Gang and sensitive indie poppers Peter Wolf Crier gaining some notice.

All these wolf acts might make you wonder; when did big, bad wolves get so tame?


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533