The music scene in Minneapolis has gone downhill ever since I got here (gee, what a coincidence). There used to be cool British bands playing every other week, but now heavy metal is making a comeback. This is possible only in the Midwest.
Since listening to local radio stations (with the notable exception of KFAI) is an extremely painful experience, I am forced to depend on my CD collection for anything decent. My prized possesions are:
Joy Division: An evening with Joy Division
A bootleg of Joy Division's infamous Paradiso show.
The Sisterhood: Gift
A side project of the Sisters of Mercy. The high point is Andrew Eldritch reciting specs for the AK-47 rifle to a mindblowing drum machine. This one is hard to find.
The Sisters of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake
A compilation of their early material (1980-1983). The original Alice and Temple of Love are here. Also hard to find.
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine: Dom Sportova Live
A partial recording of an incredible show from Zagreb, Croatia from early 1994. Everything is here, including Frank Sinatra covers.
Eurythmics: 1984 for the love of Big Brother
There were some legal complications, so the soundtrack never actually ended up in the movie, but the music is exceptional.
Front 242: Headhunter
120+ BPM. Probably the best thing to come out of Belgium in the 80's.
Laibach: Opus Dei
Very powerful. Very dark. Just how I like it.
The Velvet Underground and Nico
They killed the "she loves me, I love her" phase of music. Not a moment too soon if you ask me.
Twisted cover versions of anything
The Sisters of Mercy doing ABBA covers, Laibach doing Europe, Pat Boone doing Metallica lounge music style, EMF doing the Stooges, and of course the Lambada in Arabic
Other notable artists (to name a few) include:
The Fall, Peter Murphy, Leonard Cohen, New Order, Apollo 440, Talking Heads, Bang Bang Machine, David Bowie, early Blur, early Pulp, Bugles, The Clash, Dead Kennedys, Depeche Mode, Marlene Dietrich, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopracy, EMF, The Farm, Gang of Four, Happy Mondays, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Inspiral Carpets, The Jam, Joy Electric, Nitzer Ebb, Pete Shelley, Lou Reed, Rosetta Stone, Siouxie and the Banshees, S*M*A*S*H, The Stone Roses, These Animal Men, The Velvet Underground, Wire