Just a Music Moment (The Microorganism)

Boiled in Lead, 'From the Ladle to the Grave' (Omnium Records, 1989).  Composite including detail of cover art.

In truth, I can’t believe it took me this long. You know, as if I really need an excuse for a plague song.

In April, when your barge sailed through, I fell in love with you; alas! my paramour, alack! a stranger to me ’til the test comes back. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism! Dive in the gene pool, down you swim, down to where the light grows thin. Flail, little fishies, flail if you can, but avoid the microorganism man. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism. Caffeine, sugar, and THC is all the doctors are gonna find in me when they do the autopsy, the microorganism won’t get me. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism. God is good, and God is great; God’s a big invertebrate. God made the river change its route, but He won’t pull the microorganism out. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism! The cowslips bloom, and the bluebells to; here’s advice I’ll give to you: Rattle your sword before you strike, and never kiss anyone you like. O! the microorganism! O! the microorganism!

Boiled in Lead, “The Microorganism” (1989)

Maybe the problem is that it’s hard to explain just how important Boiled in Lead and a related artistic scene in Minneapolis during the 1980s and early ’90s happens to be. News of misfortune at First Avenue stings from afar; the legendary nightclub looms large in the BiL experience.

But diving into this band can also provide an ingress for any number of astounding artists and their work; Steven Brust, Emma Bull (and also Flash Girls, featuring the Fabulous Lorraine), Megan Lindholm (Robin Hobb), Jane Yolen, and, well, yeah, more. I mean, really, at some point it sounds like I’m just making it up. You know, like if I said Neil Gaiman wanders through at various points, you’d be thinking, Pfft! He’s just hight again. Seriously, though, Boiled in Lead is the sort of adventure where your greatest risk is diving too deep and never wanting to come back up. The one thing you won’t be is sorry.


Norfleet, Nicole. “First Avenue to repair ceiling following collapse; no cause yet determined”. The Star Tribune. 13 August 2015.

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