Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Husker Du

Husker Du- Zen Arcade

So here’s a hardcore band that decide that they’ve grown tired with the confines of the genre and decide to shake things up by recording a double-length quasi-concept album about the alienation of being young. In doing so, not only do they do away with the limitations of the genre’s form, but they also blaze new sonic ground, experimenting with tape loops, samples, acoustic guitars and weird instrumental/vocal effects.

I’m talking about Husker Du, of course. But Jesus, how many bands a year decide that they’re going to try and follow the Zen Arcade template and blaze new stylistic trails in their respective genres? Every time I turn around it seems like some band or other is crowing to the music press about how incendiary/revolutionary/innovative their latest thing is. Husker Du went out there, did it, risked colossal failure and made it happen without giving a fuck- shit, even the Minutemen followed their lead, you know? Still completely untouchable twenty years later.

Husker Du- Warehouse: Songs And Stories

A double album full of good songs, more mellow and less jagged than the SST stuff, but still carrying the trademark swarm-of-buzzing-insects sound, albeit a muted swarm.

There’s a cold calculation on this record- Bob Mould’s doing- that reminds me of the way that Terry Francona builds his lineup card. The sequencing on the CD goes back and forth, Mould to Hart. It’s like when the day’s batting order is announced and the manager alternates lefty and righty hitters for max effect: Damon’s your leadoff lefty, Nixon hitting second blows my nascent analogy out of the water, Manny’s a righty and bats from the right side, followed by Ortiz on the left, etc. You get the idea.

Mould always had to have more of his songs on Husker Du albums than Grant Hart did. On the Warehouse CD, you can tell where side A of the vinyl ended and side B began, because the songs go Hart-Mould-Mould-Hart. That’s our boy being like “Hey, everyone, I’m Bob Mould. Just so you know, I’m going to end side A with one of my songs AND begin side B with one, too. Just so you know who wears the pants in the band.”


Blogger RichieTylerPollard said...

Roaring with laughter from this one...
......Just so you know who wears the pants in the band.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Thanks, Tyler.

12:23 PM  

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