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September 21, 2007 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Something to Hüsker : Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton live with Joan Rivers on the Late Show. Also live versions of the Byrds' Eight Miles High, The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill/I Apologize, Pink Turns to Blue, Every Everything, Makes no Sense at All, Ticket to Ride, New Day Rising, These Important Years, Every Everytime, and a video for Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely.
posted by psmealey (68 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, man. My hatred of YouTube linkdumps is at war with my love of Hüsker Dü.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2007


Finally...A YouTube linkfest I can enjoy. Thanks for this - The Huskers are pure solid gold. Wish Grant would record/play more often.

I can see it all with my one good eye
For a start take two Grant Harts and call me when you die

posted by oh pollo! at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2007


Well, I know what I'm doing at lunch today. And weirdly, "Sorry Somehow" had just started playing on my iPod when I saw this post.
posted by COBRA! at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2007


Bloody hell - Greg Norton's playing bass again.
posted by oh pollo! at 8:44 AM on September 21, 2007


Nice Posies reference, oh pollo!
posted by psmealey at 8:48 AM on September 21, 2007


For some reason, this reminded me of a story I heard during an interview of one of the brothers from Trip Shakespeare on the local radio station in Lawrence, KS years ago. Apparently after they released Lulu (Myspace TV video) and the refrain "Do you remember? Du you recall?" was everywhere (on college stations in the US midwest at least), Grant Hart came bursting into TS's dressing room one night in Minneapolis and screamed, "I've got your 'do you remember' right here," and left. I don't know if it's true, but I always thought it was hilarious.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:50 AM on September 21, 2007


Wish Grant would record/play more often.

I agree. But on the other hand, one of the most disappointing sets I've ever seen was a Grant Hart solo slot at First Ave. It was just him with an electric guitar, and that's a tough thing to pull off (ironically, the only person I've seen do it well is Mould). If he'd gone solo acoustic or had a backing band, it could've been cool, but as it was everything just sounded horribly, depressingly limp.
posted by COBRA! at 8:50 AM on September 21, 2007


Oh yeah, this reminds me: when I worked at the Minnesota Historical Society, one of their very cool curators was bringing in a giant collection of material from the 80s Minneapolis music explosion. Here's the Husker Du section.
posted by COBRA! at 8:52 AM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


See Poolio? - This is how it is done.
posted by Sk4n at 9:07 AM on September 21, 2007


Great link, COBRA!. And I've seen Hart with bands more than solo and he's much better with a band. I really love The Last Days of Pompeii by Nova Mob, Hart's second band, and will always cherish seeing them on a Sunday night with about 5 people in the audience (it was also during a time when he was healthy, rather than the plastic-skinned mannequin I've seen him look like a couple of times as well).
posted by sleepy pete at 9:08 AM on September 21, 2007


When I used to listen to Zen Arcade on my Walkman during the school bus ride to 7th grade, all the other kids would shoot me dirty looks because of all the 'noise' bleeding out from the headphones.

Damn, I loved those moments.
posted by NationalKato at 9:09 AM on September 21, 2007


One other Husker-related piece of ephemera: I got to interview Mould a few years ago. Here's a transcript. A lot of the talk is about his then-new solo album, but he also hits on the Husker Du days a little and what it was like to be playing in Minneapolis again.

On preview: thanks, sleepy pete!
posted by COBRA! at 9:23 AM on September 21, 2007


Pretty awesome that Greg is playing again. Thanks for reminding me of one of the few things I enjoyed about high school. I'll torture my wife with these videos later!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:27 AM on September 21, 2007


Love is All Around
posted by notyou at 9:33 AM on September 21, 2007


Awesome post. Back when I was a sophomore in high school, Zen Arcade, New Day Rising and the mighty Flip Your Wig were my favorite records on the planet.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:44 AM on September 21, 2007


Joan Rivers: "Are you Danish?"
posted by R. Mutt at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2007


At least one transparent-orange 7-inch bootleg of that Joan Rivers performance is floating around somewhere out there. I know this because I had it and my parents gave it away.
posted by nímwunnan at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2007


I was watching the I Apologize link and when Bob screamed the lines
...when you get tight-lipped, how do I know what you think?
I had this involuntary punk rock full-body convulsion that ripped the earbuds from my ears, spilled iced tea all over my desk, and startled a cat so badly she tried to run straight up a wall.

I think I just had a rockgasm.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:54 AM on September 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


And, oh, but that live at Camden Palace is link is GOOD. I cannot listen to this loudly enough. I want this to be so loud windows burst, birds fall dead from the sky, rifts in the earth open to reveal the fires of hell.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2007


After the rock poster revival, it's hard to remember a time before Kozik and Coop, when the kids used to crib Raymond Pettibon.
posted by ardgedee at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2007


Total threadjack: Joan Rivers also hosted Gwar.
posted by ardgedee at 10:05 AM on September 21, 2007


This makes me so excited about my trip to Minneapolis next weekend. And it reminds me that I really need to get over to The Nortons' for a meal some time when I'm up that way. Somehow it hasn't worked out every time I've tried to go.
posted by padraigin at 10:15 AM on September 21, 2007


Man, I think I like Grant Hart's first solo album more than a fair amount of Husker stuff.

And not just because he got me high, then hit on me.
posted by klangklangston at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


And from the link on Greg's new band's MySpace page, the Husker Du Database.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on September 21, 2007


Thanks for the post—I love these guys!
posted by languagehat at 11:06 AM on September 21, 2007


Hüsker Dü broke up before I could tell a guitar from a drum, but they're one of my favorite bands nonetheless. Thanks for the post.
posted by obvious at 11:38 AM on September 21, 2007


Wow. Just watched the "Don't Want to Know if you are Lonely" video.

FUCK

YEAH!!
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 11:57 AM on September 21, 2007


I've been hearing rumors for years about somebody rereleasing/remastering the Hüsker's back catalog, but given the state of SST Records' finances, that doesn't seem very likely. A damn shame.

Anyway, kickass post.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:07 PM on September 21, 2007


I met Bob Mould once, he was the biggest prick rockstar I've ever encountered. (I used to work in college radio, and met plenty of big acts), I could not stand the dude. Pretentious, arrogant, jerk.

Seriously, I have been unable to even checkout any of his music because of that day. I know lots of people that dig it, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.

Prick.

Who knows, maybe he was just having a bad day, though...
posted by bobjohnsonmilw at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2007


I met Bob Mould once, he was the biggest prick rockstar I've ever encountered. (I used to work in college radio, and met plenty of big acts), I could not stand the dude. Pretentious, arrogant, jerk.

He was kind of a butt when I tried to talk to him after a show once, but was extremely nice and fun to talk to when I did the interview linked above. Of course, then he had more of an incentive to be nice and fun to talk to.
posted by COBRA! at 12:15 PM on September 21, 2007


Your favorite band sucks are pricks.

My band played with the Huskers a couple of times in the mid 80s. Bob always seemed aloof to me (and I was always too intimidated to talk to him), but not necessarily prick-ish. Both Grant and Greg were super friendly, approachable guys, however.
posted by psmealey at 12:17 PM on September 21, 2007


@COBRA!:

Ehh, fair enough... I mean the thing I learned about being a rockstar is that the crazies/fan(atics) come out of the woodwork and the plastic people swarm on rockstars. Starfuckers, and whatnot. I think maybe at some point those people that REALLY make it in the business have to develop a shell to keep people from wasting their time as well.

Thing was for me, I was just there recording their performance in the studio and the dude was just absolutely a jerk to the entire staff. I mean, if someone had been like, OMFG you're Bob Mould!!!! I WANT TO SUCK YOUR BRAT!!!!! I could see it, but we bent over backwards to make that guy comfortable.

Oh well, that's life right? Actually, it's my work in radio that made me NEVER want to be a rockstar. It also lead to the decline in my faith in humanity.
posted by bobjohnsonmilw at 12:21 PM on September 21, 2007


@psmealey:

Actually, you're right... My favorite band is made up of pricks:)

I wasn't trying to bash them, and TONS of people dig their music.... Just sayin' :)
posted by bobjohnsonmilw at 12:22 PM on September 21, 2007


I'm picking up my belongings in a nylon carryall EVEN AS I TYPE THIS.

Thanks, psmealey.
posted by dersins at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2007


Beautiful post. Thanks psmealey.
posted by MrMustard at 12:37 PM on September 21, 2007


Nice mats reference psmealey. And great post as usual.
posted by vronsky at 12:51 PM on September 21, 2007


@ sleepy pete

Shoutout from a former Lawrencian/Jayhawk and Trip Shakespeare/Bob Mould fan.

Might you have heard that interview on KJHK sometime in the late 80s? I seem to recall it too, but don't know where I heard it (heard it, heard it, heard it... Sorry. Brief Orb moment. Anyway...)

I do know that I saw every TS show ever put on at the Bottleneck, and Bob Mould at Liberty Hall (I think) -- and man, those were the days.

Thanks for bringing back those memories.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2007


The Mats - Something to Dü
posted by psmealey at 1:38 PM on September 21, 2007


hapax_legomenon: Early 90s... probably 91, KJHK, and I never did see Trip Shakespeare because they were always in town and I won a ticket once and gave it to a friend (Liberty Hall). Anyway, the Nova Mob show was at the Bottleneck. Bob Mould was never one of my favorite solo songwriters so I never went to see him, but he was always playing Liberty then as well.

Since Lawrence is an almost straight shot from Minneapolis, people were always playing there from the north and I know that KJ always had interviews on whenever someone was in town. I would imagine that you heard an interview in the 80s as well.

And hello back to you!
Wait, were you there for the '88 championship win with Manning? I wasn't, but I heard it was pretty crazy
posted by sleepy pete at 1:46 PM on September 21, 2007


hmm,

...because they were always in town so I always figured I'd see them the next time...
posted by sleepy pete at 1:48 PM on September 21, 2007


I saw Hüsker Dü at a small club in St. Louis in the mid-80s. It was a great show. Also in attendence that night, Chuck Berry.
posted by DaddyNewt at 2:12 PM on September 21, 2007


Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 has an interesting chapter on husker du, and also the replacements.
posted by vronsky at 2:55 PM on September 21, 2007


On Joan Rivers ?!

Sweet Jesus .... I have to go look in a mirror and see if there's a big vein standing out on my forehead, cause it sure feels like there is.
posted by Relay at 3:43 PM on September 21, 2007


Trying to comment without blathering: 1. the Huskers and Minutemen were Godsends to me in the 80s and probably saved my life.

2. Why were they so widely accepted in Europe while only being a historical foot note in the U.S.? I think I've heard something about SST being behind that.

psmealey, thanks. Great post AND thread!
posted by snsranch at 4:19 PM on September 21, 2007


This is me attempting to comment without blathering on: 1. the Huskers and Minutemen were Godsends to me in the 80s and probably saved my life.

2. Why is it that they were so huge in Europe but were relegated to playing such small shows in the U.S.? It's kinda like when Hendrix moved to London.

If you liked the footage on "Don't Wanna Know if you are Lonely", you might like this vid of "fIREHOSE, Witness."

psmealey
, thanks. Great post AND thread!
posted by snsranch at 4:42 PM on September 21, 2007


Super post!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:36 PM on September 21, 2007


I've never met Bob so I don't know if he is/was an unpleasant fellow or not, but one of our situational mantras back in the day was 'Bob is god'. One of my proudest webloggy moments back in my first few years of it was when he linked one of my essays from his site (tangentially about punk rock) with praise.

The Joan Rivers thing freaks me out a bit, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 PM on September 21, 2007


I met Bob and his boyfriend at a Melbourne show a couple of years ago. He was relaxed and amiable. But then he is neither a practicing alcoholic or speed freak now, from what I can gather.

It's funny how Husker discussions often go down the Lennon/McCartney rivalry route. There are Bob fans and there are Grant fans. Whilst I love both songwriters, I can't help wondering if the brilliance people ascribe to each of them is the product of the sometimes intense rivalry between them. You can debate who was the better songwriter till the cows come home, but without the other to spur them on, would either of them have been as influential?
posted by tim_in_oz at 6:56 PM on September 21, 2007


The Mats - Something to Dü
posted by psmealey at 3:38 PM on September 21 [+] [!]

I love the Huskers, but that is the best link in this thread! Thanks!
posted by trigfunctions at 7:16 PM on September 21, 2007


It's funny how Husker discussions often go down the Lennon/McCartney rivalry route.

It's not funny anymore. :-P

Actually, is there a better analogue for the creative forces that drove the Hüskers (AND ultimately tore them apart) than Lennon and McCartney? For my own part, I count at least four of Grant's songs among my personal favorite rock tunes of all time, but Bob's tunes are pretty well represented there too. I couldn't put myself in one camp or the other.
posted by psmealey at 7:18 PM on September 21, 2007


I love the Huskers, but that is the best link in this thread! Thanks!

I love the Mats, but seriously, comparing the Replacements to the Hüskers is a bit like comparing to Salieri to Mozart.
posted by psmealey at 7:21 PM on September 21, 2007


I love the Mats, but seriously, comparing the Replacements to the Hüskers is a bit like comparing to Salieri to Mozart.
I respectfully disagree. The Mats were every bit as good as the Huskers, and Westerberg is, in my opinion, a better songwriter than Mould. But, they are both outstanding, so any preferences are preferences of style, not substance. IMO.
posted by trigfunctions at 7:49 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is awesome! I'll have to check them out when I have an hour to kill, 2-1/2 minutes at a time. I never got to see Husker, but some of the Bob shows (both solo and with a band) I've been to are on my all-time list of Best Shows Ever.

derail: speaking of Best Shows Ever (and I have to mention it because of Trip's appearance upthread): #1 on my list is Trip Shakespeare at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA in November 1991. You know how in every show there's that moment when your attention wanders, you notice you're thirsty, your feet hurt, or you're bored while someone's tuning? Not that night. It was two hours of fantastical stories of Minnesotan dairy workers and driving under the influence of love, set to crazy improvisation that somehow just WORKED. Oh Matt and Dan, why did you have to go on to become Semisonic?
posted by harkin banks at 8:19 PM on September 21, 2007


Oh Matt and Dan, why did you have to go on to become Semisonic?

Wait. What? Really? It was fucking Trip Shakeseare's fault I heard that fucking "I know who I want to take me home" song seventy-eight times a day in 1998/99?

This one?

Well, fuck those guys, then. Next time I'm back east I'm pulling all my Trip Shakespeare records out of deep storage and burning the fuck out of them.

and I don't mean "...to CD", either
posted by dersins at 10:46 PM on September 21, 2007


grant fan. "intolerance" is my fave husker-associated record. please grant, make more records.

that said, everytime i play 'celebrated summer' i set something on fire.
posted by psychoticreaction at 1:24 AM on September 22, 2007


@ sleepy pete:

Wait, were you there for the '88 championship win with Manning? I wasn't, but I heard it was pretty crazy

Yep, I was there and it was a total blast. Not only was Lawrence out of control, but Westport in KC was a madhouse. The streets were jammed and people were going nuts all night long. Good times.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 3:40 AM on September 22, 2007


Great post. Hüsker Dü is amazing though I always enjoyed Grant's songs more than Bob's. Warehouse is underrated. I wish they would reunite just to play a few shows, that is if they could pull of a reunion as well as Mission of Burma. Incidentally, MoB is playing two shows at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston tomorrow.
posted by inoculatedcities at 8:22 AM on September 22, 2007


that said, everytime i play 'celebrated summer' i set something on fire.

I have a similar problem. When I hear 'divide and conquer' I want to smash furniture and glass window panes.
posted by psmealey at 10:06 AM on September 22, 2007


Salieri vs. Mozart. Oh no my friend. You did not just say that. Them's fightin words.
Not that they aren't both genius bands but the Huskers can't match Westerberg for wordplay, poetic sensibility, sense of humor and heart on your sleeve romanticism.
posted by vronsky at 4:58 PM on September 22, 2007


No doubt Westerberg was and is a great songwriter, I just became less interested in the Replacements as they evolved from a great, loose, firey rock 'n' roll band into the Paul Westerberg backing band (coincident with when they kicked Bob Stinson out of the band). On balance, I thought Westerberg was a great synthesizer of influences, but didn't really contribute that much to the canon. The Huskers may not have been as talented at songcraft, but were broadly and massively influential in a way that neither Westerberg nor the Mats ever were.

I still love both, however. I just don't really ascribe the same level of "greatness" to each.
posted by psmealey at 5:12 PM on September 22, 2007


I agree with you, psmealey: the 'Mats were a great rock band, but Husker Du changed rock'n'roll. They shifted the whole conversation, from their contract with Warner Bros, which as I recall was trumpeted at the time as the first one in which the band had complete creative control over their work; to the way they wedded pop hooks and melody to the fury of American punk.

They kicked open the door, and a bunch of lesser lights (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, even Nine Inch Nails) walked through.

Yes, I said Nirvana was a lesser light. I know this to be true because I am Punker Than Thou. And older. And meaner.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:33 PM on September 22, 2007


The Huskers may not have been as talented at songcraft, but were broadly and massively influential in a way that neither Westerberg nor the Mats ever were.

Again, I have to disagree. Both bands were influential, but in different ways. Husker Du had a sound that lots of bands later tried to use. The Replacements didn't have as distinctive of a sound, but they had an attitude that lots of bands wanted and still want. When we were playing guitars in the basement during that time, we liked the sound of Husker Du but we wanted to BE the Replacements.
posted by trigfunctions at 9:24 PM on September 22, 2007


the 'Mats were a great rock band, but Husker Du changed rock'n'roll.

What about the Minutemen? DOESN'T ANYONE REMEMBER THE MINUTEMEN??
posted by languagehat at 5:17 AM on September 23, 2007


The Replacements didn't have as distinctive of a sound, but they had an attitude that lots of bands wanted and still want.

From a performance standpoint, the Replacements' attitude was little different than the New York Dolls' or Mudhoney's attitudes or the attitudes of a thousand other nihilistic, self-centered bands that came before or since.

From a fan's standpoint, I thought their attitude sucked. I saw them twice, and both times they were too drunk to get through their set. Total waste of time and money. I always had difficulty trying to reconcile fact that I loved their records so much with the fact that they were drunken pricks who couldn't be bothered to put out for the fans, and only really "showed up" when it suited them.

I remember D. Boon and the Minutement, 'hat. And yes, they were incredible.
posted by psmealey at 7:36 AM on September 23, 2007


languagehat: I quoted the Minutemen in my wedding vows("never be too gentle with me"), referenced D. Boon in the header of my blog, and have a veritable shrine to Mike Watt in my bedroom (consisting of a signed dollar bill, a Pettibon flyer from a San Diego show, pix of me and Watt together, ticket stubs from one of their last shows ever at Irving Plaza in NYC , and a vinyl first edition of Double Nickels on the Dime across which Watt has scrawled "My best work!").

Yeah, I remember the Minutemen (that was a terrible FPP, I know now, so I pretty much stopped making them).

Husker Du changed rock'n'roll, but the Minutemen changed my life. So I have a more personal connection with them, though I still think the Huskers were the more influential band.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:45 AM on September 23, 2007


BOP: That was not a terrible post, dammit. It got derailed by a drunken idiot, but it was a fine post. Don't get discouraged! And I envy you your personal contact with the band.
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2007


The Minutemen changed my life too. They're my favorite band ever.

I just saw BOPs fpp and it was good! Some good stories there.

I met Watt at UCSD once and he was just a cool cat, no attitude at all!
posted by snsranch at 5:21 PM on September 23, 2007


Yea, BOPs Minutemen fpp is a great companion for this one. Two great tastes that go great together!
posted by snsranch at 5:50 PM on September 23, 2007


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