Posts from 15th June 2000

15
Jun 00

MOULD IS IN THE HART

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MOULD IS IN THE HART
or
Tough on grunge, tough on the causes of grunge part two – the Husker Du Story.

Now having a go a Bob Mould because his surname is Mould would be the height of infantile purility, but hey, his surname is Mould right. The green stuff that grows on bread when you’ve left it out for a few days. Many might say the Husker Du were the mould which grew on rock ten or twenty years after it was invented. While everyone else of their generation were poodle rocking, making thoroughly contemptible but meaningless songs about having big hair – Husker Du were peddling their sensitive rock songs to a so called hardcore audience. What was so hardcore about the Du was unclear. Certainly you needed to be hardcore to listen to some of their one tone dirges, but there was nothing robust about their stab at rock. Instead it sounded like Mould fencing with a pair of knitting needles.

Of course, Mould was only one third of the Huskies (though admittedly the one with the worst voice – which rightly qualified him for singing chores). If we discard the bass player as just being an unwitting stooge we are left with Grant Hart – a singing drummer.

That’s a singing drummer. This is a sign I tell you, a Nostradamus like portent.

I need not say any more about Hart, though I will. Exhibit A would be his enormous Kitchener moustache that scared off the ladies wherever he went. Post Husker Du he formed a combo called Nova Mob that released a concept album about the Last Days Of Pompeii. Three months later the entire band were involved in a car crash. This would make you believe in a god except Copper Blue never caused a mysterious tree to fall on Sugar’s tour bus.

Post disastrous melancholy solo albums (on the sleeves of which Mould sat looking like the psychopathic twin to Black Francis scowling) Bob came to reclaim his mantle as the man who invented grunge via the band Sugar. He did this by ripping off a Pixies song. He managed to convince a fair few people too – not least our old mate and cock lookilikee Steve Sutherland of the NME (Steve gets bonus marks for noting that Du song “She’s A Woman But Now He Is A Man” is about a transsexual.) In the end though it became clear that Husker Du did not invent Grunge, they merely took the sound of a wasp trapped in a bottle and sang badly over it. It is quite possible that Mould invented the Plaid shirt though.

By taking the tunelessness of the Pixies and marrying this with the po-faced earnest flycore that Husker Du peddled up – grunge was apparently formed. What more can you say about a band who’s own manager killed himself? Perhaps there was more to it, but there does not need to be more to it. Just Husker Don’t.

Right. Time for something

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Right. Time for something actually useful on NYLPM: how to do Steps’ Deeper Shade Of Blue Dance. And while you’re practising, go and read Sebastian’s thoughts on music reviewing at Signal Drench. They’re great.

The rise and rise of little voice

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The rise and rise of little voice: article on women in rock with lots of interesting assertions, but which ultimately suffers from a lack of actual song examples with which to demonstrate rock’s developing female vocabulary. But I didn’t know the stuff about guitar styles.

The Marshall Mathers LP

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The Marshall Mathers LP: “The indie scene, approaching epidemic levels of hype-believing, needs records like this. It’s too bad it’s only multimillionaire rap stars are making them.”Western Homes deserts indie for sell-out hip-hop shocker! One of the best reviews I’ve read on his site, though I’d question his assertion that PE’s He Got Game had much in the way of great production.

So why isn’t the indie scene making albums like this? (we’ll leave out the question of whether it should). My glib answer – the indie scene currently, and the undie rap scene for that matter, are based on community rather than confrontation: they are simply not interested in taking on the mainstream in the way that Em is. Eminem’s smartypants amorality is anti-mainstream (even as he defines what it is) but also anti-scene, anti-community, anti-everything other than Shady’s right to do whatever the fuck he wants. That’s what gives it its impetus, makes it exciting – that’s also what makes it damn hard to sympathise with or love. But sympathy and love is hardly what Eminem’s up for.

In the end, The Marshall Mathers LP looks to be an event record, a disc which – like OK Computer, “Baby One More Time”, Thriller or Nevermind – draws the lines and sets the parameters of pop conversation. If we’re talking pop in 2000, in other words, we’re talking within the frame that Eminem’s set up.

MP3.com – james lucas

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MP3.com – james lucas: here’s where you can download stuff by James Lucas, who Robin reviewed a while back. Go James Go!

No, Josh, No

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No, Josh, no! Fred is trying his best to get you some action and you’re talking about Parmenides and Wittgenstein! Man oh man!

In-jokes aside, Josh has some typically interesting and well-thought out things to say about liking things. Read them and ponder. I agree with Josh – I think though that one reason I tend towards the love of singles and individual songs is their capacity to approach the kind of perfection Josh sees in his favourite (two-line) poem. Mind you my idea of this perfection is “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen.