June 30, 2009

Origins: Hüsker Dü

Where to start? Should I reach back to the beginning, when I liked the Village People and KISS? Maybe not. I'd like to start with the music that influenced me most. The music that has formed much of the foundation of what I like today, how I play the guitar and how I write songs.

In my teenage years, I got bored with mainstream music and started branching out. I listened to a lot of classic rock, metal and punk, in addition to a brief foray into dance music. And let's get this out of the way out front - I've always liked a good pop song. I like melody and good songwriting, and yes, I realize that "good" anything is highly subjective. So strong pop songwriting with an original twist is a thread that will likely begin to show itself over some time here.

One band really grabbed me back in the 80s and their effect has been felt for many years: Hüsker Dü. With the release of Candy Apple Grey and Warehouse: Songs and Stories, I discovered Hüsker Dü. I always gravitated more towards Bob Mould's songs. Their lyrics, melodies and structures spoke to me and have been a huge influence. There are a lot of sites out there that will take you through the history of Hüsker Dü, Sugar and Bob Mould. I'll just provide a few songs that are standouts for me.

"Could You Be The One" was the first Hüsker Dü song I learned how to play on the guitar and the first one I played with a band. The sound quality in this version isn't great, but hopefully the song shines through.

Then Hüsker Dü broke up.