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Magazine articles & interviews

Coolest Retard #16, 1981

The short gig review below is from the Chicago fanzine Coolest Retard, #16, published sometime during the latter part of 1981. Although the article can be viewed as constructive proof that anybody can write for a fanzine, it has a certain charm, and I've choked back my compulsion to apply obvious editorial repairs. My apologies to the author, "CRS" (presumably editor Craig Schmidt, who went on to become an established music writer in Chicago), who would now, perhaps, be appalled to see his adolescent exuberance reproduced here (without permission) in all its, uh, glory. Elsewhere in the issue, in the uncredited "Bits O' People" punk-gossip column, this brief mention of Hüsker Dü appeared:

  "Go a bit further north [of Milwaukee] and aslightly west and we have St. Paul, Minn. and Husker Du,
   who played here about a month back. It was part of a seven week tour which took in Canada and
   West Coast where they opened for DOA and Dead Kennedys. They should have a 20 song Live 12"
   EP out in Oct. It will be the 2nd release on Reflex."

Husker Du - Lucky Number Bar

    thrusting, shoving and ranting, the small crowd of fifty people seems as if they are hell-bent on destroying the living cool of Wrightwood and Lincoln. On stage are Husker Du from Minneapolis. A band prior to 1981 were virtually unknown outside of their northern state. Now they are playing along side of the likes of Dead Kennedys, DOA and Black Flag. A three piece that most people refer to as a "thrash band". The San Fransican dj asks: "How fast do you guys play?" Husker Du: "We play pretty fast." DJ: "Fast as Black Flag?" H. Du's: "Yeah about that Fast-.." DJ: "Nah, nobody plays that fast" Obviously the interview happened before the dj saw the band.
    But for Husker Du (translation: Do You Remember?) there are more sides to them than the mere thrash in the pan. There is also there intriguing experimental side. Generally they play two sets, seperating the well, fast from slower songs. During the first set the crowd watches intently, while rocking to and fro on their heels. But things start to explode during the second set. As the hard core songs instantly follow one another the crowd gradually reach a bump 'em car level. By the seventh song the crowd eventually resolves itslef into a errant series of gangland tackles, heretofor unseen since 1930's college football. The activity is definitely non-sexists, as tackles giving and recieved are easily balanced by males and females. As the bodies begin to invade the stage like garbage bags in a pick up truck, Husker Du merely sidestep the bodies and lean a little further into their mikes. A Hot Hot Band. "How do you like them" I'm asked after their second set. I'm drenced in sweat and out of breath, and if he needs an answer he can sniff my armpit.---CRS

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