Hey kids, now that you know your ABCs, it's time to learn about your
Üs. When I was a schoolkid, some time ago, we had the stunningly unhip
My Weekly Reader in primary school and the stodgy National
Scholastic in junior high (though I do recall a pretty cool article in
the latter magazine that gushed about a 7-foot high school basketball
phenom in Kansas named Wilt Chamberlain). Dynamite, published by
Scholastic Books, appears to be an umpteenth-generation descendent of
National Scholastic; it's clearly aimed at the same age bracket anyway.
Articles about the Salk Vaccine and President Eisenhower's foreign
travels, however, have given way to articles not about AIDS and President
Reagan, but about teen movie and TV stars. Perhaps the goal of de-emphasizing
"current events" was to get the kids actually to read the articles, rather
than just drawing mustaches and glasses on Ike's smiling mug with gobby
Anyhow, this issue evidently hit the homeroom desks in January or early February 1988, as it bears a 1988 copyright date and includes a future-tense story about the Winter Olympic Games, which began in mid-February. The format of the piece below featuring Hüsker Dü has been fudged a bit, because I didn't feel like transcribing the sections about the other "bands to watch" (by the time this magazine came out, the Hüskers were no longer watchable). For the record, though, also featured were Los Lobos, Crowded House, and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Considering the target audience, it's hardly surprising that the article is cursory and mildly didactic, but give props to author David Goldman for at least getting his facts straight.
What new sounds will surface in the coming year? We've looked over the
current music scene and picked some bands to watch. [...]
HÜSKER DÜ'S SONGS AND STORY
Hüsker Dü is at times loud, fast, and angry. But there's more to this band than first meets the ear.
Hüsker Dü (the name is Norwegian for "do you remember") consists of guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer Grant Hart. They began as a "hardcore" band playing music that was generally ultra-fast and loud, with screamed vocals (sort of like heavy metal played at 45 RPM). But on recent LPs like Flip Your Wig and Candy Apple Grey the band has moved beyond that, writing thoughtful, even melodic, songs, like "Turn It Around" and "Makes No Sense at All," that still pack more power than much of today's pop.
Their combination of toughness and tunefulness is partly due to Mould and Hart, who split the songwriting duties in the band. A listen to their current album, the double Warehouse: Songs and Stories, will show you what we mean. "Grant's songs are a little more pop, musically and lyrically," says Mould. "They're a little sunnier than mine."
The band's not all serious, though. One of the songs they've recorded is "Love Is All Around," the theme from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show!
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