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Los Angeles Times Article, 15 Dec 1984

Zen Arcade caused a stir of sufficient magnitude to alert the mainstream press, and the subsequent tour attracted significant coverage — a real breakthrough for the Hüskers.

Photo credit: Larry Salzman.

Reflex, which is planning to release eight singles by Minneapolis bands, but Husker Du — which plays the Lingerie tonight — has found that its constant touring, several record releases and increased press coverage has some local fans grumbling about the group's "selling out."
     Actually, the only thing Husker Du has sold out was the initial 15,000 copies of its recent double album "Zen Arcade." One of the most critically acclaimed independent records of the year, "Zen Arcade" mixes crash-and-bash screamers, blistering hard-rock workouts, psychedelic jamming and introspective folk-rock.
     The LP's songs tell the story of a farm boy who runs away, wonders whether to

Please see HUSKER DU, Page 9


hat city has the most vital rock scene in America? Los Angeles and New York may be music
industry centers, and Boston and San Francisco are key stops on the rock underground, but the real action thses days is in Minneapolis.
     From 1984's biggest record-seller, Prince, to such acclaimed new-music groups as the Suburbs and the Replacements, this
has been the year for the Minneapolis music scene. It's also the year for the leading underground band there, Husker Du.

     "The Minneapolis scene is real supportive," Husker Du's Bob Mould said in a recent phone interview. Asked why his city is turning out so much music these days, the singer-guitarist quipped, "It's so cold in Minneapolis, you have to do something to keep warm."
     Mould helps run a local record label,

Husker Du trio, from left, Bob Mould, Greg Norton and Grant Hart, play the Lingerie tonight.

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join the army or a cult, becomes a musician and finally winds up at a computer company before waking up and realizing that it was all a dream. The narative may not be that explicit, but Mould wanted the record "to leave things up to people's imaginations instead of making concrete definitions. We didn't want it to be a rock opera."
     "Zen Arcade" has hit the top of independent record charts and is a mainstay of college radio stations. Not bad for a group that could barely play its instruments when it started in 1979.
     "We didn't even know what hard core was wen we started," Mould explained. "We just wanted to play fast." Taking its Swedish1 name (translation: "Do you remember?") from a children's board game, the ragged but determined trio released its first single in May, 19792.
     The first stirrings of national interest came with the blitzkrieg combo's appropriately titled 1982 live album, "Land Speed Record," released on New Alliance, the label run by L.A.'s Minutemen, whom the Huskers met through Black Flag (Husker Du now records for Black Flag's SST Records).
     Like the Minutemen, Husker Du is a band that maintains a no-pose stance. "We wear everyday clothes and sing songs about
everyday stories," Mould noted. "People get the image that we'll have Mohawks (haircuts). When they see us setting up, they think we're the road crew — then we plug in and blow them against the wall! We don't have pretensions to anything but writing good songs.
     The group is already at work on its next album, "New Day Rising," and Mould, who shares the songwriting credits with drummer Grant Hart (bassist Greg Norton completes the lineup), feels it's a stronger album than "Zen Arcade." "It's more first-person in a third-person way," he said.

     Husker Du has even started attracting major-label interest, an unusual situation for a group whose music Mould describes as "not so much a wall of sound, but more like a bed of nails."
     Mould says the group's recent show at New York's Ritz was attended by a host of record company execs, but he views the situation with bemused detachment.
     "With record compaines, it's like a game to see which label doesn't get you first, rather than who does," he said. "It's nice that they're interested, but it doesn't matter to us if we sell 2 million records or two records. We're interested in making music because it's our living."

1. Norwegian, yes. Danish, yes. Swedish, no.
2. Who knows where this date came from? The first single was released Jan 1981.

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