Sunday, August 07, 2011
A song for every year of my life #8: 1984
Minutemen - "Viet Nam"
Nostalgia is bad, right? Let me reminisce. You have to learn to live with your contradictions. That's what makes everybody interesting and irritating. Minutemen are a band close to my heart. Self-taught, outsider dorks, not part of any scene but influential on many, personal, funny, inventive, timeless, minimal, bullshit-free, politically savvy without being preachy or humorless, real working-class humans. I love these guys. They're small-h heroes. There are no big-H heroes, no matter what TV tells us. This album came out in 1984. I first heard it in 1994. It's my second-favorite rock album, next to The Stooges' Fun House. I heard that one for the first time in 1996. I'm supposed to care about this week, why?
Alternate choice: Husker Du -"Pink Turns to Blue"
Another song from a double album on SST in 1984, produced by Spot. This is the prettiest song about heroin death since Bert Jansch's "Needle of Death." Every current indie band needs to listen to Double Nickels on the Dime and Zen Arcade and feel hot, blistering shame. You can be ambitious without being a twat. You can be funny without being a prick. You can use your goddamn snare drum once in a while. You still won't be this good, precious.