Hüsker Dü


It was early 1983, probably, after the “Everything Falls Apart” EP presaged Hüsker Dü’s departure from hard-core punk and before the “Metal Circus” EP made it official. Just a gig at a crummy club near CBGB, and late — after 1. There weren’t a dozen onlookers, but Hüsker Dü’s two early records were knockouts, and that Minneapolis trio never came east, so there we were. From our booth in back the music sounded terrific: headlong and enormous, the guitar unfashionably full, expressive and unending, with two raving vocalists alternating leads on songs whose words were hard to understand and whose tunes weren’t. Another half-dozen curious fans drifted in. And then, halfway through, the guitarist passed into some other dimension. When he stepped yowling off the low stage, most of us gravitated closer, glancing around and shaking our heads. The climax was the band’s now legendary cover of “Eight Miles High,” which transformed the Byrds’ gentle paean to the ­chemical-technological sublime into a roller coaster lifted screaming off its tracks — bruising and exhilarating, leaving the rider both very and barely alive.

more from Robert Christgau at the NYT here.