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Hüsker Dü

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Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (1979 – 1987)

Hüsker Dü was a band from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, active from 1979 to 1987. The band consisted of Bob Mould (guitars, vocals), Greg Norton (bass) and Grant Hart (drums, vocals). Mould and Hart split the song-writing duties. The band was never widely popular, but had an impact much larger than sales might indicate. “Hüsker Dü” is Danish/Norwegian for “Do You Remember” (a popular children’s game). Hüsker Dü first gained notice as a post-hardcore band, with thrashing tempos & screamed vocals, but also with a melodic, soulful edge that became more pronounced in the band’s mid-career, as they drifted away from their early sound. They were also a striking trio on stage — far different from the typical hardcore band of the time — with Mould’s hulking, doughy presence shouting angrily at stage left, offset by the generally unkempt, long-haired Hart flailing on the drums, and the lanky, good-natured Norton, who sported a waxed handlebar moustache for most of the band’s career.

Hüsker Dü broke with the anti-traditionalist ethos of most early hardcore bands. Their early songwriting shows the influence of , 1960s music, , and other forms (although often buried under a thick layer of angst and aggression), and has a strong melodic sense. The lyrics made astute, sharp, personal and social commentary, showing a great deal of vulnerability and sympathy for their subjects. Hüsker Dü’s songwriting was widely admired, and their live shows were often a venue for brilliant improvisational playing.

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