Hüsker Dü - Celebrated Summer (1985)
I suppose just about any serious music fan has an artist they consider to be "the only band that ever really mattered" and this one is definitely mine. I discovered Hüsker Dü as a teen during the early 80's and am almost certain the song Whatever from the 1984 double album Zen Arcade was the first song that left me in a complete daze. The song featured today is from the 1985 release New Day Rising and is a favorite among most fans. Hüsker Dü was a power trio consisting of Bob Mould (guitar, vocals), Grant Hart (drums, vocals) and Greg Norton (bass) that formed in 1979 and are credited by many in defining the genre of alternative rock. For the most comprehensive history and collection of anything Hüsker Dü, check out this wonderful website maintained by Paul Hilcoff. If you click the links above, you will find both Bob and Grant have active solo music careers, while Greg runs his own restaurant. Also, given some free time is available this weekend, head out and pick up an old Hüsker Dü record or CD. You can still find them at the "good" music shops.
My Bloody Valentine - By The Danger In Your Eyes (1986)
To be honest (please don't laugh), It was late 2002 when I bought my first home computer. Before that time, I had no idea anyone even remembered My Bloody Valentine here in the states. If someone had asked me if I was a fan of MBV, they would have received a blank stare in response. Once I started browsing various musician forums, it was the greatest thing ever to see numerous arguments regarding what equipment, effects and chords were needed to re-create that original shoegaze sound. The featured song here is from the 1986 single/EP simply titled The New Record By My Bloody Valentine. There is a nicely done My Bloody Valentine Myspace Fan Page as well as an MBV Fansite which I remember having more downloads and fun stuff last time I visited. In recent developments, Kevin Shields made a statement I keep reading about where he mentions leaning towards a reunion and new release. As much as I love this band, please don't let it be so. Sometimes past accomplishments are better left to rest.
Squirrel Bait - Kid Dynamite (1986)
By far the least known band I will mention this time, Squirrel Bait was recognized as another one of the best post-punk/ post hardcore bands around during the mid to late 80's. Their short history maintains a sort of cult status among plenty of music geeks including myself. This Louisville, Kentucky based outfit received enormous praise from other emerging bands at the time while also keeping a certain level of credibility within the hardcore/punk community. For the complete story, you can check out this Ear Candy article on the band. There is also a Family Tree that might give you an idea where the members of Squirrel Bait traveled musically after they decided to call it quits in 1988. Since that time, I've loosely followed the solo career of Peter Searcy. His music takes a completely different folk direction these days, but those vocals are still some of the strongest out there. For more of the old stuff, pay a visit to this Squirrel Bait MySpace fan page.