What Would Hüsker Dü

Music Monday

The obscure and seemingly insignificant can influence millions. Never achieving fame or fortune, an inconspicuous St. Paul, Minnesota trio known as Hüsker Dü shaped music genres that would become known as alternative rock, grunge, power pop and post-hardcore. In the early 1980’s, when duran duran, Eurythmics, A Flock of Seagulls, Journey, Human League, Michael Jackson, Men At Work, and Def Leppard were topping the charts, Bob Mould (lead vocals, guitar), Greg Norton (bass), and Grant Hart (lead vocals, drums) were forging proto-punk throughout the Minneapolis area as Hüsker Dü.

What makes Hüsker Dü significant is that they evolved from a hardcore punk band to incorporate strong musical and vocal melodies into their breakneck punk thrash. An excellent example of this is”Pink Turns To Blue” from 1984’s double concept album Zen Arcade about a boy’s journey soloing the harshness of life. The Zen Arcade album itself was a groundbreaking feat, often considered the first punk opera.

Hüsker Dü serve as a musical evolutionary missing link between explosive punk and what is now considered power pop and college rock. 1985’s Flip Your Wig exemplifies Hüsker Dü’s continued melodic expansion. Soon after they were courted by Warner Bros Records which subsequently released Candy Apple Gray  and the double disc follow-up Warehouse, before the band’s demise in 1987.

Bob Mould went on to a fairly significant musical career forming Sugar and as a solo artist. Though not regarded by the average music listener Hüsker Dü’s legacy of influence is evident in every modern rock outfit from Green Day to Nirvana to Foo Fighters.

~End WWHD?~

Metrophobic?!

 

The other day i was called a Metrosexual. Not the first time this has happened. i’m never sure how to take it. Should i be offended or flattered? The woman who termed me such is very attractive, tall and slender (I’m not sure why I’m pointing this out, perhaps to gird my masculinity). Without prompting, she offered her characterization, noting that i’m very professional, clean, in great physical shape, well-groomed, intelligent, have great fashion sense, and good taste in general. She just described the stereotypical gay man. Here is where i profoundly pronounce that i’m not gay. So is a metrosexual a homosexual who is heterosexual? i’m confused. i’m sure my homosexual friends will help me out on this.

i’ve heard many people describe metrosexuals in different ways. i remember reading a blog about it last year and distinctly muttering in my mind that the author was definitely convoluting metrosexuals with scenesters and emo poseurs. Not that i have a better handle on it. But he was certainly off. A quick internet search popped up photos of Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Ben Afleck, Jude Law, and David Beckham (i feel better already).

i looked up metrosexual in Merriam-Webster. It’s there. So why does my word processor keep underlining it in red?

METROSEXUAL: a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes.

So let’s see how this works:

“A usually urban…”
i always picture a metrosexual being on the cutting edge of urbane living, hosting kitschy parties in a sprawling loft that overlooks the trendiest eateries and shops of a bustling metropolis. i, however, live in the deep suburbs. i like to refer to it as the outskirts of civilization. A major supermarket is just half mile down the road. Heading half mile in the other direction is nothing but cow pastures. This is of particular excitement when the wind is blowing my way from the dairy. But the definition does modify “urban” with “usually.” So i could give in to that i am the unusual exception.

“…heterosexual male…”

i am heterosexual, in case i had not already clarified. i’m distinctly male as well. This brings a point i’ve been pondering. If the terms heterosexual and homosexual encompass both genders, why does metrosexual exclusively define males? Chew on that and spit it back to me if you have any insights (…or outsights).

“…given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments…”

i am well-groomed, but it isn’t a chore (Pretty easy when you’re bald. By the way … she did say, “bald is sexy”). i shower daily; brush my teeth regularly (Mom and Dad paid a fortune for my braces. i owe them that much); and work out and eat right to maintain good health. It seems these are the basics we were all taught by well-meaning parents when we were youngsters and have kept up into maturity.

i don’t enhance my personal appearance otherwise. i don’t color my hair (The little I do have is salt and pepper and kept very short), i have never had a mani or pedi or even been in such an establishment that offers them. i don’t use skin care products unless it says SPF 75 on the bottle and then it’s applied rigorously to my bare scalp. i hate to shave and only do so if the situation warrants it.

“…and fashionable clothes.”

When it comes to fashion…  i may be guilty. i do admire the cut of nice Kenneth Cole ensemble. Do i look good in a suit? No cat calls coming my way, but i’ve never had any complaints. i dress for comfort or the occasion. When i consulted/educated in the legal field i wore suits everyday (ties are so uncomfortably restricting, but there are so many cool ones). It’s professional and it makes me feel empowered. And it may even get me what i want. However, i prefer jeans or cargo shorts over suit and tie any day.

i really don’t care if i’m labeled metro, hetro, boomer, genX, etc. However, i do care to be known as a person who loves others well: My family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even strangers, no matter their status, profession, orientation, age, race, religion …Love them well.

With all that said, it appears my scales may be tipping metrosexual. So let me hear from you: How else would you describe metrosexual? Can you be metrosexual and a Christian? Does the term “metrosexual” have negative or positive connotations? What defines a female metrosexual?

~End denial

Which came first, The Chicken or the ‘O’?

i find life interesting and full of the unexpected. Life certainly does not unravel itself in the manner we often imagine. i try to make lifeVertical relevant and fun. It’s just been five weeks since i put my fingerprint on this blog. In that time i’ve had nearly 1,200 visitors. i’m told that’s a lot for a newcomer.

What has most intrigued me in the past few weeks are the posts which have drawn the most attention, drawing almost twice as many readers as an average day. my comments on the impending ‘O’pocalypse, about the last days of the iconic Oprah Winfrey’s final days of her talk show and the absurd regulations imposed on chicken copulation in a small town in New Jersey drew the more attention than anything else.

my analytical mind has curiously pondered the attraction to these topics, especially in light of the conservative nature of my readers. What do you think? Why have these two items been of particular focus? What does this say about our culture? C’mon, don’t be shy. We’re all friends here. Let us know. Write your comments below.

~End analysis~