Music » Livewire

Grant Hart

Wednesday, May 23, at the Grog Shop.

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Hüsker Dü may have been the most important indie rock band of the early '80s. Stapling together messes of noise from punk, hardcore thrash, and heady pop, as well as a touch of introspective acoustic strumming, the band refined the possibilities of discordant art. In retrospect, it only seemed inevitable that the band was a blazing comet bound for disintegration, with singer/drummer Grant Hart and singer/guitarist Bob Mould both challenging the band's direction and shape. They wrote and sang their own songs on record and in concert -- a fact that generally polarized even the band's staunchest fans toward either the agitated-roar of Mould or the melody-heavy psychedelia of Hart. Mould ultimately became the face of Hüsker Dü, bassist Greg Norton (the oft-forgotten member) was its quiet backbone, and Grant Hart, it turns out, was its musical soul. After Hüsker Dü's demise, both Mould and Hart grappled with solo careers, with Mould garnering the most post-Dü press. Hart released a moody, gorgeous solo record called Intolerance before forming another band -- Nova Mob -- that produced a couple of spotty but interesting concept records. So there's probably some irony in the fact that now, 15 years after Hüsker Dü's demise, Mould has reportedly given up music to book and promote professional wrestling, Norton is said to be a successful chef in his native Minnesota, and Hart is the last man musically standing. With his most recent album, the exceptional Good News for Modern Man, Hart has proven himself more than up to the task of meeting his Hüsker Dü past head-on.

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