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Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

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Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Double Nickels on the Dime
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71%
Zen Arcade
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29%
 
Total votes : 87

Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby Heliotropic on Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:58 am

Considering these two albums were released on the same day by the same label, I think a poll determining where the EA board stands should be made.

Personally I've never really been much of a fan of the Minuteman, so my vote goes to Zen Arcade.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby rzs on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:47 am

Heliotropic wrote: Personally I've never really been much of a fan of the Minuteman


Well said. Just watch out for the vitriol of the forum for statements like that. They hate it.

Zen Arcade, while not an all time great album, is very good. It is also far superior to Doubles Nickels...

The Minutemen, to me, are like the movie The Blair Witch Project. A bunch of people about 16 years old or so tell you that such and such a movie or band is so great that you just know it is going to be groundbreaking, or at least good. So you go and check it out and are left thinking "That's It? These people can't be serious. That was CRAP."
Then, when you tell people that it was CRAP they say "But do you realize how little money they spent on making it? That it embodies this anti-corporate entertainment model that shows everyone can do things themselves, apart from the oppressive corporate control of the industry?"
Of course, I think those things are very good. I just think what a shame it was that said movie or band, while embodying an admirable philosophy, is ultimately more CRAP than the average mainstream movie or band.
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Postby tommydski on Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:05 am

For me it's 'Zen Arcade' just because it means more to me as a record.
'Double Nickels' is also superb, a great great album. Actually more consistent overall but my gut is telling me i prefer 'Zen Arcade'.
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Postby Adam CR on Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:13 am

Zen Arcade by a country mile.

As implied above, Zen Arcade stands as an incredible record entirely independently of any explanation of it's greatness.
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Postby Mark Lansing on Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:12 am

I gotta go with Double Nickels. Zen Arcade was an amazing, life-changing album for me when it came out, and I still think it's brilliant, but its flaws became clearer to me with the passage of time (and "Recurring Dreams" sounded more like a wank after seven or eight listens). Double Nickels has just gotten better and deeper over the years. Double Nickels gets my vote, though I wouldn't part with either of 'em -- they may well be the two best records SST ever released.
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Postby mr.arrison on Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:04 pm

I am a huge fan of both bands, but Zen Arcade is far less consistant than Double Nickels. I think Zen has many songs that indicate the directionless confusion that Husker Du had at the time, whereas Double Nickels knows exactly where it is going.

For example, side 2 of Zen is a mess of over-dramatic post-Hardcore, complete opposite of side 1, which is emotional Power Pop tinged with psychedelia. And then there's the side with Recurring Dreams, which is complete filler. A good record, yes, arguably great even. But not as great as Double Nickels.

Some people I know think Double Nickels loses steam after the 25th song or so, but I disagree. I think the mood changes and becomes less political and more sarcastic and personal. But the power of the songs is still there, even if D. Boon is not screaming, George is playing slower and Mike Watt is not busting out freak-out funk riffs. "Storm in My House", for example is a great introspective song.

Plus, there's a strong element of honesty to Double Nickels. Zen Arcade is exactly what it intends to be, a concept album with mostly good songs, some great songs, some directionless songs and a whole lot of filler. Double Nickels is more than a concept.

My vote: Double Nickels
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby NerblyBear on Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:26 pm

rzs wrote:
The Minutemen, to me, are like the movie The Blair Witch Project. A bunch of people about 16 years old or so tell you that such and such a movie or band is so great that you just know it is going to be groundbreaking, or at least good. So you go and check it out and are left thinking "That's It? These people can't be serious. That was CRAP."
Then, when you tell people that it was CRAP they say "But do you realize how little money they spent on making it? That it embodies this anti-corporate entertainment model that shows everyone can do things themselves, apart from the oppressive corporate control of the industry?"
Of course, I think those things are very good. I just think what a shame it was that said movie or band, while embodying an admirable philosophy, is ultimately more CRAP than the average mainstream movie or band.


The Minutemens' music is just wonderful, and it has, for me, little to do with their ethical ideals and their admirable personalities. Mike Watt is such a cool bass player; he comes up with these little, discrete, disjointed, Beefheart-like melodies and then strings them together into a full song. I have never heard another bass player take control over the song's structure like Watt does; maybe TROUT MASK's bass playing is a bit similar. This shouldn't work, but, somehow, it does. And I'm not even mentioning the physical prowess and rhythmic dexterity of the George Hurley.

D. Boon's soloing is so beautiful. I love his thin, serrated guitar tone, which plays wonderfully atop the rumbling bumble of the rhythm section.

Watt's lyrics are also really interesting. On this record, he experimented with cutting out verbs and nouns and just stringing together a bunch of seemingly-unrelated phrases. These phrases make sense after spending some time with the album, and the overarching concept is recognized for what it is. I'd never realized this before, but Watt's lyrical style is sorta the verbal analogue to his bass style.

Yeah, the Minutemen were amazing people and their extra-musical innovations are an inspiration to us all. But the music would still be great if such were not the case.

I love Zen Arcade, as well, but this album is a mindblow.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby Marsupialized on Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:16 pm

NerblyBear wrote:
rzs wrote:
The Minutemen, to me, are like the movie The Blair Witch Project. A bunch of people about 16 years old or so tell you that such and such a movie or band is so great that you just know it is going to be groundbreaking, or at least good. So you go and check it out and are left thinking "That's It? These people can't be serious. That was CRAP."
Then, when you tell people that it was CRAP they say "But do you realize how little money they spent on making it? That it embodies this anti-corporate entertainment model that shows everyone can do things themselves, apart from the oppressive corporate control of the industry?"
Of course, I think those things are very good. I just think what a shame it was that said movie or band, while embodying an admirable philosophy, is ultimately more CRAP than the average mainstream movie or band.


The Minutemens' music is just wonderful, and it has, for me, little to do with their ethical ideals and their admirable personalities. Mike Watt is such a cool bass player; he comes up with these little, discrete, disjointed, Beefheart-like melodies and then strings them together into a full song. I have never heard another bass player take control over the song's structure like Watt does; maybe TROUT MASK's bass playing is a bit similar. This shouldn't work, but, somehow, it does. And I'm not even mentioning the physical prowess and rhythmic dexterity of the George Hurley.

D. Boon's soloing is so beautiful. I love his thin, serrated guitar tone, which plays wonderfully atop the rumbling bumble of the rhythm section.

Watt's lyrics are also really interesting. On this record, he experimented with cutting out verbs and nouns and just stringing together a bunch of seemingly-unrelated phrases. These phrases make sense after spending some time with the album, and the overarching concept is recognized for what it is. I'd never realized this before, but Watt's lyrical style is sorta the verbal analogue to his bass style.

Yeah, the Minutemen were amazing people and their extra-musical innovations are an inspiration to us all. But the music would still be great if such were not the case.

I love Zen Arcade, as well, but this album is a mindblow.


When you listen to The Minutemen and their songs do you pretend you were not a rich kid growing up and that you can really feel and understand what they are talking about?
A pampered rich kid listening to the Minutemen is like a black dude listening to Johnny Rebel or something.
Tis not for you, this music. This music is for the working man!
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby NerblyBear on Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:37 pm

Marsupialized wrote:
When you listen to The Minutemen and their songs do you pretend you were not a rich kid growing up and that you can really feel and understand what they are talking about?
A pampered rich kid listening to the Minutemen is like a black dude listening to Johnny Rebel or something.
Tis not for you, this music. This music is for the working man!


By your reasoning, white people shouldn't listen to Funkadelic. Women should not listen to AC/DC. Working people should not listen to Bach.

I may not have the same working-class roots as Watt and Boon, but their music still moves me very much. In fact, part of what I love about the Minutemen is that their aesthetic approach was fundamentally about smashing pre-conceptions such as "Rich people wouldn't be able to understand us," or, "Harcore punkers shouldn't try to understand jazz." Part of the goal was to fuck with prejudices just like the one to which you've fallen victim, dummy.
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Postby Brett Eugene Ralph on Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:52 pm

Although I like Husker Du, and always have, I don't find myself returning to their records much. I've always felt them to be the most overrated of the "major" hardcore bands. I've always preferred Grant Hart's songs, and Bob Mould's exaggerated yelling leaves me indifferent for all his effort--kinda like a punk rock Roger Daltrey. I'd much rather listen to the Minutemen, whose records sound as fresh as they did when they were born.

Double Nickels passes Husker Du standing still.
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Postby zom-zom on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:06 pm

Both. I'm sorry you kids didn't get to witness a Minutemen show. You would eat your "I don't like them" words.

The "Blair Witch Project" analogy is so off-the-mark that I shouldn't even reference it.

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Postby vockins on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:17 pm

I'd like to save myself and everyone else some time by declaring Double Nickels the victor in any either/or from here on out.

Perhaps either/or Double Nickels/travel, Double Nickels/eating, or Double Nickels/love would be tough.
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Postby a. james on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:27 pm

nickels.

only 'cause when i met watt he let me play his bass.
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Postby tommydski on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:43 pm

It occurs to me that I prefer 'Firewater' to either.
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Postby Get dog costumes on Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:06 pm

Both of these albums are marathons, and while there are songs on Zen Arcade that I don't care to hear again, I go through Double Nickels without skipping anything, with the occasional exception of "Toadies."

It also has better lyrics and is recorded better than Firewater, which has better lyrics and is recorded better than Zen Arcade.

Rzs, you're an idiot.
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Postby the Classical on Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:21 pm

Zen Arcade and Double Nickels were both total mindblowers for me when I was a teenager. I think if I asked my 16 yo self I would answer Zen Arcade. But, when I hear this record now, it doesn't hit me as hard, it feels waaaaayyy too long, some of Mould's lyrics seem ridiculous in a very Rollins-y way, there is filler and it just doesn't hang together as a whole. If I'm reaching for Huskers, its going to be New Day Rising, which I think is their best full-length

Double Nickels I still play this record all the time and in some ways this record means more to me now as an adult then it did when I was a kid. The music is so rich and dense, there is always stuff I feel like I am just now starting to understand. To me this record achives a sort of perfect balance, not too much of anyone thing, not too little of something else, every aspect of it working together. And agreed that the Minutemen are inspirational and heroic, but again if the music wasn't there it wouldn't mean shit. I think for me to be able to play the record over and over w/o getting tired of it is a testament to its quality. At least to these ears.
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Postby mr.arrison on Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:00 pm

Get dog costumes wrote:Rzs, you're an idiot.


Ouch. True Dat.
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Postby Tree on Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:04 pm

vockins wrote:Perhaps either/or Double Nickels/travel, Double Nickels/eating, or Double Nickels/love would be tough.

Double Nickels/Jeter

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Postby tommydski on Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:48 pm

the Classical wrote:some of Mould's lyrics seem ridiculous in a very Rollins-y way


That's quite amusing when you consider 'Storm In My House' on 'Double Nickels...' was actually written by Henry Rollins.
You are right though, I know exactly what you mean.
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Postby Minotaur029 on Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:53 am

Double Nickels on the Dime is clearly the right choice here. For all its tracks, you can still listen to it all the way through. I can't believe the incredible songs buried way back in like track 30-40 territory. The tightness of this band is astounding to me. I like to listen to it while driving around. I listened to it a ton in the beginning of summer '06.

I don't think Zen Arcade (or the Dü for that matter) means a hell of a lot to the new generation of kids who really enjoy music (i.e. - kids that aren't blown away by/don't give a shit about the Arcade Fire, the Hold Steady, other crap, etc.), but Double Nickels seems to carry a lot of weight. I could see why Zen Arcade means a lot to older generations, but its significance is somewhat lost on me. I like it all right, but I'm not sure it's as big of a deal as everybody makes/made it out to be. Perhaps someone can explain to me why I am wrong.

Double Nickels just sounds timeless, and the feel of the recording is incredibly pleasing to the ear (and my soul...yeah...my soul.....uh.....baby).
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