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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
62
71%
Zen Arcade
25
29%
 
Total votes : 87

Postby endofanera on Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:47 am

I expect Double Nickels on the Dime to win, and will not be disappointed when it does, but for me the better album will always be Zen Arcade. Such a mind-blowing opening. Such a powerful side two. Such a nice descent into side three. I remember thinking, "There is piano on this record! Wtf?"

And such a disappointing side four. So sad for you, "Turn on the News," to be stuck on that side. Such a good song, so infrequently listened-to.

Salut, Zen Arcade.
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Postby sonianervosa on Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:39 pm

what i liked most about Zen Arcade was not only the music arrangement (the piano was pretty cool) but also that the lyrics felt really sincere. they (the lyrics) were really simple and pretty straightforward but "Pink Turns To Blue" still makes my chest heave a little bit...it's so gosh-darn sad.
Double Nickels on the dime sounds great & still is a lot of fun and everything but you listen to it when you're 15 and go "yeah, cool i like it lots" and a few years later go "yeah, cool i like it lots-this makes me feel like i'm 15 again" but with Zen Arcade you can listen to it when youre that young, listen to it again a few years later and then find a whole new bunch of stuff to appreciate Husker Du with..i haven't listened to this album as much so this might just be that bias talking.

Minotaur029 wrote: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.

uhmm..rap and hip hop are really popular right now...i guess that doesnt leave much room for kids to discover more original music..?anyways a lot of 16 year olds i know are blown away by the Arcade Fire & Hold Steady...speaking of the Hold Steady..have you heard Franz Nicolay's other band The World/Inferno Friendship Society?
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Postby Schadenfreude on Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:52 pm

The criticisms of Nickels here are pretty stupid.

Minutemen.
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Postby The MayorofRockNRoll on Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:20 am

Kerbled and now bumped...

Double Nickels, kids. Zen Arcade has some great songs, sure, but is, generally speaking. a grossly overrated record full of throwaways and filler by a band I personally think is grossly overrated.

I've been called an ass over that before, so go ahead and sling your vitriol, but fuggit.
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Postby Ace on Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:50 am

I'm going to go with Zen Arcade, which, I believe, have some songs of the best quality i've ever heard. Husker Du really put themselves on a line with Zen Arcade, since a) They're singing about subjects that are well charted and b)They're pretty fucking earnest on the subject of feelings on Zen Arcade, which is EXTREMELY hard to do seriously in a graceful manner.
D. Boon was very, very smart and very, very talented. He was a serious musician with a message and good at getting that message across. Husker Du's music is not as clever as the Minutemen's, nor as varied, but I've yet to see someone sing about the subjects Husker Du sang about with such raw talent and without shame.
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Postby Ernest on Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:40 pm

Husker Du was a great band, but Double Nickels, to my ears, trumps Zen Arcade.
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Postby LBx on Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:06 am

Zen Arcade.

period.

you people are nuts...
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Postby Mark Hansen on Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:19 am

zom-zom wrote: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.

What's next? A Crap/Not Crap pitting Air against Water?


I saw the Minutemen a few times. Excellent shows.

I too don't get this Blair Witch nonsense regarding the Minutemen. Such a great great band. So much more complex and intelligent than almost any other band around then.

I do love both records, but "Double Nickels" easily wins for me.
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Postby ssakmule on Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:49 am

edit
Last edited by ssakmule on Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mfpole on Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:44 am

Well, I'm 16 now and I chose Zen Arcade.

Sadly, I don't think I will ever experience the emotional effects you are talking about. Both these records to me are just fine pieces of music, so I'm not really biased at all in terms of emotion. Despite that, it will always be fun to say "Do you want new wave? Or do you want the truth?", and singing to my self the what you could call a chorus of "Whats Going On"


When listening to those oh-so-sucky dramatic hardcore songs on Zen Arcade, I especially feel like I shouldn't be listening to him, like what he's saying is meant to be shouted at a wall a few miles from anyone else. But yeah, those songs to me serve the purpose of making "Whats Going On" so much better. And for "Reoccuring Dreams", well I quite like it.

Doubles Nickles on the Dime is awesome too. It got negative points for helping to teach Flea how to make his bass fart, but thats about all thats flawed with it.
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Postby a. james on Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:31 pm

i think i've sat through both of these records maybe twice.

i prefer records that sound good. i mean i'm sure they're both good records but seriously, they both sound like ass. i'm unfortunate that i don't find charm in that. i don't like "entertainment" either because it sounds like shit. i don't like a lot of scratch acid's stuff because i think it also sounds like shit. i understand that these albums were made when people generally had to fight the "producer" but someone should have been fighting spot a little harder.

i think it's weird to like a band's record where the record doesn't actually sound like the band.

that's one reason i've always liked live albums. they might not be always be the best performances, they might not have the best sound guy, but i think a live album will average out to the band's average sound. some shows will always have been better than others and some will be that way because they sounded better, but you can't really run from a live album.

i've seen and heard about 12 tJL bootlegs. "show" isn't as bad as the worst, nor as best as the best. "Gong," however is worth digging up.
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Postby Germ War on Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:12 pm

That Damned Fly, ever the one to "provoke" others.

I think Double Nickels is an amazing-sounding record. It sounds to me like a record that could've been made last week, the recording quality is so good. I can only hope to ever play on a record that sounds as great.

It's also easily my favorite of the two. I find it strange that people can point out so many faults with Zen Arcade and still express their preference for it.

Double Nickels is a perfect record.
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Postby a. james on Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:33 pm

Germ War wrote:That Damned Fly, ever the one to "provoke" others.


it's just my opinion. sometimes the perceived negative aspects of a record are the first things to hit my ears thus poisoning the rest of it for me.

luckily it's only those three records that i'm doomed to dislike for a "bad sound." i have tried getting over it, but i haven't tried that hard.

edit: there's maybe one or two others who agree with me.
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Postby Colonel Panic on Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:01 pm

I had to spend some time in transit yesterday, so I listened to both records (yet again) in their entirety, back-to-back. My conclusion: They are both fine albums no doubt, but Double Nickels on the Dime far outshines Zen Arcade in almost every way.

The songs on DNOTD are musically better crafted. Nearly every song is packed with original musical ideas and the arrangements, though rather simple, allow Boon and Watt to play off one another in complex and interesting ways. The musicianship demonstrated on that album is also better. The songs are played with a high degree of technical skill and precision, and invoke a variety of styles including funk, metal, disco-pop and folk. The guitars are amplified almost entirely cleanly with the melodies clearly presented up-front, instead of obscured beneath a wash of overdrive and transistor distortion. The recording is also technically better on DNOTD and every instrumental part of every song can be clearly heard and sounds well-balanced in the mix. The lyrics are intelligent and engaging and they evoke a wide range of emotions from humor to pathos, nostalgia to cynicism, sympathy to outrage. There's really not a bad song on the whole album.

Zen Arcade, while definitely a good record, does not have the same range and breadth as Double Nickels. Comparatively, it's over an hour's worth of nonstop distorted, overlayered and muddy guitar noise. The performance sounds looser, even a bit sloppy at times and there's hardly any dynamic variation between the songs or even within them. While there are definitely some interesting textures and catchy pop melodies in there, Zen Arcade is nowhere near as stylistically diverse, rarely veering from the Ramones-like wall-of-noise power-pop thing. Compared to the Minutemen's effort, the whole feel of the record is one-dimensional, obscure and flat. There are also major sections that were literally a chore to listen through.

To me, the difference was like driving through the Rocky Mountains vs. Greyhound bussing it across the plains of Nebraska. Double Nickels on the Dime trounces Zen Arcade handily.

However, I do like Zen Arcade's cover art better.
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Postby FuzzBob on Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:21 am

Germ War wrote:That Damned Fly, ever the one to "provoke" others.

I think Double Nickels is an amazing-sounding record. It sounds to me like a record that could've been made last week, the recording quality is so good. I can only hope to ever play on a record that sounds as great.

It's also easily my favorite of the two. I find it strange that people can point out so many faults with Zen Arcade and still express their preference for it.

Double Nickels is a perfect record.


I'm going to catch some major flak for this, but Double Nickels has a few skip tracks as well as some filler, in this case a few too many auto-pilot funky scratch-guitar vamps. It's a great record, but some of the redundant tracks could've been pruned and released on an EP, although that would have monkey-wrenched Ginn's vision of releasing two double-albums from his flagship bands on the same day.

I kinda agree with that damned fly too... both ZA and DN could seriously use a remaster. They were mixed for vinyl, so both records sound cold on CD.
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Postby Mark Hansen on Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:21 pm

FuzzBob wrote:
Germ War wrote:That Damned Fly, ever the one to "provoke" others.

I think Double Nickels is an amazing-sounding record. It sounds to me like a record that could've been made last week, the recording quality is so good. I can only hope to ever play on a record that sounds as great.

It's also easily my favorite of the two. I find it strange that people can point out so many faults with Zen Arcade and still express their preference for it.

Double Nickels is a perfect record.


I'm going to catch some major flak for this, but Double Nickels has a few skip tracks as well as some filler, in this case a few too many auto-pilot funky scratch-guitar vamps. It's a great record, but some of the redundant tracks could've been pruned and released on an EP, although that would have monkey-wrenched Ginn's vision of releasing two double-albums from his flagship bands on the same day.

I kinda agree with that damned fly too... both ZA and DN could seriously use a remaster. They were mixed for vinyl, so both records sound cold on CD.


I've never heard either one on CD. I just re-listened to "Double" on vinyl a few weeks ago, and it sounded fine to me.

I have yet to re-listen to Zen Arcade, but I plan to soon.

I'm not as incredibly picky about production/engineering as some others on this forum. If a record is comprised of songs that are, in and of themselves, good, as long as the sound isn't too muddy or washed out, I'm happy.

I can discern differences in engineering and production, but since I'm basically just a fan, and not involved on the technical side of things, it's not as important to me.

I can see where if you are a musician, or involved in production or engineering, it would make a difference.
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Postby SecondEdition on Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:01 pm

The only time production ever seriously got in the way for me was on a Husker Du record - New Day Rising. Other than that - if and only if it's a great record, the production sound, if it's bad, will often become idiosyncratic and unique; part and parcel of the entire thing. The Wipers' Is This Real? doesn't sound that great, but since the songs and the performances are so great, the production sound is elevated into coolness because of the otherwise impeccable quality. I love that album's bassy, murky sound now. It's part of what makes the songs unique.

Oh, and for me, this is almost a tie...but I think I'll go with Double Nickels just slightly. Zen Arcade, however, is what is probably more influential on me, and the one I've listened to more. Double Nickels On The Dime can just be exhausting sometimes. But it's a better record.
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Postby Minotaur029 on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:57 pm

^How'd your vacation from Electrical work out?^
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Postby ERawk on Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:51 pm

mfpole wrote:Doubles Nickles on the Dime is awesome too. It got negative points for helping to teach Flea how to make his bass fart, but thats about all thats flawed with it.


WTF? :smt043 This has got to be the most absurd statement I've seen recently. Negative points because it influenced Flea? Like Husker Du never influenced a crap musician? Come on.

It's Double Nickels for me. Husker Du never really had much sway for me when I was younger. Then again, I might have to reassess with (nearly) 28 year old ears.
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Postby FuzzBob on Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:46 pm

ERawk wrote:
mfpole wrote:Doubles Nickles on the Dime is awesome too. It got negative points for helping to teach Flea how to make his bass fart, but thats about all thats flawed with it.


WTF? :smt043 This has got to be the most absurd statement I've seen recently. Negative points because it influenced Flea? Like Husker Du never influenced a crap musician? Come on.


Hey, that's not fair-- Hüsker Dü influenced other bands who went on to influence crap bands!

Hüsker Dü -> Nirvana -> Nickelback.

The transitive property is not often a merciful one.
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