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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

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

Postby Tommy Alpha on Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:32 am

DregsInTheCrowd wrote:
Ethan James recorded it, not Spot. Also it sounds awesome.

Zen Arcade does not.

Zen Arcade wins.


Ah, the Clarkson delivery! Classic.

I heard Double Nickels at the right time. 17? Just a beautiful age to be into that record.

Between D.Boon, FMSteve circa Rapeman, the Meters/JBs and that one Sister Nancy record 'Bam Bam' that was probably the bulk of what informed my guitar playing for a long time.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby landspeednyc on Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:29 pm

Patrick Smith of "ask the pilot" weighs in:

Now and Zen: The Greatest Album of Them All Turns 30 !
http://www.askthepilot.com/zen-arcade-turns-30/

Suddenly there it was, on a rack up front. It was called Zen Arcade, whatever that heck that meant. I picked it up and, hey, what’s this, it’s a double album! As a teenage punk rocker weaned on Black Flag and Minor Threat, with a rather one-dimensional appreciation for music, the very weight of the thing, together with the heady title and the washed-over, almost Impressionist cover art was intimidating. It seemed so arty and grown-up. It also made me curious. What was this strange record?

What it was, and what it remains thirty years later, is the greatest indie-rock album of all-time; if not, in my extraordinarily biased opinion, the greatest album of all time, period.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby jimmy two hands on Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:01 am

landspeednyc wrote:Patrick Smith of "ask the pilot" weighs in:

Now and Zen: The Greatest Album of Them All Turns 30 !
http://www.askthepilot.com/zen-arcade-turns-30/

Suddenly there it was, on a rack up front. It was called Zen Arcade, whatever that heck that meant. I picked it up and, hey, what’s this, it’s a double album! As a teenage punk rocker weaned on Black Flag and Minor Threat, with a rather one-dimensional appreciation for music, the very weight of the thing, together with the heady title and the washed-over, almost Impressionist cover art was intimidating. It seemed so arty and grown-up. It also made me curious. What was this strange record?

What it was, and what it remains thirty years later, is the greatest indie-rock album of all-time; if not, in my extraordinarily biased opinion, the greatest album of all time, period.


Absolute horseshit. I guess this puts it into perspective how someone from that era can love this album so much if you were raised on hardcore. This album would probably be a revelation to someone raised on a strict diet of polka as well, but in the larger world of rock music in the mid-'80s it's not that groundbreaking. I've stated my opinion of this album plenty of times here but there are a few points I have to respond to specifically in this article.

There’s no filler in Zen Arcade.


Half the album is filler. Cut out the second half of the album, and you got a decent LP. Hell, throw in the prog jam at the end if you want, but cut out side three and "Turn On The News" for christ's sake, all that shit sucks.

There’s even the breezy piano of “Monday Will Never be the Same.” (If Ken Burns ever directs a documentary about the history of alt-rock, the tinkling of “Monday” needs to be its backing theme.)


This little interlude is cringeworthy garbage. Same with the other one. I feel like they added these li'l ditties to make side three sound more profound, but the effect failed and it sounds like a Massengil commercial. Even worse, they ran the piano through a bunch of effects so it sounds like a shitty casio. Or was it just a shitty casio?

Back in ’84, the rock critic Robert Christgau chose Hart’s “Turn On the News,” from side four, as his “song of the year.” Christgau said many flattering things about Hüsker Dü, but that one was the gimmie pick, like saying the Concorde is your favorite airplane.


This makes absolutely no sense. This is a pedestrian rock song with the most embarrasing lyrics this side of a 13-year-old goth's journal. Actually, "Somewhere" has worse lyrics. This song is a cliche wrapped in teenage wienerhead tears.

“Pink Turns to Blue” follows “One Step at a Time,” a brief piano time-out that, as much as anything else, allows the listener to catch his or her breath. The pregnant pause between the last note of “One Step” and the opening chord of “Pink” is like those one or two seconds between a lightning bolt and a thunderclap, and is one of the record’s most powerful moments


This pregnant pause is like the Massengil commercial that follows the opening credits of an episode of "Friends" on Must-See-TV-Thursday.

You may not be familiar with him, but Grant Hart is among the most important songwriters of our time,


He wrote "The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill", so that's gotta count for something. I can't stand most of the rest of Grant Hart's songs.

I'll give the writer credit for shitting on "Flip Your Wig" a little bit later in the article, but then he says this:
Zen Arcade and New Day Rising are the two best albums of the 1980s, and they appeared within six months of each other! Bookended by Flip Your Wig and Metal Circus, a brilliant seven-song EP from 1983, these four records represent, easily, the most potent 1-2-3-4 punch in the annals of indie music.


Ok, Metal Circus is good, Zen Arcade is half good, New Day Rising has two great opening songs followed by a bunch of Lemonheads covers, and Flip Your Wig has the chorus from "divide And Concur" and that dong with the slide whistles. Indie rock in the 80s had so much more to offer than this tepid crap. At least he calls out Warehouse Songs And Stories for the garbage that it is.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby Defender on Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:57 am

not very into either album anymore but Double Nickles easily
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby M.H on Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:42 am

Defender wrote:not very into either album anymore but Double Nickles easily


Totally.

The Minutemen have never meant much to me personally, but I can’t imagine anybody with ears not being charmed by the adventurous exploration of their fully realised artistic world view. This will sound corny, but I hear music that comes from such a positive and strong friendship and it’s inspiring. Salut, Minutemen.

Haven’t listened to the Huskers for years but I blasted through the back catalogue recently and I’m surprised how insubstantial and rushed a good chunk of it sounds, especially on Zen Arcade and especially especially Grant’s stuff, which I remember liking more than Bob’s tunes. It’s fuelled by a very adolescent anger which is very loud but kinda shrill. When they were burning on the SST material the energy levels are intense but I don’t think they really cut it as musicians or songwriters: I never liked Warehouse, but that record sounds comically misjudged to me these days.

Double Nickles On The Dime gets my vote.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby Bernardo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:35 pm

In defense of Zen Arcade, if you were to take only the hardcore tracks from it and turn it into a seven inch it'd be a classic of the genre on the level of Cows and Beer.
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Re: Either/Or: Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade

Postby jimmy two hands on Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:57 pm

Bernardo wrote:In defense of Zen Arcade, if you were to take only the hardcore tracks from it and turn it into a seven inch it'd be a classic of the genre on the level of Cows and Beer.


Sure. Honestly if they had cut the record off at "What's Going On", I'd probably really like it. And I wouldn't have such strong feelings about this record if it weren't so highly rated. I'll go elsewhere to bitch about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
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