Song of the Day #4,953: ‘Something I Learned Today’ – Hüsker Dü

My process for these Decades posts starts with combing through a variety of sources for the year in question (1984, in this case), including Billboard charts, Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, critics’ lists, Rolling Stone guides and the like.

I set aside the albums I know well for my own best-of list, then assemble a list of titles with which I’m not familiar, giving precedence to the ones that show up most often. When I’m down to my final list of 10 or 15, I listen to each all the way through at least once, sometimes more than once, before posting.

I bring all of this up so I can admit to breaking the rules for today’s featured title, Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade. I did not listen to this album all the way through. Not once, certainly not more than once. I listened to the first three songs, and heard more than enough to know I would not enjoy it.

I sampled the rest of the tracks, or at least most of the 23 songs on this double album, and heard more than enough to solidify my opinion.

I was unfamiliar with Hüsker Dü, and might have steered clear from including this album on my list if I’d known they fall into the “hardcore punk” genre. Not exactly my cup of tea.

Zen Arcade, a concept album about adolescent angst, was praised as a more thoughtful and melodic offering from the band, which has me frightened to death of how their other albums must sound. Suffice it say I found nothing to enjoy here musically, and didn’t have the patience to pay much attention to the lyrics.

It’s always nice when I can cross a band off my “check them out” list with so little effort.

Something I learned today
Black and white is always gray
Looking through the windowpane
I’m not inside, oh, your brain

Something I learned today
Yield to the right-of-way
Stopping at a four-way sign
Someone else’s rules, oh, not mine

Something I learned today
Never look straight in the sun’s rays
Letting all the sunshine in
Can’t remember where, oh, I’ve been

Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today
Something I learned today

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,953: ‘Something I Learned Today’ – Hüsker Dü

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I recall a few kids in high school and college being into Husker Du. They were described to me as the quintessential alt college band and a more hardcore cousin of REM. I don’t think I ever really heard their music and, based on your review, it doesn’t sound like I missed out.

  2. Peg says:

    I trust your opinion enough to keep my phone on silent mode 😊

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