Oh Hi. First of all, let me say that Lake Superior is too frickin’ big. My friend Mike in T.O. said, “no wonder Terry Fox quit. I wanna quit when I’m DRIVING from the Soo to Thunder Bay.” Secondly, where would we be without Tom Atkinson? Dead, probably. Thanks, Tom, you rule. Thirdly, we (the Brass Tacks and I) are playing a couple shows this weekend with one of the greats. The Maykings from E-Town asked us to do up a Grant Hart cover and split a 7-inch single w/ them. So we did. And now Grant’s coming to Alberta for a couple shows to celebrate the release of the record. The LAST PIECE OF VINYL to be MADE IN CANADA. Weird, eh? Anyway, the shows are at the Sidetrack in Edmonton on Friday, the 20th, and in Calgary at the Hi-Fi Club on Saturday the 21st. I’ve got 2 tix for the Calgary show to give away to the first person who can email me and tell me the name of the last Grant Hart solo album. Dave Muir told me it had to be a contest. Sorry. Anyway, here’s what I wrote when Jen @ Saved By Radio asked for my thoughts about Grant, and the song we covered, entitled “2541”…
Can’t remember his name, and barely what he looked like, but he was giving me a ride someplace when “Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely” came on the tape deck. “Who’s THIS?!?!” “Ummm.dunno,” he said. “Girlfriend’s mix tape. Fuckin’ hate this song, but there’s some rad Icicle Works and Kajagoogoo coming up.” I hope that moron didn’t get into too much trouble w/ his girl when her mix tape went missing, but I gotta thank her for introducing me to the Huskers. Months of wearing out that song passed
before I even found out who the band was, and even longer before I could find any of the records. Candy Apple Grey was first, then Warehouse: Songs and Stories, then back to Flip Your Wig and so on. I remember some god-awful punk band annoying the
shit outta me at the Republik one night, finishing their set w/ Merry Eiffel Tower High, and me suddenly changing my mind about how good/bad they were. Husker Du could do that to you. They would take everything you knew, everything you were, everything you thought you knew. everything!- and tear you up, knock you down, send you sideways, melt your brain and send your hips swinging across the floor at 100MPH, all
in the space of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/(sometimes)bridge/chorus out. Then there’d be 2 seconds before the next tune started, where you’d try to collect yourself, and they’d HIT YOU AGAINAGAINAGAINAGAIN. Flip record. Repeat. Flip record. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
There was the Mould camp and the Hart camp after HD broke up. I slept out under the stars in both of ’em, but Bob got the press, Bob got the record deals and the magazine covers, and slowly started going south. To bad electronica, no less. Grant just kept moving. Kept hanging on, like Husker did in the day. Went about his business writing songs that should have been on the ears of all of mankind, but instead, he moved just a few of us. Nova Mob was terrifyingly good. the solo records are broad in scope and pure of Hart. Grant makes me FEEL. GOOD. GOOD.
Used to have a house like the one he describes in “2541”. Ours was “1530”. When we went our separate ways, I listened to “2541” for a month. He knew. He still knows. Grant Hart is a master translator of the human condition. Big windows to let in the sun, indeed.