To be honest, I was seven years old when Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising came out. I was six when Let it Be from The Replacements was released. Mike Watt is better known to me for his solo albums, and the first time I ever heard Black Francis was as his alter-ego Frank Black.
I missed an entire generation of rock music, and I’m slowly trying to catch up.
I was a child of mid 90s alternative, breeching the genre with a mind toward more commercially-successful metal. In junior high, I listened to Metallica and Anthrax and Megadeth, but not Slayer or Cannibal Corpse or Iron Maiden. I hadn’t devolved into the completist I am now, which means I was okay with skipping entire swaths of the genre, and this mindset went unchanged as I moved toward Pearl Jam and Nirvana and Alice in Chains.
Then, there was punk. The new wave of punk. The EpiFat genre – Bad Religion, NOFX, etc. – that led me to my eventual niche: uber-indie movements like post-punk hardcore – think Snapcase and Endpoint – and post-hardcore emo – Texas is the Reason, Sensefield, Promise Ring. I wanted it all. I spackled the cracks. I became a completist.
There are major jumps in that timeline. Decades later, I’m still trying to fill the cracks, and the most recent obsession is with the mid-80s to mid-90s punk and underground scenes. My goal is to find the history of the bands I used to love, oftentimes 20-years after the fact. It is almost necessary to appreciate the music’s nuance.
I asked Genius to make me a list based on Husker Du’s “New Day Rising.” What I found is that, piece by piece, I’ve begun filling in the gaps that formed between my jump from MTV Alternative to the uber-indie Revelation Records scene.
- “New Day Rising” – Hüsker Dü
- “Bastards of Young” – The Replacements
- “Total Trash” – Sonic Youth
- “Dig Me Out” – Sleater-Kinney
- “In the Mouth a Desert” – Pavement
- “Hornets! Hornets!” – The Hold Steady
- “Titus Andronicus Forever” – Titus Andronicus
- “Bad Light” – Built to Spill
- “Building Skyscrapers in the Basement” – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
- “Divide and Conquer” – Hüsker Dü
- “Wish Fulfillment” – Sonic Youth
- “Fox” – Sleater-Kinney
- “Little America” – R.E.M.
- “It Was There That I Saw You” – …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead
- “Kiss Me on the Bus” – The Replacements
- “Soft in the Center” – The Hold Steady
- “Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill” – Hüsker Dü
- “Candle” – Sonic Youth
- “Rock Music (live)” – Pixies
- “This Guitar Says Sorry” – Billy Bragg
It’s clear that my collection has major holes – I only have the greatest hits from Pavement and The Replacements, and I only own Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising – which probably explains the odd (yet fitting) inclusion of recent albums by Titus Andronicus and The Hold Steady.