The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Discuss Golden Smog, The Volunteers, The O'Jeez, and any other bands related to Soul Asylum.
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foureyedsometimes
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The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by foureyedsometimes »

In the UK SA initially were never mentioned without reference either or both Husker Du and the Replacements, a fact which irritated Dave I remember. I was wondering what everyone thought of those other bands. I love both Huskers and the Mats, but they aren't comparable to Soul Asylum, as they don't sound alike...I think the UK press like to lump bands into genres and/or geographical areas so the MNLPs thing kicked in.
Why is it Soul Asylum (although much better in my mind), don't get any recognition, and aren't held on pedestal like the other two? Because they dared to sell a lot of records? Because they didn't split up? What is it?
Can't put a square peg in a hole that's round.....

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lune ellise
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lune ellise »

I am yet to listen to Husker Du and 'Mats - and generally I am still a new SA fan. It is, however, fascinating to read SA history - and you're quite right: I never encountered an SA history without a mention of these bands.

I have another question - do you think SA is UNDERrated (compared to the success of Nirvana and similar bands) or OVERrated (compared to the more critically-acclaimed Huskers and Mats but has less album sales)?
"There's no such thing as a man-tamed girl."
My reviews of Soul Asylum albums: http://fritzi.gironella-cdo.com/search/ ... l%20asylum

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lucy
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lucy »

(In the UK SA initially were never mentioned without reference either or both Husker Du and the Replacements, a fact which irritated Dave I remember. I was wondering what everyone thought of those other bands. I love both Huskers and the Mats, but they aren't comparable to Soul Asylum, as they don't sound alike...I think the UK press like to lump bands into genres and/or geographical areas so the MNLPs thing kicked in.
Why is it Soul Asylum (although much better in my mind), don't get any recognition, and aren't held on pedestal like the other two? Because they dared to sell a lot of records? Because they didn't split up? What is it?)

Hey, it might have irritated Dave back in the day, but these three bands really are of the same ilk in my opinion, and now Tommy is even their "Replacement" bassist! And they are three of my all time favorite bands too. (with Soul Asylum being far and away my favorite, but all the same, I love the other two). I have often wondered why Husker Du and the Replacements seem to have kept their "street cred" while Soul Asylum seems to have lost theirs in some people's opinion. SA used to get lots of critical acclaim and were called the "best live band in the world" - I think most if not all of us would agree! But I think when the "marketing geniuses" who did not know what to do with them when they went on a major label tried to lump them with bands like Matchbox 20, they lost some of that.

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lune ellise
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lune ellise »

lucy wrote:I have often wondered why Husker Du and the Replacements seem to have kept their "street cred" while Soul Asylum seems to have lost theirs in some people's opinion. SA used to get lots of critical acclaim and were called the "best live band in the world" - I think most if not all of us would agree! But I think when the "marketing geniuses" who did not know what to do with them when they went on a major label tried to lump them with bands like Matchbox 20, they lost some of that.
Whoa... What really happened to Soul Asylum??? I would like to know....
"There's no such thing as a man-tamed girl."
My reviews of Soul Asylum albums: http://fritzi.gironella-cdo.com/search/ ... l%20asylum

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foureyedsometimes
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by foureyedsometimes »

Hey, it might have irritated Dave back in the day
I remember the first interview I read with SA in Sounds in the UK in early 1988, and they were asking Dave about Husker Du and he didn't seem best pleased that SA were being "lumped in". My first SA gig in Newcastle in May 88 (I think) - they were playing some of their first UK gigs I believe..after the main set they came back on and asked for requests - you know their own and covers (they were already well known for inflicting audiences with "bad" cover versions) - the small crowd were up for it, and they covered, I Can See Clearly, Do You Wanna Dance (a la Ramones version) about half a dozen others - then someone shouted "Husker Du!" and Dave threw down his guitar and walked off. Gig over. :cry:
Can't put a square peg in a hole that's round.....

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lucy
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lucy »

I've heard this kind of thing before too, but if they wanted to separate themselves so badly from Husker Du, don't you think it would've been a better idea not to have Bob Mould produce two of their records?

I think it's more about them wanting to stand out on their own and be considered a good band in the own right rather than them actually not liking the other two.

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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by philipgar »

lucy wrote:I've heard this kind of thing before too, but if they wanted to separate themselves so badly from Husker Du, don't you think it would've been a better idea not to have Bob Mould produce two of their records?

I think it's more about them wanting to stand out on their own and be considered a good band in the own right rather than them actually not liking the other two.
From what i've always gathered, all the bands were friends during the time, although there were of course rivalries amongst them. I personally don't lump Husker Du quite the same way I would the 'mats and Soul Asylum. Husker Du was more of a hard core band, and didn't have the softer side to them. Both Soul Asylum and the Replacements sort of started out that way, but mellowed significantly with their albums (not to say Husker Du didn't either, but there was no such thing that I can think of as acoustic huskers).

I would also say that comparisons between Dave and Paul make more sense than comparisons between either of them and Bob. Dave and Paul are both in their own worlds, they're genuis song writers, know how to run rock and roll bands, but are both very eccentric, and independent. Of course, i think Dave is far more critical of his own work, and doesn't like releasing the "raw" material that Paul tends to release (I personally feel Dave tends toward perfectionism with his music, sometimes to its detriment, as it will lose the raw energy seen in the live sets).

Soul Asylum wanted to make a name for themselves outside of the mats and husker du, however starting out they really needed those bands. They helped them a lot, and the bands shared (and still share) many fans. This means that it makes sense to have the other bands of the city help push you.

The reason that to this day Soul Asylum doesn't get the credit the mats get (and to a lesser extent the huskers get) is the lack of the mystery. The replacements were known to be the best or worst live rock and roll band. They were crazy, and their legacy has only grown. Soul Asylum hasn't had a chance to grow their legacy. They're still around, still touring, and as they old saying goes, artists aren't famous until they're dead (or broken up in this case).

Soul Asylum also broke out of the indie ranks. Runaway Train made them money, but lost them a lot of credibility, as sad as that is. The guys became rock stars, or appeared to be. The band had more money then they knew what to do with, had people pulling them in a million different directions, dave had a movie star girlfriend, they lost their drummer, and it just looked really bad. At the same time, their next few albums had the look of selling out to other people, trying for the his song.

Of course, the same was true for the Replacements. Many people would say that Paul was really striving for that hit song in the days of don't tell a soul, all shook down, and even his first couple of solo albums. The music was still great, but there was an acceptance in it that wasn't in the earlier 'mats records, and not in his more recent ones. One of trying to play the game. Had the replacements made it big at that time, I doubt they'd have half the prestige they have today. Part of what keeps them so prestigious is they never sold out. Look at REM, who were a contemporary of the replacements. They were huge in the college rock scene back in the 80s, and are still considered important, but their mystique and legacy aren't up to par with what the replacements have today. It's just the way the "indie" music scene works I suppose.

That said, in the years following CFAS, SA did a lot to help regain their mystique, and appeal to their earlier loyal fan base. A lot of fans left in the GDU and LYDLS years, as seeing the guys play giant ampitheaters, and concerthalls is just unnatural. The band belongs in a club, with a beer in hand, and 100s of sweaty people who know every song, and just absolutely love it. The feeling that you know everyone at the show, and you're all united exists there, and there alone. I've talked to many fans who fell away during the big years, but are back, and will claim that the live show today is as good as it ever was.

I think in 20 years, history will look far more favorably upon SA then they do today. I think the blip of fame will pass away, and they won't be that runaway train band. However they likely won't live up to the 'mats, as their name hasn't influenced tons of large bands. They did influence bands like Slobberbone, the drams, grand champeen, some of the alt country scene, and others, but these aren't bands that will ever be household names, and don't really care to be. Todays music scene isn't like that of 25 years ago, many more bands accept they won't be the next huge thing, and realize they can make it successfully by building up their own loyal fanbase.

And I just realized I wrote a novel here.... and no, i'm too lazy to go back over it and check it for spelling and grammar.

Phil

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lune ellise
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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lune ellise »

philipgar wrote:And I just realized I wrote a novel here.... and no, i'm too lazy to go back over it and check it for spelling and grammar.
No big - there were no grammatical errors there anyway, but the insight is great! I hope you would allow me to make a few comments. ;)

I still yet to listen to Husker Du, but I have heard quite a few Mats songs. You are right - compared to Soul Asylum, Mats records are raw and sometimes unfinished (or unpolished, if you prefer that term). Fans of indie music appreciate that kind of quality. As for me - I tend to critic separately: what must be in an album must be worth the money I spent and not just something that was just recorded from an amplifier (I don't mean that Mats records sound like that though). This is the reason why I prefer Soul Asylum: their albums are well-produced - enough that you can listen to with headphones, but there is that energy that is lacking that could only be satisfied by their live shows. That energy is NOT ALWAYS needed however (and sometimes it is quite annoying) - so a polished album is really a nice retreat.

Regarding Dave being a perfectionist... Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it Dan who tends to be very picky and the perfectionist in the band?

Soul Asylum's minimal legacy - I agree with you there. The band is really not that famous because they haven't broken up (or as I like to put it - nobody has blown his ego into insane proportions yet), or nobody in the band committed suicide Nirvana. I would like to add though - a lot of alternative bands today (especially here in Philippines) have guitar riffs similar to Soul Asylum's. And how about that grunge look in the 90s???

I often criticize the "sell-out" blame game. First of all, I think it is just plain selfish for the indie crowd to "own" bands. Consider an 9 year old from far away lands who "might" appreciate the music of Soul Asylum but was never aware of their existence because their music didn't reach her country. 9 years later she would discover that there are better songs of the band than Runaway Train. Nevertheless, it was Runaway Trail that got her in the band - and it would be hypocrisy for her to label Soul Asylum as a "sell-out". I suggest the early Soul Asylum fans to listen to GDU, LYDLS and CFAS as if they do not know who sang in those records - if you like them, maybe it is time for you to consider that bands like to earn money and fame too; if you don't like them - tell the band straight in the face to stop making music, because obviously their intention for making music is terribly wrong.
"There's no such thing as a man-tamed girl."
My reviews of Soul Asylum albums: http://fritzi.gironella-cdo.com/search/ ... l%20asylum

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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by mystic_spiral_3 »

I was a 15 year old in the US who never really heard of SA till Runaway Train in 1993. :) In that sense, I am glad they made it big, as they were my gateway to alternative rock music, and later many friends and concerts and road trips and memories. That said, I love the club shows and the aura about those that Phil described in his post.

I can't knock the guys on being perfectionists either...I'm guilty of that myself!

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Re: The Holy Trinity - Who is best?

Post by lucy »

You go Phil! I agree with everything except I'd point out that Husker Du had some nice acoustic songs on Candy Apple Grey - like Hardly Getting Over It

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