Monday, September 05, 2011

"19 fucking years!", I thought to myself, as I thought there in the dark, listening to Changes by Sugar for the millionth time. I've lived in this town 19 Fucking Years! I've never lived anywhere else for even half as long as that. (I probably spent the most time otherwise in Del Norte county, California, often between the years of 1975-1988) Husker Du was meaningful to me as I prepared to leave my miniscule home-ish town, Gasquet, a place most notable for being on the wonderfully clear Smith River in Nor Cal. (Sorry to throw this at you in this fashion, but this is my association-session, not yours) In summertime mornings in 1987 and 1988, I would wake up with the summer sun streaming in my window in the bedroom of the Old Schoolhouse-House. If the coast was clear, I would throw the needle onto the album that lived on my turntable at that time, New Day Rising by Husker Du. If you know this album at all, you know the sheer power of the opening cut - it sounds like the most beautiful saw imaginable, cutting through your personal layers of life bullshit like a red-hot truth. Full blast, terror and beauty all in one, I would dig that cut and then, still amped and vital, I would run and/or skate to the nearby swimming hole at the convergence of the North and Middle forks of the Smith and dive in, bubbles in front of my face illuminated by the sun in a soda-pop sparkle. Fish swam away, rocks tumbled, birds scattered, the hot dry air blowing down the narrow valley with the scent of hot earth and trees./\ A special time in my life, I still live those moments/weeks/months in my head and I feel lucky that I had some appreciation at the time that this - that that - was as good as it gets. *******************************************************************************************************************
Fast forward to 1992, when I moved to Eugene from Eureka, California: I was a new fish in a new pond. The record stores here at the time were great; there were maybe 4 or 5 great stores, including House of Records and Green Noise and a few others. I awaited many albums as they were being released at the time, but I picked up Copper Blue at a store - I can't recall which - only upon finding out minutes earlier that it existed at all. I wasn't ready and waiting for it; I was utterly surprised by it. I wa sa huge Husker fan, obviously, but I was afraid that Mould had gone down the strong-willed, song-writerly rock ala Richard Thompson. I missed the crunch of the earlier Bob Mould, and now it was in my hand, a real surprise. *************************************************************************************
Eugene has alway been confusing to me, and I often think to myself, "does this town make you more hippy than you were before you moved here? Or more hateful of hippies and all that go with them?" Was this a punk place to be or just another granola-town full of exiles from the 1960s? Of course, it was and is both of those things; now I need to bring it back, to the summer, to the fall of 1992, walking in the early snow that year in my soggy shoes, walkman on, going to my job at Sundance Natural Foods, walkman on, phones on, listening endlessly to Copper Blue, waiting for my yet-to-be born son to arrive, feeling like a boy, not ready for this yet, copper blue, copper blue, Copper Blue. What a perfect album that still kills me in the best way possible, with the shimmering crunch and shine of Mould guitar, sawing, once again, through the layers of personal bullshit, this time like a sweet, emotional icepick through the heart and mind. A sound that re-sounds to me every so often. Like now.