I never really stopped listening to Husker Du after I discovered the album “Metal Circus” in the 80s, but there were songs from their catalogue that I hadn’t paid close attention to for a few years. One of them was “Books About UFOs” from New Day Rising. I re-engaged with this track after watching the excellent Grant Hart documentary Every Everything a couple of years ago. It’s a tragedy that we lost Hart in 2017, but the existence of a movie that so perfectly captures his tremendous talent and unique worldview eases the sting a tiny bit. And, of course, his amazing music lives on.
“Books About UFOs” might be one of the best examples of how Hart managed to create such great punk and hardcore music by using a broader palette than many of his contemporaries. The narrator is obsessed with a girl whose eyes are always on the sky. It gives him the opportunity to study her the way that she does the planets. It’s the perfect celebration of long-distance crushes, but also pays homage to freaks who proudly wave their flags. I’d say that it might be the perfect Grant Hart song, but there are too many to choose from.
Read the full lyrics to “Books About UFOs” HERE.
More “Short Story in a Song” posts:
- “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” by X
- “Photosynthesis” by Frank Turner
- “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone
- “Clean Sheets” by Descendents
- “Vacation” by The Go-Go’s
- “Violins” by Lagwagon
- “Throwaways” by Beach Slang
S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.