Short Story in a Song — “Books About UFOs”

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:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Sometimes The Best Short Story Is A Song (#14)

I decided I wanted to write about a Husker Du song this week. So I pulled up their catalogue and started diving in. A lot of it felt like a trip down memory lane, but there were a few songs that I hadn’t heard in a couple of years—or at least I hadn’t paid close attention to the lyrics. One of them in particular was “Books About UFOs” from “New Day Rising.” It’s fitting that this one was written by drummer Grant Hart because I have been so obsessed by the excellent documentary about him, “Every Everything.”

When I was younger, I think I connected with Bob Mould’s songs because of the angry heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics, and straight-ahead driving energy. These days I tend to prefer Hart’s bouncier instrumentation, whimsical observations and sometimes downright psychedelic lyrics. And “Books About UFOs” might be one of the best examples of how he managed to create such great punk and hardcore music by using a broader palette than many of his contemporaries.

The song’s 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 plant their flags. I’d say that it might be the perfect Grant Hart song, but there are too many to choose from.

Read the lyrics to “Books About UFOs” HERE.

Previous installments in this series:

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.