“Dü You Remember?” Podcast Review

I was stoked when I heard about The Current’s Husker Dü documentary podcast—and then totally forgot about it. Ironic considering the title of the series. Although, it might be more accurate to say that I wasn’t ready to listen.

“Dü You Remember?” includes 5 episodes that originally coincided with the release of the excellent Savage Young Dü box set from Numero Group. Unfortunately, it also served as a heart-felt farewell to talented songwriter/drummer/artist Grant Hart who died in September of last year—a month before the release. So as excited as I was about listening to the podcast, I just couldn’t get myself to dive in. That all changed when the algorithm gods gave me a much-needed kick in the ass last week. The timing was perfect.

I recently played on two songs for a friend’s new album, the first recordings I’ve done in a few years. It got me thinking about my long relationship with drumming and the people who inspired me along the way. The long list includes everybody from John Bonham, Charlie Watts and Keith Moon to Bun E. Carlos, D.J. Bonebrake and Alan Myers. And, of course, Grant Hart. I’ve long found it hard to describe Hart’s drumming, but I’ve never heard another drummer play with the same combination of intensity, style and outright musicality. He was also one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation, right up there with his bandmate Bob Mould.

There are many things I loved about the “Dü You Remember?” series. Getting the perspective of all three members —including enigmatic bassist, Greg Norton—tops the list. I also really liked the focus on the band’s blue collar roots, earliest tours, and relationship with legendary west coast punk label, SST Records. And the color commentary and high praise from Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra really brought the nascent 80s hardcore scene into sharp focus, even as they discuss how Husker Dü ultimately evolved out of it.

I only saw Husker Dü once, while they unraveled in support of the double album Warehouse: Songs and Stories. It was the culmination of a love affair that began with Metal Circus and New Day Rising for me. I’ve always thought of that show at the Variety Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles as a badge of honor. So it’s interesting to think that I was bouncing off the walls while the band was falling apart. But then again—everything does, right?

Whether you’re an old fan or a new fan, “Dü You Remember?” is a great audio document about one of the most influential bands of the 80s. If you were like me and put off listening, don’t—it’s worth every minute of your time and will only reaffirm the power, influence and legacy of Husker Dü.

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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.

Short Story in a Song — “Los Angeles”

Sugarcult came out of the impressive Santa Barbara music scene that has given the world everything from Toad The Wet Sprocket, Ugly Kid Joe and Dishwalla to Nerf Herder, Snot and Lagwagon. Not bad for a quiet little beach town best known for its Spanish mission and million dollar real estate. And although Sugarcult was a great pop punk act in its own right—touring the world with bands like Blink-182 and Green Day—a few members also went on to create music with other bands as well. Before he produced radio hits for alternative rock bands like Neon Trees and Walk The Moon, Tim Pagnotta was Sugarcult’s lead singer and main songwriter. The line up also featured guitarist Marko DeSantis (Bad Astronaut) and bassist Airin Older (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). That’s a talented bunch of musicians.

Sugarcult has several tortured teen anthems to choose from, but when it comes to songs with a story to tell I’ve always loved “Los Angeles.” Although it shares a title with the classic X song, this mid-tempo rocker has its own take on the love/hate relationship that so many people have with the City of Angels. Our narrator is burned out on the fast-paced, hollow lifestyle and desperate to make a change. He’s caught between hating everything about this town and still chasing after his Hollywood dreams. It’s the perfect song to blast while flying down the freeway in the middle of the night, and a cautionary tale about what it takes to make it in LA.

Read the full lyrics for Sugarcult’s “Los Angeles” right HERE.

Check out my podcast chat with Marko DeSantis about rock and reading:

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.

“Books on the Bus”—Complete Podcast Mini-Series

Rock and reading have long been two of my biggest obsessions, but I’ve discovered a third in the last few years—podcasts. A combination of all those influences led me to create Books on the Bus, a five-part podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading.

Each episode features a musician sharing about their favorite books and authors, how books inspire their lyrics, the best rock biographies, and what they like to read on the road. I originally posted them over the course of a week in January, but have collected all five episodes here. Enjoy.


S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 5

 

For the fifth and final episode of the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series, I connected with Jim Lindberg, lead singer of Southern California punk band Pennywise. I’m thrilled to connect with Jim because Pennywise is among a handful of legendary South Bay bands—along with Black Flag, Descendents and Circle Jerks—that fueled my Greg Salem punk rock P.I. novels including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME.

In addition to writing the autobiography PUNK ROCK DAD, Jim writes most of the lyrics for Pennywise, with self-reliance as a running theme throughout their catalog. He also has a degree in English and counts Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau among his influences, citing them as America’s “first punk rockers.” We also discuss DARK MONEY by Jane Mayer, FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac, among many others.

Here’s “Books on the Bus,” episode 5:

Find out more Jim Lindberg’s passion for music and reading HERE. Find out more about Pennywise HERE.

Here are the four previous episodes of Books on the Bus:

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 4

For the fourth episode of this podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading, we’re hitting the road with Marko DeSantis.

He’s probably best known as the lead guitarist for Sugarcult, but Marko has also played with Bad Astronaut, The Ataris and Nerf Herder. These days your likely to catch him DJing at a club in LA or Tokyo, or find him lecturing about the entertainment industry at a handful of Los Angeles music colleges.

This episode features discussions about everything from PLEASE KILL ME and HAMMER OF THE GODS, to THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway, FOREVER by Judy Blume and OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO by Dr. Seuss. Buckle your seat belts because we cover a lot of highway with this one.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 4:

Follow Marko on Twitter HERE. And on Instagram HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday, and Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump on Wednesday. I’m posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Our final guest on Friday is Jim Lindberg from Pennywise.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 3

For episode 3, Books on the Bus is shifting gears from punk rock to jam band.

Our guest today is Todd Pasternack of the bands Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump. He is also the author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADERS.

This episode features rock autobiographies by Bruce Springsteen and Levon Helm, in addition to deep discussions about Howard Zinn in the tour van. Todd’s a smart guy and talented musician who has written a really interesting book.

Here is Books on the Bus, episode 3:

Find out more about Todd Pasternack HERE.

I launched the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series on Monday with Jeff Whalen of Tsar, followed by Joey Cape of Lagwagon on Tuesday. I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on Rare Bird Radio. Thursday’s guest is Marko DeSantis from Sugarcult.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 2

Is Books on the Bus a rock podcast about literature, or a literary podcast about rock? You decide!

Today I’m chatting with Joey Cape, lead singer of the California punk band Lagwagon. He also plays guitar for Me First & The Gimme Gimmes and is a prolific solo artist and producer.

This episode features the origin stories for the Lagwagon songs “Owen Meany” and “Lullaby,” in addition to creative ways to promote reading live on stage, giving up on non-fiction 3/4 of the way through a book, and Cormac McCarthy—among many other topics.

Here’s Books on the Bus, episode 2:

Find out more about Joey Cape HERE. Find out more about Lagwagon HERE.

I launched the first episode of the Books on the Bus podcast mini-series yesterday with Jeff Whalen of the rock group Tsar (click here if you missed it). I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on the Rare Bird Radio podcast platform. Wednesday’s guest is Todd Pasternack of Ominous Seapods, Marlow and Bump, and author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADERS.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 1

I’m thrilled to share the first episode of the Books on the Bus podcast. I’m kicking things off with Jeff Whalen, lead singer of the Los Angeles rock group Tsar, and soon to be a solo artist with the release of “10 More Rock Super Hits.”

Jeff’s a rocker by night and librarian by day, so I couldn’t think of a better way to launch this five-part podcast mini-series about rock and reading.

Here’s Books on the Bus, episode 1:

Click here to find out more about Jeff Whalen.

Here’s the Tsar song “Calling All Destroyers” from the soundtrack to the James Gunn film, Super.

I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on the Rare Bird Radio podcast platform. Tomorrow’s guest is Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

My New Podcast—Sneak Preview

Rock and reading have long been two of my biggest obsessions, but I have discovered a third in the last few years—podcasts. Radio shows like Somewhere Out There with Joe Frank, This American Life, and Radiolab were my gateway drugs. Once in the podcast universe, I quickly expanded to WTF with Marc Maron, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore HistoryCrackedRe:soundFreakonomics, and Snap Judgement. Lately, I’ve been digging Desert Oracle RadioKurt Vonneguys, and The Hilarious World of Depression.

It was a discussion about our favorite podcasts that compelled Eric Beetner and me to create the monthly crime and mystery podcast, Writer Types. And now my podcast fascination has led me to a new solo project that I’m calling Books on the Bus—a five-part podcast mini-series about the intersection of rock and reading. Each episode features a musician sharing about their favorite books and authors, how books inspire their lyrics, the best rock biographies, and what they like to read on the road—in addition to some unexpected tangents. A new episode will be posted daily between January 29 and Friday, February 2 over on the Rare Bird Radio podcast platform.

To say that this project brings together all of my favorite things would be a huge understatement. My guests include:

  • Jan. 29: Jeff Whalen—Tsar
  • Jan. 30: Joey Cape—Lagwagon, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
  • Jan. 31: Todd Pasternack—Ominous Seapods, author of LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: MUSICIANS AS BUSINESS LEADER
  • Feb. 1: Marko DeSantis—Sugarcult, Bad Astronaut
  • Feb. 2: Jim Lindberg—Pennywise, author of PUNK ROCK DAD

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His 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 Los Angeles.

Writer Types Podcast—Crime Quiz LIVE! 2

Thrilled to share the podcast of our latest Crime Quiz LIVE! event, recorded at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. This time around, we put three of our favorite crime and mystery authors in the hottest, including Harley Jane Kozak, Nadine Nettmann and Jordan Harper.

Listen in for laughter, tears and some truly tough trivia questions about your favorite crime and mystery books.

And if you’re in Toronto for Bouchercon this week, Eric Beetner and I will be doing it again on Friday the 13th at 2pm. For the third installment of our Crime Quiz LIVE! series, will be setting our sights on Jess Lourey, Jay Stringer and Owen Laukkanen. Please swing by, share a few laughs and say hello.

As always, if you like what you hear, please rate us and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

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S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.