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List of 8: Hardcore

Keeping with the theme of new, unrelated features to LSU just to keep things interesting for us, I unveil my own feature: The List of Eight.  I’m just going to randomly rank things in pop culture in top eight lists as a jumping off point to discuss a few things.  I’m reluctant to join in on Pittman’s “The Greatest” posts because, well, it’s hard to call anything The Greatest and be halfway surprising.  The greats are kind of well-known.  I’m hoping to be a little quirkier and to start with this caveat: it’s just my stupid ass opinion.  I have no authority. 

and why eight?  Because there’s no rule everything has to be in lists of ten.  I’m showing my opposition to Base Ten counting systems!  So, without further delay…

(Oh, and don't forget to scroll down and check out Purple Reign's Lagniappe post.  TONS of cool stuff). 

Poseur’s Favorite Hardcore Bands
A List of Eight

Before you look, the Misfits aren’t on it.  I am the only American punk fan who doesn’t really like the misfits.  If you want them on there, make your own damn list.  Also, Hardcore is a moment in time for me.  I don’t like new hardcore because, well, I’m not 15 anymore.  But I still love old hardcore, probably because I remember it when I was 15.  If that makes sense.  So every band on this list is an American band from the 1980s.  Because that’s Hardcore to me.  Once again, feel free to make your own list.

8.         BLACK FLAG
Pre-Henry Rollins.  Hey, I love Henry Rollins.  I own some of his poetry.  I’ve seen him play live two or three times.  I think “Liar” is hysterical.  I even think he’s a decent actor.  But, jeez, Black Flag shouldn’t have been churning out 5 minute songs.  Give me the early fury of the Greg Gaffin stuff.

7.         HUSKER DU
It’s a shame they’ll never get back together because everyone hates each other, but they were just obscenely good.  Zen Arcade is a monument, the first real punk concept album and Green Day ripped it off pretty blatantly to make American Idiot.  Which is cool, because hopefully at least one kid got into Husker Du because of it.    

6.         MEAT PUPPETS
Most people know a few Meat Puppets songs and don’t even realize it because Nirvana covered them on their Unplugged album.  Meat Puppets II is an album so awesome I just can’t even describe it.  “Split Myself In Two” is one of my all-time favorite songs.  I could listen to that all damn day.

5.         BAD BRAINS
Sure, they kind of became a reggae/ska outfit towards the bitter end, but they were awesome.  Their songs were awesome, their shows were awesome, and HR was certainly awesome.  Bad Brains is a band so great that they played the final show at CBGB’s, when they only hosted NYC bands.  Bad Brains are from DC. 

4.         THE MINUTEMEN
There’s not much I don’t love about the Minutmen.  “Double Nickels On The Dime” is not only one of the greatest albums ever recorded, it’s title makes fun of Sammy Hagar. D Boon was a force of nature, and his is one of those truly tragic rock n roll deaths.  Mike Watt is now the old wise man of the punk scene.  And they made perhaps the greatest cover song ever, their version of “Fortunate Son” is a song that makes me wish CCR was a punk band.  But they will always have a special place for the immortal line in their song about the history of the band: “Our band could be your life.”  DIY.

3.         THE VANDALS
A lot of Hardcore bands lack a sense of humor.  If anything, the Vandals suffer from an excess of it.  This isn’t so much the new Vandals, who are genuinely funny, but the old Vandals from the 80s.  Same name, different people.  Well, except the bassist.  Speaking of great lines, they yelled perhaps the most rock line ever: “Say ‘fuck’ in front of your mom.”

2.         DEAD KENNEDYS
How many bands were declared obscene by a criminal court?  Well, DK was.  They were charged and convicted for the Frankenchrist album, though Jello Biafra fought the conviction and eventually beat the Man.  And God, were their songs great: bitter, satirical, and they just plain old rocked.  “Holiday In Cambodia” sends up just about everyone, and hits ‘em where they hurts.  They weren’t even above ripping on their fellow punkers.  Which made them even more awesome.

1.         MINOR THREAT
DC invented Hardcore.  I still remember the “harDCore!” logos.  So it’s not surprising I’m going with a band from my home.  Minor Threat had already broken up by the time I started getting into punk.  Rites of Spring were the band du jour (and Guy Piccotto would eventually join forces with Ian MacKaye to form Fugazi), but Minor Threat were already legends.  And the songs are just relentless, even today.  And what could be more punk than the Straight Edge ethos.  We’re gonna rebel by not drinking or doing drugs.  The punk rock vow of chastity.  And we’re still gonna play angry, loud music that will scare your parents.  Only now, those guys actually are parents.  How do you rebel against Ian MacKaye?