Music » Music Stories & Interviews

Rotation: What local artists are listening to

Jeff Nolan of the Ludes

  • Rob Bartlett

“Hüsker Du’s Zen Arcade and New Day Rising are both on fairly heavy rotation. ‘The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill’ is one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s blasphemy to some, but I like Grant Hart’s songs better than Bob Mould’s most of the time.

Grand Funk Railroad’s second album (the red one): Lord knows I love the crankin’ shit and it doesn’t get any better than this 1969 sophomore release from Flint, Mich.’s finest. Relentlessly raw and cool. Folks who only know Grand Funk’s ’70s hit-making output (‘We’re an American Band,’ ‘I’m Your Captain,’ etc.) have no idea how cool this band really was. This album is much more akin to the Stooges or MC5 than anything that got played on rock radio.

Blue Öyster Cult’s Secret Treaties album. I consider it my life’s mission to turn people on to this incredibly savvy and subversive bit of psychedelic heaviness. It gets in my rotation at least twice a year and that’s been the case since forever.

Mastodon’s new album, The Hunter – they’re easily my favorite contemporary heavy rock band. This one is much less over-the-top than Crack the Skye, but I think the simpler production and abbreviated song structures serve the band well. I can’t wait to see them in December.

Tom Waits’ brand new album Bad as Me – first CD I’ve ever purchased from a freakin’ Starbucks. I love it. This one is a bit of a ‘duh’ situation, but I think it’s one of his best in the last 20 years. ‘Hell Broke Luce’ is an amazing jam, and the whole thing has that ‘David Lynch in a pawn shop’ thing Tom does so well, but it never gets stupid. Waits is one of those artists who’s so important and so singular that people who don’t dig him simply cannot be trusted.”

(Local rockers the Ludes play Will’s Pub 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 with Lone Hymnal, Jackals and Wesley Wolfe. Admission is $5.)

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