Grant Hart - The Argument (2013, Domino Records) [Pop Concept Album About Paradise Lost]

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been excited about this for awhile. heard some songs in rough form here and there, should be a good 'un, hoping it scales the heights of Good News For Modern Man after the somewhat slapdash last album

Press Release:

Domino are proud to announce that we will be releasing The Argument from Grant Hart on July 22nd, 2013.

As founder and half of the songwriting engine that drove the mighty Hüsker Dü to his maverick solo work, Grant Hart has cut a singular path across the last three decades of music. It is with great confidence that we say he has made an album to rival his greatest achievements. A double album based on John Milton's epic Paradise Lost, Hart distills its essence into pop and rock concoctions that nimbly flit through the history of 20th century music from Irving Berlin and David Bowie to... Hüsker Dü, even. Ambition is the topic and Hell is the location for this project that is ambitious as Hell. Does he pull it off? We say yes!

While visiting James Grauerholz, former friend and secretary for William S. Burroughs, James showed Grant an unpublished manuscript for Lost Paradise, William's science fiction story which portrays the fallen angels as men from distant planets and God as none other than fellow Missourian Harry S. Truman. James and Grant discussed adding music to William's story much in the same way that Tom Waits and William conspired to turn the German folk tale Die Freishutz into The Black Rider as staged by Robert Wilson.

From that point the seed had been planted, and the seed grew into the most beautiful tree in the garden of Grant's career. Domino invite you to taste the fruit of this tree. Go ahead, taste it.

Although lines from the poem are rarely quoted directly, all of the menace, pain and devotion of Milton's best loved work are here found. But where Milton's poem was "unadorned by rhyme,'' The Argument contain many complex couplets, especially the title track, in which not only the ends of lines rhyme, but the word that ends a phrase is the same as the first line of the phrase after it, all while conforming to the original ten syllable structure devised by Milton. Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Grant knows how patiently he chooses the words he uses.

As a double album of two halves, we wanted to show both the light and the dark of the album in its initial introduction, so we are offering two tracks for preview. "Is the Sky the Limit?" is a melancholy song of the aftermath of rejection built upon the eerie and lonely sound of Sputnik 1. To counterbalance this somber paean, "Letting Me Out" follows in all its propulsive Buddy Holly glory as the Artist formerly known as Lucifer offers up his cunning business proposition to populate the netherworld.

jay-z's ansari (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:55 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, posted on the Hart V. Mould thread, these two songs are really good.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:57 (five years ago) Permalink

The Argument will be available on CD (WIGCD318), double vinyl (WIGLP318) and digitally (WIGDG318). And without further ado... the tracklist:

Out Of Chaos
Awake, Arise!
If We Have The Will
I Will Never See My Home
I Am Death
Letting Me Out
Is The Sky The Limit?
Golden Chain
So Far From Heaven
Shine, Shine, Shine
It Isn't Love
War In Heaven
(It Was A) Most Disturbing Dream
Underneath The Apple Tree
The Argument
Run For The Wilderness
For Those Too High Aspiring

jay-z's ansari (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:57 (five years ago) Permalink

btw there is a rip of a 7 inch w/2 of these songs on Spotify that sounds like SHIT (morningstar & so far from heaven) really fucked up rip of vinyl so don't judge off that

jay-z's ansari (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:58 (five years ago) Permalink

So glad this is finally coming out! I think I broke the news of his signing to Domino in my interview with him late last year? Didn't find any other reference to it at the time but I may be wrong.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 08:36 (five years ago) Permalink

hmmm...ok so i have a song that was supposedly on this album, but i'm not seeing the title on the tracklisting...

jay-z's ansari (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:16 (five years ago) Permalink

i need to listen to this as soon as exam week is over!

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:18 (five years ago) Permalink


jamie lee fox (rip van wanko), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:23 (five years ago) Permalink

forwarded this to my girlfriend, like me a massive Paradise Lost fan. Music reminded her of this

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Actually, they're not musically similar at all, more of a thematic bond

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:34 (five years ago) Permalink

OK, I've heard this, and it is sort of wonderfully weird, totally unpredictable and often awesome. It's like this strange, theatrical garage-rock opera. I could imagine Tom Waits singing some of the songs. It's also really long.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 24 May 2013 01:09 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah grant's a fascinating dude

unfinest DN (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 24 May 2013 01:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Pfft, bit sceptical - give me a 10 song solo classic please Grant.

Master of Treacle, Friday, 24 May 2013 01:40 (five years ago) Permalink

i've heard about 8 songs and i wouldn't let the "concept" album scare you.....the songs themselves, at least what i've heard, are pretty classic type pop songs, it's not like it's a prog album, just a lot of songs i (assume) is what josh meant

unfinest DN (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 24 May 2013 02:04 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's not some divided-into-suites sort of thing, just a whole lot of songs, some eccentric, many (most?) not really.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 24 May 2013 02:07 (five years ago) Permalink

gonna tour i spose

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 May 2013 02:32 (five years ago) Permalink

Supposedly has a band for the first time in ages

unfinest DN (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 24 May 2013 03:02 (five years ago) Permalink

He's touring Ireland again later this month and into June. No shows in Dublin and I can't make it out of the city to any of the other gigs this time round, but he's playing some lovely venues.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Friday, 24 May 2013 07:20 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

gonna be playing with a friends improv project on friday night opening for grant hart :)

excited! hope he plays a bunch of new stuff...apparently no band though

Doors 9:00 PM | Main Stage

"If you like the Byrds, try Depeche Mode" (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 19:13 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm excited for you! Looking forward to seeing him again soon, he's got a Dublin show lined up a few weeks from now.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 19:39 (five years ago) Permalink

that's awesome i'd imagine he'll have the band then

"If you like the Byrds, try Depeche Mode" (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 19:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Totally forgot I had this album, need to listen again ASAP!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 20:08 (five years ago) Permalink

you have the whole thing???? damn

"If you like the Byrds, try Depeche Mode" (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 20:12 (five years ago) Permalink

Listening now!

Wow, Grant could hang with Gira:

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 20:18 (five years ago) Permalink

ha that's in the clown lounge at the turf club i think

"If you like the Byrds, try Depeche Mode" (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 20:38 (five years ago) Permalink

He wants a hug in that pic. It's so obv!

Thelema & Louise (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

btw grant was totally great last weekend. he even played "The Main" for me when I shouted it out and moved his mic stand so he was singing right to me and my friend

adrian "stanky" legg (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 July 2013 15:58 (four years ago) Permalink

that's wonderful!

i meant to post that guardian link a few days ago but i forgot and now i am finally listening to it. i like it so far! he's def still got it. does he ever play drums anymore?

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:01 (four years ago) Permalink

ok this totally rules
"awake arise" is one of those insane army marching up a muddy mountain metal songs -- what a weird song to follow "morningstar" but I LOVE IT

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:09 (four years ago) Permalink

also he is totally awesome

He also laid down a vision for how it might be best performed live: "What I would like to do is do it as a ballet; kind of like a perverted ballet where the band and the singers are accompanied by dancers on stage. I see some real inexpensive ways of staging certain things. I think it would be more than a string section but having five or six vocal sections would add more to it."

impt q: does anyone know if the LP will come with dl code?

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:16 (four years ago) Permalink

i would think so? i think domino records do....i can ask my friend who has the record already

adrian "stanky" legg (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:20 (four years ago) Permalink

you never know these days, can't hurt to check!

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:23 (four years ago) Permalink

confirmed that it does come w/download card :)

adrian "stanky" legg (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:24 (four years ago) Permalink

ok then sold!

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:25 (four years ago) Permalink

ballet sounds like Kurious Oranj (the fall) or at least what I in my head like to think that was like

akm, Friday, 19 July 2013 04:18 (four years ago) Permalink

This is good! In the garage-psych vein he's been mining ever since HD, but with an added layer of musical-theater pizzazz. You have to buy into the premise, but he keeps it just glam enough to avoid embarrassment. Also, I never realized before what an influence Bowie was on him, but it totally makes sense.

I would definitely go see a full-scale production of this, not that I expect that to happen.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 21 July 2013 19:08 (four years ago) Permalink

Ah, the Dublin show next month got cancelled. Hope it's just a matter of rescheduling for a future date, with the album getting good reviews in the UK mainstream press.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Sunday, 21 July 2013 19:28 (four years ago) Permalink

nice to see the reviews coming in very positive

adrian "stanky" legg (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 22 July 2013 15:56 (four years ago) Permalink

Dele Fadele's still at the NME? lol

Master of Treacle, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 01:50 (four years ago) Permalink

Listening to this on Spotify. It's really, really, good. Grant sounds crazily like Ziggy-era Bowie on "Awake, Arise!"

it itches like a porky pine sitting on your dick (Phil D.), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:50 (four years ago) Permalink

mine is on its way! i felt really good about buying it.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 12:27 (four years ago) Permalink

Fun NPR interview from this past weekend:

I'm looking forward to vinyl arriving today. Per interview above, I'm even more looking forward to a concept ballet with Courtney Love! (I think he's kidding)

BlackIronPrison, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 13:35 (four years ago) Permalink

just swung by Electric Fetus this morning and picked up the vinyl...very reasonable...$22 for a double LP, good quality sleeve nice packaging, vinyl looks good...downloading the MP3s now...

grant's picture on the back is great! so "1989" style clothes....what a good strong head of hair that man has

feel really happy for my friend mike who recorded this, he has a little studio in his basement for about 20 years now...great guy and rarely works on stuff this high profile...

adrian "stanky" legg (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 15:21 (four years ago) Permalink

man "shine, shine, shine" is just a gorgeous pop song

mike (who recorded it) said that grant was blowing his mind because he would get keyboard sounds EXACTLY like Intolerance stuff and it's, of course, because grant still has the exact same gear

hello :) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:12 (four years ago) Permalink

So does anyone know who recorded this?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 17:41 (four years ago) Permalink

go fuck yourself

hello :) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 17:43 (four years ago) Permalink


Algerian Goalkeeper, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 18:52 (four years ago) Permalink

Please don't get bummed out, either of you! AG was only teasing - probably because he's haunted by news of the Royal Baby.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 19:08 (four years ago) Permalink

hey AG sorry i'm a little salty IRL today

hello :) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 19:20 (four years ago) Permalink

only grant could get the lyrics "A most imposing edifice - if we have the will" into a great pop hook

hello :) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 29 July 2013 17:41 (four years ago) Permalink

the more i listen to this, the more i like it!!
sure, it's a bit long and there are some songs i could prob live without but i admire the devotion to the concept more than i wish those songs weren't there.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 6 August 2013 14:51 (four years ago) Permalink

hah, i was going to bump this as i'm listening now too.

it's weird and charming and a very individual vision. stylistically it's not completely my thing but i admire the hell out of it.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 6 August 2013 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah there's a few that seem there for story development and stuff and you could probably make this a flawless single album but i'm glad he went for something of this scale and pulled it off and there aren't any really bad song IMO

usic for 18 magicians (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 6 August 2013 15:55 (four years ago) Permalink

I agree, I enjoy it in whole and in its parts. And somehow it hits the right tone for me of taking the project seriously but not coming off as pretentious or po-faced. I think my current favorite is "It Isn't Love" -- which doubles as a good old-fashioned "That man ain't no good for you" song.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 6 August 2013 16:04 (four years ago) Permalink

Nice piece on Mike Wisti and Albatross here:

Grant's doing an in-store at Treehouse Records Aug. 17, 4-6 p.m.!

Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 7 August 2013 02:05 (four years ago) Permalink

listening now, liking this a lot.

sleeve, Sunday, 11 August 2013 01:32 (four years ago) Permalink

In-store was truly great, right there with the 2541 and Zen Arcade posters. I wish I'd been recording all the patter, but most memorable for me was him covering "Data Control," by bizarre but wonderful request, and explaining it was originally a pun on Control Data.

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 03:46 (four years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
two months pass...

Rock N Jock Expo
Sunday, March 16th
New Hope Cinema Grill
2749 Winnetka Ave, New Hope, MN

Grant Hart special appearance and film screening

5:30 pm - screening of Every Everything
7:15 pm - Q&A with Grant
7:30 pm - Live performance

Meet & greet to follow the show

Tickets are $15 for the movie and live performance
Autographs or posed photos will be $5 (donation)
VIP passes available for additional $10 ($25 total) [preferred up front seating, autograph/posed photo, front of meet and greet line]

Tickets will soon be available at Treehouse , Roadrunner, and Fan HQ (Ridgedale Mall)

avant gardener (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 31 January 2014 18:06 (four years ago) Permalink

Grant Hart film/live show tickets are available for sale now...

$15 for film and live show
$25 for VIP seating (film & show) + autograph or posed photo (VIP meet & greet line)

rocksale, Friday, 7 February 2014 23:29 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

RIP Dude

Mark G, Thursday, 14 September 2017 08:21 (ten months ago) Permalink

i feel so sad about his passing. this album is excellent btw.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 14 September 2017 12:56 (ten months ago) Permalink

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