Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Discuss any aspect of Soul Asylum, their music, and the band's members.
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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by mystic_spiral_3 »

Sometimes I got a little nervous when I'd admit to an "old school" fan that I became a fan during the GDU era. However, I think the fact that I went back and got the older albums as well as stuck around "redeemed" me. ;)

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by Asylunt »

Ok, this has been great reading people's experiences with the Album.

I still remember the day clearly. GDU had been out for several months. I was on that 12 going on 13 pivotal point in my young life. I had previously had tapes ranging from Billy Joel to Vanilla Ice, but at this point in life, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and other "Alternative" bands were dominating the radios of the older kids. I watched MTV a lot and started noticing SA, really digging Black Gold, and I ended up getting into Runaway Train. So the day I purchased GDU on Cassette was one of the many trips that my small town ass would take with my family to Wal-Mart, and I was deciding between a few albums, and I guess I don't know exactly why, but I wanted Soul Asylum. I remember the car ride home, ripping the plastic off the cassette case and jamming that tape into my Walkman. I have always been an album person, I listen to albums in their entirety. I was hooked. SA quickly became my favorite band of all time. I purchased LYDLS 3 years later and sometime in between had gotten Horse through the Columbia Music Club or BMG or something like that. Then i quickly bought up the entire discography. Most in one day at Circuit City, spending the Hundred dollar bill my grandmother gave me for my birthday.

GDU is very much like someone earlier described it, it is that home feeling. New World will make me think of specific places in my hometown area, till this day it's a rush back to my teenage self. Runaway Train was the first song I learned on guitar. I just can attribute so much of what has become me, from living in the Twin Cities, to discovering the Replacements, to meeting some of the loves of my life, to that single album.

I knew I was listening to something special that day back in '93, but I didn't know I would be here 20 years later still thinking about it.

Cheers to all the fans old and new!
Would you look into my eyes if I were to go blind?

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by Closer »

mystic_spiral_3 wrote:Sometimes I got a little nervous when I'd admit to an "old school" fan that I became a fan during the GDU era. However, I think the fact that I went back and got the older albums as well as stuck around "redeemed" me. ;)
Yeah, it doesn't seem too cool to have been on board only since GDU came out, but in my defence... I was only eleven years old in 1993 and I just started listening to rock music, so they are one of the first rock bands I got into.

For some reason I remember clearly listening to GDU (on cassette still) and I don't know why it appealed to me so much. I guess it had everything I liked... some more quiet pop songs but also harder songs that leaned towards metal and punk. But also, most of my peers were into Guns N' Roses and Nirvana and all those other bands who were huge back then, and so was I, but I guess I needed a band of my own and no one else seemed to be into Soul Asylum that much, so they became the perfect band for me... it's funny, it never quite changed... no one really seems to dig them a lot, except for me... well, and of course you freaks out here.

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by ArmyKat »

This is an awesome thread! As a 13 year-old, I remember becoming obsessed with Shove the first time I heard it on the radio. My music tastes were....evolving, shall we say. I had moved on from boy bands (which I refuse to name) to Gn'R, Skid Row, and Metallica. It's amazing looking back to realize how much I didn't understand. Around the time of GDU, I was starting to understand that bands like Gn'R were just a tad bit misogynistic and that I was never going to understand what it was like to get on "The Nighttrain." Enter the "grunge" and "alternative" movement, and Soul Asylum to mainstream radio. I taped Shove off the radio (cassette tapes, y'all!), eventually saw the video (and fell in love with another sweaty lead singer, much to my mother's chagrin), bought the CD and listened to it on repeat. Again, kind of amazing to recall what 13-year old me (and my friends) focused on at that time; "OMG, the Sun Maid never gets laid! hehehehe!" That said, I was hooked. And like others said, I picked up the rest of their albums and never stopped listening. As a teenager, Say What you Will had the perfect amount of grit and angst to resonate with my steel-toed boots. Again, it's cool to see which albums I gravitate to as I get older. But this thread is about GDU, and that album has remained a classic.

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by Educatrix »

It's both amusing and touching that so many of our recollections stem from having been young teens when the album came out (on cassette!); I'm really enjoying reading these and reminiscing.

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by TravisSaves »

I am 100% serious when I say that the Easter Bunny bought me this album in 1993! It was sitting in my Easter basket along with some candy.

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!


These are great story's no matter when you became a fan whether it was there first show or through DELAYED long as you enjoy there music and support there music.

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by CULater »

Yep, makes no difference when you became a fan! The band got hold of all of us somehow! And we were all lucky enough to pay attention..... :)
"I've learned to accept and not to expect - the respect and neglect that I get. And I try not to forget about what hasn't happened yet.....""

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by Monolith Maniac »

I've said it a couple times before but the majority on how I got into them can be found here: ... s_article/

I was kind of a late starter on getting into the band. I had never even heard of them after they even made it big. I do vividly remember the day I bought Grave Dancers Union back in 1997 . I think it was the first rock album I ever bought. I mostly wasn't caught up or unaware of today's music because I had mostly been into the 60 and 70's era (thanks to my parents), and a lot of 80's music (thanks to my 2 older brothers). :P

As mentioned in that article (and by me on the forum numerous times already), if it wasn't for this exact clip (which I recorded from my VHS tape) I wouldn't be writing this today (or at all); simple as that. Without seeing it, I don't think it would have exposed me to a lot of the music then (1990's) all the way to today's.

I remember buying Let Your Dim Light Shine because I ended up loving Grave Dancers Union so much, something I never did with any other album. Popping LYDLS in the player and hearing track 1 made me instantly hooked on the band when I found out that Syndicated Inc. (Weird Al was my favorite artist before SA) was a parody of Misery.

Along came my purchase of Candy and I started lurking on message boards of AOL and Yahoo wondering what all this "other" talk of SA is. Little did I know did SA have other albums. One day I walked into Circuit City and saw Horse on the shelf. It said "Soul Asylum" but couldn't have been the same band, could it? The only reason I did pick it up was that the "one guy" (Dave) had long hair like the one in the GDU booklet (the same picture the site uses for the chat icon above).

Wow, this music sounds way different than GDU, LYDLS, or Candy I thought... nevertheless I did like it. My taste in music started to change then (or maybe I was experiencing more than just 50-80's music). Sure enough, looking through the booklet of HORSE the songs were also written by "Dave Pirner". Then I started talking at the boards (maybe a post or 2) but I kinda began to see what the band was all about. Remember, this was at a time when the Internet still didn't have a whole lot of information anywhere about the band (besides the "Caged Rat" page).

I slowly but surely started finding their back catalog and ended up purchasing everything from anywhere I could find a copy ASAP (I remember calling a used CD store 30 miles away that had a copy of Clam Dip), I couldn't wait for eBay... I was a devoted fan now. :P

Since then I participated a lot more in the Yahoo chats, learned more info about the band, and made friends there and meeting up with them at my first few concerts. Soon at the Yahoo forum (already 5 years ago) we agreed it was time to move to another site. We all decided who would put that together. Jakob and I said we'd do it.

In the past 5 years not only have Jakob and I built this site from the ground up, but with the help of all you fans, you have helped add to it by contributing an enormous part as well. I thank you for that.

Again this may sound like a broken record (no pun intended) of my history on how I got into the band, but its also what GDU led me to today, which is very important for me. So in the end if it wasn't for that video and my love for GDU I wouldn't have met a lot of great fans/friends, and my favorite band in the world (which I never thought would happen; especially seeing that one guy in the video). :)
Jim Metz, Webmaster of

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Re: Grave Dancers Union turns 20!

Post by michael_DarkR »

My "where was I when..? story" may be slightly different then most. First time I saw Soul Asylum was an MTV debut, so I seen SA when they were very new to MTV-just before breaking out Im thinking. First thought was I didn't like the singer. His weird psycho eyes and him trying to be cool and shit-with that fucked up looking hair (I was no jock by any means, my hair was black, long and I wore tight jeans and only dark clothing-hell, I still do) & this was all perceived from one simple viewing of their video first aired on Mtv. Of course Mtv played the shit out of it and Id always make the same remark,

"I hate this fuckin' band.."

Well, unfortunately my story is going to take a serious turn and for what ever reason Im going to share it with whom ever cares to read it..Its probably going to be lengthy but hopefully it won't be boring I mean, Im just writing it from the top of my head-its after all something Iv already been through so....

Just six months into the future of the release of this record in 10/1992, I was facing serious legal action and in 3/1993 I would be sent to prison in NY State, a very difficult time. In fact, it just occurred to me that 4 days from the release of this record on 10/10/1992 I met a woman who I stayed with up until two years ago when we broke up-sadly, for good that time. Im at peace with it.

Anyway so, here I am. In a NYS Penitentiary doing time for some stupid shit-accumulation of foolish crimes that stacked up till the judge had no choice but to send my ass up. I was in a lot of pain and had a tough life so I turned to alcohol and drugs. My dream was rock n roll-to write music and write in general. This prison sentence took a few important years off my life plus helped kill my spirit inside-the part that believes in yourself. The part that tells you to say "Fuck The Fucking World and go live your dream!" Well, I was defeated by the system and I defeated myself.

About 6 or 7 months in my sentence, I had re boughten every rock n roll cassette tape I owned at home and then some. Prison back then only allowed cassette tapes-no cd's and you could listen to them on walkmans. Anyway, I sat there looking at the music catalog and at the top of this catalog they'd have some random album covers displayed and one of them was Soul Asylum, the Grave record. I said to myself,

"There's that fucking band I hate.."

For what ever reason though, I may have said that but didn't really feel that. In some strange way seeing the record sent my thoughts back a year when I first saw their "Somebody to Shove" video on Mtv and then the song's bridge/pre chorus started to play in my mind,

"Im waiting by the phone, Waiting for ya to call me up and tell me Im not alone...."

I don't know if you can imagine but, prison is a lonely life. I had a small crew of friends but Im too much of a passionate guy-even then to have just done my time without stressing about being home on the streets. And those lyrics made me feel like Id do anything to be home and getting a phone call from my baby-hearing her precious voice...

I immediately began filling out the back form of the music catalogue and ordered the Grave record (er' cassette). Two weeks later I finally get it in the mail-took it to my cell, laid in bed and listened to Shove over and over again, dreaming of being in my mother's living room watching that video only in my mind at this time was that I liked the song. I watched the video from memory as I played the tape and it made me sad because I had found this strange connection with this music that seemed like a love hate relationship ya know ? ..only in the end you love it.

Ironically I went to the phone booth later that evening to make a phone call (pertaining to the 'S.T.S.' song). The phone booths were the old "Superman phone booths," with little seats in it and a small little table under the pay phone where Id set the cassette tape I for what ever reason was carrying around. When my phone call was up-I was so in my head with the conversation I just had with my girl and sad that I had to say goodbye that I forgot my tape. A few minutes later it dawned on me that I forgot it and I rushed back to the phone hoping Id see it there and it was gone. I waited by the phone-searching around, looking at other inmates hands to see if Id see that tape..

Unfortunately, the way it would work out is that I never bought the record when I was released. I thought about it but then I thought how it would remind me of being in that terrible place again and who would want to remember that?

I no longer feel that way and even if it did remind me-those couple years I did were a part of my life and because of it I learned a lot. I didn't say I learned my lesson I'm sorry to say because Im a rebellious son of a bitch and its taken a lot of years to slow me down.

Well, needless to say, twenty years later I'v slowed down a bit. Its funny though, Im one of those guys who's still the same and even looks the same as he did..guess I'll never grow up and Im kind of glad Im this way. Im still learning though. My life has been very extreme and difficult. I face many of the same challenges an 18 year old faces-I don't know what I want to do with my life!! Maybe I'll stop thinking that IM too old to make it in the music business and start putting some songs together,,,but I tell you this, I never judged a rock n roll band by their looks again. I guess I was just hating on Dave Pilner cause perhaps in a non-gay way I found him attractive-God, Iv never said that before..

I'd be happy to go see Soul Asylum if they ever make it to upstate NY and this weekend Im going to go out and by the Grave Dancers Union Cd. Not iTunes or Google Play,,the whole fucking CD and Im going to listen to the whole record and think about what Im going to do the rest of my life and stop thinking about the fucking 'future murdering past!'

PS....Listen, if anyone reads a similar story of some guy who first heard of Soul Asylum in a prison in NY and admits he found the tape in a phone booth, you make sure to let me know. I won't be'll be funny to read his version.


Michael (C) Darker

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