Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Bob Mould, 2016

Whenever I consider a list of my absolute favorite musicians, I tend to forget about Bob Mould. That absent-mindedness makes no sense at all because I have loved nearly 100% of Mould's music since I first discovered Hüsker Dü way back in the (celebrated) summer of 1984.

I've been listening to Bob Mould for 35+ years (Hüsker Dü, Sugar, and albums under his own name) and I can throw on any album from his discography at any time and be thoroughly engaged. I cannot think of anyone else about whom I can say that.

I find some of his stuff, like 1993's Beaster, just as musically mind-blowing as it was when it first came out. (Once it was recorded, Mould said he found it "unnerving" to listen to his lyrics.) The Times (UK): "Rarely has a band rocked out with such bleak intensity and utter conviction. A vast cathedral of noise and despair, erected and demolished in half an hour flat, this is an album which has to be heard to be believed."

Bob Mould has never done anything other than exactly what he wanted to do. His early work influenced many bands, but that acknowledgement came years after the fact. He will turn 59 this fall (We share a birthday!) and he shows no sign of a creative letdown. It's amazing.

There are other musicians who have steadfastly done their own thing (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Elvis Costello), but that usually means there's a lot of their stuff I don't care about or actively dislike. Case in point: The songs on Elvis Costello's four albums from 1977-79 are endlessly inventive, both musically and lyrically, but I haven't cared a whit about anything he's done in the last 33 years.

That is not the case with Mould. Hell, I even like most of Modulate, his 2002 electronica-influenced album which confused (and turned off) a lot of the fans of his deafening guitar sound. (Though I freely admit I have never listened all the way through the 219 seconds of "Megamanic"!)

Bob Mould

October 15, 2016, Bologna, Italy, with John Wurster (drums) and Jason Narducy (bass)

A Good Idea / Changes / The End Of Things

Hoover Dam / No Reservations / Tomorrow Morning

Something I Learned Today / Come Around / Losing Time

In A Free Land / Celebrated Summer

KEXP, Seattle, WA

April 16, 2016
Hoover Dam / See A Little Light / The Descent / I Don't Know You Anymore / You Say You / Voices In My Head / Hold On / If I Can't Change Your Mind / Makes No Sense At All

May 10, 2016
The End Of Things / Losing Time / You Say You / The Descent / Black Confetti

Hüsker Dü

Camden Palace, London, UK, May 14, 1985

New Day Rising / It's Not Funny Anymore / Everything Falls Apart / Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill / I Apologize / If I Told You / Folklore / Terms Of Psychic Warfare / Powerline / Books About UFOs / Chartered Trips / Diane / Celebrated Summer / Every Everything / Makes No Sense At All / Pink Turns To Blue / Ticket To Ride / Reoccurring Dreams/Dreams Reoccurring / Eight Miles High / Love Is All Around

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