Posts Tagged ‘Bob Mould’

Blue Hearts

Aggressive, loud and unrelenting – Bob Mould takes aim at the malaise of 2020 in the way only he can, showing the many Husker Du and Sugar aping bands just how it’s done.

Through some of the most direct, confrontational lyrics of his four-decade career, Mould makes his POV clear: “I never thought I’d see this bullshit again / To come of age in the ’80s was bad enough / We were marginalized and demonized / I watched a lot of my generation die / Welcome back to American crisis.”

Why “welcome back”? Because Mould experienced deja vu writing Blue Hearts in the fall of 2019. “Where it started to go in my head is back to a spot that I’ve been in before,” he says. “And that was the fall of 1983.” “where it started to go in my head is back to a spot that i’ve been in before,” he says. “and that was the fall of 1983.” back then, Mould was a self-described “22-year-old closeted gay man” touring with the legendary Hüsker Dü and seeing an epidemic consume his community. leaders, including the one in the white house, were content to let aids kill a generation. it’s been a long time since a power pop album has felt this present and pertinent, and who else but mould could bring that sound back to the forefront? “this is the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting,” he says.

In the winter of 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era’s despair with his most melodic, upbeat album in ages, “Sunshine Rock”.

Cut to spring of 2020, and he has this to say: “We’re really in deep shit now.”

That sentiment informs the new full-length album, Blue Hearts (Merge Records, September 25th), the raging-but-catchy yin to Sunshine Rock’s yang.

To be sure, we were in some shit back in 2018, when Mould recorded Sunshine Rock with longtime colleagues Jon Wurster (drums), Jason Narducy (bass), and Beau Sorenson (engineer). Back then, he had a song called “American Crisis” that didn’t fit the album.

“That song is the seed for what we’re talking about now,” Mould says from his home in San Francisco during the COVID-19 lockdown. “At the time, it just seemed too heavy. Today it seems fucking quaint.”

“American Crisis” is the third song in a walloping first half of an album that spits plainspoken fire at the people who fomented this crisis. “This is the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting,” he says.

Through some of the most direct, confrontational lyrics of his four-decade career, Mould makes his POV clear: “I never thought I’d see this bullshit again / To come of age in the ’80s was bad enough / We were marginalized and demonized / I watched a lot of my generation die / Welcome back to American crisis.”

“We have a charismatic, telegenic, say-anything leader being propped up by evangelicals,” he says. “These fuckers tried to kill me once. They didn’t do it. They scared me. I didn’t do enough. Guess what? I’m back, and we’re back here again. And I’m not going to sit quietly this time and worry about alienating anyone.”

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Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Sorenson engineering and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould’s past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day. Acoustic opener “Heart on My Sleeve” catalogues the ravages of climate change. “Next Generation” worries for who comes next. “American Crisis” references “Evangelical ISIS” and features this dagger of a line: “Pro-life, pro-life until you make it in someone else’s wife.”

“There are songs that have no room,” Mould says, laughing. “The other songs, there’s room. There is room for imagination on the second half of the record.”

That’s where the songs turn personal in a different way. Tracks like “When You Left,” “Siberian Butterfly,” and “Everyth!ng to You” are grounded in personal relationships. “Racing to the End” captures the economic disparity of Mould’s neighborhood, and “Leather Dreams”… well, maybe Jon Wurster put it best.

“Jon turns to Jason and asks, ‘Is this the dirtiest song you’ve ever played on?’” Mould recalls with a chuckle. “I clearly did not put the edit tool to that one. Those are all pretty true bits. What kind of person could possibly have a life like that?” He laughs again. “Says the author.”

“Leather Dreams,” “Password to My Soul,” and “The Ocean” were composed during a writing binge before a January 2020 Solo Electric tour, when Mould stayed up for three straight days. “Songs just kept coming out,” he says. “‘Leather Dreams’ and ‘The Ocean’ both appeared within hours. I barely remember writing them.”

That feels right for an explosive, hook-laden album like Blue Hearts. Only there’s nothing forgettable about it.

All songs written by Bob Mould

Bob Mould: Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Jason Narducy: Bass, Backing Vocals
Jon Wurster: Drums, Percussion

Prague TV Orchestra: Strings on “American Crisis”

Released September 25th, 2020

Produced by Bob Mould
Engineered by Beau Sorenson

Distortion: 1989-1995

Demon Records presents “Distortion: 1989-1995” , the first in a series of four expansive vinyl box sets chronicling the solo career of legendary American musician Bob Mould.
Bob Mould is releasing this massive, career-spanning box set chronicling 30 years of his solo music, as well as his work in the band Sugar. Distortion: 1989-2019 arrives October 2nd (via Demon Music Group). The anthology includes 18 studio albums, four live albums, and two albums of rarities and collaborations, spanning the 24 CD set Distortion: 1989-2019 and the 8xLP collection Distortion: 1989-1995. Find images of the full set below, and scroll down to watch a 2005 live video of Mould performing Hüsker Dü’s “Could You Be the One?”; also, check out the trailer for Distortion.

Bob Mould’s career began in 1979 with the iconic underground punk group Hüsker Dü before forming the beloved alternative rock band Sugar and releasing numerous critically acclaimed solo albums. Volume one in this new series covers 1989 to 1995, beginning with Mould’s first post Hüsker Dü album workbook and continuing through to Sugar’s final studio album file under: Easy Listening.

“It’s called Distortion because it describes the music and it fits the world we live in,” Mould said of the box set in a press release. “In this new age, everybody shares their life in real time. But I’m not done yet. If I didn’t have a constantly active career, this anthology might feel like the proverbial dirt landing on top of my coffin—though somehow I seem to be able to crawl my way out of the dirt every time!” Of his 2005 performance of “Could You Be the One?” Mould said:

For years, I didn’t play any Hüsker Dü material with my subsequent touring bands. This was the first time my long time friend and colleague Jason Narducy (bass) played in my touring band. Rich Morel (keys) was my work partner for 11 years in BLOWOFF, and the 9:30 Club was home for our monthly dance party. Brendan Canty (drums) nudged me out of my self-imposed “rock retirement” after the 1998 Last Dog and Pony Show tour (which is also chronicled in the box set). Brendan’s company Trixie Productions filmed and edited the show.

Bob Mould’s next studio album “Blue Hearts” arrives September 25 via Merge Records.

• each album is presented with brand new artwork designed by illustrator Simon Marchner and pressed on 140g clear vinyl with unique splatter effects .

• includes a 28 page companion booklet featuring: liner notes by journalist Keith Cameron; a foreword by writer and actor Fred Armisen ; a tribute from Richard Thompson; lyrics and memorabilia. • mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at peerless mastering in Boston.

• featuring an array of bonus tracks including Sugar’s 1995 collection of b sides and non album tracks besides , along with Distortion plus: 1989-1995 a new and exclusive collection of rarities and collaborations (pressed on clear vinyl).

• this indies exclusive edition is strictly limited to 750 copies worldwide and includes a 12”x12” screen print of the new Copper Blue album cover, hand signed by illustrator Simon Marchner and Bob Mould himself.

    1. lp 1: bob mould workbook side a 1. sunspots 2. wishing well 3. heartbreak a stranger 4. see a little light 5. poison years 6. sinners and their repentances side b 1. brasilia crossed with trenton 2. compositions for the young and old 3. lonely afternoon 4. dreaming, i am 5. whichever way the wind blows
    2. lp 2: bob mould black sheets of rain side a 1. black sheets of rain 2. stand guard 3. it’s too late 4. one good reason 5. stop your crying side b 1. hanging tree 2. the last night 3. hear me calling 4. out of your life 5. disappointed 6. sacrifice / let there be peace
    3. lp 3: sugar copper blue side a 1. the act we act 2. a good idea 3. changes 4. helpless 5. hoover dam side b 1. the slim 2. if i can’t change your mind 3. fortune teller 4. slick 5. man on the moon
    4. lp 4: sugar beaster side a 1. come around 2. tilted 3. judas cradle side b 1. jc auto 2. feeling better 3. walking away
    5. lp 5: sugar file under: easy listening side a 1. gift 2. company book 3. your favorite thing 4. what you want it to be 5. gee angel side b 1. panama city motel 2. can’t help you anymore 3. granny cool 4. believe what you’re saying 5. explode and make up
    6. lp 6 & 7: sugar besides side a 1. needle hits e 2. if i can’t change your mind (solo mix) 3. try again 4. where diamonds are halos (live) 5. armenia city in the sky (live) side b 1. clownmaster 2. anyone (live) 3. jc auto (live) 4. believe what you’re saying (campfire mix) 5. mind is an island side c 1. frustration 2. going home 3. in the eyes of my friends 4. and you tell me side d (bbc radio 1. if i can’t change your mind 2. hoover dam 3. the slim 4. where diamonds are halos
    7. lp 8: distortion plus: 1989 1995 side a 1. all those people know bob mould 2. no water in hell bob mould 3. dying from the inside out the golden palominos side b 1. dio throwing muses 2. hickory wind bob mould & vic chesnutt 3. can’t fight it bob mould 4. turning of the tide bob mouldBob Mould box set

BOB MOULD has released another track from his forthcoming album “Forecast of Rain” and an accompanying lyric video off of his explosive upcoming album Blue Hearts, which arrives via Merge Records on Friday, September 25.

“Forecast of Rain” is the second song released from Blue Hearts and follows provocative first single “American Crisis” from June. That song garnered great attention from the press, with Rolling Stone writing that it “vibrates with urgency,” NPR saying the song is “pure punk fury” and Paste describing the song as a “scabrous, pissed-off screed against the ‘fucked-up USA’ we’re living in.”

The 14-song album, will be Mould’s 14th and the follow-up to 2019’s Sunshine Rock, is due out September. 25th on Merge Records on LP, CD, something called “tri-color Peak Vinyl” and digital formats. “Forecast of Rain” was preceded by the fiery lead-off single “American Crisis.”

Of “Forecast of Rain,” Mould says:

“As a child, my mother took me to Sunday Mass. I’ve written many songs around religion. In the 2000s, I went back to the Catholic Church for three years — but I did not find my place. I recognize the importance of religion for those who believe: the worship, the rituals, the community; loving thy neighbour, following commandments, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. In short, be nice to people, help however you can, and don’t steal stuff. But right now, I’m having a hard time understanding how certain religious sectarians can support the behaviour of those who occupy the People’s House. How can you endorse their disregard for truth? How can you tolerate the incessant vindictiveness? How can you stand by your man while people are teargassed to clear a path to the Lord’s House? I’m not good at quoting scripture, but I can manage two words: Jesus wept.”

The 14-song album, will be Mould’s 14th and the follow-up to 2019’s Sunshine Rock, is due out September. 25th on Merge Records on LP, CD, something called “tri-color Peak Vinyl” and digital formats. “Forecast of Rain” was preceded by the fiery lead-off single “American Crisis.”

From the album Blue Hearts, out September 25th on Merge Records

In the winter of 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era’s despair with his most melodic, upbeat album in ages, Sunshine Rock. Cut to spring of 2020, and he has this to say: “We’re really in deep shit now.”

That sentiment informs the new full-length album, Blue Hearts, the raging-but-catchy yin to Sunshine Rock’s yang. Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Sorenson engineering and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould’s past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day. Acoustic opener Heart on My Sleeve catalogues the ravages of climate change. Next Generation worries for who comes next. American Crisis references “Evangelical ISIS” and features this dagger of a line: “Pro-life, pro-life until you make it in someone else’s wife.”

Leather Dreams, Password to My Soul, and The Ocean were composed during a writing binge before a January 2020 Solo Electric tour, when Mould stayed up for three straight days. That feels right for an explosive, hook-laden album like Blue Hearts. Only there’s nothing forgettable about it.

http://

Releases September 25th, 2020

Produced by Bob Mould
Recorded at Electrical Audio, Chicago IL
Additional Recording at Granary Music, San Francisco CA
The Band:
Bob Mould: Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
Jason Narducy: Bass, Backing Vocals
Jon Wurster: Drums, Percussion

 

“An Obelisk” is the sixth album from Titus Andronicus, which finds the noted rock band under the stewardship of producer and legendary rocker Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar, et al.). This trans-generational meeting of the minds has yielded the most immediate, intense, and unadorned Titus Andronicus record to date. Clocking in at a brisk 38 minutes and change, it is also the shortest. Recorded over six breathless days at Steve Albini’s world-renowned Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, An Obelisk presents the sound of Titus Andronicus, rock band, at its most irreducible, as monolithic as the album’s titular monument.

The official video for “Troubleman Unlimited” by Titus Andronicus, off the new album ‘An Obelisk,’ available June 21st from Merge Records.

The official video for “Tumult Around The World” by Titus Andronicus, off the new album ‘An Obelisk,’ available June 21st from Merge Records.

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In the first 15 seconds of his new video, Bob Mould tells the world: “Dictators, terrorists and tech companies have created an apocalyptic surveillance state. The Western world has fallen into a deep state of paranoia and disinformation.”

The video for Bob Mould’s new song, “Lost Faith” cuts to a scene of our protagonist, living in Germany, being interviewed by the media. From Mould’s paranoid point of view, all he can see are drones following him. And when the reporter asks, “What are you running from?” the music kicks in and Mould sings: “I’ve lost faith in everything / Everything, everything.” This could simply be the perfect song for our times, but what Mould does in “Lost Faith” (and elsewhere on his forthcoming album Sunshine Rock) is take the negativity and fear and locate the positive. “I know we all lose faith from time to time,” he sings. “You better find your way back home.”

New album ‘Sunshine Rock’ out Feb 8th, 2019!

Bob Mould is a legend, and his band Hüsker Dü informed a huge swath of music in the ’90s. These days, he is, in fact, living in Germany; it’s been a few years and he says he’s newly inspired. The new album is full of themes of sunshine instead of “black sheets of rain.”

Writing via email, Mould says of “Lost Faith” that “there’s a hint of migration, a dash of border security and a whisper of government surveillance, climaxing across the multicolored canvas of an abandoned NSA listening station perched atop the highest hill in Berlin. But at the end of the day, it’s a high-end music video for a catchy, inspirational, uplifting pop song.”

From the album Sunshine Rock, out February 8th, 2019 on Merge Records.

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Bob Mould recently released the song “What Do You Want Me To Do” from his new full-length album Sunshine Rock (out February 8th) and shared a first-ever behind-the-scenes look at his time in the studio. Never before has Mould allowed a camera crew to affect the creative process; now he shares these moments with the public as the Sunshine Rock Studio Session, which debuted with the new single. Read more about the track and the session at Rolling Stone.

Mould has also revealed that Screaming Females, Criminal Hygiene, and Will Johnson of Centro-matic have been added as support, along with the previously announced Titus Andronicus, for select dates on his upcoming tour spanning North America and Europe, which starts on Valentine’s Day.

From the album Sunshine Rock, out February 8th, 2019 on Merge Records.

American punk band Hüsker Dü’s early music is being remastered from the original analogue tapes, and released on vinyl in a new retrospective called Savage Young Dü.

Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.

This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set.

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Bob Mould, Hüsker Dü’s chief songwriter, singer and de facto leader would no doubt delight in the knowledge that for many, the band’s name is synonymous with his own. But to ignore the part played by his band mates, particularly drummer and co-founder Grant Hart, is to ignore a huge part of the band’s legacy – including everything from their first single to their biggest hit. Though healthy competition between the two ultimately spiralled into bitter infighting which would tear the band apart, these inter-band tensions helped, for a while, to create some of the band’s best ever music as Hart and Mould entered into a game of musical one-upmanship. And so we present the best Hüsker Dü songs written by Grant Hart.

There weren’t a lot of girls in hardcore songs – but there was only one Grant Hart, and in his songs, he turned himself into a lens and noticed things nobody else did. When you saw Hüsker Dü live in the Eighties, you saw three earnest young men – Hart, Mould, bassist Greg Norton burn through their songs, as Mould and Hart traded off lead vocals without a pause in between. Mould was all wary scowl and no-bullshit guitar fuzz; Hart was one big flippant grin. You could get mesmerized by Hart’s manic drumming, a blur of hair and elbows, and the audibly giddy slobber of his voice.

They produced seven albums together, before an acrimonious split in 1988 at the peak of their popularity. Grant Hart changed the emotional vocabulary of punk rock. As the long-haired barefoot drummer of Hüsker Dü, he was the cheeriest-looking guy anyone had seen in a hardcore band, and despite all the turmoil he brought to their songs, he also brought his skewed pop smile. His songs ran the spectrum – the rage of “It’s Not Funny Anymore,” the affection of “The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill,” the grief of “Pink Turns to Blue.” Hüsker Dü’s emotional realness made them a life-changing band for so many of us, and that’s why Hart, who died last night in Minneapolis at 56, was a life-changing presence.

BOOKS ABOUT UFO’S (Hart, 1985)

Check the glorious racket of his finest Hüsker Dü song, “Books About UFOs,” from their 1985 classic New Day Rising: a demented Brian Wilson–style melody, drenched in Bob Mould’s guitar feedback. Hart bangs on a piano and yelps about a stargazing girl who hangs at the library, “checking out the latest books about outer space.” She sits on her roof, reading and eating oranges. There’s an utterly unironic “wooooo!” into the guitar solo, before Hart crows the breathless final lines: “Her life revolves around all of the planets! And she is constantly aware of all the changes that occur! I’m going to turn into a lens and focus all my attention and I’m finding a new planet and naming it … right after herrrr!”

TURN ON THE NEWS (Hart, 1984)

Their 1985 album, Zen Arcade, was praised by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s and one the best punk albums ever. Hart’s contribution, “Turn on the News” has been listed on the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hart, who later went on to form the group Nova Mob, was also cited as an influence on Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

STATUES (Hart, 1981)
The band’s first single, Statues was released at a time when Hüsker Dü were struggling to pin down their sound. Though it shows an interest in experimentation that would follow the band through each stage of their career, the almost nine minutes-worth of Krautrock inspired, Keith Levine-esque guitar is far removed from the boisterous hardcore that followed in its wake. Borrowing heavily from Neu! and PiL, it hints at Hart’s aptitude for a scribbling out a catchy tune – an ability that would later help to shape the band’s signature brand of melodic punk rock.

DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE LONELY (Hart, 1986)
Arguably Hüsker Dü’s biggest hit, that this was the most popular song from the band’s major label debut would have significantly rankled Bob Mould, not least as it was released as an increasingly destructive creative partnership between the two developed. A sophisticated pop punk masterpiece, this song laid a blueprint for hundreds of aspiring punk rockers to follow – including future millionaires Green Day, Foo Fighters and Blink 182.

PINK TURNS TO BLUE (Hart, 1984)
By the time Hüsker Dü released Zen Arcade, Hart’s credentials as an accomplished pop songwriter were already solid. Here, his ability to marry the dark subject matter of a young woman suffering a fatal overdose with sweet but melancholic melodies provides a sobering counterpoint to his whimsical, 60s-influenced love songs. Foreshadowing Hart’s own struggles with substance abuse, the song isn’t without its own sense of tragic irony.

GREEN EYES (Hart, 1985)
While Hart and Mould both developed a taste for bitter break up songs and damning shuns, it was Hart who truly nailed the wide-eyed love songs. This innocent account of Hart just being super into his companion shimmers under its lush, 60s-inspired harmonies, and includes some of his most sweetly heartfelt lyrics: What makes them sparkle/What makes them shine/What makes those eyes of yours look into mine?

NEVER TALKING TO YOU AGAIN (Hart, 1984)
Zen Arcade was Hüsker Dü’s magnum opus, an experimental melting pot of hardcore, folk, psychedelia and pop that spanned 70 minutes and four sides of vinyl. These two minutes of fast-paced acoustic strumming, nestled between two angst-ridden Mould tracks, might have seemed out of place, but this concise, stripped-back statement of intent works as a cheeky counterpoint which will trip you up and out of those epic proceedings, before swallowing you back into them on the other side.

DIANE (Hart, 1983)
Covered by Therapy? in 1995 (their version made it to No.26 in the UK charts, far outstripping the success of the original), Diane was an early college radio stand out track. Its rumbling, haunting punk rock caught the attention of campus DJs and students across America, solidifying Hüsker Dü’s place in the emerging college rock alumni. Detailing the brutal 1980 murder of Minnesota waitress Diane Edwards, its sinister subject matter was at odds with Hart’s hippy reputation.

THE GIRL WHO LIVES ON HEAVEN HILL (Hart, 1985)
New Day Rising is the record on which Hart and Mould began in earnest to develop distinct sounds, and Girl Who... is an excellent example of this divide, with its glorious pop punk standing slightly at odds with Mould’s emerging alt.rock leanings. While it’s widely considered to be a straightforward love song, considering that Heaven Hill was a brand of bourbon popular at the time, many have insisted it should instead be read as Hart’s lament to his own tumultuous relationship with alcohol.

SHE FLOATED AWAY (Hart, 1985)
Embracing his hippy reputation with full force, Hart uses this track to indulge in obscure instrumentation (wood blocks and wind pipes on a punk song?) and whimsical tales set against a psychedelic backdrop. Warehouse: Songs And Stories contained more of Hart’s songs than any other (9 in total), though Mould commanded the lion’s share. Unfortunately Warehouse... would mark the end of the band’s recording career together, as personal struggles gripped Hart while his relationship with Mould disintegrated entirely.

SOMEWHERE (Hart/Mould, 1984)
Though technically Mould did write this song, he didn’t do it alone, and it bears mention as a Hart/Mould co-write is a relative rarity in the Hüsker Dü back catalogue. Taken from 1984’s Zen Arcade – and a time when the pair were still amicable enough to share writing credits (this wouldn’t last for much longer) – this short but sweet slice of energetic punk rock ends with backward tape loops of guitar, mimicking the earlier psychedelic techniques used in Dreams Reoccurring.

FLEXIBLE FLYER (Hart, 1985)
As their brotherly rivalry threatened to tip over into something more sinister, Hart and Mould’s songwriting styles flourished as they competed to outdo one another track by track. While it ultimately wrecked their relationship, Flip Your Wig is the album that really bore the fruits of this conflict – and is considered by Mould to be the band’s best. Hart’s wistful, melancholic brooding on this track marks it as one of Flip Your Wig’s stand outs tracks.

thanks to teamrock.com for everything,


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