Monday, July 18, 2005

I Don't Speak From Talking Points

Sorry for the extended absence, but I'm sure you'll get over it. What have I been up to? Well, thanks for asking. First, I'll tell you what I'm not doing...listening to the right-wing hate machine's absurd, continually shifting, defense of Karl Rove. I'm just tuning it out. The entire Rove affair is proof the right has lost all its credibility. If this were a Democrat president, the GOP would be holding public hearings, and calling everyone in the White House to testify. Talk radio hosts would be "outraged" (their constant state) that the White House refuses to answer questions publicly while at the same time doing "background" or anonymously sourced defenses of Karl Rove. I'm sick of it. I, officially, cannot take the GOP anymore. They are now so fundamentally disingenuous, duplicitous, power-mad, and corrupt that I just don't want to listen to them anymore. I'm done. No more Ken Mehlman. No more Scott McClellan. No more Peter King. No more Norm Coleman. Tell the truth or just shut the fuck up. I mean even the Nixon Administration never attempted to smear their critics this hard!

On to other things...Had a job interview on Friday and I think it went pretty well. No idea if I'll get the job, and I wouldn't want to jinx it anyways, so all I'll say is that I feel pretty good about it. Went out of town over the weekend to party with some friends. The only details I'll provide are that I was in Kansas City, and had a great time. I'l leave the rest to your deviant minds.

Been listening to the new CD from Bob Mould, Body of Song. I have been a fan of Mould's since the 80s when he was in Husker Du. While Mould has had some ups and downs creatively over the last decade, I'd say he's on an upswing with his new record. The spin on the new CD is that it's Bob's "return to guitar rock." His last CD, 2002's Modulate, was pretty weak. The elements of electronic and dance music seemed out of place in Mould's songs. I gave Bob a pass on making a lame album because: 1) every artist with a 20+ year career makes a clunker or two and 2) Husker Du is one of my favorite bands of all time. Because of how great that band was, I am a bit more tolerant of Bob's "less than stellar" music. So, is Body of Song a Zen Arcade for the 21st century? Has Bob really returned to guitar rock?

Bob Mould then and now.
Of course it is not like Zen Arcade at all. That was Bob over 20 years ago! Many old school fans want him to sound like that again, but they are kidding themseves. Bob has been dealing with this since his first post-Husker album Workbook was released back in 1989. That was a brilliant album, and it did not sound like raging hardcore. I believe in letting artists be artists. I won't put constraints on their music. This doesn't mean I always like the direction the artist takes, and that I won't be hyper-critical if the new direction is a wrong one. Having said all that, the new CD is pretty good, though not all its being hyped as.

There are a number of strong songs like the single "Paralyzed." I'm also pretty into the song "Underneath Days." His band on much of the album consists of drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and bassist David Barbe (Sugar), along with a few others. The tour in support of the record will feature Bob playing songs from his entire career including Husker Du songs. Mould has not played those songs with a band since Husker Du was still together! In general, I'd say the CD would get 3 out of 5 stars in a typical review scale. Body of Song is probably Mould's best work since the second and final Sugar album, File Under Easy Listening. Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

Not too much else to talk about. I am planning on hitting a few shows this week. Tonight is local hardcore phenoms The Back When along with Mr. 1986. Both bands play at Sokol Underground tonight. Richard Buckner will play at Mick's on Wednesday, while The Plus Ones are playing that same night at O'Leavers. I'm not sure which one I want to see more. I'm leaning towards Buckner, but I guess my mood that day will ultimately determine which show I hit. Lincoln's country punkers Forty Twenty are at Sokol Underground Friday night. I've been playing them for the last few weeks on my radio show, so I'm pretty psyched to see them live.

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