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See A Little Light Marathon – Chapters 19-23

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Note – this is an overview of “See A Little Light: The Trail Of Rage And Melody” – an upcoming biography of former Sugar/Husker Du frontman Bob Mould. See overview of previous chapters here.

Chapter 19

In which Bob Mould talks about

– Going through therapy sessions with (gay) therapist Jeff Hudson

– Finding out about sexual abuse that he suffered in his childhood

– Recording an album by Verbow

– Opening for Pete Townshend

– The release of Bob Mould / Hubcap Album

– Shooting a video for “Egoverride”

– Meeting / working with Andrew Duplantis

– Working on Vic Chesnutt’s About To Choke

Quote

Being a public figure of slight note, but having deep resonance with a small group of people, is an odd position to be in. If you’re a politician, it’s implicit that people like you because they want money and they want the fruits of your power. When you’re a musician, the connections with people are complex. How much do you give? How much do you reveal; when do you give it; when do you allow somebody to penetrate that first layer to even get an email address or, God forbid, a phone number? Never mind about giving some your home address.

This was the same level of protectiveness I extended across my sexuality. I was so hesitant to speak out publicly about my personal life because of my perception of how it would change the work, or what people might think of me, or how it would affect my parents. Compared to other famous people, I’ve hardly come under public scrutiny or fallen victim to media sensation. Nonetheless, the complexities of protecting myself and those around me were exhausting.

Chapter 20

In which Bob Mould talks about

– Quitting smoking  – the hardest thing that he’s ever done in his life

– Writing The Last Dog And Pony Show

– Being tired of alternative rock / experimenting with electronic instruments

– Losing much of the material recorded for The Last Dog due to original DAT cassette being rerecorded by an accident

– Finishing recording of The Last Dog / release the album / touring

– Running into issues with Mike Stuto, one of the members of his solo band / firing Mike

– Having Robert Plant and My Bloody Valentine in the audience

Quote

Then disaster struck. Jim and I moved on to Carriage House to mix the album. After the first Friday night of mixing, we left the DAT cassette that contained all the edited improvisational pieces in the machine. On Saturday morning there was a class in the control room, and someone had accidentally recorded over the entire tape. All the improv pieces, the music that sparked me and kept me interested in making the album, were gone. There was no way to re-record them – they were borne of total spontaneity. I was devastated, angry and supremely depressed. After that I lost interest in the album. Jim ended up mixing most of it himself while I sat upstairs in the studio apartment, number from what had happened, hearing the dulled sounds vibrating from below. Regardless, the album needed to be finished and released on time.

Chapter 21

In which Bob Mould talks about

– Going to the gym for the first time since high school

– Getting into themed circuit parties

– Getting more involved in New York City LGBT community

Quote

I started meeting all these characters like Mark, this five three, 230-pound African-American flight attendant. He was completely worked out, busting out of his uniform. He would come from his Upper East Side apartment with his roll-aboard bag, sit in his seat by the corner window (we all had preferred seats at the Factory Cafe), and tell stories of his exploits in foreign ports. Mark would mix CDs of classic disco and new music for the shop to play. I learned a lot about dance music from Mark, and heard things like the Avalanches’ album Since I Left You, which would later be an influence on my LoudBomb recordings.

Chapter 22

In which Bob Mould talks about

– Working for World Championship Wrestling / his fascination with wrestling in general

Quote

Remember the wrestler-murder suicide in 2007? That was Chris Benoit. He killed his wife, Nancy, and his son Daniel over the course of a weekend and hung himself a day later. He was on incredibly excessive amount of painkillers and steroids, his wife was on pills too, and even their seven-year-old son was found with traces of prescription drugs in his system.

Benoit’s childhood idol, The Dynamite Kid, used to do this move where he’d stand up on top rope and just fall forward on the guy – what they call Diving Headbutt. Benoit took that move and executed it almost every night. After his death, the autopsy revealed he had the brain of an eighty-five year old man, filled with protein deposits, much like with full-stage Alzheimer’s. The actual medical terms is chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The layman’s term is punch-drunk.

Pro-wrestling is serious business. There’s nothing fake about it at all.

Chapter 23

In which Bob Mould talks about

– Leaving WCW behind

– Getting into electronic music / being influenced by the likes of Sasha (and his track “Xpander”)

– Writing electronic/ambient music

– Being invited to contribute to the soundtrack of the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch

– Working on Modulate album / using auto-tuned vocals and programmed beats

– Considering suing SST for unpaid/delinquent royalties

–  Finding out about Kevin having an affair with a married neighbor

– Losing Kevin’s dog Domino

– Dealing with September 11 attack

– Finishing Modulate and Loudbomb’s Long Playing Grooves

– Releasing Modulate / dealing with commercial failure of that album/ critical backlash against it

– Meeting Rich Morsel

Quotes

Day after day, for months, we’d look out the window and see a parade of large flatbed trucks, hauling debris and twisted steel up the West Side Highway toward the tunnel and eventually to salvage yards and landfills.

The loft was covered with a layer of pale grey powder. To this day, when I open boxes that were stored in the Manhattan loft, they let off a distinctive smell  – of what can only be a mix of gypsum board, jet fuel, and charred remains.

Soundtrack

Bob Mould – Egoverride

Bob Mould – 180 Rain

Bob Mould – Trade

Verbow – Down The Gun (Live)

Vic Chesnutt – Ladle

Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Sasha – Xpander

 


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