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In-House #43, May 2000

At some point (80-odd weeks earlier?), the folks at First Avenue in Minneapolis decided to dispense with monthly schedule flyers in favor of a biweekly in-house magazine, called, well, In-House. This issue covers the period from 19 May - 01 Jun 2000. Also in this issue is an excerpt from an interview with Conrad Sverkerson, longtime stage manager at First Ave, in which he reminisces about earlier Bob Mould shows at the club.

[peter nikolai]

       Bob Mould has a cult following. Don't believe me? Check out www.granarymusic.com or subscribe to Sugar-L@csua.berkeley.edu. In these forums his fans debate and discuss everything from his growth and output as a musician, his tenure as a writer for World Championship Wrestling, to (and I am not kidding) what lunch meat he would be. His fans want to know instantaneously what he is up to, when he's playing live, and when a new album is due out. They trade copies of bootlegs. They make travel plans to follow him around the country. They report every utterance he makes in his stage patter. They report his set lists and offer each other their takes on the concert. They want to know what music he likes, what books he's read, and even his diet.
       This sort of fanatacism has usually been reserved for artists like Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead. Thus begging the question: Why would a punk rocker who never had a platinum record or a #1 single inspire such devotion?
       I believe the answers lie in his lyrics. Somewhere in his songs there's a clue to something. From his beginning in Husker Du, Mould's songs have been about things falling apart. His lyrics are open and plain. Unlike songwriters such as Elvis Costello, Bob Mould does not paint every detail of the picture, but rather offers just enough details so the listener can fill in the rest. His songs are generally in the first or second person. He avoids gendered pronouns like the plague. He writes songs that anyone can identify with: gay or straight, woman or man.
       His lyrics mean so much because from time to time we all feel depressed, confused, betrayed and just all around shitty.
Some of his greatest songs, like Husker Du's "Too Far Down" and "New #1" off his most recent CD The Last Dog And Pony Show, let you know that there is someone else out there who feels exactly as yo do. If things are not going right, or if you are having a flashback to when things went wrong, his songs will resonate in your brain for days. As it is when all great minds speak, hearing Mould, you think to yourself: "I wish I had thought to say that."
       When someone wants you out of their life, and the moving trucks have stopped by to take their things away; when you can't fight it because you can't change that person's mind, listening to Bob Mould will help you to try again.
       Last year, Mould embarked on his last full-on rock tour. If you never got a chance to check out Husker Du, Sugar, or the Bob Mould Band, your opportunity to see that side of his work has passed. Don't be disappointed -- times change and so does he. Ever since he broke up his Workbook-era band, Mould has continuously embarked on acoustic solo mini-tours, which allow him to work at his own pace. At these shows he reworks his ear-ringing guitar classics into spare and intimate musical experiences. His thoughts are not in competition with his amps. You get a trip into the time machine to hear classics and to hear the debut of his latest and greatest material.

Kick off your celebrated summer with the one and only BOB MOULD. With LAURIE LINDEEN and SPOT in the Mainroom, FRIDAY, MAY 26. $15adv/$18. Doors 6pm. 21+

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