See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody

Rock & roll bookends

Summer Reading

See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody

by Bob Mould, with Michael Azerrad
Little, Brown and Company, 416 pp., $24.99

At 50 years old, Bob Mould has gained perspective, both on his life and on music. Unfortunately, that mild and meditative tone levels the entirety of his autobiography. The singer-songwriter relates the rise and fall of Hüsker Dü, his battle for personal and social acceptance as a homosexual, and overcoming alcoholism and an abusive upbringing from a point of view that seems far removed from the actual events. Mould is either unable or unwilling to dive into the complexities and emotional depths of his past, leaving the memoir to read with the logistical appeal of a tour route. Part of this narrative problem falls to co-writer Michael Azerrad, who brings none of the passion with which he wrote Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Only when Mould writes about music, whether his own or his influences, do those elements of rage and melody that defined Hüsker Dü rise to the surface, as if the artist can still only address himself through the tangential surrogate. Likewise, he insightfully details the seminal Minneapolis scene he helped foster in the 1980s, but captures little of the spirit. Even personal relationships, such as his fallout with drummer Grant Hart, are handled with an almost concise indifference. Rarely has such an extraordinary life been rendered so blandly. (Catch Bob Mould at BookPeople Sunday, July 24, 7pm.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bob Mould, Michael Azerrad, Hüsker Dü, Husker Du

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