Bob Mould & Nine Inch Nails Review

Bob Mould founded two of the most influential rock bands of the past 3 decades and pioneered what we know today as indie rock. Tune in to hear the Husker Du and Sugar musician talk with Jim and Greg and perform his signature electric guitar.

Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü
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Music News

First up in the news is a discussion of Wal-Mart’s plan to cut prices dramatically. The number one music retailer has announced a five-tier plan that would bring some titles down to as low as $5. Labels are not responding positively, but as Greg explains, they don’t really have an option other than to cooperate-Wal-Mart dominates the music retail industry. Jim is in favor of such low prices, but notes that the plan could be disastrous to independent stores.

Also making news is PitchforkMedia.com. The music website has been the prevailing force in indie music criticism and discourse since it debuted 12 years ago. Now they are going one step further to offer Pitchfork.TV, a website dedicated to offering original mini-documentaries, secret rooftop and basement sessions, full concerts, exclusive interviews, and the most carefully curated selection of music videos online. Greg is intrigued by this MTV-like idea, but Jim is concerned about conflict of interest. With an annual concert, deals with video game manufacturers and now its own video channel, Pitchfork is moving further away from music journalism and closer to an empire on par with Rolling Stone.

Mike Smith, lead singer of The Dave Clark Five died last week at the age of 64. Greg thinks the British invasion band is one of the most underrated of its time. The group had 15 top 20 hits in a two-year span and also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 18 times. While The Dave Clark Five is named after the drummer, Mike Smith was central to the band’s songwriting and sound. To honor him, Jim and Greg play the 1964 tune Bits and Pieces.

Ghosts I-IV Nine Inch Nails

Ghosts I-IV

Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, who successfully released an internet version of In Rainbows, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has a new web release called Ghosts I-IV. The four-part instrumental release comes on the heels of an album Reznor produced and digitally released by Saul Williams. This time Reznor is offering fans different listening options at different prices. Whether you want a free, nine song collection, or a $300 box set, there appears to be something for everyone. But is the music worth your time or money? Jim was a big fan of Reznor’s last record, a concept album called Year Zero, but this time he is more interested in hearing what other artists will do with these instrumentals. He thinks Ghosts I-IV is worth a listen but only as a Burn It. Greg found Reznor’s production to be as inventive as ever and would recommend people Buy It—at whatever level they choose.

Bob Mould

One of the most influential figures in independent music, Bob Mould, joins Jim and Greg this year. For almost 30 years he has been making music with Hüsker Dü, Sugar and as a solo artist. Now he has a new album out called District Line. Jim and Greg wanted to talk to Bob about the progression of his music, which has evolved from electric guitar-based pop to a more electronic sound. But listeners who are wary of electronic flourishes can rest assured according to Bob—the signature guitars are still there. And, he admits that over the course of 20-something years it’s hard to grow and still please loyal fans.

Bob Mould loyalists can also count on him for dark, introspective tunes. But, as the songwriter explains, as he’s gotten older, and perhaps wiser, his songs are not only autobiographical, but also observational. Jim and Greg joke that he was inspired by his time as an advice columnist for the Washington City Paper. You can hear Bob’s writing style—new and old—in the songs Again and Again from his new album, and I Apologize, a Hüsker Dü classic. You should also check out this bonus web track.

Lust Lust Lust The Raveonettes

Lust Lust Lust (Deluxe)

This week’s final review is of Lust Lust Lust, the third album from Danish pop duo The Raveonettes. Jim and Greg both agree that one of the primary influences of the band is The Jesus and Mary Chain. Just like the Scottish group, The Raveonettes’s music is full of heavy, feedback-drenched guitar. It’s a sound Jim describes as Velvet Underground meets Phil Spector. Greg is impressed by guitarist Sune Rose Wagner’s minimalist technique; he understands the importance of not overplaying. But, over a dozen tracks he thinks the sound is a little samey and can only give Lust Lust Lust a Burn It. Jim finds the album entirely too derivative. He explains that if he wants to hear sexy, dark garage rock, he might as well get out his Jesus and Mary Chain record. Jim thinks there’s no reason to own The Raveonettes’ album and gives it a Trash It.

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