The 2014 Mid-Year Review & Opinions on Bob Mould

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It’s never too early to start making lists! Tune in for The Best Albums of 2014…so far. Later, Jim and Greg review a new contender by Hüsker Dü founder Bob Mould.

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LyricistGerry Goffin, whose songwriting partnership in the early 1960’s with then-wife Carole King resulted in some of the biggest hits of the era, died this week at age 75. Broadway fans may have recently seen this creative and romantic relationship fall apart on stage in the musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. But, the songs endure, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Up on the Roof and Pleasant Valley Sunday, performed by The Monkees.

For more on the Brill Building era, check out Jim and Greg’s interview with another famous songwriting duo, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.

The Best Albums of 2014...So Far

Jim and Greg share their mid-year best album picks. Their best-of lists of 2014 albums have surprisingly little overlap.

Greg’s Top Albums

  1. Protomartyr, Under Color of Official Right
  2. Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal
  3. Kelis, Food
  4. Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else
  5. Wussy, Attica!

Jim’s Top Albums

  1. Fucked Up, Glass Boys
  2. Le Butcherettes, Cry is for the Flies
  3. Kelis, Food
  4. Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  5. Damon Albarn, Everyday Robots

Beauty and Ruin Bob Mould

Beauty & Ruin

10 solo albums later and former Hüsker Dü frontman (and [friend]( show/119) of the [show]( show/295)) Bob Mould still shows no sign of slowing down. The alt-rock pioneer adds another album to that list with his latest, this month’s Beauty and Ruin. Jim and Greg celebrate the release as a return to form for Mould, who has often taken creative detours away from his rock trio past—one that paved the way for bands like Nirvana, Green Day, Nirvana and more. On Beauty and Ruin, Mould returns to that influential sound and reaches deep both into the din of his instrumentation, and into his personal history, to meld huge melodies with emotionally resonant lyrics. Greg loves the honesty and says Beauty and Ruin is a Buy It. Jim agrees the album is worth purchasing, but doesn’t think it lives up to Mould’s previous album, 2012’s Silver Age, in terms of killer hooks and levity. Jim says pick both up if you can.

Greg

On his latest trip to the desert island, Greg pays tribute to an unsung musical hero who passed away more than 20 years ago. Mississippi-born guitarist and singer Ted Hawkins was often found on Venice Beach strumming along to folk, blues, and country standards, but occasionally - often at the behest of an awestruck passerby - he made his way into a recording studio. One such occasion came after Hawkins spent a lengthy stint in jail working through a heroin addiction. The album Hawkins cut after his release, Happy Hour, features the poignant track Bad Dog which Greg sees as the perfect metaphor for the late soulman’s erratic life and career, and the perfect song to get a sense of what the man was all about.

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