With all the 'new' '80s bands clogging up the works, it's nice to know that a few originals remain. Of course, Curt Kirkwood and Bob Mould have made a few changes since 1985.
Bob Mould + Curt KirkwoodCity: Hollywood, CA
Venue: The Troubadour
With all the "new" new wave bands zipping through the mainstream's Xerox machine, it's heartening to know that at least a few originals remain. Of course, Curt Kirkwood and Bob Mould were never new wave, and they've each made a few changes since 1985. Rather than acting as frontmen for the Meat Puppets and Hüsker Dü respectively, these former SST labelmates now go it alone. The drugs are gone too: the once-trippy Kirkwood has traded his high times for clarity, and the formerly speed-hopped Mould has long since embraced the concept of sleep (no more 80-hour recording sessions or straight-through cross-country tours). While both artists have explored an array of genres and sounds in the past quarter-century, solo they each broke from the sounds that most associate with their careers. Kirkwood traded in the Meat Puppets' punky psychedelia for a more folky, acoustic approach. Mould, meanwhile, used a single electric guitar to carry him through both old and new tunes. Of course, "some things," as Kirkwood once croaked on the Meat Puppets' sole radio semi-hit "Backwater", "will never change", and one of those things is the fanbase: disproportionately male, predominantly middle-aged, these guys looked like they had been fans since Hüsker Dü'sZen Arcade hit the shelves in 1984. As such, the crowd stood a welcomed distance from the too-pervasive Hollywood hipster set. We all watched with rapt, respectful attention though -- no heckling here.