Circle of Friends is such a touchy-feely title for a Bob Mould release, don't you think? I mean, this is the guy whose flying-V, high-velocity guitar work powered '90s hardcore champs Husker Du and whose solo career has ran the gamut from angry, distortion-fried vitriol to soul-baring, tender, acoustic confessionals to chill electronica.
Channeling '60s psychedelia into loud, fast punk, Husker Du, along with the Replacements and Soul Asylum, put Minneapolis on the map as an alternative-rock mecca. Theirs was a 'loud fast rules" aesthetic that put an emphasis on speed and lyrics that were incredibly personal and emotional. Gradually, over time, Husker Du's architecture became less a wall of sound than a platform for Mould and drummer Grant Hart to exchange melodic hand grenades of explosive rock.
At a time when hardcore was more about buzz cuts, aiming for the lowest musical common denominator and meat-headed moshing, Husker Du expanded the basic template of the genre and made it more of a sonic playground than it had ever been before.
And now comes Circle of Friends, a new live DVD Mould is putting out that runs through Mould's impressive career, taking songs from Husker Du, Sugar and his solo stuff. He is backed by a band that includes Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Morel's Richard Morel and Rockers Over Sweden's Jason Narducy. The DVD includes a Mould performance from Oct. 7, 2005, at Washington D.C.'s infamous 9:30 Club. The DVD will be released by MVD Visual on Oct. 9.
Here's what's more interesting: Mould is going to be attending a series of special events to be held in conjunction with the DVD release. At each show, Mould will play a 30-minute acoustic set and then participate in a 30-minute Q&A with the crowd before hosting a screening of Circle Of Friends. Plus, he'll stick around and sell and sign DVDs for fans.
10/9 - Chicago @ Schuba's - 3159 N. Southport - Chicago, IL
10/10 - Minneapolis @ Bryant Lake Bowl - 810 W. Lake St. - Minneapolis, MN 55408
10/12 - Seattle @ Chop Suey - 1325 E. Madison St. - Seattle, WA
10/14 - Portland @ Doug Fir Lounge - 830 E. Burnside - Portland, OR
10/16 - San Francisco @ Herbst Theater (part of City Arts & Lectures series) - 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102
10/17 - Los Angeles @ The Roxy (presented by Filter Magazine) - 9009 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
11/2 - New York @ Highline Ballroom - 431 W. 16th St., New York, NY
11/5 - Boston @ Paradise Lounge - 969 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA
11/8 - Charlottesville @ Gravity Lounge - 103 South First St., Charlottesville, VA
11/10 - New Hope @ John & Peter's - 96 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
11/11 - Philadelphia @ World Cafe Live - 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA
The San Francisco date will be held in conjunction with the City Arts & Lectures series, which is being co-presented by the Noise Pop Festival. Mould will be interviewed by author Michael Azerrad ("This Band Could Be Your Life"). For more on the festival, visit www.cityarts.net
Mould is scheduled to release a new studio album on Anti- Records in late January. It's the followup to 2005's Body of Song.