Broken Mould

Queer punk pioneer Bob Mould turned an abusive childhood into a musical movement, but memoir targets hardcore fans

2.5 out of 5 stars
SEE A LITTLE LIGHT: THE TRAIL OF RAGE AND MELODY
By Bob Mould (with Michael
Azerrad). 2001 (Little, Brown)
$25; 404 pp.

………………………….
It all starts with “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It continues with the itsy-bitsy spider, the ABCs and being a little teapot. From there, you embrace whatever your older siblings are listening to until you develop your own musical tastes. Maybe you started with records, moved on to the cassette tapes, CD and now, your iPod is full.

The point is, you’ve never been without your tunes.

But what about the people who make the music you love?

When Mould was born in 1960 in the northernmost end of New York, he entered a family wracked with grief: Just before he was born, Mould’s elder brother died of kidney cancer. He surmises that the timing of his birth resulted in his being a “golden child,” the family peacekeeper who sidestepped his father’s physical and psychological abuse.

“As a child,” he writes, “music was my escape.”

Mould’s father, surprisingly indulgent, bought his son guitars and young Bob taught himself to play chords and create songs. By the time he entered high school, Mould knew that he had to get out of New York and away from his family. He also knew he was gay, which would be a problem in his small hometown.

He applied for and entered college in Minnesota, where he started taking serious guitar lessons and drinking heavily. His frustrations led him to launch a punk rock band that made a notable impact on American indie music.

Named after a children’s game, Hüsker Dü performed nationally and internationally, but Mould muses that perhaps youth was against them. He seemed to have a love-hate relationship with his bandmates, and though he had become the band’s leader, there were resentments and accusations until the band finally split.

HUSKER DON’T | Bob Mould turned his youthful rage and homosexuality into a music career. (Photo by Noah Kalina)

But there were other bands and there were other loves than music, as Mould grew and learned to channel the rage inside him and the anger that volcanoed from it.

“I spent two years rebuilding and reinventing myself,” writes Mould. “Now that I’ve integrated who I am and what I do, I finally feel whole.”

If you remember with fondness the ‘80s, with its angry lyrics and mosh pits, then you’ll love this book. For most readers, though, See a Little Light is going to be a struggle. Mould spends a lot of time on a litany of clubs, recording studios, and locales he played some 30 years ago — which is fine if you were a fellow musician or a rabid, hardcore fan. This part of the book goes on… and on… and on, relentlessness and relatively esoteric in nature.

Admittedly, Mould shines when writing about his personal life but even so, he’s strangely dismissive and abrupt with former loves, bandmates, and even family. I enjoyed the occasional private tale; unfortunately there were not enough.

Overall, See a Little Light is great for Mould fanboys and those were heavy into the punk scene. For most readers, though, this book is way out of tune.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

‘Bent’ at El Centro this weekend

A break from the Foote

Is the Horton Foote Festival getting a little much but you still want to head out to the theater? The El Centro College Actor’s Workshop presents Martin Sherman’s Bent about gay men in the Holocaust. Yes, some pretty heavy stuff, but the story is both tough and tender.

Bent follows the life of Max, a promiscuous gay man in 1930’s Berlin. When a one night stand goes terribly wrong, Max finds himself running from the S.S. and eventually imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp.”

The production is directed by Daniel Scott Cates.

DEETS: El Centro College Arena Theatre,801 Main St. Through Sunday. Free.

—  Rich Lopez

INDIANA: Chick-Fil-A Booted From College Campus Over Anti-Gay Donations

Indiana University’s campus in South Bend has removed Chik-Fil-A as a food vendor over reports that the company backs anti-gay hate groups. Chick-Fil-A did not have a physical on-campus South Bend store and only sold meals one day a week.

News of the ban spread quickly, prompting Chick-fil-A’s president to release an online statement defending his company. “Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization,” said Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. “Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate.” Some IU South Bend students don’t see things the same way. “Providing food is equal to donating money,” said IU South Bend junior Erin Rempala. “So you must believe in the cause to donate the food.”

Dan Cathy is, of course, lying, as has been extensively documented by Jeremy Hooper at Good As You. Chick-Fil-A still has two full restaurants operating on IU campuses in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

James Franco Is Making a Musical With College Kids

Casting begins Sunday for Yale University's April showcase of James Franco Presents, where the actor will work with the Yale Drama Coalition to put together "the story of a girl dealing with the realities of love and life once she realizes she can’t hide behind the wonderful fantasies of fiction. A comedic drama, this musical incorporates film and live musical theater to tell the story of a cast struggling to write and produce a musical that is grounded in high school realities but with a sci-fi twist. Sex, blood, and surrealism to be expected." Well Mr. Franco did say he might be gay. [Yale Drama Coalition via IvyGate]


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LGBTQ College Presidents: It Gets Better

LGBTCollegePresidentsx390 (Screengrab) | Advocate.comMembers of the group LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education and their partners send a message about the possibility of bright futures in academia.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Black Gay College Head Settled in Iowa

Kington x390 (pick up) I Advocate.comAs the semester winds down, Raynard S. Kington, Grinnell College’s 13th
president, said he, his partner, and children are settling into
small-town Iowa life very well.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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College Student Andrew Compton’s Accused Killer Had Sex With Body Before Dumping It

Andrew Compton, a gay college student at Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky, has been missing since Oct. 28, and police all but believe he's dead. Search crews are today combing a landfill looking for his body, which officials suspect was dumped by a one Gregory O'Bryan, 40, who's charged with murdering the 18-year-old during sex.

CONTINUED »


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Mich. Gay College Student Kills Himself

COREY JACKSON X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMA 19-year-old Oakland University sophomore took his own life Tuesday shortly after coming out as gay to his family and friends.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Another gay college student commits suicide

Corey Jackson



AMERICAblog Gay

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