November 8, 2011

Could He Be The One: A Review of SEE A LITTLE LIGHT

I was introduced to Husker Du in 1985, my freshman (and sole) year at University of Chicago; a guy named Jack was into alternative music. He, along with a cat from Boston named Jonathan, both helped open my ears - and heart - to loud, passionate music. And Husker Du seemed to hit me in a unique way, a mixture of noise and melody that somehow feels right. If the Replacements reflected my confused, aching young adult heart in its lyrics, Husker Du reflected my intellectually confused, aching young adult mind.

Thankfully, I was able to acquire a copy of See A Little Light - Bob Mould's autobiography - through my local library. After reading a very disappointing Husker Du bio earlier this year (which featured content from Greg Norton and Grant Hart), I was wondering how this would come about - would Bob Mould come off (as his ex-bandmates suggest) as an absolute control freak...or as a misunderstood genius?

I'm glad to say that the book straddles a thin line - Mould admits his past mistakes (even suggesting that yes, he might have been a little too driven), but is a pretty decent, well-thought memoir. Even in discussing potentially hot-button topics (such as his life in and out of the closet as a gay man), Mould demonstrates a strong, well-considered sense of discretion. Some reviews have suggested that this book is a little too cut-and-dry; I appreciated the fact that Mould pulls no punches in discussing his experiences, but seems to have been spurred by co-author Michael Azerrad to shape the narrative.

In terms of content, well....I don't think a fiction writer could have introduced turns and twists. Yes, we get the low-down on Mould's perspective of the Husker Du breakup. (In short - saying it here seems like spoiling). Mould's take on various aspects of his solo career range from the insightful to extremely self-critical. When we get to the later point of his life - from writing for professional wrestling to his involvement with electronic music - it seems like a radical turn, yet Mould places it in a great perspective where it seems like the only logical outcome.

See A Little Light is one of the better musician that does what a good book should: lead you back to the artists' music.

This book has probably done as much to open my late-adult, yet-still-confused mind as Zen Arcade did back in the day.

Good job, Bob.

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