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Clip: Bob Mould at the Sarasota Film Festival

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  • Carl Zimring
    Punk innovator Mould follows his muse By MARY AWOSIKA The
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Punk innovator Mould follows his muse

      The underground scene is where Bob Mould seeks comfort.

      The elusive singer-songwriter avoids the trappings of anything too
      polished. That's why he started his first band Hüsker Dü, an American punk
      band that laid the foundation of what would later become alternative rock.

      The Hüsker sound, fueled by driving bass and Mould's spraying guitar and
      angst-ridden vocals, was a direct reaction to the glossy music scene of the
      early 1980s, Mould said on a cell phone conversation while driving to
      Baltimore from his home in Washington, D.C.

      "It was out of frustration for not being heard any other way," said Mould,
      who said he listened to the Ramones and The Clash as a teenager. "It was at
      the tail end of disco, and there was lot of payola and corporate-run music.

      "I hated the music that I was hearing, except the punk stuff, and I thought
      I could do it better than that."

      Mould said he is flattered when he receives praise from bands such as
      Nirvana and Green Day, whose members cite Hüsker Dü as an influence.

      "It means a lot to me that they've taken those ideas and reshaped it," said
      the 43-year- old, who said he has long since abandoned the hard-core punk

      "I enjoy listening to that kind of music occasionally, but I'm past it,"
      Mould said.

      Mould said he plans to release an album called "Body of Song" this summer,
      his first solo release since the debut of "Modulate" in 2002, a project
      that opposed his loud, guitar-rock roots.

      The evolution of music is something that should be embraced, Mould said.

      "It can be a statement of rebellion," he said. "It can be a statement of

      Mould is scheduled to perform for the Independent Visions series, a new
      addition to the Sarasota Film Festival, at 9 p.m. today in the Sarasota
      Municipal Auditorium after a screening of the independent film "Ong-Bak:
      Thai Warrior."

      Tom Hall, the festival's director of programming who created the
      Independent Visions series for non-mainstream filmmakers, said he wants the
      festival to seek out more experimental work.

      "This festival is known for its parties. It's very flashy and fun formal
      events, but there's a community here that's into the independent film and
      indie music scene," said Hall, who recruited Mould, Devotchka and Ted Leo
      and the Pharmacists in an effort to draw a more diverse audience.

      Mould said he's received several e-mails from fans in Jacksonville, Orlando
      and Miami about his concert date in Sarasota.

      "I've always felt an affinity for those who follow their muse, rather than
      the taste of the moment," he said of performing for the indie series. "And,
      it's good to see the festival branching out to other media forums."

      Mould said he has never been content to stay within one genre. When Hüsker
      folded in the late '80s, Mould went solo, then became the centerpiece of
      the rock band Sugar in the mid-'90s.

      He still tours solo, but has shifted his focus toward producing electronica
      and house music.

      "The house-rock music thing for a moment was really innovative," said
      Mould, who also mentioned that the era of raves and underground dance
      parties were the essence of what punk music was to the 1980s. "It left an

      Mould has since teamed up with Richard Morel, a producer and remixer, to
      create the Blowoff project. The duo DJs weekly Blowoff parties at the 9:30
      Club in Washington, D.C., that feature dance and house music remixes. Mould
      said he and Morel plan to release a Blowoff album in 2005.

      "I've been doing a lot of digital recording, and manipulating of sound," he
      said. "I look at how to fill space sonically without limitation."
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