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See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody Hardcover – Jun 15 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (June 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031604508X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316045087
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

A small space can be Spectacular. Want proof? Explore the beautiful rooms in this book. Whether you're decorating a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, a bedroom, an office, an entry, a kid's room, or any other room, the experts at Better Homes and Gardens® have collected all of the inspiration you need to turn a ho-hum space into a showstopper. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bob Mould is an American musician, singer / songwriter, producer, and DJ. An original member of the influential 1980s punk band Hüsker Dü, he released several albums after the band separated, including Workbook, Copper Blue, Body of Song, and Life and Times. He lives in San Francisco.

Michael Azerrad is the author of the books Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, and Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. His writings on music and musicians have appeared in numerous magazines, including Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, Spin, and the New York Times. He lives in New York City.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
See a Little Light is an amazing book, but an amazing musician. Husker Du, Sugar, and Bob Mould solo are my favourite bands of all time. I feel blessed to be able to read this wonderful book about a fascinating artist. Bob Mould is Gold.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Iron Will on May 22 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was some what biased before reading this book as a fan of Bob's music, I learned of him when the Sugar albums came out - and was interested to hear of the days in Husker Du. This biography did not disappoint and was a great insight into his musical genius, the ups and downs, and the personal failures and triumphs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 55 reviews
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Yes, he's great, but he's also an as*hole Aug. 18 2012
By USA Student - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Yes, I'm a Husker Du fan, and yes, Bob comes off like a jerk. Some people are not meant to write their autobiographies I guess because if there's brilliance and wisdom in Bob Mould, he didn't get it on paper. He has no perspective on himself, no insight, and his platitudes of warmth are contradicted by his actions. He proudly recounts how he runs into his ex-boyfriend in a coffee shop and actually turns his back on him--then says, half a page later, "I don't have any animosity toward Kevin. I wish him the best and hope that he is able to find his own inner peace." Sure, fine, whatever, you robot. Maybe your actions won't count if you follow them with greeting card sentiments.

Is it just me, or didn't we once think Bob Mould was smart? It's not in this book. His tone is flat and didactic and he piles on detail like he's transcribing from his day planner (and this is with a co-writer). To be fair, the early music stuff is fascinating--how he was writing songs, trying to get a certain sound, the feeling in the early days of underground music, how bands were creating a network, sleeping on people's floors--but when he gets to the more ordinary parts of his life, he treats them as though they're similarly exotic. Aren't his readers, you know, hipsters? Does anyone need gay culture explained to them anymore? A quote: "There's a very specific time-honored dynamic with some gay men, not necessarily the daddy/son dynamic but more of a bear/cub dynamic." Thanks for clearing that up for us, Bob.

I had this dream while reading this book: I was in my college radio station, looking at old Husker Du albums, and suddenly it occured to me: This is so middle-aged. This is the most middle-aged thing I've ever done. I am not cutting edge, I am not hip, I'm a MILF looking back, here to disappoint a whole new generation with my compromises. That's what this memoir did to me.

Still, I read the whole book. I was sort of fascinated by the portrait of an emotionally stilted person who can break loose and make great art...but he lost me, finally, when he was a jerk to Grant Hart at the end. That weird story about playing a few songs together, the puke on the wall of his dressing room, the pure 7th grade pettiness of Bob's inner dialogue, how he thinks Grant is going to say something psychotic into the mic on "my stage." This while Grant's being all friendly and offering to carry his stuff and Bob is cringing from him--it's just awful. Bob and Grant spent the best years of their lives together doing something exciting and singular, and now he treats him like a leper. I understand why Grant says he's still a prick...because he's still a prick.
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Excellent biography about a frequently loud and interesting life June 5 2011
By Chip Millard - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After creating many excellent songs and albums while a member of Husker Du, Sugar, and as a solo artist, Bob Mould comes through with another winner in his 2011 autobiography, "See a Little Light: The Trail or Rage and Melody", co-written with Michael Azerrad (author of the widely praised "Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991"). Bob recounts his own history, both personal and professional, in a mostly chronological, easy-to-read manner. On the personal (non-music) side, Bob explains his struggles with growing up as a gay person in a dysfunctional family in a small, rural town, his three primary, long-term romantic relationships, his quitting cold turkey both drinking and cigarettes about a decade apart, his body image issues, his 7 month foray as a creative consultant with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1999-2000, and his coming of age and full self-acceptance as gay man that gradually increased in the late 1990s and fully bloomed in the mid-2000s. On the musical side, Bob discusses his early interest in music from 45 RPM singles he received as a young child, moving to the Twin Cities for college and (fairly quickly) forming Husker Du with like-minded musicians Grant Hart and Greg Norton, the musical evolution Husker Du went through from their formation in 1979 to their dissolution in January 1988 (with the band's break-up, at least from Bob Mould's point of view, chronicled in a story I had not read or heard about before), the varying personal circumstances between the creation of the two albums released in his first part of his solo career, the mostly positive highs, especially early on, of his time playing in Sugar with David Barbe and Malcolm Travis, and the various aspects of the second part of his solo career, ranging from his go-it-alone approach to his late 1990s albums (the eponymous Hubcap album and "The Last Dog and Pony Show") to his boredom with alternative rock and interest in electronica to ultimately finding a balance between loud guitar rock, singer-songwriter material, and electronic music in his mid-to-late 2000s albums, starting with 2005's "Body of Song". At least to this reader, Bob was able to find a good balance between talking about Bob Mould the musician and Bob Mould the human being, and perhaps the most striking thing about the book is how much Bob has grown as a person and gained self-acceptance, happiness, and comfort with who he is during his life, especially since about 2004. "See a Little Light" is an engrossing read, and I was able to read the entire book within a 24 hour period between the time it came in the mail until the time I finished it.

One final thought: in this reviewer's opinion, this book is a better and much easier to read book than Andrew Earles' Husker Du biography that was published in late 2010. Not only does this book cover a broader scope in the musical (not to mention personal) life of one Husker Du's members, rather than (mostly) covering just the 1979-1987 Husker Du period, and not only is it written from a first-person point of view rather than a third-person point of view, but it is also edited much better, avoiding the frequent repeating of stories and information that plagued Mr. Earles' book.

If you have any interest in Bob Mould as a musician, or even in Bob Mould as a "non-stereotypical" gay man (with this reviewer speaking as a heterosexual male), this book is well worth picking up.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Trail worth taking June 23 2011
By SciFi Mama - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came to Mould's work later in his professional life; in fact, until 18 months ago I hadn't heard anything he had ever done. A "you might also like" serial click session on a downloadable music service site (that started with a purchase from The Smiths,) eventually landed me at Bob Mould's Workbook. It had been over 20 years since I had fallen this hard for a music collection. Just like a teenager, I listened to four of his albums everyday for months and then ventured out late last year (on a work night no less!) to see him perform live. His show at Iron Horse in Northampton, MA was energetic, generous, and mature. In between some songs, his interaction with the audience got me interested in his life. I wondered how a man who started his musical career in Husker Du got to the point of telling a small New England crowd a charming little story about a neighborhood co-op grappling with how to politely and inclusively handle nudists at a farmer's market.

As one reviewer already points out, Mould does a good job balancing discussing the evolution of his musical career with sharing personal recollections. As I'm not a Husker Du acolyte (in fact, my 80s underground rock-loving husband had to inform me that Bob Mould was not my own personal discovery,)the discussion of those paricular songs and albums does not have intimate meaning for me. And while some fans may feel deflated when they read The Real Reason Why Husker Du Will Never Get Back Together, it fits perfectly into the narrative and is consistent with the kind of person Mould presents himself to be. No matter what phase of his musical career or personal life he shares about, emotions come through well. His admissions about being a jerk during many important moments in his life read like those of a man who boxed up a lot of unpleasant experiences and has now finally opened them up to find out which parts belong to him. Mould's honesty about his own failings and shortcomings feels authentic even though his muted language at times may cause some to question whether or not he takes full ownership of all his parts. The other major thread, his coming out odyssey and how it relates to the safer emotional spaces he now tries to live in, reads beautifully. Instead of falling into some trite, kumbaya-I-found-myself-hallelujah verse, he freely shares gritty, funny, embarrassing, joyful, heartbreaking, and scandalous moments from a 20+ year process. It does indeed get better.

Mould's memoir reads easily and well. Although I am now a fan and that was my hook into this book, others may well find something to take from it. The production side of the music industry as well as (surprise!) professional wrestling receive detailed treatment. Integrating sobriety into a career not tailored for such a lifestyle is touched upon several times in addition to surviving the irretrievable breakdown of a number of different kinds of relationships, both personal and professional. Woven throughout the book, too, is the theme of working hard at one's job: getting up everyday and reporting for duty, pounding the pavement and repeatedly knocking on doors, and showing up ready to deliver one's best. Being a rock star is a uniquely awesome job and he doesn't shy away from the coolness of it, but Mould makes it clear that it's still work. If the music didn't require such effort and he didn't get paid for it, he'd call it a hobby and none of it would matter to the likes of me. As it clearly is work to Mould, and he takes his work seriously, fans like me benefit. I highly recommend See a Little Light both for its ability to convey richer meaning to Mould's musical body of work and because the overarching theme of the struggle to mature into a whole person should resonate with all of us who take that trail.
57 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Like Bob a lot less after reading the book July 15 2011
By TJ from Mpls - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I will always love most of Bob's musical output from '83 to '98, but I found that the more of this book I read, the less I liked Mould as a person. Parts were interesting (how certain songs came about, interactions with other bands from the punk era), but too much of the book is spent on Bob's exploration of his orientation and lifestyle. I have no problem with Bob being gay, its just not why I (and most of his fans) have followed him all these years. (Its your art, stupid.) "Workbook" gets two and a half pages while certain amorous encounters get three -- really? But the most troubling aspect of the book is that Bob comes across as a controlling, arrogant and mean-spirited person. His treatment of former bandmates is dismissive, petty and/or mean. As one reviewer commented, his description of the final Husker Du meeting (and ensuing mocking of Grant's mom) was incredibly callous. If Bob is truly as happy as he says he is now, there is no need to be such a small person. Sometimes our heroes don't measure up.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Wish I hadn't read this... July 26 2013
By Wan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish I hadn't picked this book up.. I've been a fan of the guy's music since the early '80's, but unfortunately found him thoroughly unlikable through his writing. I get that being associated with Grant & Greg pains him, but that he gives them nary a sliver of credit for contributing to his own career success I found to be petty and reprehensible...not to mention empirically inaccurate. I had hoped to learn more about this artist's creative process, his influences and collaborations, but instead the overarching theme is his scorched earth negativity about practically everything and everyone in his past, strangely interwoven with gratuitous relationship exploits. Now, I certainly respect Bob's right to say whatever the hell he wants, but I have exactly zero (0) interest in learning who he was sleeping with.