words & photos by Chris Gersbeck
The Rock Shop in Park Slope is building a reputation for booking relatively well known acts despite its modestly sized concert space. The last time I was there was for the secret Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500 show, which was pretty great, so I hopped at the chance to make it down there for former Husker Du and Sugar frontman Bob Mould. Apparently I have a sort of "take what I can get" attitude towards bands that refuse to reunite.
Former Come guitarist and Codeine drummer Chris Brokaw opened the show, playing a 40-minute set of somber acoustic songs. By the style of his music you'd find it hard to believe that Brokaw was also once the drummer for GG Allin-his songs were often melodic and generally mellow, but never uninteresting. Brokaw noted the influence Zen Arcade and New Day Rising had on him as a musician in the 80's, played a couple more songs and finished his set shortly thereafter.
I confess that I've always been a bigger fan of Grant Hart's contributions to Husker Du than Mould's, but that's not to say Mould hasn't written his share of classics. Beginning his set on acoustic guitar, Mould soon switched to electric, reminding us of his trademark distortion and howl of a voice.
Rotating between solo material, Sugar and Husker songs (often by request), Mould was in good spirits throughout the night, joking with the crowd about the NYC Marathon, his admiration of Best Coast and his upcoming memoir. Hearing him play classics such as "Something I Learned Today", "I Apologize" and "Celebrated Summer" made it easy to remember why Mould is an oft-cited influence. At the core of these punk anthems was solid songwriting, and they are no less perfect songs when played solo by the man himself.
The Rock Shop show (11/7) was one of three NYC shows for Bob in a week. The other two were at City Winery (11/4 with Lenny Kaye and 11/4 with Marshall Crenshaw). More pictures from the Rock Shop below...