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Bob Mould Teaches Master Class at McNally Smith College of Music

Punk rock and alt-rock icon Bob Mould will teach a “Master Class” at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN, on March 31, 2009, at 1:00 PM.  (this is a private event).

Mould is set to release his ninth solo album, Life And Times, in early April, and his tour in support of the new release will bring him to the Twin Cities. Mould’s roots in the area run deep: it was while he was attending Macalester College in St. Paul that he formed the seminal post-punk band Hüsker Dü in 1979 with band mates he met at the former St. Paul location of the record store Cheapo Discs. Mould’s incredibly influential career has spanned 30 years, and he is recognized as one of the architects of alternative and indie rock, from guitar style to songwriting to the conduct of business. Mould will reflect on his career in music, as well as take questions from McNally Smith students. McNally Smith frequently hosts visiting luminaries from the music world for Master Classes and other events.  Recent visitors Ice Cube and Sheila E. are just a few of the musical greats who have shared their experiences with McNally Smith students.

Chris Osgood, Vice President of Organizational Development at McNally Smith, arranged the Bob Mould Master Class.  The two have a friendship dating back to the days when Mould was in Hüsker Dü and Osgood was in another legendary Twin Cities punk band, The Suicide Commandos. Harry Chalmiers, President of McNally Smith, said, “Bob Mould’s career is a template for those considering a career in today’s contemporary music world. He has always been ahead of his time, both musically and in the way he approaches the business. His independent and uncompromising spirit is probably more essential today than it has ever been before. This is an important concept for our students, and it’s exciting to have Bob delivering that message.”

Bob Mould grew up in Malone, New York, and currently lives in Washington D.C. Mould first moved to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the late 1970s to attend Macalester College.  He soon co-founded the band Hüsker Dü, which made its live debut in 1979. The group is considered to be one of the most influential to emerge from the punk movement. Along with early R.E.M. and a few others, Hüsker Dü combined the punk sensibility with finely-crafted songs that incorporated melodicism and hooks. Mould’s guitar style, in particular, has been emulated knowingly (and unknowingly) by generations of post-punk- and alternative-rockers. From the breakthrough release Zen Arcade on the SST label in 1984 to the major label debut Candy Apple Grey on Warner Bros. in 1986 to their grueling and tireless roadwork, Hüsker Dü helped re-write the book on rock music.

When Hüsker Dü broke up in 1988, Mould soon signed with Virgin Records as a solo artist. He released his first solo album, the critically acclaimed Workbook, in 1989.  Mould marks the 20th anniversary of his debut (and 30th anniversary of Hüsker Dü), with the new release Life And Times. His ninth solo release, Life And Times is a rumination on the fragility of relationships. This concise and musically taut 36-minute release is not autobiographical, notes Mould, but rather about “things that happen to all of us.” Mould intends to get more personal about his own journey with a memoir planned for publication in 2010.

In addition to his influential tenure in Hüsker Dü and his rich body of solo work, Mould has continually sought multiple creative outlets for his musical vision. He formed the trio Sugar in 1992. The group quickly became a college and alternative radio favorite, scoring hits like the debut album Copper Blue. The mix of uncompromising pop and more abrasive sounds garnered a large fan base during the band’s three-year run. His many other projects include the release of electronica/dance music under the pseudonym LoudBomb, his work as a live DJ (often in collaboration with dance music artist Richard Morel, under the moniker Blowoff) and much more.