Bob Mould, Margaret Cho | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc, New Year's Eve Parties & Events | Chicago Reader

Bob Mould, Margaret Cho Recommended 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Dec. 31, 9 p.m. 2014

The worst thing you can say about Beauty & Ruin (Merge), Bob Mould’s 11th solo studio album, is that it’s pretty good. Like its predecessor, 2012’s Silver Age, Mould goes back to the power-trio strengths of his previous bands Husker Du and Sugar and employs local bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster (of Superchunk and WFMU’s The Best Show fame). It’s one of the best rhythm sections Mould’s ever worked with, and it churns out a dozen distorted, upbeat, mostly major-key songs that feature the singer-songwriter musing on weighty subjects like mortality and self-doubt. While the melodies are solidly constructed, they’re not quite as catchy as Mould’s best work, and most of Beauty & Ruin seems like a call back to his older, more memorable catalog. But if the tracks make you want to listen to Warehouse: Songs and Stories or Copper Blue, then spending New Year’s Eve with Mould is a good bet, since his live show tends to feature a mix of both classic and new material. —Tal Rosenberg

Price: $61, $51 in advance

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