Interview: Bob Mould Speaks (on age, identity, Spotify, Maha, Obama…); Big Star movie packs ’em in; Talking Mountain, Mammoth Life tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:56 pm August 14, 2013
Bob Mould, center, with Jason Narducy, left, and Jon Wurster. Photo by Peter Ellenby.

Bob Mould, center, with Jason Narducy, left, and Jon Wurster. Photo by Peter Ellenby.

by Tim McMahan,

In this week’s issue of The Reader, my interview with Bob Mould in support of his upcoming performance at Saturday’s Maha Music Festival. I asked Bob about things he said when I interviewed him 15 years ago for The Reader, at a time when he’d just announced he no longer would play “electric” shows because “he couldn’t imagine playing rock music at age 50.” It was quite a scandal at the time.

Mould explained what was going through his head when he made those statements (His hate of alt rock, his struggle with his sexual identity). We also talked about playing rock music at age 52, the current music industry model, Spotify and why he doesn’t pull his music from the service, where his music sits alongside today’s music, if he’ll ever play Black Sheets of Rain again, what he plans on playing at Maha and what’s in store after Maha, and as an extra bonus, Bob’s take on Barack Obama.

It was enough for a 2,700 word story, but I only had space for 800 words in print. BUT, you can read the entire interview transcript by clicking right here and heading to  Go read it now! Then get your ticket for Saturday’s festival at

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Big Star played to a full house last night, even though that performance was merely a reflection on the big screen.

While waiting for Film Streams to open the door to the screening aud, it felt like being at O’Leaver’s on a Saturday night — lots of familiar faces from the Omaha music scene taking advantage of this one-night-only screening of documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

And it was quite a film. While always a fan of Big Star, I’ve never researched the band, who’s heyday was back in the early 1970s. The film’s biggest surprise was how much Chris Bell was responsible for the band’s sound on their early records. I guess I always thought it was an Alex Chilton thing, and he definitely was a central figure. Bell’s story provided the film’s tragic undertow, and when they played the single “I Am the Cosmos,” along with the b-side “You and Your Sister,” I discovered where that amazing sound on Number 1 Record really came from.

Anyway, it’s a good flick, and worth checking out on iTunes or Amazon on demand. Hats off to Film Streams for hosting this special night of music and film. Judging by the turn-out, this kind of one-shot music documentary showing could be a hit for them.

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There’s a free show going on tonight at Slowdown Jr. Headlining is San Francisco dream-pop band Mammoth Life. Joining them is Omaha’s own space-rock band Talking Mountain, and 8-bit rockers The Superbytes. The event also is an art show featuring works by CJ Espargo, Anthony Brown, Cassidy Hobbler, The Mock Turtle and Collin Pietz. Get there early and check out the art. The rock starts at 9.

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Tomorrow: Mousetrap.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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