First, there was Hüsker Dü, one of the most important post-punk bands of the '80s, and partially responsible for R.E.M., Nirvana, and the Pixies (pictured above performing tracks from Zen Arcade). Then there was Sugar, the Bob Mould-fronted trio which, in the early '90s, saved distorted guitars from grunge's chokehold. Since then, Mould's recorded nine solo albums, run a record label, played tons of gigs with friends like Patti Smith and Vic Chesnutt, hosted a gay-D.C. dance event called Blowoff (which might explain the electronic-ness of last year's album District Line), written plotlines for the World Wrestling Federation and completed a soon-to-be-released autobiography.

So it seems the new bald, bearded and kinda buff Bob is warming up to his legacy while continuing to craft it. That's evident on his new album, Life and Times (out in April), complete with dirty lyrics, messy punk growls, and the wide spectrum of sound and storytelling Bob Mould fans haven't heard in a while. Like his first solo album, Workbook (1989), Life and Times is a stripped-down return to the basics Bob does best. (Wendy Gilmartin)

Bob Mould plays the Hotel Cafe tonight.

LA Weekly