As if reuniting the women of Friends were not enough of a spectacle for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the same episode featured a performance by Bob Mould with Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins sitting in. The former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman led Hawkins and the rest of the band in performances of two songs off his latest record, Beauty & Ruin.
"The War" is a melodic post-hardcore number that has typically mordant and Mouldy lyrics about feeling anxious in the wake of a fight, as well as a charging riff perfect for Hawkins' cymbal crashes. Mould uses the instrumental break to undulate about the stage as if he were fighting with his guitar, before things simmer down to an almost folkish outro.
The punkish, charging "Hey Mr. Grey" is the Beauty & Ruin track that best shows off Mould's self-deprecating wit, as he sings one liners like, "Hey Mr. Grey, that's what the children say/ Life used to be so hard, get off my yard." He also comes up with lines about Mr. Blue and Mr. White, as Hawkins bashes out sprightly rhythms behind him. "That was a cute song, coming up with that first verse and then having somewhere to go with it in a very short amount of time," Mould told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "It became this silly nursery rhyme. The colors work for two minutes."
The songs come from a personal record for Mould – who wrote it after his father died – but by and large, he told Rolling Stone that Beauty & Ruin was par for the course. "Sharing personal stuff, that's what I do," he said. "I think that's what people expect. If I'd written bubblegum pop for 25 years and then I made a deeply personal record and regretted it, that would be one thing. This is just what I do. I don't even think about it."
Mould will be touring in support of Beauty & Ruin this fall, though with usual drummer Jon Wurster (who also plays with Superchunk), on the stool. Hawkins will likely be busy at that time promoting the upcoming Foo Fighters record, Sonic Highways, which the band is accompanying with an eight-part HBO series, also titled Sonic Highways.
Bob Mould tour dates:
8/31 - St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
9/05 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
9/06 - Washington, DC @ 930 Club
9/07 - Toronto, ON @ Riot Fest
9/10 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
9/11 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
9/12 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
9/13 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
9/15 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/16 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
9/17 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Ballroom
9/19 - St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
9/20 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
9/21 - Denver, CO @ Riot Fest
9/23 - Seattle, WA @ The Neptune Theater
9/24 - Portland, OR @ Wonderland Ballroom
9/26 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
9/27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
9/28 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
9/30 - Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon
10/4 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews (solo electric set)