I *REALLY* need to find my earplugs.
I spent my morning on the internet again. I need to take a day off. Maybe tomorrow. But today the internet rewarded me with information regarding a free benefit show in the KEXP parking lot starring mudhoney and no age. How about yes? Much better than going to the Greenwood Seafair Parade.
These kids are lauded as the future of Sub Pop. Before I begin, let me put my review into context. Imagine that the stereo in your car only worked on the left side and the right side was a high pitched feedback note. Then put in a No Age CD. This is pretty much the the sound system that I endured this evening. But it was free! Okay, here we go. I must be too old for No Age. I know there’s some tones in there somewhere. I don’t mind sifting through the noise to find them. I like the drumming, it’s solid and enthusiastic. I like the punk-danceable rhythms and the unpretensiousness. I understand why the samples are there, since you don’t have a bassist. I very much like how you’re inspiring a bunch of people to start little art bands, just like punks in the 70s did. However, I can’t get past your singing. I wanted to sing along or at least want to want to sing along. There’s just nothing inspiring about your voice. It’s not that you can’t hold a tune, I don’t mind that. It’s just that there’s something missing. I wish I could describe it, so I could learn from it, but the quality that escapes you also escapes me. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t believe you. Well, I hope your “secret” house show on Friday goes well.
If No Age had PA problems, Mudhoney had PA disasters. The smell of ozone was probably a bad sign. When the main speakers cut out the first time, I was worried. When the PA went dead, it was a problem. A problem that seemed to last forever. As the Mudhoney gentlemen jammed out on some blues riffs and regaled us with an enthusiastic Q and A session, apparently some technicians resolved the issue. I’m sure that’s not a fun position to be in, since everyone hates you if you do a bad job and no one notices if you do a good one. Many people were disappointed with your performance this evening, sound guy. I hope it goes better next time. At any rate, Mudhoney is a band I should have seen twenty years ago. But I was only 11 when Superfuzz Bigmuff came out. And it took me a couple years to randomly buy the tape at Fred Meyers one day. But after that, I listened to it a ton. Until I got into pop punk, that is. Anyhow, I’m sorry Mudhoney, I should have seen you much earlier, but I was unable to until tonight. Thank you for playing some songs off of that tape even though they are more than 20 years old to you. I’m glad to see that you have not lost any of the enthusiasm you have for them. I’m also glad to see that the crowd was very enthusiastic about moshing over the curbs to the best songs (like Touch Me, I’m Sick and In ‘n Out of Grace). I’m really glad I got to see you.
Mudhoney forms a fundamental part of my understanding of rock and roll. Superfuzz Bigmuff was my first exposure to the music that made my city a household name. For me, it is not hard to see that Mudhoney have their roots deep in the same places that rock itself does. Blues, garage rock, and punk form the basis of Mudhoney and the backbone of all rock acts. When watching Mudhoney tonight I could see The Stooges and The Stones and a million other bands that start with “The” all being channeled through our very own hosts to the legend and history of rock. And even though they’ve been at it for more than 20 years, Mudhoney still harnesses the power of this legend and history without flinching. If you didn’t get to see them in the early days, do so now. Particularly if you grew up here. It will be easier for you to understand now.
If you can see them in a parking lot for free, be sure to get some of the free ice cream. And pat the sound guy on the back and tell him it will be okay.