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Mudhoney likes it small

Seattle grunge band plays Casbah behind their new record, Vanishing Point

Twenty-seven years later, Seattle act Mudhoney running strong behind their new record, Vanishing Point.
Twenty-seven years later, Seattle act Mudhoney running strong behind their new record, Vanishing Point.

Steve Turner met Mark Arm in the fall of 1982. They were introduced by a mutual friend (Alex Shumway) at a concert. According to Turner, Shumway said, “Stevie, this is Mark. He’s straight-edge too,” which was followed by Turner and Arm looking at one another and rolling their eyes. A lifelong collaboration had begun.

Video:

"I Like It Small"

...off of Mudhoney's latest, <em>Vanishing Point</em>

...off of Mudhoney's latest, Vanishing Point

“Basically, 1983–’88 were the years where everybody was kind of changing a little bit,” Turner explained to the Reader. “We all kind of came out of hardcore and the punk-rock scene. Black Flag’s My War came out in 1983 and that kind of made a lot of people slow down and change course a little bit. It pointed out a way out of hardcore, because that was a dead end. You can’t get any faster and tighter than what people were doing. A lot of the Seattle bands started slowing down.... When I think of early Mudhoney, to me it was bringing really gnarly guitar sounds to garage punk. There were a bunch of bands that were kind of getting gnarlier tones, but still doing the garage-punk thing.”

If “Smells Like Teen Spirit” had never happened, Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” (1988) may today be considered the mission statement of grunge. It’s the perfect synthesis of the humor, heaviness, and catchiness that would become the trademarks of the sound. Now, 27 years later, the band is still running strong. They never blew up to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Soundgarden levels, but for a band that has a song on their new LP (Vanishing Point) called “I Like It Small,” that’s probably just fine.

Past Event

Mudhoney, Tar Halos, the Grids

  • Saturday, October 24, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $22

I point out that the Casbah, where Mudhoney takes the stage on Saturday, October 24, is small, and Turner adds that the band is fond of their tight practice space in Arm’s basement as well. But what is the smallest venue they’ve ever played?

“In the early days there were some strange little places,” Turner explained. “I remember one in Columbus, Ohio, that was on a campus, but it was literally where they stored seats underneath the bleachers in the gymnasium. It was some bunker room that was actually a storage closet. That one might be the smallest place.”

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Twenty-seven years later, Seattle act Mudhoney running strong behind their new record, Vanishing Point.
Twenty-seven years later, Seattle act Mudhoney running strong behind their new record, Vanishing Point.

Steve Turner met Mark Arm in the fall of 1982. They were introduced by a mutual friend (Alex Shumway) at a concert. According to Turner, Shumway said, “Stevie, this is Mark. He’s straight-edge too,” which was followed by Turner and Arm looking at one another and rolling their eyes. A lifelong collaboration had begun.

Video:

"I Like It Small"

...off of Mudhoney's latest, <em>Vanishing Point</em>

...off of Mudhoney's latest, Vanishing Point

“Basically, 1983–’88 were the years where everybody was kind of changing a little bit,” Turner explained to the Reader. “We all kind of came out of hardcore and the punk-rock scene. Black Flag’s My War came out in 1983 and that kind of made a lot of people slow down and change course a little bit. It pointed out a way out of hardcore, because that was a dead end. You can’t get any faster and tighter than what people were doing. A lot of the Seattle bands started slowing down.... When I think of early Mudhoney, to me it was bringing really gnarly guitar sounds to garage punk. There were a bunch of bands that were kind of getting gnarlier tones, but still doing the garage-punk thing.”

If “Smells Like Teen Spirit” had never happened, Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” (1988) may today be considered the mission statement of grunge. It’s the perfect synthesis of the humor, heaviness, and catchiness that would become the trademarks of the sound. Now, 27 years later, the band is still running strong. They never blew up to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Soundgarden levels, but for a band that has a song on their new LP (Vanishing Point) called “I Like It Small,” that’s probably just fine.

Past Event

Mudhoney, Tar Halos, the Grids

  • Saturday, October 24, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $22

I point out that the Casbah, where Mudhoney takes the stage on Saturday, October 24, is small, and Turner adds that the band is fond of their tight practice space in Arm’s basement as well. But what is the smallest venue they’ve ever played?

“In the early days there were some strange little places,” Turner explained. “I remember one in Columbus, Ohio, that was on a campus, but it was literally where they stored seats underneath the bleachers in the gymnasium. It was some bunker room that was actually a storage closet. That one might be the smallest place.”

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