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Archive for the ‘Mudhoney’ Category

SOUNDTRACKRHEOSTATICS-Le Colisee, Quebec City QC (November 30 1996).

This is the 16th night of the 24 date Canadian Tour opening for The Tragically Hip on their Trouble At The Henhouse Tour. This is the same show that the Double Live version of Saskatchewan was taken from. It is also the show Dave wrote about in On A Cold Road.

The site has recently added a DAT version of the show in conjunction with the existing fan-recorded version (which is quite different and an interesting perspective).

The show opens with a recording of (maybe) a French-language hockey game?  I love how the opening guitars of “Saskatchewan” just start during the cheering.

Obviously this is a great version if they chose it for their live album.

It segues right into “Fat” which opens a little funky.  It runs to about seven minutes with the rocking ending being fun as usual.  “Fat” segues into a quiet and beautiful “Digital Beach” with great guitars from Martin and then, surprisingly into “Claire.”  Martin’s solo sounds very different–single notes played in a unusual (for him) style.  I like the change and it works well for the song.

Dave asks: Whats the shouting?  more shouting.  Martin: WHAT!?  (on the other recording you can hear that some guy is shouting: “Bad. Time. To. Be. Poor.”  The guy then deliberately shouts: “We came here to see you guys.”  Shame it’s not acknowledged).

Dave says, “We’re gonna do four songs in one from our new album, The Blue Hysteria.  Thanks to the whistling bats over there.”

“Four Little Songs” is goofier than usual.  And then Don, ever the salesman says “this next song is the current single from our brand new record which you can buy here at the venue.”  When they do play “Bad Time to Be Poor,” (those guys must have gone nuts), it sounds great.

Dave: “Thanks very much.  Save a bit for The Tragically Hip.  I don’t want you to….”

On “Sweet Rich, Beautiful, Mine,” Martin hits a slight wrong note before the roaring midsection which is kind of shame, but he recovers fine and the rest of the song is spot on.

A lovely “Dope Fiends” ends the show with a cool acoustic guitar and drum middle.  Martin has some fun with the “dark side of the moon” ending growling it somewhat and Dave says “By Pink Floyd.  Side two.”  Just before Martin roars his awesome guitar ending.

The song and show ends with Martin playing and then singing “You Are Very Star.”  It’s a very sweet ending.

[READ: June 2018] Start Without Me

I really enjoyed this story.  It was funny and dark and played with all kinds of twisted family portraits.

As the book opens Adam wakes up in the house he grew up in.  But in the basement.
A young child sizes him up, “Who are you?”
“I’m Adam.  Uncle Adam.”
The boy shakes his head. “My uncle’s Travis.  He lives in Texas.”
“I’m your other uncle.”
“Why are you on the couch?”

Indeed, why is it?  It is Thanksgiving.  One of his siblings or their offspring is in his old room.  They weren’t sure if he would show.

Finally it dawns on the boy, “Are you the uncle who smashed the pinata?”
“Jesus, that’s what you remember?”  Did he actually owe apologies to the kids, too? (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: MUDHONEY-“Halloween” (1988).

Mudhoney recorded a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Halloween” just two years after the original was released.

Mudhoney, a deliberately noisy and abrasive band recorded a deliberately noisy and abrasive version of this song.  And yet at the same time, it doesn’t hold a candle to Sonic Youth;s version for deliberate noise and chaos.

On the other hand, in many respects the Mudhoney version is better.  It feels more like a “real song” with the guitar, bass and drums all playing along fairly conventionally.  It follows the same musical patterns as the original, with that same cool riff, but it just feels…more.

Mark Arm sing/speaks the lyrics more aggressively and less sensuously than Kim Gordon did.  In some way it helps to understand the original song a little more, as if they translated it from Sonic Youth-land into a somewhat more mainstream version.  Although it is hardly mainstream what with the noise and fuzz, the cursing and the fact that it lasts 6 minutes.

It feels like Mark emphasizes these lyrics more than the others although it may just be that the songs builds more naturally to them:

And you’re fucking me
Yeah, you’re fucking with me
You’re fucking with me
As you slither up, slither up to me
Your lips are slipping, twisting up my insides
Sing along and just a swinging man
Singing your song
Now I don’t know what you want
But you’re looking at me
And you’re falling on the ground
And you’re twisting around
Fucking with my, my mind
And I don’t know what’s going on

Happy Halloween

[READ: October 24, 2018] “From A to Z, in the Chocolate Alphabet”

Just in time for Halloween, from the people who brought me The Short Story Advent Calendar and The Ghost Box. comes Ghost Box II.

This is once again a nifty little box (with a magnetic opening and a ribbon) which contains 11 stories for Halloween.  It is lovingly described thusly:

The Ghost Box returns, like a mummy or a batman, to once again make your pupils dilate and the hair on your arms stand straight up—it’s another collection of individually bound scary stories, edited and introduced by comedian and spooky specialist Patton Oswalt.

There is no explicit “order” to these books; however, Patton Oswalt will be reviewing a book a day on his Facebook page.

Much respect to Oswalt, but I will not be following his order.  So there. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: MUDHONEY-Live on KEXP, March 14, 2006 (2006). 

I was never a huge fan of Mudhoney.  Of all the Seattle grungy bands, Mudhoney was always near  the bottom for me.  Some of their stuff was great (“Touch Me, I’m Sick” is undeniable) but I never really got into them.

Having said them, this set taken from the Under a Billion Suns album is really good.  It’s more political than their earlier stuff, but the band still sounds heavy and loud and right on.  “Where is the Future” (“Where is the future that was promised us?  I’m sick to death of this one”) really summarizes their sound–slightly off sounding vocals, slightly off sounding verses and a great chorus.  “It is Us” (“I’ve seen the enemy and it is us”) features some of the more extreme vocals moments in the band’s sound.  And then the chorus is surprisingly catchy.

“Empty Shells” sounds like a hardcore song from the 8os, slightly awkward verse and then a gang-shouted chorus.  “Hard On for War” is kind of funny (but yet really not) about how since all the men at war it’s important to have sex with him as much as possible.  (“These lovely lonesome ladies don’t ignore me anymore.  Now I know why dirty old men are always pushing for war.”

As with every other heavy, angry band, it’s always funny to hear them being chatty and friendly with  the DJs.  They’ve been around Seattle forever and are very nice and happy to talk about their upcoming shows.  Mark Arm, incidentally has been interviewed in Metal Evolution, the 11-part series of VH1 that I have been enjoying a lot lately.  And he seems like a funny guy in that documentary as well.  Maybe it’s time to reassess those early CDs.

Hear this set here.

[READ: November 1, 2012] “Ali-Baba”

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s last story in Harper’s was called “Medea,” and now she has “Ali-Baba.”  In this one, Ali-Baba is a woman who has a drug and alcohol addiction.  Her mother continually tries to get her help, but this inevitably fails, especially now that the mother is in the hospital and Ali-Baba has free access to the house.

Ali-Baba has sold a few large books from her mother’s library to get some cash and is now out on the prowl at a bar.

Strangely though, this story opens with Victor, a man who has more or less given up on women.  He sees Ali-Baba dancing seductively, but he ignores her, believing that women would have no interest in him.  Eventually they wind up next to each other and they begin talking.  Seeing how unused Victor is to attention, she feels a strange tenderness towards him and even buys the last round.

But she is  especially delighted to learn that he lives alone (and not with his mother).  So she goes home with him. (more…)

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