Live Review: Mudhoney @ Baltimore Soundstage — 10/18/19

Mudhoney9Mudhoney blew the doors off the Baltimore Soundstage on Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Thirty years is a long time for anything, but for being in a band it can be a lifetime. That often means beating the odds and then some. But that’s just how long Mudhoney has been making some of the best garage rock ever put to plastic. The band took some of that great music to the stage at Baltimore Soundstage on Friday.

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Music Park: Mudhoney @ Black Cat — 7/7/15

 “I Like It Small” by Mudhoney

“What have I done?”, the plaintive call from Mark Arm in “Blinding Sun”, was exactly how I felt after getting blasted by Mudhoney at the Black Cat on July 7, 2015.

The problem, to be precise, involved standing too close to the speakers for an inappropriate amount of time without ear plugs. My ears are still ringing.

Mudhoney gave the expectant crowd (just over half filled) wave after wave of fuzzy and distorted salvos of music, punctuated by lead singer Mark Arm’s howling and often manic vocals. Few heads failed to nod along with the beat.

There is something to be said about heavy music permeating your face and your bones at a live show. This cannot be captured in a recording and it is why grunge is an experience to be had, not merely listened to.

Mudhoney, among the pioneers of the grunge music scene that roared out of Seattle in the early 1990’s, sing angry lyrics. Yet with a wink, like they’re in on the joke. Not really angry, just looking to entertain.

In “1995” they want to know “What are you looking at?”, as if they’re the cool kids and you’re the nerd that accidentally stared a second too long.

In “Touch Me I’m Sick”, their first single in 1988, they embrace the paranoia around living with disease, and dare the woman to go for it anyway. “I Like It Small”, from their latest album Vanishing Point, is an ode to the mantra that bigger isn’t always better in life (and other things).

They introduced the cover of the Angry Samoans’ almost perky break-up song “You Stupid Asshole”, as a “rock ballad for everyone”, but the song still finds a way to acknowledge that they are assholes too.

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Don’t Miss: Mudhoney @ Black Cat, 7/7/15

Mudhoney Mudhoney (Photo courtesy Sub Pop Records)

Mudhoney, one of the early bands in the Seattle grunge scene, is performing tonight at the Black Cat, July 7, 2015.

Formed in 1988, Mudhoney contributed to the movement that became the grunge sound in the early 1990’s.

Mudhoney started their career with the Sub Pop record label, then branched off to a major label for the better part of a decade, before finally returning to Sup Pop in 2000, where they have released their last four albums.

With nine studio albums under their belt, the most recent being the 2013 release, Vanishing Point, they have been actively producing their distinct mix of grunge, punk and blues rock for almost 30 years.

Indeed, Mark Arm, lead singer of Mudhoney, is credited with using the term “grunge” in 1981 as a description of the sound of his first band. It was later used as the moniker of the whole sub genre of alternative music coming out of Seattle.

I grew up near Seattle, and become a huge fan of seminal grunge bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I largely missed out on Mudhoney during the first half of the 1990’s, but have come back to them over the last few years.

Let’s see what I missed.

Kid Congo Powers and Pink Monkey Birds open. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Mudhoney
w/ Kid Congo Powers and Pink Monkey Birds
Black Cat
Tuesday, July 7
Doors @7:30pm
$16
All ages

Around Town: Get Ready for July Part 2

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DC, so much to do in July!

From Dave Grohl celebrating 20 years of Foo Fighters, to the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg bobblehead night, to the start of Screen on the Green, there are infinite options to keep you occupied this month. See Part 1 of this list here.

Music
Just a few of the many concerts we like in July.

Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary Blowout @ RFK Stadium, 7/4/15
Enjoy the 4th of July with Dave Grohl and gang, along with Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, LL Cool J, and more.

Metric and Imagine Dragons @ Verizon Center, 7/6/15

Mudhoney @ Black Cat, 7/7/15

Little Boots @ U Street Music Hall, 7/25/15

Friday Night Concert Series @ Yards Park – July

  • Almost Journey (Journey Tribute), 7/3/15
  • Hand Painted Swinger (Pop Hits), 7/10/15
  • Wesley Spangler (Crossover Country), 7/17/15
  • Justin Trawick (Indie Folk Rock), 7/24/15
  • White Ford Bronco (’90’s Covers), 7/31/15

Sports
Nationals’ Home Games @ Nationals Park
The Nats are hot. It’s not a weather thing. Take yourself out to the ballgame. Get a bobblehead.

  • vs. Gaints, 7/3-7/5/15 (Strasburg bobblehead alert, 7/5)
  • vs. Reds, 7/6-7/8/15
  • vs. Dodgers, 7/17-7/19/15
  • vs. Mets, 7/20-7/22/15

Movies and Shows
Screen On the Green @ The National Mall
The Screen on the Green kicks off another season with a few classic movies.

  • North By Northwest, 7/20/15
  • Poseidan Adventure, 7/27/15

Book of Mormon @ The Kennedy Center – July
Laugh. Be offended. Or both. A must see while it’s still in DC!