A seminal, legendary fixture in the Seattle grunge rock scene, arguably more important in helping shape the sound and initially put Sub Pop on the map moreso than other artist (despite never being as commercially successful as some of their more mainstream peers), Mudhoney have been going strong now for more than 30 years, recently returning with a killer tenth full-length, Digital Garbage, showcasing their ongoing ability to pioneer in the alt rock and grunge space. Best we can recall, the band haven’t headlined in Nashville since a 2013 outing at Third Man, which makes their Oct. 12 return to The Basement East, along with fellow long-running alt rock outfit Porcupine, all the more essential a fall outing. Tickets are still available right here while they last, and you can read on for more about the show!
Though certainly not as major a part of the cultural zeitgeist as Nirvana, nor as commercial successfully as acts like Pearl Jam, Seattle’s Mudhoney are, nonetheless, arguably the most seminal act of the grunge movement, helping influence a sound that would singularly chance the course of rock music in the early ’90s, and tap into the ethos of entire generation. Formally formed in 1988, the band genesis traces back to the start of the decade, when frontman Mark Arm and guitarist Steve Turner met and began collaborating on a series of band, to varying degrees of seriousness (often launching joke punk projects, putting little effort into songwriting, and generally taking pride in being derided punk jokesters). Their most serious pre-Mudhoney project, Green River, however, which also featured a couple of future founding members of Pearl Jam, saw a shift towards a more serious musical focus, with their debut EP, 1985’s Come on Down, frequently cited as the first ever grunge album, and, along with the Melvins helped attract interest in the musical underground of the Pacific Northwest, and influence numerous up and coming young bands. Recruiting drummer Dan Peters and bassist Matt Lukin (who departed a decade later, with current bassist Guy Maddison enjoying a tenure since the start of the millennium), Arm and Turner funneled their punk metal, hard rock aesthetic and infused in with the fuzzy, distortion heavy ’60s garage rock and prot0-punk tones that would form the sound later known as grunge, and with their 1988 debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, and eponymous first full-length the following year, Mudhoney both launched now-famed label Sub Pop into indie acclaim, and almost singlehandedly catalyzed an entire musical movement, which would heavily influence the biggest bands in rock within a couple short years. After 1991 sophomore effort Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, Mudhoney, like many of their grunge scene peers, made the major label jump, releasing a trio of albums throughout the ’90s on Reprise, but never quite becoming the mainstream sensations of many of their peers, finding that sticking to their weird, heavy, less serious, punk-infused tendencies made them a hard sell for the mainstream, but their jump from the underground put off more discerning indie fans. By the turn of the century, Lukin had departed and they’d been dropped from their label, and seemed on the verge of hanging it up, before returning to Sub Pop, crafting new work, and beginning to tour more regularly throughout the ’00s. Recent years have seen Mudhoney, who celebrated their 30th anniversary last year, settle into their reputation as one of the grunge movement’s progenitors, and though their records tend to be more spaced out these days, they haven’t lost any of the fuzzy, ferocious, lighthearted weirdness of their earliest days (despite getting a bit more grim in their political and social commentary on last year’s latest, Digital Garbage, and a recent EP of outtakes, Morning in America). While it doesn’t seem like they’re in danger of disbanding anytime soon, Mudhoney’s visits to Music City have been few and far between over the years, so we always recommend catching these living legends any chance you get!
Rock trio Porcupine organically forges its singular brand of rock reminiscent of the late-90s alternative without compromise. Un-yielded by what’s trendy, frontman Casey Virock with bassist Greg Norton (formerly of Husker Du) and drummer Ian Prince derive some of their inspiration from ’70s classic rock and ’60s British psychedelica, resulting in a Swervedriver meets Queens of The Stone Age type sound. Founded in 2006 by Virock, hoping to springboard off recent success from his former band Space Bike, Porcupine initially began touring and playing the Midwest. Over more than decade, the band have continued to build momentum, realizing two full-lengths, three EPs, and multiple singles, and sharing the stage with the Meat Puppets, Mission of Burma, Shiner, and The Life and Times along the way, and seeing their songs featured on a variety of TV shows. The band’s latest EP, Carrier Wave, arrived last fall, and is yet another example of this group’s ability to bring their tried and true sound to the alt rock scene that pairs perfectly with classic acts like Mudhoney. Don’t miss their opening set!
Mudhoney and Porcupine will perform tonight, Oct. 12 at The Basement East. The show is 21+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $25-28.