"In this excerpt from Keith Cameron's new biography Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle
, spanning the end of grunge's golden era (Fall 1993 to Fall 1994), we have Mudhoney opening area tours first for Nirvana and then Pearl Jam - the latter of which is shattered by Kurt Cobain's suicide - and joining Vedder & co. for a tour of the White House, during which President Bill Clinton meets with Eddie Vedder to discuss whether or not he should address the nation about Cobain's suicide."
touched a nerve at the beginning of the ’90s, as grunge rock poured from the Pacific Northwest and independent movies like Reservoir Dogs (1992), Clerks (1994), Kids (1995), and Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) flourished. In the same way that punk and grunge felt real—not like slick stadium rock, big-budget studio movies, hokey scripted TV—Geek Love achieved a fresh kind of authenticity. The Binewskis felt real, even as their lives and their story were fantastical. There was something about the idea of a freak show, an entertainment that hadn’t thrived in American culture for generations, which felt just right in the early ’90s."
In March 1993 Bikini Kill toured the UK. "It Changed My Life
" is a film about that tour, with openers Huggy Bear
, & contributions by the Raincoats
, Sister George
, and Skinned Teen
. [more inside]
Songs from Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten
, stripped of all but Eddie Vedder's vocals: Once
. Even Flow
. Apart from highlighting Vedder's unique voice, phrasing and harmonzing, these vocal mixes expose some interesting studio effects applied to his voice (on 'Even Flow', for example).
In response to Pitchfork's recent History of Alternative Music
, which dubbed 1997-1999 the era of "Fauxternative" Consequence of Sounds has published a Cri Du Coeur: In Defense of Post-Grunge Music
. [more inside]
The year was 1992. Grunge had hit the cultural mainstream, and the New York Times, overdue for a trend piece, printed an article
featuring a "Lexicon of Grunge Speak." Their list featured terms such as wack slacks
for old ripped jeans, harsh realm
for bummer, and bloated, big bag of bloatation
for drunk. [more inside]
To kick off the celebration of Sub Pop Records 25th anniversary
, Mudhoney played a live set on top of the Space Needle today. Performance begins at about 21:00. [more inside]
The 40 Weirdest Post-Nevermind Major Label Albums
"As a snapshot of the era, here are the 40 weirdest, most uncompromising, riskiest, and most surprising albums that were released on a major label in the wake of Nevermind's explosion, during the mania's time-frame of 1992 until 1996."
Dennis Flemion, founding member of the band The Frogs, has reportedly drowned
. [more inside]
KEXP 90.3 FM
is a Seattle, WA-based radio station, officially "a service of University of Washington," but it's more complex than that. The first University of Washington radio station started broadcasting in 1952
. Five decades, a few station organizational shifts
, plus three call letter and frequency changes later, KEXP
was (re)born in 2001. Along the way, the station spread the sound of 1990s Seattle indie rock, started streaming "CD quality" MP3 audio of their broadcast in 2000
, and they have an ever-growing collection of recordings of live in-station performances, including over 2,000 videos on YouTube
. [more inside]
were one of the forgotten bands
of the “grunge” years.
Much more info here at about the band (and a ton of other stuff) at the site of the band’s dancer, Fred Nemo.
Tired of the hype
(and before that, the BBC
's) modern teen drama Skins? Miss the 90s
? Try Orange Juice in Bishops Garden
, a web series
, detailing the lives of a group of teenagers as they navigate high school in the year 1994. The show is set and shot in the greater metropolitan Washington DC area and is created by the DC-area filmmaker, Otessa Ghadar
. [more inside]
The idea behind Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation? is to look back at an era that’s both incredibly important and yet mysteriously absent from my life as a music fan. Part 1
: 1990: “Once upon a time, I could love you”. Part 2
: 1991: “What’s so civil about war anyway?” Part 3
: 1992: Pearl Jam, the perils of fame, and the trouble with avoiding it
The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew.
- Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana
. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition
, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge
Amidst The Ghosts Of Its Fallen Figures: With the 20th anniversary of the Seattle scene's insurgence fast approaching, Exclaim! follows the timeline of Mark Lanegan
, the scene's poetic misfit. [more inside]
gained a lot of respect early on in the Seattle grunge scene, particularly for his ability to make odd time signatures feel like straight time
. Over the years he kept time for Soundgarden
, Smashing Pumpkins
, Temple of the Dog
, and his own Wellwater Conspiracy
. Since 1998 he's played with the last men standing
of the Seattle heavyweights, though it's a little known fact that he recorded drums on the original pre-Vedder demo
. In the 8 years between, Pearl Jam had a few other drummers of note sit in. [more inside]
"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies."
1991: The Year Punk Broke
Charles Peterson Photography [Flash site]
. You might recognize Charles's work from the grunge era
. His photos of Mudhoney
and were an essential visual accompaniment
to the noisy, grinding soundtrack
of that era. Charles has moved well past the energetic black and white photos of that earlier period [previously]
onto something much different.
The Sub Pop Singles Club
began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz
single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club
, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure
. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay
, cementing its status as a collector's item
and making a generation of music geeks feel old
Captain Grunge Flies Again!
The first trailer
for Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days” has just been posted (with sub-titles). “Last Days” is inspired by the tortured final days in the life of Kurt Cobain. Of the film, Van Sant says, “There are a lot of hypotheses about what happened, but I don't know of any full eyewitness account, just tiny momentary ones. Everyone has a different opinion, but there's not one true, authoritative account. He was just kind of missing." Much like the Cobain biography “Heavier than Heaven,” the film takes the stance that Kurt, who has grown increasingly uncomfortable with his fame, is resigned to his death, not accelerated into it by a chain of events concluding with his suicide. Leonardo look-alike Michael Pitt
(“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) plays the lead role, with Asia Argento
playing the Courtney Love
-like character. And here’s a good article
about the film.
Touch Me I'm Sick.
Photographer Charles Peterson
helped America see grunge from the inside out. His dramatic black-and-white images
portrayed the energy
of the music
being performed in crowded basements
and dingy dive bars featuring such bands
, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Hole, Black Flag, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth, among others. "Touch Me I’m Sick: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs by Charles Peterson"
will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art through May 1
. More inside.
Ten years gone.
The unifinished story of Kurt Cobain. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since the unwelcome news was broadcast. As a Cobain contemporary/gen X'er/Seattle musican in the 90s, my own heart is still broken.
"In late January 1994, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl entered Bob Lang's studio in Seattle for their final recording session. Following a long jam, they captured this powerful tune
in one take, including the gut-wrenching vocal -- a spooky, ambient intro of echoed harmonics and a fractured guitar solo."
Alice in Chains' lead singer dead at 34.
Apparently he died several days ago and was just discovered last night. Identity was confirmed today. No cause of death is known yet.
The Smashing Pumpkins'
website is even more active than it ever was before the group disbanded. With a 6 part documentary, "Graceful Swans of Never", that was uploaded part by part every Monday over the past 6 weeks, and the upcoming animation project "Glass and the Machines of God", Billy Corgan is keeping interest alive postmortem.