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(BRUNGF MUDHONEY QMU, Glasgow, Tue 10 Sep

For most people now, ‘grunge’ means images of Kurt Cobain writhing about in self-loathing or supermodels parading up catwalks in tatty jumpers and fuck all else. But let me tell you, kids, there was much more to grunge than that. Well, sort of.

Around the late 80s, in the wet and patently miserable city of Seattle, 3 new musical genre was born. Before then, rock music was all poodle perms, spandex trousers and knobbing groupies. Just like Spinal Tap. Really. And before then, punk music was all unfocussed anger and no tunes.

Then along came a bunch of bands who decided to take the muscle of the former and the attitude of the latter, and Bob’s yer uncle, grunge popped out, fully-formed and ready to eat yer babies. Or something.

And the first band to do this were Mudhoney. In 1988 the four-piece outfit released ‘Touch Me, I’m Sick’, and the world of

rock was changed forever. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way - most modern rock, from nu metal to emo to indie, can all be traced back to this brilliant rant of a


Fourteen years on, while yer Nirvanas, Soundgardens and Stone Temple Pilots have all been and gone, Mudhoney are still doing it, still producing that utterly thrilling grimy mix of punk and rock. Which comes as something of a surprise to Mark Arm, the band’s singer

and guitarist.

‘Our whole goal at the beginning was just to put out that one single,’ he says laughing. ‘Then we thought we’d be around for three years, cos it seemed like after three years all our favourite bands started to suck. They would try to expand their audience and water things down, and that’s something we’ve always been very conscious of avoiding. Sometimes to our detriment.’

That last statement is the key to Mudhoney’s

‘m sure l‘m not the only one who

has noticed the strange reversal in

roles between fashion and music in the last year or so. As semeone who wore a shellsuit of his own free will on more than one occasion I can't claim to be an emissary of fashion by any stretch of the imagination. but it is hard to ignore the fact that these days the fashion press seems to have more of a grip on what is happening than the weekly rock press. Whether this is due to the slackness of the music press or the astuteness of the style magazines I'm not Sure. What I am certain of though is that the encroachment of fashionistas upon

Being sick changed the world forever

longevity. Obviously proponents of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, the band have released eight albums, including newie Now That we’re Translucent to moderate acclaim and moderate sales, but ploughed on regardless through musical fads and fashion.

‘If our intention was to make a big career out of this, we would have done things completely differently,’ says Arm, laughing again. ‘But we never had to have day jobs, so we got more out of it than we ever expected.’

On the legacy of grunge, Arm is equally ambivalent.

What do the beautiful people know about music? Worryineg more than you’d think.

music can't be a good thing.

I was DJing at a Gold Chains show in London a month back when I noticed something strange abOut the folks at the show. All the kids were skinny and good looking but they also looked uncomfortable during Kid 606's DJ set when the music got full on. It was kind of like they were scared not to like it. like they were supposed to like it and thus better get on With liking it.

It was pointed out to me later on that there had been a dress code at the club and ‘ugly' or ‘badly dressed' folks simply wouldn't get in. Having seen both Gold Chains and Kid 606 in Scotland I can saler say that almost

‘To me grunge is just supposed to be nasty, dirty- sounding shit,’ he says. ‘But that’s not what became popular, so I guess to me it’s an irrelevant term. When I talk about it I’m not going to mean the same thing as other people - they’re probably thinking of a flannel- wearing fashion trend that didn’t really look all that good.’ (Doug Johnstone)

I New ll ial we're Translucent is out now on Sub Pop.

all of the folks that attended here WOLildn't have got in down south. Since most of the spanners in London looked ridiculous (shades indoors. Dazed and Confused . . . y0u get the picture) I doubt that their sort would be missed.

But that's not the point. Surely music should be abOut inclusion not exclusion. I fear a Gatfaca—like future where music is secondary to physical appearance. where the geeks' and misfits' only place of acceptance is around a Dungeons and Dragons table. Maybe this is all a slight over- reaction but can anyone remember a time when the NME (the first two letter apparently stand for 'New' and Musical) didn't take its cues from magazines normally associated with arming vacant, emaciated teenage models with fancy shoes and T-shirts of bands they've never heard of. It just seems wrong. I'm sure that when the fashion folks tire of rock'n'roll they'll move onto something else. Probably fishing.

Surface noise

All the heebles, jeebies and freebies in the wonderful world of music

EVERYBODY LIKES FREE stuff that goes without saying - so when a mysterious Ii’l email popped into The List’s inbox we just had to react. Apparently Budweiser are organising an event called King of the Castle, a live music event on Saturday 14 September headlined by those rabble rousing geniuses of house, Basement Jaxx. French electrofunk doyens Cassius are also up to appear, the deal being that tickets can only be won through promotions in pubs, bars and booze-boutiques across Edinburgh and Glasgow, or by logging onto www.budweiser.co.uk for details of how to get your mitts them. The plan is they’ll bus you out to the ‘secret location’ (the cue is in the title, apparently . . . Castle Douglas? Newcastle? Who knows?) and you get to party like its 1534.

Take it to the (draw)bridge with Basement Jaxx

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THERE IS A PLETHORA OF bands releasing albums and playing live shows over the next few months so we thought it only appropriate to round the whole bally lot up and present you one of our special Autumn music guides. See our issue out Thursday 19 September for a full run down on all the gigs and all the new releases to set you feeble heart a-flutter.

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