The sound and the fury

You’re probably wondering if you should go see Mudhoney March 18 at Dante’s. I don’t blame you for having doubt. “Do these guys still have it?” you wonder. And it’s true, they are getting up there in years, having kids, and ensconcing themselves as grunge icons. Maybe you think that they have lost their edge, gone too far into the weird psychedelic haze that hung over Since We’ve Become Translucent. It’s possible that you went to their video shoot at Voodoo Doughnuts a couple weeks ago and were turned away into the rainy night, a stale fruit loop-encrusted donut in your hand. Or maybe you’re just one of those tone-deaf, fuzz-hating jerks who only likes Touch Me I’m Sick and doesn’t care about the rest of Mudhoney’s catalog of great songs. Well, to all of you I have a few things to say.

First, you’re only off the hook with me for this show if you go to the Satan’s Pilgrims show on the same night instead. Those guys haven’t been around for a while, so I understand if you want to see that. But anything else is not OK.

Second, Mudhoney is one of the greatest rock bands ever, even if they have put out records that weren’t as good as others they put out earlier. That happens to everybody sometimes, so don’t hold it against them. And it’s not like they’re the Rolling Stones or anything, a band that puts out a bunch of terrible records as they get older, and older, and older still.

When it comes down to it, Mudhoney has recorded some great albums that have great songs on them, and they will play these great songs at the concert. Sure, they wear fancy hipster duds now and maybe don’t freak out the way they did in the Sub Pop “glory days,” but that was 18 years ago. Give them a break, why don’t you. Things can’t stay the same forever, and these guys have busted their balls to bring you good music for a long time.

Third, Mudhoney is totally fun and lovable, way more so than any other grunge band. I mean, Layne Staley? Chris Cornell? Eddie Vedder? Those guys are so serious all the time. I don’t wanna hear about some kid you picked on at school, man, I want some fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll! Even a song as rad and super-heavy as “Judgment, Rage, Retribution and Thyme” can be hilariously great when you see Mark Arm making crazy faces into the camera with some kind of wild color filter twisting everything into a trashy, psychedelic mess. When he tells you that “he’s not right,” you know he’s telling it straight.

Mudhoney exists on a level that real people can connect with, not just lame, angsty teenagers. It’s really not convoluted at all, and that’s something that we need badly these days.

Finally, Mudhoney just sounds good. Find me someone who doesn’t like Mark Arm’s voice and I’ll find you someone who’s totally full of shit. Anyone who thinks Danny Peters isn’t a great drummer is just plain wrong. And as for Steve Turner and his guitar? It sounds like a million angry hornets trapped inside his amp, constantly on the verge of escape. The fact that Guy Maddison can even take the place of Matt Lukin speaks volumes of his prowess.

So there you have it. Great track record, great work ethic, great senses of humor and great sound. That’s why Mudhoney is great. Even though they’re playing at Dante’s, my new least favorite venue that still books all the good bands, I will be there. I even bought tickets weeks ago presale. I never do that. But I did for Mudhoney, because they are great. So I would suggest that you do the same. Even if you have your doubts, put them aside. Look at the facts. They don’t lie.