Monday, September 10, 2007

More Melvins! More Mudhoney!

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been examining the backlog of records we digitized and trying to get through vinyl we converted months and months ago. One of the records in that backlog was this nifty little bootleg: H.I.V. Groupie Hits Pack, a split single featuring the Melvins and Mudhoney. The recordings themselves kind of suck, and this comes nowhere close to being essential (unlike Soungarden’s fantastic Peel Sessions boot), but the record represents the boots common during the late 80s and early 90s in the Northwest.

Like a lot of young losers, we’d periodically hit the record conventions that would stop by Seattle Center, often in the hopes of finding unreleased goodies. It was very, very common to stumble across dealers who sold nothing but bootlegs, often in 7” format (other booted singles we found back in day include several Nirvana demos, a live Soundgarden single, and the Misfits’ Last Caress EP). The records cost twice as much as legitimate singles and, invariably, were mislabeled. That’s the case with this single, too.

The Melvins contribution, labeled as “The Sails of Charon”/“Just Sixteen” and credited to The Professors on the sticker, is actually a cover of Kiss’s “Goin’ Blind” recorded live at the I-Beam in San Francisco in 1987. The sound quality is so-so, but the performance makes up for it. The Melvins, of course, have a well-documented love for all things Kiss. They covered “God of Thunder” for the Hard to Believe compilation and were occasionally joined by Gene Simmons onstage. Best of all, when Kiss released Alive III in 1993, the Melvins played a release party at the now defunct club RCKNDY! For the hell of it, we’re throwing in the “Goin’ Blind” cover they later released on Houdini.

Melvins “Goin’ Blind” in 1990

The Mudhoney tracks consist of, as far as I can tell, demo versions of “Here Comes Sickness” and “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More” and a live version of “Chain that Door.” The recording quality sucks. Furthermore, “Chain that Door” is mislabeled as “Eruption.” You can imagine the disappointment we felt upon playing this at home and failing to hear Steve Turner make mincemeat of Eddie Van Halen. I love these songs, but there’s no chance that these versions will displace the official versions. The sticker (intentionally) mislabels the band as the Psycho Surgeons, a real Aussie punk band who later morphed into the Lipstick Killers.

Mudhoney “Here Comes Sickness” in 1989.

Don’t expect anything special, but enjoy nonetheless.

Melvins -- "Goin' Blind" (live)
Mudhoney -- "Here Comes Sickness" (demo)

Mudhoney -- "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" (demo)
Mudhoney -- "Chain That Door" (live)

Melvins -- "Goin' Blind" (from Houdini)

And the songs are on the .zip file here.

Item! Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger recently did a piece on “the best Seattle music blogs that you might not know.” I know that sounds bad, but worst of all, they didn’t even mention lamestain! One of the “Seattle music blogs you should know about,” inexplicably, spends more time covering Fergie and Kanye West than actual Seattle music. We mention this not because we wish you to write angry letters or to burn down the offices of The Stranger, just to point out that, like Bob Pollard and The Simpsons, The Stranger was better in the 90s.



Susan M said...

I'm seeing the Melvins and Mudhoney in LA this weekend doing a "Don't Look Back" show---Melvins are playing all of Houdini and Mudhoney are playing all of Superfuzz. I am SO stoked. I keep thinking it's going to be just like the good old days. I'm sure I had to have seen them play together at least once way back in the 80s.

(Just watch, the Melvins will show up and play all feedback for an hour.)

Kevjones30 said...

That does sound like a rad show.

I read that Stranger article and I think I will write to the Stranger, because that's some bullshit.

Where's the Geezerfest coverage?

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