Mudhoney Song Hurts Courtney Love's " Feelings" and Other Epic Grunge Tales in the New Mudhoney Documentary
and courtesy of BLURT:
“I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney,” directed by Adam Pease and Ryan Short, (www.mudhoneymovie.com) states the case for grunge greatness.
BY DANNY R. PHILLIPS
I’ve always felt a bit sorry for Mudhoney. Not for their lack of musical ability, hell no, I believe them to be in the upper echelon of Seattle area bands, right there with Nirvana, The Gits, The Fastbacks, The Melvins and Soundgarden. Mudhoney’s albums are great, powerful and raw. My Brother the Cow, Piece of Cake, Under a Billion Suns and of course,Superfuzz Bigmuff are all killer and make a case for Mudhoney being the archetype band for the “grunge” sound.
I feel sorry for Mudhoney because they were one of the bands that rose on the Nirvana wave and then were sucked into the rip tide of it, pushed into the sediment of a music world that largely made them a footnote. After you see, I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney, the great documentary by Adam Pease and Ryan Short, any feelings of sadness you may have for the band will drift away and be replace by wonder and a smile. Wonder at the fact that they are still together (albeit with a few lineup changes), through drugs, tragic loss of friends, arguments, the glaring light of exposure during the Great Seattle Invasion of 1991 and, did I mention, drugs?
Covering the 25 year career of the band that rose from the collapse of the exceptional Green River (which also featured Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament, later of Pearl Jam), I’m Now, like most rock docs, is packed with talking heads. Ament, Gossard, Soundgarden lead guitarist and resident Sasquatch Kim Thayil, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, Sub Pop co-founder Johnathan Poneman and the band themselves tell the story of one of alternative rock’s most influential bands.But where some rock documentary fail (I won’t name names), lose course and focus more on the more prominent bands connected to the subject, directors Adam Pease and Ryan Short stay on track, staying on topic and make one of the best documentaries of the year.
Began during Mudhoney’s (a name taken from a Russ Meyer b-movie) most recent world tour, the film could easily have become a history lesson on the movement of Grunge, a more commercial subject as a whole than Mudhoney alone. It would have been incredibly easy for Pease and Short to make a film on the early wave of grunge, made Mudhoney a footnote and cashed in big. They don’t, thank god. What they do is make a film where lead man Mark Arm is candid and shockingly open about his drug history, about fighting in the band, Matt Lukin’s departure from the fold in 1999, a beef with Courtney Love (what band doesn’t have that, right?) and everything in between.
I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney is ambitious in scope. They cover 25 years in an hour and 42 minutes but the film does not feel rushed. The filmmakers do a great job at getting stories without pushing. Hell, the notoriously quiet drummer Dan Peters even talks. This is a film that fans of grunge or rock music in general should definitely check out; it is a story of how, as other bands from the era fall away, fell victim to tragedy or just withered and how, after everything, it’s possible to not compromise the shape or vision of your music, rock like nobody’s business and still, after it all, have a sense of humor.
Go watch I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney, then spin “Piece of Cake.” You will be glad you did both!