NXNE 2010: Mudhoney @ Yonge-Dundas Square, June 17 2010

Here is an excerpt from a larger feature I wrote, originally for Hellbound.ca, on the NXNE festivities. You can read the original here, along with some additional recaps by Commander-on-Chief Sean Palmerston.

*              *              *

Blarg, my head.

It’s been a hell of a weekend for those who enjoy sweetly torturing their eardrums. NXNE visited Toronto, and it has been one hell of a raucous houseguest.

I kicked off NXNE in style on Thursday night, walking directly from work to Dundas Square to see Mudhoneywith Hellbound Overlord Sean Palmerston. Their set was straightforward and intensely satisfying, in terms of song choice; I expected to hear “Touch Me I’m Sick,” and indeed I did. Mudhoney, for their astronomical popularity, are a difficult band to pin down. Being a seminal band in the Seattle grunge explosion, and a major influence on more than one genre, their sound has always struck me as nebulous. They’ve accreted characteristics of grunge and blues, punk and funk, plaiting these sounds together to create a whole infinitely stronger than the apparent sum of its parts. The crowd that gathered at Dundas Square echoed this eclecticism. Patch-covered punks and hipsters with babes in arms mingled seamlessly in front of the stage, strange and casual. In being so much all at once, Mudhoney attracts a large and extremely varied fanbase. Their name a perfect match for their sound: dirty and sweet, thick and light, gold and brown, full-throated and rich while never taking itself too seriously. Their welcoming strangeness, broad appeal, and complex-yet-fun sound provided an ideal beginning to a weekend full of music and debauchery.

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