Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

Mudhoney & Pissed Jeans

Mudhoney & Pissed Jeans

Amanda X

Thu, July 9, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$15.00

This event is all ages

Mudhoney
Mudhoney
Every now and then, a combination will go beyond "appropriate" or "good" and result in something that forever alters the universe. Just imagine a world without chocolate and peanut butter, Doc Martens and a leather jacket, Beavis and Butthead, and of course, Mudhoney and Sub Pop. April 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of both Mudhoney and Sub Pop Records, and there could be no better band to represent the label, past, present and future. Nirvana, Saint Etienne and Fleet Foxes are swell, but no other group has consistently kicked as much ass as Mudhoney, nor has anyone come close. Through two and a half decades, sarcastic grins remain implanted on their grizzled faces, even as empty bottles and the sneakers of a stage diver fly inches from their heads.

Along with this milestone celebration, Mudhoney have bestowed Vanishing Point upon us. It's not their first album. Or third. Or seventh. Vanishing Point is Mudhoney's ninth studio album, a truly remarkable feat for any band, but almost statistically impossible in their case, as we are talking about a band whose 1988 debut "Touch Me I'm Sick" b/w "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" was such a volatile and desperate single that it's miraculous the band made it through a weekend, let alone another year. In an age where only the newest of the new can survive (and even then, only for a few weeks at best), what could the decades-old Mudhoney have to offer? What could they possibly have left to say?

The answer is plenty. Whereas most groups originally (wrongly or otherwise) associated with the grunge movement have broken up, fallen apart, reunited as shells of their former selves or disappeared entirely (I'm looking at you, Sugartooth), Mudhoney kept on kicking out the garage-rocking, punk-infused, psycho-blues jams, ignoring the trends of the day in favor of scorching feedback, rumbling bass and the inimitable voice of Mark Arm. Vanishing Point is full of that fervor, but the band isn't masquerading as teenaged, beer-soaked goofballs wandering high school hallways–these are songs written from the rare vantage point of a band who went through the rock 'n' roll meat grinder and not only lived to tell such a tale, they came out full of the wisdom and dark humor such a journey provides. Just take a listen to "I Don't Remember You," a raucous stomper that flicks off the wannabes and hangers-on that still come around while Mudhoney attempt to buy some eggs at the store. Or take "I Like It Small," a rallying cry for the little things in life, literally–Mark Arm proudly holds GG Allin above Long Dong Silver and dingy basements over esteemed music halls, not because he should, but because it's what Mudhoney has always favored: the dirty, the dejected, the fearless and free. They're sophisticated enough to rally against the UGG boots of wines, chardonnay, but they do so in the form of a punk rock riot song that breaks the bottle over your head before pouring it down the drain. Of course, it's not long before Mudhoney receive their comeuppance, devoured at the hands of the decadently rich cannibals that control our world in "The Final Course." Vanishing Point is filled with enough dread, psychoanalysis and Nuggets-on-fire riffs to torch your cul-de-sac.

Real uninhibited rock music is harder and harder to locate these days, but Mudhoney make it easy for you, not just by being the flagship band of the greatest record label in the history of recorded time, but by writing songs that stick in your head long after your body has been buried. Vanishing Point isn't just another entry in their impressive catalog, but the modern-day rock 'n' roll lashing we all deserve. As usual, Mark Arm says it best, as in "Sing This Song of Joy": "I sing this song of joy / for all the girls and boys / dancing on your grave…"
—Matt Korvette
Pissed Jeans
Pissed Jeans
Pissed Jeans have been making a racket for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life—from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries.

“Rock bands can retreat to the safety of what rock bands usually sing about. So 60 years from now, when no one has a telephone, bands will be writing songs like, ‘I’m waiting for her to call me on my telephone.’ Kids are going to be like, ‘Grandpa, tell me, what was that?’ I’d rather not shy away from talking about the internet or interactions in 2016,” says Pissed Jeans frontman Matt Korvette.

Pissed Jeans’ gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band—Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums)—a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Why Love Now picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together. Take the grinding rave-up “The Bar Is Low,” which, according to Korvette, is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead.

“It seems like every guy is getting outed,” Korvette continues, “across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep. You’re like, ‘No, he’s just a dude that hits on drunk girls and has sex with them when they’re asleep.’ Cool, he’s just an average shithead.”

The lyrics on Why Love Now are particularly pointed about gender relations and the minefield they present in 2016. “‘It’s Your Knees’ is about the endless, unrequested, commenting on if you’d fuck a girl. You know what I mean? ‘My great aunt won a cooking contest.’ ‘Oh, that’s pretty hot. I’d hit that,’” says Korvette. “It’s bizarre how guys will willingly share this stuff as if it’s always in their brains, and now it gets to come out because you’re on the internet. There’s a boldness to it now that was not maybe there before. So the premise is like, ‘Yeah, she’s hot, but her knees are weird looking. Not for me, man.’”

On “Love Without Emotion” Korvette channels Nick Cave’s more guttural side while bemoaning his detachment over cavernous guitars. The crushing “Ignorecam” twists the idea of fetish cam shows—”where the woman just ignores you and watches TV or eats macaroni and cheese or talks on the phone”—into a showcase for Korvette’s rancid yelp and his bandmates’ pummeling rock. “I love that idea of guys paying to be ignored,” says Korvette. “It seems so weird.”

As they did on their last album, 2013’s Honeys, Pissed Jeans offer a couple of “fuck that shit type songs” about the working world, with the blistering “Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst” turning unwieldy job titles into sneering punk choruses and “Have You Ever Been Furniture” waving a flag for those whose job descriptions might as well be summed up by “professionally underappreciated.” And the startling “I’m A Man,” which comes at the album’s midpoint, finds author Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls) taking center stage, delivering a self-penned monologue of W.B. Mason-inspired erotica—office small talk about pens and coffee given just enough of a twist to expose its filthy underside, with Hunter adopting a grimacing menace that makes its depiction of curdled masculinity even more harrowing.

“Lindsay Hunter is what I would aspire for Pissed Jeans to be—just a real, ugly realness that’s shocking,” says Korvette. “Not in a, ‘I had sex with a corpse on top of a pile…’ nonsense way—actually real, shocking stuff. And she has young kids, like Pissed Jeans do. I feel a bond with her in that regard. We’re in the same camp.”

No Wave legend Lydia Lunch shacked up in Philadelphia to produce “Why Love Now” alongside local metal legend Arthur Rizk (Eternal Champion, Goat Semen). “I knew she wasn’t a traditional producer,” Korvette says of Lunch. “We wanted to mix it up a little bit. I like how she’s so cool and really intimidating. I didn’t know how it was going to work out. She ended up being so fucking awesome and crazy. She was super into it, constantly threatening to bend us over the bathtub. I’m not really sure what that entails, but I know she probably wasn’t joking.

“Arthur Rizk was the technical guru. It was a perfect combination of a technical wizard and a psychic mentor who guided the ship.”

The combination of Lunch’s spiritual guidance and Rizk’s technical prowess supercharged Pissed Jeans, and the bracing Why Love Now documents them at their grimy, grinning best. While its references may be very early-21st-century, its willingness to state its case cements it as an album in line with punk’s tradition of turning norms on their heads and shaking them loose.


“A crucial thing, I think, for being a Pissed Jeans fan is just stemming from what I would take away from punk, which is, ‘Question things and think about things,’” says Korvette. “Don’t just go to the office and get the same coffee. Don’t just wear a leather jacket and get a 40 oz. Just question yourself a little bit if you can.”
Amanda X
Amanda X
Born out of the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia, where you can't throw a rock without hitting a great band, Amanda X is the three-piece antidote to bumming on grey days and the Sunday night blues. The Philadelphian women—Cat Park on guitar, Melissa Brain on drums, and Kat Bean on bass—make music to remind you that colorful riffs and lilting oo's are meant to complement post-punk shredding and astute songwriting. Their debut full-length, Amnesia, rattled you out of your wintertime slumber like a cannonball straight into the pool, and their sophomore record, Giant, brings more expressive solos, sharper vocals, and a few shots straight through the heart by way of a grimey Fender guitar and production by Steve Poponi at Gradwell House Recording.

Amanda X self-released their bedroom-cozy EP, Ruin the Moment, in 2012 to great acclaim, taking the sunny-serious vibes with them to venues all over Philadelphia, as well as on a number of tours up and down the East Coast and Canada. They’ve since toured all over the country, opening for bands like Parquet Courts, Marnie Stern, Dum Dum Girls, FIDLAR, The Vaselines, The Thermals, and Protmartyr, bringing playful stage banter, garagey guitar earworms, and dual harmonies that hit just as hard live.

After catching wind of their dedicated show schedule and powerful new songs, Philadelphia's own Siltbreeze picked up their first album; their followup will release digitally with Charlotte-based Self-Aware Records. The release of the sophomore record sees the trio growing their songwriting for a wider audience—just as strong, just as fast, but with a cleaner edge, one laced with an ever-present mix of sadness and hope. The lovely melodies and honey-tinged singalongs they've built their sound on are just as available, but now with wider eyes and more cutting lyrics. All of the proceeds from their sophomore followup will be donated to Women Against Abuse, a local Philly organization.

Imagine if Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks took a few lessons from The Raincoats, or if the K Records lineup of yesteryear had a little more distortion in their repertoire. Amanda X manages to deliver smarts and sweets in poppy songs so tightly packed that they come with a punch so strong they are really, really hard to forget.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123