Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. In celebration of Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee, KEXP is featuring songs exclusively from Sub Pop artists this week. Today’s song is “Chardonnay (Live at KEXP)” by Mudhoney from the KEXP in-studio session on 3/31/2013.
Perhaps more than any other band they’ve ever had on the roster, Mudhoney embodies the spirit of Sub Pop. The band’s debut single, “Touch Me I’m Sick”, remains one of the defining documents of Seattle music, the Sub Pop catalog, and punk rock in general, but it’s their longevity that best represents the label. Like Sub Pop, Mudhoney have been around since the ’80s, weathering through a transitional period in the late ’90s, only to find a creative renaissance at the beginning of the ’00s, and emerge as elder statesmen in the last few years. (Plus, singer Mark Arm is the label’s warehouse manager.) Their latest album, this year’s Vanishing Point, finds the band - now consisting of Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, drummer Dan Peters, and bassist Guy Maddison - as fierce as ever, refusing to give in to age by trading youthful angst for an increase in the band’s trademark aged sarcasm and dark humor.”Chardonnay” isn’t a particularly deep song - according to Arm, it’s about “when the bookers don’t fucking pay attention to the fucking riders and we get chardonnay. I seriously do fucking hate chardonnay” - but it shows that Mudhoney’s still-potent mixture of punk fury and sardonic lyrics remains intact. “Get the fuck out of my backstage/I hate you chardonnay” isn’t a lyric that many bands could convincingly sell - much less in the form of a two-minute hardcore song - but after twenty years, Mudhoney knows their shit well enough to where they can.
Stay tuned for a very special announcement at 9AM this morning about Mudhoney and where they might happen to be tomorrow evening (hint: you probably already know). On Saturday evening, we can verify right now that they’ll be playing the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee, going on right before Built To Spill on the Sub Stage at 7:15PM. After that, they’ll be heading out on an American tour. Keep up with all of their hijinks through their website and Facebook. For now, watch Mudhoney play today’s featured song from this very session here: