You Say It's Your Birthday: Mudhoney's Mark Arm

Today is the 36th birthday of Mark Arm, vocalist and guitarist for

Mudhoney. When Mudhoney made their mark in 1988 with their debut single,

"Touch Me, I'm Sick," they gave the world the first exposure to what would

become known as grunge rock. Arm first came to prevalence on the

Seattle scene as a member of Green River, a band that included future

Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. Following the break-up of

that band in 1988, Arm formed Mudhoney with fellow Green River alum

and guitarist Steve Turner, former Melvins bassist Matt Lukin and

former Nirvana and Screaming Trees drummer Dan Peters. The group produced

two landmark, genre-defining singles --

"Touch Me, I'm Sick" and "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" -- before ever releasing an album. Mudhoney's debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, named after a guitar effects-pedal, was released on Sub Pop later that year.

Mudhoney's self-titled, full-length debut was released in 1990, a year

after they built a huge buzz for themselves in the indie community by

touring the U.K. with Sonic Youth. The album was not as well received as

their first EP, but 1991's Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge found the

band back in its creative stride, producing song after song that combined

the punk energy of Iggy and the Stooges with the fuzzed-out sounds of

Black Sabbath. A devoted indie band that had released a large number

of side projects and performed under many different monikers, Mudhoney found

themselves at financial odds with Sub Pop and signed with Reprise just as

Nirvana were beginning to hit the charts in 1992. Piece of Cake,

Mudhoney's major-label debut, was released later that year but failed to cash in

on the explosion of interest in the grunge sound that Mudhoney essentially first brought to

the world's attention. A series of EPs followed, along with constant

touring, but Mudhoney were never able to crack the mainstream. 1995's My

Brother the Cow was a return to form of sorts, but was even harsher on

the ears of those who liked their grunge with the occasional sing-songy

melody. The band is currently at work on its seventh album, Tomorrow Hits Today (due out in late August/early September), and is opening

up two dates on Pearl Jam's tour in support of Yield.

Other birthdays: Paul Newton (Uriah Heep), 53; Jerry Harrison (Talking

Heads), 49; Jean-Jacques Burnel (the Stranglers), 46; Mary Chapin Carpenter,

40; and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), 38.


VMAs 2017