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Grunge
KEXP Documentaries presents a new series – “Grunge” – in collaboration with Experience Music Project’s “Nirvana” exhibit.

In the 80s a new form of alternative rock called “Grunge” mixed heavy guitars from metal, the attitude of punk and pop elements like stop-and-start dynamics and memorable melodies to create a sound that rocked the world. Ten bands are profiled in this KEXP Documentary series: Green River, The Screaming Trees, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, The Melvins, Tad, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney and Alice in Chains. Join us for a fresh exploration of this dark music and how it influenced the sound of today’s alt-rock.


# 10 Mudhoney

Green River broke up in 1987 and two of its members, Mark Arm and Steve Turner, recruited bassist Matt Lukin (who had played with the Melvins) and the incredible drummer Dan Peterson. The band was named Mudhoney, and new local label Sub Pop put out their first single "Touch Me I'm Sick" (and the "B" side "Sweet Young Thing") in 1988. Mudhoney is still playing together. In this episode you'll hear current interviews with Mark Arm, Steve Turner and engineer Jack Endino, where they talk about this long-running band and how they made it to the millennium.

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Mudhoney from Myspace.com

# 9 Pearl Jam

In 1990, members of Mother Love Bone and Soundgarden got together with guitarist Mike McCready and made a demo, which ended up in the hands of California surfer Eddie Vedder. Vedder recorded vocals and sent it back, and these recordings were the start of their most famous album "Ten".Decades later, Pearl Jam is the one band that's continued to play together since the grunge scene. Get an inside look at the skills that make this team one of the greatest rock bands of all time, on and off stage.

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Pearl Jam from Facebook.com

# 8 Tad

The dark side of grunge music is not always about heroin and death. In the band Tad's case, the dark side takes the form of careless marketing choices and the corruption of the music industry. They seemed to be cursed with bad luck - with two recalled releases. One album "Eight-Way Santa" had an unlicensed photo of a couple on drugs. The couple saw the picture on the album cover and sued the band. And the single "Jack Pepsi" was recalled because Pepsi took offense to the use of their name. Also, when they finally had a big label release coming out on Elektra, the story goes that the label only spent 650 on promo then dropped the band when sales weren't good.

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Tad from Myspace.com

# 7 Mother Love Bone

Singer Andrew Wood was well-loved and he named his band after the two things he loved the most. Mother Love Bone was formed in 1988 from two earlier groups from the grunge era, Malfunkshun and Green River. Andrew Wood died from heroin overdose the night before the band's big label debut album was to come out on March 19, 1990. Two members of Mother Love Bone, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, would go on to form one of the most famous rock bands of all time, Pearl Jam.

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Mother Love Bone from Myspace.com

# 6 Nirvana

The band that made grunge famous was Nirvana. Founding members, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novaselic met at a Melvins concert in their hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. They put out their first full-length "Bleach" in 1988 on the new Seattle label Sub Pop. And their platinum 1991 release "Nevermind" would make them, and grunge, a household name across the planet. Why did Nirvana break out of Seattle to become the defining band of the grunge era? Seattle producer Jack Endino, Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt and Nirvana member Krist Novaselic give their current opinions on the shocking rise and fall of one of the greatest rock bands in history.

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Nirvana from Facebook

# 5 Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains were some of the most talented players on the grunge scene. The group had a heavy metal feel at first. Performing in big hair, boas and fishnet shirts. But they eventually changed their image, sporting a short-haired, t-shirt wearing grunge look.They had their first hit single on the soundtrack to the movie "Singles". And the studio albums this lineup of Alice in Chains put out after that went gold and platinum. Singer Layne Staley passed away in 2002 because of drugs. The group replaced Layne with Comes from the Fall singer William Duvall in 2009 and the band is still touring today.

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Alice In Chains from myspace

# 4 Screaming Trees

Screaming Trees came from the small town of Ellensburg, Washington. They started their career opening for indie acts like Dinosaur Jr., Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth and Soundgarden. There was tension in this band. Personalities clashed often, especially between the two brothers in the band Gary Lee Conner and Van Conner. This gritty feel made its way into the music. And, along with distinctive deep-voiced singer Mark Lanegan, helped the group stand out from the other rock groups of the time.

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Screaming Trees from Myspace.com

# 3 Soundgarden

The first grunge-era band to get signed to a major label was Seattle's own Soundgarden. They got started officially in 1984, naming themselves after a sound sculpture near Seattle's Magnuson park. One of six bands to appear on the first grunge compilation "Deep Six" released in 1986, in 1988 Soundgarden signed to big label A&M. On this label they would become world famous, winning Grammys and making platinum albums. The 1994 full-length "Superunknown" is one of the great releases of the grunge era.

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Soungarden from Facebook.com

# 2 Melvins

One of the first bands to take the sludgy, dark sounds of heavy metal and punk and slow them down to create grunge was Melvins. Formed in 1983, they played their first show in Seattle at the Metropolis in 1984. They were one of 6 bands who showcased on the first grunge compilation--"Deep Six", released in 1986, so even though they've changed their sound a lot over the years, there's no doubt they were a big influence on grunge. What makes Melvins distinct as a band is not only their ability to play some of the heaviest rock music on earth, but they also have a very silly sense of humor.

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Melvins from Myspace.com

# 1 Green River

In the early 80s one of the first bands to combine guitar sounds from heavy metal with the energy and onstage fury of punk rock was Green River.The members of Green River would go on to lead some of the biggest names in the genre. Frontman Mark Arm and guitarist Steve Turner would later form Mudhoney. And guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament played in Mother Love Bone, and after Love Bone's singer Andy Wood died from an overdose of heroin in 1990, Ament and Gossard went on to fame as part of Pearl Jam.

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Green River from Myspace.com


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