Saturday’s big Bash 13 outside Grumpy’s Downtown certainly isn’t a first-of-its-kind event. The Washington Avenue drinking hole – whose co-owners, Tom Hazelmyer and Pat Dwyer, also run fabled noise-punk label Amphetamine Reptile Records – have been putting on parties in the parking lot behind the bar for years, most notably the AmRep 25th anniversary in 2010 with reunions by Jon Spencer’s Boss Hog and Hammerhead.
This year’s party has the same kind of back-in-the-day spirit as that one, albeit with more of a hardcore edge. And it once again features Seattle freak-fuzz pioneers the Melvins, who pretty much play their old pal Hazelmyer’s bar any chance they get.
“The whole thing actually started as a conversation between Buzz and I,” said Hazelmyer, recounting how he and Melvins leader Buzz Osborne built the lineup around an unnamed band that was supposed to come to town this weekend. “Then that band wound up bailing, but in the meantime we put together the rest of the lineup.”
The rest of the lineup is actually quite special. Upon closer inspection, you’ll realize it offers a lot of “firsts” to brag about:
**Mudhoney’s first Twin Cities gig in a decade. The cult-loved, Stooges-loving Sub Pop vets of “Touch Me I’m Sick” notoriety (also from Seattle) are touring behind their first album in five years, “Vanishing Point.”
**Die Kreuzen’s first local gig in two decades. The fast, furious and frazzled Milwaukee punk band really have been inactive since 1992 and only played its first reunion show last year at Turner Hall.
**Negative Approach’s first local gig ever. The Detroit hardcore band had plenty of fans locally but never made it over for a gig. As Hazelmyer remembered, “There really wasn’t a touring circuit for bands like that in the early ‘80s. The ones who did it, like Hüsker Dü, had a tough time making it work.” Also, neither Hazelmyer nor I could recount any local gig ever played by ex-Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus’s band Honky. The weedy hard-rock band has been kicking around the Austin, Texas, scene for a decade now.
**The first reunion of Cows co-founders Shannon Selberg and Kevin Rutmanis as Hepa/Titus. Rutmanis started the group, and Selberg recently joined them in the studio, resulting in a new single that will be on sale at the fest.
**The Melvins go on first, and that's not their first gig of the weekend. Grumpy's added an indoor show for Friday night with Buzz's crew to promote a new record. Honky and Hepa/Titus will also perform at that one. Here's more info on the pre-Bash party and a link to tickets.
Also unique to the event, AmRep is printing up some few exclusive-edition vinyl “for the record nerds,” Hazelmyer said, including a Bash 13 10-inch featuring tracks by all the bands except Honky (added too late), plus the aforementioned Hepa-Titus single.
Tickets for Bash 13 are $35 and available through EventBrite.com. It could sell out. Here are the tentative set times for the party:
Melvins (2 pm)
Negative Approach (4:15)
Gay Witch Abortion (5:20)
Die Kreuzen (8:55)