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After already performing his favorite albums by Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins onstage at Minneapolis' Parkway Theater, music-scene workhorse Al Church would have been happy using the same venue for a 30th anniversary tribute to Nirvana's "In Utero."

But one other location idea made him even happier: Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minn., where Kurt Cobain and the band actually made their legendary final album.

"That room is so much a part of that record," Church said. "You can hear that room on that record.

"And it's still a fully functional, great-sounding studio to this day."

Proof of Pachyderm's functionality will come Saturday, when Church's ongoing project/band Permanent Record will perform "In Utero" in full twice in one day at the studio for 100 lucky ticketholders.

This very rare, very sold-out public event at the rural and scenic recording facility 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities not only serves as a reminder that "In Utero" was made in Minnesota, but also that the studio where it was made lives on — despite a lot of ups and downs in the three decades since Nirvana was there.

In fact, Pachyderm's manager and lead engineer Nick Tveitbakk happily reported, "Post-pandemic, the studio has probably been busier than it's ever been."

Pachyderm isn't just a recording studio, either. The property also includes a rather opulent, awe-inspiring midcentury house overlooking a woodsy, 6-acre spread with Pine Creek running through it (good for trout fishing, according to Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonett).

Sadly dilapidated for many years, the five-bedroom home was all-out rescued and restored along with the studio in the early 2010s by the late Twin Cities studio guru John Kuker. His family still owns the property and has kept it operating per his plans since his fatal heart attack in 2015.

"Luckily for the artists that have gotten to work here, the family wanted to keep it going to honor John's legacy," said Tveitbakk, who worked with Kuker.

Case in point: Twin Cities pop-rock band Yam Haus was at Pachyderm working on new music last week, when Tveitbakk ticked off some of the other recent users of the facility.

Bully, the Jayhawks, Simonett and Trampled by Turtles, Needtobreathe, Night Moves, the High Hawks, U.K. buzz band Wunderhorse and synth-pop trio Beach House are among other recent standouts. Beach House actually holed up there during the COVID-19 lockdown to finish last year's acclaimed double-LP "Once Twice Melody."

Add those names to the Pachyderm-made list that includes other big alt-rock albums of the 1990s, including Live's "Throwing Copper," PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" and well-known LPs by Minnesota's own Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks, Babes in Toyland and Grant Hart.

No question, though: "In Utero" is still the pinnacle of Pachyderm's output.

"It's going to be hard to top that one," Tveitbakk flatly surmised. "[Bands] have come to work at the studio because of that record — not to try to re-create it, but just from being inspired by it."

The studio's importance to the 1993 album is newly underlined in liner notes and photos featured in an "In Utero" 30th anniversary box-set edition coming Oct. 27 from Universal Music (the original LP arrived on Sept. 21, 1993). As is recounted in the notes, the record's famously altruistic producer, Steve Albini, worked there a few months before the Nirvana sessions on Harvey's record and recommended it to the band.

In a 2002 interview with the Star Tribune, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic humorously remembered liking the "Mike Brady kind of architecture" in the four-bedroom house, where the band spent two weeks bashing out such classics as "All Apologies," "Heart-Shaped Box," "Rape Me" and "Pennyroyal Tea."

One of the reasons they chose the rural location, Novoselic said: "It seemed good for Kurt's health." (Cobain was battling heroin addiction and a stomach ailment, and died by suicide a year after the recording sessions.)

Alas, none of the studio gear used on the Nirvana album is still in place at the studio. However, Kuker's restoration does feature a vintage Neve console and other equipment similar to what was used in 1993.

The studio rooms themselves — built in 1988 on a hill opposite the 1960s-era big house — are arguably Pachyderm's main features anyway.

Talking Heads guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison, who produced Live's "Throwing Copper" there, praised the studio in an interview last year comparing that LP to the Nirvana record: "I still recognize the drum sound on both those albums as being very similar," he said.

The bandleader staging Saturday's tribute there said he would have loved staying behind the drum kit for the show (duties instead going to Noah Paster).

"That room is a big reason Dave Grohl's drums sound so massive on that record," said Church, who's also a seasoned drummer. "I really learned how to play and sing and do everything I can do from that record, and I know a lot of other musicians who'd say the same thing."

More than the Nirvana influence, though, Tveitbakk said artists are lining up to record at Pachyderm simply to make a record in the spirit and fashion of "In Utero" — especially since the COVID lockdown ended.

"People really want to be in the same room making music together again," the studio manager said. "Pachyderm still serves that purpose well. It's a very communal feel for the bands when they're here away from the city, away from other distractions, all waking up here together to work on the same goal."

"In Utero" is a prime example: "Nirvana made that record in two weeks," Tveitbakk added with astonishment.

It's hard to imagine them pulling that off anywhere else.