Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

As a lifelong Nirvana fan, it has always stuck out like a sore thumb to me that the single ‘Lithium’ never had a proper music video.

It was in fact the only single from Nevermind that didn’t have a proper video: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘Come As You Are’ and ‘In Bloom’ all had what are now pretty iconic videos to accompany them.

For so iconic a song as ‘Lithium’ to not get a video always felt a little incongruous. Not that music videos are important necessarily: but if there had been no videos for Nevermind, it wouldn’t have felt like an issue.

It’s the fact that ‘Lithium’ was the odd one out. That song was one of the defining pop/rock songs of its generation; and the single came out at the height of ‘Nirvana mania’ in the middle of 1992. (more…)

Advertisements

I don’t usually do these kinds of subjects, for various reasons: even though they’re usually so interesting.

But a couple of current stories have prompted it. I’ll get to Michael Jackson: but the first thing is that I was baffled when I noticed a headline pop up on one of my newsfeeds that said: ‘New evidence suggests that Richey Edwards staged his disappearance’.

Really? After almost 25 years?

The NME piece reports, ‘A new book has provided fresh evidence to suggest that Manic Street Preachers guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards staged his own disappearance…’ (more…)

I’ve already published a long reaction/opinion piece on the Chris Cornell tribute even – ‘I Am the Highway’, which focused mostly on the musical performances and the final Soundgarden performance.

Here, I wanted to create an additional space to talk about a different side of things: and specifically the speech Pearl Jam and Temple of the DogsStone Gossard made and the position he seemed to take on Wednesday night. The role Gossard was playing, beyond his musical presence, may have escaped some people.

A lot of people have been critical of the event, based largely on a dislike of Vicky Karyanis, who was the event’s primary organiser. (more…)

I did whole, very long piece already on the Chris Cornell tribute event on Wednesday night, in which I covered mostly everything.

But I really wanted to create this space here to talk solely about the final performance of Soundgarden and about that utterly beautiful, incredibly powerful final act.

Because it was just extraordinary: and I get goosebumps every time I think about it. And I’ll probably get goosebumps every time I think about it for the rest of my life. (more…)

So the Chris Cornell tribute concert took place on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

The show was huge, with an array of high-profile performers and acts coming together to pay tribute to the late musical icon whose death in May 2017 is still reverberating across music fandom.

I wasn’t originally going to write about this event: but I had such a strong reaction to it and had so many mental notes that I figured I should. I’ve been such a deep fan of Chris Cornell for so long that it seemed silly to not react in writing.

Among those involved in the ‘I Am the Highway‘ event were Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters, Peter Frampton, Metallica and others: but also a lot of less-than-obvious performers, ranging from Miley Cyrus to Rita Wilson – which is a hell of a pendulum swing.

The show also didn’t try to scale down: it went on for five hours and turned out to be an enormous affair. I had known this event was on the horizon for a long time: but I somehow lost track of it until the night it was happening. I wasn’t sure exactly what this show was going to be, how it would feel to watch, what kind of tone would be found and whether it would generally go down well.

Something like this could be awkward or misfiring in bad circumstances.

And there were suspicions from some sections of the fans that this was going to end up being an overly ‘Hollywood’ event, disconnected from Cornell’s roots or the Seattle scene. I’ll address some of that at the end when I talk about Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and address some of the division that now exists among Cornell’s fans.

I don’t want to get into any of the conspiracy-theory side of things here: even though people have asked me to before (or have asked why I haven’t). Again, when I talk about Gossard, some of that will get touched on by default. But I really just want to talk about the music at this point.

And, in the final equation, things actually seemed to come together really well. I kept abreast of its progress on Wednesday night, and then I watched most of the online coverage of it on Thursday evening – which was an emotional experience, especially the way it ended.

There’s a lot of details to keep track of, and a lot of different names and performers to mention: and so I’m not going to try to cover the whole event. I just want to put down some notes from an overview of the five hours: and then focus on three main issues, these being (1) the FINAL appearance of Soundgarden, (2) the ending (oh my god, the ending), and (3) Stone Gossard‘s actions, his speech and some of what I read into it. (more…)

A fair amount of new music comes my way on a fairly regular basis: and most of the time now I decline to post reviews.

This is partly because this website juggles a bunch of different content subjects/genres and I get less time than I’d like to focus on music (I really did primarily want this to be a music blog at one point in time); and also partly because I don’t like to write negative or critical reviews of fellow musicians – meaning that I tend to only post about music I genuinely like.

So when Phantom Sun‘s album Caldera came on to my radar, I was happy – because I genuinely really liked what I was hearing. (more…)

A statue of the late Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman and rock music legend, Chris Cornell, was recently unveiled in Seattle.

I haven’t been able to figure out how I feel about this monument, or what it’s meant to represent, or for who’s sake it has been erected.

My instinctive reaction to the images of it are that it seems like a tacky thing to do: and also seems like something Chris Cornell himself would not have wanted. (more…)

For at least two months after Chris Cornell died a year ago, I didn’t listen to any Soundgarden music or any other Cornell music at all.

And I avoided all videos or Cornell-related content.

I wrote something here right after his death was announced: and something a few months later when Cornell’s friend Chester Bennington committed suicide on Cornell’s birthday.

But, aside from that, I went cold-turkey. I was too upset, too emotional, about Cornell to carry on business as usual: and business as usual, for me, would’ve been to be listening to Soundgarden or Audioslave tracks or albums at least once or twice a week. (more…)

Following, somewhat fortuitously from an article here a few weeks ago on protest music, I’ve had the opportunity to interview self-identified Protest Singer, Sam Draisey, to talk about music as protest, the difficulties of trying to make it as a musician, and about the general state of DIY music in the UK.

Sam, from Wolverhampton, has gained a big profile as a folk singer and especially as a live performer, also with three albums under his belt and a continuous array of performances drawing media attention. He tracks much of his experience on a blog here, which is a real gigging performer’s blog. His new album, As I Live and Breathe, is also available now. (more…)