Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Rock’

Sorry to anyone who is used to regular posts on this site – I’ve been having some difficulties and taking a break for a little bit.
But I wanted to make sure I put up something – anything – to pay tribute to Chris Cornell, who died on Wednesday night. The coroner’s initial report suggested it was suicide by hanging.

Which is a horrible, numbing end to one of the greatest singers, songwriters and lyricists who ever lived. And to one of my personal heroes for most of my life. He was 52 and had, in fact, just finished playing a sold-out show with Soundgarden, with further shows scheduled for the following days. He also had a wife who he appeared to be very much in love with and two young children.

His death – and the reported manner of it – is baffling and numbing to me; particularly as the official photographer for the Detroit show, who has been filming Soundgarden shows since the late 80s, reported that Cornell had seemed happier and in a more vibrant on-stage mood than he had ever seen him. (more…)


Pearl Jam’s induction into the Hall of Fame could probably have been regarded as inevitable: I’m glad to see it though.

2017 was the first year they were eligible, according to the HoF rules. In a year that saw the legendary Joan Baez also inducted, along with the late rapper Tupac Shakur among others, David Letterman attended to give the speech inducting the Seattle legends. (more…)


Every couple of months, in the last few years, it seems like we’re reminded that it’s the ’20th anniversary’ of some great, landmark album by some great band or artist.

It is a constant reminder, to me, of what was going on two decades ago: of how much interesting, quality or enduring music was being created by a number of incredibly talented artists. I’ve marked some of those anniversaries already on this site; and every time I do it makes me long for that era and it also inevitably makes me compare it to the era, musically, we’re currently living in – which makes for a stark and obvious contrast. (more…)


Between 1987 and 2001, Kat Bjelland (vocals, guitar), Lori Barbero (drums), and Maureen Herman (bass) were one of the most bad-ass, pioneering acts of the alternative rock era.
A ferocious punk trio who recorded three proper albums: Spanking Machine, Fontanelle and Nemesisters.

Their recent reunion of sorts is one of the most exciting, promising things to happen in music for a long time; at least in part because I had expected nothing of the sort. The future seems up in the air at present, but the prospect of new material has been strongly hinted at.

When I was a young-to-mid teen, music was a religious experience; a series of holy revelations, one leading to another. Nirvana led also to Hole; and Hole led to Babes in Toyland, among others. I would give almost anything to go back and experience those revelations again. There’s nothing quite like hearing Kat Bjelland’s odd, manic vocals for the first time and thinking ‘what fucking planet is this from?’ (more…)


Yep, another of those ’20 year anniversary’ posts that I’ve done too many of here already.
But worth it for Alice in Chains, who remain one of my favorite acts in the world and whose 1995 album – the self-titled or ‘Dog’ album – is now two decades old.

I actually think the Dog album is very underrated even among AIC fans, who tend to rave about 1992’s Dirt album or 91’s breakthrough Facelift record and tend to neglect the 1995 release.

This record resonates for a combination of reasons. It was the last AIC album made with singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002, and therefore the last ‘proper’ AIC album of you’re inclined to look at it that way. It also displays AIC, I believe, at their most nuanced as songwriters. But more than anything else, it is just a great record, full of great music. (more…)


I know I’ve put up a number of ‘20th anniversary‘ pieces on this site, to the extent that it is becoming a cliche.
But it so happens that so many of the albums made 20 years or so ago are so worth commemorating; and happened to be the primary influences on me both as a music fan and as a musician. The album Above by Mad Season happens to have been one of those.

Above is particularly extraordinary for a bunch of reasons. For one thing, it was the only album made by Mad Season. For another, Mad Season was only supposed to be a minor side-project to give a group of troubled musicians something to focus on after emerging from spells in rehab: but it ended up being a major piece of work that is beloved and remembered by legions of fans even two decades later. (more…)


Belated as it may be, I’m finally getting around to talking about Scott WeilandHis ridiculously premature death just around Christmas had left me baffled and sad in equal measure.

While, predictably, a much bigger fuss has been made over the death of David Bowie – and as much as I respect Bowie (and in particular love the Blackstar album) – Scott Weiland’s death hit me a lot harder. While I’m obviously familiar with and fond of some of Bowie’s work, Weiland’s music has been a part of my life since I was in my early teens and developing my longest-lasting musical tastes.

His death at the age of 48 has left me a little disoriented and numb. (more…)