Posts Tagged ‘Seattle music scene’

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…)


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…)


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…)


Tonight, twenty years after Kurt Cobain chose to burn out and not fade away, Nirvana are being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
But at this time that’s seeing a major swell of Nirvana-related stories and Cobain-related controversies, I say forget for now the conspiracy theories, forget the upcoming Soaked In Bleach movie, forget that stupid statue in Aberdeen, the frequent celebrity nonsense of Courtney Love, and all the other extraneous distractions that float about Kurt Cobain’s legacy; the greatest part of Kurt’s legacy remains musical and cultural. Kurt’s first, most important legacy, is his music.

The second – and the subject of this post – is his influence on the culture and sub-culture of at least two generations, if not a third.



Someone, via social media, criticised me for writing such a long piece about Kurt Cobain‘s death and not saying anything about Layne Staley (who by strange twists of fate also died on April 5th, though eight years later).

The reason I wrote something about Kurt was because it was specifically the 20th year since his death, whereas Layne died twelve years ago, which doesn’t have the same resonance to it as a passage of time.

For the record, I did refer to Layne in the Kurt post. However, I’m saying a little more here about Layne’s passing too, as he was someone else I really had a huge amount of love for (and still do).