Now Where is that Flannel Shirt?… June 8, 2010Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: 1990's music, grunge, Minglewood Hall, Smashing Pumpkins
As a rabid music fan that came of age in the first half of the 1990’s, it stands to reason that the bands from that period holds an important spot for me. So, the recent spate of reconvening groups and new albums from bands of that time who never disintegrated, has me excited all over again. It’s like I’m a teenager with a Hit Parader magazine and box of cassettes all over again – and I mean that in a good way.
It’s interesting the way things tend to run in cycles and I’m as happy as I can be that this era of music has wound its way back into the consciousness of fans. Pearl Jam put out one of the best albums of their career in 2009 and Green Day has turned itself into one of the most important bands in America today. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine have joined back together for tours and, in AIC’s case, an album. Nirvana is no more, but Dave Grohl continues to be a force in the industry through both his longtime band, Foo Fighters, and the ultra-cool Them Crooked Vultures. It’s a great time to relive those halcyon days of flannel-covered angst.
I say all of this because I learned today that another of my favorites from that time, the Smashing Pumpkins, are scheduled to play an intimate show at Memphis’s Minglewood Hall. I’ve seen the Pumpkins twice, but the last time was on the Mellon Collie tour back in 1996, so it’s definitely been a while. Though I haven’t listened to much of their recent releases, the prospect of catching them in a smaller venue is very cool – sort of like the first time I saw them on the Siamese Dream tour at the Little Rock Convention Center.
Man, now that was a show…
Sound of a Generation – pt.3 July 11, 2008Posted by Matt in Sound of a Generation.
Tags: grunge, music, Screaming Trees, Sound of a Generation, Soundgarden
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In addition to the three bands previously mentioned, there was another that helped the Seattle music scene burst forth from its cloud-enshrouded home – Soundgarden. Chris Cornell’s band had existed since the mid-80’s, churning out heavy Sabbath-like riffs underneath his octave-stretching vocals. Though they seemed to lose their focus towards the end of their years together, 1991’s “Badmotorfinger” is a classic album from the grunge era.
There were several other bands that reached some level of popularity in the early 90’s as well, though none reached the same heights of commercial success as the four bands we have looked at over the past two weeks. Another favorite song of mine from that time is this one by the Screaming Trees, a band that never came to be a household name, but who put out this great tune from the Singles soundtrack.
Sound of a Generation – pt.2 July 4, 2008Posted by Matt in Sound of a Generation.
Tags: 1990's, alice in chains, Generation X, grunge, music, Pearl Jam
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See part 1 of the series here.
With the ascension of Nirvana in the early 1990′s, Seattle was suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a sort of musical Mecca, with the youth of America suddenly turning to the Pacific Northwest for some sense of direction in their aimless walk through life. Soon, the airwaves were inundated with Seattle bands, many of whom had been toiling in obscurity for years in the dismally overcast city. The sound itself was something far from that which had dominated for the last several years, with loud, crunching guitars tuned so low it sounded as though they were being beaten in a mud pit.
It was a dirty-sounding, depressing sort of tone that soon rose to the forefront of generation – one that encapsulated the feel of a generation struggling for some sense of identity. The songs of bands like Alice In Chains were slow, dirge-like and very, very heavy – bearing a great similarity in sound to earlier groups like Black Sabbath and others. They combed the depths, searching for some sense of purpose in a life of despair, but seemingly coming up empty
Around the same time, another group of young men suddenly broke through into the mainstream with a classic-rock sound, reminiscent of bands like The Doors (without the overbearing, cheesy keyboard) or The Who. From seemingly out of nowhere, Pearl Jam quickly became an internationally famous band, with Eddie Vedder’s Morrison-like singing and penchant for crowd-surfing atop his legions of adoring fans. Here’s a clip of them doing the unreleased track “Porch” from their incredible debut album.