The One

8 04 2012

So this is going to be short and sweet. Do you have that one song that you can listen to over and over a thousand times without it getting old? Does it take you somewhere? For me, that song is “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog. I don’t know where it is that this song takes me exactly, but I like it. It’s a good place. I think it all started after I seen the music video. I have always liked the song, but after watching the video, I found myself listening to the song a whole lot more. The weird thing about it is that I don’t even like the video that much, but I watch it all the time. To be honest, it is kind of cheesy and sucks for the most part.  But anyhow, check it! That’s all for now.

Hungerstrike

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“The Other Brother of ‘Nevermind’

1 04 2012
Courtesy of Dave Nicoll (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Dave Nicoll (via Flickr)

This just dawned on me. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ fifth and best album, “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik,” was released on Sept. 24, 1991, which is the same day that, what most would call the No. 1 album of the ’90s, was released; Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” There were so many phenomenal albums that were released in 1991, and without throwing “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik” in the mix of the greatest, I would be leaving out a key component in the development of RHCP’s prosperous career, an introduction to a more melodically driven and less distorted RHCP, and simply one of the best albums of the ’90s.

This album gained worldwide attention immediately and rose to the top  by selling more than 15 million copies. I think when this album is compared to the preceding one, “Mother’s Milk,” the differences are palpable. One of the main differences is bass guitar player Michael “Flea” Balzary began applying the “less is more” concept to his bass lines by making them less busy. By playing  more simply, it allowed for room for everything else to come together. And just for the record, when I say simply, I don’t mean easy. If you’ve ever heard a RHCP song, you know that Flea is a badass and the bass line typically isn’t simple. Perhaps, the conversion to less notes and more relaxation on the bass is where the classification comes from.

The emergence of less distorted guitar riffs is another big difference. Some of the songs  like “Suck My Kiss” and “Give it Away” still contained heavy metal guitar riffs, but contained less distortion. On top of that, the music comes together more. It seems more like a team effort instead of a certain one or two instruments being the center of attention all the time. In the end, all of the changes made really broadened the horizon for the band, and RHCP received wonderful reviews following the album’s release.

“Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik” is without a doubt RHCP’s best album and is also one of my favorite albums of the ’90s. I’m glad that it gets to share its birthday with another top 5 album of 1991. All I can say is that Sept. 24, 1991 was a huge day because two of the best bands of the ’90s made their mark in music history that day. Happy late 20th!





An Album for the Ages

26 03 2012

It was on this day in 1994 that Soundgarden, a popular ’90s grunge band, charged to No. 1 on the Billboards Album Chart. The release of “Superunknown” brought us many things; a showcase of Chris Cornell’s vocals, drop-D guitar solos and , finally, some well-deserved coverage of Soundgarden. Now don’t get me wrong, the band was talked about here and there, it was kind of like that kind of band where people say, “hey man have you heard of that band Soundgarden? Word on the street is they’re not bad.” This is the album that changed that.

It’s easy to see why Soundgarden wasn’t getting much attention before then while having to compete with Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” and Pearl Jam’s “Ten.” It was time for Soundgarden to step up its game a little. Stepping up its game is just what the band did. On earlier efforts, such as 1991’s Badmotorfinger,” Soundgarden revealed a mastery of metal and hard rock conventions with their heavier-than-heavy riffs and powerful rhythm section.However, those qualities didn’t  subside on “Superunknown.” If anything, the band has upped the ante in those regards.  But what emerged on this  album is an ability to incorporate the basics of rock music while branching out into other genres. “Superunknown” dabbles in power ballads and psychedelic undertones, among other characteristics, but yet the record feels cohesive instead of a jumble of disparate ideas.

The title track of this album is by far my favorite track on the whole album. The guitar work is a series of dibbles in the verse, and the verse itself is structured so that the end of every line has Cornell screaming in the way he does better than almost anyone I’ve ever heard. If you don’t have the album, download this track to thoroughly entertain  yourself. You can’t wait for him to finish the chorus the second time through with “SOOOOOUUUUUUULLLLLLLL… unh.” I still hold this album as one of my favorites from the ’90s, and I still remember riding in the truck with my brother when he went and bought it. Twas a great day!





Seattle’s Best; And I’m Not Talking Coffee

11 03 2012

courtesy of Metal Chris (Flickr)

When you think about Seattle, WA, what comes to mind? Two things come to my mind; coffee and the birthplace of “grunge,” a popular style of rock music that erupted in the ’90s. Seattle is home to a few grunge and alternative legends like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, along with many others. My favorite out of these four, Pearl Jam, is the band that is still going strong.

Born from a catastrophe, Pearl Jam is now two decades old. In light of the band’s accomplishments, it decided to team up with filmmaker Cameron Crowe to create a documentary called Pearl Jam Twenty. This documentary consists of about 2,000 hours of footage covering Pearl Jam’s journey. It includes behind the scenes material, as well as coverage of the band’s exceptional and enthralling concerts. The documentary also touches on the band’s struggles, including the conflict with Ticketmaster and the Roskilde tragedy. The documentary premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10, 2011, and hit the key markets on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

Courtesy of cnykerk (Flickr)

Pearl Jam is widely recognized as the most popular band of the ’90s, although some could argue that spot for Nirvana, which is understandable. It’s just that Nirvana ‘was.’ I know Nirvana’s music is still popular, but the band no longer exists; RIP Kurt Cobain. Pearl Jam was, is and will be. Also, Pearl Jam has a much different sound than Nirvana, although there are similarities.

For some reason I hadn’t watched the film until about three hours ago. I’m speechless. The film is much better than I  expected because of the great footage they were able to obtain.  It’s incredible to watch such a talented group start out, when, at that time, they don’t know how big and famous they would become.  But  you, the viewer,  you  know the eventual fate of the band and the incredible success it will achieve. It’s exciting. Check the trailer, and better yet, watch the movie!

Pearl Jam Twenty





Candlebox is Gonna Rock the Croc

6 03 2012


See? This is the reason it is impossible for me to have a top five list. Every time I make up one I always leave out so many great bands because the ’90s had so much to offer. Candlebox, a rock band that done exceptionally well in the ’90s is going to be playing at the Crocodile Rock cafe in Allentown, Penn., in April. Of course, that’s a little far for a broke college student to travel, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to catch the band if it ever makes its way back across the ‘fly over’ states. If I had the money, I might pack up the jeep and head that way leaving Oklahoma “Far Behind.”

For those of you who are not very familiar with Candlebox, let me give you a summary. It is a rock band from Seattle. It started playing in 1991 and has produced four studio albums, which achieved multi-platinum and gold certification. The band hit a drought from 2000 to 2006 due to trying to get out of its record contract with Maverick Records, and now Candlebox istrying to get back on top of things.

The band will be performing to promote its newest album that will be released on April 2. The album is called “Love Stories and other Musings.” One of the singles off the album called “Believe In It” was released this week. It’s incredible to think that tickets for this caliber of band are on sale for $15-18. So, people in the Allentown area, you have a question to ask yourselves. Are you going to buy a new DVD or a new shirt? I suggest you buy a concert ticket to hear the legendary Candlebox.

 

I trust you’ll make the right choice.





Patience is a Virtue

26 02 2012

It appears the Foo Fighters has canceled its March 2 show at the Padang in Singapore due to a much-needed rest for Dave Grohl’s voice. All ticket holders are entitled to a full refund. Just a quick piece of advice for what to do with that refund money; SAVE IT  and be patient for when the band returns to do another show.

Trust me when I say this. I had tickets for a Foo Fighters concert in January of 2008. Grohl canceled, or shall I say postponed, due to an illness. Well, I decided that if and when the band returned, I was still going to go. Man, did I ever make the right decision!

The Foo Fighters are known to impress when playing a show, and in July of 2008 the band returned to OKC and done just that. After the opening bands played, the Foo Fighters took the stage and performed what was expected; “My Hero,” “Learn to Fly,” “Pretender,” and other chart topping hits. During the show, I noticed a huge circle on the other side of the floor in the arena with a long bridge going toward the stage. Trying to figure out what it was mind-boggling to say the least.

Half way through the first part of the set, which was incredible, Dave Grohl said, “So I’m not sick and we’re here right? You really think I would let you mfs down?” (I’ll let you figure out what mfs means.) About that time, an acoustic stage dropped from the ceiling to fill that circle. It had all of the acoustic equipment set up on it already. The band began running through the audience, up on to the bridge and then to the acoustic stage. Now the people who paid $30 for tickets, including me, just got $500, up close and personal seats. Words can’t explain the excitement.

The show would have been incredible as just a regular show. But this, the acoustic part and how the Foo Fighters suddenly became so personal with the crowd made this show. Don’t get me wrong, there were cool lighting effects and everything else that would be at a typical rock show, but this made it. The band definitely made sure to over compensate for cancelling the last show. So don’t give up on the Foo Fighters, and save that money for the next show. It will be worth it!





“Bush”wacked and Now They’re Back

16 02 2012

  Just in case you haven’t heard, Bush is most certainly back. The ’90s rock group that fired up in Britain in 1992 finally restored itself and released a new album, “Sea of Memories,” in September.  The band just shot the music video for “Baby Come Home,” which is one of the better songs off of the new CD, on Jan. 15 in Los Angeles. The release of “Sea of Memories” marks a 1o year drought, as far as Bush’s studio releases are concerned. To me, it has been a long ten years.

     Bush, who produced many chart-topping hits such as “Machinehead,” “Come Down” and “Glycerine,” along with many others, still carries the same sound on its new album that separated it from other rock groups of the ’90s. It’s also great to see that lead singer Gavin Rossdale still has his unique voice that is just scratchy enough but yet amazingly smooth at the same time. It’s the kind of voice, or better yet, the kind of music that you hear on the radio without hearing it before, and after a single syllable of a single word, it’s apparent who it is. Yea, it’s that unique.

    Rossdale, who elected to replace a member of the band when he decided to get the group back together, had some projects going on during the ten-year break. But Rossdale said he felt like Bush was what he was “basically born to be in.” During the band’s separation, Rossdale formed the group Institute, and also released a solo album called “WANDERlust.” Both the projects attained considerable success, but they can’t compare to Bush itself. Institute, also consisting of Bush guitarist Chris Traynor, actually played some of Bush’s songs live and opened for the band U2, at several of its “Vertigo Tour” venues. Rossdale’s solo album, “WANDERlust,” reached the 33rd spot on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album is highly recognized for the release of the single “Love Remains the Same.”

   I wasn’t a big fan of his solo album, but I do like Gavin Rossdale and I am ecstatic over Bush and the fact that the band has finally reunited. So, that alone probably pushed me to like the album a little more than I would have just for its sound. I have already bought the newest Bush album “Sea of Memories,” and I have to say it’s impressive, so get it and see for yourself. Each song has its own sound whether it be a somewhat fuzzy and swirly sounding guitar to a prominent bass drum with an almost somber tone.  Also, there are many rhythmic and tonal areas that refer back to ’90s Bush. All in all, it’s a great album and I would advise grabbing or downloading a copy, if you haven’t yet. With that being said, it’s great to see the band back on top of things.