GRUNGE IN 2010: A YEAR IN REVIEW

GRUNGE IN 2010: A YEAR IN REVIEW
WRITTEN BY GRUNGEREPORT.NET OWNER BRETT BUCHANAN

2010 is just about over, and news is dry so I am writing one of these bullshit year in review articles.  2010 has been Grunge’s biggest year since 1996.  Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Mudhoney, Melvins, and what’s left of Nirvana all performed live signaling a Grunge revival.  Let’s run down what everybody was up to:

Pearl Jam- Pearl Jam toured the eastern United States in May as a continuation of the Backspacer tour.  In July the band toured Europe and they played they final shows of 2010 at the Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, California.  Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder released a great new song called “Better Days” on the Eat, Pray, Love movie soundtrack.  Stone Gossard’s band Brad released a new album titled Best Friends?

Soundgarden- On January 1st, 2010 kicked off with a bang when Chris Cornell announced the revival of Soundgarden’s fan club, which quickly led to the band reuniting and performing live for the first time since 1997 in April at the Showbox in Seattle.  Soundgarden also performed at the Vic in Chicago, at Lollapalooza, and at a Guitar Hero release party in Los Angeles.  They didn’t tour as many fans had hoped, but they did release “Black Rain” an outtake from the Badmotorfinger sessions that featured some new vocals from Chris Cornell.  Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd also recorded his first ever solo album.

Alice In Chains- “Your Decision” continued to dominate rock radio in early 2010 and Alice In Chains toured Black Gives Way to Blue relentlessly throughout the year.  The band’s hugely successful year culminated with the band’s BlackDiamondSkye tour with Deftones and Mastodon, where AIC played big venues like Madison Square Garden in New York.  There was yet another Layne Staley Tribute Show in Seattle in August which featured the reunion of My Sister’s Machine.

Stone Temple Pilots- STP released their first new album in 9 years on May 25th, when Stone Temple Pilots was finally released 2 years after the band’s reunion.  The lead single “Between The Lines” hit #1 on rock radio, while the album debuted at #2.  STP toured North America extensively and played live in Europe for the first time since 2001.

Smashing Pumpkins- The Pumpkins released two Teargarden By Kaleidyscope EP’s this year: Songs For A Sailor and The Solstice Bare.  Billy Corgan also spent 2010 touring with the new Smashing Pumpkins lineup which includes Corgan and Jeff Schroeder (who has been with the band since 2007) along with new members Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino.

Nirvana/Foo Fighters- Foo Fighters recorded their upcoming 7th studio album this year, and returned to the stage in Tarzana, California last week.  The new Foo Fighters album is being produced by Butch Vig and features a guest appearance by Dave Grohl’s former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic, reuniting 3/4 of the Nevermind team.  The surviving members of Nirvana (the In Utero touring lineup) Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear performed “Marigold” at Foo Fighters’ show in California.  Dave Grohl also did some touring with Them Crooked Vultures in 2010.

Hole- Hole released their first album since 1998 when Nobody’s Daughter was released in April.  Courtney’s revival of the Hole name was very controversial, even leading to founding member Eric Erlandson to condemn the use of the name in a GrungeReport.net interview.  The album disappointed commercially, but Hole soldiered on and toured into September.

Mudhoney- Mudhoney played live in Europe, South America, and North America in 2010.

Melvins- Released a new album, The Bridge Screamed Murder which debuted on the Billboard Top 200.  This was the first time a Melvins album had ever debuted in the top 200.

There’s only one band missing from this list, the Screaming Trees!  Time to join in on the party and reunite!  The Screaming Trees’ inactivity aside, 2010 was an amazing year for Grunge and GrungeReport.net.  The site was hacked and faced many server problems earlier in the year, I thank everybody for sticking by GrungeReport.net and giving us some record numbers this year.

BILLY CORGAN SAYS THE MAJOR LABEL SYSTEM HAS MADE MUSIC UNEXCITING

Linda Laban has a new short interview up on Spinner.com with Billy Corgan. Here’s a quote:

“Something about the need for the major label system to corner the market has squeezed the excitement out of music,” he adds. “It’s almost like the restaurant where the prices are too high — you can’t enjoy your food. You feel like you’re getting ripped off, but you don’t know why. Fans overall have rebelled.”

GRUNGEREPORT.NET 2010 END OF THE YEAR AWARDS WINNERS

BAND OF THE YEAR: Mudhoney

Some die hard Mudhoney fans voted a lot and in a huge surprise, one of the few Grunge bands who never broke up are the Band of the Year.  Mudhoney did some touring this year and in September they performed Superfuzz Bigmuff in its entirety at ATP New York.  Congratulations to Mudhoney!  Pearl Jam won Band of the Year last year.  The closest runners up were Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Stone Temple Pilots- Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots released their self-titled comeback album this year, 9 years after Shangri LA DEE DA‘s release.  The album was the culmination of STP’s 2008 reunion.  STP toured to promote the album extensively in North America, South America, and Europe.  Pearl Jam’s Backspacer won Album of the Year in 2009.

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Alice In Chains- “Lesson Learned”

After the massive success of “Check My Brain” and “Your Decision” last year Alice In Chains released another single “Lesson Learned” along with a music video.  “Lesson Learned” beat Stone Temple Pilots “Between The Lines” video by 2 votes.

FRONTMAN OF THE YEAR: Chris Cornell from Soundgarden

After releasing his hop hop/rap/R&B/whatever you want to categorize it as album Scream in 2009, Chris Cornell returned to his rock roots by reuniting with Soundgarden.  He also played some “Songbook” solo acoustic shows.  The runner up was Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Soundgarden reunites after 13 years apart

Soundgarden returned to the stage in April after 13 years apart when they played a secret show in Seattle under the name Nudedragons.  The runner up was the reunion of the surviving members of Nirvana in California.

BILLY CORGAN STORY OF THE YEAR: Billy says Courtney Love is the worst human he’s ever met

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is a favorite of mine to cover on GrungeReport.net.  Corgan has broken new ground in the last year with his innovative release strategy for Teargarden By Kaleidyscope and established his new Smashing Pumpkins lineup with a successful tour.  He has also made some controversial and entertaining statements in interviews and on Facebook/Twitter regarding his dislike of Pavement, Bon Jovi, and other things.  My personal favorite Corgan story of the year was the resurrection of his feud with Pavement, but the fans have voted and Corgan’s feud with Courtney is the Billy Corgan Story of the Year.

MOST ANTICIPATED EVENT OF 2011: Soundgarden’s live album and possible B-sides album

Soundgarden haven’t revealed any plans regarding a reunion tour or new album, but they have revealed that a live album and B-sides album are in the works.  Runners up include Pearl Jam’s Cameron Crowe film, Foo Fighters’ new album, Stone Temple Pilots’ 7th album, and more new Smashing Pumpkins music.

WRAP UP

Overall Soundgarden leads this year’s pack winning three awards, with Stone Temple Pilots/Alice In Chains/Mudhoney each picking up one.  In a huge surprise Pearl Jam, who dominated the 2009 End of the Year Awards, walked away empty handed.  I’m sure next year though with their rumored festival, film, and book they will make a strong comeback in the GrungeReport.net 2011 End of the Year Awards.  Also on a random note I planned to unveil the winners via video, but I have been too busy (and lazy) the last few days to sit down and film something.

DAVE GROHL DISCUSSES THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF NIRVANA’S NEVERMIND

Dave Grohl and his fellow Foo Fighters members recently did an interview with Kerrang magazine.  They talk about getting back together to make the new Foo Fighters album, taking time off to avoid the public getting sick of them, and more.  Here is a quote where Dave Grohl talks about why he chose to reunite with Butch Vig and Krist Novoselic for the album, and the significance of the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind.  Also credit FooArchive.com

Were you surprised just how much has been made of Krist Novoselic’s guest spot on the album?
Dave: “No, I’d have to be pretty stupid to think it would go unnoticed! When we recorded [Word Forward and Wheels, for the Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits album] with Butch last year I had so much fun just being in the studio with him again, and it reminded me of making Nevermind in 1991, not the music, just the experience of being with Butch. We’d talked about making an album together for years, and after recording those two songs I thought, okay, it’s time. And then I realised that it’s also going to be the 20th anniversary of Nevermind. But making this album with Butch in this way and having Krist come down and play on it is all for the sake of not being scared of that. Does that make any sense? Ultimately what we’re doing here isn’t meant to recreate what happened 20 years ago, it’s more of a reminder that we’re here for the same reason, and we’ve all survived and we still love making music the same as we did 20 years ago. I know that when the album comes out a lot of the focus will be on the fact that Butch and I are working together again after 20 years and that Krist Novoselic is playing bass on one song, but it’s a Foo Fighters record, it’s not a Nirvana record, and it’s important that people realise that I’m here to make a Foo Fighters record and not a Nirvana record. Krist and I are still great friends, we talk all the time and see each other a lot, and there’s no question that this year will be a big year for Krist and I because of that anniversary, but what we’re doing here isn’t about that.”

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS RESCHEDULE FREE SHOW IN EL PASO, TEXAS

The Stone Temple Pilots’ free concert at Speaking Rock Entertainment Center has been pushed back almost a week.

It will be Feb. 23 at the Lower Valley venue, noted for its free shows by big-name acts.

The originally announced date was Feb. 17.

It’ll be the reunited band’s first El Paso show since 2008. A September concert at the Coliseum was called off after singer Scott Weiland had a meltdown onstage in Houston a few nights earlier.

BILLY CORGAN OFFERING $20,000 REWARD FOR RETURN OF HIS GISH GUITAR

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins is offering $20,000, no questions asked, for the safe return of his “Gish” guitar.

What makes this one guitar so special to spend 20 g’s on it? I’m sure there are going to be some people out there trying to make a replica and pass it off as his beloved and come out ahead a few thousand. Hope I didn’t give anyone any ideas… I thought of it first.

Corgan said he bought this guitar around 1989 or 1990 to use as a spare for live shows and it had an almost identical sound to go with his main one at the time.

His “Gish” was stolen in 1992 out the back door of St. Andrews Hall in Detroit and has never resurfaced. To Corgan, this guitar is the last remnant of that period in his life and he really cherishes it. He says this guitar has taken a bit of a beating because of throwing and treating them like “candy.”

This guitar does hold some recording history, as it was the guitar Corgan would use for solos because it had “more cut than the main one.” It has such a vicious attack as you can hear on songs like ‘Tristessa’, ‘I Am One’, ‘Rhinocerous’, and ‘Siva’.

If you happen to have any idea in the whereabouts this guitar could be leave a comment on The Smashing Pumpkin’s Facebook page.

CAGE THE ELEPHANT COMMENT ON SCOTT WEILAND FALLING OFF STAGE IN CINCINNATI

There is a new interview up with Cage The Elephant members Lincoln Parish (guitar) and Daniel Tichenor (bass) on thefirst3songs.com conducted by Amy Harris (also remember to check out my Cage The Elephant fansite TinyLittleRobots.net), here’s an excerpt:

Amy: You guys have been touring with STP right?

Parish: Yeah we did for about a month.

Amy: Were you guys there when Scott fell off the stage in Cincinnati?

Parish: Yeah we were. I didn’t see it.

Amy: That was a crazy night. That stage is really high. It’s like six feet tall. I think that usually the speakers are right up on the stage and he’ll jump on them and go out and sing.

Parish: Yeah, they usually build a platform but I think they didn’t think he was going to go over that far. And he did. He expected it to be there and it wasn’t. He kept singing though.

Amy: He did. I talked to the security people the next week and they talked about pulling him out of the wires and they said he was pretty beat up. They said he sang the whole time. The band didn’t even miss a beat. I think if you’re lead singer fell off you guys might look for him right?

Tichenor: The thing is when you’re playing you’re really not paying attention. If somebody… If something happened to someone in the band you really don’t know.

Amy: You really wouldn’t notice for a while?

Parish: I’ve fallen off a couple times.

Tichenor: Yeah, Lincoln has fallen off and I didn’t even know he fell off.

Amy: You just keep going. I guess the only person who can’t fall off is really the drummer.

Parish: If he falls off, we’ve got big problems.

PHOTOS FROM LAST WEEK’S FOO FIGHTERS & NIRVANA SHOW

Nirvana cover band Nearvana (Ron Foster, Andy Sheer, and Ken Kopkin) have posted a series of photos from last week’s secret Foo Fighters show in California which featured the reunion of the surviving members of Nirvana on their official Facebook page. Also check out their website NirvanaTributeBand.com.

Unfortunately there aren’t any pictures yet of Nirvana’s reunion performance where Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear played “Marigold.”

Below are photos of Nearvana bassist Andy Sheer with Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear, and Dave Grohl at the show.  The final photo is a new group photo of Foo Fighters including returning member Pat Smear.