GRUNGEREPORT.NET 2011 END OF THE YEAR AWARDS WINNERS

BAND OF THE YEAR: Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam are the GrungeReport.net 2011 Band of the Year!  This is their second time winning, they previously won in 2009.  This year Pearl Jam held their massive PJ20 festival, toured the world, and released a documentary.  They also released a brand new song “Ole.”  Soundgarden were the runner up.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Foo Fighters- Wasting Light

Wasting Light was definitely a return to form for Foo Fighters, it featured the reunion of Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic on “I Should Have Known” and Nevermind producer Butch Vig produced the album, which was recorded on tape in Dave Grohl’s garage.  Stone Temple Pilots won album of the year last year, while Pearl Jam’s Backspacer won in 2009.

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Foo Fighters- Walk

For the “Walk” video, Foo Fighters paid homage to Michael Douglas’ 1993 film Falling Down.  The best moment of the video is when Dave Grohl rolled his eyes at a Coldplay bumper sticker.  The Walk video only beat out Eddie Vedder’s Longing to Belong and Chris Cornell’s The Keeper by a few votes.  Last year’s winner was Alice In Chains’ Lesson Learned.

FRONTMAN OF THE YEAR: Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder not only had a busy year celebrating Pearl Jam’s 20th anniversary of being a band, but he also released his new solo album Ukulele Songs and toured in support of it.  Pearl Jam fans voted a ton to get Eddie the victory, especially after Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell won it last year.  Cornell was the runner up this year.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR: PJ20 Festival takes place featuring Temple of the Dog reunion

The PJ20 Festival was definitely one of the biggest Grunge landmark events of all time.  Pearl Jam headlined both nights, Temple of the Dog made two special reunion performances, and Mudhoney also performed.

MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUM OF 2012: Soundgarden

2012 is expected to be a huge year for Grunge, with just about every band covered on this site set to release new albums.  But fans are most anxious for Soundgarden, who this spring are set to release their first album since 1996’s Down on the Upside.

WRAP UP:

Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters were the big winners of 2011, with Pearl Jam winning 3 awards and Foo Fighters winning 2.  Soundgarden picked up one, while Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots (who both won major awards last year) walked away empty handed.

GRUNGE IN 2011: A YEAR IN REVIEW

2011 in Grunge was a year about honoring and remembering the past. Pearl Jam and Nirvana celebrated the 20 year anniversaries of their landmark albums, while Soundgarden toured for the first time in 14 years playing their classics.

I made some predictions at the beginning of the year, let’s see which ended up being true. I predicted that Soundgarden would tour and write new material, and both ended up happening. My predictions about the success of the PJ20 festival and Foo Fighters’ new album were correct. I was wrong though on STP releasing a new album, along with Mark Lanegan releasing his new album this year. I also predicted that Smashing Pumpkins’ would release their best material yet from Teargarden, which was completely wrong. Outside of Widow Wake My Mind, this year’s Pumpkins songs were some of Corgan’s worst work ever. But hey, at least I got the Soundgarden prediction right! That’s what matters most anyways. But a lot definitely happened in Grunge in 2011.

Sadly the biggest story in Grunge was the loss of one of its own. In March founding Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr passed away at the age of 44, tragically losing his battle against drug addiction. Starr had returned to the spotlight in 2009 and 2010 when he appeared as a cast member on Celebrity Rehab, where he emotionally talked about being the last person to see Layne Staley alive in 2002 and discussed his regrets. In 2010, Starr cleaned up and began playing music again. Things were looking up for Mike in 2011, but he tragically passed away shocking the legions of Alice In Chains fans on GrungeReport.net. Starr’s death had a big effect on me since I was covering him so extensively from late 2009-early 2011, constantly rooting for him to beat his demons. Mike is gone but his pulsing basslines will not be soon forgotten.

CHRIS CORNELL DISCUSSES WRITING SONGS DURING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE PERIODS OF HIS LIFE

Here is an excerpt from Gibson‘s new interview with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.

You’ve characterized the break from Soundgarden as more of an extended vacation than a breakup.

That’s right. I think if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it wasn’t even necessary to announce a breakup. We could have just said we were going on indefinite hiatus, and that would have been fine. There didn’t have to be some sort of finality. It certainly didn’t change anything from the standpoint of the media or even Soundgarden fans. Every time I did an interview, I was asked, “Is Soundgarden ever going to get back together? Will the band ever do anything again?” Had we just said we were going on hiatus, the question would have been “When?” instead of “Will?” (laughs) And the answer would probably have been the same:  “I don’t know.”

You’re in a good place in your life now, which wasn’t always the case. Is writing songs easier when you’re happy?

I definitely feel a difference now. I’m able to do more, to contemplate more, to hear more, to understand more and to be more focused. People sometimes go through periods where they’re very self-destructive, and some sort of artistic, or emotionally intense, attitude, musically, may come out of that. And that’s great and brilliant and wonderful. But that tends to be short-lived, and it can sometimes be the only vital thing someone does. I’ve never felt like that was me. The really tumultuous, self-destructive period for me wasn’t the part of my career that seemed to yield a lot. I think I wrote some great music in that period, but I also think it took me a lot longer than it needed to. It wasn’t my most prolific time.

DETAILS BEHIND A NEW MARK LANEGAN COLLABORATION

UnderEther from the onewhiskey.com boards translated this interview with Manna about collaborating with Mark Lanegan:

“There was good luck to say the least with gravel voiced Mark Lanegan, who performs on Wishing Well. He was recording his own album in the same studio, heard Manna’s music, and ended up on the album.

– Alain was recording Mark at the same time as me. He had recorded maybe half of his album when I arrived. They had arranged it so, that Mark would continue after I’d finished. I only had 12 days to make the recordings.

– We had one day off of recording and Mark had come to the studio to work on some of his own songs. There he had heard my first single “Lead Me” and liked it a lot. Alain said that it ‘d be great if he would sing in one of the songs. Mark very much likes collaborations and does them frequently.

– I thought they weren’t being serious. But then I found out that he actually had taken 2 of my songs with him and written a verse for himself for “Wishing Well”. At first I thought it was only some backing vocals or something but it turned out he wanted to do a duet with his own verse. It was a complete surprise to me.”

VELVET REVOLVER TO REUNITE WITH SCOTT WEILAND IN LOS ANGELES NEXT MONTH

From Matt Sorum’s Twitter: Doing a special night For John O’Brien Who passed away recently. An amazing musician and cool guy. Velvet Revolver will perform with Scott Weiland

This appears to be a one off, hopefully it won’t lead to anything else because that could mean the demise of STP. Scott really should think twice before burning his bridge with the DeLeo brothers.

EDDIE VEDDER RUMORED TO PLAY IN ROME THIS SUMMER

Here’s a mediocre Google translate of RockOl.it‘s article on Eddie Vedder:

December 28, 2011 – There is still a story with the trappings of officialdom, but fans of Pearl Jam – disappointed by the exclusion of Italy from the 2012 summer European tour – at least now have a reason for hope: Eddie Vedder could come to Italy as a soloist, in late July 2012. There is talk of at least one concert in the Auditorium of Rome, July 27.
Rumors on the Capitoline and a solo tour in Italy have emerged in the singer’s Forum Pearljamoline.it, historical fan-site dedicated to the Italian band Seatlle. We would have the ok from the Auditorium event that even if the present state of things, there is not and there can be no definitive confirmation yet, no official date and tour.
The news of possible solo concerts by Eddie Vedder on the one hand it would seem to explain the strange decision to leave out the European tour of PJ Southern Europe (Italy in particular, where the band played the last time in 2010, but where does a real tour since 2006). On the other hand is still remarkable that Vedder embarks on a series of solo concerts a few weeks after his band, maybe not in the same states but on the same continent.
In short, we’ll see: obviously we will report Rockol eventali developments. This would be the first solo concerts in Europe with Eddie Vedder, who went on tour so far only in the U.S. and Oceania. Vedder has published this year his second solo album, “Ukulele Songs”, in conjunction with “Water on the Road” DVD that documents his own concerts in solitude.

FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW SOUNDGARDEN ALBUM MAY BE A GROUP WRITTEN COLLABORATION

This is from an interview Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil did with BestofNewOrleans.com a couple of months ago, kind of old news but news is very slow right now.

Are you writing together?

Yeah. There’s individual compositions, certainly. Chris has done very well over the years writing solo compositions, where he’s writing the music and lyrics. He brings it to the band, and we twist it around and add our flavor to it. But there’s also collaborative songs on this. I think probably one of the earliest… I can’t really speculate, but if things are going the way we’ve been talking, one of the earliest songs we release will be a collaboration where we all wrote. It came about out of an idea of Matt’s. We all contributed some music, Chris came up with the lyrics afterwards. It’s funny you should bring up that ambient, psychedelic stuff. That goes back to the conversation about the Beatles, where I liked the heavy and fast, and that sort of psychedelic element, that dark psychedelia is certainly present in some of the early records of Boris, and Sunn O))), and bands like Om. You get the heavy, you get the trippy. It’s excellent.

KIM THAYIL TALKS ABOUT SOUNDGARDEN’S CHEMISTRY

Here is an excerpt from Offbeat.com‘s interview with Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil from last month:

I gather that dealing with business was part of what brought you back together.

Business is always going to be a part of it.

[In this case, business was a big part of it. In the Internet Age, nothing goes away. The band realized it needed to put its library on iTunes. It had to deal with merchandise issues. It had music out of print, and all of that gave the members occasions to reconnect.]

A lot of it is personal. It’s everything. It’s complicated. There’s sentiment, there’s desire for creative satisfaction. Having a band succeed is a function of a lot of different things. There really is an intangible sort of—I guess some people say there’s just a “magic” or “energy” to use some goofy metaphor to describe how things click. They just work. Most bands out there that have been together for any period of time, if there’s a collaborative nature to what they’re doing, it’s a pretty good bet that they have a very rare situation. They probably played with lots of people when they were younger, and they just found one or two partners where you realize, “Wow, we’re on the same page. We’re similar in abilities and interests, we communicate well musically, we support each other and inspire each other creatively.” I suppose one’s best muse is the people you’re working with.

I’ve been in a lot of bands when I was a teenager, and I’ve played with a lot of people since Soundgarden, and though I’ve had a lot of great situations, nothing was as immediately obvious as when we formed—the first few days we played back in the early to mid-’80s.

Was there a point when you weren’t together that you realized you missed it?

Yeah, probably immediately. We knew that there were other things that we wanted to do, but we also knew that there was a risk in that situation. In a band like this, everyone is a songwriter. You want to try out different ideas, go in different directions. We grow together, we listen to the same music, but at the same time you might be drawing from other influences and you want to spread your wings creatively. I think in any risk like that, when you choose to try new situations, you understand that you might succeed, you might fail, you may be losing a great situation.

I imagine someone like Cliff Lee probably had to think about that when he left the Mariners and went to Texas. But he didn’t want to be in Texas; he really wanted to be in Philadelphia, and now Texas is in the World Series and Philadelphia is not. You have to weigh those things: what kind of team are they building here? Do I like these guys? Yes I do, and I think I might perform well. I hate to make sports metaphors, but here we are in the World Series and a couple of unlikely teams are facing each other.

I think immediately you have some degree of appreciation for what it is you’re leaving behind. You know what ways your team works for you and what ways it doesn’t. But over time, playing with other people you might realize the creative benefits of working with other people and their novel ideas. At the same time, it’s hard to replace people that clicked immediately, and have 13 years of experience and growth together. It’s hard to replace that.

MILITARY WIVES’ “WHEREVER YOU ARE” BEATS NIRVANA FOR UK #1 CHRISTMAS SINGLE

Credit: DigitalSpy.co.uk

The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone have been crowned as this year’s Christmas number one with their song ‘Wherever You Are’.

The group triumphed over tracks such as Little Mix’s ‘Cannonball’, Lou Monte’s ‘Dominick the Donkey’, ‘Paradise’ by Coldplay and Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ in the race for the festive top spot.

PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED PHOTOS OF THE LATE MIKE STARR

These photos are both from the official Mike Starr Facebook fan page.

Day 1 brings us…a lil dedication to Mike & Miranda
The Love of his Life …Now & Forever…
May we all keep Mike’s & Miranda Memory
in Your Hearts this Holiday Season …
Much Love & Many Blessings to You Miranda ♥

Mike Starr already rockin animal prints & musical instruments at a very young age. he was always a ROCK STARR!!!
♥ Merry Christmas ♥