Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell just tweeted the following message:
Watch me open for @BarackObama in Des Moines. Get your tickets here.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was on 93.3 this morning and talked about his feud with Soundgarden and Chris Cornell:
“Well there’s a little bit of a backstory there. Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about. When the band came back in 2007, he was quoted in an interview saying basically he didn’t consider our reunion to be, in quotations, to be ‘legitimate.’ I kind of have an elephant’s memory when it comes to somebody punching me in the face. Cornell’s one of those people who is extremely talented, I was a fan from literally their 2nd EP, met him in 1991 and still believe in what was great about the band. But when we’re sitting there having conversations about who is doing what, I am no longer going to shield somebody, if they want to punch me in the face I’m happy to punch them back in the face. Respect the man’s talent, People gloss over the Timbaland album, haha, you know what I mean? My point is look, I don’t have any specific bone to pick, even though I just made a specific case for one. My point is don’t lump us in with people who are sort of just doing the reunion lap. Now, of course fans are lighting up my Twitter saying do you realize Soundgarden is doing a new album, well if they are great, that’s what they should be doing. Great musicians they should make new music and hopefully they’ll make great albums because we need artists to make great albums and great music in this day and age of the robots and the posers and the faux hawks bands. Does it make sense; do I sound like a fan? Because I am a fan. I want all of my generation to raise the bar, and I don’t appreciate when somebody from my generation, who I once considered a friend, decides to piss on my little spot in the corner for whatever reason at the same time he’s making the Timbaland album, you know what I mean? That’s where it gets kind of dicey for me, so that’s sort of the real back story of where that came from.”
Near the end of the interview Billy joked, “Chris Cornell will personally greet you” at Smashing Pumpkins’ show on Halloween in New York. The DJ suggested that Billy should dress up as Chris Cornell for Halloween, “That’s actually really funny, I’ll be Chris Cornell ’91.”
4:40 in Billy talks Soundgarden.
Alice In Chains singer/guitarist William DuVall posted the first photo from the recording sessions of Alice In Chains’ fifth studio album on Facebook with the caption ‘Confession time.’ It is unknown how long the band have been recording, but they were writing as far back as last year. Jerry Cantrell though had to have surgery which pushed recording back.
Alice In Chains released their most recent album Black Gives Way to Blue three years ago, their first with William DuVall. The band have performed live once this year, a short acoustic set on May 31, 2012 in Los Angeles at the MAP Awards show that honored Jerry Cantrell.
Billy on playing some of his older songs about sadness, “Sometimes because I just don’t want to be in that space and sometimes it’s because I can’t reaccess that space because I just don’t think like that way anymore. It’s kind of like trying to speak something you don’t believe the philosophical basis of the thought anymore, so it almost kind of becomes more like acting because I don’t feel that anymore.”
On preserving his voice: “About 10 or 12 years ago I started being really careful. Don’t drink don’t smoke, I haven’t taken any over the counter medicine or drugs in 11 years, very healthy liver.”
Perry Farrell discussed what he wants to write about lyrically on Jane’s Addiction’s next studio album in an interview with Straight.com:
“I really want to write more about love, that climb up the mountain to get to love,” Farrell says. “It’s not an easy climb, and just like climbing a mountain, it can be fatal.
“Most murders have to do with people that were, at one time, in love,” he adds. “At one time, they couldn’t wait to see the other person. They’d look in the mirror and they’d clean themselves up and go, ‘I hope I’m good enough to be with this person.’ And the next thing you know they’re choking them to death. It’s a bizarre thing—and it’s definitely compelling.”
It’s an absolute shame that Jimmy is not in the Smashing Pumpkins. Billy and Jimmy need to put their differences aside and get him back where he belongs. With all due respect to Mike Byrne, the Pumpkins are on a whole other level when Jimmy is their drummer.
This is from Krist Novoselic’s new interview with the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly.
“Yeah, that’s the whole key, to have as much fun as possible doing music. I haven’t been doing a lot of music. Through the grace of Dave Grohl, I’ve been going down to L.A. and played with him a little bit, and I did some things on the last Foo Fighters record. I’ve actually been playing a lot of accordion. I’m obsessed with it. It’s really crazy. I don’t know what the hell happened to me. I just picked one up one day, and have had to play it every day, all the time. It’s an obsession. But I guess there’s a lot worse obsessions. You know what I mean?”
He also goes on to say:
“You know, nostalgia drives me crazy. It’s so pervasive. It’s everywhere. People look back at the good old days, and it’s, like, they weren’t that good.”
1. No Memory @Tape
5. Hollywood Bitch
6. Hickory Dichotomy
8. Still Remains
9. Big Empty
10. Black Again
11. Between the Lines
12. Interstate Love Song
14. Tumble in the Rough
15. Big Bang Baby
16. Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart
18. Sex Type Thing
Philly.com is reporting that Chris Cornell informed Live Nation on August 16th that he would not be able to perform at the Made in America festival on September 2nd in Philadelphia. Cornell’s camp announced two days ago that he would not be able to perform due to a scheduling conflict. Cornell is set to perform for President Obama on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Philly.com’s report states that a Cornell source said that the Obama gig didn’t effect the Made in America one, but I’ll wait for official word before taking that as fact, since we still haven’t heard of any other Cornell appearances on September 2nd or in the ensuing week. If Cornell does reveal another reason for missing Made in America, we’ll report it.
Here’s a couple of excerpts from TheStranger.com‘s new interview with Mudhoney frontman/Sub Pop warehouse manager Mark Arm.
Description of Arm’s job at Sub Pop: Ensconced at Sub Pop now, Mudhoney’s wildest member typically arrives at headquarters about 9:30 a.m. and leaves around 5:30 p.m. “First thing I do is check e-mail,” Arm says, chuckling. “If there are orders, like these [points to invoices on his desk], I pick ’em and fulfill ’em and send ’em out.”
On Mudhoney’s next album and rest of the band’s jobs: It takes longer now to create albums because everybody has other responsibilities. Bassist Guy Maddison, for example, is a stat nurse at Harborview, and guitarist Steve Turner lives in Portland, where he deals records, so Mudhoney don’t practice much. “We just got back from Australia,” Arm says, “so we’re probably not gonna practice till next week. We have a bunch of shit to do, because we have Bumbershoot coming up and then right after that we’re going into the studio for three days. We have a couple of new songs that we haven’t worked on.” Despite the long gap between releases, Sub Pop hasn’t pressured the band to make another album. “But there’s pressure from us, because it’s been fucking too long,” Arm says, laughing. “We’ve put down tons and tons of riffs over the last two years. The main sticking point is me coming up with lyrics I’m happy with. The other one is getting together to work on our ideas—but that’s kind of the easy part once Steve gets into town.”
Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard was interviewed today on WMMR in Philadelphia and had this to say regarding Pearl Jam’s live shows and their rotating setlists:
“We do fly by the seat of our pants, I think that’s one thing you’ll never get from a Pearl Jam show is an overly rehearsed event. That’s kind of always been our thing and I think our fans have really grown to appreciate that we’re ready to fall on our faces out there. Most shows and most tours you see it’s the lights and the click tracks and the setlist is all the same, it just runs like a clock and there’s really not any jeopardy up there ever because it’s all so much programmed and there’s so little that can go wrong. For us, not doing that has been a real blessing for us, because we get a change any time we want and fall on our faces and our fans still think that’s cool. ‘They’ll play good tomorrow, they rehearsed it now.’ [laughs]”
Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard was interviewed on WMMR this morning in Philadelphia, here’s a quote from the interview:
“I don’t know anything [about Chris Cornell’s Made in America festival cancellation), but any chance we get to play with Chris it’s certainly a great thing playing a Temple of the Dog song or something like that is such a joy. He’s playing great these days too, I’ve heard the new- I don’t know if you’ve heard any tracks off the new Soundgarden record but it’s beautiful, it’s got some great great songs on it. I think you guys will be really excited about that, there’s a lot to play on it.”
This article is intended to be about albums that were poorly received and overlooked both commercially and in some cases critically at the time of their release and may still be looked at negatively by their fans. Something like Temple of the Dog, Mad Season’s Above, and Mother Love Bone’s Apple aren’t on this list because they were widely regarded as great albums when they were released and are looked back on as classics today, even though they may not have achieved huge commercial success. Even something like The Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore is hailed now as a classic. So here is my list of what I believe to be the top ten unfairly criticized and underrated albums by alternative rock/Grunge era artists. It’s important to note that this is focused on the artists of the Grunge/90’s alternative rock era we cover on here, rather than modern alternative rock bands.
10. Jane’s Addiction- Strays (2003)
After 13 years, and sans original bassist Eric Avery, Jane’s Addiction came roaring back with their comeback album Strays, their long awaited follow-up to 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual. Many longtime Jane’s Addiction fans ripped on the band for having a more polished and commercial sound, but the songwriting is top notch on this album and it is a very focused effort. Perry Farrell has some of the most memorable melodies of his career on this album, and Dave Navarro shines on guitar. Standout tracks include: Strays, Just Because, Price I Pay, True Nature, and To Match The Sun.
9. Jerry Cantrell- Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2 (2002)
Many casual Alice In Chains fans may overlook Jerry Cantrell’s solo career, but he released two solid albums in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, with the most underrated being Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2. The album was definitely the most ambitious of Cantrell’s career, a double album that lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes and is one of the darkest albums of the last decade. Lyrically the album addresses Cantrell’s own isolation and misery, along with his broken friendship with the then reclusive Layne Staley (the album was written and recorded prior to Staley’s death). On Bargain Basement Howard Hughes, Cantrell sings about his ailing friend, “Enigma wrapped in riddle, Your life I belittle, Dignity I’d steal, Now I know how it feels, Stubborn bastard, hard head knocking, We had our good years too, Though apart, you’re still in my heart I’d give anything for you.” Standout tracks on Degradation Trip include: Angel Eyes, Anger Rising, Solitude, Gone, and Bargain Basement Howard Hughes.
8. Deconstruction- Deconstruction (1994)
After Jane’s Addiction broke up in 1991, bassist Eric Avery and guitarist Dave Navarro recorded the lone Deconstruction album together with Michael Murphy on drums. The album sounds like how musically a third Jane’s Addiction album would have sounded if the band had never broken up, except with Eric Avery on lead vocals (Navarro sang on some songs like Big Sur). The album has unbelievable songs and to this day has been totally overlooked. Standout tracks include: LA Song, Big Sur, Iris, and Get At Em.
7. Scott Weiland- 12 Bar Blues (1998)
Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland’s debut solo album is one of the most eclectic and daring albums of the late 90’s. Weiland went into sonic territory he never had before, and his songwriting on here is as strong as it is on any Stone Temple Pilots albums. This is one of Weiland’s darkest albums as he was suffering some of the lowest points of his heroin addiction. Comparing this to Weiland’s second solo album, 2008’s Happy in Galoshes, is like night and day. 12 Bar Blues features one of Weiland’s best lyrics of his career on Barbarella, “Grab a scale and guess the weight of all the pain I’ve given with my name, I’m a selfish piece of shit.” Standout tracks include: Barbarella, Cool Kiss, Mockingbird Girl, and Lady Your Roof Brings Me Down.
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers- One Hot Minute (1995)
Yep, another Dave Navarro related project! After guitarist John Frusciante left the Chili Peppers in 1992, the band eventually replaced him permanently with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. During the making of the band’s lone album with Navarro, RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis relapsed on heroin which led to One Hot Minute being the Chili Peppers’ darkest and most personal record. Many Chili Peppers fans couldn’t understand this change in direction for the band, but as it stands today it could be argued that One Hot Minute was the band’s greatest album. If only they would play material from it live! Standout tracks include: Aeroplane, My Friends, Warped, and Tearjerker.
5. Chris Cornell- Euphoria Morning (1999)
Euphoria Morning was Chris Cornell’s first solo album, and his first record following Soundgarden’s breakup. 13 years later, and it is his last masterpiece (we’ll see if he can make another with Soundgarden’s King Animal). The album sees Cornell embrace his love of the Beatles and soul music, with some of his finest songs to date. Cornell received help from Alain Johannes on the album, a guy who always seems to be around when kick ass music is being created. Standout tracks include: Can’t Change Me, When I’m Down, Moonchild, Sweet Euphoria, and Preaching the End of the World.
4. Screaming Trees- Dust (1996)
While Sweet Oblivion saw the Screaming Trees reach their apex in popularity, Dust is really their crowning achievement. The album was overlooked commercially, if it had come out a year or two sooner it could have done far better, but unfortunately the Trees were not able to strike when the iron was hot. Dust is definitely a Grunge classic. Standout tracks include: All I Know, Sworn and Broken, Halo of Ashes, and Traveler.
3. Stone Temple Pilots- Shangri LA DEE DA (2001)
After No. 4’s return to hard rock roots, STP surprised fans with their most experimental album ever in 2001, Shangri LA DEE DA. The band fully embraced their pop, bossa nova, and 60’s influences on this album, but manage to rock out at the same time. Unfortunately Atlantic Records refused to release Wonderful as a single, a surefire radio hit that would have given this underrated gem of an album the attention it deserved. Standout tracks include: Hello It’s Late, Black Again, Hollywood Bitch, Wonderful, and Coma.
2. Zwan- Mary Star of the Sea (2003)
I think this will probably be the most surprising choice. I’ve always thought of the Zwan album as a defacto Smashing Pumpkins album, since the album features Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin with Billy writing all of the songs, like most Pumpkins releases. Many Pumpkins fans criticized this album as being too poppy and generic, but it really is one of Corgan’s strongest bodies of work ever. Every song is memorable, just an incredibly catchy and inspired album. I could give a shit about the live songs and demos left off, the songs that made the album are great. The title track Mary Star of the Sea is one of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins/Billy Corgan songs. Standout tracks include: Jesus, I/Mary Star of the Sea, Settle Down, Of A Broken Heart, Lyric, and Ride A Black Swan.
1. James Iha- Let It Come Down (1998)
Just kidding Billy.
1. Pearl Jam- Riot Act (2002)
This is possibly Pearl Jam’s most divisive album among fans, but to me it is one of their best. Over a decade into their recording career Pearl Jam were at a point where they could either go back and try to rewrite Ten, or they could push forward. Riot Act contains the sound of a band aging gracefully, with a mature but still heavy sound. It also features one of my favorite Eddie Vedder lyrics ever on I Am Mine, “I know I was born and I know that I’ll die, the in between is mine.” Riot Act is still debated fiercely on the Ten Club boards, but it will always be a classic to me, especially since my Dad basically played it to death for about two years when it was released. Standout tracks include: I Am Mine, Love Boat Captain, Green Disease, Can’t Keep, and Thumbing My Way.
By the way, a special honorable mention goes to Blind Melon’s Soup album from 1995. To be honest I didn’t think of it until after I finished this article. So consider them #11, even though I think all of these are great so the numbers don’t matter. But another great, underrated album!
A new sticker book entitled “Kurt and the Gang,” set for release on October 29, features a collection of stickers and illustrations inspired by the life and friendships of the late Nirvana front man.
From Belly Kids: “The book is packed with 72 stickers and printed illustrations designed by 13 artists from around the world. Together, in some way, we hope to have captured a very unique and awesome generation of which Kurt was a giant part.
Featuring illustrations of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Dylan Carlson, El Duce, The Pixies, Lead Belly, Daniel Johnston, Dave Grohl and many others based around the Cobain scene.”
You can pre-order “Kurt and the Gang” here.
2. All My Life
3. The Chemicals Between Us
4. The Sound of Winter
5. Everything Zen (snippet of Once in a Lifetime)
7. The Heart of the Matter
9. Stand Up
10. Greedy Fly
12. The Afterlife
13. Land of the Living
14. Little Things
15. Breathe (Pink Floyd cover)
16. Come Together (Beatles cover)
17. Glycerine (Full band playing during the last chorus)
1. Monarchy of Roses
2. Around the World
3. Snow ((Hey Oh))
5. Look Around
6. Throw Away Your Television
7. Can’t Stop
8. Emit Remmus
9. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
10. Me & My Friends
11. Universally Speaking
12. Red Hot Mama (Funkadelic cover – outro jam for Universally Speaking)
13. Under the Bridge
14. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
15. Cosmic Slop (Funkadelic cover – jam; Flea singing)
16. Suck my Kiss (replaced of Factory of Faith which was originally on the setlist)
17. By the Way
18. Chad & Mauro Jam
19. Californication (with two cellos from the supporting act)
20. Factory of Faith (Replaced Goodbye Hooray, which was originally on the setlist)
21. Give it away
22. Final Jam (About 5 minutes long)