Welcome back, The Hotelier

I only just learned about the existence of their new album, Goodness over the weekend.  A couple of years ago, their album, Home Like Noplace Is There, established them at the forefront of the pop-emo scene.

 

Now, in spite of a NSFW album cover (that’s it as the picture for the video), their new album was released last Friday and it plays like a singular piece of work, with each piece seeming to fit into a larger whole with the rest of the album.

Several of the tracks have only coordinates as their title, named after the place in which they were recorded.  Congratulations, The Hotelier, for creating an album that stands above the crowd in 2016.

Thomas Fekete: 1988 – 2016

Thomas Fekete, guitarist for the rock band Surfer Blood, has died from Sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 27.

Fuck cancer, y’all…

From his gofundme site, in which he and his wife were asking for donations to help with his cancer battle:

“Our sweet Thomas passed on last night, peacefully in his sleep, holding my hand. With one last sigh, he let go of the burden of pain and suffering that he has been bravely carrying for so long. I am full of comfort knowing that he is now free, and long for the day I get to be with him again.

May we all carry on Thomas’ legacy by being the very best versions of ourselves for the rest of our days, and do as much as we can to help others in his honor. If we can strive to be half the person Thomas was, this world will be a better place.

Now, my beautiful angel, go find Bowie and jam.”

Jessica Fekete

Welcome back, The Strokes!

Apparently, NYC’s own slacker rockers The Strokes have been busy lately.

Today, they released two tracks, “Threat of Joy” and “Oblivious”.

They have a new EP, set for release next Friday June 3, 2016, titled Future Present Past.

http://radio.com/2016/05/26/the-strokes-oblivious/

It’s been hard finding a youtube link to one of the new tracks, but the above link has an imbed.

In order to entertain you, here’s their first single, “Last Night”

And now for something completely different

The gf is gone tonight, so I took the opportunity to watch Monty Python Live (Mostly), the DVD featuring sketches from their series of shows at London’s O2 Arena back in 2014.

Being a fan of the series, not to mention the movies, there were many moments I loved, but this is the one that brought me to tears with laughter.

Right, music related…..

 

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…May 1996

Soundgarden: Down On the Upside

Though perhaps even the band didn’t know it at the time, Down on the Upside was the last album by Soundgarden for nearly 20 years. The disbanding of Soundgarden after the tour behind this album signaled the decline and end of the popularity of grunge on the radio waves. Sure, Pearl Jam is still putting out albums, but they’re not topping the charts alongside Alice in Chains and Soundgarden like all of them were back in the early to mid 1990s.

Still, as a swan song, Down on the Upside has several high moments. First out of the gates is the track “Pretty Noose”, built largely around the twisting guitar groove and showing off Chris Cornell’s distince vocal abilities. Soundgarden always did have one foot in the heavy rock scene (I hesitate to say metal), and with downbeat grooves and subject matter, “Pretty Noose” does a pretty good job of flexing their muscles.

Track four, “Dusty”, is the song which features the inspiration behind the title of the album, featuring the line “I think it’s turning back on me/I’m down on the upside”. Track five, “Ty Cobb”, features about 20 seconds of pretty finger picking before charging full throttle into 3:30 of an angry, rabid, menacing ode to telling everybody everywhere to fuck off.

The next two tracks were both gigantic radio hits from this album. “Blow up the Outside World”, I remember a friend telling me, made him want to try to help Cornell when he sang the line “Nothing seems to kill me, no matter how hard I try”. Regardless of that brief anecdote, the song was a long charting hit for the band, especially on Seattle radio. The lyrics themselves are most obviously about being so fed up with everything around, one wants nothing more than to blow it all up forget it all. Not even necessarily start over, but get rid of everything else.

Burden in My Hand”, features themes of the protagonist feeling weighed down by regret and therefore losing his love and not able to enjoy the simpler things in life. If a straightforward interpretation is to be constructed, the subject is watching his love walk away because of continued bad habits. Some have speculated through the years that the bad habits are heavy drug use, but I’m not sure of this interpretation. Kim Thayil, guitarist for Soundgarden, has described this song as the 90s version of Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”. Perhaps the line about “shot my love today” is meant to be a literal interpretation…

As I have frequently found on Soundgarden releases, the songs which were released as singles, the catchier songs, are most often stacked in the first half of the record. It was true of Superunknown, with only “The Day I Tried to Live” appearing on the second half of tracks. Unfortunately, it is also true of Down on the Upside.

Album tracks” take up the second half of this album, songs that have less catchy choruses, sludgier, grungier riffs, and among the more standard guitar wails. Examples from the second half include “No Attention”, a faster song with a basic chorus; “Overfloater”, a slow grinder; and the final track on the album, “Boot Camp”, which is a slow builder coming in at 3 minutes.

Soundgarden announced their breakup in early 1997, afte a successful Lollapalooza run. Chris Cornell went on to record a commercially unsuccessful solo album before becoming the lead singer of Audioslave. Kim Thayil mostly stayed out of the music business, being featured on a handfull of projects over the next several years. Most notable among those were Dave Grohl’s heavy metal project, Probot, and the No WTO Combo, featuring Krist Novoselic and Jello Biafra, whose one and only show was in downtown Seattle the day after the 1999 WTO riots.

Drummer Matt Cameron went on to become the drummer for Pearl Jam, a position he still holds.

In April 2010, a reunited Soundgarden played a “surprise” gig under the monikker Nude Dragons (an anagram of Soundgarden) at the Showbox at the Market. Many within the Seattle music community knew that the actual band was Soundgarden before the event, however, it did mark the return of one of the foremost members of the 90s Seattle music scene.

King Animal was subsequently released in late 2012, featuring the reacquaintance single “Been Away Too Long”, a fitting title for a band returning form a 15 year break with new music. In January 2016, Soundgarden announced they were in the studio and recording what will ultimately become their seventh studio album.

Old news I just learned

Holy crap, Jason Everman, former guitar player for Nirvana, man who financed the recording of “Bleach”, once lived in the town of my birth, Poulsbo, Washington.

Font of all Knowledge

Jason Everman has since left the music business, joining the Army, where he was active from 1994 to 2006, eventually becoming a Green Beret in the process.

Prophets of Rage

http://prophetsofrage.com/

Members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill are forming a new group, Prophets of Rage, with their first show in 2 weeks.

They will be performing songs from all three bands, and I’m very much interested in hearing what they do.

Dear Prophets of Rage, please perform the Republican National Convention.

Thank you,

 

SeattleMusicNerd