Showing posts with label Alice in Chains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alice in Chains. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

25 Deep Cuts from the Golden Age of Alternative Rock

Earlier this week I posted my list of the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Alternative Rock. The mid nineties was a time when the music business was so prosperous that even minimal effort could result in a Gold record. I doubt anyone outside of the Deal family could name a second song by The Breeders yet Last Splash still went platinum. I contributed to many of those RIAA certifications (R.I.P. BMG 10 albums for a penny deals that they kept letting you quit and renew for a new batch of albums).

1. Anna Begins – Counting Crows: Not only one of my favorite deep cuts from the era, but one of my favorite songs ever in the history of the world. “Every time she sneezes I believe it is love” meant everything to me in my youth. Still does.

2. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here – Weezer: The Blue Album had the most songs of any album on my list as every song is great. This is my favorite of the rest, just another great teenage anthem.

3. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana: Quite possibly the greatest performance ever to air on MTV Unplugged.

4. Warehouse – Dave Matthew Band: Record companies are usually good at releasing singles, but for some reasons the singles off of Dave Matthews Band albums are never my favorites. Ants Marching may be my fifth favorite song off their major label debut. The best is Warehouse which only get more epic when you hear it live. And thanks for the band’s penchant for releasing live albums, which will be easy to find because even though they always switch up set lists, there is always a good chance that this song will be represented.

5. Bad Habit – The Offspring: The ultimate road rage song. I probably listened to it way too much while learning to drive.

6. Immortality – Pearl Jam: No list is perfect and my own personal eyeballing of mine is there could have been a lot more Pearl Jam. It is probably after the success of the first album, they decided to step back from the spotlight not making music video or releasing proper singles leaving individual radio station to play their own favorites. Immortality is just the kind of mood I am in right now, but anything on those next two albums is worth checking out.

7. Let Me In – R.E.M.: Those first three R.E.M. albums from the nineties are worth checking out, this is probably the best track on their most fuzzed out album of the trio.

8. Happy Endings – Better than Ezra: I recently read an article where the lead singer suggested that they may have had Goo Goo Doll’s career had they been on a better record label and not one that went under. As a owner of all their albums sans their last I would have to agree as they made some of the best adult contemporary music of the past decade. You can hear them go down that root on songs like this.

9. Sad Songs and Waltzes – Cake: The band had a minor hit with their I Will Survive cover, another stand out on the same album was this Willie Nelson classic. The irony of course was during the alt-rock era, depressing songs were all the rage.

10. I'm the Ocean – Neil Young: The godfather of grunge hooked up with Pearl Jam and made an album which sounded exactly like you expected. This seven minute epic without a chorus is the highlight of the Mirror Ball album.

11. I Love You Mary Jane – Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill: When I first started working on my list I considered some more “alternative” rap song like Insane in the Brain. Instead I will include Cypress Hill’s awesomely weird collaboration with Sonic Youth for the Judgment Night Soundtrack where the two bonded over their love of the sticky icky. The song worked a lot better than their track with Pearl Jam.

12. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins: In the of the alt-rock heyday, who would have expected the Smashing Pumpkins to start their double album with a sweet, well, melon collie, piano-based instrumental.

13. Sir Psycho Sexy – Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Peppers are weird to begin with, but this was easily their most bizarre track from Blood Sugar Sex Magic. The teenage version of myself loved the lady cop verse.

14. Slide Away – Oasis: That first album was brit-pop gold, this was definitely my favorite non-single.

15. The Wanderer – U2: Nirvana gets a lot of credit for the start of the alt-rock era, but with Achtung Baby, U2 was getting weird at the same time. They got even weirder on Zoorepa which ended with a country euro-trash song featuring Johnny Cash on vocals, a year before his carreer got resurrected with the American Recordings series.

16. Swing On This - Alice In Chains: Who would have guessed Alice in Chain would ever release a song that was actually danceable?

17. Pillar of Davidson – Live: There were plenty of epic songs on Throwing Copper, this song may have actually been the most epic.

18. Bogusflow – Beck: DGC Rarities vol. 1 was a must own by any alt-rock fan with plenty of rare gems. At the time, Beck was heading for one hit wonderdom and this drunken Bob Dylan type song was not going to help him out of that label but was awesome nonetheless. I am still waiting for vol. 2.

19. Mad Dog 20 / 20 – Teenage Fanclub: Fun fact: The first legal drink I ever bought was Mad Dog 20/20. I cannot confirm nor deny it is because of this song.

20. April 29, 1992 (Miami) – Sublime: Humorously the band actually got the date wrong in the actual lyrics song (April 26), legend has it that the take with the mistake was the best so they kept it.

21. Steven's Last Night In Town – Ben Folds Five: There were not many New Orleans inspired tracks during the alt rock era, but this one was really good.

22. Brother – Toad the Wet Sprocket: This was off their “rarities” album which was one of the few albums that was just as good as the “proper” albums in an artist discography.

23. Price to Pay – Blues Traveler: Just great storytelling in this song and of course plenty of harmonica.

24. Carrion – Fiona Apple: The big hits of this album were song of Fiona’s more angry songs; I also appreciate her more subtle songs like this one.

25. Nada – The Refreshments: In the introduction I mentioned how easy it was to get a Gold album, this is one of the few bands from the time that did not manage one and I am not sure why, I really enjoyed both of their albums. Maybe too southern and not enough alternative in their rock. And then too weird for the country crowd. Nada was a great way to end that first album.

Honorable Mentions

Shamrocks and Shenanigans (Butch Vig Mix) – House of Pain: Another rap song I considered for this list, but the Butch Vig version. Vig was fresh from producing Nevermind and a few years away from becoming a founding member of Garbage and gave an alt-rock bent to the song.

Iron Man – The Cardigans: I considered a couple songs by the band for this list but Lovefool was a bit too poppy and Been It just missed the cut (had I expanded the end date by a year, My Favorite Mistake would definitely made the list). But the album was much more weird and darker than you would expect from the group that brought you Lovefool, case in point this trippy cover of the Black Sabbath song.

Monday, June 02, 2014

The 100 Greatest Songs From the Golden Age of Alternative Rock

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

2. Sabotage - Beastie Boys

3. Would? - Alice in Chains

4. Creep - Radiohead

5. Loser - Beck

6. Undone - The Sweater Song - Weezer

7. Closer - Nine Inch Nails

8. Give It Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers

9. What I Got - Sublime

10. Mr. Jones - Counting Crows

11. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots

12. Come Out and Play - Offspring

13. No Rain - Blind Melon

14. What's the Frequency, Kenneth? - R.E.M.

15. Santa Monica - Everclear

16. Bullet With Butterfly Wings - The Smashing Pumpkins

17. Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve

18. Run-Around - Blues Traveler

19. Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz

20. Killing In the Name - Rage Against the Machine

21. I Alone - Live

22. Alive - Pearl Jam

23. Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage

24. Bound for the Floor - Local H

25. Peaches - The Presidents of the United States of America

26. Low - Cracker

27. Mysterious Ways - U2

28. Hey Man, Nice Shot - Filter

29. Liar - Rollins Band

30. All Mixed Up - 311

31. Song for the Dumped - Ben Folds Five

32. Pepper - Butthole Surfers

33. Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand - Primitive Radio Gods

34. Not an Addict - K's Choice

35. Criminal - Fiona Apple

36. Drive - R.E.M.

37. Here and Now - Letters to Cleo

38. Popular - Nada Surf

39. Shine - Collective Soul

40. Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet

41. Bad Reputation - Freedy Johnston

42. Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana

43. Where It's At - Beck

44. The Distance - Cake

45. Cumbersome - Seven Mary Three

46. Self Esteem - Offspring

47. Supersonic - Oasis

48. Possum Kingdom - Toadies

49. Banditos - Refreshments

50. Good - Better Than Ezra

51. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star

52. Ants Marching - Dave Matthews Band

53. Live Forever - Oasis

54. Walk - Pantera

55. Rooster - Alice in Chains

56. Mockingbirds - Grant Lee Buffalo

57. Sleep to Dream - Fiona Apple

58. Spoonman - Soundgarden

59. Round Here - Counting Crows

60. 1979 - The Smashing Pumpkins

61. Spin the Bottle - Juliana Hatfield Three

62. Fall Down - Toad the Wet Sprocket

63. Possession - Sarah McLachlan

64. Fallín' - Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul

65. Desperately Wanting - Better Than Ezra

66. Santeria - Sublime

67. Bulls On Parade - Rage Against the Machine

68. Hitchhiker Joe - Rugburns

69. Longview - Green Day

70. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

71. Cannonball - Breeders

72. Everlong - Foo Fighters

73. El Scorcho - Weezer

74. What Would You Say - Dave Matthews Band

75. Ruby Soho - Rancid

76. Everything Falls Apart - Dog's Eye View

77. Say It Ain't So - Weezer

78. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger

79. Push - Moist

80. My Name Is Mud - Primus

81. Battle of Who Could Care Less - Ben Folds Five

82. The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

83. Lump - The Presidents of the United States of America

84. Connected - Stereo MC's

85. Naked Eye - Luscious Jackson

86. Lithium - Nirvana

87. Date Rape - Sublime

88. Connection - Elastica

89. Buddy X - Neneh Cherry

90. The Freshmen - The Verve Pipe

91. Einstein On the Beach (For an Eggman) - Counting Crows

92. Buddy Holly - Weezer

93. I Got Id - Pearl Jam

94. Super Bon Bon - Soul Coughing

95. #1 Crush - Garbage

96. All Apologies - Nirvana

97. Big Me - Foo Fighters

98. I Will Survive - Cake

99. Until It Sleeps - Metallica

100. Fell On Black Days - Soundgarden

For the purpose of this list, the Golden Age of Alternative Rock started with the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit and ended when Limp Bizcuit released their first album.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXIX: Don't Follow

With the new album by Pearl Jam and the 20th anniversary of In Utero (Nirvana Unplugged was also recorded twenty years ago yesterday) I have been thinking about grunge lately and let’s face it: the genre has not aged well. Sure you can blame it on the second wave of grunge acts like Bush and Candlebox and it got completely bastardized by the time Nickelback co-opted the sound. Lackluster reunions recently by Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots certainly did not help either (at least Bush has stayed retired). Despite the unnecessary reunion, Alice in Chains is one of the few grunge acts I still look back fondly at. Would? remains my favorite grunge song of all time (naturally it was on the Single soundtrack). The band also has some deep cut that need to be rediscovered mostly on their two lesser owned EP. Don’t Follow on the Jar of Flies EP is the rare power balled from the band that even had a down south vibe to it thanks to a well placed harmonica.

Don’t Follow – Alice in Chains

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 9/11/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Berzerk – Eninem

I have never been excited for an Eminem album but it is hard not to get excited when this is the first single and the knowledge that the album is being co-produced by Rick Rubin (who did this song and pops up in the video to grow his beard out and just weird out) and Dr. Dre. And then he release this video with other cameos by Kendrick Lamar and Kid Rock as well as references to the two artists he samples, Billy Squier and Beastie Boys (for you youngin’ go check out the video for So What'cha Want for that reference).

Roar – Katy Perry

I have to admit that I do not completely hate this song which is saying a lot because that is basically the second nicest thing I have ever said about a song by Katy Perry (I file Teenage Dream under "begrudgingly enjoy"). Sure, as everyone has pointed out it completely rips off Brave from Sara Bareilles (I am surprised no one points that extending the title in the chorus blatently rips off Umbrella, and does it poorly at that), but it is so stupid, it is hard to hate. And the musc video is enjoyable… for obvious reasons.

Kangaroo Court - Capital Cities

I was a bit surprised Safe and Sound by Capital Cities ended up being the break out indie hit of the summer, it was all right, but not as good as many of its peers that toiled in obscurity. Now the duo is back hoping to avoid being one hit wonders (this song will probably will not be it) and the whole animal heads on human bodies is totally freaking me the frack out.

The Devil Put the Dinosaurs Here – Alice I Chains

Alice in Chains put out two music videos last week and though Voices is probably a better song and is only notable for Jerry Cantrell’s accountant haircut (apparently friends do let friends get friends haircuts), while the video for The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is much freakier. Not animal heads on human bodies freaky, but freaky nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Want My Music Television - 1/23/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

The Rebound – Tristan Prettyman

I think we may be nearing the end of the lyric video phenomenon because I actually had an adverse reaction after watching this one from Tristan Prettyman. Seeing the lyrics and them being realize literally (bananas!) with images just made me see just how creepy the song really is.

We Both Know - Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw

I like both Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw but this is a pretty boring song. It probably does not help that the movie it is from, Safe Haven, looks painfully bad. But I guess that should not be much of a surpise considering it was based on a book by Nicholas Sparks who have us the abominations that were Dear John, The Last Song, and The Lucky One.

Waiting For the Night - Nelly Furtado

Whoa Nelly Furtado, you got some bad advice from whoever told you the 2-face skeleton paint would work. It makes the accordion solo look like a great idea in comparison.

Hollow - Alice In Chains

I was pretty content ignoring the Alice in Chains reboot when they released a new album a couple years ago. I really enjoyed the band back in the day because I loved the dichotomy of the angsty Laine Staley against the more melodic Jerry Cantrell. But I guess I going to have to acknowledge the new incarnation now that they are going to release a new album. The thirteen year old version of me does not like it at all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lyrics Quiz: Grand Theft Auto

Just to show how bad things have gotten for the music industry, in one day, Grand Theft Auto IV sold more games than all but one album sold in all of 2007. Ironically, one of the things that makes the game so enjoyable is that you can just cruise around in your car listening to music. I have found myself playing the game sitting in the car waiting for the song to end before I got out of the car to get some hot coffee. This month’s quiz is dedicated to songs that can be found in a previous GTA games. As always you need to put both artist and title in the comments section (or you can e-mail me) and if you are correct I will un-bold it and give you credit. The Lyrics Quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please do not use anything besides your own meandering mind to help you up with the answers. Now onto the quiz:

1. Reaching out for something to hold, looking for a love where the climate is cold. Manic moves and drowsy dreams or living in the middle between the two extremes. (Out of Touch - Hall and Oates; guessed by Dara)
2. I am the one who would dance on the floor in a round. (Billie Jean - Michael Jackson; guessed by Angie)
3. Oh, the night is my world. City light, painted girl. (Self Control - Laura Branigan; guessed by Angie)
4. I know her love is true, but it is so damn easy making love to you. (Run to You - Bryan Adams; guessed by Angie)
5. We are young but getting old before our time. We’ll leave the TV and radio behind.
6. Heart of the city street is beating. Light from the neon’s turning dark today.
7. So you think my singing’s out of time: it makes me money. I don’t know why.
8. I said to my reflection, “Let’s get out of this place.” (Tempted - Squeeze - guessed by Dara)
9. Diary sits by the bedside table. Curtains are closed, cat’s in a cradle. ((I Just) Died in Your Arms - Cutting Crew; guessed by Angie)
10. Baby it’s all I know that you’re half the flesh and blood that makes me whole. (Broken Wings - Mr. Mister; guesed by Angie)
11. And so the conversation turned until the sun went down. And many fantasies were learned on that day. ((Keep Feelin ) Fascination - Human League; guessed by Angie)
12. Ladies love me; girls adore me I mean even the ones that never seen me like the way that I rhyme at a show. (It Takes Two - Rob Base and D.J. E-Z Rock; guessed by Angie)
13. Your bark was loud, but your bite wasn't vicious and them rhymes you were kicking were quite bootylicious.
14. Some drop science, well I’m dropping English.
15. Lovers, I know you've had a few. But hide your heart beneath the covers and tell 'em they're the only one.
16. Worried, why do I let myself worry. Wondering what in the world did I do? (Crazy - Willie Nelson; guessed by Dara)
17. I love to hear the thunder, watch the lightning when it lights up the sky. You know it makes me feel good. (I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbit; guessed by Angie)
18. Patti gave birth to a ten pound baby boy. (Young Turks - Rod Stewart; guessed by Angie)
19. Got a surprise especially for you, something that both of us have always wanted to do. We’ve waited so long. (Two Tickets to Paradise - Eddie Money; guessed by Dara)
20. After three days, in the desert fun, I was looking at a river bed and the story it told, of a river that flowed made me sad to think it was dead. (A Horse with No Name - America; guessed by Angie)
21. Never trust a big butt and a smile. (Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe; guessed by Angie)
22. From fancy cars to diamond rings, I've just about given you everything. There’s really not much I won't do for you. I bought you twelve yellow roses and candy, too. (Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown; guessed by Angie)
23. If you got the money, honey, we got your disease. (Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n' Roses; guessed by Angie)
24. Neon lights, Nobel Prize. When a leader speaks, that leader dies. (Cult of Personality - Living Colour; guessed by Dara)
25. Where you going with the mask I found? (Plush - Stone Temple Pilots; guessed by Angie)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Kids Don't Do Drugs Mmm-Kay

I think I may need an intervention. Granted I’ve never done drugs before, let me rephrase that, much like Big Head Barry, I’ve never knowingly done drugs. You see, back in college there three dorm mates of mine that continually talked about the time we all got high even though I didn’t remember the episode. I never knew marijuana could cause blackouts, but anyway.

Carrie Underwood, I'd hit thatWell it seems I fell off the wagon I never knew I was on. Let me start by saying I don’t watch commercials. When watching a show and a commercial comes on, I put on the picture and picture and browse the music channels, MTV2, FUSE, , while waiting for the episode to resume. Then a couple days ago I flipped onto VH1 Classics to see something that convinced mw that I took something that was making me hallucinate. What did I see? Carrie Underwood hanging out with the reunited Alice In Chains. Let me repeat that for those who thought they were hallucinating that last sentence. On my television, Carrie Underwood, reigning American Karaoker was hanging out with Grunge Gods Alice in Chains. Oh and adding to my dementia, also in the room was Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction, and Phil Anselmo of Pantera. Yes, Phil (Expletive Deleted) Anselmo hanging out with Carrie Underwood.

Carrie Underwood with the bigger Wilson sisterSince I could believe what I was seeing, I taped the rest of the show and it turned out it this was part of a concert series put on by the network called (check out the link for clips) where they team up golden oldies acts with contemporary hit makes. And no, for those wondering at home, Carrie didn’t fill in for the late Laine Staley on Would? or Man in the Box. This particular show was in honor of Heart and Carrie’s only appearance was to duet with the band on Alone, which, my sources tell me, she did on that little karaoke show she did last year then hung back stage for an interview with all of the participants where she was seated just feet away from Phil Anselmo. As much as I loved Pantera in my formative years, he creeps me out just watching him on television and I can’t image how scared Carrie had to be.

Phil Anselmo, Duff McKagan help out the reunited Alice in ChainsAs strange as a pairing as Underwood and Alice in Chains, the band hanging out with Heart shouldn’t come as much as a shock as both bands hail from Seattle. And if you are like me and mostly remember Heart from the 80’s, All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You phase, you need to remember that they could hold their own during the arena rock of the 70’s and Barracuda is one of the all time great rock songs. But still it was disturbing see in Ann Wilson (or is it Nancy? which one’s the, um, bigger one? Isn’t their a Carnie sister?) help out on vocal for Rooster with some dude named William Duvall who actually did a decent Staley impression. But the highlight is when Anselmo took over Staley’s vocals on Would?, which I consider the greatest song of the grunge era and it was as great as you can image and probably better. Hopefully this becomes a permanent thing and that Alice in Chains doesn’t pull a INXS and finds a karaoker to front their band (no offence to Carrie Underwood). Unfortunately Anselmo also took on Them Bones that didn't make onto the broadcast which had to be crazy.

When do I get to meet Alice in Chains for my birthday?While searching for information on this concert, I came up with some disturbing info, especially considering McKagan’s involvement, that Underwood routinely covers GnR’s Patience and Sweet Child o’ Mine on tour. I did get a hold of a version of the former and it is disturbing, and by disturbing I mean I can’t stop listening to it even though she totally messes up the ending and uses a violin where whistling should go. I once wanted to meet Carrie Underwood solely to have dirty, dirty sex with her, but after this revelations, I totally want to harass her about seeing the first performance of Alice and Chains… and to properly show her how to perform Patience.