While undeniably contemporaries of seminal '90s Seattle groups like Alice in Chains, Mudhoney and Nirvana, TAD diverged from their peers. While the term "grunge" served as a pitifully poor catch-all for the not-quite-metal and not-quite-punk sounds coming out of the city at the time, the flannel-flying oddball quartet of Kurt Danielson, Steve Wied, Gary Thorstensen and Tad Doyle started out wanting to make the ugliest music they could, albeit imbued with an insular sense of humor. For their transgressive approach, TAD were beloved by their peers, playing and touring alongside them all over the world as their modest city rose in stature as the new model for rock’s future. [more inside]
"In this excerpt from Keith Cameron's new biography Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle, spanning the end of grunge's golden era (Fall 1993 to Fall 1994), we have Mudhoney opening area tours first for Nirvana and then Pearl Jam - the latter of which is shattered by Kurt Cobain's suicide - and joining Vedder & co. for a tour of the White House, during which President Bill Clinton meets with Eddie Vedder to discuss whether or not he should address the nation about Cobain's suicide."
Songs from Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten, stripped of all but Eddie Vedder's vocals: Once. Even Flow. Alive. Black. Jeremy. Oceans. Release. Apart from highlighting Vedder's unique voice, phrasing and harmonzing, these vocal mixes expose some interesting studio effects applied to his voice (on 'Even Flow', for example).
To kick off the celebration of Sub Pop Records 25th anniversary, Mudhoney played a live set on top of the Space Needle today. Performance begins at about 21:00. [more inside]
KEXP 90.3 FM is a Seattle, WA-based radio station, officially "a service of University of Washington," but it's more complex than that. The first University of Washington radio station started broadcasting in 1952. Five decades, a few station organizational shifts, plus three call letter and frequency changes later, KEXP was (re)born in 2001. Along the way, the station spread the sound of 1990s Seattle indie rock, started streaming "CD quality" MP3 audio of their broadcast in 2000, and they have an ever-growing collection of recordings of live in-station performances, including over 2,000 videos on YouTube. [more inside]
The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew. - Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge.
Amidst The Ghosts Of Its Fallen Figures: With the 20th anniversary of the Seattle scene's insurgence fast approaching, Exclaim! follows the timeline of Mark Lanegan, the scene's poetic misfit. [more inside]
Matt Cameron gained a lot of respect early on in the Seattle grunge scene, particularly for his ability to make odd time signatures feel like straight time. Over the years he kept time for Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Temple of the Dog, and his own Wellwater Conspiracy. Since 1998 he's played with the last men standing of the Seattle heavyweights, though it's a little known fact that he recorded drums on the original pre-Vedder demo. In the 8 years between, Pearl Jam had a few other drummers of note sit in. [more inside]
The Sub Pop Singles Club began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay, cementing its status as a collector's item and making a generation of music geeks feel old.
Touch Me I'm Sick. Photographer Charles Peterson helped America see grunge from the inside out. His dramatic black-and-white images portrayed the energy of the music being performed in crowded basements and dingy dive bars featuring such bands as Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Hole, Black Flag, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth, among others. "Touch Me I’m Sick: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs by Charles Peterson" will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art through May 1. More inside.
Ten years gone. The unifinished story of Kurt Cobain. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since the unwelcome news was broadcast. As a Cobain contemporary/gen X'er/Seattle musican in the 90s, my own heart is still broken.
"In late January 1994, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl entered Bob Lang's studio in Seattle for their final recording session. Following a long jam, they captured this powerful tune in one take, including the gut-wrenching vocal -- a spooky, ambient intro of echoed harmonics and a fractured guitar solo." --Jim DeRogatis
Alice in Chains' lead singer dead at 34. Apparently he died several days ago and was just discovered last night. Identity was confirmed today. No cause of death is known yet.