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Outshined, Shined Out

The news this morning made this a surreal day. Chris Cornell, just 52 years old, survivor of the explosive and culturally immense Seattle grunge scene, was found dead in his hotel room while on tour with his original band Soundgarden. So, like many of my Gen-X brethren, I am sitting at my desk, listening to Soundgarden, and reflecting on it all.

Outshined was the first grunge song I heard. …or maybe Smells Like Teen Spirit… or maybe Alive… I cannot really recall; 11 years old was a long time ago. What I do recall, very vividly, is the first time I heard it. I remember sitting on the living room floor of my parents’ old apartment watching television (I used to sneak down at night to watch The Monkees on VH1) and turned to MTV. Here was a Buzz Clip that premiered that day… and POW. That was it. The past was over. I was changed. That was the moment that people talk about music changing their lives. That was when it happened for me. That moment defined so much of the rest of my life. That riff, the passion, that god damn voice… I may have stopped listening after Down On The Upside, but I will never forget what that moment did for me. It is one of the core reasons I am a musician. Thank you, Soundgarden. Thank you, Chris Cornell.


   Rest well, Chris.


Dirty Alice

    Today, I bought Alice In Chains – Dirt. Somehow this album, easily my favorite by them, slipped through the cracks over the years. The lady talked me into entering an FYE (I typically won’t step foot in that musically-illiterately-staffed hole.) and I happened to notice it in a 50% off bin (Egads!). Needless to say, I immediately recalled my love for the album, grabbed it up, slapped $7.95 on the counter, and walked away satisfied and excited.

   It is easy to forget just how good rock was in the early-to-mid 90’s. I feel that was the last great era of rock n’ roll. Very little these days can hold up to the past; what is worth listening to cannot compete. Perhaps this is merely a dry era. Maybe the beginning of the next decade will mark a healthy rebirth with a new wave of rock. If it does not, at least I have the passionate recordings of yesteryear to carry me through. At least  have my Dirt.