Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Soundgarden: Gods of Grunge, Monsters of Rock

This hump day clearly won't be one of my most productive ones. There's a cluster of ideas for future posts crowding my mind, but instead of settling on any of them, I'll focus on the one thing that is stopping me from focusing on anything else today: tonight's Soundgarden show at Melbourne's Sidney Meyer Music Bowl, which will be my first major concert in Australia. (What took me so long, right?)

I'll have to do some sort of in-depth analysis of Soundgarden one day (like tomorrow, when I'll be reviewing the show for the Time Out Melbourne website). For now, I think I'll just listen to my three favorite Soundgarden tracks on repeat until showtime.

"Heretic" The song that kicked off my love affair with Soundgarden back in 1990, when it appeared on the soundtrack for Pump Up the Volume, a Christian Slater movie whose title I'd one day steal for my former True/Slant column, and whose soundtrack would be my favorite until 1996, when Trainspotting rolled into the station.

"Outshined" A 1991 Soundgarden single that I still listen to several times a week. (Don't hold that its lyrics inspired the title of the 1996 Keanu Reeves non-masterpiece Feeling Minnesota against it.) It perfectly illustrates why Chris Cornell was the best singer of the early '90s grunge movement. Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder have spawned countless imitators over the years, but no American Idol rocker wannabe has ever come close to pulling off a Chris Cornell.

"Pretty Noose" That a song this hard could go all the way to No. 14 on the UK pop singles chart is precisely why I've always found the tops of the pop in the UK to be far more exciting than it is in the U.S. Now if only they would do something about all of those frothy club cutz and 15-minutes-to-go reality-show contestants stinking up those upper reaches. But I digress. Today, it's all about Soundgarden. Count three and play.

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