Sunday, December 26, 2010

Song Of The Week: 12/26/10

Song: "Numbers"

Artist: Bigwig

Album: "Stay Asleep"

Year: 1999

"Numbers" is a song about not conforming to acts of oppression, whether they be religious oppression, governmental oppression or societal oppression. It's really a middle finger to those who try to mold you into something that you're not and that you never wanted to be. A true punk rock rebellion song. The song features one of the best anti-establishment choruses in punk rock music: "Fuck your schools. Fuck your rules. Fuck you and your boundaries." Bigwig formed as a band back in 1995. If you took one cup of hardcore punk such as Black Flag and another cup of more melodic punk like fellow Jersey boys The Bouncing Souls, then sprinkled in little hints of metal, you'd wind up with a style that resembles Bigwig. The band very much stayed in the underground punk movement, never really crossing over with a great deal of success. This caused a revolving door of band members through the years, the only constant being lead singer and chief songwriter Tom Petta. In fact, Petta is the only original band member in Bigwig today. The band's most recent release was 2006's "Reclamation". Currently, the band has just cancelled a bunch of tour dates that they were supposed to play with Pennywise due to unforeseen circumstances. Their is no current news as to whether Bigwig is working on any new material for future release at this time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Song Of The Week: 12/19/10

Song: "Glycerine"

Artist: Bush

Album: Live performance from MTV Spring Break

Year: 1996

"Glycerine" is a song about a volatile relationship. It's a strange contradiction of a song in that, there is no person in the world that the vocalist feels more passionate about yet at the same time, the relationship is both physically and mentally abusive. Rather than making changes in order to keep the relationship alive, he seems reluctantly content to allow it to dissolve around him. The song really shows how true love could be so strong as to rise above everything yet so fragile that it could also come crashing down on those involved. "Glycerine" was the fourth single from Bush's debut album "Sixteen Stone" which was released in 1994. On the heels of the grunge movement, Bush would catch that wave and "Sixteen Stone" was extremely successful. "Glycerine" reached number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and stayed there for two weeks making it one of their most successful singles. Bush would release three more studio albums after "Sixteen Stone", all of which achieved some moderate success but nothing like their debut. After ten years of making music and touring, in 2002 Bush decided to call it quits. Lead guitarist and founding member Nigel Pulsford wanted to focus his attention and time on his family while lead singer Gavin Rossdale would do some acting as well as release some music both as a solo artist and with the band Institute. In 2010, Gavin Rossdale, along with original drummer Robin Goodridge, decided to reform Bush, albeit with a new lead guitarist and bassist. The band has played various reunion shows in 2010 and plan on releasing an album, tentatively titled "Everything Always Now", sometime in 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Song Of The Week: 12/12/10

Song: "New Tools"

Artist: Seaweed

Album: "Weak"

Year: 1992

This song appears to be about not conforming to those who think they have your best interests at heart. In life, there are many people trying to tug you in directions which may compromise your core values or belief system. It's important to trust yourself first and foremost when it comes to your work, your ideas, your relationships and your life. Sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in the current that is the machine. Often, it is those who go against that current that tend to achieve the most satisfaction in what they do, whether it becomes successful or not. Seaweed, from Tacoma, WA, formed as a band back in 1989. They were signed to the famous SubPop label in Seattle and were very much in the underground of the "grunge" movement. Their style, to me, is kind of like a dirty punk style, a definite mesh of punk attitude with a grungy atmosphere. Seaweed never attained the same successes as it's contemporaries, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney. Their biggest success was probably their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" which was released on the soundtrack for Kevin Smith's underground hit movie "Clerks". For eleven years, 1989 to 2000, Seaweed would release records on various labels and tour extensively but they could never quite get over the hump as a successful band. In 2000, Seaweed broke up with all the members working on different projects, most of them staying in the music industry in some capacity or another. Lead singer, Aaron Stauffer fronted some notable acts as Not From Space, Gardener and The Blue Dot. In 2007, most of the original band decided to get back together and began performing live shows. The most current news from Seaweed is that they are working on a new album tentatively titled "Small Engine Repair".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Song Of The Week: 12/5/10

Song: "Castaway"

Artist: Jerry Cantrell

Album: "Degradation Trip: Volumes 1 & 2"

Year: 2002

This song is about feeling as if your alone at sea or on an island. In a literal sense, feeling like you're a castaway. If you look at this time in Jerry Cantrell's life, especially the situations involving his band Alice In Chains, the song could possibly be autobiographical. Cantrell never wanted to embark on a solo career. His first love was always his band Alice In Chains, but due to the failing health of frontman Layne Staley, Chains was in limbo. Therefore, with great anxiety, Cantrell went on that island and tried to make it on his own, battling his own demons along the way. In the early 90's, the Seattle music scene was all the rage and Alice In Chains, along with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden, were at the forefront of the "grunge" movement. With great success came even greater trappings of fame. Perhaps none of the Seattle band was more greatly impacted by the effects of drug abuse than Alice In Chains. The grip of heroin took it's toll on Layne Staley the most. By 1996, Alice In Chains was a shell of it's former self. Though they just released their self-titled album shortly before, Staley's health made it damn near impossible to tour in support of the album. With Chains basically on hiatus, Cantrell began focusing on a solo career which would spawn two albums, "Boggy Depot" and "Degradation Trip: Volumes 1 & 2". "Degradation Trip" really found Cantrell focusing on where his musical career was headed amongst the turmoil and ashes of his former band. Just before the release of the album, Cantrell and the music world had to come to grips with the tragedy of Layne Staley's death in 2002. Though everyone saw it coming, the death of Staley really hit hard. Some years later, Cantrell and the remaining members of Alice In Chains got together and played a benefit show with various lead singers filling in. The spark that was once there returned and rumors of an Alice In Chains reunion began surfacing. They recruited Comes With The Fall vocalist William DuVall and began touring with their new line-up. In 2009, the band released "Black Gives Way To Blue", their first studio album in 14 years and their first without Layne Staley. Currently, Jerry Cantrell and Alice In Chains are on tour supporting "Black Gives Way To Blue".