Butch Vig

Those 90’s Songs: Garbage- Vow

Garbage - Vow - Amazon.com Music

I don’t know how I wind up listening to things at times. The other day while I was working, somehow I wound up listening to the band Garbage. I still have no clue what brought that up but, I’m glad it did. I spent the rest of the day and most of the next delving back into their catalog and history. Garbage really have some pretty great songs and albums. Their newer albums too are pretty damn good. While listening to their debut album, I had a flashback to the first time I heard the band and their song “Vow.” I remember listening to the radio and being totally taken aback by the voice I heard. Shirley Manson really left a mark on me and the music the backed her up on that song was just as grabbing. Some interesting history on the song, Garbage had not initially planned to release “Vow” as their first single, as a single at all, or even include it on their self titled debut. According to the band, they felt that “Vow” was not representative of the album’s genre-hopping body of work, although they later came to appreciate the situation that led to the song becoming their debut. Manson declared that “now we can do whatever and people won’t know what to expect”, but if the band had instead settled for “of the more clubby tunes” as a single, “we would have been pigeonholed as a dance band and that’s a hard tag to shake.” Either way, I’m glad it was released and on their debut. It wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t.

Garbage- Vow:

 

 

 

Secret Songs: Nirvana- Endless, Nameless

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I still remember listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind all the way through the first time and wondering why there was all this empty dead air after “Something In The Way.” Then, after about 10 minutes of silence “Endless, Nameless” begins to play and it all makes sense. The song itself is an interesting one. It’s a very Sonic Youth inspired song with all the noise but, it also has this really cool vibe that acts as a precursor of sorts (all be it probably indirectly) for what would become the raw sound attached to In Utero. It’s also worth noting that this is the only other song on Nevermind credited to all three members of Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” being the other.

Nirvana- Endless, Nameless:

 

Secret Songs: AFI-The Spoken Word & This Time Imperfect

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NEW TOPIC!!! This one will showcase all the hidden songs at the end of albums. You know the ones you had to wait 10-20 minutes for after the last song ended.

A.F.I.’s 2003 album Sing The Sorrow was quite a success. The album saw the band shift their sound even more from their once hardcore/horror punk roots. The end result though, despite many of the bands early fans not accepting the change, was an album that is pretty damn good. The album also featured two hidden tracks at the end.  After a brief silence at the end of “…Bit Home Is Nowhere”, piano music begins to play as guitarist Jade Puget’s younger brother Gibson speaks the first third of the poem. After the poem is concluded, the hidden track “This Time Imperfect” fades in, featuring a guitar playing backwards and extensive sampling. “This Time Imperfect” is a really cool song that contains a lot of the elements heard on Sing The Sorrow.

A.F.I.- The Spoken Word/This Time Imperfect:

 

Album Anniversary: Garbage- Self Titled

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The mid 90’s were a very special time in music. So many ground breaking and influential albums came out and shaped the lives of my people.  On August 15, 1995, Garbage released their debut album. After spending time doing remixes and working on other peoples records, Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erickson decided they wanted to take the different instrumentation they had been doing and form a full fledged band. According to the way the story goes, Steve Marker was watching 120 Minutes on MTV, when he saw the music video of Angelfish’s “Suffocate Me.” He then showed the video to Duke and Butch and had their manager track Shirley Manson down. Shirley Manson met up with  Erikson, Marker and Vig for the first time in London. Due to Shirley’s other band on tour, Garbage was put on hold till after they finished their cycle. The three guys then attended Angelfish’s show in Chicago and Shirley was invite to audition for the group. The audition did not go well, but after talking with the guys while there and they found they had a similar taste in music. Shirley then called Garbage’s manager and asked to audition again.

The album itself is a blend of many different genres from punk, rock, techno, hip hop all with an incorporated pop tinge. There are so many great tracks like, “Vow,” “Stupid Girl,” “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Supervixen.”  Radio and MTV really picked up on the bands singles. To support the albums release, Garbage was the main support for The Smashing Pumpkins while on their tour for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

20 years into their career and Garbage still have a knack for creating great music. Their singles really still hold up well, as well as some of the deep cuts. The albums as a whole are a little iffy, but there is a real sense of pride within the bands as to what they have created. One thing I noticed while Listening back to all their albums, is that on Version 2.0, they really seemed to find their sound and hone it gracefully.

There is no doubt that all the members of the band are extremely talented, each bringing in something different to the table to create a great body of work. The one thing that always stood out to me about Garbage was Shirley Manson. She has a way about here that is part punk rock, alternative, and hypnotic. Her voice stands out amongst a lot of here peers in the entire genre.

Garbage is going on the road to celebrate their 20 year anniversary by playing their self titled debut in it’s entirety, as well as re releasing it with a slew of extras.

Garbage-Garbage:

Garbage EPK from first album:

By: Brian Lacy

Album Review: Foo Fighters- Sonic Highways

 

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When a band reaches a certain point in their career it’s hard to keep things fresh and inspired. For the bands eighth album the gents in the Foo Fighters tried something different. While the idea is a great one, the final product falls a bit flat. The idea of recording a song in a different city is a great idea. Lyrically it just falls flat. The songs feel rushed and incomplete. It’s as though the thoughts were unfinished. The show on HBO is quite interesting and full of a rich musical history. In my opinion the show is way better than the album. The albums eight songs are very hit and miss. The best song I heard on the album is a song called “Outside” which features the great Joe Walsh. This is the best song on the album hands down. This album is very disjointed and not an “album.”  It’s a collection of single songs, that have no cohesiveness. Also the use of Butch Vig as a producer I think was the wrong choice. His input and methods just don’t work for what the band was trying to do, Nick Raskulinecz would have been the perfect choice. The first song “Something From Nothing” is a good track but nothing special. The whole record is nothing special. In fact I’d probably put this album towards the bottom of the list of ranking their albums. I truly thought that after how good Wasting Light was they would continue on a path similar to how that album turned out. Nice try on this one Foos.

On the scale of 1-10: I give this a 4

By: Brian Lacy

Album Debate: Nevermind vs In Utero

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There is a debate that has been going on for quite some time about Nirvana. There are many out there that consider Nevermind to be the holy grail of their brief catalog. Then there are those who hold In Utero in higher regard. I tend to fall in the In Utero camp. Not to take anything away from Nevermind, In Utero is just the better album in regards to the production, and songwriting. Sure “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” “Lithium” and “Drain You” are all good songs. Those songs while meaningful just don’t connect as much as the ones on In Utero. There is more desperation anguish, and suffering in the In Utero songs. The production of the vocals really show that as well. Steve Albini’s engineering skills trump Butch Vig any day. Not to take anything away from Butch, his work on Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream, and all the Garbage albums are great. Nirvana just needed someone like Steve Albini to really get at the raw nature of the songs. Songs like “Scentless Apprentice,” “Heart Shaped Box,” “Rape Me,” “Milk It” and “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” have that hard edged roar to them and the way they were produced really captures that demand to be noticed. The softer side of the album with songs like “Dumb,” “Pennyroyal Tea” and “All Apologies” embrace the very delicate nature of the band. The only song to really capture that on Nevermind was “Something In The Way.” The drums thump in more of a way that captures the true essence of how Dave Grohl plays. The bass sound has more of a dirty yet balanced sound that attaches itself to the rhythm in a clearer way. The guitars have more edge to them. They cut through the songs with an abrasive razor sharp dynamic. Vocally you can hear all of Kurt’s pain in every syllable he sings. His screams reach new heights since Steve Albini refused to double track Kurt’s vocals. It’s quite noticeable at the end of “Rape Me.” There is something else that has always bothered me about Nevermind. The way Nevermind turned out sort of has a very controlled production and compressed radio-friendly mix.That is something that is not very flattering to a rock band like Nirvana.

Granted this is all just my opinion, but I think this makes for a good debate. Sure we will never know what the next step for Nirvana would be. Though the indication of “You Know You’re Right” which was done by Adam Kasper shows that they were continuing in the direction that Steve Albini steered them in.

 

By: Brian Lacy