The deep cut is something that I feel has become a lost element of music today. Everything is so focused on singles and the “hit” that so much of the time, there are songs that get left out and bypassed. As you’ve noticed the past couple years that my level of postings about The Smashing Pumpkins has gone up over that time and that’s because I’ve really delved deep in their catalog. One of the albums that I’ve truly come to love is 2007’s, Zeitgeist. Not only does this album foreshadow a lot of what our society has become but, it’s also one hell of a great album start to finish. There is a particular song on Zeitgeist that I keep going back to and that is track 3, “Bleeding The Orchid.” This song is quite interesting and profound. The song is indirectly inspired by the death of Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley and it also features a bit of an homage to the band with the harmonies you hear in the song. Also the guitar solo on this track by Billy Corgan further proves my point that he is truly an underrated guitarist. This song is one that I really wish would make it’s way into upcoming set lists as it’s an absolutely great and touching song.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Bleeding The Orchid (Live at The Viper Room, 2010):
The Smashing Pumpkins have a plethora of deep cuts that could fill one hell of a playlist. The deep cuts alone from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness could make an album of their own. I love going back to MCIS and delving into particular songs even more than before. This morning I remembered a certain riff to a Pumpkins song and it took me back to when I bought this album and all the feels I got when I reached this song on the record. The song I’m referring to is “X.Y.U.” from the Twilight To Starlight portion of MCIS. I’ve loved this song from the day I heard it. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The song was recorded in one take, live for the record with drum and vocal overdubs added later. The title means “Ex, Why You?”, but is also a play on the spelling of Russian obscene word “хуй” (pronounced “hu:i”) that is translated as “penis”. “X.Y.U.” is a song that was developed in a similar jam fashion to “Silverfuck” as it evolved as a song over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this song live a couple of times over the years and it’s always a highlight and never disappoints. So, take about 7 minutes out of your day and delve into this superb deep cut from The Smashing Pumpkins.
Over the past week or so, I’ve gone through a deep dive of all the Slipknot albums. Throughout my listening extravaganza, I came to realize that if I had to pick a favorite Slipknot song it would most definitely be “Gently” from their second album, Iowa. This is one of those songs that packs so much into it yet, it’s a very minimalist song. It’s one of the songs in their catalog that is experimental yet totally makes sense. When put into the context of the sequence of the album on Iowa, “Gently” not only acts as a perfect transition piece of shifting the album into even darker territory. Something else that is quite interesting about this song is that it dates back to the very first Slipknot release, Mate Feed Kill Repeat. This is one song that I wish they would play more live. And now, “Gently.”
The first Metallica album I ever heard was And Justice For All and from that point I was hooked. I was only 4 at the time but, it all made so much sense to me. Throughout the years of me listening to the album, I’ve come to love certain songs a ton. One of which is “Dyers Eve.” The songs lyrics is a rant from Hetfield to his parents and it’s such a poignant rant too. Musically, this song rips. It’s a “thrashterpiece” of epic proportions. Interestingly too, this song was debuted live in 2004, sixteen years after it was recorded, at a show in Los Angeles during the bands 2004 Madly In Anger With The World Tour. Also, as an album closer, what a way to end it on.
I love Alice In Chains. Anyone that knows me, knows that I can’t get enough of this band. If you are in my car with me and I have my iPod on random and an Alice song comes on, chances are, it’s going to get quite loud and I might start singing along. And also the chances of me having Alice on in general (or Nine Inch Nails) is quite high. That being said, I’ve been loving the fact that my (three year old) daughter seems to have taken quite a liking to Alice In Chains. I put music on for her when she’s in bed and going to sleep. The other night while laying with her, we were listening to some Alice and the song “Acid Bubble” from their album Black Gives Way To Blue came on and for some reason, I payed extra close attention to it that night and really found a new appreciation for that song. As a deep cut on the album, it’s quite exquisite. It’s very classic Alice sounding but, also modern enough to show the evolution of the band. In addition to that, it’s got some very classic harmonies and when William DuVall gets his moment to shine, oh does he. Anyways, dig into this gem of a track.
I love this topic. It’s a lot of fun to showcase a song at a time that deserve their due. As I’m sure over time, you’ve all come to realize that Nine Inch Nails is my all time favorite band. Through the years, Trent has written some pretty amazing songs and a lot of them have never really gotten the attention the deserve. One such song I’d like to highlight is “Getting Smaller” from 2005’s With Teeth. I still remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking to myself, what a great song this is, and as time went on I kept thinking why wasn’t this song a single or a live staple. Something fun about this song is that the drums on this track were played by the one and only Dave Grohl. This song too, is one of the best songs on With Teeth. I truly hope that when Nine Inch Nails comes back around to touring again, this song makes the set list.
There are certain bands that have way too often been overlooked. Planes Mistaken For Stars in one of them (look for a full piece on that coming soon). Through the bands career, they have been one of the best heavy rock bands around. They have the grit to go along with the piss and vinegar that makes heavy music something that is truly great. On their 2006 album Mercy, there is a song on that record called “To Spit A Sparrow” that is absolutely remarkable. It’s one of those songs that is distinctively akin to what this band is but, it also shows how great of songwriters they are.