Ever since I went to see The Smashing Pumpkins a coiuple weeks ago, I’ve been reliving the show in my head. One of the moments of the show that really stood out to me was when they played their cover of The Talking Heads “Once In A Lifetime.” The original version is still astounding and this version, especially the arrangement the Pumpkins put together takes on a life of its own. I still can’t get over how damn good this was.
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):
Radiohead is one of those bands that are truly awesome. Their evolution as a band has been one of the most interesting to listen to and watch happen. The Bends will always be my favorite album of theirs but, 2000’s Kid A is a very close second. That album is one of the best since the change of the century and ever! Not only is it a fantastic album it also has my all time favorite Radiohead song on it, “How To Disappear Completely.” This song is so beautiful and haunting. I still remember the first time I heard Kid A and when it got to this song, I immediately had to put it on again. It’s one of those songs that just has all the right elements and arrangements, plus where it was placed in the sequence of the album is something else too. “How To Disappear Completely” is one of those songs too that isn’t played live too often (only 188 times since Kid A was released according to Setlist.fm) but, when it is, the crowd truly listens and lets the song take over. Singer Thom Yorke has said that this song is “the most beautiful thing we’ve done.” An interesting tidbit about this song, guitarist Jonny Greenwood is the only one in the band with music theory training and According to longtime producer/collaborator Nigel Godrich, when the band heard Greenwood’s score “they all just sort of burst into giggles, because they couldn’t do what he’d written, because it was impossible – or impossible for them, anyway.” Needless to say they figured it out and it became one of the most epic songs they would play live.
Radiohead- How To Disappear Completely (Live 2001):
This is one of my favorite side projects I’ve heard in quite a while. If you aren’t familiar with Mrs. Piss you have been missing out. Comprised of Chelsea Wolfe (vocals/guitar) and Jess Gowrie (drums), Mrs. Piss is a departure from what they do in Chelsea’s solo stuff. The project began while the two were touring around together during Wolfe’s Hiss Spun album in 2017. This music is heavier and channels some of the gnarliest, noisiest grunge-sludge sounds of the Nineties, plus plenty of the era’s riot grrrl attitude. This session was recorded in December of 2020 in Northern California and it offers a different take from the studio recordings.
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.
Woodstock 1999 has a very interesting history. Despite the riots, fires, rapes, price gouging and the other atrocities that happened, there were quite a few outstanding performances. One of those that I remember being a stand out was Korn’s set. This was before they were finished with their fourth album (and my second favorite album of their’s) Issues. Their set that night included 2 songs from Issues, “Falling Away From Me” and “Beg For Me” both with different lyrics than what is on the final versions. Both of these versions are quite different and give a bit of a different vibe than you’ve heard. I’d personally love for this set to be released officially. If you haven’t heard these before you are in for a treat and if you have, well now you can enjoy them again!
Korn- Beg For Me (Live at Woodstock 99):
Korn- Falling Away From Me (Live at Woodstock 99):
Since the whole pandemic began, I’ve been going back to albums I haven’t really delved deep into. One of those albums is Emma Ruth Rundle’s fantastic 2018 album, On Dark Horses. While listening and getting more and more engrained into the album. I developed a keen fascination with the song “Darkhorse.” This song is hauntingly beautiful and poetic. Every time I go back to this album, I’m compelled to listen to this song at least 5 times. It’s a very powerful and hypnotic song. One of those that will have you coming back more and more. The entire album, On Dark Horses is one of those albums that needs to heard and talked about. I could go on and on about it but it’s much better if you just listen for yourself.
Back in 1999, Silverchair released their opus Neon Ballroom. It was a departure from their first two (and very awesome) albums. This one though was full of so much more maturity and diversity that it has truly become one of those beloved albums the more the years have gone on. I’ll never forget hearing it for the first time, especially the first song on the album, “Emotion Sickness.” That song on its own is epic and truly remarkable. This live version of “Emotion Sickness” is astonishingly beautiful. Enjoy this. On a personal note (and I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me), Silverchair is one of those bands that really needs to get back together. That would really be something else if they did.
Silverchair- Emotion Sickness Live At Melbourne Park 1999:
I have a strange and somewhat cruel, yet comical thing that I love to do. When I’m out and about and I’m at a place with a jukebox, before I leave I like to leave a couple songs playing. What I do is pay the extra money and pick really long versions of songs and then leave. I know it’s silly but it’s also awesome and funny at the same time. One of my go to picks for years now has been this version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” Clocking in at 25 minutes (yes that is correct, twenty five minutes), it’s one of the most epic versions of this track. Found on the live album How The West Was Won, this version was recorded in 1972 from a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, this version also features parts of the songs “Walter’s Walk” and “The Crunge.” Needless to say, when you gotta get the Led out, this is one hell of a way to lay it on thick! Take a few minutes to enjoy this awesome alternate version.