by (@BHSmithNYC)

The A – Z Of Grunge: Everything You Need To Know About The Seattle Sound That Shook The World

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Grunge. Even the bands hated the term, which was apocryphally attributed to Mudhoney singer Mark Arm and exploited to great effect by Bruce Pavitt in the ad copy for the releases on his Sub Pop record label. Though the word itself means dirt or grime it is now forever synonymous with those grimey rockers that emerged from the Pacific Northwest in the late ‘80s and by the mid ‘90s had changed…well, pretty much everything. Read more…

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Heavier Than Grunge: 10 Alt Rock Bands That Were Coated In Metal

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It’s debatable as to who actually coined the term “grunge”. Some accredit it to Mark Arm of the band Mudhoney; others attribute it to various music journalists or Sub Pop records founder Bruce Pavitt. At the end of the day though, grunge was just a word. A word used to categorize a very diverse set of rock bands that just so happened to originate from the Pacific Northwest and played loud, electric guitar rock. For better or worse, these bands were all lumped together, even though each one had its own unique style, sound and influences. Nirvana was influenced by punk. Pearl Jam took cues from classic rock. And then there were the metal guys. The sludgy, dark, heavy bands – like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Tad. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

10 Music Videos That Totally Creeped Us Out

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Halloween is on the horizon and with it horror movie marathons, celebrity costume galleries and most terrifying of all, candy binge eating. To keep you in the holiday spirit we’ve put together this list of super creepy music videos which will keep you up with night terrors and seeking solace in that extra large bag of mixed chocolate bars.

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by (@unclegrambo)

“What Is Soundgarden, Alex?”

What Is Soundgarden, Alex?

Have people really forgotten about Soundgarden, arguably the third most-influential band of the Grunge era*? We here at VH1 would certainly concede that the band’s popularity has waned since their mid-’90s heyday, but we had no idea things had gotten so dire for them out there in the “real world.” Our own SoundScanner author, Adam Graham, was watching Jeopardy last night when he saw the three contestants draw a total blank at the following clue: “In 2012, ‘Been Away Too Long’ Was The First Single Off This Chris Cornell Band’s First Album In 16 Years.” (We have the Vine’d clip for you below.)

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

AMERICA’S HARD 100, Day 9: Vote To Determine The Greatest Hard Rock Song Of All-Time

VH1 Classic Presents America's Hard 100

The VH1 Classic America’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll is nearing its end but we’ve still got more classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting and we need your help! We’ve put together a list of 100 essential rockers but we need you to vote on them to let us know where they should fall in the America’s Hard 100 Countdown when it airs this November.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballot. If your favorite hard rock jam is missing from today’s list please click on one of the previous days polls which are still open and keep checking back daily as we add new songs to new lists.

Today “The Boys Are Back In Town” by seminal Irish hard rockers Thin Lizzy goes up against Soundgarden’s grunge metal opus “Black Hole Sun,” Ozzy Osbourne’s metal standard “Crazy Train” featuring the late guitarist Randy Rhoads and technical thrash act Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” plus more.

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by (@JordanRuntagh)

Hard Rock Calling Day One: Soundgarden and Iggy Pop Don’t Wash Away The Rain, But The Wet Crowd Loves It

Hard Rock Calling music festival day one

What Olympics? The Hard Rock Calling music festival is on every Londoner’s lips this weekend, as organizers turned the legendary Hyde Park into a not-so-small city within a city. One shop keeper warned us that it was going to “piss down with rain,” but that didn’t stop thousands of music lovers who turned up in their wellies yesterday for a chance to hear SoundgardenIggy and the Stooges and more! No fair weather fans here, folks.

While the festival is (and should be) all about the music, the first thing that hits you as your enter that site is the sheer size. This site is a sight, manA whopping four stages lay within the rock compound, and depending on where you stand at any given moment, the experience can be like listening to a radio jammed between two frequencies. Wall-to-wall food stands offer any kind of fare you could possibly imagine, but the backstage realm is pure fantasy. Located literally right behind the main pavilion, this miniature resort boasts a full sized pool, a vintage double decker bus with an open air cafe on top, a spa, a DJ booth, a full bar and a separate bar specializing in Red Bull concoctions, a bakery, a photo booth, a smaller stage for intimate performances, and a candy cart. Rock and roll!

Before things got moving at full speed, we caught a band called Cold Chisel on the main stage. We weren’t familiar ourselves, but if you imagine a musical love child of The Who and Guns & Roses raised in the outback of Australia, you’ll have a decent approximation of these burly blokes. Despite knowing very little (ok, none) of their songs, they were actually incredibly fun and delivered some pretty sweet pub rock from lead singer Jimmy Barnes. Any band who greets the crowd with a “How the f–k are ya!? This is a song about pies and chicks!” gets our seal of approval!

 

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Legends To Light Up London At The Hard Rock Calling Music Festival: VH1 Will Take You There!

Hard Rock called and we answered! The 7th annual Hard Rock Calling music festival is almost upon us, and VH1′s got your front row ticket and backstage pass. The big event will take place this Friday through Sunday in London’s Hyde Park, and we’ll be there rockin’ out with some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll history! Hard Rock always treats us music fans right, but this year they’ve really spoiled us with some once-in-a-lifetime performances.

Grunge gods Soundgarden will be there playing cuts from their upcoming album, a first in 16 years! Paul Simon is going to celebrate the 25h anniversary of his landmark Graceland album by performing it start to finish, backed by the incredible Ladysmith Black Mambazo group who gave the original recording its timeless sound. Bruce Springsteen will no doubt turn rock ‘n’ roll into an athletic event during his marathon set with the E Street Band, and punk prince Iggy Pop will tear up the stage (and hopefully not himself). Lady Antebellum, Alison Krauss, John Fogerty and Robert Randolph…they’ll all be there to move it and groove it across the pond.

And get this, guys: That’s just the main stage. We’ve got three others to choose from, so get ready for more music than your ears can handle. We’re pleased to report some success stories, as one-time VH1 You Oughta Know artists Dawes and Christina Perri both take the stage. We’ll be sure to catch up with them and see how they like performing along side their idols. There will be tons of surprises along the way, so keep checking back for updates to see what went down in London Town! And also be sure to follow us on twitter (VH1Music) and instagram for up to the minute updates. See ya there!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Remember Soundgarden’s Spoonman? Well, Meet The Australian Sexagenarian Spoonlady Obsessed With The Black Keys

There are many things that we know the Black Keys don’t like: Spotify, Sean Parker, and Nickleback. Despite their general grumpiness these days, we have a feeling that Deb “Spoons” Perry will turn their frowns upside down.

You see, Mrs. Perry is an sexagenarian Australian lady who has a lifelong obsession with percussion (at least, that’s what we learned on her official website, Spoonsperry.com.au). Her love of making noise has led her to a place where she plays the spoons with the kind of reckless abandon that Chris Cornell had in mind when he wrote “Spoonman.” Her cover of choice, however, is not the Soundgarden classic, but rather “Lonely Boy” by the Black Keys. Thankfully, she took a break from feeding kangaroos —watch the video, we’re not exaggerating!— to break out her video camera and put her cover up on YouTube. Put some spoons on the barbie, mate*!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Everybody Loves Our Town Author Mark Yarm On The Seattle Grunge Explosion, The Byzantine Stories Of Courtney Love, And The “Missed Opportunity” That Was Pearl Jam Twenty

The Seattle scene of the late eighties and early nineties produced some of the most beloved rock bands not just of the last twenty years, but of all-time. The influence and impact that acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains had on the world of music, both artistically and commercially, cannot really be overstated. However, there is far more to the “grunge” story than just the rise and fall of these four bands, as author Mark Yarm goes to very impressive lengths to chronicle is his new book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History Of Grunge (now available in handy paperback form!)

Over the course of three years and change, Yarm interviewed over 250 key players in the Seattle scene of that now historic era, everyone from superstars like Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Courtney Love, to the owners of the storied Sub Pop record label, to bands like the U-Men and the Melvins that were very influential in the scene but never quite broke on a national level in the way that the Big Four did. The book was named one of the Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2011 by no less an authority than Time Magazine, and is full of so many entertaining stories and thrilling anecdotes that we have read it cover-to-cover TWICE. You should do the same!

We recently sat down with ELOT author Mark Yarm over a cocktail or two in Brooklyn and talked about many subjects relating to the book, everything ranging from what it’s like to receive manic phone calls from Courtney Love, to Seattle’s well-documented infatuation with heroin, to the “missed opportunity” that was Cameron Crowe‘s Pearl Jam Twenty.

VH1: One of the things that everyone, including myself, finds so impressive about this book is the comprehensiveness. You talked to virtually every major player in the Seattle scene. How did you go about convincing people that you were the person who could tackle this story?
Mark Yarm: The general rule of thumb was that the further away from the white hot epicenter of the grunge explosion of the early nineties, the easier it was. I had the Blender piece that this emerged from, which was an oral history of Sub-Pop on the occasion of their 20th anniversary in 2008. I had already spoken to a lot of the players, and that was a good calling card for me. Some people didn’t talk to me, most notably Pearl Jam since they had their own book coming out. They’re usually not the most accessible guys, anyway. I had spoken to Jeff [Ament] and Stone [Gossard] for the Blender piece, and I also talked to Matt Cameron through the Soundgarden people. I spoke to all their previous drummers, who, if you’ve seen the Cameron Crowe documentary [PJ20], they didn’t bother talking to those guys. They just kind of gloss over them in a funny interstitial.

The frequently shirtless Chris Cornell of SoundgardenChris Cornell is one of the figures in the book that gets some crap because he was always ripping his shirt off. A lot of people, including people in his own band, didn’t like that he presented himself in that way. What was your sense of him, and did he ever tell you why he chose to be the shirtless guy?
There was a Mudhoney song, the song that this book gets its title after, called “Overblown.” It takes kind of a veiled jab at him (“And you’re up there, shirtless and flexin’ / Display of a macho freak”). I asked him about that song, and it didn’t really bother him. If you’re gonna be The Shirtless Guy, you gotta own it, I guess?

I don’t know, I’ve never been The Shirtless Guy!
Me neither! Not since infancy. But yeah, it was a small bone of contention because it was so ostentatious, and this was a scene that in many ways —not all ways, but in many ways— rejected that as “rock star behavior.”

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by (@kat_george)

Last Lap: Beef Alert! Soundgarden Sounds Off At Kanye West

Beef Alert! Soundgarden Sounds Off At Kanye West
Soundgarden gave Kanye West a mouthful on stage at an Australian festival after Kanye performed his sound check on a neighboring stage during Soundgarden’s set. Front man Chris Cornell said to the audience, “Sounds like there’s children playing music there, retarded children, retarded as in held back.” OUCH! [Idolator]

Pulp Annouces US Tour Dates
Yep, Pulp are playing shows outside Coachella. Feel free to jump on your desk and squeal with glee (we did). [A.V. Club]

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