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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Cornell’

Why didn’t this happen in Seattle?: Pearl Jam performs in LA with Chris Cornell, Jerry Cantrell

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In case you missed the news, Pearl Jam performed in LA last night and a few special guests dropped by for unexpected cameos.

The first was Chris Cornell who sang "Hunger Strike" with the band. The other guest was Jerry Cantrell who took over guitar duties from Mike McCready for "Alive." I understand Cornell and Cantrell are busy guys with their own tours and bands to deal with and it was likely pure coincidence that Pearl Jam happened to be in LA the same day as Chris and Jerry, but man why didn’t this happen in Seattle? Oh, and they also performed "Lukin" with a string quartet.

Videos of "Hunger Strike" and "Lukin" along with a snippet of "Alive" below. I can’t wait to get this bootleg.


Soundgarden to reunite? Here’s what Chris Cornell has to say

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

It looks like the possibility of a Soundgarden reunion is coming closer to a reality. Or at least it does based off some of the interesting, and somewhat contradictory, statements made by Chris Cornell in the wake of TADGARDEN.

Well, okay, maybe the possibility of a Soundgarden reunion doesn’t actually exist. Chris Cornell is making it difficult to read between the lines here.

continue reading


Geust blogger: An open letter to Chris Cornell

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Apparently my buddy Steven is still a little disappointed about the direction Chris Cornell is taking his career after last night’s show with Timbaland at the Showbox (read his review of the show here in case you missed it).

Since Steven, who is a journalist in Aberdeen and took notes at the show, is a civil fellow, he did what all civil folk do, he wrote all of his frustrations down into a scathing letter addressed to Mr. Cornell.

Here is that letter:

Hi Chris,

I’m a big fan; been a big fan since I started listening to rock music in junior high. Jesus Christ Pose is genius. Black Hole Sun remains one of my most favorite songs ever and the music video is amazing.

You remember rock music, don’t you? Because having stood through an hour-plus of your new music, produced by Timbaland, at the Showbox on Sunday, I felt a need to check in. Do you realize Timbaland, who opened the show, performed more Soundgarden songs that you did? I’m not joking. Timbaland did a few lines from Black Hole Sun, which brought about a huge applause because I seriously think people were expecting you to show up at that point. You didn’t. You didn’t even perform one Soundgarden (or even an Audioslave) song. In fact, you didn’t show up until the encore, with a couple amazing Temple of the Dog numbers. Well, I mean, you were there — but merely a shadow of yourself.

First, I’d like to tell you a little about what Timbaland told us, your loyal audience.

Your producer seemed annoyed that the majority of us didn’t buy his personal album. He asked us, like, five times to shout and wave if we bought it. Only the first couple rows of people did.

“Is this a rock crowd or what?” he flatly said, to which the audience soundly applauded. He went on to perform a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

“Grunge rockers, where ya at? Ya all hard core, huh? But this is 2008, right.”

Timbaland said he’d never been to Seattle before. This was his first show. And he said he was proud of what he did for “that tired grunge sound.,” which he said “needs help.” Obviously, Timbaland felt he was the man for the job.

He called his work on the Cornell solo album “Scream” — “One of the best pieces of work I’ve ever done in my life.” He said he “really respected grunge rock and I respect you guys who go to Ozzfest and all that s**t.” (I took notes).

He played some of his music — from Nelly to Justin Timberlake. He even tried to get a singalong going for Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Not gonna happen. Not with this crowd.

A 10-year-old girl from Seattle performed a couple songs between Timbaland’s set and before your nightmare began. She got a better reception than Timbaland did.

Your set began about 20 minutes late. The waiting prompted the girl in front of me to write to her Twitter blog, “Maybe Chris Cornell is embarrassed to come out because of the hip hop crap.”

I have to say, a good majority of us thought that — because we were all talking about it amid the wait for you.

On your new album you have a song where you keep repeating “Where did I go wrong?” Oh Chris. I think I know.

At the core, your new music sounds like it could be some really good stuff. In fact, I actually liked a couple of the songs. But it sounds too engineered, to produced. And, Chris, Why oh why did you need to sing on top of your own pre-recorded voice? It was like karaoke night staring Chris Cornell.

Your new songs could easily be Justin Timberlake or, worse, any one from American Idol. Speaking of American Idol, why is David Cook acting more like you and your sound than, well, you? (ed’s note: Cornell penned Cook’s lead single)

I blame Michael Jackson. It was that idiotic Billie Jean cover from your last solo album that got your mind off the ball, that probably started this wacky mid-life crisis.

Strip away the production, Chris. You were screaming but I can’t hear your screams over the music!

You’ve become a cookie-cutter, Chris. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. At the very least, I can say I was there last October when you played an amazing show at the Paramount. You played songs live I’d never heard before. I just wish I had known that was going to be your career’s wake, a celebration of the “old Chris” before this new version came out of the woodwork.

Worst of all, I gave up a couple of hours of sleep for you, Chris. That’s not going to happen again.

Best of luck, pal. Wake me up when you re-unite with Soundgarden or remember how to at least play a guitar. I’m going to head off to watch your buddy Tom Morello tonight. At least he knows how to still rock.

Sincerely,

Steven Friederich


Chris Cornell and Timbaland @ The Showbox: The text message review

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I wasn’t at Sunday’s Chris Cornell/Timbaland concert last night at the Showbox at the Market.

Yes, I enjoy watching a train wreck as much as the next guy, but I wasn’t about to spend $35 ( yup, that was the ticket price) watching Cornell destroy his grunge god status by singing pop songs he wrote during some rock star midlife crisis.

Truthfully, I fell off the Cornell fanwagon after the second Audioslave record. And while I already have prematurely declared his album “Scream” (produced by Timbaland and released Tuesday) a train wreck, I do hope the record does well because it would be horrible if Chris Cornell became the laughing stock of rock.

Like I said, I wasn’t at the show, but my photographer friend Steven Friederich (who is a pretty big CC fan) was there and he texted my live updates throughout the show.

Here’s what he had to say:

9:36 Half this audience have NO IDEA how to react to Timbaland. I swear he’s rapping and these white folks are staring at him dumbfounded.

9:23 This is NOT the audience to expect a singalong to Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” from!

11:16 Cornell is lipsyncing to some of these songs. I swear to God.

11:26 At this point Timbaland has sung more grunge than Cornell. Timbaland did a verse from “Black Hole Sun” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

12:10 Played whole “Scream” album. First and last songs were solid As, there were a couple of Bs and lots of Cs and Fs. Two encores: “Hunger Strike” and a very long “Reach Down”

12:12 Call him “Cookie Cutter Chris.” He’s now overengineered, overproduced and would even get kicked off American Idol.

So there you have it folks. Apparently Chris Cornell doesn’t perform his old Soundgarden, Audioslave or solo material anymore and he’s turned into a singer that would get kicked off “American Idol.” Yikes!


An idea of what Chris Cornell’s new record with Timbaland sounds like

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

In case you haven’t heard, grunge God Chris Cornell is releasing an album next month that is a pop record produced by Timbaland. Cornell is touring with Timbaland to support the record and that tour will be at the Showbox SoDo Nov. 2.

Here’s a snippet of a review from a recent Cornell show that gives a quick take on the new matierial. Read the whole review here.

Cornell’s new sound had the feel of ’80s Peter Gabriel, with two metal guitarists roaming the stage and a drummer playing rigid house-music beats as two keyboardists created a swirling, soothing synth sound to match his high-pitched vocals. Cornell exclusively did songs from Scream, opening with “Part of Me,” which set a mild hip-hop rhythm to the chorus “That b*tch ain’t a part of me.”

As a Cornell fan myself, the idea of album sounds like it is a trainwreck to me. Although musical trainwrecks can be fun to watch, I am on the fence about whether to pick up a copy when it comes out. What are your thoughts about the Cornell/Timbaland collabo?

 Here’s a track from the album I found on YouTube.


 


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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.