It was 1994 and the majority of my musical diet consisted of mostly everything my grandparents wouldn’t be into. If it didn’t involve a pit, encouragement to jump on and launch myself off a stage in a concert setting, I was likely spinning it less regularly. The songs that would emanate from my upstairs bedroom at their house upon waking, showering, heading out for the afternoon or the night were tailor made for driving neighbors nuts, as well as the home where I was residing.
How was it tolerated then?
Well, said grandparents had seven children before I came into this world, and they had heard it all before. My uncles blasted The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen. My aunts did the same with The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues and The Doors. Me thinking I was pushing the envelope with Pantera elicited yawns.
Want to know why end of year lists and holiday gift guides are so popular? It’s because there is typically nothing of note going on around this time. That said, I managed to eek out some pieces for The Daily Times (gift guides mostly) and Ultimate Classic Rock.
Getting to this a bit late as the annual jaunt to Iceland bugged up the end of October going into November. We’ll be back on schedule – hopefully – come the end of this month. But who knows!
Between the horrific shooting in Las Vegas and the death of Tom Petty, it hasn’t been a pleasant several weeks for music. Moving forward though, I managed to nail down some record reviews, reasons why Judas Priest should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame among other things.
There’s a lot to get to after the jump…let’s get started.
This week on The Voltage Factory I featured the debut album from The Smashing Pumpkins, Gish, which came out this week in 1991. It wouldn’t be until the Chicago outfit’s next effort, 1993’s Siamese Dream, that they would receive mainstream success, despite the fact that bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, et al were getting widespread acclaim in 1991. Labels were too focused on the Pacific Northwest at the time, and needed to exhaust the region before searching elsewhere for music with loud guitars and self-deprecating vocals which were the flavor du jour. Gish is an under-appreciated album, and was sort of forgotten for the most part when Siamese Dream hit big, yet for many hardcore fans of the group, it remains their defining work.
There was a bunch of new music to get to on the show, including new stuff from Band of Skulls, Dinosaur Jr. and Boston’s very own Crash Midnight, who have a slamming new track called “Roxy.”
Digging around the #VoltVault, I came across a band called Skrape who I initially discovered back in 2001 when their debut New Killer America came out. There wasn’t anything special about the Orlando act, but played right, they could’ve filled the void left by Pantera who were unknowingly on the way out. Unfortunately, they straddled the line between traditional and nu-metal with a slant toward the latter which would prove to be a death knell shortly.
Most people are familiar with one of two times where Aerosmith covered The Beatles; the first was “Come Together” from the soundtrack to the ill-fated film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which came out in 1978, which also got legs when it appeared on the band’s Greatest Hits two years later. They also took on “I’m Down” for the comeback album Permanent Vacation. But before either of them, they recorded “Helter Skelter” during the 1975 sessions for Toys in the Attic, an interpretation faithful to the original which didn’t see the light of day until the expansive rarities set Pandora’s Box was released in 1991 – and now it’s this week’s Killer Cover.
Here are some highlights from this week:
Classic Album Spotlight: The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish (25th anniversary) Volt Vault: Skrape – “What You Say” Killer Cover: Aerosmith – “Helter Skelter” Double-shot: The Afghan Whigs
As always, after a new show runs, I’ll be posting the playlist here before the rebroadcast. There is an opportunity to hear it again as the Voltage Factory repeats the following Monday at 10:00pm EST on VanyaRadio. The full playlist is after the jump.