Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Love Grunge!!!

Grunge Bands: Where Are They Now?
Patrick Enright

Torn jeans. Long underwear worn under cargo shorts with combat boots. Remember the early '90s? OK, so maybe it wasn't the best time of our lives fashionwise, but musically, it rocked. Yes, we're talking about the heyday of grunge, when a rainy city in the Pacific Northwest became the center of the musical universe, unkempt hair and clothing were the uniform of choice and angst reigned. With Pearl Jam re-releasing "Ten," one of the albums that helped to define the movement, here's a look back at the six biggest Seattle grunge bands and what they've been up to since flannel faded.(To see our full package on grunge, including an interview with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a look at growing up a Pearl Jam fan and a gallery of famous grunge bands, click here.)

Alice in Chains
Representative lyric: "I'm the man in the box, buried in my s--t"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Dead hippie in the desert
Most likely to: Cancel a show at the last minute because of "illness"
Where are they now? In the mid-'90s, Alice in Chains more or less dropped off the radar, with troubled lead singer Layne Staley appearing occasionally with Seattle supergroup Mad Season and guitarist Jerry Cantrell releasing a solo album. On April 19, 2002, Staley was found dead in his Seattle condominium, apparently of an overdose of heroin and cocaine. In 2005, the three surviving members added William DuVall as vocalist and guitarist; the revamped Alice in Chains is currently working on a new album, set for a summer 2009 release.
Ah, that takes me back.

Representative lyric: "Touch me, I'm sick"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Retro '60s lounge (even though Mudhoney never really broke through to the mainstream, "Piece of Cake" was their major-label debut)
Most likely to: Remain much less widely known than their fellow Seattle grunge stars
Where are they now? Still going. Even though they got a major-label deal during the height of the grunge craze, Mudhoney didn't make it as big as their well-known peers, possibly because their sound had become less radio-friendly and more abrasive, including elements of garage rock. After Reprise dropped them from their roster in 1999, bassist Matt Lukin left, citing his dislike of touring. Mudhoney wasn't dead, though; Guy Maddison signed on as new bassist a few years later, and the band has been steadily releasing albums and touring ever since, with "The Lucky Ones" hitting record stores in 2008.

Representative lyric: "Oh, well, whatever, never mind"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Naked baby
Most likely to: Cause self-injury onstage, such as by, say, smacking themselves in the face with their instruments
Where are they now? Nirvana disbanded after singer Kurt Cobain shot and killed himself on April 5, 1994. Drummer Dave Grohl subsequently formed the Foo Fighters, a band with which he has seen substantial critical and commercial success (they released their sixth album, "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," in 2007). Bass player Krist Novoselic turned to more political endeavors, organizing a musicians' lobbying group, the Joint Artists and Music Promotions Action Committee, and, more recently, joining his local chapter of agricultural association the Grange. He also writes a column for the Seattle Weekly.

Pearl Jam
Representative lyric: "Daddy didn't give attention to the fact that mommy didn't care"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Cheer squad high five
Most likely to: Not only pause between songs to make a public criticism of an allegedly waste-dumping oil company, but actually to perform a 30-second song exhorting listeners not to patronize said company
Where are they now? Perhaps the most down-to-earth-seeming of the grunge bands, Pearl Jam combined political activism with their music not long after they became superstars. Band members testified on Capitol Hill as part of a Justice Department investigation into alleged monopolistic practices by concert ticket distributor Ticketmaster in 1995, and they've continued to back liberal causes. In 2008, the band (sans Eddie Vedder) even recorded an only mildly cringe-worthy cover of Billy Haley classic "Rock Around the Clock," titled "Rock Around Barack," to show their support for the Democratic nominee. They've just re-released their debut, "Ten," and they're reportedly working on their ninth studio album.

Screaming Trees
Representative lyric: "Did you hear the distant lie, calling me back to my sin?"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Band in the machine
Most likely to: Brawl backstage, kick each other out of the band and then rejoin
Where are they now? After a tempestuous 15-year run, the band announced their official breakup in 2000, but they'd been on and off ever since "Sweet Oblivion" in 1992, the album that featured the MTV hit "Nearly Lost You." Brothers Van and Gary Lee Conner often fought, and on one occasion drummer Barrett Martin was nearly crushed beneath a refrigerator in the crossfire. Van currently plays guitar for the band Valis, and singer Mark Lanegan has been something of a gadfly, collaborating with musicians as diverse as Queens of the Stone Age, Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell and former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli. Lanegan and Dulli currently perform as the Gutter Twins.

Representative lyric: "I'm lookin' California and feelin' Minnesota"
Breakthrough-album cover art: Spiky, angry, vehicular
Most likely to: Make a pretentious video with creepy CGI effects distorting people's faces much like those strangely terrifying commercials with talking pets
Where are they now? After "Badmotorfinger," their breakthrough, Soundgarden only got bigger, releasing "Superunknown" in '94, which sold millions of copies and won Grammys. Unfortunately, by 1996, when the band released "Down on the Upside," grunge was fading, and the members agreed to call it quits the next year. Since then, singer Chris Cornell has been the most visible, performing with three-quarters of Rage Against the Machine as Audioslave and launching a successful solo career that has included the theme song to Bond movie "Casino Royale." Drummer Matt Cameron joined Pearl Jam shortly after Soundgarden's breakup and has played with the band ever since.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Everyday Challenges and the Storm

I had an epiphany while driving home today. It was storming.....bad. While most people freak out during this situation, I am always calm and welcome the challenge. I straightened up my seat to an almost 90 degree angle and gripped the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 so hard my knuckles were white. I have concentration so crisp it's like a brain surgeon making an incision. And this made me question myself. If everyday challenges can become such difficult tasks for me (because of my anxiety), then why do I enjoy the challenge of driving on the interstate in a terrible storm? Through my concentration, I was also thinking hard on this. I didn't feel an inkling of anxiety. Wouldn't a person with anxiety have it at a moment like this? I could crash at any moment, go fish tailing out of control. So why wasn't I freaking the f out?!

It's because I was actually in control of the car. I had something to place my concentration on. I was in control of an object. I wasn't considering the fact that someone else on the road could fuck up at any moment causing me to spin out of control. I had the control. It was mine. When I get anxiety, I usually don't have anything to attatch it to. I woke up with terrible anxiety the other day and I could tell my brain was just searching for something to explain it. So all of a sudden I was freaking out about a stupid list (shit that reminds me I have to email that to the assistant director) of direct ordered periodicals and their expiration and renewal dates. Really? Was that really something to freak out about? No, it wasn't. But I needed an object to grasp on to. I read a review a friend wrote about a book on fear and anxiety and in it he states that fear is different from anxiety because fear involves an object. You are afraid of a lion on the loose because it could maul you. You are afraid of a speeding car as you are crossing the street because it can hit you. There is no object with anxiety.

I used to be afraid of talking in the drive thru. I refused to do it. I got anxiety even approaching a fast food place when I was driving. I have conquered that. I am sometimes afraid to call people (strangers mind you) to make appointments or ask questions. Lately, I have found ease doing it. Slowly, but surely, I will come to grips with my anxiety without the help of anti depressants. I have been off of them for almost a year now and I am damn proud of myself for the progress I have made. I sometimes have bad days, but I try to not let it show and deal with it the best I can. I told our student worker at the library that I have anxiety and you know what she said to me, "Really? I seriously would've never guessed." I hide it well. haha!

I am constantly challenging myself to overcome the things that I know will give me anxiety. I have been forcing myself to do these things and get through it. Currently, I feel better than I have in quite some time. And I am damned determined to continue this trend.

I'm going Rogue

Rogue from X-Men
I've got the I just have to work on getting that body. Actually, I am a different sort of Rogue superhero. I am the Rogue Librarian. Missing books BEWARE!!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top 10

Top 10 list of reasons to be happy this week:

  1. I have a new, rockin do
  2. The bosses are out........all week
  3. Spring Break means hardly any traffic in the library
  4. I'm about to have internet in my room.......FINALLY!!
  5. Internet means ITUNES!!!!!!!!! Music makes me :-)
  6. Kickball Sunday to look forward to
  7. I get paid
  8. Heroes, ANTM, Dancing with the Stars (I <3>
  9. I rock
  10. My new do makes me feel like I'm in a comic book and that is a fun feeling! (hero or villian I cannot decide)

Kickball Sunday wasn't as fun as it was last week, but it was fun none-the-less. My friend Major is freaking hilarious! He is like a teenage girl when it comes to guys. And it's always fun to have someone like that around when scoping out hot guys. haha! He is fearless, I will just put it to ya like that. We didn't get to kickball until like 630 because everyone was flaking out on us and it's more fun to go with a group. But we ended up with a good group so it was pretty fun. The novice games are the fun games. We went to the other side with the serious teams and man it was boring! The other teams wear costumes and run bases with beers in hand. It's GREAT! I think every cool person should check out kickball Sunday at Interstate Park. Just don't forget your beers and snacks. I prefer PBR Light, fruit, and white cheddar cheetos.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mark Doty

100 Poems, 100 Days

The day before the inauguration we sent out a call to poets we admire to write poems that respond, however loosely, to the presidency, the nation, the government or the current political climate. More than one hundred American poets responded immediately. The first 100 poets were each assigned one of President Obama’s first hundred days in office, and each will write a poem reflecting on the state of the nation and the world on that day. A new poem is posted every day.

The group of poems is called Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days. I studied Mark Doty in my poetry class in college (everytime I say "in college" or "when I was in college" I feel SO old!) and he is amazing! His poems are always very vivid and the content is always unexpected. I LOVE HIM! He has a facebook page and that's how I found out about this 100 poems for 100 days thing. I think it's fabulous! It's a blog here on blogger that you can follow if you like. I am! As well as Doty's blog.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day #32: Mark Doty
Skulls Are So Last Year
(including half a line by Thomas McGrath)

Unattended money may be searched or destroyed
Woman in the doorway of Dunkin Donuts
reciting will you help me get
something to eat will you help me
get something to eat will you
help me get something painful revision of WCW's
modernist syntax of insistence

Please hold on money is leaving the station

In New York at five past money
many small vacancies open

Debt clock broke down whirling exhilarating
proliferation of zeroes we just don't have
that many lightbulbs

Do not accept money from persons unknown to you

In New York at a quarter past money
I'd put my queer shoulder to the wheel if I could find it

Be careful when opening money as contents may have shifted

Put my shoulder to the wheel but I'd go tumbling
through the absence of value to the lack of a floor
flat on my face in this fiction of a symbol

That can itself be sold
or you can sell the absence of the symbol
bundle the absences and divide them among a multiplicity
build a whole towering extravagance

Something like the way in Tallinn this month
the Estonian Philharmonic is holding a Festival of Perfect Silence
so we are planning to celebrate the completed

Vanished tower of abstract money

A little reminiscent of that fading fashion for vertical foods in restaurants
an edible structure that would allow your meal to rise from your plate
toward you mirror of an entire economic architecture shimmying upward

Into the thinning atmosphere the most tenuous needles of money

And maybe why today the barrista who's charging me
do you want cash back with that
wears around her neck a cameo
no antique but sly parodic black oval
upon which a coral-red skull and crossbones are looming

That's why skulls were everywhere last year
on jeans pockets backpacks wallets china your wristwatch

Sign of piracy

Would you like another transaction

Mark Doty's most recent book of poems, FIRE TO FIRE: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 2008) won the National Book Award for Poetry. This fall he'll join the faculty at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Posted by Arielle at 7:30 AM