Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
You don't look but you kick me. / You can't feel but you hit me. / You can't deal with the way I pray [...]. / I got a heart, I got blood, feel pain.And there are few things more basic to humanity than a desire to be understood and appreciated, so Weiland's words are understandable, to say the least.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
One of the best things about this song, aside from the lyrics, is the way the four members of the band work so hard to give each other space. Dean DeLeo's guitar never outshines Robert DeLeo's bass, and Eric Kretz's drum work rolls along in the background, definitely there but sharing the song. Meanwhile, up front, Weiland's vocals are restrained, though he perhaps retains too much of the grunge influence on the chorus. All in all, this song just WORKS, and I have a feeling it will be a staple on radio stations for years to come.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I once heard Dean DeLeo's guitar work described as muscular, and in fact, I think "Silvergun Superman" is one of the best cases for EVERYONE'S work to be considered muscular. There is so much angst in this song, but that negative energy is channeled into something beautifully layered and super-skilled. Many of STP's influences are on display here, from arena rock to the Beatles. And the controlled chaos toward the end of the track gives me something to aspire to as a writer.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Another aspect of the song worth noting is its lyrics, which seem to have been influenced by John Steinbeck's 1947 novella The Pearl. Of course, this is based on my vague memory of that work--which I read about, oh, a decade ago and *cough* hated. The point, though, is that Weiland is a multi-faceted guy, the kind who doesn't mind dropping a literary reference from time to time. And that, ladies and gents, is a sure way to this girl's heart.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Weiland's vocals are uneven, and ultimately, it's like any other overwrought love song out there. However, I can't fault STP for this tune. After all, they were bound to record an ode to their loved ones eventually.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Let's ignore the lyrics for a minute (for crying out loud, Scott, what is a hand in rusted shame?) and skip straight to the music. EVERYTHING about this song is right--it has hooks galore, stellar work on every instrument, crisp sounds, and an immediately recognizable bluesy opening that transitions smoothly into a straight-ahead embodiment of everything that was good about alternative rock music of the 1990s.
Beyond that, the chorus is one of the most sing-along-able out there, and everyone can relate to the words coming out of Weiland's mouth: "Only yesterday you lied." Whether it's a friend, lover, or relative behind the prevarication, we have all been there, and so one of the many reasons the song resonates so well is because it provides a type of therapy for us. After all, isn't catharsis one of the main reasons we interact with art?
On the technical side of things, although Weiland would go on to experiment with other interesting vocal styles, both for STP's third album, Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop and his first solo album, 12 Bar Blues, he wouldn't sound as good as he did on "Interstate Love Song" until 1999's aptly-titled No. 4 came along. And as for the rest of the band, they followed a similar path by exploring different musical styles, but they were at their best here until "Seven Caged Tigers" came along on Tiny Music. (In my opinion, the only other song on Purple that rivals "Interstate Love Song" for tightly-wrapped proficiency is "Pretty Penny.")
On occasion, rock pundits will begrudgingly admit that "Interstate Love Song" was among the better rock songs of the 1990s. These pundits are wrong. "Interstate Love Song" was the best song of the 1990s. It's better than "Smells like Teen Spirit," "You Oughta Know," and even "Ice Ice Baby."
Image via Below Empty.
Friday, December 9, 2011
One of the things that most strikes me about "Lounge Fly" every time I hear it is the drumming. Allegedly, Eric Kretz ended up in the band after Robert DeLeo and Scott Weiland saw him playing in another band and were amazed at how loud he was. When I saw STP in concert in 2008, I knew exactly what they meant--dude is thunderous, to say the least. And nowhere is his might as obvious on Purple as it is here: he pounds out every beat with purpose and precision, and the end result is a primal mix that makes you want to turn it up to eleven.
As for the lyrics, Weiland gives a quick, dirty delivery in the verses. There are a few songs that encapsulate certain emotions for me. For example, "Wichita Lineman" evokes the exquisite pain of a long-distance relationship. "Time of the Season" is the perfect example of what happens when you put lust before everything else. And "Lounge Fly" is a quintessential self-doubt tune, because Weiland puts it all out there early on when he sings, "I think I'm free, but the dogs, they won't release me." The chorus is also affecting, and the way Weiland tells us that "I can't give what I take away" drives home the point of the song: this is a young man stuck in a whirlwind of emotion. (Remember what I said about frustration being the watchword for Purple?)
Come back on Monday to read about "Interstate Love Song," one of STP's most enduring hits!
Image via Below Empty.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
On the vocal front, things get interesting. We learn here that Weiland has finally settled into a style that makes sense for him, rather than trying to shoehorn his voice into the grunge norm (which is part of what led to the band garnering comparisons to Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in the first place--neither of which is particularly accurate, if you take into account their entire body of work). The clearer approach he takes here is one that comes up time and again throughout the course of Purple, particularly on "Interstate Love Song," "Pretty Penny," and "Big Empty": just do what comes naturally and don't get too overwrought.
All in all, "Vasoline" provides a refreshing glimpse into the possibilities of Stone Temple Pilots as a viable and vital musical entity. And from here on out, things start looking mighty bright for the gentlemen who started out as Mighty Joe Young.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
So Purple starts with a declaration of that frustration, when Weiland sings in "Meatplow,"
Fine place for a day full of breakdowns. / Takes more than a meltdown to show us how. / Throw a tack on the road, / Stop the meatplow; / Got a bullet but it ain't mine.This sets the stage for an album-long manifesto against backstabbing, sniping, criticism, and--in some ways--self-doubt. Yet, as you'll see later, Weiland doesn't necessarily follow his own advice. Still, it's worth keeping "Meatplow" in mind when we move forward on the album.
Image via Akorra.com.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
All images via Polyvore.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Check out famlit.org, the National Center for Family Literacy's official website.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
This nifty thing allows you to throw in loose tea and boiling water to steep. You can watch your leaves float around all nifty-like, and then, when it's done, you sit it on top of your mug and watch the tea drain into it. It's safe and easy, unlike when I make tea and scald myself.*
I know this is why God invented tea bags, but your night owl friend is going to spend a lot of time drinking tea, and eventually he or she will figure out that tea made from loose tea tastes better. This is what I am told, at any rate. And don't you want your pal to think of you fondly when the fancy loose tea comes out?
Buy through Teavana for $19.95.
Image via Teavana.
*It should be noted that I will scald myself in even the safest of situations, including with one of these.