August 22, 2008

Approaching the essence of grunge.

We're up to #10 through 6 on the top 40 grunge songs.

30 comments:

downtownlad said...

Sonic Youth is not grunge.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, here we go.

Ann Althouse said...

Again.

chickenlittle said...

I prefer the Thurston aspect of that team, especially of late. But Kim Gordon has always been eye candy.

downtownlad said...

I missed the other threads on this.

Grunge - So gay friendly, but no gay artists. Why?

Ann Althouse said...

DTL got up this morning itching for a fight. Waits 11 minutes and throws out a second piece of bait.

downtownlad said...

No Ann. You just don't have a sense of humor.

First - it's not the morning where I am.

Second - I'm a grunge fan.

Third - It's an observation. And a humorous one. And true.

chickenlittle said...

I may actually agree with DTL on this one. I think Sonic Youth were just before grunge. Very close and right up close in time, and then swept up into grunge. That's how I recall it anyway.

Salamandyr said...

I've never really been able to get into Sonic Youth, try though I might. I liked most other grunge artists, but those guys just never grabbed me.

Seven Machos said...

The Toadies song is so eerie. It's hard for me to listen to. I wish I did not know the words.

TMink said...

Damn it, I try to never read DTL's post but he slipped one past me. Double damn it he is right.

(fumes for a moment)

But I think your son recognized and wrote that Sonic Youth is not really grunge.

As for gay grunge, out of my league to answer, but I confess it is an interesting question.

Trey

downtownlad said...

Chickenlittle - I guess the "This is not grunge" topic had been discussed on another thread and Ann does not want to rehash it.

chickenlittle said...

Well I missed the threads too.

downtownlad said...

Perry Farrell started Lollapolooza. Everyone knows that. But did you know he started PurimPalooza?

Ron said...

As soon as I saw your responses, I thought that it would be cool to have a Bloggingheads-like video response within a thread! Just so you could do a Reaganesque "There you go again!"

downtownlad said...

Why isn't Offspring on this list?

downtownlad said...

This is the Offspring song that belongs on there - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGjkViiDbko

Ann Althouse said...

Per song #9: "Everyone is gay."

Simon said...

I'm inclined to agree with DTL on this one. It seeems painfully unfair on grunge to blame that genre for Sonic Youth.

Outis said...

It's kind of funny to see bands that were making there way through the heavy metal underground (Soundgarden & Alice in Chains) get lumped in with the grunge movement. And Tool is simply a metal band. But then grunge was mostly just heavy metal for posers.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Kim Gordon is a no-talent hack whose 1980's-style Women's Studies lyrics frequently soil the great music the men around her work so hard on.

veni vidi vici said...

Just listen and watch this video and song from what passes for a "highly respected" ensemble of the 90's, and it's much easier to see why the big-corporate music business is over. The lunatics took over the asylum in the 90's; try selling out arenas with a band like that plus one or two opening acts. Good luck with that! A roster of club bands does not a major label make. Indy, yeah; major, meet your bankruptcy attorneys...

On the other hand, I do like the Sonic Youth tune "Ono Soul", which achieves the vibeyness of this one but far more successfully, moving into the realm of the sinister.

Will said...

I'm a little late catching up with your best-of-grunge list - - but no complaints whatsoever from me. I immediately went looking my fav. grunge song of all time (Cannonball)... ah yes, #11. Very good.

re Gay Grunge - think it's probably a fashion thing. Every seen a gay man in flannel shirt? I rest my case.

Will said...

"Ever seen..." of course I meant to say.

John Althouse Cohen said...

downtownload said: Sonic Youth is not grunge. ... Why isn't Offspring on this list?

Contrary to some people who have complained that I'm just including all "heavy" or "alternative" music from the '90s, there are a lot of heavy genres from the '90s that I'm excluding, and one of them is "pop punk." I wanted to have a broad enough definition to have a wide variety of music and go beyond your textbook idea of what "grunge" is -- that's why interesting/uncategorizable bands like Sonic Youth are on the list -- but I didn't want it to be cluttered with Green Day, Offspring, Rancid, Operation Ivy, Face to Face, etc. That would be a whole other list.

As for your point about Sonic Youth, I tried to address any complaints about "That's not grunge" in the intro to this post. Also, the intro to the whole list includes my basic definition of grunge. I would prefer not to even bother nitpicking about the labels at all and just enjoy the music, but if you are concerned about the terminology, I think I've covered it pretty thoroughly in those posts.

chickenlittle said...

Help! I can't find a link to Kathleen Hanna's spoken word piece off of Mike Watt's Ball or Tugboat? -hilarious harangue.

She's the pretty brunette in pigtails, though she'd probably hate anybody saying that.

veni vidi vici said...

"Cannonball" as the greatest grunge song? Funny, I never thought of it that way, and I've got the 12" single on vinyl (which mixes exceptionally well with "Funny Car" by Morel, btw).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6WNkOsjRxE

veni vidi vici said...

In the spirit of grunge, I think we ought to re-image "gay grunge" as

"G-grunge"

it has more of an "engine turning over" sound to it.

Will said...

veni vidi vici - re cannonball

Just my personal favorite, not necc. "the greatest." It's just such a happy sounding song, full of hooks, distortion & other sonic trickery. I love that sort of stuff.

Plus it's very clever songcrafting. It's basically the same short set of verse-chorus-bridge, done in three different arrangements, inside of 3 and a half minutes.

But, then again, it may be just like Frank Zappa once said: writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Grunge - So gay friendly, but no gay artists. Why?

(1) False. Josephine Wiggs, the bassist of the Breeders in their heyday. Why do you think they're called that? It's was their lesbian bassist making fun of the rest of the band for being straight.

(2-4) Gays are a very small percentage of the population; it's not always well-known when someone's gay; and grunge was mostly popular in the early '90s, when being openly gay was not as commonplace as it is now.