The Seattle Sound
Music has always defined, and will continue to define, my life. Dramatic? Certainly – so hear me out.
Any genre, any era, it doesn’t matter – I love music, period. It dominates my soul. I mention this with respect to the fact that during my college years, I was profoundly influenced by the sounds emanating from the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. The term of the day was grunge, or, the Seattle sound. Whatever the characterization, I couldn’t get enough. Even as a diehard classic rock fan of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Who, the Rolling Stones, and also the progressive Dublin boys of U2 – I was taken with the tone and themes of this new genre. To this day, my playlists are comprised of 50% classic rock, and 50% grunge.
Screaming Trees. Green River. Alice In Chains. Mudhoney. Mother Love Bone. Temple of the Dog. Pearl Jam. Soundgarden. Nirvana. By proxy of the Northeast, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr.
It was an amazing period of rock music. If you have to know, the band that kicked my butt was Alice In Chains – a strong argument can be made that Dam That River is in the top 10 rock compositions of all-time. Pearl Jam is a close runner-up.
The Return of Van Halen
2012 marks the inspiring resurgence of my favorite musician, Edward Van Halen. I want to be clear: to my ear, and in my lifetime, there has been no finer musician than Eddie Van Halen. I love the band, I love the riffs, I love Sam’s contributions, I love Dave’s schtick, I love Mike’s underrated contributions, I love Al’s hard-pounding beats, I love Wolf’s inspired bass-lines. I love all of these things, but I cherish Ed’s God-given gift of making a 6-string guitar “sing” like a soaring soprano.
Like his many legion of fans, I have witnessed EVH’s struggles. On the 2004 tour, I watched him fall off stage-right at the Xcel. His playing and demeanor was so atrocious, I swore off listening to the band for a few years. I am encouraged by his return to form both on the album and via concert footage. I’m really looking forward to witnessing this resurgence on May 19th at the Xcel.