Song of the Day: Big Empty (by Stone Temple Pilots)


Tonight the music world found out that Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland passed away at the age of 48 while on tour in Minnesota.

The years after graduating from high school was a chaotic time for me. not knowing what role I had for myself moving forward and afraid of the world beyond the regimented, secured, but understood confines of high school. While I enjoyed the freedom of being a young adult after graduating in the summer of 1991 the reality of it all was that I wasn’t that far removed from still being a teenager a couple years later.

I call these my adrift years.

From this time in my life I was drawn to the music that every young adult trying to leave his teen years behind. Whether it was hip-hop, metal and, the genre of the era, grunge, I was listening to it. While I wasn’t as huge a fan of grunge as the rest of my contemporaries of the time I did gravitate to a couple of the titans of the genre: Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots.

It was with Stone Temple Pilots that I was introduced to one of my favorite frontman of my Adrift Years: Scott Weiland.

Weiland encompassed not just the brooding, alienation that made grunge such a popular genre of music during the 1990’s but also had a touch of the wild and dangerous aspect of what made rock frontmen so-called Rock Gods. He was the Axel Rose of grunge. An enormously talented vocalist, but one who was also scandal-bound with his off-stage drug use and self-destructive behavior.

Scott Weiland helped make those years adrift during the early 1990’s with his singing. It’s a shame and a loss to the music world that like other rock legends before him his early years battling his inner demons would take him away too soon.

Nothing epitomizes who Scott Weiland was to me better than the song “Big Empty” which was the first single off of their second album Purple.

Big Empty

drivin’ faster in my car
falling farther from just what we are
smoke a cigarette and lie some more
these conversations kill
falling faster in my car

time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to take a ride
it leaves today no conversation
time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to wait too long
to wait too long
these conversations kill

to much walkin’, shoes worn thin
too much trippin’ and my soul’s worn thin
time to catch a ride
it leaves today, her name is what it means
to much walkin’, shoe’s worn thin

Song of the Day: 4th of July (by Soundgarden)

It is now just minutes since the 4th of July finally arrives in the US once more (at least on the West Coast since the East Coast has been celebrating the 4th of July for 3 hours now). What better way to celebrate the arrival of another 4th of July than to pick the song of the same name for today’s latest “Song of the Day”.

Soundgarden’s Superunknown album from 1994 may be part of the grunge scene which sprouted during the early 1990’s but this album has more metal about it than the grunge espoused by the disciples of Cobain. The song I picked for today I consider the best in the album which contains other classics. “4th of July” is such a heavy song that so many casual fans of the album fail to miss the heavy influence of early Black Sabbath in the song. They also fail to realize just how un-grunge it is with its dark lyrics (not emo mind you, but dark in a palpable sense). “4th of July” becomes an accidental introduction for newbie metal fans to the world of doom metal.

This song is the very definition of heavy and doom. From the heaviness in the guitar riffs to the subdued, but evocative way Cornell sings the dark lyrics (lyrics I always thought of someone just experiencing and living through the aftermath of a nuclear war). But in the end this song really shows it’s Black Sabbath and doom metal pedigree from the sludge-like sound coming out of the bass guitar chords.

“4th of July” once heard cannot be unheard. It’s a song that grabs one by the throat, doesn’t let go until the final doom-laden lyric and note has finally faded into the air.

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

4th of July

Shower in the dark day
Clean sparks driving down
Cool in the waterway
Where the baptized drown
Naked in the cold sun
Breathing life like fire
Thought I was the only one
But that was just a lie

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Pale in the flare light
The scared light cracks & disappears
And leads the scorched ones here
And everywhere no one cares
The fire is spreading
And no one wants to speak about it
Down in the hole
Jesus tries to crack a smile
Beneath another shovel load

And I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Now I’m in control
Now I’m in the fall out
Once asleep but now I stand
And I still remember
Your sweet everything
Light a Roman candle
And hold it in your hand

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July