That time Chris Cornell explained the rise of grunge to me

By Steve Newton It's been a week since grunge-rock icon Chris Cornell passed away, and fans are still trying to come to grips with the loss. Over the last seven days a lot of folks have been playing their fave Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog tunes, and shaking their heads in sadness and disbelief. … Continue reading That time Chris Cornell explained the rise of grunge to me

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1991 By Steve Newton Rap and dance music made strong inroads in 1991, but the year wasn’t a total write-off. The sacred power of the electric guitar could still be heard above the soulless clatter of MC Moronitis and DJ Jerkaround. Danny Gatton 88 Elmira St.  Fellow scribe … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

all crappy iPhone photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Nobody really expects a millionaire rock star to, after breaking his leg falling off a stage, design a special chair--or "rock throne", if  you will--that allows him to get around like royalty on stage. Is it a burning need to rock out that compels a fellow … Continue reading The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl rides the rock throne to glory at a hellraising show in Vancouver

Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Twenty-five years ago today—on March 12, 1990—Nirvana played Vancouver's Town Pump on a double-bill with fellow Seattle grunge-rockers Tad. Remember that amazing gig? I don't. For some strange reason I didn't go, although a year later I'd return to the fabled Gastown venue to review Tad, and then six months after that, the mighty Pearl Jam. I've been … Continue reading Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

By Steve Newton Today I just realized that the New England Patriots--who play some big football game with fancy TV commercials tomorrow--are from the greater Boston area. I didn't know that. In my blissful ignorance of American geography--which may be unconscious payback for the Yanks' legendary cluelessness about all things Canada--I always thought New England was a … Continue reading Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

Illinois duo Local H is bound for glory with “Bound For the Floor”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 1997 Thanks to the popularity of an angst-ridden grunge-pop ditty called “Bound for the Floor”, Illinois rock duo Local H is making tsunami-sized waves on North American radio right now. The group is also garnering attention for its unusual configuration, although vocalist-guitarist Scott Lucas and drummer Joe … Continue reading Illinois duo Local H is bound for glory with “Bound For the Floor”

Garbage’s Shirley Manson doesn’t think punters give a fuck who Butch Vig is

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 2, 1996 By Steve Newton Usually when a band is on the lookout for a singer, its members will put the word out by advertising in a music paper, requesting demo tapes or offering appointments for auditions. The three founders of Garbage—Duke Erickson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig—didn’t … Continue reading Garbage’s Shirley Manson doesn’t think punters give a fuck who Butch Vig is

Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton A little while back, the Screaming Trees were musical guests on Late Night with David Letterman. Dressed in grubby alternative garb, the band raunched it up with its latest single, “Nearly Lost You”, and everything was fine. But Letterman, noting the wide girths … Continue reading Screaming Trees find themselves suddenly cool with Sweet Oblivion

The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1991 By Steve Newton Getting signed to a major label is usually the first big goal of a rock band—that’s what all the monetary investment and tireless rehearsals are for. And some bands luck out, snagging a record contract in no time and going on their merry … Continue reading The Screaming Trees help ignite Seattle’s “explosion of vinyl” with major-label debut

Rock Hall snubs Link Wray, inducts Cat Stevens. Let the slagging begin

By Steve Newton The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has done it again, proving once more that it has its head so far up its ass that it isn't even funny. I'm sure as hell not laughing. Today the Rock Hall named it inductees for the class of 2014 and, unbelievably, pioneering guitar legend … Continue reading Rock Hall snubs Link Wray, inducts Cat Stevens. Let the slagging begin

Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 31, 2005 By Steve Newton When the remnants of Guns N' Roses-guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum-went looking for a vocalist to front their new band, the first name that came to mind was the Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland. The problem at the time, though, was … Continue reading Slash on Velvet Revolver: “We’re doing pretty fucking well for ourselves.”

Chris Cornell accepts that he’s part of rock’s status quo

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 5, 2008 By Steve Newton It's been 17 years since the grunge revolution blasted full-throttle out of Seattle, but Chris Cornell remembers it well. As the front man for Soundgarden, Cornell was a chief architect of the genre, which formed as a backlash to the stagnating commercial rock of the … Continue reading Chris Cornell accepts that he’s part of rock’s status quo