Showing posts from June, 2014

RETRO REVIEW: "Tiny Music: Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop" by Stone Temple Pilots

The following review originally appeared in the Boston Phoenix on April 12th, 1996.

Could the eagerly awaited third release from the Rodney Dangerfields of alterna-rock be their swan song? Tiny Music: Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop (Atlantic) finds Scott Weiland, singer/lyricist for Stone Temple Pilots in the throes of a personal exorcism. His ongoing battle with heroin and cocaine came to a head with last year's well-publicized drug bust. Although fellow bandmates assert that Weiland's current rehab stint is going smoothly, their plans to tour in support of the new CD have been put on indefinite hold. Everybody's concerned that if they resume before Weiland regains his balance, the consequences could be disastrous (read: fatal). This might seem like so much well orchestrated bullshit designed to create controversy (or just plain PR), but you wont think so after listening to Tiny Music.

Following an opening instrumental warm-up ("Press Play"), STP dive headlong…

A Conversation With: Butch Vig, Part One

Butch Vig is a very easy person to talk to. On the surface, this doesn't sound so revelatory, except when you consider his pedigree in the rock arena: his alternative outfit Garbage has received numerous awards and a rabid following among critics and listeners alike; he is a talented musician who has played drums for a variety of artists, as well as producing their material. But the one thing he will go down in the history for is helming the landmark album, Nevermind, by legendary (and at this juncture, mythological) band Nirvana. His latest foray finds Vig treading the waters of alt-country with Emperors Of Wyoming, his eponymous band debut – which has already gotten critical praise.
I got the chance to sit down and talk with the multi-talented Vig prior to his appearance at this year's Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony and concert, where Nirvana was officially inducted. Our conversation was as eclectic and thought-provoking as I would have expected.
DG: I understand the E…

The White Stripes/Black Keys Smackdown: Who's Right?

If you haven't heard by now, White Stripes founder Jack White has a problem with the Black Keys. Rolling Stone, who have been chronicling the feud, wants us to believe that Mr. White is being petty and arrogant (so much so, they've reported the gist of emails concerning White's divorce [courtesy of TMZ, no freakin' surprise there], suggesting this emnity was spurred on by White saying he wouldn't want his kids to attend the same school as Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach.) But frankly, I wouldn't be so dismissive about White's assertions: that his band was first, and that the Black Keys have done a good job of assimilating the style and attitude of the group he founded with drummer Meg White in 1997.

In White's own words, "I'll hear TV commercials where the music's ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it's me. Half the time, it's the Black Keys. The other half, it's a sound-alike song because they couldn't license on…