Oh, the sweet smell of the late 1980s. That wet-wool smell that became "grunge." It bled like a skater-kid's skinned knee into the early 1990s, and as soon as Nirvana "appeared from nowhere" in 1991, major labels descended upon every band with long hair, a Big Muff pedal and songs about hating things like vultures on a cow carcass. Although Chris Cornell's Seattle band Soundgarden was more metal than "grunge," they were inevitably hoisted onto the "grunge" bandwagon. After releasing records with two of America's most respected independent labels, Sub Pop and SST, and producing some of the heaviest music (sonically and vocally) the world had seen in years, Soundgarden finally did the impossible: They released a couple of kick-ass albums on a major label (A&M). "Rusty Cage" would later get the Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin treatment, reviving several careers in the process, and the production alone on "Black Hole Sun" is enough to give Phil Spector a hard-on.
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Well, as bands tend to do, Soundgarden broke up in 1997 leaving Cornell with an amazing voice and nowhere to scream it. Of course there was that whole Audioslave thing, but everybody is allowed to make a few mistakes. Chris Cornell is back with a new solo album, Carry On (on which he covers Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." I guess you had to be there, huh, Chris?), and his tour is coming to Big D this week. Come get "louder than love" with Chris and his band Friday at the Palladium, 1135 S. Lamar St. For tickets, call 214-373-8000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Fri., April 27