Showing posts from March, 2010

Jerry Cantrell Gets an Emergency Steak Knife Tracheotomy: Final Chapter, Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan

I went to high school with Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell (he graduated one year ahead of me). We sang in choir together, and spent a lot of time talking music: He was one of the few headbangers during that halcyon time (ahem, the early eighties) that didn't grimace when you mentioned The Clash or The Sex Pistols. We even partied together some: One of the most surreal things I ever saw after an all-night party was Jerry in the front yard of Kevin Yeagher's parents' house as the sun rose, sitting hunched over like some zen gargoyle. Beads of morning dew peppered his serenely sleeping-sitting-up form like spiders' eggs as steam rose from the grass. It was a strange and humorous vision that always stuck with me, and we had a good laugh about it the following week in choir class. The last time we bumped into one another was at the taping of MTV's New Years' Show somewhere around 1993. Cypress Hill, The Breeders, and Nirvana headlined; Jerry was a VIP gu

Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan #3: A Blow to the Happy Sacks Sparks the Seattle Scene

The third installment of The Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan (see parts one and two to catch up) showcases Lanegan's um, lateral, contribution to the Northwest Music Scene via a misapplied Ninja kick. Click on image to enlarge.   In case the joke's not immediately apparent, one of the songs on Nirvana's multi-megaton smash Nevermind was a track called "Stay Away," hence the speculative fiction on its genesis. ( The actual origin of the song is a bit less, um, impactful). OK, after eighteen years the below panel still makes me snicker. Go figure.

Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan, Part 2: Lanegan Rescues Calvin Johnson from a Bear

In the second volume of Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan (circa 1993), the Singing Tree saves the head of K Records (Beat Happening/Dub Narcotic Sound System Singer/songwriter Calvin Johnson ) from the clutches of a pissed-off bear. Johnson was/is a great songwriter and important figure in Indie Rock (Beck released an early album on K Records, and the whole Olympia music scene that Johnson helped create influenced the DIY and Riot Grrl scenes immensely). Johnson was also the vocal equivalent of Eeyore on some of those Beat Happening records. One of the highlights of my early music geekdom was attending a K Records Barbecue with my buddy Brad circa 1988, and getting into a humorous drunken discourse with Calvin Johnson on whether or not Isaac Hayes ever recorded a version of the theme from Shaft on which Hayes sang the F word instead of implying it with, "He's a Bad Mother--Shut your mouth." (Calvin insisted that Black Moses did sing the unexpurgated word on a recorded v

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan Part 1

 I spent one night not too long ago, scanning various print articles from my chequered past in that eternal, Quixotic quest to drum up some paid scribbling gigs. There, buried amongst features about everything from operatic sopranos to Mexican masked wrestlers, resided an entertainingly silly piece of my misspent youth. And this being a blog, I thought I'd share. This is a bit of a long set-up, but it's kinda in order. I was 24 years old, toiling away at a couple of telemarketing jobs circa 1992. One of these gigs was for an 'Employment Services' group known as Progressive Media. They specialized in selling Employment Guidebooks for everything from working on fishing boats in Alaska to teaching English as a Second Language in Japan. We received only inbound calls, so frequently I and my fellow bored twenty-somethings--music geeks all--wasted time doing strange things. Like (if you were me, at least) drawing cartoons of famous grunge singers. The Screaming Trees wer