I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the news: Taylor Swift has removed all of her music from Spotify. As in, everything. Not just 1989. The only track you can find that even features Swift is “Safe and Sound,” her collaboration with The Civil Wars. Go now and listen while you still can, before we have all been forsaken by the great blond goddess of our musical age.
On this day nineteen years ago, four of Blind Melon’s five members woke up expecting to play a show that night at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. The fifth, lead vocalist and chief songwriter Shannon Hoon, never awoke. He had died of a cocaine overdose at age 28. Today, to honor Hoon’s memory, I’d like to take a look at Blind Melon, a terribly under-appreciated member of the grunge pantheon.
Exit/In is one of Nashville’s most famous and beloved venues. One look above the bar at the wall of artists who have performed on its stage is enough to send the tingles of history down your spine. Monday night, though, Exit/In’s legendary stage was devoted to three local acts: Joel Levi, James and the Wild Spirit, and Vanderbilt’s own Kid Freud. The trio of bands, though quite different in genre and style, combined to put on one hell of a show.
For those of you there on that fateful afternoon in Rand almost two years ago, you remember it as one of the oddest sensory juxtapositions in your Vanderbilt career.
It was, at first, an ordinary lunch hour for the students in our campus dining hall. Some were studying, their laptops and notebooks strewn about, taking up four-person tables all by themselves. Others were casually munching on their Randwiches and “gourmet” Chef James meals and chatting with friends. Many were multitasking.
Then, the music started. At first, it was just a rush of distortion in the background, barely registering in ears so unaccustomed to hearing it. But it soon became clear that this was no mere technical accident. The speakers in Rand were playing metal–replete with screams and growls of vocals and guitars and lacking any consistent melody or rhythm.