Judging by the name, Oozing Wound should be a run-of-the-mill Death Metal outfit with all of the daft connotations that come with the genre. Thankfully the band is signed to the excellent Thrill Jockey Records, so safe to say this is not the case. What it does demonstrate, however, is a band not afraid to annoy overly serious music journos like me, and artists are supposed to stick it to the man, who in this case would be me. Ahem.
Founding Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner has died. He was just 55. No cause of death has been revealed. The news of his passing was announced in a Facebook post by Van’s brother, Screaming Trees guitarist Gary Lee Conner. You can see Gary Lee’s post below. Screaming Trees was the second band from the Connor brothers, who started as punks and lovers of Psychedelic Rock in the early 1980s, before co-founding Screaming Trees with singer Mark Lanegan and drummer Mark Pickerel. Lanegan died last February at age 57. The band would later become a breakout band from Seattle, in the “Grunge” explosion, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Melvins, and more. Screaming Trees album Sweet Oblivion catapulted the band with three hit singles, including “Nearly Lost You” – which was also on the Singles soundtrack, and led to the band touring the world and performing on Lollapalooza. RIP.
Here’s to genuinely hoping that 2023 would be a decent year for stoner rock releases – with the existence of records like The Lord Knows (Ripple Music) by the Swedish newcomers Tidal Wave. The Swedish stoner scene has always been all-around fascinating to me, with big names I admire such as Besvärjelsen and Skraeckoedlan, or even the all-time legendary Truckfighters. It’s always refreshing to see up-and-coming names coming right in, too.
In a new interview with Marc Maron for his WTF podcast,Courtney Love has revealed she is nearly finished with her long-in-the-works new solo album, eyeing a 2023 release. This would be Courtney’s second solo album under her own name, following her 2004 debut, America’s Sweetheart. Rather than studio albums or EPs, she has focused on standalone singles, movie soundtracks, and collabs for her solo work, and sporadic work and albums with Hole (2010’s Nobody’s Daughter album was basically a Courtney solo album under the Hole banner). In a wide ranging interview about her career in music and acting (she was nominated for a Golden Globe for The People vs. Larry Flynt in 1996) she discussed making music, humbling herself to open for Lana Del Ray (now one of her closest friends) moving to London, rejecting all social media as an artist, the choice to retire her most popular song “Violet” permanently, and her many public and private relationships under the magnifying glass of celebrity for 35 years. She also mentioned writing a new song “Justice for Kurt” for her late husband and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, calling it a “2 minute earworm.” She also said she is omitting it from the album, because it will overshadow the rest of of the album. Maron is a brilliant interviewer, comedian, and actor (Almost Famous, Joker), so it’s worth a listen.
Rock royalty band 3rd Secret, featuring Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, has shared a new music video for “Rhythm Of The Ride”. The song was recorded by Erik Friend and mixed by longtime Seattle producer Jack Endino. The band, surprise-released its self-titled debut album, recorded and mixed by Endino, on April 11th, 2022, and also includes whose lineup is rounded out by Bubba Dupree, guitarist for D.C. hardcore outfit Void and alt-metal supergroup Hater, and vocalists Jennifer Johnson and Jillian Raye (Giants In The Trees). Watch the video for “Rhythm Of The Ride” now! Continue reading →
Less than one minute into the opening track ‘S.L.U.M.P.’, we are cast back to the heady days of the late nineties. Brit Rock is still around, though making way to a new breed of cats as the melodic punk of the US is becoming a strong bed-fellow with the slightly quirkier variant from the other side of the Atlantic, and bands like Ash, the multiple off-shoots from The Wildhearts, and more are spawning and bursting out and creating a scene. It was a fertile time of fun and creativity as the last vestiges of cardigans and sixth-form grunge cottoned onto the fun and febrile feel of a Cool Britannia.
The new Batman movie The Batman has been released this weekend to much acclaim and crowds back at movie theaters. As teased in multiple trailers, Nirvana’s deep cut “Something In The Way” is prominently featured throughout the film. Released by Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures, and based on the Batman Year One and The Long Halloween, story by Frank Miller, the trailer features some of Batman’s rogues gallery of villans. The song was the final track on Nirvana’s breakout 1991 albumNevermind (Geffen Records) which just turned 30 years-old in 2021. The Batman was directed by Matt Reeves’ (War For The Planet of The Apes), with a script by Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire) and stars Robert Pattinson as The Dark Knight, Jeffrey Wright Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone; Andy Serkis as Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler, Alfred, and Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson. Continue reading →
As previously reported, Spencer Elden, who as a baby was featured on the album artwork of Nirvana’s classic album Nevermind (Geffen) is suing the surviving members of the band and the estate of late frontman Kurt Cobain for Child Pornography charges and restituition. Now lawyers for Nirvana, Universal Music Group (UMG) and others named in the suit have filed a motion to dismiss the case, based on being “barred by the applicable statute of limitations.” This is following an mediation for settlement on December 13th and that apparently stalled. Accordign to Digital Music News, both sides were trying to settle.
“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby,’” the firmly worded text proceeds. “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title ‘Nevermind’ tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.”
After that, the 22-page-long filing elaborates that the child-pornography claim “has a ten-year limitations period and cannot reach an injury that Elden knew about before 2011.” And as “the statute of limitations for Section 2255 is expressly tied to the plaintiff’s knowledge of his or her victimization,” 30-year-old Elden’s action is barred, per the Nirvana defendants.
On the sex-trafficking front, in addition to the aforementioned statute of limitations argument, UMG and the other defendants state that the corresponding statute went into effect in 2003, and it contains “no retroactive application to conduct by a defendant that pre-dates its effective date.”
“As the law precludes Elden from advancing a private cause of action for sex trafficking under a statute that did not exist at the time of the alleged trafficking,” the text states, “he has no ability to pursue this claim—full stop.”
Lastly, following detailed examples (including interviews) that aim to demonstrate Elden’s longtime knowledge of the album cover, the filing for good measure takes aim at potential “violations of the child pornography statute that occurred on or after August 24, 2011, e.g., a mailing of a copy of the ‘Nevermind’ album after 2011” – though Elden “has not yet” made such an argument.
“Elden has alleged no facts, at all, about any barriers outside his control which prevented him from asserting a timely claim, and cannot plausibly allege any such facts to warrant tolling of the statute from 1995 to the time of filing, even if he were given leave to amend,” the defendants reiterate at the motion’s end. “Elden’s failure to timely pursue a sex trafficking claim within the limitations period bars it now, to the extent that it is not already dead on arrival.”
The complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, since amended, which also names photographer Kirk Weddle and the various record companies behind the album’s release, Elden claims that his “identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day.”
According to the suit, the defendants “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so. … Despite this knowledge, defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
Elden claims that his parents never signed a release authorizing the use of the photos, which were taken in a Pasadena aquatic center in 1990. He alleges that the band promised to cover his genitals with a sticker, which was never incorporated into the album art.
“To ensure the album cover would trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer, Weddle activated Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater in poses highlighting and emphasizing Spencer’s exposed genitals,” the complaint states.
The suit further alleges the defendants “used child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.”
Elden is seeking damages of either $150,000 from each of the 17 defendants or unspecified damages to be determined at trial, attorney fees, an injunction to prohibit all parties “from continuing to engage in the unlawful acts and practices described herein,” and a trial by jury.
“The permanent harm he has proximately suffered includes but is not limited to extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations, interference with his normal development and educational progress, lifelong loss of income earning capacity, loss of past and future wages, past and future expenses for medical and psychological treatment, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses to be described and proven at trial of this matter,” the lawsuit states.
Elden’s parents were reportedly paid only $200 for the photos, and the shoot lasted around 15 seconds.