Metal in the Media



For whatever reason, I just haven’t gotten that excited about the Soundgarden reunion yet. Maybe it’s not “real” enough for me at this point; maybe when the band finally does a proper tour and I’m holding the ticket in my hand, I’ll suddenly be really, really stoked. Or maybe Chris Cornell has just pissed away all my good will towards him, and I’ll never care.

Whatever. Point being, I had no intention of checking out the band’s performance on Conan earlier this week, until I read Shane Mehling’s assertion on The Deciblog that guitarist Kim Thayil is so “fucking old” that “looks like Kim Thayil’s dad.” Say no more, Mr. Mehling. I love a good laugh at other people’s expense. Curiosity piqued!

So I watched the clip, and, yeah, Thayil does look old. Then again, I’m not sure the guy ever really looked young — dude is actually fifty now, which means he was in his early-to-mid-thirties at the height of the band’s popularity. But I can’t remember a time when he didn’t look at least forty, so I think he’s just one of those guys that perpetually looks older than he is. And I have to give him props for just letting himself look old, as opposed to trying to maintain a “young, hip” appearance with, oh, I dunno, corn rows. Plus, I don’t think the color of his beard would be as off-putting if he hadn’t more or less completely disappeared for the eleven or so years the band was on hiatus; in other words, if he had slowly aged before our eyes, we’d be less likely to blink at this appearance now.

No, more striking to me is the fact that Cornell is letting his wavy hair get long again. I don’t think he’s had long hair since the Badmotorfinger days. So that typically cynical voice in my head is going “He’s TRYING to make people nostalgic.” But the fact that Cornell is a desperate, desperate attention whore is nothing new. I mean, it’s possible he had some legitimate artistic desire to work with Timbaland, except that it just isn’t, and he didn’t. He had a legitimate desire to stay famous.

ANYWAY, that’s the band playing “Black Rain” above (duh), courtesy Metal Injection (’cause Team Coco’s video player blows more goats than Abigail Williams). They also have video of the band doing “Hunted Down,” which you can check out here. At least Cornell’s voice still sounds good.


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