WHAT’S MORE SHOCKING AND APPALLING: THE NEW CHRIS CORNELL ALBUM IN ITSELF OR THE FACT THAT HE’S SOLD OUT TWO NIGHTS AT ONE OF NEW YORK CITY’S BIGGEST VENUES?
I noticed yesterday in the Village Voice that the former Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman turned top-40 hip-hop beat crooner (whose real name is Christopher John Boyle, btw) will be playing a show tomorrow night at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino & Resort, but before I could even come up with a snappy headline mentioning Cornell’s show as a “bad gamble” or some such other terrible pun, I noticed just a few scant pages away that the once-grunge superstar wailer has two sold-out shows scheduled for next week at New York’s own Webster Hall, which is a huge general admission venue. (hmm…for some reason it says sold out in the Voice but it seems there may be some tix still available online — dunno)
And I immediately had to ask myself, who the hell is comprising that massive audience?
Obviously any self-respecting Soundgarden fan must have issues with the direction that Cornell’s creative voice has taken — how could you not have reservations about the singer’s collaboration with Timbaland? Sure, it’s a unique and unexpected choice, but at the end of the day, the results sound grody, to put it mildly.
Naturally there have to be die-hard old-school fans who don’t care if the new material is, well, shite, and simply wanna see the voice physically come out of the man himself (even though it’s like comparing apples and kumquats), but can there really be so many in that population as to sell out two nights at a sizeable venue? I guess the jury’s still out on whether the shows are in fact sold out, but one’s still gotsa wonder who’s legitimately psyched about these performances.
I guess that leaves newbies that have likely never heard Soundgarden (or Audioslave, who I could pretty much care less about), and this begs the question, how does Cornell’s new material stand up as pop music on its own? I couldn’t actually make it through the tracks on his MySpace page without simultaneously vomiting and sharting my pants, so maybe somebody else can chime in from a strictly pop=music perspective…
It also seems that anyone who has bought an expensive ticket to see Cornell singer to a sampler’s back-up beats will also receive a digital copy of his entire new album — but wait, so does that suggest that the folks who are going to see Cornell live likely haven’t heard the new album yet?
Holy moly, are they in for a surprise!
While we’re remembering the good ol’ daze, here’s one of my very favorite Soundgarden tunes, the inimitable “Jesus Christ Pose”……if you haven’t heard the entire album from whence this one came, get the fuck out of my car.
SOUNDGARDEN — “Jesus Christ Pose”, from Badmotorfinger (1991)