Today is the 20th of April. It is the fourth anniversary of the day Layne Staley was found dead in his apartment, having OD’d, most likely, on the 5th of April.
Now normally, I could give less than a rat’s patootie about some junkie musician’s number getting called up, but I’m allowed one and this is it.
If you don’t recognize his name, he was the lead vocalist for the band Alice in Chains. If you’ve never heard their music, well, I pity you. The guy was a hurting unit and you could tell just by listening to him sing and the words he wrote into music. There was no doubt that he was telling the truth as he knew it. If he would have been born in the 1920’s or 30’s, he’d have made one hell of a blues singer. But his outlet was rock music. Heavy duty rock. Rock with so much crunch that it made your teeth hurt.
But that is not what I am going to play today. You can hear that stuff on any alt-music station in your town, probably with just tuning in to that station for an hour or so. Nope. Today is something different.
In 94-95 he collaborated with other Seattle artists in a band they called Mad Season. The album they made was titled ‘Above’ and is an amazing piece of art that sounds like nothing else from the time or since and I always make sure to listen to it whenever I see it in the stack.
Staley teamed up with the vocalist for the band Screaming Trees, Mark Lanegan, for today’s tune. It is a mellow piece that lets the power their very different vocal styles play off one another, to the enjoyment of those listening.
So here you go:
So long Layne. I’m still listening.
(BTW, we’re back to mp3’s. Those .wav files are just too damn huge)