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October 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 Soundgarden Songs

Soundgarden evolved from a rumbling, sludgy hard rock group into a top-flight radio force within the span of 10 years. And while they have plenty of superb hits from which to choose, their all-time best songs also include some deep album cuts and overlooked early gems as well. With that in mind, here are my humble picks for Soundgarden’s 10 greatest tracks.

10. “Outshined” (from ‘Badmotorfinger’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Arguably the first song people ever heard from Soundgarden, “Outshined” caught the Seattle quartet in a sonic period right between the grungy metal-rock of their early recordings and the more polished hard rock of their later career. In addition, the song featured frontman Chris Cornell’s magnificent voice, highlighting his skill at wailing and bellowing with a command that seemed both scary and compelling. 

 

9. “Hands All Over” (from ‘Louder Than Love’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Of the bands that influenced Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin is probably the one most overlooked. But anyone who’s heard 1990’s “Hands All Over” will notice the debt Soundgarden owe to the legendary ‘70s hard rock band. Stretching to six minutes, “Hands All Over” demonstrates that Soundgarden, even at the beginning, wanted to make towering, arena-sized songs that merged a heavy sound with a soaring sweep. 

 

8. “Superunknown” (from ‘Superunknown’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Even though their melodic chops were on full display at the commercial height of their career, Soundgarden could still rock unabashedly – if anything, there were turning into an even more fearsome musical force. Superunknown’s title track is an absolute monster – Cornell screams into the void, the guitars rip through the walls, and Matt Cameron’s drums hold everything together with Brontosaurus force. The song is about a frightening hyper-reality that “steals your mind/and then it steals your soul,” but “Superunknown” creates such a musical high that you’ll happily give up your mind and soul to experience it again and again. 

 

7. “Room a Thousand Years Wide” (from ‘Badmotorfinger’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Why was this song not a hit? An underrated, visceral track, “Room a Thousand Years Wide” finds Cornell getting trippy over lyrics about a mysterious perpetrator inside his mind while repeating the phrase “tomorrow begat tomorrow” like a mantra. Kicking off with screaming guitars and ending in a hail of horns, this Badmotorfinger cut hinted at the ambition Soundgarden would display on their next album, Superunknown

 

6. “Jesus Christ Pose” (from ‘Badmotorfinger’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Soundgarden didn’t focus much on overt social commentary in their songs, but a brilliant exception was this Badmotorfinger track. In “Jesus Christ Pose,” Cornell criticizes a holier-than-thou friend who wants to push his religious beliefs on the singer. Kim Thayil’s guitar starts off sounding like an oncoming helicopter before he lays into some metal riffs as the song reaches its bleak conclusion. 

 

5. “Flower” (from ‘Ultramega OK’)

Photo courtesy SST.
One of Soundgarden’s earliest songs, “Flower” lacks the punchy production that might have made it a radio smash like so many of their later tracks, but as a testament to the band’s promise, it’s a wonder. A precursor to the grunge sound Nirvana would later explore on their first album, Bleach, “Flower” is all heavy guitars and drums, with Cornell’s voice floating in the middle of the sonic assault. 

 

4. “Rusty Cage” (from ‘Badmotorfinger’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Cornell gets a lot of credit for Soundgarden’s success, but those accolades shouldn’t diminish his bandmates’ considerable contributions. Take “Rusty Cage,” which is a showcase for guitarist Kim Thayil’s dexterity. From its indelible opening lick to its full-speed-ahead riff to its slowed-down metal groove during the bridge, “Rusty Cage” is every aspect of Soundgarden’s guitar sound in one terrific package. 

 

3. “Fell on Black Days” (from ‘Superunknown’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
A graceful, quietly menacing ode to discontent, “Fell on Black Days” is Superunknown’s most articulate expression of the album’s central theme: learning how to live with a sense of lingering, unspeakable dread. On its surface, “Fell on Black Days” is just a pretty (albeit darkly textured) radio tune, but the creeping anxiety that suffuses the track has an almost hypnotic hold on the listener. 

 

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2. “Blow Up the Outside World” (from ‘Down on the Upside’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
Soundgarden go to extremes on “Blow Up the Outside World,” transitioning from a lethargic, melancholy verse to an explosive, fuming chorus. Cornell sets the scene early with the opening line: “Nothing/Seems to kill me/No matter how hard I try.” From there, the song becomes a tour of the split-personality emotions that accompany the feeling of futility. Sometimes, you feel like you want to crawl into bed and die; other times you want to scream your lungs out. 

 

1. “Black Hole Sun” (from ‘Superunknown’)

Photo courtesy A&M.
For those who dismissed Cornell’s solo album Scream because of its pop leanings, it’s important to remember that those instincts existed within him even during his days with Soundgarden. Exhibit A: “Black Hole Sun,” an epic, almost apocalyptic power ballad about the desire to wipe the slate clean. No one knows exactly what the lyrics are about, but Cornell’s anguished vocals and the band’s taut, soaring musicianship are so powerful that you’ll hardly care. 

 

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Were the Longest-Running Number One Country Hits of the ’80s?



Album Cover Image Courtesy of Capitol Nashville
Question: What Were the Longest-Running Number One Country Hits of the ’80s?
Unlike some of Billboard’s other niche categories, the ’80s country music charts displayed a remarkably egalitarian record when it comes to the duration of its number one hits. In fact, only four songs enjoyed as many as three weeks atop the chart, in contrast to the multiple-week high marks of most other singles charts. More than two dozen songs more spent two weeks at number one, while the remaining tunes had only single weeks of chart supremacy. Here’s a detailed look at the four singles that stake a statistical claim to country’s biggest hits of the ’80s.
Answer: Three of the songs on this exclusive list probably come as little surprise to country music fans, as they are highly recognizable, beloved hits of the era. At the same time, the fourth tune’s title might not even ring much of a bell.Let’s start with the very beginning of the decade, when Kenny Rogers“Coward of the County” claimed the top spot for three weeks to kick off the year. This may be such a crossover track that it can barely be characterized as country, but it does feature remarkably strong narrative songwriting. Even better, the lyrics boast a reasonable amount of ambiguity, which mainstream country music often avoids like the plague, with usually eye-roll worthy, on-the-nose results. I was never certain if the song’s protagonist shot or killed the villainous Gatlin boys or simply beat them senseless, and I have to say I enjoy the fact that the story doesn’t reveal too much at one time.

Later in the same year, popular country pop artist Ronnie Milsap earned the distinction of three weeks at the top of the charts, strangely with what I would call one of his lesser singles, “My Heart.” This tune probably wouldn’t make my short list of the North Carolina native’s finest efforts, but that doesn’t change the fact that it remains his biggest hit of all time. The song’s simplistic melody and romantic lyrical sentiment don’t really do it for me, but chart statistics don’t lie. Still, I’ll stick with “Smoky Mountain Rain” any day.

The phrase “urban cowboy” swept American pop culture in 1980, owing as much to the popular film of the same name as the style of slick country pop that reached its commercial zenith that year. Johnny Lee’s “Lookin’ for Love” may be far from the most authentic country music you’ll ever hear, but the song’s distinctive melodies (particularly in the verses) became iconic for good reason as well. Lee took a lot of heat for the song’s massive accessibility – backlash was inevitable for this pop music flashpoint, I suppose – but widespread popularity is not always an indicator of low artistic quality. Not always.

Several years passed before country music produced another (relatively) long-term top hit, and by 1987 the New Traditionalists from Dwight Yoakam to Lyle Lovett to Randy Travis had injected a much-needed blast of freshness into the genre. Rejecting most of the pop music impulses that had most recently dominated the country charts, these artists embraced honky tonk roots and seemed to approach their music regardless of what anyone might anticipate in terms of broad commercial appeal. “Forever and Ever Amen” remains one of the signature singles of the late ’80s, and Travis helped create that success with his earnest, traditional vocal performance.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 Friendship Songs

Love songs seem to be everywhere in pop music. Songs about friendship, a special type of love, are a little more rare. However, there are still many to choose from. Enjoy this list of 10 of the best, and share any of your favorites that you think are left out.

1. “You’ve Got a Friend” – James Taylor – 1971

James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim and the Blue HorizonCourtesy Warner Bros.

This song was written by Carole King and included on her landmark album Tapestry released in 1971. The definitive version was recorded by King’s friend James Taylor and his recording of “You’ve Got a Friend” hit #1 in 1971. It is Taylor’s only #1 pop single.

“You’ve Got a Friend” has been recorded many times since by artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Yemeni singer Ofra Haza. Few other songs come close to this song’s simple poignance of friends helping and supporting each other.

 

2. “Thank You for Being a Friend” – Andrew Gold – 1978

Andrew Gold - All This and Heaven TooCourtesy Asylum Records

An entire generation knows this song as the theme song to the TV show Golden Girls from a version recorded by Cindy Fee. However, the song first entered the public conscience in a 1978 version by the song’s writer, pop musician Andrew Gold. The song is a perfect expression of gratitude to those treasured people we call friends.

 

3. “Lean On Me” – Bill Withers – 1972

Bill Withers - Still BillCourtesy Sussex Records

Soul legend Bill Withers introduced this song in the early 1970’s It went straight to #1 on the pop chart and became a contemporary pop standard. Club Nouveau took it back to #1 in 1987 with a more upbeat version.

 

4. “I’ll Be There for You” – The Rembrandts – 1995

Rembrandts - I'll Be There For YouCourtesy Atlantic Records

Best known as the theme song for the TV series Friends, “I’ll Be There for You” was written specifically for the show by Michael Skloff and Allee Willis. There were no plans initially to release the song as a single, but demand from fans eventually forced the Rembrandts to record a full-length version and the song, in a commercial version, reached the pop top 20. In a similar vein to the show, “I’ll Be There for You” celebrates the humor in friendship.

 

5. “Put Your Records On” – Corinne Bailey Rae – 2006

Corinne Bailey RaeCourtesy EMI

The song that brought Corinne Bailey Rae to the attention of pop fans around the world is a glowing tribute to friendship. Only a true friend would sing to you a song of support like this.

 

6. “That’s What Friends Are For” – Dionne Warwick and Friends – 1986

Dionne Warwick - FriendsCourtesy Arista

This classic affirmation of the support friendship provides was first recorded by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack to the movie Night Shift in 1982. The song was written by legends Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Dionne Warwick entered the studio with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder to record the song as a benefit for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and pop music history was made. The single spent 4 weeks at #1 and earned 2 Grammy Awards.

 

7. “Wind Beneath My Wings” – Bette Midler – 1989

Soundtrack - BeachesCourtesy Atlantic Records

This song had a rather humble beginning. It was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar and was first recorded in 1982. Lou Rawls brought it into the pop singles chart at #65 in 1983. Country singer Gary Morris took it into the country top 10 the same year. However, it was Bette Midler’s performance of the song as a eulogy for a friend in the movie Beaches that made the song an unforgettable classic. “Wind Beneath My Wings” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

 

8. “With a Little Help From My Friends” – Beatles – 1967

Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandCourtesy Capitol

Yes, indeed, friends can help get you through times of romantic trouble. Just ask Ringo. “With a Little Help From My Friends,” in its definitive version by the Beatles, was never released as a single. However, Joe Cocker took a version of the song onto the pop charts in 1968.

Listen

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9. “Umbrella” – Rihanna – 2007

Rihanna featuring Jay-Z - UmbrellaCourtesy Def Jam

There is a bittersweet tone to Rihanna’s megahit “Umbrella,” but at the core of the song is a salute to the enduring power of friendship.

 

10. “Kind & Generous” – Natalie Merchant – 1998

Natalie Merchant - OpheliaCourtesy Elektra

“Kind & Generous” is a multi-purpose thank you song, but it works as an elegant and eloquent thank you to friends.

 

 

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

6 Ways To Save Your Own Life in an Emergency

Besides calling 911, experts tell you what to do in 12 life-threatening emergencies when no one’s around to help.

1. CHOKING
Richard Stennes, MD, was home alone in La Jolla Shores, California, eating a steak, when the phone rang. The 64-year-old gulped down the bite still in his mouth and answered the call. But the hunk of steak was stuck, and he couldn’t talk or breathe. He put his finger down his throat to grab the meat, but he couldn’t reach it. Gagging didn’t help either. So he walked over to the couch and forcefully thrust his abdomen on the hard arm of the couch, sending the meat flying and allowing him to breathe again.

An emergency physician, Dr. Stennes knew that if done right, this would have the same effect as the Heimlich maneuver. If you’re ever in the same situation, quickly find a chair or other piece of furniture or a kitchen counter, says Maurizio Miglietta, MD, chief of trauma at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Aim to hit the top of the chair or edge of the counter against your upper abdomen, in the soft part below the bony upside-down V of the ribs. Thrust up and inward. If you still can’t breathe after six tries, call 911 from a landline, even if you can’t talk. They’ll find you. Write the word choking somewhere nearby, and leave the line open until help arrives.

PLUS: 5 Innovative Life-Saving Products

2. HEART ATTACK
If you’re experiencing crushing chest pain with or without pain in your left arm, are short of breath, or have a sense of impending doom, you may be having a heart attack. (Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms like severe fatigue, nausea, heartburn, and profuse sweating.) Call 911 and chew one 325 mg uncoated aspirin, to get it into your bloodstream fast. This will thin your blood, often stopping a heart attack in its tracks. While waiting, lie down so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, says Sandra Schneider, MD, a spokeswoman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. If you think you might pass out, try forcing yourself to cough deeply. It changes the pressure in your chest and can have the same effect as the thump given in CPR, says Dr. Schneider. “Sometimes it can jolt the heart into a normal rhythm.”

If someone else goes into cardiac arrest, note that the American Heart Association now recommends CPR without the mouth-to-mouth: Call 911, then push hard and fast on the person’s chest until help comes.

PLUS: How to Survive 3 More Emergencies

3. IMPALEMENT
This doesn’t happen only in horror movies. Tornadoes and hurricanes can fling debris for miles, and even recreational hobbies like fishing or archery can be hazardous. Just ask James Bertakis. The 81-year-old Florida man fared better than Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, who was killed in 2006 when a stingray struck him in the heart. Bertakis was impaled when a stingray jumped into his boat and hit him directly in the chest. He didn’t remove the barb but piloted the boat to land and got help.

If you have something stuck in any body part, including your eye, don’t remove the object, says Richard O’Brien, MD, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. “The object may be compressing an artery that would otherwise start bleeding like crazy.”

If you’ve been struck by a branch or some other hefty object, try to trim it, breaking off the part that’s protruding from your body, but don’t pull it out.

Comstock CompleteComstock Complete

4. SWIMMING EMERGENCIES
Riptide: Dr. Stennes is either extremely lucky or has a knack for putting his life in danger. In addition to surviving choking, he also saved his own life in a riptide in Acapulco, Mexico.

“I was swimming in the ocean, and all of a sudden a strong current took me away,” he says. “There were no lifeguards, so I was waving to people on the shore, who just waved back at me. I began to think, I’m in a bad situation here. I’m not a great swimmer, and I can’t go against that riptide, so what am I going to do?” He floated for a while, then did exactly what the experts recommend: He swam slowly, parallel to the beach, until he was out of the current.

You know you’re in a riptide when you feel yourself being pulled away from the shoreline, says Dr. Bradley of the Red Cross. “Your natural reaction is to head toward the shore, but it’s very difficult to swim against a riptide.” Luckily, these currents are fairly narrow, so you just have to swim along the shore, in either direction.

Cramps: If you’re in deep water, take a breath, lie on your back, and float. If you’ve got a muscle cramp (they often hit the calves), float facedown, grab your toes, and pull them toward you, stretching your calf until the pain goes away. If it’s a stomach cramp, lie on your back, spread your arms and legs, and float until you can swim back to shore.

PLUS: Shark Attack! How Dolphins Saved a Surfer’s Life

5. POISONING
The most common reasons for calls to poison centers? Unintentional or intentional drug overdoses (painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants are high on the list) and exposure to cleaning products. No matter how little you’ve ingested, call a poison center before you do anything. The national number is 1-800-222-1222.

Don’t make yourself throw up or give yourself ipecac, the vomit-inducing antidote that used to be a staple in first-aid kits, says Alvin C. Bronstein, MD, medical director of the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center in Denver. “Ipecac has never been proven beneficial,” he says. “We rarely use it today. It’s gone the way of the horse and buggy.”

Ipecac can leave you throwing up for hours. Plus, if you ingested something that burned going down and you force yourself to vomit, it will burn on the way back up too. And say you accidentally took a few extra sedatives. If you take ipecac when you’re overly sleepy and your gag reflex isn’t working well, you can turn a manageable overdose into something much worse.

Colorless, odorless carbon monoxide is a deadly poison that kills nearly 500 unsuspecting people a year. Make sure you have a working detector in your home.

If you’ve inhaled something (bleach or ammonia are common culprits), get away from the toxic area. If it’s something that got on your skin, like a cleaning product, wash it off, then call a poison center and follow the specialist’s advice.

PLUS: 7 First-Aid Standbys You Should Never Use

6. SEVERE BLEEDING
You’re gushing blood—and getting scared. Forget about tourniquets, says Dr. Schneider of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Use your hand or a clean cloth, paper towels, a scarf, or any fabric you can grab, and push down on the wound until the bleeding stops. Tourniquets, which every Boy Scout learned how to make back in the day, are now a first-aid no-no. “If you have a cut on your upper leg and you put pressure on it, you’re just closing that vessel. But if you put a tourniquet on, you’re going to close the vessels to the entire leg,” says Dr. Schneider. “You could lose your foot.”

The only time to use a tourniquet, says Charles Pattavina, MD, chief of emergency medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, Maine, is when you know that everything below the wound is beyond repair (say, the accident has amputated your finger, arm, or leg).

PLUS:
15 Secrets the Emergency Room Staff Won’t Tell You
35 More Secrets the ER Staff Won’t Tell You

How to Survive an Allergic Reaction, Being Trapped in a Burning Building and More!
7 First-Aid Standbys You Should Never Use

 

October 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do CPR the right way: 5 things everyone needs to know

The American Heart Associationannounced today new recommendations for the way CPR is performed. The small change could make a big difference in the lives of people suffering from cardiac arrest, the organization says.

For nearly 40 years, CPR guidelines have trained people to follow these simple A-B-C instructions—tilt the victim’s head back to open the airway, then pinch their nose and do a succession of breaths into their mouth, and finally perform chest compressions.

But now, the AHA says starting with the C of chest compressions will help oxygen-rich blood circulate throughout the body sooner, which is critical for people who have had a heart attack. With this shift, rescuers and responding emergency personnel should now follow a C-A-B process—begin with chest compression, then move on to address the airway and breaths. This change applies to adults, children, and babies, but does not apply to newborns.

The revision is a part of the 2010 emergency cardiovascular care report published by the AHA., an organization that reviews its guidelines every five years, taking into account new science and literature. Although the changed procedure will take some time to reach what Monica Kleinman, the vice chair of the AHA’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, calls “front-line people”, there is a plan in place to implement the recommendations as soon as possible to their training network, medical staffs, and first-responders.

“The sooner chest compressions are started, the more likely there will be a better outcome,” Kleinman announced. “Studies performed in labs as well as large-population studies have shown that people do better if they get chest compressions within four minutes.”

That four minutes is the amount of time it could take for emergency crews to rapidly respond, Chicago firefighter and CPR instructor Kelly Burns notes.  Until then, he stresses that any CPR bystanders perform can make a difference.

“Early activation is critical,” Burns says, especially in cities where traffic and walk-up buildings can slow even the fastest respondents during a trauma where every minute counts.

When someone needs CPR, the very best reaction is a quick one, he says.

“In a perfect world, someone else calls 911 while you start chest compressions on the person in need,” he advises. According to Kleinman, however, only about one-third of victims of cardiac arrest get assistance from bystanders.

Despite changing guidelines, outdated training, or any confusion in the moment, Burns says that no one who tries CPR is faltering.

“People are reluctant to jump in and help, especially if the person is not a family member or friend,” Burns observes on a weekly basis. “The only mistake a civilian can make in these situations is waiting and not doing anything at all.”

To that end, the new AHA guidelines are meant to help anyone who encounters this kind of emergency—the idea being, if they know better, they will do better.

5 potentially life-saving notes to remember about the new C-A-B method of CPR:

1. There are no mistakes when you perform CPR.
“One thing most people don’t know, ” Kleinman says, “is that there is almost nothing you can do [during CPR] to harm a person in cardiac arrest except delay responding.”

Starting with chest compressions is now viewed by the AHA as the most effective procedure, and all immediate assistance will increase the chances the victim will survive with a good quality of life.

If one person calls 911 while another administers CPR, as Burns recommends, emergency operators will give informed instructions over the phone as well as dispatch aid to the scene.

2. All victims in cardiac arrest need chest compressions.
The AHA asserts that people having a heart attack still have oxygen remaining in their lungs and bloodstream in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest. Starting chest compressions first thing pumps blood to the victim’s brain and heart sooner, delivering needed oxygen. This new method saves the 30 seconds that people performing CPR used to take to open the airway and begin breathing under the old guidelines.

3. It’s a myth that only older, overweight men are at risk for a heart attack.
“Equal numbers of women and men have heart attacks,” Kleinman reports. Sufferers are primarily adults.

Although infants and children are far more likely to require CPR due to accidents than cardiac arrest, it is important to know how administer care to them. (You can learn how to perform CPR on infants and children with this kit produced by the AHA or by signing up for one of their training sessions.)

4.  Nearly all cardiac emergencies occur at home.
“Ninety percent of events take place at home. If you perform CPR in your lifetime, it’s probably going to be for someone you love,” Kleinman reveals.

5. Training is simpler and more accessible than you think.

Learning CPR has never been hard, Kleinman says, but guideline changes in the last ten years have reduced the number of steps and simplified the process even more.

Traditional CPR classes (listed here on the AHA website) are accessible for many people at local schools and hospitals.

Kits are also available to complete in the privacy of your own home or workplace. Kits available through the AHA include inflatable, disposable mannequins and a training DVD.

“Anybody can learn to do CPR. It’s clearly important for saving lives, and now it is easier than ever,” Kleinman asserts.

Have you ever administered or received CPR? Would you jump in to the C-A-B method if you saw a person in need?

October 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unseen World War II Photos

 

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

 

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

 

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

Unseen Amazing World War 2 Photographs

 

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment