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Ugly Sunday (R.I.P. Mark Lanegan, 1964-2022)

  I saw the Screaming Trees in 1988. They were an SST band at the time and they opened for fIREHOSE at a club called Revival in Philly. They were all hair, distortion, volume, and wahwah — like watching multiple copies of Cousin Itt let loose in a Guitar Center. I liked them, but it seemed, to my ears, that they were in an enclosed chamber of same-i-ness songwriting-wise. When I listened to some of the early albums, that opinion didn’t change. Good, but come on boys, a little variation please? But in 1990 I read a review of Trees singer Mark Lanegan ’s first solo album, The Winding Sheet , and it talked of a big step forward in songwriting. I remembered him as that menacing brooding dude who treated the microphone like it was his only point of focus, but he had a cool voice, and, wow, was this review glowing. I bought the album.   It was a real revelation. The Trees’ scorching fuzz party was missing and in its place were acoustic songs that were closer to Tom Waits without the clun

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