A dark tone present in three separate genres

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

Growing up in the 90s and heavily influenced by the music of the grunge era, I can clearly see a common tone in many of the songs, bands, and genres.

It is dark and bleak despair, devoid of any hope and joy.

In my opinion, this was a defining factor for the generation, and it provides a striking contrast to the previous decade and the positive tones of its hair metal power ballads.

Few would argue that Nirvana was a huge contributor to grunge subculture, and some claim that the death of Kurt Cobain was the beginning of the end…


Heart and soul

Photo by Richard Ludwig on Unsplash

As the dawn broke with its beams of light shining through his bedroom window, Tony arose from his bed with feelings of excitement and anticipation.

It was Friday.

Not only was it Lynn’s birthday, but it was also the day where she would take him to Alan’s house to party with her and her college friends.

Tony quickly got dressed and ready, then he climbed into his brother’s truck to be taken to school.

In his first class of the day as he looked up at the teacher, Tony was reminded of the one comment that his teacher had made…


The retreat of night

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

Tony stayed awake on Tuesday evening well past midnight into Wednesday morning in his answer to the challenge that Lynn had posed for him.

Armed with a pen and a notebook he proceeded to write what would be the first of many poems. The title and the topic he chose was Dreams.

At one point, he thought he could hear the song of the same name quietly in the background.

It may have been his imagination, or it could have been playing across the house if his brother had left the stereo on low volume.

Through a process of marking…


The secret song within

Photo by Manson Yim on Unsplash

I drink myself of new-found pity, sitting alone in New York City and I don’t know why.

The heart of a great songwriter will often be found raw, bleeding, and exposed in the climax, the most passionate point, of the music.

More than once I have found myself amazed at the moment when I finally connect to a song that I’ve heard for years after listening intently.

I remember that Collective Soul was around in the mid 90s. My brother would often play the album in his truck when we were on our way to school. …


My Confession

Photo by Darius Cotoi on Unsplash

It’s okay. If you want my man card, I’ll give it willingly.

So it’s now been years since one of the most popular Disney movies of recent years was released. For the majority of the last decade, the world has been ablaze with the melodic tones of children singing Let It Go. In all fairness, it is a great song.

I hadn’t even heard of Frozen until I heard my then three-year-old son singing the songs from it. …


My favorite Arthurian legend

Photo by author

In a land of myth and a time of magic the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy…

I’ve always had a soft spot for a story of medieval legend.

Knights, chivalry, kings, and castles never fail to deliver a distinct sense of wonder.

More specifically, the legend of King Arthur, his round table, and his fair and just kingdom of Camelot has been told and retold for ages.

Several years ago, I came across a series that I believe to be the finest retelling of the epic story.

Merlin is a five-season series…


No treble!

Photo by Laura Nyhuis on Unsplash

In music, the most vital and important sound is also the lowest, in pitch and foundation.

Growing up with musical instruction, I was always taught that very truth.

I remember one instructor actually drawing a triangle diagram to help us visualize how each instrument should relate to one another in terms of volume.

The instrument at the bottom was to be the foundation of the sound that all others would build upon.

The musical term bass refers to the sound or instrument that represents the lowest octave that is currently present and the foundational bottom of that triangle. …


The echo of a legend

Photo by Daniel Olah on Unsplash

The dancing days returned once more.

As a young teenager, I found myself in possession of one of the coolest albums ever.

Encomium: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin wasn’t just any tribute album. It was an album that paid genuine tribute to one of the most iconic bands ever.

Released in 1995, Encomium was truly a mid-grunge era anomaly. A few years before its release was the height of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana and a mere four years later, we saw bleach-blonde boy bands dance and sing while attached to puppet strings.

It’s as if the fourth track, Dancing Days…


Darkness penetrated

Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash

As he looked up at the vast darkness of a starless night, Tony obsessed over how he could fill the emptiness inside him in the most self destructive way possible.

Where is everyone tonight? There has to be a party somewhere.

This was the primary motivation that resonated within Tony as he walked the streets of his hometown on a mind numbingly dull Saturday night.

As he approached the only promising sign of evening entertainment arising from a crowd at the baseball stadium, a car drove by with the distorted guitar sounds of Smells Like Teen Spirit blaring from its…


One way track

Photo by Adam Bixby on Unsplash

Are you a bit jaded at times? Do you know why?

For me I know the answer to those questions. Rather I know the answers.

There are many reasons.

I couldn’t possibly go into all of them in one article.

I guess I could, but it would be a forty five minute read and no one would actually read it.

More than likely, they would clap and I’d have three times more fans than reads.

Sorry, I’m being facetious.

So, growing up in the 90s, I heard Runaway Train many times. I saw the video on MTV.

Isn’t it strange…

Vince Coliam

I am a lifelong musician who loves to write about my passion. I am a pianist, a Top Writer in Music, a musical theorist, and a published composer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store