Episode 51: Stevie Cornell: Enjoyable Ear Wormy Sorrow

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Today on the podcast we are featuring the Californian singer/songwriter Stevie Cornell. Learn more about him and listen to his track “Black Hole in My Heart.”

Show Notes and Full Show Transcript

Just popping in to give you a heads up.  This podcast contains paid promotional content. That means we were compensated for the feature. All opinions are our own and we only choose to represent music that we truly dig. now on with the show.

Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then play a track of theirs for you to listen to. 

So you can check it out and form your own opinion as well. And I’d love to know what you think of the track if you’re so inclined to do so. And I’ll have details where you can tell me if you want to share your opinion at the end of this show.

Today I’m chatting about the Santa Rosa, California-based musician Stevie Cornell. 

Now Steve Cornell has been a staple in the music industry and not only is he a singer-songwriter but he is a multi-instrumentalist whose roots go back to the 1970s 

The Vibrant East Bay Punk scene. And he was in a band called the Young Adults. They were a popular live band but never released any vinyl.  They were in the middle of the early punk scene and they kind of went against the grain.

And dared to play slow songs as well as more standard punk anthems like “Shut Your Fucking Mouth.” Some former members went on to the Dead Kennedys and Wire Train. 

Then fast forward to the 80s Stevie a founding member of the Movie Stars, who were a top San Francisco Americana group in the late 80s and early 90s. 

The Movie Stars released two critically acclaimed albums but never found commercial success in the exploding grunge era that was happening around them.

And then after a brief stint on the road with John Wesley Harding in the early nineties Cornell played, he played pedal steel with the great retro country band Red Meat.

Then after that, he decided to go to a tiny village in Vermont and just kind of take time off to raise a family. 

And while in Vermont he continued playing music, teaching guitar to kids, and also writing songs, and performing locally.

So he’s been working as a musician over the past five decades. After Vermont, he returned to California settling in Santa Rosa. 

Here he got to work again and in 2022 he released his self-titled album which is the record the song I’ll be playing later is from.

Cornell’s musical journey has has some interesting twists and turns. These changes have made him well-rounded as a musician. He has played various genres of music and garnered an eclectic musical style. 

One thing that remained the same was his ability to convey his message in a three-minute song.

That is also the case with the song “Black Hole in My Heart” that I will be playing later.

This song is short you know, it’s about 3 minutes long but it leaves a big impact on the listener. 

In this song, Cornell takes his musical prowess and focuses on the folk and acoustic genres.

Though the song does conjure up sad images there is also a warmth to his music that blanket that just surrounds you like a cozy sweater.

Maybe it’s the feeling of succumbing to the inevitable. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of this pain or black hole in the heart and it goes 

Black hole in my heart, it’s pulling you in the size of a pin, it’s pulling you in /Black hole in my heart it’s dragging you down /You can’t make a sound, but it’s dragging you down

Then another verse talks about how things were alright but then this blackness took over. With the lyrics 

Black hole in my heart it’s snacking on stars /It’s munching on Mars, the hole in my heart /Once the night sky above us was covered in light /The moon on the rise what a beautiful sight /But it all came collapsing in on itself.

With all this, you can feel the suffering and heartache this person is going through. You don’t know why its happening you just know that there is some damage that has been done that doesn’t seem repairable. 

And these lyrics are delivered wonderfully by Cornell. His vocals are even filled with fraught, ominousness, and despair that just really gets to the listener’s attention from the first few notes.

And it’s so perfectly paired with like these continuous drums beats and guitar riffs that are very reminiscent to me of 1950’s music and I know that like his genre is folk but to me, this really sounds likes, not rock n’ roll but its got these elements of the kind of almost like reminding me of a 50’s rock n’ roll song. 

But it’s slow and repetitive and just very ear wormy, you know? It gets stuck in your ear. It takes you back to music from that era. 

And I really loved it all around. And even again I thought it was a sadder song and not negative but not more of an upbeat music melody but it has something to it that’s very enticing and very enjoyable and as enjoyable as a sad song can be I guess.

And I wonder if the song has a meaning of acceptance to things we cannot control because there is no end or out from feeling this black hole.

There’s no person saying, “oh things are going to get better. And things are gonna be great.”

And I think that’s ok. Because sometimes we need sad songs. You know if you’re in a sad mood sometimes it can be fun to listen to sad songs and have a song to match your mood.

So I think that this is an interesting track and it’s definitely one to check out.

But I feel like I’ve been chatting for a while so without further ado here is “Black Hole in My Heart” by Stevie Cornell.

I would love to know what you think about Stevie Cornell and his track “Black Hole In My Heart.” 

You can tell us in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at the link in the episode summary.

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