For the final 5 years of his brief life, Blind Melon lead singer Shannon Hoon documented nearly each second of his existence. He talks to the digital camera prefer it’s a good friend. He fills the digital camera in on what occurred whereas it was off. As a result of this was the early ’90s, Hoon wasn’t posting these items anyplace. None of it was “going stay.” There wasn’t the dopamine-instant-gratification factor we’ve now of importing a video of your self to Instagram, and reveling within the “likes” and feedback. “The Actual World” aired on MTV in 1993, pointing the way in which to the obsessively-self-documented social media actuality we stay in at the moment, and Hoon’s conduct was very a lot part of that period. Expertise lastly caught up with humanity’s self-absorption. Hoon piled up an archive of video diaries, not shared till now, in “All I Can Say,” the documentary made up fully of his footage taken between the years 1990 and 1995.
Hoon is credited as one of many administrators, together with Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould and Colleen Hennessey, who had an infinite job sifting by means of a lot of this typically banal footage. On October 21, 1995, Hoon movies himself in a New Orleans resort, speaking on the cellphone and attempting to rearrange a flight dwelling. Later that day, he died of an obvious overdose on the tour bus. He was 28 years previous.
“All I Can Say” is clearly made for followers of Blind Melon, the band who hit paydirt with their 1992 tune “No Rain” (though it was actually the music video that pushed the tune over the sting: extra on that in a second). The immediately recognizable “No Rain” nonetheless will get radio play at the moment, with Hoon’s high-pitched raspy voice singing:
All I can say is that my life is fairly plain
I like watchin’ the puddles collect rain
For a quick shining season, Blind Melon was large. A reporter is seen intoning: “Blind Melon is destined to be one of many new Nirvanas”: this seems like reward, particularly in 1992, however as soon as you are taking it aside, all types of cracks open up. Simply one of the “new Nirvanas”? Time has proven there cannot be a “new Nirvana” as a result of Nirvana was singular, distinctive, as was Kurt Cobain. Blind Melon did not have that driving drive or singular function, and Hoon did not have the facility of character Cobain did, however “No Rain” was such a monster hit that Blind Melon performed stadiums, they performed 1994 Woodstock, they went on tour with Neil Younger, appeared on payments alongside 9 Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, the giants of the period. However “All I Can Say” exhibits the shaky basis on which all this success was constructed. They got a report deal primarily based on simply 5 songs. Their catalog was tremendous skinny. What precisely did they need to say? And who have been they, what was their identification as a band? These are essential questions. By the point it got here to their second album, these questions have been much more pressing, however no one appeared to have an excellent reply.
Now about that video for “No Rain.” Directed by Samuel Bayer, it was a high-concept video, beginning with slightly woman in a bee costume (Heather DeLoach) faucet dancing for a crowd. The gang laughs at her. She runs by means of the town streets, attempting to impress random individuals together with her faucet dancing abilities. No person’s into it. Then she appears to be like by means of the slats of a gate and sees—marvel of wonders—a bunch of adults, additionally in bee costumes, dancing round in a subject. She’s discovered her individuals! She’s discovered her tribe. She joins the dance.
It was the video, greater than the tune itself, that pushed “No Rain” to the highest of the charts. Individuals flipped out over it. It was so heart-warming with such an empowering message! A extra incongruous pairing than Blind Melon and the little bee woman couldn’t be imagined. The video had nothing to do with the picture they have been attempting to create. Proven within the movie, the band members are interviewed in regards to the video, they usually all look visibly uncomfortable. The reporter refers back to the video as among the best “shallowness” messages she’d ever seen. Hoon replies, “It is cute. I do not like cute.” Now that is sincere. Evaluate the video of “No Rain” to Nirvana’s video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The Nirvana video exhibits the band taking part in a live performance in a darkish highschool fitness center, with the group in a writhing slam-dance mosh pit, like figures in a Hieronymus Bosch portray. The video, with its grim attractive cheerleaders and dancing janitor, can be high-concept, nevertheless it captures the band’s essence, its spirit, its over-riding function, and its reference to its viewers. It says: “That is who we’re.” Lovable/dejected bee woman had nothing to do with who Blind Melon was, or at the least who they needed to be, and the picture they needed to mission. One thing wasn’t being articulated. Possibly they did not know what it was themselves, and judging from Hoon’s footage, that was in all probability the case.
“All I Can Say” feels for much longer than it truly is. Hoon struggled with habit. He was arrested many occasions. It is a cautionary story however one we have heard so many occasions earlier than. Followers of Hoon will thrill to all of this footage. For others, it’s going to be a reasonably powerful haul.