Say It's Your Birthday: Screaming Tree's Gary Lee Conner

Today is the birthday of Gary Lee Conner from the Screaming Trees. Putting

their post-punk guitar noise within traditional hard-rock structure, the

Screaming Trees

crafted a new form of psychedelia. Instead of the long, spacey trips of the

late '60s, the band took the sonic explorations of indie guitar band and used

it for a mind-altering journey instead of expressions of aggression. Their

late '80s releases on SST are raw, on the level of the label's other groups

but trading angst for a drug-inspired mysticism that is too realistic and

gritty for the Screaming Trees to be called hippies. When the band signed to

a major label in the early '90s, some of the rough edges in their sound were

smoothed out, yet they continued to produce some fine hard rock,

incorporating more traditional rock style (like the country-tinged "Double

Bill") that kept the band's sound from growing stale. It is also the birthday

of Everlast (House Of Pain), Dennis Elliot (Foreigner), Juice Newton, Carl

Wayne (Move).