Thursday, April 20, 2006
NEW TRAILER & NIRVANA
Today I was looking for old stuff to sell back to Amoeba Records and I pulled out the Nirvana box set. Yeah. I bought the thing. But I bought it used. I figure Coutney Love can stand the loss. Anyhow, I put the DVD in just now, to see how they handled the video portions.
I remember what it was like seeing those kinds of scenes on TV in the early 90's. Total deja vu. It looked exactly like a bigger version of the scenes when ODFx and the rest had played at The Dale in Akron or the Lakefront in Cleveland. It never bummed me out kids were still doing that stuff and I had to admit Nirvana was a damn good band. What bugged me was how the media reacted as if this was all brand new & completely without precedent. It also bothered me how the whole thing was being promoted as some kind of amazing grass roots movement, absolutely spontaneous. In actual fact, the same kind of publicity machine was pushing Nirvana the way they'd been pushing the New Kids on the Block. A friend of mine was a radio programmer at a small Akron radio station back then & he told me how the folks at Geffen were doing everything in their power to get him to play Teen Spirit. If they were spending that much time, effort and energy on a station in Akron that you couldn't even pick up 10 miles away, just imagine what was happening in the rest of the country.
In terms of intensity, Nirvana in 1991 couldn't hold a candle to ODFx in '81, or Starvation Army or Agitated. The difference was that what we were doing actually was wholly without precedent. Punk rock back then wasn't just pretending to be dangerous, it actually was dangerous. Take a gander at the "Dover Story" segment of the documentary (over there to your right). I'm amazed no one was killed at that gig.
I have to admit, though, that songs like In Bloom or Teen Spirit are quite simply better songs than most of what our bands came up with. In their own way Nirvana were originals just because what they did came from their own real experience. And that is important. I think what actually killed Kurt was the media. He knew what really went on ten years earlier. He knew it was all hype. He was a genuine person. His songs deserve to live on. It's too bad he couldn't find a way to live with it because he was an amazing artist.
Great post. I love Nirvana. It was interesting how the corporate music industry made punk rock an early 90's thing. Everyone in the know at the time were probably a little baffled by that...I know I was. Songs like Aneurysm, Sliver and In Bloom are so strong and from the heart. Listening to those songs, especially now after spending some time out here in Seattle, I can sense a little bit that they were truly, simply channeling their own experiences into the music.
P.S. I wanted the box set when it came out, but didn't get it for reasons of a certain "royalty imbalance" that I had heard about. Do you wanna sell yours?
I thought "Hey, we won!"
So what about the post-hardcore pre-grunge bands like the 'mats or Husker Du or Naked Raygun. I think Paul Westerberg could songwrite rings around Kurt Cobain, for example.
Weird, I remember you specifically not liking Nirvana at the time.
And howcum this anonymous guy is so mean to you?
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