February 7, 2002 at 7:50 pm #44915
I recently opened up (yet another) music magazine with a picture of Kurt Cobain in the front section, and it got me thinking.
Do you guys agree with the way Cobain has been deified by the music press?
It seems to me that, by the early 90s, the world of popular music was ready to break. Nirvana was one of a handful of bands that had a similar sound and attitude; I think any of those bands could have been the big ‘breakthrough’ band, and Kurt was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I’m not saying that Nirvana wasn’t good; I just wonder if they were really as ‘important’ as the press would have us believe. Because musically, it’s not like they were a novelty act. Lots of groups were around for years, with the crunching power chords and gritty vocals. (And the drugs, and the drama, etc.)
So how was Nirvana important to our music world? Did they show us something that was new and revolutionary, or are the music mags just doing these retrospectives to fill space? And furthermore, would the band still be so heralded if Kurt were still alive? How much bearing did his death have on the Nirvana legacy?
I am in no way trying to discredit Nirvana’s talent or sincerity or heart. I’m just wondering if you think that all the hero-worship is appropriate? And if so, is it because of the band’s actual MUSIC or the band’s IMPORTANCE?
I’m not quite sure where I stand on this; I’m just hoping to hear some of your opinions.
RosaFebruary 7, 2002 at 8:00 pm #68302
Long Distance DrunkParticipant
MHO: I was in 10th grade when Smells Like Teen Spirit came out, and yes–suddenly Kurt was gawd. My high school was all hip-hop, and it all changed from gold chains to torn jeans and flannel in the blink of an eye. Maybe the Pixies were better, or whoever, but Nirvana put out 3 pretty darn good disks. Sure he was interesting because of his screwed up personal life, and he got allot of press because he sold allot of records, but how often does an artist do both while still putting out good music–not that often anymore.February 7, 2002 at 8:03 pm #68303
I understand your doubts about the nirvanathing. I think Curt had a great voice and was special in that kind, the music was great and the lyrics too. I think the same way about the sex pistols. They were good but if they were three months later they would be just one of the great punkbands.
It’s a shame that music critics do have a lot of influence on the big public; we as Indie-followers feel that in particular because we feel indie. Nice topic btw.February 8, 2002 at 3:24 am #68304
Well, (you knew I would say something in this post) Nirvana is definately my favorite "dead" band, Dino/J gets it as living band. The first time I ever heard Nirvana, was right before they got famous. I went to Wal*Mart and bought a skateboard video called Board Crazy. It had Mudhoney, Nirvana, Kings of Rock, Nights and Days, Coffin Break, and the Umen. Nirvana had Love Buzz on there, I was in like the fourth grade I think, and I was the only one for about a half a year singing Nirvana at school, and wearing what I thought to be at the time "that kind of rock (for lack of the grunge name yet…Mark Arm hadnt said it yet, hehe) clothing." Yeah, I got made fun of, but I didnt care, and I didnt think I would ever see them liking that stuff. But then the trend came in, I was in a way happy it did, because I could turn on the TV and see good music being played for once. When I was 12, my cousin let me listen to Where You Been, and I fell even more into the scene. I didnt "sell out" and become a poser, I was never exposed to punk….Poison and 70s music was played at my house….then hip hop and crap, then I found this and loved it. Back to your post, Nirvana was a great band and Im still hearing some songs for the first time (though now im running low). Out of all of the great song they had on albums, the rare stuff I thought was better. The stuff the media didnt want was great, and thats what the band liked playing. I hate myself and want to die was really good, but dropped from the album, (that was because of Chris though). There were a lot of really good bands that came along with Nirvana, it no doubt changed a lot of people who still listen to the stuff today. I think its really neat that Nirvana got what they deserved, but then everything was overdone. If Kurt was still around, Nirvana wouldve broken up, that was a said fact….Kurt was going to quit, and get divorced from Courtney, and move to the east with his friends. He wasnt happy living in Seattle, for obvious reasons, and he was tired of being poster boy of grunge. Now that Ive filled your head with useless facts about Nirvana and my life, (wich I could go on and on about for days) maybe you might understand a little more from whatever side im speaking for, and you may know a little more about the band or me.
RJ.February 8, 2002 at 3:38 am #68305
thanks RJ…I had a feeling you’d check in <img>
rosaFebruary 8, 2002 at 6:25 am #68306
I feel that it wasn’t so much as the band that launched them into fame, as it was the song…
It was ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was in the right place at the right time. It had the perfect additude (which the current generation at the time had not been properly exposed to <img> ) to break people out of there spandex pants and big hair….
Now I’m just wondering who the next "Nirvana" is going to be… And what will the new punk / grunge movement be called? RJ and I, a fews months back in the chatroom figured on either ‘grunk’ or ‘punge’. <img>
So I now leave you with my final thought…
SPANDO-MOONO!!!! <img>February 8, 2002 at 7:36 am #68307
i’d say the nirvana phenomenon was a combination of the right music, or song in specific, and the right moment in time. you just can’t plan that type of shit, which obviously they didn’t.
there’s all this talk about nirvana now, or there was, cause it was the 10 year anniversary of ‘nevermind’. if critics (whom i hate, by the way) want to immortalize nirvana they can, i don’t care. there is no denying that they helped open up the mass public for what became known as ‘alternative’, but its really just a moot point now. if there was a rock n roll revolution that started with nirvana, its certainly been over for a while. look whats in the billboard charts. not only is it total repugnant shit, most of it isnt even rock, let alone ‘alternative.’ when i look at the charts, half the groups in the top ten i have never even heard of. fuck the kids, i say. they get what they ask for.February 8, 2002 at 10:54 am #68308
I think music mags are required by law to put out a Nirvana issue every year. Just like Guitar Mags to a blues issue out every February.February 8, 2002 at 11:29 am #68309
I gotta agree with the right time/right song deal, everywhere you went ,no matter what, that song was being played/sung aloud to anthem like. It did open up the whole music deal at the time so a lot of other cool bands got some exposure as well which was great. Loved kurts voice, they released three amazing releases and yeah I miss them. But like rj said I think things would have changed drastically…probably in a good way for Kurt if he had been able to exit stage east and start over. If of course he had been able to deal with the whole addiction thing versus just self destructing in another place.
There was a whole music scene b4 kurt though, tons of other cool bands…Swervedriver, Dino Jr, JAMC, Sonic Youth, Sugar, Replacements, Flaming Lips etc so it wasn’t all that new of a thing to me.
I wasn’t caught up like some, agree Nirvana made everyone money…especially music mags/writers. So I agree with Malcom about the magazine deal, they are definitely financially driven (seems to be the only law music mags really follow) to promote the band even after death they are making a killing on Nirvana <img>
AllisonFebruary 8, 2002 at 12:13 pm #68310
As it was said here before,Kurt mentioning the bands he liked in interviews helped people get into them;Pixies,Breeders,Flipper,Shonen Knife,Vaselines,Meat Puppets,Melvins,Wipers,etc.
Smells like Teen Spirit was`nt life changing to me,seeing Sonic Youth play I Wanna Be Your Dog on TV in 1990 was,something clicked in me,like that was the kind of music I wanted to get into.
I`m not a huge Nirvana fan but I like alot of their songs.The music mags have done Nirvana overkill I think instead of putting their focus on another artist that has`nt got much attention,but they`re not going to do that.
I don`t think there`s going to be a next Nirvana,the music industry these days is nu metal,electronic music,hip hop still hanging in there.Indie rock has been on the decline for the last few years,country music is declining too,jazz got a little boost last year with the Ken Burns doctumentary on TV and cd series.February 8, 2002 at 5:51 pm #68311
Actually, Salamiguy, when I said "next Nirvana", I didn’t necessarily mean another punk band. Just something that’ll break everyone out of the nu-metal / alternative / boyband rut. Could be cheesy lounge disco polka, for all we know <img> , but something’s gotta give in the mainstream soon, people are getting restless. <img>
<img>February 8, 2002 at 6:07 pm #68312
the strokes!!! or at least that’s what the music critics want us to think.February 9, 2002 at 1:48 am #68313
</font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> Nirvana was the most important band of the 90’s, how could you not respect anything that swept winger under the rug </font><hr></blockquote><font>I think Kip Winger’s kinda cute…February 26, 2002 at 12:31 pm #68314
nirvana: the peak of beautiful self referential irony and deprecation for it’s time. it was the epitomy of suburban whitebread ‘i’d tell you but you wouldn’t understand anyway’ angst. god i loved it, i wallowed in it, wore eyeliner and cut myself to it. at 4 pm you had yr daily mtv workout with eric on the grind and then at 5 you could shoot up and puke on yr platinum records that paid for that smack with kurt.
i think kids were tired of cock rocker parties. we (or at least me) needed a much more fashionable self destruction. ‘chez’ guevera if you will.
i think a friend of mine said it best when he said:
‘yeah dude, I’m all with you on that s**t, f**k a bunch of anti-Nirvana anti-bainicism, so yeah, dude, Nirvana rules! So do chico-sticks, oh wait sorry, chic-o-stick candy, yeah dude, that s**t f***ing rules, not as much as Nirvana, but, it was there before Kurt, it’s more deeply ingrained into the shape and structure of my subjective sensation of self and like… my aura, so therefore if it came down to a split decision, definitely chic-o-stic, I’d make Kurt go and like shoot himself in the foot or something, or maybe like shoot some opiate, like Vick’s liquid cough syrup, but like that band dokken, I some them once when I was 10 at an ultimate warrior wrestling match and my dad ran out into the ring and pissed on the girl who holds up the little cards, man the ultimate warrior really beat his a**, he grabbed an electric back massager from the side of the ring, just cuz all the chairs were fake, and like I think that my dad cried, I haven’t seen my father Pedalupe from that day forth, but my mom tells me the story of the man who finally realized the ultimate pleasure of pissing on a chick holding a sign with a big number on it, and Nirvana f***ing rules.’
my only regret was that i never got the chance to have his abortion.February 27, 2002 at 9:57 pm #68315
my two cents….
there’s no denying Nirvana’s musical potency- bleach and nevermind are still two of the best modern punk/rock albums of the past ten years (christ, it’s more than that now…) but Kurt never honestly did or wrote anything that hadn’t been done before, by the Stooges, the Pixies, the Sex Pistols or whoever… even Teen Spirit had nothing to say that Anarchy in the UK hadn’t asserted 20 years previously, Kurt was just fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate) enough to hit on the exact right time to come out with an updated version for the youth of the early 90s who had nothing to latch on to but makeup-wearing spandex monkeys swapping hairspray tips over wank-infested guitar solos. I have to say that even when he died it had no huge affect on me (although strangely enough I was only a few miles away over the border in Vancouver at the time).
Let’s face it, anyone can bash out power chords and scream, but it does take a certain charisma to become the figurehead of an entire generation. If Kurt hadn’t died when he did, his lack of real musical variation would have meant he’d just have become increasingly boring (I even find it hard to this day to remember individual tracks off of In Utero), until he would eventually be forgotten.
One could even present the opinion that Nirvana, though important, was a bad influence on the next musical generation. Just think: these days we have a million bands playing nothing but heavily distorted power chords and screaming at the top of their lungs, thinking it’s okay to not be able to play your instrument properly because "Kurt did it, so we should too".
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