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May 4, 2011 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Smells Like Teen Spirit is probably the most influential song of the early 1990s. It was performed by Nirvana, and was released in September 1991. Nearly twenty years later, 18-year-old Miley Cyrus cites it as one of the songs that inspired her to perform. Here is a video of Miley Cirus performing Smells Like Teen Spirit in Ecuador last weekend.
posted by andreaazure (256 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Teenage angst has paid off well, and now I'm bored and old.
posted by box at 12:02 PM on May 4, 2011 [25 favorites]


Let us never speak of this abomination again.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:04 PM on May 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


If Kurt Kobain were alive today, he'd be shooting himself in the head right about now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:07 PM on May 4, 2011 [72 favorites]


I'm glad Kurt is not alive to see this. Or hear it.
posted by londonmark at 12:07 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the plus side, we can now use the kinetic energy from poor dead Kurt's spinning body to power a major city or three.
posted by jeffmshaw at 12:07 PM on May 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ten times as many "dislikes" as "likes" on YouTube? First time I've seen that...
posted by Harald74 at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2011


You know what? That's not a bad cover, the song actually sounds good with her weird raspy voice.
posted by mathowie at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2011 [18 favorites]


He died before she was born. Zombie Kurt is very confused.
posted by norm at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was ready to hate it but it's not bad, pretty standard cover.
posted by The Whelk at 12:09 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


box: "Teenage angst has paid off well, and now I'm bored and old"

Well, bored, maybe.
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:09 PM on May 4, 2011


I think anybody should have the right to do a cover of a song that is meaningful to them. But for crying out loud, at least put some effort into it.
posted by monospace at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is she dancing like Elaine Benes at the beginning?
posted by MegoSteve at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2011 [34 favorites]


Fortunately Bret Michaels is still alive to see what she did to his song.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2011


The things I like are only good as long as nobody else likes them.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I look forward to the inevitable Demi Lovato/Fugazi split EP. Tween-age kids and their nostalgic parents will both "have" to buy it. Marketing gold!
posted by jbickers at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. She is remarkably good at staying in the zone where the cover is just true enough to the original to be as offensively terrible as possible.
posted by The World Famous at 12:11 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I just died inside a little.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:11 PM on May 4, 2011


The band sure seems happy to be playing that song, at least.
posted by NationalKato at 12:13 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen this actual cover, and maybe I'm a bit too young to really appreciate it, but I guess I've never really understood why Kurt Cobain is so important.

Nirvana had some great songs but the cult of personality around Cobain is just ridiculous. Is there something I'm missing?
posted by HostBryan at 12:14 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Surely this is not the "best of the web."
posted by schmod at 12:14 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Judicious use of the 'omgthathappened' tag.
posted by dry white toast at 12:14 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have only ever heard one cover that captures the essence of the damn song is about.
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos
posted by New England Cultist at 12:15 PM on May 4, 2011 [18 favorites]


Next on her set list was Fuck Tha Police, followed by Anarchy in the UK and the Pee-Wee Herman theme song.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:16 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh god I'd kill for Anarchy In The UK done as the Pee Wee Theme.
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think in the pantheon of 18 year-olds who have covered SLTS, this was probably one of the better ones. I've witnessed much worse when back in high school. Luckily for those kids, Youtube was still a couple of years away.
posted by riruro at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ten times as many "dislikes" as "likes" on YouTube? First time I've seen that...

Consider: Rebecca Black "Friday" is only at an 8:1 dislike:like ratio.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I work at a historic theatre that's also a concert venue. A couple months ago we had a Miranda Cosgrove (of iCarly) on her first tour. She was predictably uninteresting (I'm not exactly her target demo) -- she kind of sounded like Miley Cyrus if you removed all the country influence from her boring pop and replaced it with new-age/synth influence. It's still just pop music for kids.

But her band tuned and warmed up by playing a bunch of Pink Floyd and old first wave ska songs, which was pretty great. That was the surprising bit. They were genuinely impressive musicians. Standing in the back and watching them noodle around made the day a lot easier to get through. Also, for our small venue and its complicated, cramped stage, they had a really great looking stage & lighting setup.
posted by penduluum at 12:18 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Of all people, Of Montreal make for a surprisingly good (and faithful) Nirvana cover band. No, I'm not kidding.
posted by schmod at 12:18 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


How about a little palette cleanser?
posted by jbickers at 12:18 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have only ever heard one cover that captures the essence of the damn song is about.


May or may not be your cup of tea, but the Bad Plus do an excellent instrumental version of it
posted by mannequito at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2011


Caetano Veloso Come as You Are
posted by edgeways at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I AM OLD!
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pardon me while I go fire-up the L100t's, slap on Nevermind, and drive this from my mind...
posted by Thorzdad at 12:20 PM on May 4, 2011


While we're on the subject of jazzy SMTS covers, it's hard to beat Paul Anka's rendition.
posted by schmod at 12:20 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I never stop being surprised at how grating and irritating her voice is! Every time I hear her (like once a year?) it surprises me.
posted by interrobang at 12:20 PM on May 4, 2011


Hostbryan - like almost every other "important" musician, Kurt Cobain has become a cult like figure because he had a huge impact on popular music, on youth culture, on fashion. It was about more than whether his songs were good, it was about the fact that a new gengre of 'pop music' was born, that it changed what got played on the radio, the way people dressed, what constituted cool. And obviously, people are fascinated by the unrealised potential of those who die young.

This miley video is really just sort of the latest iteration of that influence.
posted by Kololo at 12:22 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


will this be the disaster that will shape and define the adolescence of a whole new generation of 10 year olds?
posted by any major dude at 12:23 PM on May 4, 2011


Every generation throws a hero up down the pop charts.
posted by punkfloyd at 12:23 PM on May 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wait have I told you guys about the time I was working retail with this 18-year-old kid and he gave me a ride home and Pennyroyal Tea came on the radio and he said 'Dude it's that song from Rockband!'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:23 PM on May 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Why is she dancing like Elaine Benes at the beginning?

Because she's not wearing mosh-appropriate shoes.
posted by Gator at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2011


Why is she dancing like Elaine Benes at the beginning?

I thought you were exaggerating. You were not.
posted by JanetLand at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nirvana had some great songs but the cult of personality around Cobain is just ridiculous. Is there something I'm missing?

There's a lot of self-educating you could do on this subject before you lob this kind of semi-trolling hand grenade into a discussion thread. Is your question in earnest, or are you just stirring the pot?
posted by hippybear at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


This song (and, truth be told, the whole album) has already been sanctified, enshrined, hyped, pissed on, and regurgitated so many times in 20 years that it's gone way beyond "too sacred to be defiled by the touch of human hands" and well into "My Way" territory.
posted by blucevalo at 12:25 PM on May 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


What I find funny is how much her cover takes the song into a sort of hair metal type of territory, which is humorously ironic.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh hello David Garrett. A full orchestral cover with you playing the melody line on a violin? Why, of course!
posted by ZsigE at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2011


One of my favorite music moments of all time was Dieselboy dropping the original song at the end of an epic D&B set in Baltimore 5 or 6 years ago. Not a remix, just the original song.. and 1000 ravers banging their heads, singing along and throwing metal horns.

I think that's right behind them having Freebird on non-stop repeat for about 40 minutes before a Marilyn Manson show in richmond. By about the 5th time it played all the goths were singing along every time, at first ironically, and eventually non-ironically.
posted by empath at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


How about a little palette cleanser?

MY EYES MY EYES
posted by londonmark at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about the Melvins now?
posted by everichon at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


A couple months ago we had a Miranda Cosgrove (of iCarly)
posted by penduluum at 2:18 PM on May 4


I love this typo. A Miranda Cosgrove, as if there are twenty-three more of them stacked like cordwood in the tour bus. Which wouldn't actually shock me all that much.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why didn't Kurt Cobain think of doing an awesome dance during the song's intro?
posted by ignignokt at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Smells like a new Mefi Music Challenge
posted by The Whelk at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ten times as many "dislikes" as "likes" on YouTube? First time I've seen that...

Find a Justin Bieber video.
posted by Avenger50 at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


...Ahhh...much better.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2011


I think that's right behind them having Freebird on non-stop repeat for about 40 minutes before a Marilyn Manson show in richmond. By about the 5th time it played all the goths were singing along every time, at first ironically, and eventually non-ironically.

I don't think you can fit five playthroughs of Freebird into 40 minutes.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:28 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well it's hardly a crime against humanity (unlike say this)... the man himself did a worse version back in the day
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:29 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why didn't Kurt Cobain think of doing an awesome dance during the song's intro?

aww man, didn't you hear? He's in a wheelchair after a heroin overdose.
posted by mannequito at 12:29 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Miley covering this song doesn't make me feel old, but all my fellow thirty something freaking out about it sure does. "Crazy kids with no respect for the past! Not even wearing good mosh shoes! Kids these days!"
posted by Kololo at 12:29 PM on May 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't think you can fit five playthroughs of Freebird into 40 minutes.

Well it felt like an eternity.
posted by empath at 12:30 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


As for this Miley version...I don't hate the actual performance as much as I hate the damned preface. Just sing the fucking song like it means something to you. This is a problem with contemporary singers...Every damned song has to have a set-up story. I'd love to drag the lot of them back in time to a Ramones show and let 'em see how it's really done. The intro to the next song was the last song...with maybe a 1234 sandwiched in-between.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:30 PM on May 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


Here's the thing, though: she really thinks she's owning it. Look at her: totally confident that she is doing it justice, delivering a balls-out blistering slab of rock n' roll to her tweentastic fans. She believes.

That’s' what freaks me out. About her. About Nickelback, or Train, or I dunno, Michael Bolton. They honestly think they're up there kicking ass and taking names, just rocking out as only they can.

I'm a creative guy. I write stuff. Sometimes I think I write pretty good stuff. But then things like Miley Cyrus performing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" pop up in the back of my brain, a niggling nasty little worm of a thought that burrows down right in there.

And that thought says "hey, remember how Miley Cyrus just massacred that great song; turned an anthem of rebellion and undirected anger into simpering kidpop, and still thought she was delivering straight-to-the-vein hardcore awesomeness? Remember that?"

"Listen, champ: what if you're doing that right now?"

And then whatever I'm working on turns to shit right in front of me.

So for me to keep working, and stay sane, sometimes I have to tell myself that these delusions are actually okay. If I believe in it, and I think it's good work, that has to on some level be good enough to keep me hammering away.

And if I'm allowed my delusion, how can I begrudge Miley hers?

So I'm left not knowing if I should be upset by this sort of thing -- the wanton violation of what was a great song -- or just let her rock out in her own way, hoping that people will be just as kind when I choose to rock out in mine.
posted by Shepherd at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [125 favorites]


Album version of Free Bird -- 9m6s

You could certainly get started on a fifth go-round of that in 40 minutes.
posted by hippybear at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everybody was young and pretty once. We can spend our youth being creative and rebellious or we can spend it making terrible covers of good stuff for the money.

20 years ago, it was easier for me to fool myself as to whether my generation was as good as prior ones. Old video and film looked old - it was grainy, had bad production value most of the time, etc. But technology is changing that. Now you can watch a video of Tori Amos in 1992 that shows in all its high-quality glory that Tori Amos was once (recently!) just as young and a million times better than everybody who is now young and pretty and rebellious.

If, in the 1980s, there had been HD digital video surround-sound videos of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, we all would have been so depressed at how much we all sucked that Nirvana never would have made it out of the gate.

For whatever it's worth, I would be surprised if Miley Cyrus has any choice in the matter of whether she makes really great, original, meaningful music. Her path as an artist was forged long before she had any control over her destiny and for her to break from it would require an act of rebellion far more meaningful than what "authentic" rebels like Kurt Cobain had to do to create their admittedly far more authentic art.
posted by The World Famous at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've always preferred the version by Kurt's former employer, myself.


Buy yeah, worth watching for that, uh, 'dance'.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Painfully bad. Bring on the Weird Al version please.
posted by blaneyphoto at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best cover of SLTS I ever heard was by Boston band Jim's Big Ego, who did a mashup of their song Big Chinos, Smells Like Teen Spirit, and Kumbayah. It was pretty damn awesome.
posted by bondcliff at 12:32 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I prefer Kiki and Herb's version.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, my phone really can't do sharing links off Youtube. Try this one.
posted by ZsigE at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2011


Given that "teen spirit" was originally a reference to a women's deodorant, this is oddly appropriate.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2011


They honestly think they're up there kicking ass and taking names, just rocking out as only they can.

Well, they ARE rocking out as only they can.

The problem is... well, obvious if you think about it. They just don't rock out all that well.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2011


that's right behind them having Freebird on non-stop repeat for about 40 minutes before a Marilyn Manson show in richmond. By about the 5th time it played all the goths were singing along every time, at first ironically, and eventually non-ironically.

Reminds me of the time I saw Mr. Bungle in Toronto. They got delayed at the border, so for about 3 hours the venue played a loop of the 10-second intro to their recent California album, just some faux-Hawaiian music. 3 hours, in a sold-out club in July in downtown Toronto. People were losing their shit, getting into fights, throwing beer bottles at the empty stage.

Then for some reason the venue thought it would be a good idea to play Ministry's Psalm 69, as though that would calm down the masses.
posted by mannequito at 12:34 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, I just watched this. I think if anything, it was too respectful. I'd rather hear a cheesed out pop version of it. It would be more honest.
posted by empath at 12:35 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


/b/ could learn serious stuff from this girl.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:35 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


And 1 more. Here's a 7+ minute rendition of SLTS sung by an anime voice actress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu_9It7xxvo

Lots of unjustifiable angst in this thread. Yay!
posted by MetalFingerz at 12:36 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cyrus's cover inspired this Rolling Stone list of 12 most unlikely covers of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit" in which it was pointed out that Cobain and Billy Ray Cyrus were friends. The cover also inspired Flavorpill's list of "10 SLTS covers that are worse than Miley's".
posted by plastic_animals at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


You want a fun cover? Laura Barrett covering Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana" on the African thumb piano.
posted by adipocere at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


She sounds a little like Courtney.

Draw your own conclusion.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait is it Karaoke night or something?

I feel pretty confident that I would have hated this when I was 18. But I was pretty shocked when the awesome band that put out Superfuzz/Bigmuff made a whole album of that pop claptrap.

Nirvana -Flower Sniffin ,Kitty Pettin, Baby Kissin, Corporate Rock Whores. It was nice that they were honest about it.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


SLTS was released when Miley was -1 years old. Just saying that at the end of the day I am reminded yet again of my crotchety oldness.
posted by PenDevil at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2011


Not nearly as bad as I was lead to believe. I'd rather she cover this and introduce a younger generation to some decent rock music, than for her to cover hip hop stuff.
posted by inthe80s at 12:41 PM on May 4, 2011


Holy shit is that Paul Anka version good.
posted by stargell at 12:41 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cobain and Billy Ray Cyrus were friends

SLTS was released when Miley was -1 years old.


Y'all are making me wonder if she was conceived to it.
posted by hippybear at 12:41 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Going after Miley for sounding like Miley just seems mean. People like her. Let them like her. Her cover doesn't eliminate the original. I'm glad the song means something to her.
posted by inturnaround at 12:41 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


She says in the video (words to this effect ) that if it wasn't for this song (SLTS) she wouldn't have the career she does today. I beg to differ. I think she wouldn't have the career she has today if it wasn't for this song
posted by buzzv at 12:42 PM on May 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


You know what? That's not a bad cover, the song actually sounds good with her weird raspy voice

Was aghast at this statement until I realized you were separating her voice out - anyway this was beyone cringe-worthy, moving into jaw-dropped territory.

On the plus side, we can now use the kinetic energy from poor dead Kurt's spinning body to power a major city or three.

We have a winner.
posted by uni verse at 12:44 PM on May 4, 2011


Obligatory self-link of AskMeFi answer I gave with links to various Nirvana covers

damn I'm meta

this Miley thing is an abomination though
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:44 PM on May 4, 2011


Actually a pretty spot-on cover... the backing band sounds almost identical to the recording and in a different context such as a video of a young lady fronting a generic bar band, or something, I imagine the likes/dislikes would be reversed on youtube. Oh well, whatever, nevermore.
posted by knilstad at 12:45 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd love to drag the lot of them back in time to a Ramones show and let 'em see how it's really done. The intro to the next song was the last song...with maybe a 1234 sandwiched in-between.

There are 28 songs on It's Alive. The longest Joey spends introducing any of them is maybe 10 seconds before "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow". And it's by far the weakest song in the set.

Coincidence? I think not.
posted by Trurl at 12:45 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sigh. You folks getting all holier-than-thou realize Cobain probably would have had as much contempt for your self-righteousness as he would have had for the insipid pop stars covering him, right?
posted by aught at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


buzzv...oh so so true

and aside...that hair, the line dancing....just what the FUCK was america on during those times that that was cool?
posted by ShawnString at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2011


What I like about the song is how one can sing the proper names of pasta for the chorus:

Rigatoni,
Tortellini,
Tagliatelle
and Linguine

Vermicelli,
Cannelloni,
Mannicoti
and lasagna

posted by y2karl at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2011 [51 favorites]


line dancing is AWESOME
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:47 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even when this song came out, it was playing on the radio pretty often, and as a young teen I found it annoyingly radio-friendly, contrivedly anthemic as a result of that, and not really even one of their better songs. The fact that people remember this one and treat it as quintessential is too bad.

I'd like to hear her try Breed.
posted by clockzero at 12:48 PM on May 4, 2011


aught: "Sigh. You folks getting all holier-than-thou realize Cobain probably would have had as much contempt for your self-righteousness as he would have had for the insipid pop stars covering him, right"

He also hated sighers.

everichon: "Can we talk about the Melvins now?"

Yes. I liked what they did with Lustmord. A lot.
posted by boo_radley at 12:48 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I prefer the Chas and Dave version.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Being the contrary fucker that he was, I'm quite confident that Kurt woulda liked it. Or at least claimed to in order to rile as many fans as possible.
posted by anagrama at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sigh. You folks getting all holier-than-thou realize Cobain probably would have had as much contempt for your self-righteousness as he would have had for the insipid pop stars covering him, right?

Phil Collins seemed fine with becoming fluffier than a tabby cat, but I most certainly wasn't.
posted by dflemingecon at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2011


There are 28 songs on It's Alive. The longest Joey spends introducing any of them is maybe 10 seconds before "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow". And it's by far the weakest song in the set.

Coincidence? I think not.


Interesting point, because by the time of Loco Live he was drawing out his introductions. And were the Ramones a better band in 1992 than they were in 1979? The answer is no.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was exactly the right age to go nuts for Nirvana when they broke, but I never really cared for them. Didn't dislike them particularly, and they were certainly better than a lot of the crap out there, but I also couldn't really get into them. My take wasn't that different from HostBryan's, really, though you'd probably never hear me describe a Nirvana song as "great." I always thought Carter USM did angry a lot better; certainly more intelligibly.

But I bothered to come into this thread because of the Ecuador connection. I was an exchange student in Quito in 1993/94, and my 14-year-old host brother was a huge fan of Nirvana, and a budding guitar player. He would practice "Smell Like Teen Spirit" about five hundred times a day in his practice space next to my bedroom. It woke me up in the mornings and you always knew if he was home because you could hear it coming out the window from down the block. He was a great kid, and a pretty decent guitarist; I still can't hear that opening riff without thinking of him. Heck, even hearing the original recording sounds wrong because it's missing his little touches.

I didn't watch the whole video of Miley performing, because I don't like the song enough to listen once I got the idea from the first minute or so, but I really appreciate the little stroll down memory lane. And I think some of the reactions here are just a bit overwrought.
posted by nickmark at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2011


The Melvins version was sung by Leif Garrett? God bless The Melvins.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 12:50 PM on May 4, 2011


that's right behind them having Freebird on non-stop repeat for about 40 minutes before a Marilyn Manson show in richmond.

Semi-related story (in more than one way)...

'96 or '97, bout 2:30 in the am at a Waffle House in N.E. Florida, me and a group of friends were finishing off the evening of bar hoppin'. Likewise, most of the people in the joint were doing the same thing (same ages, same bars and clubs).

On the way out, I put five bucks in the juke box (4 plays for a dollar), and played "Achy Breaky Heart" over and over again.

I guess Miley covering SLTS is my just dessert.
posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 12:50 PM on May 4, 2011


Yes. I liked what they did with Lustmord. A lot.

Fuck, yes.
posted by everichon at 12:51 PM on May 4, 2011


...and lasagna, and lasagna, and lasagna, and lasagna a pizza...
posted by knilstad at 12:52 PM on May 4, 2011


MetalFingerz: "Here's a 7+ minute rendition of SLTS sung by an anime voice actress:"

An anime voice computer sings God Save the Queen. So basically I'm -- uh -- I'm gonna just lie down for a bit.
posted by boo_radley at 12:53 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


New England Cultist: “I have only ever heard one cover that captures the essence of the damn song is about. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos

Yeah, I saw her do that live a few years ago. It was good.

However, a year later, I saw Patti Smith do it live.

I humbly submit that Patti Smith's version of this song is the best cover in a sea of covers.

Speaking of Nirvana covers, kattullus introduced me to The Polyphonic Spree's spirited cover of Lithium a while ago, and I find it delightful.
posted by koeselitz at 12:54 PM on May 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Everybody was young and pretty once.

Nope.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:54 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I live a few blocks away from the building where Kurt used to live, and got friends who live there now. Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) was making fun of him one day, and wrote "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his wall, and that was the inspiration for this song. Hanging out in his old apartment, looking at the thousand-times-painted-over walls, it's kind of cool to think that somewhere under all that paint is a college kids tag line that has since become one of the greatest moments in music history.*

and yes, I will argue with anyone about this :)
posted by special agent conrad uno at 12:54 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Smells Like a Feeling
posted by knilstad at 12:55 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember having a cassette tape with Nevermind on one side, and Pearl Jam's Alive on the other. I taped them off a CD and over some other mix songs I got off the radio, so the intro to the songs sometimes had radio announcer voices in the background.

Over time, I played that fucker so long that it got to the point where it just started to sound distorted. That, coupled with AA batteries that died frequently, meant that some of the time, some weird ass version of Smells Like Teen Spirit would be playing out of my walkman.

This pretty much takes me back to that. Someone needs to replace Miley's AA batteries.
posted by dflemingecon at 12:55 PM on May 4, 2011


Whenever I think of SLTS, I fast-forward to the end in my brain and let In Bloom start. Better song, much better video.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:56 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't think it was that bad. Kind of weird vocals, but the original was too. I guess I'm not the best to judge this though, I never knew the first line was "load up on guns", and I also thought it was "hello, hello, hello, how low"

So yeah.
posted by delmoi at 12:57 PM on May 4, 2011


No one owns the past, let go of the pretense of control and live your life.
posted by ChrisHartley at 12:58 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've had an mp3 just called Spirit.mp3 for something like eight or nine years now. It is a really bizarre cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

I don't know who did it. My efforts to find out have been fruitless, but I'm sort of at the point where I'm afraid finding out will ruin the mystery.
posted by kafziel at 12:58 PM on May 4, 2011


kafziel: post it to youtube.
posted by delmoi at 12:59 PM on May 4, 2011


Sigh. You folks getting all holier-than-thou realize Cobain probably would have had as much contempt for your self-righteousness as he would have had for the insipid pop stars covering him, right?

And everything else. The guy was a throbbing ball of contempt wrapped in a duvet made of smack. Great songs, mind you.
posted by jack_mo at 12:59 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


kattullus introduced me to The Polyphonic Spree's spirited cover of Lithium a while ago, and I find it delightful.

The Polyphonic Spree doing ANYTHING is delightful (where's the new album, dammit!), but having seen them twice on their Fragile Army tour, I can say that witnessing them do Lithium live and seeing how the crowd on stage is fed by the energy of the crowd on the floor... It's worth seeking out.

Dammit, now I don't only want a new album from them, but a new tour.
posted by hippybear at 1:01 PM on May 4, 2011


and I also thought it was "hello, hello, hello, how low"

Correct.
posted by anagrama at 1:02 PM on May 4, 2011


line dancing is AWESOME

Who was it who observed that it is dancing the way the British used to fight land wars?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:03 PM on May 4, 2011


There was also a not-horrible cover of Come As You Are done on The Voice recently.
posted by hippybear at 1:04 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I liked Miley's cover. It's utterly soulless, which, given the theme of the song, turns the whole performance into this glittery puzzling koan. Creepy as fuck. Two thumbs up.

*shrug*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:06 PM on May 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Kurt Cobain sometimes compared his band to the Knack, and often took great pleasure in confounding the expectations of his fans.

Any "If he were alive . . . " scenario presupposes he would have found some way to come to terms with his internal struggles over "sincerity" that didn't result in suicide.

So . . who's to say he wouldn't have enjoyed this, at least in some perverse way? The whole "he would kill himself all over again!" stance strikes me as the kind of fan ownership and my-words-in-your-mouth behavior that he reacted so violently to in his life.
posted by chaff at 1:07 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


no NirGaGa?
posted by a person of few words at 1:07 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was pretty shocked when the awesome band that put out Superfuzz/Bigmuff made a whole album of that pop claptrap

What? You mean Mudhoney, the album, by the band Mudhoney?

Who I just saw last week, by the way, and I urge anyone with a passing fondness for this era in American rock music to check them out because they still put on a great show after all these years. And, slowly steering the comment back on track, I was initially irritated to see a bunch of keffiyeh-sporting hipster lads in ladies jeans who couldn't have been more than 22 or so at that show, but those kids had a lot of genuine enthusiasm for the music and I slowly released the initial resentment I felt at having music I liked turned into some kind of ironic nostalgia thing and just enjoyed a good show.
posted by whir at 1:08 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Co-worker's comment: Next up: Justin Bieber covers Nine Inch Nails' "Piggy."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:09 PM on May 4, 2011


This mostly reminds me of my friend's teenage daughter saying she just saw The Karate Kid and how much she liked it.

Then the confusion where neither of us realized that another Karate Kid movie existed.

It's been 20 years. Kurt's been dead longer than she's been alive.

I also remember in the 80s really liking Tiffany's song "I Think We're Alone Now". When the original came up on the oldies channel in my dad's pick-up truck, I very proudly pronounced "These guys are playing Tiffany's song!".

Wash, rinse, repeat.
posted by jillithd at 1:09 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is she dancing like Elaine Benes at the beginning?

Sweet fancy Moses!
posted by das1969 at 1:11 PM on May 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


I burned out on the original version of SLTS about two days after MTV began playing it every five minutes in 1991, so I'm finding it hard to muster much outrage over this... but if you're going to take it upon yourself to cover another band's most recognizable/revered song, at least do something interesting with it!
posted by usonian at 1:13 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


line dancing is AWESOME

Line dancing is the Hoky Poky for people who aren't smart enough to stand in a circle.
posted by The World Famous at 1:14 PM on May 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


I don't understand what's supposed to be so terrible about this. Seems like a creditable cover to me; her voice is kind of raspy and low, which helps.

Then again I know almost nothing about Miley Cyrus and was never a Nirvana superfan, so this doesn't have the same clash-of-signifiers effect on me that it probably does for many.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:14 PM on May 4, 2011


There's a video of Celine Dion performing AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" that is just as wretched because just like Miley, she really thinks she's nailing it.

As far as talented bands backing up total teen hacks, I have seen it before. My wife loves her boy bands and I have suffered through some rather wretched things. One night she watched a DVD of N'SUCK at Madison Square Garden. I read a book. But at the end, as the boys are prancing offstage, the band is just playing the theme of the last song. And then, for about 30 glorious seconds, they RIPPED into Rush's YYZ. I thought the exposure to insipid pop was damaging my ears so bad I was hallucinating so I made her scroll the DVD back. Nope, I heard correctly. They went from "Bye Bye Bye" into a classic hard rock riff and did it with more than a little authority. Which makes you wonder how many musicians out there are playing music they loathe to make a living?
posted by Ber at 1:14 PM on May 4, 2011


wonder how many musicians out there are playing music they loathe to make a living?

pretty much all of them.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:18 PM on May 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


I found her posture and her pants more bothersome than her singing. I am now returning to contemplating the lush, emerald beauty of my lawn.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:19 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, that Paul Anka version of SLTS is actually pretty damn good. It more than just echoes Mack the Knife. And if you are going to remake a song, you have to own it.

Miley, it's nice that you paid homage to Nirvana. It's not really necessary though.
posted by Xoebe at 1:19 PM on May 4, 2011


playing music they loathe = make a living

otherwise, you are an artist, with the starving and all that....
posted by bonefish at 1:20 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mister Fabulous: I'd prefer to hear him cover "Big Man with a Gun."
posted by knilstad at 1:22 PM on May 4, 2011


Why would they loath that kind of music, though? There's little difference, musically between Lady GaGa and Ke$ha, yet I'm betting lots of Lady GaGa fans "hate" Ke$ha. This kind of stuff is the musical equivalent of shopping at the mall and eating at Olive Garden, but lots of people like to do those things.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on May 4, 2011


Consider: Rebecca Black "Friday" is only at an 8:1 dislike:like ratio.

On the other hand, Katy Perry's cover of "Friday" has a 5:1 like:dislike ratio.
posted by brain_drain at 1:23 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Freebird" is 9:09. I know that because I play it at a lot of funerals. No, I'm not joking.
posted by ColdChef at 1:26 PM on May 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


ITT: Gen-Xers reliving their young nonconformist days by hating on an audience that doesn't give a shit about them.
posted by nasreddin at 1:32 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


> There was also a not-horrible cover of Come As You Are done on The Voice recently.

Yay! That's my friend Becca! Glad to see she's getting coverage on the Blue. That arrangement gets more impressive when you realize that she wrote it herself (a not exactly common occurence in the music-reality show world).
posted by Panjandrum at 1:34 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


This brings back memories of that earth-shaking moment in high school when grunge came out. And my friends and I all heard it and were like, "Oh. So that's what Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath would sound like if they sucked really bad."
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


She sounds a little like Courtney.

She sounds a LOT like Courtney, in both pitch and timbre, as well as how she works to destroy Kurt's legacy.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


i saw her! she kicked ass!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:43 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You know, that Paul Anka version of SLTS is actually pretty damn good."

No... it's not.

"It more than just echoes Mack the Knife."

But... IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO!

I thought this was a satire at first -- like SNL's Sweeney Sisters. And I live in Ottawa -- a city with a Paul Anka Drive, fer Chrissakes! (Looking up for the lightning flash for speaking ill of the Ankster.)
posted by Mike D at 1:44 PM on May 4, 2011


Altho I think my favorite SLTS cover (for pure hilarity) has to be by The Melvins - with vox by Lief Garrett. Double weird - apparently the years have turned Lief into a cross between Louis CK and Paul Giamatti.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:46 PM on May 4, 2011


That arrangement gets more impressive when you realize that she wrote it herself (a not exactly common occurence in the music-reality show world).

The impression I get from The Voice is that it's a lot more about musician/vocalists taking a chance and less about finding some random unknown voice talent. There's been more than a few people playing guitar for their auditions, and during the end of episode 2 (the "second chance" bits) it seemed kind of clear to me that some of the people auditioning were more than just Idol-style long-shot voices.

I may end up hating the series in general, but I really liked the first two episodes. And I wish your friend Becca all the best (you can even tell her that a random person from the internet wishes her well). Her performance was great, and she made an interesting coach decision, one which I was kind of cheering her toward making.

(I really don't watch a lot of US reality shows. The UK gives us such great, non-competitive, transformational reality shows... The Choir is a great example of this. Why everything in the US has to be an "I win, you lose" situation is beyond me, and rather frustrating. I hope The Voice remains interesting and positive, but I'm not holding my breath.)
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


line dancing is actually difficult to learn in its more complex forms and really striking to watch but hey, go ahead and knock it because you're too busy with the individualistic arugula-inspired interpretive head bobbing you call "dance"
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:54 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


that's why I only waltz at the club.
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2011


Nearly twenty years later

Wait...what? What are you talking about? Nevermind just came out a few years ago, right? Let me just check--

OH FUCK I AM OLD WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:59 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


line dancing is actually difficult to learn in its more complex forms

Oh, I know. That's what it's all about.
posted by The World Famous at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"that's why I only waltz at the club."

waltzing is just two-stepping with a Eurotrash accent
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought this cover was just fine -- maybe the band worked a little too hard to sound exactly like the record, but I have no problem with MC's vocals. Look, this song is not now -- if it ever was -- some kind of individual expression belonging to K Cobain or his band. It is the property of the culture. Everyone has a right to cover it just as everyone has a right to quote from the Simpsons. It cannot be desecrated.

Having said that, I prefer the amazing Dokaka cover.
posted by escabeche at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the key point that (surprisingly) has been missed here is that she covered a song that the band, after a certain point, rejected. I managed to see them live during there final tour, and SLTS wasn't anywhere near the set list. A lot of bands do that, get tired of playing the only song that most people recognize, even if Nirvana was more petulant about it than most, but seriously, if you're going to butcher a song, at least butcher a song the band didn't hate.

Then again, perhaps in twenty years' time, we'll have some new star saying the exact same opening speech, then bursting into a cover of whatever god-awful songs Cyrus actually sings on her own. And of course, the tweens who love her music now will be just as shocked and dismayed as we are about this.

Besides, we all know Nearly Lost You by The Screaming Trees was the best song of the era.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:13 PM on May 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Paul Anka has a whole album of those kind of covers called Rock Swings. Most of the songs on that album are way better than what he did with Smells Like Teen Spirit. I especially like True and Eye of the Tiger.

I saw everybody hating on the Cirus cover, so maybe I was expecting something way worse or maybe I have no taste, but I didn't think she did such a bad job of it.
posted by willnot at 2:15 PM on May 4, 2011


Kurt Cobain sometimes compared his band to the Knack

I always thought of Nirvana as a power-pop band with flannel shirts instead of skinny ties.
posted by Trurl at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Then again, perhaps in twenty years' time, we'll have some new star saying the exact same opening speech, then bursting into a cover of whatever god-awful songs Cyrus actually sings on her own. And of course, the tweens who love her music now will be just as shocked and dismayed as we are about this.

Seems about right. I recall Tiffany's cover, "I Saw Him Standing There", being less then whelming.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:29 PM on May 4, 2011


I liked it. Always fun to see new people play the classics. I'd be intrigued to see her or someone like her tackle the songs that defined my teen angst and razor blades: Faster and 4st 7lb.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:34 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


you can even tell her that a random person from the internet wishes her well

Heh, I will certainly let her know that a hippy bear from the internet has her best interests at heart. She'll probably roll with it too.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:34 PM on May 4, 2011


I'd like to see arugula-inspired dance steps please
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on May 4, 2011


They are probably somewhere in here.
posted by whir at 2:37 PM on May 4, 2011


I'd like to see arugula-inspired dance steps please

Then head on down to the Salad Bar, man.
posted by The World Famous at 2:46 PM on May 4, 2011


Many celebrities, Miley among them, need someone to tell them to stop. Whatever happened to the celebrity manager, like Colonel Tom Parker, who told Elvis exactly what he could and couldn't do?

Or like Tom Hanks, in That Thing You Do.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:55 PM on May 4, 2011


Not as good as her collaboration with Biggie.
posted by Rangeboy at 2:55 PM on May 4, 2011


WHENNA LIZZZOUT ITS MILEY CYRUS
NIRVANA WE'RE ALL OLD NOW
HOLY SHIT EVEN ANKA HAS ONE
I NEED ARUGULA OH GOD YES!

YAY ARUGULA
WAIT WHATS ARUGULA

I DON'T KNOW JUST PLAY THE TAPE
OH WELL WHATEVER NEVER MIND
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:58 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many celebrities, Miley among them, need someone to tell them to stop. Whatever happened to the celebrity manager, like Colonel Tom Parker, who told Elvis exactly what he could and couldn't do?


Right. Because Colonel Tom Parker never let Elvis do anything embarrassing or dumb.
posted by The World Famous at 3:15 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


And what really sets Miley Cyrus apart from Nirvana is that she doesn't have an ultra-controlling management team.
posted by The World Famous at 3:17 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Miley Cyrus: "I hereby curse you for having ears....and a mind".
posted by thebestusernameever at 3:18 PM on May 4, 2011


It's worth pointing out that Mefi's own Lore Sjöberg spent a little time this winter cataloging Smells Like Teen Spirit covers and mashups over on tumblr. He never got around to posting my personal favorite mashup, the K-pop brilliance from masamixes.
posted by lantius at 3:20 PM on May 4, 2011


The things I like are only good as long as nobody else likes them.

The things I like are good because I like them. I am Gen X. It's all about me.

I always thought of Nirvana as a power-pop band with flannel shirts instead of skinny ties.

Foo Fighters anyone?
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:21 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just threw up.
posted by mike3k at 3:22 PM on May 4, 2011


I still remember being 13 and reading Michael Azzerad's book about Nirvana and loving this part:

"In March, pretentious pop thrush Tori Amos released a piano version of "Teen Spirit" on an EP. "Every morning when [Courtney and I] woke up we'd turn it up as loud as we could and dance around like a Solid Gold dancer," says Kurt, wearing his best poker face. "It felt really weird because the neighbors were listening. Maybe they thought I was an egomaniac, but I was really just miming the song and dancing around. It's a great breakfast cereal version."
posted by Beardman at 3:24 PM on May 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


...which is peculiar because there's really nothing less dancey, specifically Solid Gold dancery, than that Tori Amos cover.
posted by hippybear at 3:36 PM on May 4, 2011


I'm just gonna go ahead and put this lovely piano cover here.
posted by mrgoat at 3:41 PM on May 4, 2011


There's some great YouTube comments there, for once.

Depressing:
"les aseguro q el 99.9 de niñas q fueron a este concierto no tienen idea del autor original de la cancion" ["I assure you(all) that 99.9% of the girls who were at this concert have no idea who the original author(singer) of the song is"]

Hilarious:
"Al menos Bin Laden esta muerto."
posted by librarylis at 3:42 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Paul Anka has a whole album of those kind of covers called Rock Swings. Most of the songs on that album are way better than what he did with Smells Like Teen Spirit. I especially like True and Eye of the Tiger.

Incidentally, Pat Boone had an album with metal covers. You've got another thing coming is good. I wasn't too impressed by the rest.
posted by ersatz at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2011


You know what I wish I could hear? Unplugged-era Nirvana covering "Party in the USA". I can totally hear Kurt doing the "Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey" part.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2011


I always mishear that lyric as here we are now, imitators which is sort of apropos here.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:47 PM on May 4, 2011


The Melvins version was sung by Leif Garrett? God bless The Melvins.

Indeed. He did a great job! This and their (admittedly predictably) slowed-down Green Manalishi have rekindled my decade-dormant Melvins interest.
posted by ignignokt at 3:57 PM on May 4, 2011



Why is she dancing like Elaine Benes at the beginning?


Indeed
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:07 PM on May 4, 2011


Wait a minute Kate Bush can crib some lyrics from James Joyce and you are all GRAR OMG Kate Bush!! But Miley Cyrus cribs Cobain in Ecuador and it's a national tragedy. WTF. You are all a bunch of pretentious EMO art fags. You have provoked a deep seated loathing in my soul. I'm going to go listen to Party in the USA now and pretend this never happened. I am disappointed in you.
posted by humanfont at 4:08 PM on May 4, 2011


pop will eat itself
posted by ciderwoman at 4:11 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was floored by this when I saw it yesterday morning, and by floored I mean I said it was the end of everything, but with almost two days and a much-dreaded dental appointment behind me, I now find it kind of...mediocre? If this weren't Miley Cyrus, it would be totally unremarkable; it's a workmanlike run-through of a song, dispassionate and devoid of meaning, or even evidence that the performers are aware that it could have a meaning. I don't think she can help that. Performing is, and has been for her whole life, a job. I have a feeling that she understands that Kurt was coming from another place, and I get the feeling that she would like to go to there. But I think that's all she knows right now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:17 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yah I barely know who Miley Cyrus is except she's a teen pop idol or something and she covered SLTS and it's ...perfectly fine and Workmanlike so ....there?
posted by The Whelk at 4:22 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You are all a bunch of pretentious EMO art fags.

Surely you mean we're all emu art fags.

(and that's Mister Faggot to you.)
posted by hippybear at 4:24 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


hippybear - I'm legitimately curious. I like Nirvana just fine and I think Cobain was pretty darn good. I just never quite got to the level of devotion that some folks have for him.

I think that he had a great deal of unrealized potential, and he seems like a guy that actually had a genuine sense of humor too. So it's not really me trying to throw grenades or stir the pot. I guess I was just trying to find out why people were drawn to him at a personal level, and I could have made it clearer.

In conclusion, "Breed" is a pretty awesome song.
posted by HostBryan at 4:31 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should hate this, but that would reek of effort.
posted by malocchio at 4:37 PM on May 4, 2011


perfectly fine and Workmanlike

Yes! That's exactly why it would bother me if I cared.
posted by malocchio at 4:38 PM on May 4, 2011


20 years?! No. No no no. Can't be.
posted by deborah at 4:46 PM on May 4, 2011


I'd rather hear a cover that does something new with the source material.

I think Hellsongs version of Paranoid does that.
posted by Nabubrush at 4:59 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


HostBryan, if you like Breed in particular I'd recommend going back to their debut album Bleach, which has a lot more songs in that vein of grungy power-metal. Might be more up your alley.
posted by mannequito at 5:00 PM on May 4, 2011


mannequito - I like their other stuff I've heard too, but that one is one I can listen to over and over again. I'll check it out.

(Also, semi-related: I love Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, but then again who doesn't?)
posted by HostBryan at 5:06 PM on May 4, 2011


Whatever happened to the celebrity manager, like Colonel Tom Parker, who told Elvis exactly what he could and couldn't do?

LOL.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:09 PM on May 4, 2011


Metafilter - I am disappointed in you.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:18 PM on May 4, 2011


also, a couple of tracks off their final album In Utero that remind me of Breed: Very Ape and Tourette's

enjoy! this is the material of theirs that I was always more partial too as well, as opposed to the more catchy/poppy stuff
posted by mannequito at 5:21 PM on May 4, 2011


Altitude can sure mess w/ people's heads. Denver is as high as that girl should go.
posted by Lukenlogs at 5:38 PM on May 4, 2011


I'd rather hear a cover that does something new with the source material.

I think Hellsongs version of Paranoid does that.


I like that version of Paranoid, but all it keeps from the original is the lyrics and all it does with the "source material" music is abandon it.
posted by The World Famous at 5:43 PM on May 4, 2011


Miley Cyrus can just get off my lawn now. Must cleanse ears now.
posted by arcticseal at 6:08 PM on May 4, 2011


Surely you mean we're all emu art fags.

(and that's Mister Faggot to you.)


There is no need for that. Here you are now, a hippiebear, making me feel stupid, not courageous, I went overboard when I was self assured, and used a dirty word. Forgive my braggadocio, I'm just a mosquito in denial.
posted by humanfont at 6:08 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


special agent conrad uno: Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) was making fun of him one day, and wrote "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his wall, and that was the inspiration for this song.

Kathleen Hanna tells the story and covers Smells Like Teen Spirit.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, but just wait until Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber start doing duets.
posted by bwg at 6:16 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's got to be really hard to be the guys in that band. Out on an international stadium tour playing to giant crowds… behind Miley Cyrus.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:18 PM on May 4, 2011


Guys, what if she dug a little deeper and discovered The Pixies?
posted by hellojed at 6:26 PM on May 4, 2011


Nirvana had some great songs but the cult of personality around Cobain is just ridiculous. Is there something I'm missing?

I think he felt about the same about it.
posted by Huck500 at 6:41 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen this actual cover, and maybe I'm a bit too young to really appreciate it, but I guess I've never really understood why Kurt Cobain is so important.

Nirvana had some great songs but the cult of personality around Cobain is just ridiculous. Is there something I'm missing?


Seconded, HostBryan. HippyBear is offended because, like James Dean, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CRITICIZE BARELY-TESTED GENIUS!!!

Cobain was a promising young star who died after ... having barely done anything. Died much more stupidly than Dean, of course. A couple really promising hits, masterpieces even, but for all we know, he could have turned out as Axl Rose or Christian Slater: an austentatious start, followed by ... a long wait for meh.

And he OD'ed. Loser.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:43 PM on May 4, 2011


And since I'm posting Smells Like Teen Spirit covers, I'm fond of Willie Nelson's short, haunting version.
posted by Kattullus at 6:44 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


HippyBear is offended

Actually, I'm not offended at all. Sorry if I came across that way.

I've never liked Nirvana. I mean, they were okay, but their music never really spoke to me on the level it seemed to speak to everyone who loves them so much. I've had to work hard to have any real understanding of why people like them at all, mostly due to the same kind of self-education which I suggested to HostBryan. I mostly find their music noisy and nihilistic, which is largely the opposite of what I was listening to when they were popular -- Indigo Girls and U2 and such.

At this point I have intellectual appreciation for them still without actually liking them. The grunge band which grabbed me was Pearl Jam, and even then it was on their Vitalogy album, the one which everyone bought and hated I purchased and immediately fell deep in love with. So much so that I was able then to go back and fall in love with the other two albums I'd sampled and hated prior to that.

So, my response was actually not me being offended, but a bit taken aback by something which seemed to be right on the edge of trolling the thread (although it wasn't, and for that I'm grateful and offer my apologies at assuming the worst of HostBryan). On some level, well, de gustibus non disputandum est.

Although when it comes to this performance by Miley... I think we're largely all in agreement.
posted by hippybear at 6:53 PM on May 4, 2011


Cobain was a promising young star who died after ... having barely done anything. Died much more stupidly than Dean, of course. A couple really promising hits, masterpieces even, but for all we know, he could have turned out as Axl Rose or Christian Slater: an austentatious start, followed by ... a long wait for meh.

And he OD'ed. Loser.


Well, he OD'd and shot himself; he was pretty clearly an emotionally disturbed drug addict. What's your excuse?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:54 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


And he OD'ed. Loser.

ugh. I am ashamed to share a Metafilter-Birthday with one such as ye.
posted by mannequito at 6:55 PM on May 4, 2011


Nirvana validated my lifelong love of plaid flannel shirts.
posted by mikelieman at 7:09 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I am disappoint
posted by Kloryne at 7:45 PM on May 4, 2011


That was fucking awful. She stalks the stage like gum-snapping, lotto ticket buying, 978 tchotchkes-on-my-keychain carrying trailer trash. I'm clicking "Post Comment" before I change my mind.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:53 PM on May 4, 2011


Next up: Justin Bieber's cover of "Guns of Brixton".
posted by steambadger at 9:09 PM on May 4, 2011


Call me when she does a duet with Lemmy covering "Killed By Death".
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 9:15 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: smells like Miley Cyrus
posted by bwg at 9:34 PM on May 4, 2011


My gen X irony somehow approves of this.
posted by jefbla at 9:42 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man Kattullus, I'm basically a Kathleen Hanna fan, and maybe I'm just reacting to the sententious Elton John piano, but I feel like that is probably the worst thing I've ever seen in my whole life, and somehow it offends me more deeply than the Miley Cyrus cover did. How the hell did she get from "Carnival" to that? Was that filmed in Vegas? Does she have a show there now?
posted by whir at 10:02 PM on May 4, 2011


Guys, what if she dug a little deeper and discovered The Pixies?

The Pixies greatest feature is that they spawned The Breeders and I will fight you if you think I am wrong.

Kim Deal 4ever.
posted by Bonzai at 10:18 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Based on the video I think Miley could turn in a fine version of "Gigantic" and I think Kim Deal would approve of it.
posted by escabeche at 10:32 PM on May 4, 2011


Would have been much cooler if she'd done Negative Creep. That would have freaked a few people out...
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:11 AM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


WTF. You are all a bunch of pretentious EMO art fags.

Not so. We are all like GRAR OMG because Kate Bush can only improve on Joyce.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:37 AM on May 5, 2011


whir: Man Kattullus, I'm basically a Kathleen Hanna fan, and maybe I'm just reacting to the sententious Elton John piano, but I feel like that is probably the worst thing I've ever seen in my whole life, and somehow it offends me more deeply than the Miley Cyrus cover did.

That's okay, no one likes everything. If you want to skip the story, you can go to 7:20 which is about when the guitar shows up.

How the hell did she get from "Carnival" to that? Was that filmed in Vegas? Does she have a show there now?

That's recorded at Joe's Pub in New York.
posted by Kattullus at 1:57 AM on May 5, 2011


Young popstar plays an oldie.
"Blogosphere" explodes in poutrage.

Here I am now, entertain me. (Refills popcorn.)
posted by chavenet at 3:32 AM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nirvana? Poop. Soundgarden 4 lyfe. Also, I'm making the call right now, the way Miley's voice sounds now, throat polyps in her future.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:26 AM on May 5, 2011


I take your Soundgarden and raise you Faith No More. Mike Patton could mosh from his ankles upwards, now that's commitment.
posted by arcticseal at 5:01 AM on May 5, 2011


Alice in Chains. Game over man, game over!
posted by Pendragon at 5:50 AM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think enough has been said about the cover itself.

I just came here to say that Ms. Cyrus' combination of a high-cut leotard and low-rise pants, while possibly intended to be sexy, simply reminds me of when I dress my toddler in a onesie that's much too small for her.

And that is why I am old.
posted by xthlc at 6:20 AM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


20 years?! No. No no no. Can't be.

Wasn't there an FPP within the past couple years where someone did a "where is he now" piece about the kid who was the naked baby on the cover of Nevermind all grown up?

On the matter at hand: I always kind of preferred Pearl Jam anyway, but I was already in my early 20's and trying to do the "I am entering the job force and must buckle down and get serious" thing and didn't pay as much attention to the music scene. Bad covers of things tend to just make me roll my eyes, sigh, and track down the original.

And the best cover ever of anything from the early 90's was when Johnny Cash did "Hurt."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:56 AM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


And the best cover ever of anything from the early 90's was when Johnny Cash did "Hurt."
See also: Rowboat and Rusty Cage. And speaking of Soundgarden covers, Steve & Eydie's cover of Black Hole Sun works amazingly well.
posted by usonian at 7:53 AM on May 5, 2011


And the best cover ever of anything from the early 90's was when Johnny Cash did "Hurt."

Not to mention The Mercy Seat.
posted by cereselle at 8:26 AM on May 5, 2011


I don't know if I like this cover more, or the sound of 30+ yr old hipsters getting into a stew because it's their music and nobody else should be allowed it.

If you think it's a travesty, you're an idiot and it's about time you grew up.
posted by seanyboy at 9:22 AM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what irks me the most about Nirvana? It's not that they're now ridiculously overhyped, or that revisionist history has made them way more influential than they actually were. No, it's the fact that I feel like the only person in America who remembers: prior to Cobain killing himself, Pearl Jam was way more popular than Nirvana, and everyone kind of thought that In Utero sucked.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:23 AM on May 5, 2011


*pats namewithoutwords* I remember. You aren't alone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:28 AM on May 5, 2011


I remember the backlash against In Utero. I must have been in 6th or 7th grade at the time. It's especially weird now, because In Utero is by far my favorite Nirvana album, and it seems to have survived the test of time with other people as well.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:29 PM on May 5, 2011


Blasphemous.  Here, have some Nine Inch Nails or Kate Bush.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:29 PM on May 5, 2011


Guys, what if she dug a little deeper and discovered The Pixies?

This Miley's Gone to Heaven.
posted by malocchio at 1:57 PM on May 5, 2011


namewithoutwords: “You know what irks me the most about Nirvana? It's not that they're now ridiculously overhyped, or that revisionist history has made them way more influential than they actually were. No, it's the fact that I feel like the only person in America who remembers: prior to Cobain killing himself, Pearl Jam was way more popular than Nirvana, and everyone kind of thought that In Utero sucked.”

Pearl Jam was always awful. Their popularity can almost solely be chalked up to the fact that Eddie Vedder is fantastic at marketing.
posted by koeselitz at 2:49 PM on May 5, 2011


Not always awful. I love this song for example.
posted by seanyboy at 3:25 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pearl Jam was always awful.

I actively hated Pearl Jam for all of the '90s and I still don't like them. But You Are is a really, really, really good song. Naturally, it was written by Matt Cameron, so that explains it. Still, though, the words "great Pearl Jam song" do ring true in one particular instance.
posted by The World Famous at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pearl Jam was always awful. Their popularity can almost solely be chalked up to the fact that Eddie Vedder is fantastic at marketing.

Yay! A "your favorite band sucks". From koeselitz, nonetheless! How awesome.

Seriously. Can't people learn to discuss these things by couching them in terms which make it clear that it's the person's opinion and not a universal truth? That's the sign of a true, mature discussion about things like this.
posted by hippybear at 3:49 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't people learn to discuss these things by couching them in terms which make it clear that it's the person's opinion and not a universal truth?

The likelihood of this happening is on a par with people realising that when someone says that something is awful, they are actually expressing an opinion and not making a personal attack on the fan.

Both sides are just as wrong here.
posted by seanyboy at 4:00 PM on May 5, 2011


A person's opinion is just what they, personally, believe is universal truth. namewithoutwords expressed his personal opinion that Nirvana was terrible ("ridiculously overhyped" is code for "terrible") and that Pearl Jam was better. I just contradicted that directly.

And I got links to two good songs out of it. What did you get?
posted by koeselitz at 4:00 PM on May 5, 2011


And I got links to two good songs out of it. What did you get?

A clearer picture of who you are.
posted by hippybear at 4:11 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, it's funny how you reread comments you've made and realize how awful they seem. I'm turning into a trolling asshole. Sorry, hippybear, namewithoutwords, et al. Ugh. That was totally silly and uncalled for.

Thanks for the nice music links, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 6:19 PM on May 5, 2011


hippybear : There's a lot of self-educating you could do on this subject before you lob this kind of semi-trolling hand grenade into a discussion thread. Is your question in earnest, or are you just stirring the pot?

Oh, loosen the sphincter a tad. I come from exactly "that" generation, and would ask the same question. Yes, he made himself the eternal face-of-Grunge, but he neither started it nor did it best. He just happened to have his career peak at exactly the right moment, and repainted the walls red before his five minutes ended.

The fact that modern musicians consider him some sort of role-model I can only view as misguided at best.

And that's why I say "Hey man, nice shot!".



EmpressCallipygos : And the best cover ever of anything from the early 90's was when Johnny Cash did "Hurt."

Holy crap, Empress, we actually agree on something! :D
posted by pla at 6:35 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom : Cobain was a promising young star who died after ... having barely done anything. [...] And he OD'ed. Loser.

No. Shannon Hoon died as a promising young star from an OD. Cobain swore he didn't have a gun, and lied. One of these we can consider a tragedy; The other we can blame for giving Courtney Love her five minutes of self-destructive fame, and thank for getting Dave Grohl off drums.
posted by pla at 6:49 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


koeselitz: "namewithoutwords expressed his personal opinion that Nirvana was terrible ("ridiculously overhyped" is code for "terrible") and that Pearl Jam was better. I just contradicted that directly."

Oh no no no no no. Pearl Jam also sucks out loud. I was just trying to remind people that Nirvana was neither as popular nor as influential as Pearl Jam until after Cobain's suicide - at which point collectively everyone seemed to kneel and worship at the cult of Nirvana. (and while "ridiculously overhyped" was not code for terrible (it was code for "made out to be much, much more important than they actually were", I do think they were pretty terrible all around. Cobain's only saving grace was that he had great personal taste in music, as evidenced by the tracks he chose to cover.)

There was very little *good* music to come out of grunge*. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of three bands that qualify: The Toadies, Failure, and Superchunk.

pla: " and thank for getting Dave Grohl off drums."

Come now. If we need to do anything, it's convince Dave Grohl to only play drums - the Foo Fighters are terrible, but Probot was awesome, and though the singing is execrable, this cover of Zepplin's Rock And Roll was fun.




*I realize that them's fightin' words.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:14 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked Ten when it came out, but didn't care for anything after that except the aforementioned You Are, which is my favorite song by them.

Also, Faith No More is completely badass, but, uh, not grunge.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:17 AM on May 6, 2011


For the record, I'm mentally imagining that everyone who makes any kind of "this particular [music/band/song] was bad" statement is dressed in a Victorian gentleman's frock coat and wearing a monocle. Even the women.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on May 6, 2011


There was very little *good* music to come out of grunge*. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of three bands that qualify:

I wonder if Radiohead belongs on that list.
posted by box at 8:11 AM on May 6, 2011


Apologies if it's already been posted, but the BBC just had a 1991 music special, and it reminded me that this version from Top of the Pops is the definitive version of SLTS.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:08 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come now. If we need to do anything, it's convince Dave Grohl to only play drums - the Foo Fighters are terrible, but Probot was awesome , and though the singing is execrable, this cover of Zepplin's Rock And Roll was fun.


Dave played guitar and bass on Probot too.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:43 PM on May 6, 2011


box: I wonder if Radiohead belongs on that list.

I listened to The Bends the other day and it struck me just how britpop they sounded. Much more like their contemporaries in England than I thought of them at the time.

namewithoutwords: There was very little *good* music to come out of grunge*. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of three bands that qualify: The Toadies, Failure, and Superchunk.

And I suppose it depends on who you include in the grunge movement. The first Mudhoney ep and lp were great. I still have a soft spot for Soundgarden. With Nirvana that's three more right there. And if you stretch it to include The Melvins and The Meat Puppets, that's two more.
posted by Kattullus at 3:45 PM on May 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Grunge" is a pretty shifting term. It sort of seems to mean "popular college rock." I mean, the first Pavement album came out the same summer as "Nevermind." I guess "Nevermind" was grunge because it got popular. And "Bee Thousand" wasn't a "grunge" record – why? Because it never got famous? I guess. So, yeah. Lots and lots of great rock music around that time, though.
posted by koeselitz at 6:49 PM on May 7, 2011


I should know better than to comment in posts about music - I think the last time it happened to me it was the White Stripes and holy crap did haters come out of the woodwork.

I like that version of Paranoid, but all it keeps from the original is the lyrics and all it does with the "source material" music is abandon it.

I would say keeping the words and putting them to different music is doing something new with the source material, but I guess I would be wrong.
posted by Nabubrush at 4:58 PM on May 8, 2011


I would say keeping the words and putting them to different music is doing something new with the source material, but I guess I would be wrong.

I guess it depends on whether you consider a "song" to be a musical composition of some kind or just a poem. As a songwriter, I do not consider the lyrics alone to be a song.
posted by The World Famous at 10:53 AM on May 9, 2011


I guess we're cool then, because I agree that a song is the total composition (as a songwriter myself) so that's why I specified material as opposed to song (not to be pedantic, but to make that distinction between the whole and the parts).
posted by Nabubrush at 10:45 AM on May 10, 2011


The World Famous: As a songwriter, I do not consider the lyrics alone to be a song.

As a song listener, I agree. :)

Then again, I quite enjoy Trance*, which tends to have pretty female voices used solely as an instrument, with very few "lyrics" (often in a deliberately obscure language) repeated over and over more for their rhythm than their meaning.

* Not to say I don't also enjoy other genres, including even the "Musical Storytellers" like Chapin; But I'd consider them as writing a story set to a fluffy melody more than I would call it a "song".
posted by pla at 5:44 AM on May 11, 2011


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