The Case for CDs
-- as CD sales continue to plummet
, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
Flickr user Harvezt brings you The Dark Side of the Covers
, which recreates 33 rock album covers as seen from the OPPPOSITE direction. Some of the covers are iconic, others are obscure, some of the interpretations are simple and obvious, others are creative and... interesting. (And some are NSFW, but then, some of the original covers were NSFW).
"In this excerpt from Keith Cameron's new biography Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle
, spanning the end of grunge's golden era (Fall 1993 to Fall 1994), we have Mudhoney opening area tours first for Nirvana and then Pearl Jam - the latter of which is shattered by Kurt Cobain's suicide - and joining Vedder & co. for a tour of the White House, during which President Bill Clinton meets with Eddie Vedder to discuss whether or not he should address the nation about Cobain's suicide."
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations are out
, headlined by Nirvana
, thanks to its 1988 cover of Love Buzz
that just meets the 25-year eligibility requirement. [more inside]
"If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up." Take a moment to read the letter
that Steve Albini sent to Nirvana prior to the recording of 1993's In Utero
. It puts everything in context, encapsulates the spirit of the album, and makes a case for it better than a thousand 20th anniversary encomiums could. [more inside]
In our past midnight conversation
, Steve Albini discussed his interesting history with Kurt Cobain, his abandoned work with Fugazi, the stories behind making In Utero, the mostly good but surprisingly sad and surreal professional aftermath of making In Utero, how it might have changed his life, how the new Shellac LP’s test pressings are on route to the band, and why he doesn’t care about Breaking Bad but can tolerate The Newsroom.
Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice.
Then again, he wasn’t remotely. What Everman did afterward put him far outside the category of rock’n’roll footnote. He became an elite member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, one of those bearded guys riding around on horseback in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.
is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper
. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
The 40 Weirdest Post-Nevermind Major Label Albums
"As a snapshot of the era, here are the 40 weirdest, most uncompromising, riskiest, and most surprising albums that were released on a major label in the wake of Nevermind's explosion, during the mania's time-frame of 1992 until 1996."
Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty
arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer
-- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment
The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics)
, deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis
But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers
, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock
-- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network
-- have made them famous around the world
, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take")
and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You")
. Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals
; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
The female bandmembers of Chairlift
, Au Revoir Simone
, Class Actress
, and This Frontier Needs Heroes
get together with "an essentially revolving cast of indie Brooklyn sirens,
twice a year in a living room in Greenpoint to cover a single, classic song that they learn and arrange right before they perform. Calling themselves Girl Crisis
, the group covers a classic (mostly a capella
) from a male artist each Winter and a female artist each Summer. The performances are are filmed with a Super 8 camera, are not open to the public and exist only online. Their latest: Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End of Love"
. (Via) [more inside]
On May 22nd, 2011 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, a number of bands put on a concert
hosted by Eugene Mirman
and Janeane Garofalo
to celebrate the 10th anniversary
of the publication of Michael Azerrad
's Our Band Could Be Your Life
. [more inside]
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.
Kurt Cobain's (obligatory Wikipedia link
) body was found at his home on April 8, 1994. His estimated time of death was three days previously - that is, seventeen years ago yesterday. [more inside]
Pitchfork counts down the top 200 tracks of the 1990's
this week. Strippertweets invites you to play pretend Pitchfork editor and predict the songs and order of the top 10 in their Pitchfork Pool. [more inside]
A pioneer of UK late night television The Word
years old. From the sublime (Television debut of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
) to the ridiculous (Snoop Dog
vs Rod Hull and Emu
) to the down-right disgusting (The Hopefuls
) it was always memorable. (Much NSFWness) [more inside]
The Wipers were a tight and catchy post-punk band founded in Portland in 1977. Today they're best known for covers by The Vivian Girls
and Nirvana (Return of the Rat
, and esp. D7 - studio
, live 1 2 3 4
). But the originals are pretty interesting too. John Peel said of their first album "Is It Real": " 'It is one of punk's great albums by perhaps the most unappreciated band of all time'." [more inside]
Spencer Elden now works for Shepard Fairey
– or, to put it another way, the Nirvana Nevermind baby
now works for the Obama Hope
guy. Or, to quote Kottke
, "Yo dawg
, I herd you like pop culture, so I put some pop culture in your pop culture so your brain can fucking explode from all the popular you've cultured."
The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew.
- Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana
. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition
, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge
It was 17 years ago today, September 24, 1991, Nevermind
hit the shelves and changed popular music forever. The story of Spencer Elden, whom you may know as the little baby floating toward a dollar bill on the cover was covered on NPR
recently. Butch Vig
produced Nevermind, Andy Wallace
mixed it. You can watch Vig talk about recroding Nevermind, "Polly
" "Smells Like Teen Spirit
" and many of the other songs.
Imagine if millions of people had seen you naked
before you were old enough to say "embarrassing." That's the story of Spencer Elden
. [more inside]
"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies."
1991: The Year Punk Broke
Here we are now, entertain us.
An all-ukulele cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
. From their Web site, "Sugar Plum Fairy"
[mp3]. But can UOGB hold a candle to "While My Ukulele Gently Weeps,"
Hello, hello, hello, HOW LOW
The Sub Pop Singles Club
began in 1988 with the release of Nirvana's Love Buzz
single, and continued to offer subscribers new singles from popular and up-and-coming grunge bands for five years. In 1998 the label briefly resurrected the club
, ultimately ending it three years ago. Featured bands ranged from the popular to the obscure
. Earlier this year, the complete collection of singles was put for sale on ebay
, cementing its status as a collector's item
and making a generation of music geeks feel old
Touch Me I'm Sick.
Photographer Charles Peterson
helped America see grunge from the inside out. His dramatic black-and-white images
portrayed the energy
of the music
being performed in crowded basements
and dingy dive bars featuring such bands
, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Hole, Black Flag, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth, among others. "Touch Me I’m Sick: Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs by Charles Peterson"
will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art through May 1
. More inside.
Best song of the last quarter century?
Ok, I liked the song when it came out,(Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit) and can still listen to it today. But, VH1 is saying it is the best song for the last quarter century. That, I have a problem with. It is going to take me some time to reflect on this and come up with some alternates. I thought you folks may have your own opinions as well.
So, lets hear it, what do you think is the best song of the last quarter century?
"In late January 1994, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl entered Bob Lang's studio in Seattle for their final recording session. Following a long jam, they captured this powerful tune
in one take, including the gut-wrenching vocal -- a spooky, ambient intro of echoed harmonics and a fractured guitar solo."
(MP3).I was searching for Godzilla stuff and ran into it.The so called great nirvana
seems to taken Blue Oyster Cults Godzilla
and changed it a little.
Aguilera vs the Strokes!
George Michael meets Missy Elliot! Nirvana and Destiny's Child get it together! Mutant spliced mp3s: the new rock'n'roll, surely.
A fight for Cobain's final song
An unreleased gem, thought to be the last song Kurt Cobain recorded before his death. Now the two surviving members of the band and Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, admit in court records that it does exist. But fans may never get to hear it.